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systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group
The duty of the survivor is to bear testimony to what happened . . . You have to warn people that these things can happen, that evil can be unleashed. Race hatred, violence, idolatries—they still flourish.
~ Elie Wiesel

Genocide is the systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a linguistic, ethnic, religious or national group. Well-known examples of genocide include the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the Bosnian genocide, and the Rwandan genocide of 1994.


  • Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to denounce atrocities. Our government has failed to take forceful measures to protect its citizens while at the same time bending over backwards to placate the West Pak[istan] dominated government and to lessen any deservedly negative international public relations impact against them. Our government has evidenced what many will consider moral bankruptcy,(...) But we have chosen not to intervene, even morally, on the grounds that the Awami conflict, in which unfortunately the overworked term genocide is applicable, is purely an internal matter of a sovereign state. Private Americans have expressed disgust. We, as professional civil servants, express our dissent with current policy and fervently hope that our true and lasting interests here can be defined and our policies redirected.
  • It is a failure not only for the United Nations; it is a failure for the international community. And all of us are responsible for this failure ... it is a genocide which has been committed. More than 200,000 people have been killed and the international community is still discussing what ought to be done.
  • How could so many reputable and responsible churchmen have lent their support, even if only passively, to the perpetration of such crimes as genocide? What fever seized so many millions of German Christians, both Evangelical [Lutheran] and Catholic, in those few short years of Nazi tyranny? ... The Church was unprepared and totally unsuited to cope with the situation.
    • J. S. Conway, Canadian historian, raised this question in his book The Nazi Persecution of the Churches 1933-1945.
  • How could I deny the power of evil when I see what is occurring and what has occurred since I was born: The second world war, with over 40 million victims; Auschwitz and the death camps; the genocide in Cambodia; the bloody tyranny of the Ceauşescu regime; torture as a system of government in many places throughout the world. The list of horrors is endless. . . . So I believe that we are justified in calling such acts ‘diabolic,’ not that they are inspired by a Devil with horns and cloven feet but by a Devil that is the symbol of the spirit and power of evil operating in the world.
    • Jean Delumeau, historian, replied when asked if he believed in the Devil, cited in The Watchtower magazine, 2002, 10/15.
  • We would be deceiving both ourselves and the people if we concealed from the masses the necessity of a desperate, bloody war of extermination, as the immediate task of the coming revolutionary action.
    • Vladimir Lenin, “Lessons of the Moscow Uprising,” Proletary, No. 2, August 29, 1906. Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Vol. 11, pp. 171-178 [1]
  • Overt debates about genocide have been relatively slow in developing, in part because of the creation of a TRC, mandated with collecting the ‘truth’ about the IRS system while similarly engaging in ‘reconciliation’ (a contested term) with settler Canadians. While Canada's history wars may seem slow in getting off the ground, the TRC's more ‘balanced’ approach and wide-ranging engagement with non-Aboriginal societal actors may have a greater effect in stimulating national awareness than in the United States and Australia.
  • It is called a genocide. That's what it was... No other way to describe it and that's the way it needs to be described in the history books. And so I'm here to say the following: I'm sorry on behalf of the state of California... It's humbling for me, having believed I was educated, to have been so ignorant of our past, to have been so unaware of how ashamed I should be, as a Californian, 5th generation... I'm sorry that we've had generations of your kids and grandkids, your ancestors, that have had to suffer through indignities, lack of capacity, empathy and understanding...
  • All the members of the church who have sinned during the genocide must have the courage to bear the consequences of the deeds that they have committed.
    • John Paul II, in a letter addressed to church leaders, civil authorities, and the population of Rwanda. Cited in Awake! magazine, 1997, 2/8.
  • In the European century that began in the 1840s from Engels's article of 1849 down to the death of Hitler, everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist, and no exception has been found.
    • George Watson, The Lost Literature of Socialism, Cambridge: England, The Lutterworth Press (1998) p. 80

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