THE body parts were collected in bags laid out on shelves, each one an investigation waiting to be solved.

Inside, forensic pathologist Dragona Vucetic worked through the plastic bags, in the place where she washes the bodies and clothes they are wearing when they arrive, driven every day by the hope of reuniting families with the remains of their loved ones 24 years after they perished in genocide on European soil.

For 14 years, working with the International Commission on Missing Persons in Srebrenica, Ms Vucetic has tended to those lost during the atrocity in Srebrenica, when 8,000 men and boys were killed by Serbian forces over three days in July 1994. Sometimes she works only with fragments of bodies, recovered from mass graves.

This week marks Srebrenica memorial week, in which the atrocity of the Bosnian War is remembered with events around the world.

READ MORE: 22 years on, the story of Srebrenica's women must be told 

In Scotland, Remembering Srebrenica Scotland is supporting events in schools and places of worship, to commemorate the lives lost during the last massacre in Europe.

Last month, Lorraine McIntosh and husband Ricky Ross, of the rock band Deacon Blue, were among several figures to join the charity on an emotional visit to Sarajevo and Srebrenica.

It’s estimated that between 100,000 and 300,000 people were killed in the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995,

The purpose of their visit was not only to pay testament to those whose lives were lost during the genocide. As singer and actor McIntosh recounted to The Herald, it was to remember how a climate of intolerance can so easily lead to such a devastating outcome.

She said: “The people there want others to be a witness to what happened. Outside the library in Srebrenica, which burned for three days, there’s a plaque which reads, ‘Learn and be warned’.

“Before the war, the people I spoke to said they didn’t care who was Bosnian or Serb. But they were fed a narrative about how different they were from each other. It made me realise we all have the capacity to hate and when people are going through suffering or economic upheaval, they’re looking for someone to blame.

“Powerful people manipulate that to their advantage and before we know it we are blaming our vulnerable. When that anger and hatred is stoked, it can ignite into something awful.

“In Bosnia one of the images which struck me was of a piece of graffiti which has now been made into a poster and hangs in the museum in Potačari. It reads: ‘No teeth...? A moustache...? Smell like sh*t...? Bosnian girl.’

“That’s how it starts. It made me think how we have to be so mindful of the difference between national pride and national vanity and guard against dehumanising people because we disagree with them. We have to choose our words and movements carefully.”

READ MORE: One in 20 does not believe Holocaust took place 

Recalling her visit to the International Commission on Missing Persons, McIntosh said: “We stood by Dragona’s table where two collections of bones lay stretched out before us. The realisation that this was someone’s beloved son, father or brother was hard to take in.

“Through DNA sampling she was painstakingly putting bodies back together so that families had something to bury, a place to mourn. Sometimes a family can no longer take the agony of waiting for their loved one’s complete body to be returned to them and instead bury a fragment of a foot bone or some other body part.

“When I asked Dragona how she copes with the harrowing nature of her work, she said,‘I run. A lot’.”

Writing for, McIntosh said: “At first I wasn’t sure about the purpose of our trip, other than paying our respects in remembering the atrocities which took place. By the end I was clear. It was to remember – but also to warn.

READ MORE: Lorraine McIntosh on her visit to Srebrenica, a Bosnian town broken by conflict 

“Every person I spoke to in Bosnia, when asked if they thought genocide could happen again, said yes. Some said it probably would. I heard how some of the women visiting the graves have had things shouted at them like, ‘We’ll get you next time’.

“I left with the understanding that if it can happen there, it can happen here. As our society goes through the political and social upheaval we have witnessed in recent years, we cannot allow ourselves the arrogance of believing we are different or better.”

READ MORE: Scotrail's Dutch owners must pay compensation for role in Holocaust

She added: “In creating a Scotland we are proud of, from whatever side of the political debate we are on, we must be aware of the dangers of national vanity as opposed to national pride. The way we conduct ourselves in our political debate is incredibly important.

“It is easy to feel overwhelmed with sadness at our inability to do anything of use. What the people who suffered want is for us to remember and for us to be warned.