The Holocaust and Genocide Essay

The Holocaust and Genocide Essay

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“Why is the killing of 1 million a lesser crime then the killing of one
person?” (Scream Bloody Murder). Throughout history groups of people have been
killed by ruling powers, but the unlawful acts went without title until recent events in the
1940ʼs. The mass killings in Germany activated against the Jews created a new word,
genocide. “Genocide refers to the widespread murder and other acts committed by
governments or other groups with the intent to destroy - in whole or in part- a national,
racial, religious or ethnic group” (Choices Program 1). This definition was placed by
international governments, but the word was developed by a single man in response to
the Holocaust. Grappling for a way to express the magnitude of the actions against the
Jews during World War II, Raphael Lemkin decided to create a new word to embody the
concept (Rusesabagina 136). “ʻGenoʼ is from greek meaning race or tribe, and ʻCideʻ is
derived from latin, meaning Killing” (Choices Program 4). With the creation of the word
and the definition, people began to acknowledge that genocide was wrong. During the
twentieth century, nearly 170 million people were killed by governments or political
violence, forty million of them in genocides(Choices Program 1). Nearly six million Jews
were killed in the Holocaust (Rossel 1), and nothing was done to stop it. The impact of
genocide on the victims is horrific, and murder to this degree must be prevented by
those who have the means to help.
International involvement in genocides has always been carried out with
hesitance, this is due to many reasons. The United States has a well developed selfesteem
in world views that was created over the decades, but when dealing in foreign
conflicts America is...


... middle of paper ...


... open its eyes, and take action.


Works Cited
Choices Program, ed. "Introduction : Never Again?" Confronting Genocide. Brown
University.
Evans, Carrell. "The Bystanders." History of the Holocaust. MonDak Heritage Center.
Web. 4 Dec. 2009. bystanders.html>.
Ghosts of Rwanda. Dir. Greg Barker. PBS, 2004. DVD.
Hatzfeld, Jean. Machete Season. New York: Picador, 2005.
Rossel, Seymour. The Holocaust. New York: Franklin Watts, 1981.
Rusesabagina, Paul. An Ordinary Man. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.
Scream Bloody Murder. Screenplay by Christiane Amanpour. CNN. DVD.
"Talking about genocides." Genocides. Peace Pledge Union. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. www.ppu.org.uk/genocide/g_holocaust.html>.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Pref. Vera Farmiga and David Thewlis. Dir. Mark
Herman. Miramax Films, 2009. DVD.

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