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Q.1.

Would you agree that the political changes at the aftermath of the Cold War
opened the gate for the flourishing of the Genocide Studies? In this connection,
discuss different historical eras of genocide.
Answer to the Question No. 1

Definition of genocide
Generally genocide is the mass extermination of a whole group of people, an attempt to
destroy an entire group and wipe them out of existence. The term was coined in 1943 by
the Jewish-Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin who combined the Greek word "genos" (race
or tribe) with the Latin word "cide" (to kill). After witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust
- in which every member of his family except his brother and himself was killed - Dr
Lemkin campaigned to have genocide recognised as a crime under international law. His
efforts gave way to the adoption of the UN Convention on Genocide in December 1948,
which came into effect in January 1951. Article II of the 1948 Convention describes two
elements of the crime of genocide:
1) the mental element, meaning the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
ethnical, racial or religious group, as such", and
2) the physical element which includes five acts described in sections a, b, c, d and e. A
crime must include both elements to be called "genocide."
Capitalism v. Communism
With the advent of industrial revolution in Europe, the means of production went under
the absolute control of few capitalists and thus the idea of capitalism, in modern sense,
was born. Communism was just a natural reaction to the extreme exploitative nature of
capitalism. Both of these two ideologies were bent to world-conquest. Twentieth century
saw the fierce battle between them.
Cold War
The Cold War is the name given to the relationship that developed primarily between the
USA and the USSR after World War Two. The Cold War was to dominate international
affairs

for

decades

and

many

major

crises

occurred

the Cuban

Missile

Crisis, Vietnam, Hungary and the Berlin Wall being just some. For many, the growth in
weapons of mass destruction was the most worrying issue. A clash of very different
beliefs and ideology - capitalism versus communism - each held with almost religious
conviction, formed the basis of an international power struggle with both sides vying for
dominance, exploiting every opportunity for expansion anywhere in the world. USSR in
1945 was Russia post-1917 and included all the various countries that now exist
individually (Ukraine, Georgia etc) but after the war they were part of this huge country
up until the collapse of the Soviet Union (the other name for the USSR).
Logic would dictate that as the USA and the USSR fought as allies during World War
Two, their relationship after the war would be firm and friendly. This never happened and
any appearance that these two powers were friendly during the war is illusory.
Before the war, America had depicted the Soviet Union as almost the devil-incarnate.
The Soviet Union had depicted America likewise so their friendship during the war was
simply the result of having a mutual enemy - Nazi Germany. In fact, one of Americas
leading generals, Patton, stated that he felt that the Allied army should unite with what
was left of the Wehrmacht in 1945, utilize the military genius that existed within it (such
as the V2s etc.) and fight the oncoming Soviet Red Army. Churchill himself was furious
that Eisenhower, as supreme head of Allied command, had agreed that the Red Army
should be allowed to get to Berlin first ahead of the Allied army. His anger was shared by
Montgomery, Britains senior military figure. So the extreme distrust that existed during
the war was certainly present before the end of the war and this was between Allies. The
Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, was also distrustful of the Americans after Truman only told
him of a new terrifying weapon that he was going to use against the Japanese. The first
Stalin knew of what this weapon could do was when reports on Hiroshima got back to
Moscow. So this was the scene after the war ended in 1945. Both sides distrusted the
other.
Collapse of Soviet Union and emergence of USA as the unchallenged super-power
Both nations made a conscious choice to seek to defeat the other. No US President nor
Soviet Premier during the Cold War was able to completely discount the need to
challenge the other during their tenure. After the Cold War of about half a century, in

1990s Soviet Union collapsed and communism was officially forsaken. The US emerged
as the unchallenged super-power.
Opening of the gate for the flourishing of the Genocide Studies
I agree that the political changes at the aftermath of the Cold war opened the gate for the
flourishing of the genocide studies, because during the cold war it was not possible to
conduct serious studies on genocide, because in bi-polar world each group would
interfere in the objective research on this issue.

Different Historical eras of genocide


1.Armenian Genocide
It is called by some, the First Genocide of the 20th century. The Armenian Genocide also
known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Masesacres and, traditionally by
Armenians, as Medz Yeghern was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of
its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland within the territory
constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. The starting date is conventionally held
to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250
Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. The genocide was
carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale
killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army
conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly
and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military
escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery,
rape, and massacre. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at
between 1 and 1.5 million. Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups such as
the Assyrians, the Greeks and other minorities were similarly targeted for extermination
by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be
part of the same genocidal policy.
2.Cambodian Genocide

