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THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

Kumalo chief, Shaka determined "not to leave alive even a child, but [to] exterminate
the whole tribe," according to a foreign witness. V{hen the foreigners protested against
the slaughter of women and children, claiming they "could do no injur" Shaka
responded in language that would have been familiar to the French revolutionaries:
"Yes they could," he declared. "They can propagate and bring lbear] children, who
may become my enemies . . . therefore I command you to kill al1."2a
Mahoney has characterized these policies as genocidal. "If genocide is defined as
a state-mandated effort to annihilate whole peoples, then Shakat actions in this regard
must certainly quali$r." He points out that the term adopted by the Zulus to denote
their campaign of expansion and conquest, izweleufa, derives "fromZulu izwe (nation,
people, polity), and ukufa (death, dying, to die). The term is thus identical to
'genocide' in both meaning and etymology."25

S NAMING GENOCIDE: RAPHAEL LEMKIN

Genocide is an absolute word - a howl of a word . . .

Lance Morrow

Until the Second Vorld War, genocide was a "crime without a name," in the words
of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.26 The man who named the crime,
placed it in a global-historical context, and demanded intervention and remedial
action was a Polish-Jewish jurist, a refugee from Nazi-occupied Europe, named
Raphael Lemkin (1900-59). His story is one of the most remarkable of the twentieth
century.
Lemkin is an exceptional example of a "norm entrepreneur" (see Chapter 12). In
the space offour years, he coined a term - genocide - that conciseiy defined an age-
old phenomenon. He supported it with a wealth of documentation. He published a
Iengthy l:ook (Axis Rule in Occupied Europr) that applied the concept to campaigns
of genocide underway in Lemkint native Poland and elsewhere in the Nazi-occupied
territories. He then waged a successful campaign to persuade the new United Nations
to draft a convention against genocide; another successful campaign to obtain the
required number of signatures; and yet another to secure the necessary national ratifi-
cations. Yet Lemkin lived in penury - in surely his wittiest recorded comment, he
described himself as "pleading a holy cause at the UN while wearing holey clothes,"27
and he died in obscuriry in 1959; his funeral drew just seven people. Only in recent
years has the promise of his concept, and the UN convention that incorporated it,
begun to be realized.
Growing up in a Jewish famiiy in Wolkowysk, a town in eastern Poland, Lemkin
developed a talent for languages (he would end up mastering a dozen or more), and
a passionate curiosiry about the cultures that produced them. He was struck by
accounts of the suffering of Christians at Roman hands, and its parallel in the
pogroms then aflicting the Jews of eastern Poland. More generall as John Cooper
notes, "growing up in a contested borderland over which different armies clashed
. . . made Lemkin acutely sensitive to the concerns of the diverse nationalities living
there and their anxieties about self-preservation."2s

8
IHE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

Iro] exterminate Thus began Lemkin's lifelong study of mass killing in history and the conrem-
protested against porary world. He "raced through an unusually grim reading list"2e that familiarized
o injury" Shaka him with cases from antiquiry and the medieval era (incluJing carthage, discussed
r revolutionaries: above, and the fate of the Aztec and Inca empires, described in chapter 3). "I
r, children, who was appalled by the frequency of the evil," he recalled later, "and, above all, by the
impuniry coldly relied upon by the guilty."3, why? was the question that began
;ide is defined as to consume Lemkin. A key momenr came tn 1921, while he was studying at the
ons in this regard university of Lvov. Soghomon Ghlirian, an Armenian avenger of the ottoman
:Zulus to denote destruction of Christian minorities (Chapter 4), was arrested for murder after he
'.dtizwe (nation, gunned down one of the genocide's architecrs, Tlalar pasha, in a Berlin srreer. In
hus identical to the same yea leading planners and perpetrators of the genocide were freed by the
British from custody in Malta, as parr of the Allies' posrwar courting of a resurgent
Ti-rrkey. Lemkin wrote that he was "shocked" by the juxtaposition: 'A nation was
killed and the guilty persons were ser free. why is a man punished when he kills
another man? (hy is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of a single
individual?"31
Lemkin detemined to stage an intellectual and activist intervention in what he
I:nce Motrow at first called "barbarity'' and "vandalism." The former referred ro "rhe premed,itated
destruction of nationai, racial, religious and social collectivities," while the latter he
re.- in the words described as the "destruction ofworks ofart and culrure, being the expression ofthe
amed the crime, particular genius ofthese collectivities."32 At a conference ofEuropean legal scholars
on ard remedial in Madrid in 1933, Lemkint framing was firsr presented (though not by its author;
Europe, named the Polish governmenr denied him a travel visa). Despite the post-First \7orld \Var
: oithe twentieth prosecutions ofTirrks for "crimes against humanity' (Chapters 4, 15), governments
and public opinion leaders were still wedded to the notion that state sovereignty
: Chapter 12). In trumped atrocities against a statet own citizens. It was this legal impuniry that rankled
v defined an age- and galvanized Lemkin more than anything else. Yet the Madrid delegates did not
r. He published a share his concern. They refused to adopt a resolution against the crimes Lemkin set
ept to campaigns before them; the matter was tabled.
:re Nazi-occupied l-Indeterred, Lemkin continued his campaign. He presented his arguments in legal
-United Nations forums throughout Europe in the 1930s, and as far afield as cairo, Egypt. The
ign to obtain the outbreak of the second 7orld war found him at the heart of the inferno in polrnd,
,n- national ratifi-
-
with Nazi forces invading from the \7est, and Soviets from the East. As polish
[ed comment, he resistance crumbled, Lemkin took flight. He traveled first to easrern poland, and then
:holev clothes,"27 to vilnius, Lithuania. From that Baltic city he succeeded in securing refuge in
e- Only in recent Sweden.
r incorporated it, After teaching in stockholm, the united states beckoned. Lemkin believed the us
would be both receptive to his framework, and in a position to actualize it in a way
r Polad, Lemkin that Europe under the Nazi yoke could not. An epic 14,000-mile journey took him
rn or more), and across the Soviet Union by train to vladivostok, by boat to
Japan, and across the
le rvas struck by Pacific. In the us, he moonlighted at Yale University's Law School before moving
rs parallel in the to Durham, North carolina, where he became a professor at Duke universiry.
r. as John Cooper In his new American surroundings, Lemkin struggled with his concepts and
rt amies clashed vocabulary. "vandalism" and "barbarity'had not struck a chord with his legal
adonalities living audiences. Inspired b of all things, the Kodak camera,33 Lemkin trawled through his
impressive linguistic resources for a term that was concise and memorable. He settled.

I
THE OR G NS OF GENOCIDF

Figure 1 .1 Raphael
Lemkin (1900 59),
fbunder of genocicle
sttrcl ics.

.tz,zr: American

Jcrvish Historical
Socicn-.

on a neologism with both Creek and Latir.r roors: the Greek "genos," meaning rece
or tribe, and the Latin "cide," or killing. "Genocide" was the irrtentional destruction
of national groups on the basis of their collective identity. Physical killing was an
important part of the pictr-rre, but it r,vas only a part:

Bv "gcnocide" lve mean rhe destruction of a natiolr tll' an erhnic glolrp. . . .

