Talk:Genocide/Archive 1

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Please see Talk:Genocide for current discussion.

Let's start discussion here.

To call the allied bombing of Germany and Japan "genocide" is a disgusting piece of moral equivalence. It's especially telling that the German Blitz on London or the V2 bombings isn't counted. (Neither should) It's sad to see Wikipedia become ideologically hijacked to the point of uselessness. Pretty soon, I assume, we'll learned discussuion on how NATO operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan (and the Guantanamo Bay prison camp) are especially good examples of genocide and Western imperialism and blah blah...

Why is genocide still possible ?
All people ask separately are strong against it and it happens everyday.
Does not history teach us anything ?

Please name sources for the numbers. --Yooden

Do the cases in China and the Soviet Union fit our definition of genocide? Were they directed against a specific group within the country (i.e. Ukranians, Tibetans, Etc.) or just against the population in general that opposed the communist reorganizations?

They could be divided into several smaller ones, but were definitely targeted against ethnic groups. --Yooden

Note that all of the genocidal campaigns lis

ted here are 20th century. Someone want to add something about the Cathars and the Pope's (Innocent III, I think) declaration of a campaign of extermination? The slaughter of Huguenots would also be a worthwhile addition. --Belltower

Get the exact figures from Rummel and post them one by one. This topic is to conrtoversial to be vague. --Yooden

I think we should add a qualification that the German 6 million number represents only Jews, not Gypsies, homosexuals, mental deficients, who were also targeted. Something like 2 million more, I seem to recall. --rmhermen

how does Cambodia fit the definition if it was the nationality killing other members of the nationality for political ideology? It seems much more akin to the Soviet campaign against the Kulaks than anything else. Am I being obtuse? --MichaelTinkler

As I understand the law on the topic, it wasn't legally genocide under international law. Maybe a crime against humanity, but not genocide. Genocide only applies to killings on racial, ethnic, national or religious grounds, not on politicial grounds. -- Simon J Kissane

Cambodia killings were on social-groups grounds, and I don't care about "international law". It was genocide.

Could you name the groups it was directed against so we canadd them to the main entry? -rmhermen

*The ethnic Chinese
*city dwellers
*those who were educated
*those who had been exposed to Western ideas - French speakers, English speakers

There was a vast amount of overlap between these groups.

US genocide - The number killed on the Trail of Tears is around 4000, not 100,000. Speading smallpox among Indians was never US government policy.

Correct. The smallpox was spread by Britain, particularly General (Later Lord) Jeffrey Amherst (as in Amherst, Massachusetts) in 1763 during the French and Indian war.

See and particularly and for scanned images of letters to and from Amherst on the subject, from the Library of Congress and the British Manuscript Project.

I changed the subject heading to North America from the United States, since the United States did not exist during this war, so it is hardly fair to blame it on them. Probably a complete catalog of genocidal events, or a catalog of crimes against Indian peoples, would require a more detailed category scheme then what we have here, - Tim

The 100,000 is an estimate of the entire death count, not just trail of tears, but we do need a more authoritative number. --Dmerrill

One real problem with efforts such as this is that apparently politically motivated people toss out numbers apparently off the tops of their heads. There have been estimates of the number of Indians killed that have exceeded other people's estimates of the total Indian population of North America. So to get historically accurate numbers, or at least fair estimates, is a challenge. - Tim

Armenian genocide was described as the first genocide of the century. However, Mexican regimes murdered probably more than 1 million people from 1900-1920. It is likely that more Indians were murdered by the Mexican government in the 20th century then were murdered by the US government in all its history - but you don't hear about that, because it doesn't really serve anyone's agenda to remember those victims.

Well, wikipedia is your chance to document it for those of us who are ignorant. Please take advantage of it. :-) --Dmerrill

Re the comment: "I don't care about 'international law'. It was genocide."

The fact that we are morally repulsed by a particular mass murder shouldn't get in the way of accuracy in the articles here. If genocide is defined to be a particular kind of mass murder, rather than just any form of mass murder whatsoever, then we should definitely not include certain political killings in that category. Create another article if you want, but let's not let our emotional feelings about the issue cloud the accuracy of our articles. Unless the Cambodian mass murders can be described as directed as a particular ethnic, racial, religious or similar such grounds, then it should not be included in this article. I am not saying that the Cambodian killings should not be considered genocide, but I do think that we need to understand how the Cambodian killings fall under the definition of that term.

Merriam-Webster online definition of genocide: "the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group"

Someone wrote:

No scientific study suggests that killing national, ethnical, racial and religious groups and killing social, cultural or political groups are different phenomenons. Very often it's impossible to tell the difference between two. Therefore popular definition is probably more useful that legal one.

