Genocide list

Village destroyed in DarfurThis is the beginnings of a list of genocides, lest we forget. It aims to be more concise than this list on Wikipedia, and to reiterate it. So long as we remain at war with our own history, as many Turks (for example) seem to be at present, we have little chance of avoiding repeating past errors.

I will probably confine this list to the last 150 years.

Another such list, by the Peace Pledge Union, may be found on their excellent site.

What is genocide? Well, my working definition will be “the deliberate and systematic murder of a large number of civilians”. I recognise that there may in certain contexts be virtue to more nuanced definitions, and this working definition may change as I proceed.

Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines it as:

Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [or] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Note that this definition of genocide, then, covers not just the outright murder of groups of people, but also the more cunning and nasty ways of dealing with them that have evolved, probably in response to the rather unfortunate publicity that attends the more old-fashioned form of genocide. It’s not so easy to kill people en masse any more, draws bad press, so better to destroy their means of earning a living, or force them to move away from it, or deploy the other weapons of corporate-legal mass destruction evolved for this purpose.

It’s worth noting the links between colonialism and genocide, as George Monbiot explains:

In his book Exterminate All the Brutes, Sven Lindqvist shows how the ideology that led to Hitler’s war and the Holocaust was developed by the colonial powers. Imperialism required an exculpatory myth. It was supplied, primarily, by British theorists.

At present, I plan to write about these genocides; more will probably be added to the list:

  • Congo Free State
  • Armenian (two genocides)
  • Biafra
  • Bosnia
  • Cambodia
  • Darfur (ongoing)
  • East Timor
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • The Holocaust
  • Namibia
  • Rwanda
  • The Serbian genocide
  • The Ukraine

44 Responses to Genocide list

  1. hoh says:

    pls include the hundred of thousands of women killed by drowning/burning torture in the middle ages[?] onward in the name of religion – accused of being witches – many were the healers/herbalists of their time. i was told that these events are still in the collective psyche of women. the fear/terror of being brutalised.

    • peppers says:

      with you on this… there are many many more like this all over the world. Makes me wonder some times are we really that different than animals? maybe just a few steps ahead… certainly now as evolved as we would like to think.

    • lauren says:

      Is this a form of genocide ? I did not know this. I am learning about the holocaust at high school and I have to write about other acts of genocide as well as the holocaust this is so that more people will have a memorial day to remind people about the terrible things these people went through.

    • Think about it says:

      yes or if we looked at the death toll of the Iraq Afghanistan war .Who wants to take ownership now, do you remember the speech president bush gave youtube pOTkVhfMWcw it should have some incite as to what the future generation might call the genocide of under educated Muslims. . I think genocide is fitting of a claim to make about are current position on said war we should be trying to stop religion as a whole.

  2. Saleem T K says:

    Please include the genocide of indigenous population of Americas. It is estimated that from among 20-80 million (from least to most) natives, who were present at the time of discovery of new worlds by Europeans, only less than 5 percent survived to see the dawn of 21st century.

  3. sean says:

    Canada and the USA committed genocide against american indians for over 100 years. Check it out- they kidnapped 1000’s of children from 1875 to the 1980s then murdered and raped them. In the 1900s the mortality rate was as low as 50%, less than nazi death camps. Do a search for “residential school.”

    Also, Christopher Columbus in the late 1490’s became governor of Hispanola (haiti and dominican republic) and under his rule, 95%+ of the native Taino population were murdered and forced to work to death. Their women were raped.

  4. taylor says:

    Please include the genocide of the American Indian. If you need any relevant information I have LOADS of it.
    I think it is important that our culture recognize it.

  5. Pingback: ●Xenophobia continues in South Africa - another murder of a refugee who returned to Masiphumelele [Cape Town] « BIZLINKS

  6. Nick says:

    Kosovo 1998-1999. Ethnic cleansing by S. Milosevic… or, like he phrased it, “solving the Albanian problem”.

    The solution was killing the men and deporting the rest and that way destroy the Albanian ethnic group in Kosovo.

  7. Guy says:

    You should add Tibet also. If you need info on this matter, you can contact me.

  8. Jon says:

    Please include the Ethiopian genocide by Mengistu. Just happens to be 500,000+ people (up to 1.5 million) and never heard of. Thanks!

  9. emboy says:

    British+European made genocides against native Americans and Africans are the biggest genocides of mankind history. Why aren’t they in the list?

  10. Nasteho says:

    its jus sad to see what people do to each other GAWD..!

  11. bill says:

    its just sad

  12. sam says:

    what about the Iraqi,Palestinean,Chinese,somalian,native american,checynian, and Sierra leone genocides.
    Dont turn your back on the world!!
    Dont look at it as just another second
    world country slaughtering each other!!

  13. Nataline says:

    pls include the hundred of thousands of women killed by drowning/burning torture in the middle ages[?] onward in the name of religion – accused of being witches – many were the healers/herbalists of their time. i was told that these events are still in the collective psyche of women. the fear/terror of being brutalised.

