When Nobody Stood Up and Everybody is Guilty: A Puzzle of Individual Responsibility and Collective Guilt (Invited voice)

  • Svetlana Broz
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS, volume 17)


In this chapter, Svetlana Broz tells her route from Belgrade to the war zones of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she went in early 1993 to help as a cardiologist. Her account confronts the black and white descriptions of “ethnic war” that she had heard in conversations in her hometown or read in the world’s press to the more subtle stories that she was told from those who directly faced the war. She collected over a hundred personal testimonies, which display as many cases of “the choice to retain dignity and to value humanity”, even at the risk of losing one’s life. They tell stories of ordinary people who endured the atrocity of war but did not succumb to its destructive logic—people who were helping friends or neighbours regardless of their ethnic background.


Former Yugoslavia Bosnia and Herzegovina Victims Intergroup relations Helping Collective guilt Responsibility 


  1. Arendt, H. (1994). Understanding and politics, 1930–1954: Formation, exile, and totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt, Brace.Google Scholar
  2. Kitzinger, U. (2006). The duty to disobey. In S. Broz (ed.), Having what it takes. Essays on civil courage. Sarajevo: Gariwo.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NGO Gardens of the Righteous Worldwide (GARIWO)SarajevoBosnia-Herzegovina

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