Well, there is a big difference; they are motivated by different sorts of concerns. Killing communists or capitalists is very different from killing Jews or Gypsies or from killing Christians or Muslims. The last ones are motivated by racial, ethnic or religious hatreds; the first are motivated more by political calculations ("if we don't kill all the communist sympathisers they will take over the country", "if we don't kill the capitalists they will destroy the revolution"). Finally, etymologically speaking the legal definition is more correct than the popular one; a racial, ethnic or religious group is much more arguably a genos than communists or capitalists or intellectuals or people who wear glasses are. And I do wonder if I'm being overly generous by talking of a "popular definition" -- a "common misconception" might be more accurate. -- Simon J Kissane

Are you saying that people who want to kill communists aren't motivated by pure hatred, or that people who want to kill an ethnic group don't believe "if we don't kill all the ###, they'll take over the country!"

It's pretty clear that people who advocate mass murder of this sort are motivated by the same things.

Religious/racial/ethnical/national groups correlate strongly with political/social/cultural groups. Correlation between religious/racial/ethnical/national genocides and political/social/cultural genocides is also clearly and strongly positive. I don't know about any event of genocide commited against only one of these two kinds. Also Rummel clearly showed that genocides agaist both of groups correlate only to power of government and to level of war/revolution, and not to any real issues.

And etymology isn't any important for science. --Taw

Regarding political vs. racial, religious, ethnic and/or cultural: It seems to me that there is usually significant overlap between political views and what sub-groups a particular individual belongs to. I don't see any situation in history where killings were done for purely political reasons.

Political views seem to me to often (not always) be an outgrowth of a person's ethnic background, religion, and culture... and because of those, race as well. I'm not just talking about stereotypes here either, there's a lot of self-selection going on. Blacks (African-Americans, or whatever) in the USA have often stuck with the Democratic party because they have believed that if they stick together, they will have more political influence in the party, and thereby in general if the Demos win elections. This has worked... sort of. -- ansible

To take the classic example of genocide, what political belief were the Jews in Nazi Germany exterminated for? None. The Nazis murdered them left, right and centre, without the slightest regard to their political beliefs.

You are correct to note that political groups singled out for killing often overlap with racial or ethnic ones; but that does not prove that there is no practical difference. At best it shows that the same events can sometimes be classed as both political killings and genocide.

Finally, Merriam-Webster supports my definition. (Though to be fair the American Heritage Dictionary 3 doesn't.) But irregardless, the legal sense certaintly is the original sense of the term. -- Simon J Kissane

You are wrong here. Jews in Nazi Germany were much more communist than other ethnic/religious groups and communists were one of main Nazi targets. Also they were culturally different from Germans and improportionally many Jews in 3rd Reich were bankers, factory owners etc. So overlap between political/cultural/social and religious/racial/ethnical/national was *very* high.

But was that the reason for the genocide? Did the Nazis murder Jews because they were disproportionately Communists or bankers or factory owners, or because they were Jews? -- Simon J Kissane

The same applies to communist genocides.

And "legal" definitions are also of little use for science. --Taw

If there is some phenomena being scientifically studied here, which is significantly broader than the original (not just the legal) meaning of the word, why call it by the same name? Why not use a different word? I am pretty sure the legal concept of genocide predates most of the scientific studies you refer to (though to be honest I'm not entirely sure what these scientific studies are.) -- Simon J Kissane

What does science have to do with it?

Genocides are phenomenon which can be, and actually are, scientifically studied, with good results. --Taw

well, etymology may not be vital for science, but I am grateful that most 19th and early 20th century scientists knew Greek well enough that we don't have any more 'bicycle' hybrids than exist. There's no reason NOT to know the meanings of things as well as their functions.

WRT Australian Aborigines and the stolen generation, claiming that it definitely was genocide is a gross simplification. Many people involved in the removals claim that a)they believed it was being done voluntarily, and b) it was being done to for the welfare of the removed children. Determining the truth seems to be almost impossible. However, there were cases of outright massacres of Aboriginal people throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century, which are pretty incontrovertibly (relatively small-scale) genocide. Anyone like to try and summarise the debate in a form that can fit on the parent page? --Robert Merkel

Well, it is clear that the Australian government did remove Aborigines from their parents, and that most of these Aborigines claim they were forced to give their children up. Part of the legal defintion of genocide is "Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group", so if the removal policy was carried out with the intention of destroying the ethnic identity of Aboriginal people, it was genocide. The official policy of the Australian government was assimilation, that is, make Aboriginals become indistinguishable from Europeans, which means to destroy Aboriginal identity. Yes, many people involved in the removal believed that removing the children was in the children's best interests, since thereby they would benefit from the obviously "superior" European culture; basically they believed that genocide was in the best interest of its victims. But obviously, believing genocide to be in its victims best interests is still genocide. -- Simon J Kissane

Well, it is clear that the Australian government did remove Aborigines from their parents, and that most of these Aborigines claim they were forced to give their children up.

