Last modified on May 23, 2022, at 19:37


Genocide involves the calculated targeting and systemic killing of a specific ethnic, religious, or racial group, carried out as a consequence of government policy. The word "genocide" was coined by Rafael Lemkin in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe to describe the mass killings of European Jews by the National Socialist regime.

The term applies mostly to mass killings since the beginning of the 20th century, although throughout history there have been many cases of bloodshed like this. Even in the Bible, there was the Israelite conquest of Canaan, where God instructed them " not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy the Lord your God has commanded you..." (Deuteronomy 20:16).

20th and 21st century genocides

Major 20th and 21st century examples include:

  • 1904–1908: The Herero-Nama genocide[5]
  • 1946: Noakhali Genocide;over 5,000 Hindus killed and hundreds of thousands forcibly converted to Islam
  • 1948-present: The Pakistani Army torturing, raping and murdering thousands of Baloch people.
  • 1995: Hutu genocide of the Tutsi population in Rwanda[6]
  • Some observers have argued that the unusually high murder rate of white South African farmers is an example of genocide[7]
  • ISIS has systemically targeted Christians for genocide in the Middle East.
  • 2016-present: Genocide of Uighurs by the Chinese Communists

International conventions

In 1948, The United Nations Genocide Convention defined "genocide":

Article 2 In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3 The following acts shall be punishable:

  1. Genocide;
  2. Conspiracy to commit genocide;
  3. Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
  4. Attempt to commit genocide;
  5. Complicity in genocide.

The first ever conviction for the crime of genocide was handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the case of Radislav Krstc, a Bosnian Serb general who commanded the forces that killed over 7500 Muslim men and boys at Srebenica.[8]

Darfur and the United Nations

Despite this lip service the United Nations has failed to recognize the events in the Darfur region of Sudan as genocide. Amnesty International, and the African Union likewise only acknowledge the "tragedy" in Darfur but refuse to characterize the situation as genocide. Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) director Jean-Hervé Bradol called the term genocide "inappropriate" and its deputy emergency director Dr. Mercedes Taty said, "I don't think that we should be using the word 'genocide' to describe this conflict."[9]

The European Union and the United States government both officially recognize Darfur as genocide. A UN commission called it "crimes against humanity".[10]

On a related note, there has been a campaign to get the Vendee massacre to be recognized as a genocide.

See also

Further reading

  • Carmichael, Cathie. Genocide Before the Holocaust (2009)
  • Charny, Israel W. ed. Encyclopedia of Genocide (2 vol. 1999)
  • Shelton, Dinah, ed. Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (3 vol. 2004)


  1. China: 65 million deaths; USSR: 20 million deaths; North Korea: 2 million deaths; Cambodia: 2 million deaths; Africa: 1.7 million deaths; Afghanistan: 1.5 million deaths; Vietnam: 1 million deaths; Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths; Latin America: 150,000 deaths; Communist movements or parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths. "Nearly 100 million deaths. Not casualties of war, but civilian slaughter. Deaths in gulags and concentration camps. Deaths from a bullet to the head. Most of all, deaths by starvation - the result either of planned famines, meted out as punishment to internal foes (as in Stalin's USSR), or unintended consequences of policy." Claire Wolfe, Black Book of Communism - Review , Free Republc, (formerly posted on the Pro-Second Amendment Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), No longer available), Accessed December 3, 2014
  2. Available at Accessed December 3, 2014.
  3. father of anti-Communist conservative libertarian survivalist author Joel Skousen
  4. "In July 2014, the noted [[[African-American]]] surgeon and political commentator, Dr. Ben Carson, appeared on Fox News and said, "The Naked Communist lays out the whole progressive agenda.
  5. Germany apologises for colonial-era genocide in Namibia
  7. Multiple references:
  9. [1]
  10. Government forces and militias conducted indiscriminate attacks, including killing of civilians, torture, enforced disappearances, destruction of villages, rape and other forms of sexual violence, pillaging and forced displacement, throughout Darfur. These acts were conducted on a widespread and systematic basis, and therefore may amount to crimes against humanity. War in Darfur