Alexander Korb

5 The disposal of corpses in an ethnicized civil war: Croatia, 1941–45 1 Alexander Korb Introduction In May 1943, an Italian general who was being held prisoner of war was discussing the course of the war with his colleagues. He was describing an incident that had occurred in the territory occupied by Italy in Croatia and, unknown to him, he was overheard by his British supervisors. The incident concerned the recovery of the corpses of murdered Serbs thrown by the perpetrators – Croatian nationalists – into karst caves, which are typical land formations in that

in Human remains and mass violence
Therkel Straede

This paper traces the massacres of Jews and Soviet prisoners of war in November 1941 in the city of Bobruisk, Eastern Belarus. Sparked by a current memorial at one of the killing sites, the author examines the historic events of the killings themselves and presents a micro level analysis of the various techniques for murdering and disposing of such large numbers of victims. A contrast will be shown between the types of actions applied to the victims by the German army, SS, police personnel and other local collaborators, reflecting an imposed racial hierarchisation even after their death.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Deaths and politicised deaths in Buenos Aires’s refuse
Mariano D. Perelman

The appearance of corpses in rubbish tips is not a recent phenomenon. In Argentina, tips have served not only as sites for the disposal of bodies but also as murder scenes. Many of these other bodies found in such places belong to individuals who have suffered violent deaths, which go on to become public issues, or else are ‘politicised deaths’. Focusing on two cases that have received differing degrees of social, political and media attention – Diego Duarte, a 15-year-old boy from a poor background who went waste-picking on an open dump and never came back, and Ángeles Rawson, a girl of 16 murdered in the middle-class neighbourhood of Colegiales, whose body was found in the same tip – this article deals with the social meanings of bodies that appear in landfills. In each case, there followed a series of events that placed a certain construction on the death – and, more importantly, the life – of the victim. Corpses, once recognised, become people, and through this process they are given new life. It is my contention that bodies in rubbish tips express – and configure – not only the limits of the social but also, in some cases, the limits of the human itself.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Burials, body parts and bones in the earlier Upper Palaeolithic
Erik Trinkaus, Sandra Sázelová, and Jiří Svoboda

The rich earlier Mid Upper Palaeolithic (Pavlovian) sites of Dolní Vĕstonice I and II and Pavlov I (∼32,000–∼30,000 cal BP) in southern Moravia (Czech Republic) have yielded a series of human burials, isolated pairs of extremities and isolated bones and teeth. The burials occurred within and adjacent to the remains of structures (‘huts’), among domestic debris. Two of them were adjacent to mammoth bone dumps, but none of them was directly associated with areas of apparent discard (or garbage). The isolated pairs and bones/teeth were haphazardly scattered through the occupation areas, many of them mixed with the small to medium-sized faunal remains, from which many were identified post-excavation. It is therefore difficult to establish a pattern of disposal of the human remains with respect to the abundant evidence for site structure at these Upper Palaeolithic sites. At the same time, each form of human preservation raises questions about the differential mortuary behaviours, and hence social dynamics, of these foraging populations and how we interpret them through an archaeological lens.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A Congolese Experience
Justine Brabant

solid network, such as MSF. When it is time to set off, I will probably turn to the humanitarian organisation’s jeeps, which are considered safer and faster than public transport, or even to a MONUSCO flight if I want to get to hard-to-reach places quickly – for example, the high plateaus of Minembwe. If, finally, I have the misfortune to be a freelance journalist and have no media outlet placing a satellite telephone at my disposal, my usual response would probably be to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Law and Politics of Responding to Attacks against Aid Workers
Julia Brooks and Rob Grace

tools at their disposal – for example, relationship building and modes of seeking creative compromise – so that the outcome is not mere submission to the interlocutor’s wishes? The pathway forward for addressing the challenges of negotiating the protection of humanitarian action has various dimensions. At the individual level, there is a need for humanitarian actors to commit themselves to a long-term process of cultivating their own negotiation capacity. The humanitarian sector has made some significant strides towards grappling with some of these challenges

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

improvement concerns critical infrastructure. In a gesture of transparency, humanitarian innovation accepts that after sixty years of terrestrial development, a billion or more people still lack access to piped water, stable electricity, proper waste disposal, adequate housing, comprehensive schooling, professional health care and regular financial services. Levelling up or reconstructing a fixed grid, however, hasn’t been a serious international objective since the onset of the downturn. The logistical mega-corridors that are being built sidestep

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Disposal and concealment in genocide and mass violence

Destruction and human remains investigates a crucial question frequently neglected from academic debate in the fields of mass violence and Genocide Studies: what is done to the bodies of the victims after they are killed? Indeed, in the context of mass violence and genocide, death does not constitute the end of the executors' work. Following the abuses carried out by the latter, their victims' remains are treated and manipulated in very particular ways, amounting in some cases to social engineering. The book explores this phase of destruction, whether by disposal, concealment or complete annihilation of the body, across a range of extreme situations to display the intentions and socio-political framework of governments, perpetrators and bystanders. The book will be split into three sections; 1) Who were the perpetrators and why were they chosen? It will be explored whether a division of labour created social hierarchies or criminal careers, or whether in some cases this division existed at all. 2) How did the perpetrators kill and dispose of the bodies? What techniques and technologies were employed, and how does this differ between contrasting and evolving circumstances? 3) Why did the perpetrators implement such methods and what does this say about their motivations and ideologies? The book will focus in particular on the twentieth century, displaying innovative and interdisciplinary approaches and dealing with case studies from different geographical areas across the globe. The focus will be placed on a re-evaluation of the motivations, the ideological frameworks and the technical processes displayed in the destruction of bodies.

Methodological approaches

Mass violence is one of the defining phenomena of the twentieth century, which some have even called the 'century of genocides'. The study of how the dead body is treated can lead us to an understanding of the impact of mass violence on contemporary societies. Corpses of mass violence and genocide, especially when viewed from a biopolitical perspective, force one to focus on the structures of the relations between all that participates in the enfolding case study. Argentina is an extraordinary laboratory in the domain of struggle against impunity and of 'restoration of the truth'. It constitutes a useful paradigm in the context of reflection on the corpses of mass violence. Its special character, in the immediate aftermath of the military dictatorship, is to test almost the entirety of juridical mechanisms in the handling of state crimes. The trigger for both the intercommunal violence and the civil war was the mass murders by the Ustaša. This book discusses the massacres carried out by the Ustaša in Croatia during the Second World War. After a brief presentation of the historical background, the massacres carried out by the Ustaša militia and their corpse disposal methods are described. Using Rwanda as a case study, the book proposes an agenda for ethnographic research to explore the relationship between concealment and display in contexts of genocide. This relationship is explored in detail after a discussion of the historical background to the 1994 genocide.

Open Access (free)
The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa
Nicky Rousseau

8 Death and dismemberment: the body and counter-revolutionary warfare in apartheid South Africa 1 Nicky Rousseau As resistance intensified in what would turn out to be apartheid’s final decade, security forces in South Africa began covertly to exe­cute opponents extra-judicially, despite a formidable arsenal of security legislation and a state of emergency from 1985 to 1990.2 A noteworthy aspect of these executions is that the modes of killing varied, sometimes along regional lines, or according to the particular security unit involved. Disposal of the bodies

in Destruction and human remains