Genocide, for those who might not know, is something that many have faced time and time again in this world. It is a lot more common than you might think although it is not always recognized.
Genocide by definition is ‘the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.’ For example, the Holocaust is considered genocide. While we do hear about several cases of genocide from the past as we grow up a lot of them go basically unrecognized. You don’t hear about them and people never even realize they happened until they come across articles like this one.
Below I am going to go over some of the most horrific genocides of the past. These are things that we do not need to forget. Through forgetting the past we damn the future.
Please keep in mind while this list names off some of the worst genocides it does not list them all. If you want to learn more about the past of this planet please do some research of your own. Humanity truly does love attacking its own kind. They are also not in any specific order.
As a result of Stalin’s policies, the Great Famine Holodomor occurred from 1932 to 1933. Around six to eight million people are said to have died during this time and most were Ukraninan. This famine was a direct assault on the Ukranian peasantry that had been resisting.
The rural population, in the end, was left with little to no food to feed themselves and were starving to death. There was a smaller harvest which set the location back a bit but it should not have been to this extent. Soviet authorities had set requisition quotes much higher than realistically possible and many searched homes taking what little food was found.
While this occurred back in the 1930s it was not recognized until the late 80s. Soviet authorities denied the existence of the famine while it occurred and after it had ended. They showed no remorse.
This genocide consisted of the slaughtering of millions of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. It happened years and years ago back in 1915 and ended in the 20s. Somewhere between 600 thousand and 1.5 million people had been murdered and many more were removed from the country against their will. The Turkish government even now does not acknowledge the huge scale of these events.
This all occurred because it seems the Turks (who were Muslim) began to think that the Christian Armenians would be more loyal to Christian governments than they were to the Ottoman caliphate. This as the Ottoman empire was crumbling made for a deadly mix. Could you imagine?
This one consisted of the mass murder of around 6 million European Jews carried out by the German Nazi regime during the Second World War. While under the reign of Adolf Hitler things could not get much worse. He saw the Jews as inferior and in order to make Germany purer, he began sending them off to meet their deaths. They were forced to live in concentration camps while waiting to be gassed to death or worse.
They were not treated as people and abused by just about all who encountered them in those camps. They were given little food and forced to deal with lots of health issues. This horrific reign leaves wounds in many even now and survivors struggled with even returning home after what they had gone through.
The Cambodian genocide is like no other. During this time back in the mid-70s a Communist group known as Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot seized control of Cambodia. During this time he renamed it and forced his policies on the people who lived there. These policies were guided by his belief that the citizens of Cambodia had been tainted by the outside world and its ideas.
He began persecuting the educated and targeted those who were Christian, Buddhist, or Muslim. Basically, he attacked anyone who did not fit into his competition free society. He began placing locals in collective living arrangements and dividing them into categories. Over the course of about four years, he killed more than 1.7 million people through many different means.
Despite all that, many believe that this situation does not qualify as genocide. What do you think? I for one think it needs some recognition.
This one is much fresher and should still be on our minds but most people don’t even know about it. The Rwandan genocide occurred in 1994. During this time members of the Hutu ethnic minority in the east-central African nation of Rwanda murdered around 800 thousand people. Most of these people were of the Tutsi minority.
This began with Hutu nationalists and quickly spread throughout the country itself. While this only lasted about three months it was devastating. Ordinary civilians were even during this time called out over the radio and urged to begin killing their neighbors.
Image via Peter Bregg Photography