In Cambodia,

a genocide was

carried

out

by

the Communist Khmer

Rouge (KR) regime led by Pol Pot between 1975 and 1979 in which one and a half to
three million people were killed. The KR had planned to create a form of agrarian
socialism which was founded on the ideals of Stalinism and Maoism. The KR policies of
forced relocation of the population from urban centres, torture, mass executions, use
of forced labour, and malnutrition led to the deaths of an estimated 25 percent of the total
population. The genocide was ended following the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. Up
to 20,000 mass graves, known as the Killing Fields have been uncovered.
3.Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan

Genocide was

a genocidal mass

slaughter of Tutsi and

moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate
100-day period from April 7, 1994 to mid-July, an estimated 500,0001,000,000
Rwandans were killed, constituting as much as 20% of the country's total population and
70% of the Tutsi then living in Rwanda. The genocide was planned by members of the
core political elite known as the akazu, many of whom occupied positions at top levels of
the national government. Perpetrators came from the ranks of the Rwandan army, the
National

Police

(gendarmerie),

government-backed

militias

including

the Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi, and the Hutu civilian population.


4.The Holocaust
The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder
of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. "Holocaust" is a word of
Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in
January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed
"inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community. During the era
of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their
perceived "racial inferiority": Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic
peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political,
ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's
Witnesses, and homosexuals.

Conclusion
The word genocide immediately evokes images of the mass murder of Jews during World
War II. But there are more twentieth-century examples of genocide. All Genocide carries
different types of ideology and different types of method and reasons. During the Cold
War it was not possible, due to several reasons, to conduct serious study on genocide.
With the advent of uni-polar world, the task has become easier.

Q 2. How far do you think 'ideas in mind' can initiate genocidal acts? Discuss with
the example of the genocide committed by the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.

Answer to the Question No. 2


Definition of genocide
Generally genocide is the mass extermination of a whole group of people, an attempt to
destroy an entire group and wipe them out of existence. The term was coined in 1943 by
the Jewish-Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin who combined the Greek word "genos" (race
or tribe) with the Latin word "cide" (to kill).After witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust
- in which every member of his family except his brother and himself was killed - Dr
Lemkin campaigned to have genocide recognised as a crime under international law.His
efforts gave way to the adoption of the UN Convention on Genocide in December 1948,
which came into effect in January 1951. Articles II of the 1948 Convention describes two
elements of the crime of genocide:
1) the mental element, meaning the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
ethnical, racial or religious group, as such", and
2) the physical element which includes five acts described in sections a, b, c, d and e. A
crime must include both elements to be called "genocide."
According to the U.N. definition, murder is not the only way to destroy a group. For
example, the recent Australian practice of forcibly removing biracial aboriginal children
from their parents could be classified as genocide, since the goal of this practice was to
assimilate the children into mainstream Australian culture, and thus slowly erode the
Aboriginal culture and population.

Causes of genocide
The underlying causes of conflicts that result in acts of genocide often have deep
historical roots. Stereotypes and prejudices can develop over centuries. Ethnic and

cultural distinctions often result in the formation of "in-group" and "out-group" thinking,
where members of different races, religions, or cultures view each other as separate,
alien, and "different." Identity groups are formed from such thinking.
In many regions, members of different identity groups, for mutual advantage,
develop conflict prevention methods. Yet where resources are limited, or where pressures
are placed on societies because of political or economic instability, relations may
degrade. This can lead one group to become convinced that many of its problems are the
fault of another group, and that all of those problems would be resolved if only the other
group no longer existed. Guy Burgess has named this irrational and potentially dangerous
idea the "into-the-sea" frame. Co-existence and power sharing are not considered to be
viable options, and the more powerful group instead desires to exterminate the other (i.e.,
drive the other side "into the sea"). Often there is a "coherent and vicious elite" led by a
majority-supported dictator who incites genocidal movements. Such movements find
expression more readily when powerful political entities are made up of a common
ethnicity and when minorities are marginalized.

Ideas in mind as initiator of genocidal acts


Primary objective of genocide is the annihilation of the ideologically opposite group.
We can find out it if we discuss the origin of Holocaust.
The ideas and emotions that lay behind the Holocaust were not new, nor were they
uniquely German. The Nazis were the heirs of a centuries-old tradition of Jew-hatred,
rooted in religious rivalry and found in all European countries. When the Nazis came to
carry out their genocidal programme, they found collaborators in all the countries they
dominated, including governments that enjoyed considerable public support. Most people
drew the line at mass murder, but relatively few could be found to oppose it actively or to
extend help to the Jews.
Though it had ancient roots, Nazi ideology was far from a primitive, medieval throwback
- it was capable of appealing to intelligent and sophisticated people. Many high-ranking
Nazis had doctoral degrees and early supporters included such eminent people as
philosopher Martin Heidegger, theologian Martin Niemoeller, and commander-in-chief of

