This morning I was reading the obituary of Slobodan Milosevic in the New York Times. Milosevic died a few days back at age 64 of an apparent heart attack. He was a prisoner at the Hague, on trial for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. Milosevic served as President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and then President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He also led Serbia’s ruling Socialist Party from its foundation in 1992 to 2001.
During the Kosovo War he was indicted on 27 May 1999, for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Kosovo, and he was standing trial, up until his death, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which he asserted was illegal, having been established in contravention of the UN-charter.
In case you ever wondered about the sadness and despair in the world, here are two griping paragraphs buried deeply inside the New York Times obituary:
While Slobodan and his older brother, Borislav, were in grade school, their father left the family for his native Montenegro. Mr. Milosevic’s mother, who reared him, was also a teacher, and a dedicated Communist activist.
As a youth, Mr. Milosevic was a pudgy loner with few friends. He shunned sports and wrote poetry. In 1962 while he was at university, his father committed suicide by shooting himself. His mother hanged herself 11 years later. An uncle, his mother’s brother, a former general, also took his own life.