Raphaël LemkinVia Duke UniversityThe United NationsVia WikipediaWilliam A. SchabasVia Middlesex UniversityDavid Maybury-LewisVia Harvard
In 1944, Raphaël Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish lawyer, published a book "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe" where he first used the word genocide. The word did not exist prior, and was used to name the destruction that had happened in the Holocaust that had killed 40 members of his family.
The United Nations Has Changed the definition
While Raphaël Lemkin created the word genocide, the United Nations in 1948 recategorized what can be labeled genocide. The new definition explains what could be punishable in court. The United Nations took some ideas from Lemkin while also ignoring others, specifically what Lemkin defines as cultural genocide.
Ethnic, Racial, Religious, or GenderNational, Religious, Ethnical, or PoliticalNational, Ethnical, Racial, or ReligiousSexual Orientation, Religious, Ethnical, or Racial
Definition of Genocide
According to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, under article two, genocide are acts committed with the intent to destroy any of these following groups: national, ethnical, racial or religious group. This definition limits the label of genocide to other groups being persecuted such as sexual orientation, or political beliefs.
Van Diemen's LandVia ATIMilos, GreeceVia history.comGerman South West AfricaBukharaVia wikipedia
The Peloponnesian war occurred between 431-404 B.C. It is the first instance where genocide is seen with the Athenians making the Melian men be put to death, and selling the women and children as slaves. After, they sent 500 colonists and inhabited their land.
United StatesVia Spartacus InternationalRwandaVia The New TimesCambodiaVia United to End GenocideGermanyVia United to End Genocide
The United States was the first country after the U.N Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to be accused of genocide. In 1951, the Civil Rights Congress presented the following document,"We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People," to the U.N in a meeting in Paris. The Civil Rights Congress mentioned article 2 of the U.N Genocide convention stating "Genocide means any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group." The document mentioned the lynchings that occurred, legal discrimination, police brutality, and systematic inequalities in health.
DarfurVia The Borgen ProjectBosniaVia History.comCambodia GenocideVia United to End GenocideArmenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide occurred between 1915-1923. The Ottoman government, which is today the Republic of Turkey, exterminated 1.5 million Armenians. Death marches occurred leading the Armenians into the Syrian desert. The male Armenians were killed, while women,elders, and children were deported (although being Ottoman citizens). While being deported, they were often deprived of water and food, and the women were raped. The United States has not recognized the Armenian genocide because of its political relations with the Republic of Turkey (who also fail to recognize the genocide they created).
BuddhistsEducated PeopleVietnamese PeopleAll of the above
The Cambodian Genocide occurred between 1975-1979 when the Khmer Rouge took control of the government. The Khmer Rouge idolized a peasant/farmer society leading them to round up everyone from cities and people who were educated. They then led these people to labor camps where they usually died of overworking and starvation. The Buddhist and Vietnamese populations were also targeted by the Khmer Rouge. As a result, 1.7 million people died in Cambodia, which was about 20% of their population.
Targeted CroatiansResulted in over 100,000 deathsTargeted MuslimsOccurred during the Cold War
The Bosnian Genocide occurred between 1992-1995, while the Cold War ended in 1991. The Bosnian Genocide targeted Croatians and Muslims when the former Yugoslavia broke into several smaller countries, leading to the emergence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Serb-dominated Yugoslov army targeted Mulsim and Croatian civilians, resulting in deaths of over 100,000 people. It was the worst act of genocide in Europe since the Nazi regime.
Mass killings increased after World War II, and peaked during the 1970s. The Cold War made both sides unwilling to recognize genocide, as well as problems with the UN definition. During the 1970s there were mass killing in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Uganda, Chile, Guatemala, and more.
Political rivalsPeasantsMuslimsGay Men
Chechnya targeting Gay Men
In Cechnya there have been recent reports of gay men being rounded up and arrested. The Novaya Gazeta ( a newspaper) reported that 100 gay men were arrested, with 3 of them being killed. The Human Rights Watch has verified these claims. Homosexuality in Chechnya is seeing as a taboo, and their society is very homophobic. The Kremlin and Chechen government have, however, dismissed these news.
How Much Do You Know About Genocide?
While you may know certain things about genocide, most notably the Holocaust, there is more for you to learn. Try checking out a local history class that educates about genocide and crimes against humanity. It is never too late to learn and become informed.
You know more about world events than most, but still have room to grow. Knowing very detailed history might be hard for you, but that's okay. Knowing the "big picture" of world events is great. Try pursuing more detailed articles/books/classes to understand specific cases of genocide and crimes agains thumanity.
You are extremely educated in world events and should pursue history as a career. Try joining an activist group you feel strongly about. Inform your friends/families about current events and atrocities occurring ! Spread the word! Make the world more knowledgable about genocide and crimes against humanity!