German forces in the First World War, General Erich Ludendorff. Hitler appealed with a
powerful vision of a strong, united and 'racially' pure Germany, bolstered by pseudoscientific ideas that were popular at the time.
Antisemitism, the new racist version of the old Jew-hatred, viewed the Jews as not simply
a religious group but as members of a 'Semitic race', which strove to dominate its 'Aryan'
rivals. Among the leading ideologues of this theory were a French aristocrat, the Comte
Joseph de Gobineau, and an Englishman, Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Antisemitism
proved convenient glue for conspiracy theories - since Jews were involved in all sorts of
ventures and political movements, they could be accused of manipulating all of them
behind the scenes. Thus Jews were held responsible for Communism and capitalism,
liberalism, socialism, moral decline, revolutions, wars, plagues and economic crises. As
the Jews had once been demonised in medieval Europe, the new antisemites (including
many Christians) found new secular ways of demonising them.
The Nazis brought their own strain of radical ruthlessness to these ideas. They glorified
war and saw the uncompromising struggle for survival between nations and races as the
engine of human progress. They rejected morality as a Jewish idea, which had corrupted
and weakened the German people. They maintained that a great nation such as Germany
had the right and duty to build an empire based on the subjugation of 'inferior races'.
They looked eastwards to Poland and Russia (where, as it happened, the great majority of
European Jews lived) for the territorial expansion of their 'living space' (Lebensraum).
Nazis was thus an unscrupulous and warlike ideology, which always had the potential for
genocide. But it took some time for an organised killing programme to evolve. Ideas in
mind are the prime initiators of genocidal acts.
Pol Pot in Cambodia
Pol Pot was a Cambodian communist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from
1963 until 1997. From 1963 to 1981, he served as the General Secretary of
the Communist Party of Kampuchea. As such, he became the leader of Cambodia on 17
April 1975, when his forces captured Phnom Penh. From 1976 to 1979, he also served as
the prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea.

Genocide committed by Pol Pot


In Cambodia,

a genocide was

carried

out

by

the Communist Khmer

Rouge (KR) regime led by Pol Pot between 1975 and 1979 in which one and a half to
three million people were killed. The KR had planned to create a form of agrarian
socialism which was founded on the ideals of Stalinism and Maoism. The KR policies of
forced relocation of the population from urban centres, torture, mass executions, use
of forced labour, and malnutrition led to the deaths of an estimated 25 percent of the total
population. The genocide was ended following the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. Up
to 20,000 mass graves, known as the Killing Fields have been uncovered.
The Khmer Rouge (KR) goal of purifying the people is similar to the goals of Nazi
Germany, in attempting to create a "master race", as one KR leader said, it was the
"purification of the populace". On 2 January 2001 the Cambodian government passed
legislation to try a limited number of the KR leadership. Trials began on 17 February
2009. On August 7, 2014, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan were convicted and received
life sentences for crimes against humanity during the genocide.
Ideology played an important role in the genocide. The desire of the KR to bring the
nation back to a "mythic past", stop aid entering the nation from abroad, which in their
eyes was a corrupting influence and restore the country to an agrarian society, and the
manner in which they tried to implement this was one factor in the genocide. This new
agrarian society was to be based on Stalinist and Maoist ideals.
Ben

Kiernan compares

three genocides

in

history,

the Armenian

Genocide,

the Holocaust and the Cambodian genocide, which although unique shared certain
common features. Racism is one and was a major part of the ideology of all three
regimes. Although all three perpetrators were largely secular, they targeted religious
minorities. All three also tried to use force of arms to expand into a "contiguous
heartland", (Turkestan, Lebensraum, and Kampuchea Krom), all three regimes also
"idealized their ethnic peasantry as the true "national" class, the ethnic soil from which
the new state grew. The Khmer Rouge regime targeted various ethnic groups during the
genocide, forcibly relocating minority groups, and banned the use of minority languages.

Religion was also banned, and the repression of adherents of Islam, Christianity,
and Buddhism was extensive. And according to Kiernan, the "fiercest extermination
campaign was directed at the ethnic Cham Muslim minority". This attempt at the
purification of Cambodian society along racial, social and political lines led to the
military and political leaders of the former regime, as well as leaders of industry,
journalists, students, doctors, lawyers as well as the Vietnamese and Chinese ethnic
groups being purged. The exact numbers of Cham people killed are unknown, however
according to survivors there were an estimated 700,000 before the KR came to power,
and there were an estimated 200,000 left following the genocide.
Conclusion
Every act is driven by an idea in mind. This is especially true in genocide, because in
order to constitute genocide, it must have to fulfill, inter alia, the mental element. The
concept of superiority complex is, to the great extent, responsible for such heinous
crimes. The written records of the twentieth century are full of genocides committed in
different parts of the world.