Genocide definitions, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Genocide is a word which I feel is much overused and, through overuse, is devalued. Yet there are real attempts at real Genocides.
Victims of historic wrongs are taught to remember those wrongs through the generations. That’s why learning real history, as objectively as possible, is important.
Jews are raised to be very aware of the Jewish genocide — the Holocaust — perpetrated by the Germans and others during World War 2. The word itself, “Genocide”, was invented in 1944 to describe the mass killings performed by the Nazis and their allies, but acts of genocide have long preceded the creation of the word.
Perhaps the earliest genocide of the 20th century occurred in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, during the First World War, and its victims were the Armenian people. Thus, it is now the 100th anniversary of this man-made tragedy and harbinger of things to come in our times.
The Armenians were not the first people to suffer a genocide, and the Jews were not the last. In fact, the genocides and attempts at genocide within the past hundred years are so numerous as to make us despair for the allegedly ‘civilized’ nature of humankind.
And yet, just as we try to remember the victims of genocides and the perpetrators, we should also remember those who attempted to resist the local insanity of their nation or region. In Nazi Germany and its occupied territories, they became known as “The Righteous Gentiles”, and later remembered more generally as “The Righteous Among Nations” in order to credit the many national, ethnic, political and religious groups to which they and those like them, before and since, belonged.
Below is an article I found from 2013 which recalls that there were Ottomans — Turks and Muslims, officials and private citizens — who attempted to resist the tide of murder and mayhem all around them at the risk of everything, including their own lives.
They are the few, if not enough, who remind us that some men and women are courageous and selfless enough ‘in the moment’ to do what most of us would not … but wish and hope we would.
OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
- Armenian Genocide – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- “Righteous Among the Nations”: History & Overview (The Jewish Virtual Library)
- Armenians’ Schindler (in Turkish): Ermenileri kurtaran Kürt Schindler: Halep doğumlu Kürt bir Osmanlı subayı olan Cemil Könne, 1915’te görev yaptığı Birecik’te yüzlerce Ermeni sürgününü tersanesine işçi, usta olarak kaydederek ölümden kurtardı.
By July 29, 2013 Continue readingon