Gcncralil. speaking, ge nocide c{oes not necessarih- mean the immediate destruction
of a nation, exce pt r,vhe n accomplished by nrass killings of all n'rembe rs of a nation.
It is intendecl rathcr to signifi. a coordinated plan of differenr acrions airning lt
the destruction of essential foundations of the 1if of national grou.ps, rvith the
rim of ar-rr.rihilating the srorLps themselves. The objectives of such a plar-r would
be disintegraticin of the political and social institutions of culture , language,
national ficlings, r'eligion, and the economic exisrence of national gror-rps, and
the destruction of the personal security, liberry health, digniq,, and even the lir.es
ol the inclir.iduals belonging to such groups. Genocide is directed against the
national gloup as an entity, and the acrions involved are directed against
individuals, not in their individual capacitl,, lur as nrembers of the national group.
. . . Genocide has two phases: one, desrlucrion of the national pattern of the
oppressed group; the othe r the imposition of the national pattem of the oppressor.
This imposition, in tlrrn, may be made upon rhe oppressed population rvhich is

10

I
THE ORIGINS OF GFNO'IDF

allowed to remain, or upon the teritory alone, after removal of the population and
the colonizatior-r of the area by the oppressor's own narionals.34

The critical question, for Lemkin, r,vas whether the multiceted campaign proceeded
under the rubric of policy. To the extent th:1t it did, it couid be considered genocidal,
even if it did not result in the physical destruction of all (or any) nrembers of the
group.35 1'he issue ofwhether mass killing is definitional to genocide has been debated
ever since, by myriad scholars and commentators. Equally vexing for subsequent
generations was the emphasis on ethnic and national groups. These predominated
as victims in the decades in which Lemkin developed his framework (and in the
historical examples he studied). Yet by the end of the 1940s, it rvas clear that political
groups were often targeted for annihilation. Moreover, the appellations applied to
"communists," ol by communists to "krilaks" or' "class enemies" - r.vhen imposed by
a totalitarian state seemed evely bit as difficult to shake as ethnic identificadons, if
the Nazi rnd Stalinist onslaughts were anything to go by. This does not even take
into account the important but ambiguoLls areas of cross-over among ethnic, political,
and social categolies (see "Multiple and Overlapping Identities," below).
Lemkin, though, would hear little of this. Although he did not exclude political
groups as genocide victims, he had a single-minded focus on nationality and ethnicit
'='.1 Raphacl for their culture-carrying capacity as he perceived it. His attachment to these core
::.::l i1900 i9),
t'fs"not;"
-,'..t
. ,: \merican
.:: I listoric:rl

-r- :. meaning race


: - -1111 clestruction
, :,., killing was an

. .:-r|Lic g1'ouP. . . .
-- .:- .irrre destruction
::-.:r'Lirs of a nation.
i , -:-:ions aiming at '. l.2 Sanrantha Pori,er's book 'A ProblenJi'ont
'... ,1m.ericd and the Age oJ'Genotirle (2002) n,on
:roups, with the
..

i :.r:i't ,-r plan would . :he Pulitzer Prize and the Nationrl Book
:s Circle Arvarc{. and contributecl to rhe
, -.irrLrc, ianguage, :::nce ofpublic interest in genocide. Porver's
.:.--rrnrl qroups, and : ofhrcd also thc most detailed and vir.icl
. .rnc1 even the lives :nr o that date of Raphael I-erl<in's lii! rnd
::uggle for: the UN Cenocide Convention.
. -t-:.ted against the : l0 I 0. Polver lvas on leave lrom the Harvard
,. r:dv School, seruing as a spccial adv:isor on
= direcred against :n policl. to the Barack C)bam administration.
:r national grouP. :. shorvn l.rerc speakir-rg at Columbia Universitr,,
.. -rL plttern of the York, in March 2008.
.- . -r oi the oppressor. ,'r Coutesl. Angela Radulescu/urvu,.

-- :.rrLlation rvhicir is -rraclulcscn. com.

11
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

concerns was almost atavistic, and legal scholar Stephen Holmes, for one, has faulted
him for it: Io
Lemkin himself seems to have believed that killing a hundred thousand people
of a single ethnicity was very different from killing a hundred thousand
people of mixed ethnicities. Like Oswald Spengle he thought that each cultural
group had its own "genius" that should be preserved. To destro or attempt to
destro a culture is a special kind of crime because culiure is the unit of collective
memory, whereby the legacies of the dead can be kept alive. To kill a culture is to
casr irs individual members into individual oblivion, their memories buried with
their mortal remains. The idea that killing a culture is "irreversible" in a way that
killing an individual is not reveals the strangeness of Lemkin's conception from a
liberal-individualist point of view.

This archaic-sounding conception has other illiberal implications as well. For one
thing, it means that the murder of a poet is morallyworse than the murder of a janitor,
because the poet is the "brain' without which the "body'' cannot function. This revival
of medieval organic imagery is central to Lemkint idea of genocide as a special crime.36
It is probably rrue rhar Lemkins formulation had its archaic elements. It is certainly
the case that subsequent scholarly interpretations of "Lemkin's word" have tended
to be more capacious in their framing. Ify'hat can be defended is Lemkint emphasis
on the collective as a target. One can philosophize about the relative weight ascribed
to collectives over the individual, as Holmes does; but the reality of modern times is
that the vast majoriry of those murdered u.,ere leilled. on the basis of a collectiue identity
- euen if only one imputed by the killers. The link between collective and mass, then
between mass and large-scale extermination, was the defining dynamic of the
,ventieth centuryt unprecedented violence. In his historical studies, Lemkin appears
to have read this correcdy. Many or most of the examples he cites would be
uncontroversial among a majority of genocide scholars today.37 He saw the Nazis'
assaults on Jews, Poles, and Polish Jews for what they were, and labeled the broader
genre for the ages.
Still, for Lemkins word to resonate today, and into the future, rwo further devel-
opments were required. The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide ( 1 948), adopted in remarkably short order after Lemkint
indefatigable lobbying, entrenched genocide in intenational and domestic law.
And beginning in the 1970s, a coterie of "comparative genocide scholars," drawing
upon a generation's work on the Jewish Holocaust,* began to discuss, debate, and
refine Lemkint concept - a trend that shows no sign of abating.

* I use the word "holocaust" generically in this book to refer to especially destructive geno-
cides, such as those against indigenous peoples in the Americas and elsewhere, Christian
minorities in the Ottoman empire during the First \/orld \(ar, Jews and Roma (Gypsies)
under the Nazis, and Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. Most scholars and commentators capitalize
the "h" when referring to the Nazi genocide against the Jews, and I follow this usage when
citing "the Jewish Holocaust" (see also Chapter 6, n. 1).

n
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

r one, has faulted


DEFINING GENOCIDE: THE UN CONVENTTON

Lemkin's extraordinary "norm entrepreneurship" around genocide is described in


thousand people
Chapter 12. Suffice it to say for now that "rarely has a neologism had such rapid
rndred thousand
success" (iegal scholarViliiam Schabas). Barely ayear after Lemkin coined the term,
rhat each cultural
it was included in the Nuremberg indictments of Nazi war criminals (Chapter 15).
o\'. or attempt to
To Lemkins chagrin, genocide did not figure in the Nuremberg judgmenrs. However,
:uit of collective "by the time the General Assembly completed its standard sitting, with the 1948
kill a culture is to
adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of rhe Crime of
rories buried with
Genocide, 'genocide' had a detailed and quite technical definition as a crime againsr
ble" in a way that
the law of nations."38
onception from a
The "detailed and quite technical definition'is as follows:

