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Genocide: Committing acts with the intent to destroy (in whole or in part) a group of people based on a specific characteristic of the group (such as race,

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Presentation on theme: "Genocide: Committing acts with the intent to destroy (in whole or in part) a group of people based on a specific characteristic of the group (such as race,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Genocide: Committing acts with the intent to destroy (in whole or in part) a group of people based on a specific characteristic of the group (such as race, religion, ethnicity, etc.)

2 In 1948 the international community adopted the Genocide Convention, which gives a legal definition of genocide and which obligates the countries that sign the treaty to intervene to stop genocide when it is occurring.

3 What is Genocide? The legal definition of genocide as defined by the Genocide Convention is: “[A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. ~ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 2

4 Genocide in the 20 th Century the Holocaust Rwanda Darfur Cambodia Bosnia

5 10 Stages of Genocide 1.Classification 2.Symbolization 3.Discrimination 4.Dehumanization 5.Organization 6.Polarization 7.Preparation 8.Persecution 9.Extermination 10.Denial

6 1. Classification All cultures have categories to distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality (Examples: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi). Societies that lack multiple mixed categories, such as Rwanda, are the most likely to have genocide.

7 2. Symbolization We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We call people “Jews”, etc., or differentiate them by colors or dress; and apply these distinctions to members of “other” groups. Classification and symbolization are part of human nature and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to the next stage, dehumanization. When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups. Examples: the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule, the blue scarf for people from the Eastern Zone in Khmer Rouge Cambodia.

8 3. Discrimination A dominant group uses law, custom, and political power to deny the rights of other groups. The powerless group may not have full civil rights or citizenship. Example: Nuremberg Laws of 1935 in Nazi Germany, which stripped Jews of their German citizenship and prohibited their employment by the government and by universities.

9 4. Dehumanization One group denies the humanity of the other group. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder. At this stage, hate propaganda in print and on hate radio is used to vilify the victim group.

10 5. Organization Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, though sometimes informally or by terrorist groups. Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings.

11 6. Polarization Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda. Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates, intimidating and silencing the center, which is traditionally the majority.

12 7. Preparation National or perpetrator group leaders plan the “Final Solution” to the targeted group. They often use euphemisms to cloak their intentions, such as referring to their goals as “ethnic cleansing,” “purification,” or “counter- terrorism.” They build armies, buy weapons and train their troops and militias. They indoctrinate the populace with fear of the victim group.

13 8. Persecution Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. In state-sponsored genocide, members of victim groups may be forced to wear identifying symbols. Their property is often taken. Sometimes they are segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. Genocidal massacres begin.

14 9. Extermination Extermination begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called “genocide.” When it is sponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing. Sometimes the genocide results in revenge killings by groups against each other, creating the downward whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral genocide.

15 10. Denial Denial is often the final stage that follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force, when they flee into exile.

16 The Holocaust January May 1945 “The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and their collaborators as a central act of state during World War II.”

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18 Fact: In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed.

19 Two Main Phases PHASE ONE: BEGAN WHEN HITLER NAMED CHANCELLOR First Phase: On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor, the most powerful position in the German government Hitler was the leader of the right-wing National Socialist German Workers Party (called the Nazi Party for short); it was, by 1933, one of the strongest parties in Germany The Nazis began to put into practice their racial ideology. The Nazis believed that the Germans were "racially superior ”. They saw Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and the handicapped as a serious biological threat to the purity of the "German Race, ” what they called the “Master Race."

20 "Though not all victims were Jews, all Jews were victims." -Elie Wiesel The Nazis mistakenly identified Jews as a race and defined this race as "inferior." They also spewed hatemongering propaganda, which unfairly blamed Jews for Germany's economic depression and the country's defeat in World War I ( ). Jews could not attend public schools, go to theaters, cinemas, or vacation resorts, or reside or walk in certain sections of German cities. Also between 1937 and 1939, Jews were forced from Germany's economic life: the Nazis either seized Jewish businesses and properties outright or forced Jews to sell them at bargain prices.

21 Phase Two PHASE TWO BEGAN WITH INVASION OF POLAND/WWII BEGINS : On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. Within one month, Nazi defeated Poland and began killing Polish leaders like university professors, artists, writers, politicians, and many Catholic priests. As the war began in 1939, Hitler initiated an order to kill institutionalized, handicapped patients deemed "incurable”and worthy of being killed based on the review of a special commission of physicians. Nazi leadership created a euthanasia program in secret. Young children, elderly, and other victims were thereafter killed by lethal injection, pills, and by forced starvation. This program was also called The Final Solution.

22 Concentration & Extermination Camps These camps are most closely associated with the Holocaust and its means of killing. These camps remain an enduring symbol of the Nazi regime. The first camps opened soon after the Nazis took power in January 1933, but their use both increased throughout the war (especially into Phase Two) and continued on as a basic part of Nazi rule until May 8, 1945, when the war, and the Nazi regime, ended.

23 By 1940 an estimated 33,000 prisoners, mostly Jews, were murdered. Between 1942 and 1944, the Germans moved to eliminate the ghettos in occupied Poland and elsewhere, deporting ghetto residents to "extermination camps," killing centers equipped with gassing facilities, located in Poland.

24 150,000 individuals were killed there between December 1941 and March 1943 and again from June to July Auschwitz-Birkenau, became the killing center where the largest number of European Jews and Gypsies were killed. More than 1.25 million prisoners were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau; 9 out of 10 were Jews.

25 In retreat at the end of the war, the Germans deported prisoners to camps inside Germany to prevent their liberation. Many inmates died during the long journeys on foot known as "death marches." In May 1945, Nazi Germany collapsed, the S.S. guards fled, and the camps ceased to exist as extermination or concentration camps.

26 US Involvement By 1942, the US and Great Britain had learned of The Final Solution. The US started to take limited rescue efforts in 1944.


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