Witness to Evil; Her Grisly Job Is to Uncover the Mass Graves of the 8,000 People Murdered in Europe's Worst Massacre. LORNE JACKSON Meets the Midland Woman Who Gives Hope Back to the Bereaved of Bosnia
Byline: LORNE JACKSON
EMMA Tetlow is surrounded by books on beetles and studies of every creature that crawled from under a rock. These are the sort of unusual things you would expect an expert in botany and ecology to have in her office.
But the Birmingham University archeologist has studied something uglier than any insect.
She has been witness to the power of evil, and knows what happens when inhumanity crawls from under a rock. Earlier this year Emma was forced to confront the truly monstrous.
The 33 year-old research scientist visited Bosnia to help locate a series of mass graves - secret cemeteries created to hide the bodies of the Srebrenica massacre victims. About 8,000 people were murdered or went missing during the atrocity.
'I was incredibly privileged to go out there and try to use my skills to help people,' says Emma, whose team studied five possible mass grave sites during a week visit in May.
'Obviously something terrible happened there. It was something we were all very aware of.
'But we just had to try to keep our feelings in check and focus on the job. 'There was one Bosnian woman who used to give us coffee and sweets. She was lovely.
'When she left, we were told she had lost three of her brothers during the Srebrenica massacre. They were still missing and she didn't know if they were alive or dead.
'That kind of thing made me realise how important the work was.
'One Bosnian said to me 'I will never forget, but I will move on.' By locating these bodies, I hope we just helped more people to move on.'
The Srebrenica massacre took place in the summer of 1995,two years after the city was designated a United Nations Safe Area.
It is considered by many to be one ofthe greatest criminal acts of the Bosnian war. It was also one of the worst mass killings on European soil since World War II. …