ArticleI The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether commirred in


; as u'eil. For one
time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they
rurder ofa janitor,
undertake to prevent and to punish.
ction. This revival
;a special crime.36 Article 1L In the present convention, genocide means any of the following acts
enrs. It certainly
is
committed with intent to destro in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial
ord" have tended or religious group, as such:
emkin's emphasis
,e *-eight ascribed (a) Killing members of the group;
f moden times is (b) Causing serious bodily or menral harm to members of the group;
t collectiue identity (c) Deliberately inficting on rhe group conditions of life calculated to bring
;e and mass, then about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
dr-namic of the (d) Imposing measures intended ro prevent births within the group;
s. Lemkin appears (e) Forcibly transferring children ofthe group ro anorher group.
e cires would be
{e sas'the Nazis' Article III. The following acts shall be punishable:
beled the broader
(a) Genocide;
t'o hrrther devel- (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
ard Punishment (c) Direct and public incitement to commir genocide;
der after Lemkins (d) Attempt ro commit genocide;
nd domestic law. (e) Complicity in genocide.3e
cholars," drawing
;cuss, debate, and Thematically, Lemkint convicion that genocide needed to be confronred, whatever
the context, was esoundingly endorsed with rhe Conventiont declaration that
genocide is a cime "whether committed in time of peace or in time of wa." This
removed the road-block thrown up by the Nuremberg trials, which had only
considered Nazi crimes committed after the invasion of Poland on September 1,
lr destructive geno- 1939.
lserrhee, Christian The basic thrust of Lemkin's emphasis on erhnic and national groups (at the
nd Roma (Gypsies) expenseofpolitical groups and social classes) also survived the lobbying and drafting
menrarors capitalize
ou- rhis usage when process. In the diverse genocidal strategies cited, we see reflected Lemkin's conception
of genocide as a "coordinated plan of different acrions aiming at the destruction of

13
IHE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

essential fbundations of the Iil of national groups, rvith the aim of annihilating the
groups themselves." Hor'vever, at no point did die Convention's drafters actuallr.
define "national, ethnical, racial or religious" gl-orlps, and these terms have been
subject to considerable subsequent interpretation. The position olthe International
Crimi.al tibunal for Rrvanda (ICTR), that "any stable and permanenr group" is in
fact to be accorded protection r-rnder the Conventior-r, is likely to become rhe nornr
in future.judgments.
\7ith regard to genocidal strategies, thc Convenrion places "str-onger emphasis
than Lemkin on physical and biologicdl desrruction, and less on broader socidt'
destructi.on," as sociologist Martin Sharv points out.'10 But nore hor.v divelse are rhe
actions considered genocidal in Article II - in marked conrrasr to the normal
understanding of "genocide." One does not need to exterminare or seek to exrer-
nrinate e\ery last member of a designate d gloup. In fact, one does not need to ki ll aryone
at all to commit genocide!Infltcttng "serious bodily or mental harn'r" qualifies, as doe-.
pre\enting births or tlanslerring children betu,.een groups. It is ftrir to sa1., however.
that from a leg:rl perspective, gerrocide unaccompanied by mass killing is r-areir-
prosecuted.al (l retuln belor,r, to the qtiestion of killing.)
Controversial and ambiguous phrases in the document include the reference to
"serious bodily ol mental harm" consriruring a fom of genocide. In practice, this
has been intelpreted along the lines olthe Islaeli trial court decision against Adoli
Eichmann in 1961, convicting him of the "enslavement, starvarion, deportation
and persecution of . . . Jervs . . . their detention in ghettos, rransit camps and con-
centration camps in conditions rvhich wele designed to callse their degradatior.r.
deprivatiorr of their rigl-rts as human beir-rgs, and to . . . cause tl-rern inhumane
sufTelilrg and toltule." The ICTR adds an interpretatiorr that this includes "lodilr
ol mental torture, inhuman tre1tmenr, and persecution," as well as "acts of rape and
mutilation." In addition, "several sources correcrly take the view that mass depor-
tations under inhumane conditions ma) constitllte genocide if accompanied br-
the requisite intent."az "Measures ro prevent births" may be held to include forced
sterilization and separation of the sexes. Sexual trauma and impregnation througl.r
gang rape have leceived increasing attenrion. 'fhe destruction of groups "as such''
blought complex quesrions of motive into play. Some drafter:s sar,v it as a mens ot
paying lip-service to the elemenr of morive, while othels perceived it as a way to
sidestep the issue altogether.
Histo'icall it is intriguing ro rlore how manv issues of genocide definition and
interpretation have their roots in contingent and improvised aspects of the drafting
process. The initial drafi by the UN Secretariat defined genocide's targers as "a grollp
of human beings," adoption of which cor-Lld have rendered redundant the subsequent
debate over uhich groups qualified.
Responsibility for the exclusion of political groups was long laid at the door
of the Soviet Uniorr and its allies, supposeclly rrervous abour application of the
Convention to Soviet crimes (see Chapter'5). Schabas quashes this notion, pointing
out that "rigorous examination of the trauattx [working papers] lails to con{ilm :r
popular impression in the literature rhar the opposition . . . was some Soviet machi-
nation." Political collectiviries "we re actually included within rhe e numerarion [of
designated groupsl Llntil an eleventh-houl compromise eliminated rhe reference."l-'

M
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDF

rnihilating the In the estimation of many genocide scholars, this is the Convention's grearesr
afters actually oversight.aa As for the provision against transferring children berween g.o.rpr, i, '*",
ms have been added to the Convention almost as an afterthought, with little substantive debate or
: International consideration. "a5
nr group" is in In its opening sentence, the Convention declares that the Contracting Parties
ome the norm "undertake to prevent and to punish" the crime of genocide. A subsequent article
(VIII) states that "any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the
nger emphasis United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they
broader social conside appropriate for the prevention and suppression ofacts ofgenocide or any of
diverse are the the other acts enumerated inArticle III." Yet this leaves actual policy obligations vague.
ro rhe normal
-seek to exter-
ed n kill anyone BOUNDING GENOCIDE: COMPARATIVE GENOCDE STUDIES
ualifies, as does
o sav, howeve Between the 1950s and the 1980s, the term "genocide" languished almost unused
illing is rarely by scholars. A handful of legal commentaries appeared for a specialized audience.a6
In 1.97 5,Yal'rakn Dadrian s article 'ATypology of Genocide" sparked renewed interest
he reference to in a comparative framing. It was bolstered by Irving Louis Horowitis Genocide: State
n practice, this Power and Mass Murder (1976), and foundationally by Leo Kuper's Genocide: hs
n against Adolf Political e in the Twentieth Centuryt (1981). Kupert work, including a subsequent
,n. deportation volume on The Preuention of Genocide (1985), was rhe most significant on genocide
amps and con- since Lemkint in the 1940s. It was followed by edited volumes and solo publications
ir degradation, from Helen Fein, R.J. Rummel, Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn, and Robert
rem inhumane Melson, among others.
ncludes "bodily This early literature drew upon more than a decade of intensive research on rhe
acts ofrape and Holocaust, and most of the scholars wereJewish. "Holocaust Studies" remains central
rar mass depor- to the field. Still, rereading these pioneering works, one is struck by how inclusive and
ccompanied by comparative their framing is. It tends to be global in scope, and interdisciplinary at
r include forced many points. The classic volumes by Chalk and Jonass ohn (The History and Sociology
Sration through of Genocide) and Totten et al. (Century of Genocide) appeared in the early 1990s,
oups "as such" and seemed to sum up this drive for catholicity. So too, despite its heary focus
it as a means of on the Holocaust, did Israel Charnyt Encyclopedia of Genocide (1999). A rich body
ditasawayto of case-study literature also developed, with genocides such as those against the
Armenians, Cambodians, and East Timorese - as well as indigenous peoples
e definition and worldwide - receiving serious and sustained artention.
s of the drafting The explosion of public interest in genocide in the 1990s, and the concomitant
rgets as "a grouP growth of genocide studies as an academic field, has spawned a profusion of
t the subsequent humanistic and social-scientific studies, joined by memoirs and oral histories. (The
wider culture has also produced a steady srream of films on genocide and its
laid at the door reverberations, including The Killing Fields, Schindler's List, and Hotel Rwanda.)a7
plication of the To capture the richness and diversity ofthe genocide-studies literature in this short
notion, pointing section is impossible. \What I hope to do is, first, to use that lirerature constructively
ls to confirm a throughout this book; and, second, to provide suggesrions for further reading,
ne Soviet machi- encouraging readers to explore the bounry for themselves.
enumeration lof \With this caveat in place, let me make a few generalizations, touching on debates
rhe reference."43 that will reappear regularly in this book. Genocide scholars are concerned with two

