The UN Genocide Charter and Auschwitz

The two readings we had assigned this evening, The UN Charter on Genocide and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz both discuss genocide, but approach the topic in very different ways. One can safely assume that those who wrote up the charter did not experience the atrocities of a concentration camp, and are outsiders looking in. Levi, on the other hand, speaks with the voice of a survivor. He knows what it means to survive Auschwitz, and thus, mass genocide.… Read the rest here

Prevention of Genocide and Surviving Auschwitz

The United Nations is a organization of worldly governments established to promote co-operation amongst various groups. Created in 1945, following the Second World War, its main purpose was to prevent another one from happening. On December 9, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The various articles in the document serve to established guidelines for governments to follow, ensuring that these mass destructions won’t happen, or are stopped in the right amount of time.… Read the rest here

Technology and Instincts: Modernizing Genocide

The Holocaust may not have been an unpredictable genocide in regards to the potential extremes of human nature, but when compared to other large scale pogroms it remains an anomaly through its modernized nature. The Holocaust does not elicit the usual genocidal imagery often characterized by a type of primitiveness and chaos, but is marked by a bureaucratic industrial system in which the organization of upscaled executions became reminiscent of a pragmatically scheduled business model. How should we expect our ethical values to progress relative to industry?… Read the rest here

Understanding Bauman’s “Civilized Nazis” Theory in the Context of Modernity

In the introduction to his most famous work, Modernity and the Holocaust, Zygmunt Bauman argues from a sociological perspective that the genocide of non-Aryans by the Nazis in an effort of ethical cleansing can only be strictly understood in the context of a modern and civilized society. His view is quite radical, especially to those raised in the West who have been ingrained with the ideology that developed cultures exclude those that practice all forms of brutal savagery, particularly a Holocaust.… Read the rest here

Convention on Genocide

3 Points

1) The Convention’s definition of genocide encompasses a much broader array of offenses than I had considered. In addition to “killing members of the group,” genocide includes the forced relocation of children and the prevention of reproduction.
2) Accused parties could be charged with a number of punishable acts, including “conspiracy to commit genocide” and “complicity in genocide.” They should be judged by those with authority in the state in which the crimes were committed.… Read the rest here

Genocide: Definitely Not Allowed

Interesting Points:

– The definition of Genocide is all encompassing. Even if there are just nine or ten people in a religious cult the conspiracy to wipe them out would be defined as Genocide. I guess I find it interesting that this term doesn’t just apply to large numbers of people – it has to do with any sized group.

– If it is possible, the offenders will be tried in a state judicial system, instead of an international war crimes tribunal.… Read the rest here