Yes, but even that claim's hard to establish reliably. Examine the court cases on the issue. --Robert Merkel

Related to australia - have I missed it, or has the genocide of the Tasmanian Aborigines been omitted? And I think that the "Stolen Generation" issue deserves it's own page. -- MB

Wrt Tasmanian Aborigines, yes it has been omitted, and good point. Yes, the "Stolen Generations" issue *does* deserve its own page. --Robert Merkel

As an old fellow and a strong supporter of the Wikipedia project, I would condemn any actions that would harm the project. However, as a responsible wikipedian, I find myself commissioned to discuss this topic. It is very easy to write on disputable facts based on falsified documents, faked pictures and exaggerated figures that would only distort history and the definition of genocide. This kind of authorship can give harm to the essence of Wikipedia project. Wikipedians should be very careful about not including the questionable subjects as sheer and undiscussible facts and should also not forget that this is not an area of discussion and debate. This is the very reason that I do not simply change or delete these statements (about Young Turks) and instead try discussing them.

It should not be forgotten that Armenian genocide is still a historical hypothesis that is dominantly advertised by the Armenian diaspora and is still pending for reliable proofs. There are scholars working on this issue all over the world and some accept the existence of a possible genocide, while some do not. Both sides have reliable and emotional proofs for their own beliefs. The supporters of the Armenian genocide are showing the pictures of the burried remnants of Armenian people killed by Ottoman soldiers, whereas the supporters of the other side is showing the pictures of Turkish people, who were killed by Armenian soldiers. It is not fair to base such a disputable issue by just showing one single reference. I can find lots of debateful articles in Britannica about Turkey or Turkish people and I can also give other references which do not support the existence of a genocide.

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I will not copy and paste these references because of the copyright restrictions.

What I understand from the discussions about this issue is shortly as follows: The ethnic struggles between Turkish and Armenian communities began about two centuries ago. As the Ottoman Empire weakened, Russia and Great Britain provoked one of the main ethnic groups of the Ottoman State, the Armenians to uprise in the eastern parts of the Empire. First sporadic clashes were seen between the Turkish and Armenian settlements. When the Russian army began to invade Eastern Anatolia in World War I, the Armenian gangs with the helps of Russian army, started systematic attacks against Ottoman troops and their civilian Turkish citizens. The same gangs are also accused of cutting the supply lines of the Ottoman army, which was fighting with the invading Russian forces. Under these circumstances, the Ottoman Government decided to relocate the Armenians to the other provinces in the Empire. The reason for that was to prevent the fights between Turkish and Armenian communities and cut the support extended by the Armenian towns to the Russians. During the period of this enforced delocation, hostilities between two communities and famine heavily affected the Armenian people. The policy of enforced delocation was a routine application for Ottoman Empire and it had been applied to a variety of communities including Turkish people. Young Turks were guilty for not protecting their citizens duely and also by applying this primitive and ancient policy. However, not only Armenians but many other Ottoman citizens suffered from these treatments throughout centuries and Ottoman governments never seem to carry any intention of giving end to an entire ethnicity. By contrast, it is possible to see many Armenian people in the highest ranks of the Ottoman hierarchy (ministers, architects etc). Any researchers working on Young Turks can easily agree that these people never carried ideologies related with the termination of any community. Indeed, the fact that the same events did not affect tens of thousands of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, living in Istanbul (then the capital of Ottoman Empire) is the strongest evidence why this incident can not be labeled as ?genocide?. It is also worth mentioning that in the time frame subject to those claims, an Armenian, Noradounghian Efendi, served as the Ottoman Foreign Minister. Moreover, it has been stated in some official records (see references) that when the British forces (who had complete control over all Ottoman official records) occupied Istanbul after World War I, they admitted that they could not find any evidence of an organized genocide against Armenians.

I do not say that I know what the truth is but I just want to draw attention to the other side of this discussion and to remind that we must be very careful when we are writing such sensitive and debateful articles that could easily be abused for political reasons. I do not find myself authorized to change this article, since I am not an expert of this subject. I believe that we must be very careful about these statements for some mentally sick people could more easily find reasons for their aggressive actions and it should not be forgotten that many innocent people were already killed by such people in this context.

SJK draws attention to the decisions of several parliaments of different countries. I wrote about my concerns in the Talk section why these decisions should not be accepted as real proofs and why we should not base our articles on such decisions. I believe with all my heart that the sinful secrets of history should be uncovered for the welfare and goodness of future generations. But I also believe that this should be done with a sense of equality and justice. This would be much more fair for the souls of Turkish people, who seem to have died or killed in similar conditions as Armenian people. User:ErdemTuzun

The governments of a couple of Turkic countries have employed sophisticated PR techniques to spread misinformation about the Armenian Holocaust. Their activities are said to include posting messages to messageboards and the like. There is plenty of information on the internet about the massacres and expulsions carried out by the Turks against the Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians. Misinformation does not change the truth.

There is no doubt that the Armenian genocide did occur. The only doubt is among Turks who still persist in denying history. Please do not suspend history for the benefit of Turks, in order for them to deny it. The German government, the Ottoman Empire's close ally during the First Great War has tons of documents in its archives regarding its ally at the time(the Ottoman Empire) exterminating the Armenians.