15
iHE ORIGINS OF GENOC DI

First, they attempt to defne genocide and boundh conceptually. Second,


brsic tasks.
they seek rc preuent getlocide . This implies understanding its comparative dynamics,
and generating prophvlactic stlategies that may be applied in emergencies.
Scholarly definitions of genocide refect the ambiguities of the Genocide
Corvention ancl its constituent delates. They can be confusing in their numerous
rnd often opposecl variants. Horvever", surveying rost of the definitions on oflr, and
combining them u,ith the Lemkin and UN fiamings already cited, we can group rhem
into two broad categories, and isolate some key liatures and varirbles.

BOX 1.1 GENOCDE: SChIOLARLY DEFNITIONS (in chronological


order)

Peter Drost (1959)

"Genocide is the deliberate destruction of physical life of individual human beings


by reason of their membership of any human collectivity as such."

Vahakn Dadrian (1975)

"Genocide is the successful attempt by a dominant group, vested with formal


authority and/or with preponderant access to the overall resources of power, to
reduce by coercion or lethal violence the number of a minority group whose ultlmate
extermination is held desirable and useful and whose respectlve vulnerability is a
major factor contributing to the decisron for genocide. "

lrving Louis Horowitz (.1976)

"lGenocide is] a structural and systematic destruction of innocent people by a state


bureaucratic apparatus. . , Genocide represents a systematic effort over time to
liquidate a national population, usually a minority . [andl functions as a fun-
damental political policy to assure conformity and participation of the citrzenry."

Leo Kuper (1981)

"l shall follow the definition of genocide given in the lUNl Conven[ron. This is
not [o say that I agree with the definition. On the contrary, I believe a malor omission
to be rn the exclusion of political groups from the list of groups protected. ln the
contemporary world, political differences are at the very east as significant a
basrs for massacre and annihilation as racial, national, ethnrc or religious differences.

16
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

rualhr Second,
Ltive dynamics, Then too, the genocides against racial, national, ethnic or religious groups
are
ncies. generally a consequence of, or intimately related to, political conflict.
However, I do
he Genocide not think it helpful to create new definitions of genocide, when there s an
heir numerous internationally recognized definition and a Genocide Convention which might
rs on ofrer, and become the basis for some effective action, however limited the underlying
:an group them conception. But since it would vitiate the analysis to exclude political groups, I shall
!. refer freely . . . to liquidating or exterminatory actions against them.,,

Jack Nusan Porter (1982)


llog ica I

"Genocide is the deliberate destruction, in whole or rn part, by a government


or its
agents, of a racial, sexual, religious, tribal or political minority. lt can involve not only
mass murder, but also starvation, forced deportation, and political, economic and
biological subjugation. Genocide involves three major components: ideology,
tech nol o gy, a n d b u rea ucra cy / or ganizalion.,,
rnan beings

Yehuda Bauer (1984)

n.b. Bauer distinguishes between ,,genocide,, and ,,holocaust,,:

with formal "[Genocide is] the planned destruction, since the mid-nineteenth
century, of a racial,
o power, to national, or ethnic group as such, by the following means: (a) selective mass murder
rose ultimate of elites or parts of the population; (b) elimination of national (racial, ethnic) culture
nerability is a and religious life with the intent of 'denationalization'; (c) enslavement, wth the
same intent; (d) destruction of national (racial, ethnic) economic life, with the same
intent; (e)biological decimation through the kidnapping of children, or the
prevention of normal family life, with the same intent . . .
lHolocaust isl the planned
physical annihilation, for ideological or pseudo-religious reasons, of all the members
of a national, ethnic, or racial group.,,
rcle by a state
over time to
cns as a fun- John L. Thompson and GailA. Quets (1987)
r citizenry. "
"Genocide is the extent of destruction of a social collectivity by
whatever agents,
with whatever intentions, by purposive actions which fall outside the recognized
conventions of legitimate warfare.,,

rtion. This is
rajor omission lsidor Wallimann and Michael N. Dobkowsk (1997)
,iected. ln the
significant a "Genocide is the deliberate, organized destruction, in whole or in large part, of racial
,s differences. or ethnic groups by a government or its agents. lt can involve not only mass murder,

17
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

but also forced deportation (ethnic cleansing), systematic rape, and economic and
biological subjugation. "

Henry Huttenbach (l 988)

"Genocide is any act that puts the very existence of a group in jeopardy.,,

Helen Fein (1988)

"Genocide is a series of purposeful actions by a perpetrator(s) to destroy a collectivity


through mass or selective murders Olouo members and suppressing ihe biological
3f
and social reproduction of the collectivity. This can be accomplished through the
imposed proscription or restriction of reproduction ol group members, increasing
infant mortality, and breaking the linkage between reproduction and socialization
of children in the family or group of origin. The perpetrator may represent the state
of the victim, another state, or another collectivity. "

Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn (1990)

"Genocide is a form of one-sided mass killing in which a state or other authority


intends to destroy a group, as that group and membership in it are defined by the
perpetrator. "

Helen Fein (1993)

"Genocide is sustained purposeful action by a perpetrator to physically destroya


collectivity directly or indirectly, through interdiction of the biologi.ui und so.rl
reproduction of group members, sustained regardless of the surrender or lack o{
threat offered by the victim. "

Steven T. Katz (1994)

"lGenocide is] the actualization of the intent, however successfully carried out, to
murder in its totality any national, ethnic, racial, religious, political, social, gender
economic group, as these groups are defined by the perpetrator, by
means." (n.b. Modified by Adam Jones in 2010 to read, "murder in whole or
Por L. ,/

1S
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

)-omc and lsrael Charny (199a)

"Genocide in the generic sense means


the mass killing of substantial numbers of
human beings, when not in the course of mllitary action
against the military forces
of an avowed enemy, under conditions of the essential defen."l"rrn.r,
oi af*
victim. "

lrving Louis Horowitz (1996)

"Genocide ls herein defined as a structural and systematic


destruction of innocent
r collectivity people by a state bureaucratc apparatus
femphasis in original]. . . . Genocide means
e biological the physical dismemberment and liquidation of people on large scales,
an attempt
rrough the by those who rure to achieve the totar erimination of a subject peopre.,, (n.b.
, increasing Horowitz supports "carefully distinguishing the Holocaust
[.Jewish] from
genocide,,;
ocialization he also refers to "the phenomenon of mass murder, for which genocide is a
ni the state synonym " .)

