The Terrible Acts of Rwandan Genocide

1311 Words6 Pages
In between 1930 and 1945, an event took place that changed the world in many ways. The Holocaust was a genocide that consisted of the decimation of one single race, the Jews. This solemn event is very similar (and also quite different) to another event that took place only four thousand miles away. Like the Holocaust, this event is was a genocide and it took place at Rwanda in 1994. This genocide was between the Hutus and Tutsis. These two groups have a long background with each other that consisted of civil wars, switches in power and superiority, and tension. It began when the Europeans put the Tutsis in a superior position because they were the ones that closely resembled them, the Europeans, in physical appearance. It was the death of the President, however, that lit the spark to the killings and decimation of the Tutsis. As Gourevitch puts it, “… The genocide had been meticulously planned by the Hutu extremists who set it in motion within an hour of the President’s death.” So the killings and terrible acts began. “Decimation means the killing of every tenth person in a population, and in the spring and early summer of 1994 a program of massacres decimated the Republic of Rwanda.”

A genocide, as defined in the Genocide convention in 1948, is when certain acts such as killing, inflicting physical and mental harm, and imposing measures to prevent birth is done to a specific nation, race ethnic group, or religious group. This definition was created a while before the Rwandan genocide was even thought of, but this definition is what could have caused further involvement in Rwanda. People found that if they simply did not call it a genocide, then they didn’t need to help. The government would use phrases such as “possible gen...

... middle of paper ...

...s, apparently hoping that everybody would behave nicely in the future. The West’s post-Holocaust pledge that genocide would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow, and for al the fine sentiments inspired by the memory of Auschwitz, the problem remains that denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good.”

Works Cited

Anne Frank diary guardian Miep Gies dies aged 100 (2010, January 12). In BBC. Retrieved December 3, 2013

Courtemanche, G. (2003). A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf

Gourevitch, P. (1998). We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families (pp. 3-170). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Fields-Meyer, T. (2004, March 29). One Tragedy, Two Lives. People, 113-114.

The crime of "genocide" defined in internation law (2008, March 15). In Prevent Genocide. Retrieved December 3, 2013

More about The Terrible Acts of Rwandan Genocide

Open Document