Johannes Lepsius, a German historian, has written "The Condition of the Armenian People in Turkey" in 1917 using German government dispatches and documents as primary sources, which inconclusively prove the Armenian genocide. This does not matter for ErdemTuzun, as he is not interested in history, but only the fabrications made by the Turkish government.

Also as many of you know in Asia Minor, has been inhabitated by Greeks also for thousands of years and now the Greeks who numbered over 2 and half million(this is not counting muslims Greeks most of whom are assimiliated as Turks right now) at the turn of the 20th Century, cannot fill a city of 100,000 today in modern Turkey. The Kurds have also always been in the area and they do not fare well under Turkish yoke either. The Committe of Union and Progress did not want Anatolia to be a multicultural Empire, they wanted everyone to be assimilated as Turks, and those they could not assimilate were removed forcibly. The Armenian genocide was also very much motivated by economic means as the Christians(Armenians and Greeks) were in possession of most of the wealth in Ottoman Turkey. -Nicholas

This needs to be reworked. There is a whole body of literature on why genocide happens that isn't mentioned here, and the first reason given needs to be attributed rather than stated as a bold fact.

The purpose of genocide

Governments commit genocide because they believe it will advance their political interests. Almost always their interests are held to be inseparable from their hold on power. Genocides are therefore attempts to strengthen a government's hold on power by eliminating and terrorizing groups that are perceived to be a threat. They are also an assertion of power that warns other potential political enemies to stay in line.

Often genocides are commited to make its citizenry more uniform. Many politicians have thought that it would be much easier to rule if everyone shared common beliefs, religion, habits, etc.

The individuals who participate in genocides may have personal motives, and it is not unlikely that many participate in the killings because they enjoy killing. But the opportunity to participate arises only if a genocide is already occuring, which can only be the case if a government believes it will serve its purposes.

I do not understand how people suggest that something they have not personally witnessed have definitely happened or not. Obviously, their ?beliefs? about the existence of an event depend on some sources (books etc.), which may be equally wrong and deceitful as other?s sources. So, I strongly protest the attitudes and wordings of people, who try to suppress a discussion on a topic just because this topic is not compatible with their own beliefs.

As far as I know, scientific facts and hypothesis are discussed by counter-facts and counter-hypothesis rather than conspiracy theories and impolite condemnations. I read my discussion several times and I could not find any sentence, which states that Ottoman Empire did not attack to its ethnic minorities. Ottoman Empire was a gigantic, feudal state and it had the habit of suppressing the local uprisings very harshly just like its predecessors including Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire. Additionally, Ottomans were not Turkish; they were Ottomans, which means that their major goal was to try to protect the benefits of the Ottoman dynasty rather than Turkish people or other ethnicities. That explains why Turkish people were also strongly suppressed, when they started rebellions and such. Especially in 19th and 20th century, these rebellions increased substantially as the general economical status of the state got poorer and as the waves of nationalism stroke. As any governmental authority would normally do, Ottoman governers tried to restrain these upheavals sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

In the Armenian question, I honestly declared that I did not know the ultimate answer, but I wanted to mention that there were other stories about these events, which were different than those advertised by some Armenians and I thought that people had the right to learn these stories and give their own decisions about this matter. I guess those who state that some event has definitely happened, without giving proper facts and logical statements should check their own honesty about learning the historical truths.

My questions were:

1. Was this a one-sided event or a double-sided one? In other words did Armenian soldiers attack and kill huge number of Turkish people at the same date and location and were Turks also vigorously delocated from their villages as the Russian and Armenian armies invaded ex-Ottoman territories in Caucasia? Well, my sources say yes to these questions. Surely, people can say that this is falsified data and state propaganda, but then I can say the same thing for the Armenian allegations, so this means dead end for the discussion. So, this does not seem to be the best attitude for a discussion and generally it is not polite to lay blame on opponents? data and I believe that this only proves the discussing person?s prejudice and intolerance to disparate ideas. This also means putting a large group of people, who claim that their ancestors were killed by Armenians in that specific time point, in the position of a liar.

2. Is it suitable to call Ottoman government?s actions as genocide or not? I think the key concept of the word genocide and originally where the word comes from is murdering members of an ethnicity intentionally just because these people are belong to this ethnicity. Not because they have done something wrong or they have come against the authority. In this respect, what happened to Armenians during World War I does not seem to deserve the term genocide. But certainly semiology is a flexible branch of science and the meanings of the words can be expanded or narrowed due to people?s own pleasures and I am ready to discuss this issue in a more polite, friendly and scientifically compatible environment.

These were the points that I tried to make in my previous discussion and I was expecting to hear more intellectual words supported by facts and proofs.

As a last word, it is not even close to reality that it is only the Turkish people, who support this theory and there are at least two non-Turkish names that I can remember at the moment. One of them is Bernard Lewis, a British professor of Princeton University and an expert of Near East history. He was strangely condemned by a French court because of declaring that there is no such thing as Armenian genocide. Second and more recent name is Samuel A. Weems, who wrote a book about this issue named ?Armenia the Great Deception?, the summary of which can be found in |this website.

