Genocide Essay, Research Paper
After Rodney King was beaten, and the white police officers were
aquitted, he said “Why can’t we all just get along?” A question asked by many
people. Rascist and Genocidal acts such as this have been going on for many
years, and should not be tolerated.
In international law, the crime of destroying, or committing conspiracy
to destroy, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group is known as Genocide.
It was defined in the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9,
The crime of Genocide has been committed or attempted many times in
recorded history. The best known example in this century was the attempt by Nazi
Germany during the 1930’s and 1940’s to destroy the Jewish population of Europe,
known as the Holocaust. By the end of World War II, 6 million Jews had been
killed in Nazi concentration camps.
The known objective of the Nazi rule was Jewish extinction. In November
1938, shortly after the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a young
Jew, all synagogues in Germany were set on fire, windows of Jewish shops were
smashed, and thousands of Jews were arrested. This “Night of Broken Glass”
(Kristallnacht) was a signal to Jews in Germany and Austria to leave as soon as
possible. Several hundred thousand people were able to find refuge in other
countries, but a nearly equal number, including many who were old or poor,
stayed to face an uncertain destiny.
When war began in September 1939, the German army occupied the western
half of Poland and added almost 2 million Jews to the German power sphere.
Limitations placed on Polish Jewry were much worse than those in Germany. The
Polish Jews were forced to move into ghettos surrounded by walls and barbed wire.
The ghettos were like jailed cities. Each ghetto had a Jewish council that was
responsible for housing, sanitation, and production. Food and coal were to be
shipped in and manufactured products were to be sent out for German use. The
food supply allowed by the Germans was mainly made up of grains and vegetables,
such as turnips, carrots, and beets. In the Warsaw ghetto, the amount of food
given provided barely 1200 calories to each inmate. Some black market food,
smuggled into the ghettos, was sold at a very high price, and unemployment and
poverty were common. The population was large, and the amount of people reached
six or seven persons in a room. Typhus became common, and the death rate rose
to roughly 1 percent a month.
At the time of ghettoization in Poland, a project was launched farther
in the east. In June 1941, German armies invaded the Soviet Union, and at the
same time an agency of the Soviet Socialists, the Reich Security Main Office,
dispatched 3000 men in special units to newly occupied Soviet territories to
kill all Jews on the spot. These mobile detachments, known as “Einsatzgruppen”,
or “Action Squads”, were soon engaged in nonstop shootings. The massacres
usually took place in ditches or ravines near cities and towns. Occasionally,
they were witnessed by soldiers or local residents. Before long, rumors of the
killings were heard in several capitals of the world.
Camps equipped with facilities for gassing people were being created on
the soil of occupied Poland. Most prospective victims were being created on the
soil of occupied Poland. Most prospective victims were to be deported to these
killing centres from ghettos nearby. From the Warsaw ghetto alone, more than
300,000 were removed. The first transports were usually filled with women,
children, or older men, who could not work for the Germans. Jews capable of
labor were being held for work in shops or plants, but they too were to be
killed in the end. The heaviest deportations occurred in the summer and fall of
1942. The destinations of the transports were not known to the Jewish
communities, but reports of mass deaths eventually reached the surviving Jews,
as well as the governments of the United States and Great Britain. In April
1943, the 65,000 remaining Jews of Warsaw put up a fight against German police
who entered the ghetto in a final roundup. The battle was fought for three
The death camps in Poland were Kulmhof, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka,
Lubin, and Auschwitz, Kulmhof was supplied with gas vans, and it’s death toll
was 150,000. Belzec had carbon monoxide gas chambers in which 600,000 Jews were
killed. Sobibor’s gas chambers accounted for 250,000 dead, and Treblinka’s for
700,000 to 800,000. At Lubin some 50,000 were gassed or shot. In Auschwitz,
the Jewish death count was more than 1 million.
Auschwitz, near Krak?w, was the largest death camp. Unlike the others,
it utilized quick-working hydrogen cyanide for the gassings. The victims of
the Auschwitz came from all Europe: Norway, France, Italy, Germany,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Greece. A large inmate
population, Jewish and non-Jewish, was employed by industry. Some prisoners
were subjected to medical experiments, particularly sterilizations. Although
only Jews and Gypsies were gassed routinely, several hundred thousand other
Aushwitz inmates died from starvation, disease, or shooting. To erase the
traces of destruction, large crematories were constructed so that the bodies of
the gassed could be burned. In 1944 the camp was photographed by Allied
reconnaissance aircraft in search of industrial targets. It’s factories, but
not it’s gas chambers, were bombed.
When the war ended, the Jewish dead in the Holocaust were more than 5
million: about 3 million in killing centers and other camps, 1.4 million in
shooting operations, and more than 600,000 in ghettos.
The most common form of discrimination in the U.S. has been racial
discrimination. The U.S. Constitution recognized the legality of slavery, the
ultimate for of discrimination. The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the
constitutional amendments that followed the American Civil War changed the legal
status of black people, but a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions struck down
federal statutes designed to enforce the amendments. The most important of
these decisions declared unconstitutional a law that outlawed racial
discrimination by private citizens. For decades after the era of Reconstruction,
the absence of adequate federal laws permitted discrimination against blacks in
employment and housing, in public accommodations, in the judicial system, and in
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed racial discrimination in most
hotels, restaurants, and other public facilities; prohibited private employers
and unions from practicing discrimination; and banned registrars from applying
different standards to white and black voting applicants, a provision that was
strengthened by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its later amendments. The 1964
law also authorized the U.S. attorney general to file an action when a “pattern
or practice” of widespread discrimination was found. Federal financial aid
could then be withdrawn from programs in which racial discrimination persisted.