Throughout the course of human history, we as a people have displayed courage, compassion and unity which shows the capacity for good that humanity can accomplish. We have also displayed a lack of humanity that shows our capacity for hatred and ignorance. Unfortunately, genocide is a real part of our history and is still occurring in a world that should not allow this type of atrocity to happen. There are four events in our history where a mass murder of a people happened and although it is in our human nature to label these murders as genocide, I will explain why I think only some of these events can be called genocide.
During the times of exploration of our world, travelers from faraway places such as Spain, Portugal and the rest of Europe ventured into the New World. It was a New World to them but not to the indigenous people. The Indians have settled these lands for centuries and were curious about these newcomers. Eventually, due to colonization and expansion, most of these Indians were wiped out. I believe that this was not an example of genocide. While these travelers did murder many indigenous people, it was not the intent of all the travelers to deliberately wipe out all the Indians.
It got to the point where mass murders of tribes occurred but it was done to satiate the greed that these explorers had when they found vast spaces of land where they could settle and where Indians had been living. There was some effort to have good relations with Indians but in the end, it was basically mass numbers of colonists migrating to America and not enough space which unfortunately did not bode well for the Indians. One event which does fit the description of genocide was the mass murder of Jews in World War II. Adolf Hitler was the absolute dictator of Germany during World War II.
He had the vision of an Aryan race which believed in racial hygiene in which only white people deserved to live. During the Holocaust, 11-14 million people were killed including 6 million Jews in concentration camps like Auschwitz. Adolf Hitler has been recorded saying “We shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jews”. Many people were murdered along with gypsies, gays and homosexuals, the physically handicapped and mentally retarded. Although there are no specific orders from Hitler regarding this “final solution”, many of his officers have tated that he knew and approved many of the killings. This was a deliberate extermination of a group of people and was carefully planned by the Third Reich. Death camps, gas chambers and killing squads were carefully planned by Hitler and his officers. During the Crusades, another mass murder of a people also occurred involving much of the Latin Christian Europe and the Muslims. The Holy Land is significant in Christianity because it represents the place of birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
In the 7th century, Palestine was conquered by the Arabs resulting in the long term Muslim presence in the Holy Land. The Crusades’ goal which included the retaking of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims resulted in campaigns of war resulting in the death of many Muslims. While this did result in the deliberate extermination of the Muslims, the reason why it was fought was to retake the Holy Land from the Muslims. Many of the Crusaders were given promises by the Pope regarding “remission of sin” which gave the Crusades the overwhelming support it needed from the public.
This event happened due to a group of people wanting to regain a place of importance regarding their religion and not to solely exterminate the Muslims. The last event was the genocide in Sudan during the 1990’s. During the Second Sudanese Civil War, roughly 2 million civilians were killed and 4 million were displaced from their homes. Fought between the southern, non-Arab population and the northern, Arab-dominated government, the intent to make Sudan an Islam nation created a civil war.
Most constitutionally granted rights were suspended and the struggle between the Sudan government and rebel groups took a heavy toll on the Sudanese people. The Sudan government under the Sudan Peace Act was accused by the U. S of genocide, slavery and mass murder of its citizens. This conflict had an ongoing effect and is still going on in Darfur where the Islamic Janjaweed are exterminating the non-Arab Sudanese people village by village and displacing the survivors. Genocide should not be occurring in the world today.
Unfortunately, it is a part of our history. Conflicts stem from our differences as a people but casualties of war is different from genocide. It is hard to discern which event is considered genocide over another since all of us automatically think that way when a mass number of people are murdered. Take the reason why these murders happened and you can differentiate genocide from plain murder. Adolf Hitler wanted to kill all the Jews because they are not what he envisioned for his Third Reich and he deliberately planned for it with a whole country backing him.
The Islamic Sudan government wants to murder or displace all non-Arab Sudanese because they are not Muslim. On the other hand, the Crusaders wanted the Holy Land back and waged a holy war against the Muslims who occupied it at the time; I don’t think they would have continued murdering Muslims if they have already driven them out. Same with the explorers and colonists in America, they simply wanted the land for themselves but the Indians happened to be living in it (unfortunately)