As to the question of Greek people in Ottoman territory, I have never heard anything stranger than that. Yes, as the Ottomans invaded the Eastern Roman Empire, they mixed with the local Greek people, as well as other ethnicities and that is why Greek and Turkish people look so similar to each other. For instance, British or French people invaded Western Roman Empire and mixed with local Roman people. Now there are no Roman people and the Latin language is dead. Does this mean that people of the Roman Empire were massacred and assimilated by the European countries? governments? No, they simply melted in the same cultural pot. It is true that Greek people?s population in Anatolia decreased substantially in early 20th century, because Greece and Turkey signed a treaty to exchange their people. So, Greek people immigrated to Greece and vice versa. In the same way the numbers of Turkish people in Greece decreased substantially for the same reason. It is certainly not a sign of good intention not to mention this important information. On the other hand, present Greece was once an Ottoman territory. So, how come did the Ottomans not assimilate Greek people living in present Greece and only assimilated those living in present Turkey? If they were assimilated then who founded Greece in 19th century. Isn?t that paradoxical? After almost five centuries of Ottoman dominance, many Balkan nations founded their own countries as they were inspired by expanding nationalistic ideas and Turkey is one of these countries. Even this shows that despite some nasty habits, Ottomans were not that bad to their ethnicities and did not genuinely try to eradicate their cultures. Can anyone imagine any Jews living in Europe after five centuries of a possible Nazi domination in the continent? User:ErdemTuzun

I truly feel sorry for ErdemTuzun, his ignorance is amazing. Someone else alluded to the propaganda campaigns being used by Turkey. I will provide links that expose some of this propaganda. That site documents how Professor Heather Lowry is paid to be revionist by the Turkish state and make Armenians into assailants and not victims.(Site made by an Armenian and he probably thinks they are "anti-Turkish" and will dismiss it even though it documents press coverage of this travesty.) "Nearly eighty-three years after the blood has dried, disputes about the mass murder of Armenians by the Turkish government has invaded a new battleground: universities. Turkey's program to endow a series of chairs in Turkish and Ottoman studies has found takers in several U.S. universities, but others have refused the money, concerned that it is tied to conditions which tilt the historical record for political purposes." "An attempt was made in June 2000 by Microsoft management to revise articles in Encarta, their CD-ROM encyclopedia, written in 1996 by Helen Fein on genocide and by Ronald Grigor Suny [University of Chicago] on Armenia in order to cast doubt on their previous factual acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide. This attempt was foiled by the resistance of these authors and some editors at Encarta"

Bernard Lewis, the historian Erdem cites is a Western historian bought by the Turkish government, do not be fooled. There is not documentation online of every revionist paid for by the Turkish government, though, but any who reads the links I give can get the picture.

I will not address all of Erdem's arguments as they are beneath contempt or merit. No Russian army ever entered Turkey till 1916, the Armenian genocide occured mostly during 1915. The Armenians were disarmed from the start so it is ridicilous to suggest they could attack 16 million muslims like the propagandists state given these very basic facts.


Eclecticology, Nanjing Massacare or Rape of Nanking was a case of genocide, not a battle. You may create a new link on Battle of Nanjing or Nanking on the list of battles with linking to the Massacare. Don't link the Massacare to the Battle since thay are simply not the same thing. Ktsquare

Removed due to numerous factual flaws:

  • Freestate Prussia Germans east of the Oder-Neisse line
    • In the last months before the end of WW II and at the Potsdam Conference
    • the Soviet Union, USA and Great Britain governments took over the German emergency government under Karl Doenitz. The Allied Control Council was formed, which acted as military occupation government for the defeated Germany. At Potsdam the Big Three made decisions and pacts to 'resettle' more than 15,000,000 Germans and ethnic Germans from their homelands east of the Oder and Neisse rivers. The legal Freestate Prussia (Freistaat Preussen) government had been overtaken and removed out of office in Berlin by the Hitler dictatorship and gone into exile. Requests after the end of the war to the military occupiers for re-installation were denied. Instead in 1947 the Allied Control Council abolished Prussia. The decision to put the Freestate Prussia and all land east of the Oder-Neisse Line out of German control plus the decision to 'resettle' millions of people resulted in the death of millions.

The Prussians were almost wiped out.


    • the Philadephia(?) Incident, massacre of Vietcong sympathizers during the Vietnam War

Not clear what incident it refers to and doubtful it meets a standard for genocide. --rmhermen

