Thesis: Prevention of Genocide

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Prevention of Genocide

Humankind has done disastrous acts to its kin from its early ages and it seems that people are bound to hurt other people at the slightest opportunity that arrives. Murders take place constantly and the killers do not need solid reasons for taking the lives of others as any difference of opinions between the killer and the victim can provide a motive in most cases.

The concept of genocide is very controversial, as most people do not exactly know what it involves and they usually picture a mass killing as the best image for it. The reason for the concept's controversy is that some nations would not consider a mass murder to be genocide if the motives for the murder have had a political nature or any other nature that would not involve a racial criterion.

One often thinks about the Holocaust when hearing the word Genocide, as it is one of the main reasons for the words' existence. The word has its roots in 1944 when Raphael Lemkin, a Polish scholar of international law and a secular Jew, first presented it in his book "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress." (Heidenrich)

Genocide comes from the combination of the Greek prefix "genos" and the Latin suffix "cide." The combination of the two refers to the killing of a nation or of a particular group (Heidenrich). Moreover, Lemkin emphasizes the fact that the act of genocide does not exactly have to have the murder of a nation as its core, but it can also mean the destruction of the means necessary for a nation to survive. Lemkin died in 1958, but the word invented by him lived on and people were left to debate which actions can be called genocide. Unfortunately, they only preferred to study the act instead of finding means of stopping mass murders. Lemkin had been truly in favor of creating a law that would prohibit genocide world wide in order to help the minorities and to denounce any person that would be responsible of genocide. (Hirsch)

His intentions appeared to be idealistic for the members of the U.N. because of the great deal of resources that a law against the act of genocide would imply. Although the law quickly traveled around the world, most countries were reluctant in ratifying it because of the fact that it seemed to them as a motive for the U.N. To intervene in the internal affairs of several countries when it had not been necessary. The bottom line is that despite the fact that the UN's Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide has been passed in 1948, there have still been cases of genocide across the world that were never followed by anyone's intervention.

In most cases those that perform mass murders aren't directly connected to their victims, nor are they perfectly aware of the alleged crime that has been done by the victims. People have always been in need for something to live and fight for and they have had to have some place that they would relate to as home and some people that they would call their kin. Today, it might seem natural for a normal society to have violence and to have crimes committed by its members. Yet, there are certain communities in the world that do not know crime and that have members within their ranks that are not familiar with the concept of anger, in spite of the fact that the respective communities have been assaulted and even tortured by outsiders. The Senoi are people that inhabit the jungles of Malaysia and are known to be very peaceful and not vengeful. (Heidenrich) the Senoi tribes have turned the eyes of the world upon them, as most people are amazed at the sight of their kin that know no anger.

One of the most terrible cases of genocide is when it happens between members of the same nation or even from the same family. The twentieth century has been witness to approximately 36 million deaths provoked by genocide, none of the victims having died because of wars.

Genocide has had its presence felt in the world long before World War II and there are accounts of mass murdering occurring thousands of years ago. The first concentration camps are believed to be build by the Spanish in Cuba in the late nineteenth century and later by the British and by the Nazis. (Heidenrich)

Among the first genocides to be racially related is the episode of the "Young Turks" when the First World War had been used as a motive to remove racial minorities from Turkey and millions of Armenian Christians had been left to starve in the desert.

The Holocaust is one of the worst disasters in the history of humankind. The Nazi war machine has murdered millions of innocent people in its process of the so-called cleansing of Europe. Taking into attention the horrific acts done during the Holocaust almost all factors indicate the fact that the Nazis have committed acts of genocide mostly because of racial reasons.

After Hitler took office of Germany in 1933 the faith of the Jewish population was sealed. Immediately, the Jewish population in Germany started to suffer, yet things remained relatively calm until the night of November 9, 1938 when Hitler unleashed the evil forces during the Kristallnacht. During that night approximately one hundred Jews have been murdered and thousands more have been taken into the first Nazi concentration camps. The Jews had been categorized as a problem to Germany mainly because they occupied high positions and they were considered wealthier than the rest of the population.

Another reason for the condemning of the Jews was that Hitler blamed the Jewish race for all that was evil in the world and in Germany especially. Jews had been generally oppressed because of the fact that they prove to have an amazing power to keep their national identity wherever they were. In Hitler's view, the Jews were the very opposite of the perfect Aryan race and there was no other alternative than to annihilate them in order for Germany to prosper. Hitler's subordinates had been fanatically impressed of their leader and they were certain that all Jews were Bolsheviks and enemies of Germany. These were reasons caused both by insanity and the need to find a scapegoat.

To be successful Hitler came up with the "Enloesung" which meant the Final Solution and involved the mass murdering of all people that were non-Aryan. There are even assumptions that the war with Russia had been a mere motive for Hitler to kill as many Jews as he could. However, most believe that the final solution had been a result of an unsuccessful campaign of deporting the Jews.

In spite of the fact that the genocide committed by the Nazis involved several ethnic groups, the Germans paid more attention to the Jewish population. Along with the Jews, Gypsies and mentally or physically challenged people received the same treatment because none of the three groups could have got a chance to change their conditions as the communists, Poles, Jehovah's witnesses and homosexuals could.

The first reports of Germans committing acts of genocide were in 1941 once Hitler gave Himmler, the leader of the SS, the order to shoot masses of Jews. The Nazis later abandoned the method of killing Jews by shooting them in favor of that of killing through gassing done in special gas chambers from concentration camps.

The Holocaust genocide did not only have Germans as the aggressors and Jewish as the victims. Unwillingly, Hitler provided several countries with the motives for eliminating ethnic minorities within their borders. Genocide during the Holocaust has also made its presence felt in Croatia with the Catholic and the Muslims taking advantage of their alliance with the Nazis to exterminate the Serbian minority next to other minorities that the Nazis wantedexterminated. Approximately 750,000 Serbian people have been killed by the Croats during the Holocaust because of their religion. (Mathuna)

Hitler's regime directly mass murdered an estimated 17 million human beings before and during World War II -- and caused millions more to perish through wanton neglect. The noncombat victims of the Nazis included some 5 million Poles, primarily intellectuals; at least 6 million Soviet civilians and captured prisoners of war, most of them starved to death; nearly 800,000 Serbs, most butchered in atrocities inflicted by the Nazis' Croatian allies; hundreds of thousands of Roma (Gypsies); and, most notoriously, some 6 million Jews -- including 1 million Jewish children." (Heidenrich, 2001)

The Holocaust has provided the world with a reason to look back in regret and shame and it is still almost impossible to believe that human beings in a civilized society are able to perform genocide of such magnitudes.

While the Nazis were convinced that the individual had been influenced by biology alone and that one could only survive and thrive if he… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Prevention of Genocide.  (2008, October 31).  Retrieved July 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/prevention-genocide/9891

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"Prevention of Genocide."  31 October 2008.  Web.  19 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/prevention-genocide/9891>.

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"Prevention of Genocide."  Essaytown.com.  October 31, 2008.  Accessed July 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/prevention-genocide/9891.