Barbara Harff (2003)

"Genocldes and politicJdes are the promotion,


execution, and/or implied consent of
:r authority sustained policies by governing elites or their agents or, in
ined by the - [he cse of civil war,
either of the contending authorities that are intended to destroy,
- in whole or part,
a communal, political, or politicized ethnic
Aroup.,,

Manus I. Midlarsky (2005)

iy destroy a "Genocide is understood to be the state-sponsored


systematic mass murder of
I and social innocent and helpless men, women, and children denoted
rr or lack of by a particular eth-
noreliqious identity, having the purpose of eradicating this group
from a particular
territory. "

Mark Levene (2005)


'ried out, to
"Genocide occurs when a state, perceiving
the integrity of its agenda to be
rl, gender or threatened by an aggregate popuration
rywhatever
- defined by the state ai an organic
collectivity, or series of collectivities seeks to remedy the situation
rvhole or in
- by the systematic,
en masse physical elimination of that aggregate, in toto, or until
it is no longer
perceived to represent a threat.,,

I
THF OR GII\S OF GENOC DE

Jacques 5melin (2005)

,,lwill define genocicle as that particular process of clvilian destrLlction that is directed
at the total eradication of a group, the criteria by which it is identified being
determined bY the PerPetrator "

Daniel Chirot and Clark McCauley (2006)


,,A genocidal mass murder is politically motrvated violence that directly or indirect y

kllls a substantial proportion of a targeted population, combtants and noncom-


batants alike, reqardless of their age or gender' "

Martin Shaw (2007)


,,[Genocide is] a form of violent social conflict, or war, between armed power.
groups and other
organizations that aim to destroy civilian social groups and those
actors who resist this destruction "

Donald Bloxham (2009)


,,lGenocrde isl the physical destruction of a large portion of a group in a limited o

unlimited territory with the lntention of clestroying that group's collectlve existence.

D i scussi on

The elements of clefinitior-r may be divided into "harder" and "softel" positio.
Accorcl.
paralleling the international-legai distinction betrvect.t harcl and soft larnr
to Christopher RtrdolPh,

those rvho favor hard larv in internatior-ral leual regimes argue that
it enhar -
dercrr-ence and enfbrcement l-rv sign:rling credible commitments, constraining s.

serving auto-interpretation of ru1es, and maximizing'cornpliance pull'thror.-


-l'hose
i,-,creas-ed legitimaor vn ho frvor soft lar.v argue thrt it facilitates compronl

reduces contracri,-,g costs, and allorvs fbr learning ancl change il] the proces,
institutional develoPrnent.a8

"gcnocide' '
In genocide scholarship, harcler positions are guidecl by concerns that
be l-.ndered banal or mear.riflgless by careless use. Some arguc that such
slack tr,
r.vill divert attentiorl f.or-t., th. proclaimed uniqueness of the Holoc'tust' St'-

positions reflect concerns that excessively rigid framings (for example, a ftrcr-ts ot't

n
THE OR GINS OF GENOCIDE

total physical exrermination of a group) rure out roo many actions


that, logically and
morally', demand ro be ir-rcluded. Their proponenrs may
also r,vish to see a clynamic
and e'olving genocide f.amework, ratl,er tha,., . static and inflexible
s directed one.
It should be noted that these basic positions clo not map perfectll,
' :d beinq onto individual
uthors and authorities. A given definition m:iy even
"lt..r-r,-,t"
b.i..n harder. a,d
softer positions - as with the uN convention, which featur.es a decidedly ,,soft,,
franring of gen.cidal strategies (inclLrding non-fatar ones), but a "hard,,
,pp.o".h
rvhe n it comes to the victim grollps whoseclestruction clualifies
as genocidal. Steven
Katz"s I 994 definition, by contrasr, fatures a highly inclusir.e fi.amilg
ofvictimhood,
but a tighdy restrictive vier,v olgenocidal ollrcolles: rhese are limited to the
r d rrectly
total
physical destruction of a gror-rp. The alteration ofjust a few lvords tuns
'oncom- it into a sofier
definirion that happens to be n.rl,preferred one (see belor.v).
Exploring further, the ilefinitions address genocide's agents, uictims, goa/s,
scale,
strategies, and inknt.
Anlong agents, there is a cleu fcrcus on srare and offjcial authorities Dadria.t
"dominant grolrp, r.ested r,vith formal autl-ror-ity"; Hororvitz,s ,,state -
bureaucratic
apperarus"; Porter's "govemrnenr or its agents" to cite three of
-d power - the first five
definitions proposed (note also Levene's exilusir..elv state-focused 2005 definition).
, :d other Hor'r,eveL, some scholars abjule rhe srare-cenrric approach (e.g.,
chalk ancl]or-rassohn,s
"state o'other authoriry"; Fei,'s [1993] "perpe,r".r";Thorrpson a,cl ,,what_
euets,.
ever agents"; shaw's "armed po\\er organizations"). The uN Cor.,r.e,rtion,
too,
cites "constitutionally responsible rulers, public ofEcials or private individuals,,
among possible agents (Article IV). In practice, most genocicle scl',olars
conrinue rcr
emphasize the role of the state, lvhile acceptir.rg that iir some cases as
. mited or - wirh settler
colorialism (Chapter 3) - r'ron-srare acrors may p1a.v a prominent and at times
- =istence." dominant role.4e
victims ale routineiy identified as stcial minorities. Ther.e is a u,idesprearl
assumption thrt victirns must be civilians or non-combarenrs: charny
..f"*n..,
their' "essential defencelessness," r,vhile others emphasize "one-sided mass
killing,,
ancl the destrucrion of "innocent and he1p1ess" ,,ictims (Midlarsky;
see also Dadria'n,
Horowitz, chalk and Jonassohr, and Fcin t1993]). I'terestingl however,
-:;: o.ry
poSltlonS, smelin's 2005 definition, and shaw's 2007 one, act,ally,,r.,i. *ord,,ci,ilian.',
.,.'.'. .\ccording The groups may be intelnally constituted ancl self-identified (that is, more
closely
approximating groups "as such," as required by the Genocide convention).
Fro
othel perspectives, however, rarger groups malr d musr be clefinecl by the
perpe_
-.: it enhances rrarors (e.g., chalk ancl Jonassohr, Katz).50 The debrte over political rarger
' ,:raining self-
groups
is reflected in Leo Kuper's commenrs. Kuper.gruclgi,rgly r...pt
the uN convention
-: -.1111' through definition, hLrt strongly regrets the exclusion of plitical g.olpr.
:: aomPromise, The goals of genocide ae held to be the destrucrion/eradication of the victim
.,re process of grolrp, rvhether this is defined in phvsical rerms or to include ,,cultural
genocicle,,
(see belorv). But beyond this, the element of motive
is 1ittle stressed. Lemkii squarely
desiglrated genocidal "objectives" as the "disintegration of the political
and social
.-nocide" wil1 institutions of culture, language, national feerings, religion, and the economic
..,r slack r.rsage existence of national groups." Bauer Iikervise emphasizes "denationalizatio,,;
Martin
'.:1usr. sofref Shaw, the desire to destroy a collective's (generallv a minoriq.t) social
power. Dadrian
:. .r tircus on the and Horowitz specii' tirat genocide targets gloups "wlrose ,rl,irn","
exterminatio is

