The Butcher from Serbia

I met him at a Gypsy campsite somewhere in Europe. The owner of the place offered me to sit and have liquor with him and his friends. I sat down and spoke with them. The “butcher” didn’t know much English, so his friends had to translate for him. I asked him what he did, he told me he was a retired “butcher”. He finished the sentence with “and I don’t feel sorry about it either”. He didn’t have to tell me more. He was a Serbian 55 year old man, the rest you can read in history books.

I felt sorry for him. He had that sad look, you only see in soldiers, who have done very bad things. The first couple of years after coming “home” from such a thing, you tend to look over your shoulder, realising “if you can do such things, then others can do the same things that you did”. After a decade, you stop looking over your shoulder, hoping somebody will put you out of your misery. Because, as the night falls, and darkness grows, you’re alone, back in the war, reliving your past.

We spoke for a couple of hours, laughing, telling stories to each other, until I had to go to bed. Before I left, we exchanged lighters. I had one of those lighters that said “Norway”, and he wanted it. I told him he could have it, if he gave me his. He did, and we parted, respectfully. As I saw him in his eyes the last time, I saw a gentle caring father, a family man, and “the butcher” was gone. Nowhere to be seen …

There are no winners in war. It doesn’t matter what uniform or flag you wear. Once you pick up a gun, you have lost – Victimised yourself, your family and everyone around you. There are only losers and victims in war …


3 thoughts on “The Butcher from Serbia

  1. True . . . however it is a little bit more complicated than that, thats only details though, strange it was only yesterday . . . . I was thinking about old friends – and their faces .
    Colonel “CD” Melin, where ever you are ! Have a good One !!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Unfortunately the world is created such that it needs somebody to blame. I believe this often this leads to only one side ending up with all the blame. I didn’t condone “the butchers” acts, but I realise everything happens for a reason, and that he probably felt he had his reasons for doing whatever he did.

    To me he seemed a gentle and humble man, interested in other people’s stories and lives. I wish him all the best in the world … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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