In the early weeks after Rafe’s birth, Sam and I spent a lot of time watching historical documentaries. We found them much easier to focus on than a film or series (not quite sure why now), so we would watch portions of episodes at a time while looking after Rafe.

I remember watching the RAF at 100 with Ewan and Colin McGregor of all things, which was fun, but nowhere near as engrossing as The Death of Yugoslavia and The Fall of Milosevic.

The Yugoslav Wars are just at the edge of my memory as they started when I was little and I never followed their progression as I became a teenager. I barely registered a conflict just the other side of Italy, and it is only now thanks to the above documentaries that I know what happened.

I’m loathe to make any grand statements or conclusions about the conflict, instead I would urge you watch the documentaries if you can. Both are made by the same production team, the first won awards, and interview footage from the same was even used at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

If you don’t have the time, here is a 16 minute summary on the topic by WonderWhy:

I love history. I love how it gives me context and a sense of my place in the world. Learning about history empowers people to think about their thoughts, decisions and actions, and should hopefully encourage them to consider how they want to represent themselves in society.

To conclude, here are two quotes from people smarter than I:

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

GEorge orwell

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana