When Was Genocide First Defined?
Ian Johnston, in the scotsman.com (May 21, 2004):
THE term "genocide" was first used in an attempt to describe the organised extermination of six million Jews, gypsies and others by Nazi Germany.
In 1948, the United Nations adopted a formal convention against genocide - a word that combines the Greek genos, meaning tribe or race, with the Latin word for killing, cide - and defined it as an act that was designed to destroy or partially destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
This usually refers to killing people, but causing serious physical or mental harm, deliberately reducing conditions of life - such as cutting off food supplies - or stopping people having children or forcibly removing children from a group are also classed as genocide.
One of the worst recent cases took place in Rwanda in 1994, when an estimated million people were murdered as the extremist Hutu government tried to wipe out the rival Tutsi tribe as well as moderate Hutus during a 100-day massacre.
In the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, six national armies, two rebel groups and numerous militias have been involved in a war that has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 2.5 million people, including many civilians, over six years.
The little-reported conflict, marked by sporadic outbreaks of fighting followed by ceasefires, has been called Africas own world war.
The outbreak of fighting following the collapse of Yugoslavia led to the worst slaughter in Europe since the Second World War. Some 100,000 civilians were killed and two million made homeless in Bosnia and Croatia in the 1990s.
The former Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, is being tried on charges of genocide and war crimes by Serb forces in those two now-independent countries, and Kosovo.
The massacre of 7,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces when they over-ran the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995 was the biggest single atrocity.
China has been accused of genocide in Tibet after its 1950 invasion when 1.2 million people - a fifth of the population - were killed.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Newly released interactive map shows images of destroyed monuments of Mosul
- How the Rise of the Post Office Explains American Innovation
- These Americans are reliving history and don’t mind repeating it
- Britain largest home is saved for the nation
- Shelter and the slums: capturing bleak Britain 50 years ago
- WSJ features an article by a conservative calling for the abolition of Black History Month
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't
- Princeton U. historian Imani Perry claims mistreatment in parking ticket arrest
- Retired historian George Dennison remains on the payroll at the U. of Montana while faculty are cut
- The Atlantic profiles exciting ways to teach history