The latest recipient of the Nobel Prize for literary work, Peter Handke, has put his tremendous literary talent and authority in the service of a retrograde nationalist ideology which is responsible for genocide, grave crimes and ethnic cleansing, the Senate of the University of Sarajevo said on Wednesday.
“Handke has in a part of his literary work and in numerous public statements countered facts which were determined by international UN courts multiple times with his subjective version of history without any basis,” the Sarajevo University Senate said of the Austrian writer who was a vocal supporter of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.
In his work, Handke “relativised and put into question the genocide and crimes committed in Srebrenica, Visegrad and Sarajevo and with that wronged a historic truth and produced damage to literature,” the academics in Sarajevo said in their statement. “He also expressed undeniable support to the dictatorship regime and the personality of Slobodan Milosevic, remaining loyal to him to the very end, while constantly expressing himself in a derogatory and offensive way about representatives of the opposition of that regime.”
The writer denied that the 1995 genocide ever took place in several of his essays and expressed support to the “retribution activities of the Serb side,” the Sarajevo University Senate said, adding that Handke “openly insulted and humiliated the victims of the genocide, emphasising how he ‘does not believe in the sorrow of the Mothers of Srebrenica.”
“We call upon the Nobel Prize Committee to retract its decision and at least somewhat save its honour,” the statement concluded.