Genocides Past and Present
Genocide, a dire event, has been recurring time and time again throughout history. In the past, there was the Holocaust, where Hitler exterminated over six million Jews based on his anti-semitic views. Elie Wiesel, a Jewish author, has become a very influential man in educating the world of the true events of the Holocaust due to his involvement in the disaster. Presently, a genocide is occurring in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, in which according to Cheryl Goldmark, “a systematic slaughter of non-Arab residents at the the hands of Arab militiamen called Janjaweed” has been taking place since 2003. (1) Not only is genocide a tragic historical event, it also continuously occurs today.
Genocide in general, is the mass killing of a certain group of people for any biased reason, whether it be race, religion, or regional differences. Throughout history genocide has occurred countless times. When we look back on our past as humans we often see certain groups relentlessly murdering and attacking members of others; whether it was caused by the competition for resources, the need for a scapegoat, or any other segregating factor. According to the 1948 Convention,
“Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial, or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the
group to another group.” (Manaktala 180)
Despite how devastating it is, genocide continuously occurs because there will always be differences
among us; there will always be hostility among us. The differences between people are what cause the rifts between different groups, and those rifts are the foundation of major conflicts that can ultimately evolve.
Perhaps the most widely known genocide ever to occur in the history of mankind was the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler, and his Nazi Party that followed him, began persecuting Jews in 1933. Adolf Hitler, the mastermind behind the Holocaust, was an anti-semitic man who believed in a superior Arian German race. Hitler's rise to power was just the beginning of a series of events that almost led to the complete annihilation of many countries' Jewish population. First, laws that limited the Jew's rights were applied. Next, their valuables were taken from their possession, and then the innocent people were forced into cramped ghettos lined with barbwire. According to Sally Marks, “the term holocaust is derived from the Greek language and literally means 'a sacrifice totally consumed by fire'.” (1) Living up to its definition, during the Holocaust many Jews were burned in the fiery mouths of the crematoriums. The impact of the segregational laws as well as being forced into ghettos...