I am following the statements of Nicholas with sorrow and pity. When he confronts an idea against his own beliefs he simply suggests that this is a political misinformation, when he reads the opinions of his opponents he blaims them to be bought by some political fraction, when he meets some statements that he can?t answer he takes a most assertive action against the opponent, which I strongly criticised in my previous message, rather than bringing facts and hypotheses. I think this attitude is far away from being ?contempt or merit?. He is blinded with his own extremism in such a way that, he can not see that the very accusations he is bringing to the discussion may go well with his points too. Namely, Armenian genocide may a political propaganda and the figures mentioned to have been murdered may have been exaggerated. So, there is no point of continuing the discussion on this track. As I mentioned at the top of my first message, both sides have their own propaganda tools and weapons. Beside being a historical issue, this is also a political matter, since both countries have their own points of interest in acceptance or rejection of this genocide. However, as I mentioned before, Wikipedia is not a political discussion forum and this kind of political discussions may bring harm to the essence of an encyclopedia. It is also possible to find links about several people, who were threatened by death just because they rejected Armenian genocide, however this is compeletely irrelevant to a scientific discussion about a certain genocide. Besides I find it very exasperating to bring very impolite accusations to people rejecting Armenian genocide without strong evidences just because they are representing a different opinion. As to the Turkish or Muslim massacres in Caucasia, what I mentioned was events that took place from late 19th century to early 20 th century. At this time, most of present Caucasia was Ottoman territory and Christians and Muslims were living together under the protection of the same state. When one looks at a map today, however, this region has been divided into small pieces and each piece of country has a very homogenous distribution of nationalities, religions and ethnicities. Today it is most difficult to find Muslims or mosques in present Armenia (whereas there are many Armenians and ancient or modern Armenian churches in present Turkey). So, how did all these Muslims disappear, if they were not slaughtered or enforced to dislocate from their homes for the purpose of ethnic cleansing. Armenians at that time did have arms. The armed forces of Armenian Dashnak and Hunchak parties were (not so infrequently) targeting civilian residents and many people were killed that way. When a large group of non-armed civilians face a small group of armed people, their number is completely irrelevant. A good example is about 1 million people once living in Nagorno-Karabakh (now living in primitive refugee tent houses) who were killed or enforced to displace by a small Armenian army and a small group of Nagorno rebels between 1988-1994. On both side of the border, people are accusing the opposite side for the evil acts of the past and since the colossal loses of Turkish people are not publicized or advertised as the deaths of Armenians, people usually are unaware of the details of the situation. Not only Turkish government but also several Turkish citizens who have lost their ancestors during these events have protested Encarta?s one-sided article editing style and have reported their concerns as I did the same thing in Wikipedia. Encarta has not stayed indifferent to these concerns and added a good statement in articles about Armenian massacres. I guess it would be a good idea to add a similar statement to our own wikipedia article. It is also noteworthy that Encarta in all its article titles has chosen to use the term massacre rather than genocide. User:ErdemTuzun

The Genocide Studies Program at Yale University says:

  • The Cambodian genocide, in which at least 1.7 million people (21% of the entire population) lost their lives, stands as one of the worst human tragedies of the modern era. [1]

Although the term genocide carries the connotation of mass murder, in the sense of an enormous massacre, technically many instances of "genocide" appear to be rather "crimes against humanity". Basically, if you're trying to eliminate a "people" it's genocide; if you're trying to wipe out political opponents it's a crime against humanity.

I'm not sure why the ICC treaty is making this distinction. My personal impression is that genocide is "any mass murder of one million or more people", but none of my recent research supports this definition.

Perhaps, then, the general term should be mass murder. When an article requires, we could attempt to determine the legal classification of an instance of mass murder, as "genocide" or as a "crime against humanity". In either case, just as many helpless people are killed.

In its Article 7, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court says:

For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: (a) Murder; (b) Extermination; (c) Enslavement; ... [2]

--Ed Poor

Removed: "The definition does not include actions against a political or economic group or social class. It is generally agreed that a definition of genocide which included those groups would have been unacceptable to the Soviet Union and its allies in 1945 as it would have made some of their actions taken in the 1930s and 1940s into a crime against international law."

The word was coined with a meaning - it is shown in the first paragraph. Who claims "it is generally accepted" anyway? --rmhermen

Agree with removal. Apparently whoever put all this stuff connecting genocide with the ICC is expressing their own POV. The article needs to be phrased so that "supporters of the ICC" say this or that, rather than the Wikipedia. Ed Poor
Yes, but the point is still worth making, I guess. --Uri

Massacre of Palestinians in Hebron in 1994

I am not sure whether this can be classified as an attempt of genocide anymore than, say, the suicide bombings. The same holds true to Jenin. I am, however, considering adding details about the 1948 fighting, including the Deir Yassin massacre, the sack of Gush Ezion and the Arab war plans. --Uri

Any classification of a massacre as "genocide" or a "crime against humanity" depends on a point of view. I would prefer to make a list of massacres or incidents of mass murder, to sidestep the controversy. Ed Poor
Well, there are proven, unambiguous examples of genocide, that we should probably leave - e.g. the Stalinist repressions, the Cambodian stuff, the plight of the Native Australians. But then Jenin seems to have been inserted into the list entirely for political reasons, and other cases are borderline. --Uri
I think you missed my point, Uri, so let me first restate yours: You are saying that the Stalinist repressions, the Cambodian stuff and the plight of the Native Australians are well-documented. They really did happen, and serious scholars don't doubt the events one bit. Millions of people were wiped out by their own governments.
My point is rather that the DEFINITION of genocide AS A LEGAL CONCEPT seems to have been crafted in such a way as to exclude the atrocities just mentioned: Stalin, Cambodia, Australia (or at least Stalin and Cambodia). You and I may think of genocide as government murder of helpless civilians, but that is NOT THE ICC DEFINITION. Sorry to shout, but I thought if I raised my voice you'd hear me :-)
We need to make a distinction between (a) large groups of helpless civilians being murdered by their own government, and (b) the ICC/UN definition of "the deliberate elimination of a people. Apparently, just killing 1/3 of an ethnic group (as in the Holocaust) doesn't meet this definition. Could it possibly be an accident? An oversight? --Ed Poor