,1
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

held to be desirable and useful," while Horowirz srresses the statet d.esire ,,to
assure
[sir] conformiry and participation of the citizenry.,,
As for scale, this ranges from steven Katzt targeting of a victim group .,in its
totality'' and smelint "total eradication," to phr"iing ,*.h "ir, *ol. o, prrt,,
(Harffl the uN convenrion, my modification of Katzt definition) and. ", ,,in
whol. or
in large parr" (\wallimann and Dobkowski). Irving Louis Horowitz emphasizes the
absolute dimension of "mass" murder "for which genocide i. ry.o^y-."51 some
s.cholars maintain a respectful silence on the issue, though,h." of mass or
"substantial" casualties seems implicit in the cases they sel..t "i.-..rt
the analyses they
develop. "nd

i$ BOX 1..2 A IFXfCON OF GENOCTDES AND RELATED MASS CRTMES

Groups targeted for genocide and related crimes sometimes develop terms jn their
local languages to denote and memorialize their experiences. The following is a
sample of this nomenclature.

churban - the "Great Catastrophe" - the yiddish term for the Holocausvshoah
(see below) of .Jews at Nazi hands.

Holocaust * Derived from the Greek word meaning a sacrificial offering completely
consumed by fire. ln modern usage, "holocaust" denotes great human destruction,
especially by fire. lt was deployed n contemporary media coverage of the ottoman
genocides of christian minorities from 1915-22 (see chaptei 4). Today, ,,the
Holocaust" (note: capital "H") is used forthe Nazis'attempted destruction of r.*,
during world war ll (Chapter 6; but see also shoah, below). The phrase ,,Nazi
H/holocaust" is also sometimes used to encompass both Jewish and non-iewish
victims of the Nazis (Box 6a). use may be made o[ "holocaust" (with a lower-case
"h")to describe "especially severe or destructive genocides" throughout history,
as
in my own framinq (see note, p. 12).

Holodomor - the ukrainian "famine-extermination" of 1932-33 at the hands of


stalin's soviet regime (Chapter 5); "a compound word combining the root holod
'hunger' with the verbal root mor 'extinguish, exterminate,,, (Lubomyr
Hajda,
Harvard University).

Itsembabwoko * used by Rwandans to describe the genocide of 1994(see Chapter


9) - Kinyarwanda, "from the verb 'gutsemba' - to exterminate, to massacre, and
'ubwoko' (ethnic group, clan)" (preventGenocide.org; see their very
useful resource
page, "The Word 'Genocide'Translated or Defined in g0 Languags,,, http://www.
preventgenocide.org/genocide/languages-printerfriendly.htm)" Rwandans
also use
jenosid, an adaption of the English/French ,,genocide/qnocide.,,

22
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

;s desire "to assure

rim group "in its


'in whole or part"
) and "in whole or
iz emphasizes the
r-nonym."51 Some
'lement of mass or
I the analyses they

\ss cRIMES

op terms in their
he following is a

HolocausVshoah

ffering completelY
uman destruction,
p of the Ottoman
r 4). Today, "the
estruction of Jews
The phrase "Nazi
h and non-Jewish
(wrth a lower-case
xrghout historY, as

13 at the hands of
ing the root holod
' (Lubomyr Hajda,

'1994 (see ChaPter


l, to
massacre, and
rery useful resource
ages," http:1/www.
Rwandans also use

23
THE ORIGlNS OF CENOCIDE

national (racial, ethnic) culture and religious life with the intent of 'denationa-
lization"'; ar.rd "prevention of normal familylife, with the same inrenr" (Bauer). Helen
Fein's earlier definition emphasizes "breaking the linkage benveen reproduction and
socialization of children in the family or group of origir.r," which caries a srep further
the Convention's injunction against "prevenring births within the group."
Regardless of the strategy chosen, a consensLls exists that genocide is "committed
with intent to destroy' (UN Convention), is "structural and systematic" (Horowitz),
"deliberate [and] organized" (Wallimann and Dobkowski), "sustained" (Harff),
and "a series of purposeful actions" (Fein; see also Thornpson and Quets). Portel and
Horowitz stress the additional role if the state bureaucracy.
There is somedring of a consensus that group "destruction" must involve physical
liquidation, generally in the form of mass killing
(see, e.g., Fein [1993], Charn1.,
Horo-nvitz, Katz/Jones, Bloxham). In Peter f)rost's l959 view, genocide was "collective
homicide and not ofEcial vandalism or violation of civil liberties. . . . It is directed
against the life of man and not against his material or mental goods."52This is central
to my own framing of genocide.
My definition of genocide, cited abor.e, alters only slightly that of Steven Katz as
published in his 1994 volume, The Holocaust in Hisrorical Context, Vol. 1.53 Katz
stresses physical (and mass) killing as the core element of genocide, as do L Like him.
I plefer to incorporate a much wider range of targeted groups under the genocide
rubric, as well as an acceptance of diverse genocidal agents and strategies.IJnlikeKatz.
I adopt a broader rather than narrower construction ofgenocidal intent (see furrher
beloiv). I also question Katz's requirement of the actual or attempted totltlextetmi-
nation ola group, substituting a phrasing of "in rnhole or in part," following in thrs
respect the UN Convention's definition.
In my origilral (2000) reworking of Katz's definition, reproduced in this books fir's
edition, nry alteration read "in whole or in substantial part." This was an atrempt to
emphasize that large numbers (either in absolute numbers or as a proportion of the
targeted group) needed to be attacked in order for the powerful term "genocide" to
take precedence over, for example, "homicide" or "mass killing." However, on recon-
sideration, this was to view genocide from the perspective of its elite planners and
directors. What of those who kill at the grassroots, and perhaps murde "only'' one
ol several individuals? From this perspecrive, there is somerhing to commend former
UN Secletary-General Kofi Annan's evocative declaration, in his Nobel Peace Prize
acceptance speech in 200 1, that "a genocide begins with the killing of one rnan -
not for what he has done, but because ofwho he is. . . . '7hat begins with the faiiure
to uphold the dignity of one life, all too often ends rvith a calamity for entire
nations."54 Moreovel, legal scholars including\illiam Schabas and Chile Eboe-Osuji
have cautioned against unnecessarily restlicting the application of a genocide
framework to "substantial" killing. In Eboe-Osuji's eloquent analysis of the UN
definition:

the theory of readingiz the rvord "substantial" to the phrase "in part" is clearlv
hazardous to the preventive pu.rpose of tl're Genocide Convention, while alguabh'
not enhancing its pr-rnitive purpose. It does not enhance the punitive purpose
since it will be harder to convict any single accused of the crime of genocide.
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

