Genocide is one of the most frightening terms one could hear, sending shivers down your spine just to hear the word. Genocide is the intent of extermination of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. One of the best known Genocide’s to the world is known as the Holocaust. Germans exterminated over 6 million Jews in just a couple of years. Families were torn apart, and some of the worst things you could ever do to a human being were done in these times. After the Holocaust everyone said Never Again, but it has happened over and over. If we follow the steps to preventing genocides, we can stop history from repeating itself and keep the people of the world safe.
In December 1948, the then members of the United Nations General Assembly, without contention, passed the Convention on Genocide. It defined what the crime of genocide entailed and that it was an act to be prevented and its perpetrators punished. It has been 66 years since then and we have not been able to fulfill this promise - shattering its very principles time and time again - in places such as Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda or Darfur. Man - a supposedly civilized species - has not been able to resist the urge to systematically destroy the 'undesirable' members of a society. There has been and always will be characteristics which define and divide us - race, religion, caste and culture, among others. Classification is the first and ever-present stage of genocide - there will always be an "us" and a proverbial "them". Although prejudice is human nature and may be pardonable, acting upon prejudice is not.
Genocide is a reality that has ended millions of family trees, changing the course of the future and leaving a massive mark that the human race can never forget. The word genocide was created to describe the mass murdering of the Jewish people along with Slavic, Romanians, Greeks, African-Europeans, homosexuals, and mentally or physically disabled people. This certain genocide was named The Holocaust, or “Sacrifice by Fire” (Holocaust Facts). There are also more recent genocides, like the Rwandan Genocide located in Africa, a land where warlords and murderers control whole countries and kill there people for sport, or their beliefs. But let us focus on the Holocaust, a Genocide where one man and his fellow officers was capable of killing 11 million people with their influence on the German people, all the while fighting a war on two fronts between the Allies, like the British, Canadian, and American forces from the west, and the might of the Soviet Union in the east.
- The meaning of Genocide, and the impact it has on a single person and society.
What is genocide? Genocide, first used in 1994, is "the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial,political, or cultural group"(6). This is relevant to my research question, because during the UN convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of genocide the United States vowed that they would investigate the situation and punish anyone responsible for the act of genocide. (#) But countless times in the United States history they were not very effective in actually stopping and punishing anyone for the act if genocide.
Although the term “genocide” was not created until 1944, instances of genocide have been performed since the beginning of humanity. “In ancient times, it was common practice for victors in war to slaughter the men of a population they conquered,” says the staff from History.com.
The analysis of this empowering term is fairly self-explanatory when the time is taken to break it down. Linda Jacobs Altman author of Genocide The Systematic Killing of a People claims that in 1944 the Greek word genos, meaning “race” or “tribe” and the Latin cide, which means “killing” were combined to result in the title of genocide. Altman states that today’s definition recognizes genocide as “Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such”. A similar description has genocide as “A form of one-sided mass killing in which a state or other authority intends to destroy a group, as that group and membership in it are defined by the perpetrator”(Altman). Due to genocide being a worldwide issue, definitions have been known to cause controversy. Countries that represent perpetrators of past genocides often argue, on ridiculous terms, that their actions did not constitute a formal genocide. The breakdown of the word is helpful in the decision making process when determining if acts truly are those of genocide.
Genocides typically have eight steps before actually occurring. Step one: classification, all cultures have categories to distinguish people, to classify people they usually look at a person 's religion, race, nationality, or ethnicity. Step two: symbolization, we usually give the names or symbols to the classification, like for instance
Genocide- the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.
Africa has been an interesting location of conflicts. From the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea to the revolutionary conflict in Libya and Egypt, one of the greatest conflicts is the Rwandan Genocide. The Rwandan Genocide included two tribes in Rwanda: Tutsis and Hutus. Upon revenge, the Hutus massacred many Tutsis and other Hutus that supported the Tutsis. This gruesome war lasted for a 100 days. Up to this date, there have been many devastating effects on Rwanda and the global community. In addition, many people have not had many acknowledgements for the genocide but from this genocide many lessons have been learned around the world.