Genocide

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Genocide After Rodney King was beaten, and the white police officers were aquitted, he said "Why can't we all just get along?" A question asked by many people. Rascist and Genocidal acts such as this have been going on for many years, and should not be tolerated. In international law, the crime of destroying, or committing conspiracy to destroy, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group is known as Genocide. It was defined in the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1948. The crime of Genocide has been committed or attempted many times in recorded history. The best known example in this century was the attempt by Nazi Germany during the 1930's and 1940's to destroy the Jewish population of Europe, known as the Holocaust. By the end of World War II, 6 million Jews had been killed in Nazi concentration camps. The known objective of the Nazi rule was Jewish extinction. In November 1938, shortly after the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a young Jew, all synagogues in Germany were set on fire, windows of Jewish shops were smashed, and thousands of Jews were arrested. This "Night of Broken Glass" (Kristallnacht) was a signal to Jews in Germany and Austria to leave as soon as possible. Several hundred thousand people were able to find refuge in other countries, but a nearly equal number, including many who were old or poor, stayed to face an uncertain destiny. When war began in September 1939, the German army occupied the western half of Poland and added almost 2 million Jews to the German power sphere. Limitations placed on Polish Jewry were much worse than those in Germany. The Polish Jews were forced to move into ghettos surrounded by walls and barbed wire. The ghettos were like jailed cities. Each ghetto had a Jewish council that was responsible for housing, sanitation, and production. Food and coal were to be shipped in and manufactured products were to be sent out for German use. The food supply allowed by the Germans was mainly made up of grains and vegetables, such as turnips, carrots, and beets. In the Warsaw ghetto, the amount of food given provided barely 1200 calories to each inmate. Some black market food, smuggled into the ghettos, was sold at a very high price, and unemployment and poverty were common. The population was large, and the amount of people reached six or seven persons in a room. Typhus became common, and the death rate rose to roughly 1 percent a month.

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