--: denationa- Not only wili it be moe difficult to show that the accused intended to destroy a
3;uer). Helen substantial part ofthe group, but it arguably needs to be shown that the accused
:r.duction and was in a position ro desrroy the subsrantiar part of a protected group. . . .
: :. steP further The 'tubstantial" part theory is, worse still, hazaidou, to th. preventire puipor..
-'r ' For in the throes of an unfolding apparenr genocide, it wili, in most cases, be
-.
"committed difficuit to ascertain the state of mind of the perpetrarors and planners in order
:' Horowitz), to establish whether or not they harbour joint or several ir-ri.rrt to destroy a
::.ed" (Harff), "substanrial" part of the group. The longer the delay in establishing
whether or not
.:. . Porter and the perpetrators and planners harboued that intent, the longer lt wlll take for the
international community to reacr and intervene with the level of urgency and
:-. olr-e physical action required.5t
r9-31, Charny,
.-".. as "coliective Eboe-osuji's framing allows us to bring into the ambit of "genocid.e" such cases as
. Ir is directecl exterminations of indigenous people which, in their dimension of diect killing, are
: This is central often composed of a large number of relatively small massacres, not necessarily
centrally diected, and generally separated from each other spatially and temporalli.
: Katz A final example of its utility is the case of the lynching ofAfricanAmericans, diicussed
Ster-en as
'. Karz
1.53 in Chapter 13. If there is a case to be made that such murders were and are genocid.al,
:o"bl.
I. Like him, then we must reckon with a campaign in which usualiy "only'' one or t*o people *.re
.: the genocide killed at a rime.
,',.. Ur-r1ike Katz, In the cases of both colonial exrerminations and iynching, however, what does
;:ir- (see further appear to lifr the phenomena into the realm of genocide, apart from genocidal intent
:- :otal extermi- (see below), is the fact that the local-level killing occurred as
part ola',wid.espread
-.-lot'ing in this or sysrematic" campaign against the groups in question * to borrow an i-portant
phrase from the legal language of crimes against humanity (see pp. 538-4ti. vhat
-.:his books first united the killers was a racial-culturai animus and sense of superiorit in which
:s an attempt to individual actors were almost certainly and always aware rhat their actions were
:-.portion of the taken to bolster and "defend" the wider perperraror group. Demonstrating such a
:: "qenocide" to consciousness is not a requirement for a legal finding of genocide, as it appears to
,,.3\ er, on fecon- be for the findings of crimes against humanity. Nonethelesl in practice, it seems
that
::: planners and acts of murder are unlikely to be defined as genocidal *heih.. in law or in the
-
-:der "only'' one wider scholarship on the subject - unless they are empirically part of a 'widespread.
--nmend former or systematic" campaign. The reader should be aware thar this requirem.rrt, ,r.rrpok..,
:'bel Peace Prize hereafte guides the analysis ofgenocide offered in this book, ,h. ,"rrg. oi."r.,
r ol one man - presented to illustrate it. ".rd
, ''i.irh the failure The reader should keep in mind throughout, however, rhar there is just one
,niw for entire internationaiJegal definition ofgenocide.'7hen I rouch on legal aspects ofgenocide,
-iile Eboe-Osuji I highlight rhe uN convention definition; but I deploy it ot.r legal"framings
: oi a genocide "nd
instrumentally, not dogmatically. I seek to convey an undersranding of genocide In
..'. sis of the UN which international law is a vital but not a dominant consideratiorr. In part, this is
because at the level ofinternational law, genocide is perhaps being displaced
by the
framing of "crimes against humaniry" which is easier io p.or..ur. ,-rrd i-por.,
:- part" is clearlr'
-u.h
the same punishments as for genocide convicrions. The esult may be that:,genocide,,,
:.. .i'hile arguabir- in the coming years and decades, will prove more significant as ltn intellectua/ and
:unitive purpose scholarlt framework (a heuristic device, for the jargon-incrined), and as a tool
of
-:re of genocide. aduocacy and mobilization.I rettrn to this argument in Chapter 16.

-
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

BOX 1,3 THE OTHER "-CIDES" OF GENOCIDE

The literature on genocide and mass violence has given rise to a host of terms derived
from Raphael Lemkin's original "genocide." A sampling follows.

Classicide. Term coined by Michael Mann to refer to "the intended mass killing of
entire social classes." Examples: The destruction of the "kulaks" in Stalin's USSR
(Chapter 5); Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge (Chapter 7). Source: Michael Mann,
The Dark Side of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Democide. Term invented by R.J. Rummel to encompass "the murder of any person
or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder."
Examples: Rummel particularly emphasizes the "megamurders" of twentieth-ceniury
totalitarian regimes. Source: R..J. Rummel, Death by Government (Transaction
Publishers, 1997).

Ecocide. The wilf ul destruction of the natural environment and ecosystems, through
(a) pollution and other forms of environmental degradation and (b) military efforts
to undermine a population's sustainability and means of subsistence . Examples.
Deforestation in the Amazon and elsewhere; US use of Agent Oranqe and other
defoliants in the Vietnam War (see p. 76); Saddam Hussein's campaign against
the Marsh Arabs in lraq (see Figure 1.3).s6 Source: Jared Diamon d, Collapse: How
Societes Choose to Fail or Succeed (Viking, 2004).

Eliticide The destruction of members of the socioeconomic elite of a targeted group


- political leaders, military officers, businesspeople, religious leaders, and cultural/
intellectual figures. (n.b. Sometimes spelled "elitocide.") Examples; poland under
Nazi rule (1939-45); Burundi (1972); Bosnia-Herzegovina in the ,l990s. Source:
"Eliticide," in Samuel Totten, Paul R. Bartrop, and Steven L. Jacobs, Dictionary of
Genocide, Vol. 1 (Greenwood Press, 2007), pp. 129*30.

Ethnocide. Term origlnally coined by Raphael Lemkin as a synonymfor genocide;


subsequently employed (notably by the French ethnologist Robert Jaulin) to describe
patterns of cultural genocide, i.e., the destruction of a group's cultural, Iinguistic,
and existential underpinnings, without necessarily killing members of the group.
Examples: The term has been used mostly with reference to indigenous peoples
(Chapter 3, Box 5a.1), to emphasize that their "destruction" as a group involves
more than simply the murder of group members. Source: Robert Jaulin, La paix
blanche: lntroduction l'ethnocide ("White Peace: lntroduction to Ethnocide")(Seuil,
1970).