This article is unfortunately used by different authors for political ends. As Ed points out, genocide has a very clear and simple definition, the extermination of a people. To label the conflict between Arab countries and Israel "attempted genocide" because someone used the phrase "push Israel into the sea" is, quite frankly, ridiculous, and so is the use of the term for the Jenin massacre (if there even was a massacre). To even merit the phrase "cultural genocide" with a mention is bad enough, but this should at most be done in the first part of the article, not in the list of genocides that meet the accepted definition.

The major genocides of the 20th century were the Holocaust (extermination of the European Jews), the Rwanda genocide, and the attempted genocide by the nazis during their invasion of the Soviet Union ("Vernichtungskrieg" and re-settlement). I have therefore removed some items, re-worded and re-ordered the list of genocides. I am also missing information about the various genocides that the Japanese are supposed to be responsible for:

"Genocide also targeted at Koreans, Philippines, Dutch (Netherlands), Vietnamese, Indonesians and Burmese."

What were these operations, to which extent were they completed, from when to when lasted they? If this information is not provided, the paragraph should be removed.


  • The expulsion of Germans from the East can hardly be considered genocide -- it was politically motivated ethnic cleansing. There is a lot of propaganda surrounding this issue.
  • The experiments of the Japanese with the Chinese did happen, but they were not genocide -- if we mention this, we also need to mention nazi experiments, CIA experiments etc. So I removed this.


Thanks, Eloquence. IMHO, you added a much-needed measure of common sense and NPOV to this article. Danny

From several revisions ago:

It has also been argued especially by the Government of Tibet in Exile that the PRC is commiting cultural genocide by attempting to eradicate Tibetan culture by encouraging mass settlement of Han Chinese in Tibet, and by banning Tibetan religious activities. Supporters of the PRC government respond first by saying that using genocide to refer to cultural changes within Tibet is a misuse of the term, and while the PRC government does take action against activities which promote secession, the PRC government also promotes Tibetan culture by activities such as promoting the Tibetan language.

I think the above should be in the Wikipedia, but not in this article. --Ed Poor 07:25 Aug 20, 2002 (PDT)


  • Cambodia (late 1960s-1979)
    • In a first genocide (late 1960s-1975), about 500 thousand Cambodians were killing by US bombing. Following this genocide, it is unsurprising that frustrated survivors supported Pol Pot, who then came to power and carried out a second genocide (1975-1979)

216, please provide a reference for the "500 thousand...killed" claim. And if you have the time, could you also please research how many other people were murdered by the Cambodian gov't itself? I've seen estimates ranging from 900,000 to over 2 million. The movie The Killing Fields may have alerted us to the problem, but we need some hard facts. Cheers, --Ed Poor

Along the same line, over 600,000 people died in the firebombing of Japan cities during World War II (not counting Hiroshima and Nagasaki). This is not generally considered genocide or even a war crime. User:Fredbauder. But not sure what article it would belong in.

  • Soviet expulsions of Germans east of the Oder-Neisse line. Between 1945-1950 about 9 million Germans from Germany east of the Oder-Neisse line plus 9 million ethnic Germans from various parts of eastern Europe were resettled. About 2.1 million Germans died as a result of the resettlement. They included many distinct different ethnic German groups. The brutal expulsions were done by Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia's military and civilian authorities. Expulsion survivors live scattered as refugees.

This passage was removed. It is a completely unsubstantiated claim. The expulsion was perhaps an unjust deed; probably there were even crimes committed during the expulsions. But calling this genocide is just impudent. These figures are incredible. Proof ?

This was removed from the article:

  • Afghanistan
    • The silent genocide of 2001/2002 in Afghanistan was committed by the United States in collaboration with the Pakistan government, by deliberately cutting off the overland food supplies (by trucks, etc.) to 7.5 million people who were known to be starving and close to death [5]. Before the United States terrorist attack against Afghanistan, the New York Times reported that 50% of these 7.5 million were expected to die of hunger if the US requested border closure and/or carried out the threatened terrorist attacks. The real number of victims is unknown, but maybe was "only" 1 million or so, thanks to many surviving by eating grass [6]. This genocide was referred to as "silent", because despite 60 years' improvements in communications technology and networking since the Holocaust, US [7] and UK [8] media chose to be silent on this issue, just as German media were silent during the Holocaust 60 years earler. This genocide is commonly referred to using

the euphemism "humanitarian crisis" [9], although it does seem to satisfy the ICC definition of genocide above.

