“No death camps in Bosnia” – Izetbegovic deathbed confession

Just before he died, Alija Izetbegovic confessed to Bernard Kouchner (former UN High Commissioner to Bosnia) and US diplomat Richard Holbrooke that there were no death camps in Bosnia.  Kouchner included details of this in his 2004 book “LeGuerriers de la Paix”, Grasset, Paris on pp 372 – 375.

This is an English translation:

 Kouchner: “You remember President Mitterrand’s visit?”

 Izetbegovic:  “Let me thank you once again.”

K: “In the course of that conversation you spoke of the existence of 

extermination camps in Bosnia.  You repeated that in front of the

journalists. That provoked considerable emotion throughout the world.

Francois sent me to Omarska and we opened other prisons. They were 

horrible places, but people were not systematically exterminated.  Did 

you know that?”

I:  “Yes.  I thought that my revelations could precipitate 

bombings. I saw the reaction of the French and the others — I was 


Holbrooke: “You understood at Helsinki that President Bush senior would not


I:  “Yes, I tried, but the assertion was false. There were no

extermination camps whatever the horror of those places.”


 Kouchner concludes: “The conversation was magnificent, that man 

at death’s door hid nothing from us of his historic role. Richard and I 

expressed our immense admiration.”