The uN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) declares (Article g):
"lndigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced

26
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

'. derived

.rrlling of
-'s USSR
,a: N4ann,

^,/ pefSOn

-urder. "
- - -century

.rsaction

. ihrough
''i eff orts
'
- <amples:
Figure 1 .3 Two members of rhe Madan communiry in southern Iraq, known as rhe "Marsh Arabs,"
.1d other pole along awatelway in a traditional rushoof 6oat. The marshes and their population were vjewecl
r- against as sulversivc edoubts by the Saddam Hussein dictatorship, rvhich waged a campaign of"ecocide"

.cse: HOw against the Madan in the 1990s, draining the marshes and tr:rning much of the clelicate ecos)srem
into desert. The recovery ofthe rvetlands has been one ofthe ferv bright spots ofthe posr-2003
periocl in Iraq, but only irbout 20,000 Madan remain of an original population of some half a
million.
: -3d group Soaru: Hassan JanalilUS Army Corps of Engineers/\X/ikimedia Commons.
'r cultural/
.rd under
,.. Source: assimilation or destruction of their culture," and instructs states to "provide effective
-:onary of mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for . . . any action which has the aim or
effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural
values or ethnic identities . . . "s7
' ;enocide;
-. describe Femicide/Feminicide The systernatic murder of females for being female.
ing u istic, Examples: Female infanticide; killings in Ciudad )urez, Mexico, in the ,1990s and
.^e group. 2000s; the cole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal (1989). (See also Gendercide.)
-,s peoples Source. Diana E.H. Russell and Roberta A. Harmes, eds, Femicide in Global
-c involves Perspective (Teachers College Press, 2001 ).
t, La paix
:e " ) (seuil, Fratricide. Term coined by Michael Mann to describe the killing of factional enemies
withrn political (notably communist) movements. Examples: Stalin's USSR (Chapter
5); Mao's China (Chapter 5); the Khmer Rouge (Chapter 7). Source: l\4ichael Mann,
. Article B): The Dark Side of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
,: to forced
THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE

Gendercide. The selective destruction of the male or female component of a group,


or of dissident sexual minorittes (e.9., homosexuals, transvestites). Term originally
coined by Mary Anne Warren in 1985. Examples: Female infanticide; gender-selective
massacres of males (e.9., Srebrenica, Bosnta in 1995) (see Chapter 13). Source: Adam
Jones, ed., Genderctde and Genocide (Vanderbilt University Press, 2004).

Judeocide The Nazi exterminatron of European Jews. Term coined by Arno Mayer
to avoid the sacrificial connotations of "Holocaust" (see also Shoah). Example.fhe
Jewish Holocausf (1941-45). Source: Arno J Mayer, "Memory and History: On the
Poverty of Remembering and Forgetting the Judeocide," Radical History Review,56
(1 ee3).

Linguicide. The destruction and displacement of languages. Examples:The forcible


supplanting of indigenous tongues as part of a wider ethnocidal campaign (see
"Ethnocide," above); Turkish bans on the Kurdish language in education and the
media (repealed in 2009).sB Source:Steven L Jacobs, "Language Death and Revival
after Cultural Destructron: Reflections on a Little Discussed Aspect of Genocide,"
Journal of Genocide Research, T: 3 (2005).

Memoricide. The destruction "not only of those deemed undesirable on the


territory to be'purified,' but... [of] any trace that might recall thetr erstwhile
presence (schools, religious buildings and so on)" (Jacques 5melin). Term coined
by Croatian doctor and scholar Mirko D. Grmek during the siege of Sarajevo
Examples. lsrael in Palestine;5e Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s. Source: Edgardo
Crvallero, "'When Memory Turns into Ashes'... Memoricide During the XX
Century," lnformation for Social Change,25 (Summer 2007).

Omnicide. "The death of al{": the blanket destruction of humanity and other life
forms by weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons. Term corned by
John Somerville. Examples: None as yet, fortunately. Source: lohn Somerville,
"Nuclear'War' is Omnicide," Peace Research, Aprrl 1982

Politicide. Barbra Harff and Ted Gurr's term for mass killing according to political
affiliation, whether actual or imputed. Examples: Harff and Gurr consider "revo-
lutionary one-party states" to be the most common perpetrators of genocide. The
term may also be applied to the mass killings of alleged "communists" and
"subversrves" in, e.9., Latin America during the 1970s and'l 9B0s.Source.'Barbara
Harff, "No Lessons Learned from the Holocaust? Assessing Risks of Genocide and
,1955,"
Political Mass Murdersince American Political Science Review,gl .l (2003).

Poorcide. Coined by S.P. Udayakumar in 1995 to describe "the genocide of the


poor" through structural poverty. Example. North-South economic relations. Source;
S.P. Udayakumar, "The Futures of the Poor," Futures,2l:3 (1995).
THE OR]G NS OF GENOCIDE

: group, urbicide. The obliteration of urban living-space as a means of destroying the viability
-' ginally of an urban environment, undermining the sustainability of its population and
-.:lective eroding the cosmopolitan values they espouse. The term was apparently coined by
::: Adam l\4arshall Berman in 1987 in reference to the blighted Bronx borough in New york;
it was popularized by former Belgrade mayor Bogdan Bogdanovic and a circle of
Bosnian architects to describe the Serb siege of sarajevo (1992-95). Examples:
.r Mayer Carthage (1a6 BCE); Stalingrad (9a2); Sarajevo (1992-95), Gaza (2OOB-09). Source:
-cle: The Martin Coward, Urbicide: The Politics of tJrban Destruction (Routledqe, 2OOB)
, On the
..iew,56

: iorcible !,/HAT IS DESTROYED IN GENOCIDE?


, gn (see
- and the Many framers of genocide have emphasized physical killing as primary in the
-
Revival equation - perhaps essential. For othels, however - including Raphael Lemkin, and
" to an extent the drafters of the UN Genocide Convention - physical and mass killing
=-ocide,
is just one ofa range ofgenocidal strategies. These observers stress the destruction
of the group as a sociocubural unit, not necessarily or primarily the physical anni-
::onthe hilation of its members. This question - what, precisel is destroyed in genocide?
:rstwhile - has sparked one of genocide studies' most fertile lines of inquiry. It is closely
' coined connected to sociologist Martin Shaw, who in his 2007 What Is Genocide? called for
>arajevo. a greater emphasis on the social destuction of groups. For Shaw,
Edgardo
I rhe xx Because growps are social constructions, they can be neither constituted nor destrq/ed
simply through the bodie of their incliuidual members. Destroying groups musr
involve a lot more than simply killing, although killing and other physicai harm
: other life are rightly considered important to it. The discussion of group "destruction" is
coined by obliged, then, to take seriously Lemkins "large view of this concept," discarded
iomerville, in genocidet reduction to body counts, which centred on social destruction. . . .
The aim of "destroying" social groups is not reduced to killing their individual
members, but is r-rnderstood as destroying groups' social power in economic,
:o political political and cultural senses. . . . [Genocide) inuolues mass ki/ling but. . . is much
ler "revo- more thdn mass killing.6o
':cide. The
^ sts" and Daniel Feierstein, and the emerging Argentine "school" of genocide studies, have
::: Barbara likewise stressed the destruction of social power and existential identi4t as rhe essence
-ccide and of genocide. Fo Feierstein, the "connecting thread" among cases of genocide is "a
- 1 (2003) technology ofpower based on the 'denial ofothers,' their physical disappearance (their
bodies) and their symbolic disappearance (the memory of their existence)." The partial
: de of the (physical) eiimination of the victim group "is intended to have a profound efTect on
:^s. Source: the survivors: it aims to sup?ress their identi4r by destroying the network of social relations
that makes identity possible at all . . . The main objective of genocidal destruction is
the transformation of the victims into 'nothing'and the survivors into'nobodies,"'that
is, their social death (see further discussion of this theme on pp. i 19_20).61