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Not Only the Holocaust MAG
The word genocide was coined by a jurist named RaphaelLenkin in 1944 by combining the Greek word genos (race) with the Latin cide(killing). Genocide in the 20th century has gone mostly unrecognized. TheHolocaust, in which six million Jews were killed, seems to be the only exception,though in fact there have been many cases of genocide before and after theHolocaust.*
Armenians in Turkey were the first case of genocide of the20th century. Between 1915 and 1918, 1.5 million Armenians were killed. TheArmenians were taken from their homeland in a series of forced deportations andmassacres.
Joseph Stalin's Forced Famine was a genocide that caused sevenmillion deaths in one year (1932-1933). Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Unionand his people were seeking independence from his rule. Stalin caused a famine inthe Ukraine in order to destroy the seekers of independence.
One of theworst mass executions occurred in Rwanda in 1994. Beginning on April 6, theTutsis were killed by the Hutu militia. This mass execution lasted 100 days andresulted in 800,000 deaths. That's 8,000 murders every day for more than threemonths.
In the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of the small countriesthat resulted from the break up of Yugoslavia, conflict arose. This conflictbetween 1992 and 1995 was the most recent case of genocide in the 20th centurybetween three main ethnic groups - the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims - who all livedin Yugoslavia. The Bosnian Muslims were outgunned. The Serbs began systematicallyto round up Muslims in the same way as the Nazis. The Serbs performed massshootings, forced reorganizations of entire towns, and confined people toconcentration camps. The Serbs also terrorized Muslim families, forcing them toflee their villages by using rape as a weapon against women and girls. Thisbrutal conflict resulted in 200,000 innocent people being murdered.
Itseems that these crimes of genocide in the 20th century surfaced in the news forjust a few months and then were forgotten.
We do not always know themotives for genocide, but there are measures that should be taken to prevent it.There are many organizations to get involved in whose primary objective is toprevent genocide. One is The International Campaign to End Genocide.Headquartered in Washington, D.C., their slogan is "Never Again." Theyuse a two-pronged approach to the prevention of genocide. First, they believe thecountries of the world must have the political will to take action. Second, theyneed to be able to take effective measures to prevent or end genocide oncepolitical will is established.
The Campaign has six goals, which theirweb site, (endgenocide.org) states:
1. Creation of effective early-warningstructures within the United Nations for the warning signs of violent conflictand genocide - before the genocide starts.
2. Reform of UN decision-makingstructures so that action to prevent or stop genocide cannot by blocked by theSecurity Council veto.
3. Establishment of a powerful and effective UnitedNations rapid response force.
4. Establishment of the InternationalCriminal Court, with full financial and political support of UN memberstates.
5. Full and timely payment of UN assessments and reliable fundingfor UN peacekeeping.
6. Creation of the political will to support thegovernment's efforts to take effective action to prevent and stopgenocide.
Genocide in this world absolutely must be stopped. The firststep is to take the proper precautions to prevent it. Powers around the worldneed to establish their will and not let these horrible crimes continue. Everyone of these cases of genocide is terrible and needs to be recognized equally.With the establishment of international organizations, we can get rid of genocideonce and for all.
* Editor's Note: It must be noted that five millionother people were also killed in the Holocaust; Gypsies, Poles, homosexuals, thephysically and mentally handicapped, and others were also targeted forextermination. A total of eleven million people perished at the hands of theNazis in their quest for a "perfect" race.
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