    • elisa says:

      but would you consider that a mass homicide rather than a genocide, given the definition of it?

      • David says:

        Elisa, I know there are technical nuances to the definition of genocide, but I tend to think that any mass slaughter of civilians deserves the label. And probably even mass slaughter of soldiers, under the right circumstances. We’re far too accepting of the moral conventions of warfare, which are used to dress up and excuse utter barbarity.

  14. Ady says:

    Whats this genocide in India? I’ve never heard of it.

  15. lauren says:

    omg this is so awfull the shame and the humiliation people must have gone through.

  16. Sara says:

    When you say Ukraine, do you mean the one that occurred under Stalin’s rule? He killed millions of Russians along with Ukrainians.

  17. Liam says:

    Where is the Sri Lanka genocide? The Sri Lankan government is, and has been killing the tens of thousands of Tamil people living on their homeland in peace.

  18. You didn’t mention the 1,000,000 Afghanis killed by the Soviets. You didn’t mention the cultural revolution: that was genocide (an ever weirder version than most); the genocide against the russian people by Stalin, and also by him against the Georgians (I think–sorry!). There are many others. This list is nowhere near complete—but thanks for the start!

    fr. p.ete

  19. Nick Nafta says:

    Why are mass murderers Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong conspicuously omitted from this list? Or are Marxist-Leninists and Maoists protected species?

    • David says:

      No. And though I know it’s easy to be rude on the internet when addressing people you’ve never met and are never likely too, I’d prefer it if you’d keep sarcasm out of it and made a more constructively phrased comment. You’re welcome to submit suggested text.

  20. nick says:

    Hi, i read recently that H.G Wells “War of the Worlds” was inspired by the British completely wiping out the Tazmanian aboriginal people, the real Tazmanians are gone!

  21. Barbara says:

    Right here at home, the san bushmen and khoi people.

  22. Kelcie says:

    You should add the Estonian genocide, it’s rarely heard of. If you rent the movie called The Singing Revolution, it’s a very touching true story about it.

  23. Zoolal says:

    Why is the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE OF 1915 missing from your list? It was the first genocide of the 20th century perpetrated by Turkey. In fact, the word genocide was coined after the Armenian Genocide!

  24. JRF says:

    Tyrants disarm their prospective victims before commiting genocide. We seem to have forgotten history when in the name of the “children” we allow our government to slowly disarm us thru common sense gun control. The second amendment is not only about self defense but also about fighting tyrany.

    • David says:

      If that’s so, why is the US less democratic than many countries without a constitutional right to bear arms? You may not yourself be a supporter of the NRA, but the NRA’s money distorts democracy and corrupts politicians – making for a tyranny of special interests.

  25. Jose says:

    We are not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic. The founders wanted to avoid a democracy because of the abuse of the minority by the majority that is so prevalent in democracies. The republic sends representatives of the people to make decisions for the majority which at times prove to be to passionate( mob rule).

    The NRA was created to protect black people’s right to bear arms. It is the original civil rights union and yes I am a proud member.

    • David says:

      If the US is not supposedly a democracy, why does it constantly tell other people (and purportedly go to war) in order to persuade them they should be democracies?

      • Jose says:

        Progressives in power be it republicans or democrats spread the fallacy that we are a democracy to the point that it has become an everyday word. Meanwhile growing government and reducing our liberties. But if you read on the founders, that was not their intention, since it leads to the majority abusing the minority.

  26. Jose says:

    What about the 1.21 million people killed every year in the United States by their own parents. As in abortion. What, it does not count because it is legal? Well the nazis made cooking jews legal too. They were just a lil older than the average 12 week abortion in US.

    At 18 days the fetus has a heartbeat, when is life considered life enough, to be considered genocide when it is systematically ended and payed for by government?

    • David says:

      My opinion of legal abortion is that I think it is regrettable, but better than the alternative, which is illegal abortions that often kill both the women and the foetus. Also, I believe women have the right to decide what happens to their own bodies.

      The need for legal abortion in the US might be reduced if you had proper sex education, easy access to contraception and if the moral climate didn’t stigmatise pregnancy before marriage. As it is, denying women a proper understanding of their own reproductive system, reducing their access to contraception, and telling them they’re bad if they get pregnant before marriage seems a uniquely nasty recipe for pushing up the abortion rate.

  27. Jose says:

    So we are killing babies at the rate of 1.2 million a year and you blame it on lack of education, access to contraceptives and the stigma of premarital pregnancy.

    Will you be ok with death panels and medication rationing of the elderly coming with Obamacare as a choice too?

    Genocide is a slipery slope of definitions and it always ends in someone losing their life due to someone else rationalizing life as expendable. No one should have the right to end anothers life unless in self defense. Genocide happens one life at a time….

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