Genocide
  • The United States and the rest of the world have struggled to respond to the recurring problem of genocide for many reasons.

Armenian Genocide
  • 1915 - Turkish Government began organized campaign of deportation and annihilation of Armenians.
  • 1923 - 1.5 million Armenians (two thirds of their population) had been deported or murdered in various cruel ways.
  • The international community did not intervene to stop the massacre.
  • These attrocities were allowed to unfold and were among the first of the 20th century's genocides.
Origins of Conflict:
  • Turks had been invading Armenian Kingdoms since the 11th century.
  • By the 16th century most Armenian Kingdoms were incorporated into the Ottoman Empire.
  • The Christian Armenians were a vast minority and were treated like second-class citizens; however they lived in relative peace.
  • The weakening of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century allowed for internal coruption and worsened economic conditions.
    • Ethnic tensions increased as well as Armenians expressed a desire for political representation
  • Near the turn of the century the government gave the order to massacre Armenians in an attempt to lower expectations of protection and representation(???)
    • This led to the death of nearly 300,000 Armenians.
  • 1908 - The Young Turks (CUP) seized power from the sultan and were intially celebrated by the Armenian population.
  • However the new rulers' platform of equality and constitutionalism quickly morphed into one of extreme nationalism.
  • The Young Turks used propoganda and other resources to get support for a (ethnic) purely Turkish state.
    • WWI was a perfect catalyst to aid in the development of Turkism (as opposed to Ottomanism).
  • April 25, 1914 - The beginning of the Armenian Genocide, when over 200 Armenians were gathered in Constantinople, arrested, deported, and excecuted.
  • Armenians were given 3 days to pack and leave, but all able-bodied men that may have retaliated were killed
  • Armenians were harrassed even while attempting to flee by government instructed Turkish raiders.
  • Any Turkish officials against the genocidal campaign were replaced by more "reliable" governors.
  • Since most nations were already preoccupied with WWI and/or their own internal affairs, little was done about the Armenian Genocide.
    • The "Forgotten Genocide"

The Holocaust
  • September 1, 1939 - Nazi Germany launched their campaign of persecution and conquest, first by invading Poland.
  • 3 days later Great Britain and France declared war on Germany and within months, all of Europe was at war.
  • Over the course of the next six years the Nazis murdered about 12 million civilians, about 6 million of them being Jews.
Origins of Conflict:
  • 1933 - Germany faced great economic hardship.
  • The Nazi Party promised to revitalize the country and significantly reduced unemployment.
  • Racism - and more closely anti-semitism - were at the center of Hitler's philosophy.
    • He believed Germans were the "Master Race" (Aryan).
  • Declared the 9.5 million Jews in Europe to be vermin and gained much support for anti-semitism.
  • Before the invasion, they drew up plans on how to exterminate all undesirables: such as Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and Homosexuals.
  • They built concentration campes and trained traveling killing squads.
  • Man y rules were set in place to identify, persecute, and exploit Jews.
  • Wearing the Star of David, living in Ghettos, etc.
  • The Holocaust was an extremely organized and industrialized process.
  • WWII ended in Europe on May 8th, 1945 and the survivors of concentration camps were discovered and liberated.
  • The camps may have been known of before the end of the war, or could actually have been discovered then; showing the true attrocities of the war.

The Cambodian Genocide
  • April 17, 1975 - The Communsit Party of Democratic Kampuchea, more commonly known as the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia.
    • Replaced Lon Nol's Khmer Republic.
  • The take-over took place after 5 years of civil war.
  • The celebration of the end of war was abruptly ended by the start of a campaign of mass starvation and killing.
  • Pol Pot, the leade of the new government envisioned a classless society in Cambodia - a communist utopia.
  • He attempted to rid the people of any class distinctions, such as urban and rural people.
    • All urban folks were forced to leave cities and live agrarian lives.
  • Pol Pot wanted a completely self-sufficient country. Feeding, defending, and expanding itself.
    • Part of this "transition" was to destroy all banks and currency and dismantled the telephone and postal services.
    • The media was censored.
    • Religion was forbidden.
    • Clothing was collected and everyone was forced to wear government issued black pants and shirts.
    • The education system was erased as well; all books were seized and burned.
  • Approximately 1.7 million died during the four year rule of the Khmer Rouge due to starvaton, disease, and execution.
  • The murderous regime went after: Former Lon Nol soldiers, civil servants, Buddhist monks, ethnic and religious minorities, elderly citizens, intellectuals, and any thought to be in contact with the Vietnamese.
    • Simply wearing glasses was enough to get you executed because the Khmer Rouge saw them as a symbol of intelligence.
  • Food production fell drastically and the Khmer Rouge kept rations severely low and still forced people to work long hours in the sun.
  • They promoted fear and distrust by splitting up families and keeping propoganda going
    • This also reduced the likelyhood of revolt against the regime.
  • The Khmenr Rouge also instilled a hatred of the Vietnamese in the Cambodians to assure that they'd have a common enemy that was worse then home.
  • It was Vietnam that eventually liberated Cambodia in 1979 after invading, capturing Phnom Penh and overthrowing the Khmer Rouge.
  • There was little international effort to stop the horrors in Cambodia. The Khmer had expelled all foriegners after assuming control of the country.
    • News coverage was sparse as a result.
  • There was a network of people who smuggled Cambodians out of the country as well as many small international efforts to raise money.
    • Yet very little was done in the long run to stop the Cambodian Genocide.
  • The US ended up contributing to the turmoil by bombing the country during the Vietnam War and embargoing the country due to it's communist gov't.