I agree that as currently written this is not NPOV. However, I'm familiar with the debate; though it's debated, there are some good arguments for characterizing this as a genocide, and a few references are provided. I don't think simple excision is the answer in this case.

Perhaps - a very Wikipedia answer - we could spin off a link on "Disputed Cases of Genocide" and place the for/against arguments for things like this in that article. If it proves to be used extensive enough, the "Disputed Cases" link could lead to a set of articles dealing with each disputed case. -- April

Of course the best reason for removing it is it isn't true. There were not millions of excess deaths, nor was it a deliberate American plan to exterminate Afgans, nor were food supplies deliberately cut. And none of the links say so either. They say "might occur" and refer to food in country that cannot be distributed due to infrastructure problems, etc. And again most of the links can from one source with a known bias. Rmhermen 08:53 Aug 27, 2002 (PDT)
  • Of course I understand that you believe it's not true. I myself believe that the above is an exaggeration. Nonetheless, we're not here to advance our beliefs, but to describe the beliefs of others; and there is a reasonably wide-spread belief that the US used a restriction on food shipments as a weapon. Remember, as Ed Poor always says, the NPOV is "A said B about C"; attribute the above to, say, Noam Chomsky (who was one of the proponents) if you will, but don't just cut text you don't agree with. -- April
This was in a list of genocides, not a list of potential genocides that didn't happen or a list of military actions. We have already discussed quite extensively the definition of genocide. This doesn't fit, just like Eisenhower and the German POWs didn't. Rmhermen 11:02 Aug 27, 2002 (PDT)
  • That's reasonable. In that case, as Ed says, we should find another home for this particular controversy, as for any other mass-killing that may or may not be called "genocide". Perhaps, "Accusations of Mass Killings." I'd suggest a see-also link from "Genocide" to such a link. -- April

The killings of civilians in combat, or by their own government in peacetime, is an emotional subject. Sometimes my hands tremble with outrage, and I have to take a break (hours, days, weeks) to calm down enough to write properly.

Kpjas, April, Rmhermen, let's work together on organizing this sort of information. If "genocide" isn't exactly the right word, how about "mass murder", "extermination campaign", "purge" or whatever? The legal category doesn't matter to me as much as what readers will expect to find it under. --Ed Poor

Ed, There is a proper place for historical evidence of the expulsions - [Heimatvertriebene]] (however it'd be better named in English). I do not deny it took place but not under genocide.
Sadly there is no article about expulsions of the Polish people from the eastern parts of Poland that was taken away from us by the Soviets.

It seems the word genocide no longer means "the killing of huge numbers of helpless civilians, either by their own goverment or a foreign invader". I am a bit confused about why (a) I keep thinking that's what it means and (b) the UN has defined it otherwise.

I guess it's like a "hate crime". If I beat up some other kid in my neighborhood because I don't like him, it's just assault and battery. But if I beat him up because he's gay or black or Jewish, etc., then it's a "bias crime" or "hate crime" and gets all sort of special attention.

What does it matter? A corpse smells just as bad after three days, regardless of whether his murderer wanted to wipe out his whole group (or whether his group is one of the UN categories protected by the UN, such as an ethnic minority). The victim's family is just as sad and angry...

I don't know whether what I just wrote has anything to do with improving the article; I'm just upset and wanted to share that... --Ed Poor

  • As the saying on hate crimes go, it's (in theory) the difference between murder in "cold blood" (first degree) and "hot blood" (second degree). The "assault" versus "hate crime" seems moderately analogous to "democide/mass murder" versus "genocide". The idea is, as I understand it, that those who commit assault (or mass murder) do it for a specific purpose and are not as great a danger to the community (or world community) as are those who did the act as part of a (would-be) systematic campaign against another group. This is not exactly a moral distinction; both are henious. It's more of a practical one: what is this person/government likely to do next? Will it cool down unless "provoked" (however unjustified the excuse of provocation may be) or will it keep going because it considers the very existence of Group X to be a living provocation?

Personally, I find all mass killings to be utterly reprehensible, and I might cynically suggest that some governments want to reserve the right to kill lots of people as long as it's "only" for political reasons. But at least I think I comprehend the overall rationale. -- April

Removed from article:

Slavery of Africans in the Americas is thought to have killed millions, but as its goal was economic production rather than extermination, it is arguable whether or not it should be classified with other examples of genocide.

Without prejudice to the African slavery issue, I think there may be some confusion about what "genocide" means. Many Wikipidians are taking as some variant on "mean and nasty things done to ethnic groups or other large groups of civilians".

Yet somehow the current (and former?) definition of "genocide" doesn't seem to fit, so we keep snipping facts out of articles. I'd hate to think we were CENSORING these facts on pedantic legal grounds. What can we do? --Ed Poor

I had an edit confilct with Ed here. If any slavery meets the genocide standard, it would be modern Sudanese slavery in which Muslims of various ethnic groups enslave Christian Africans, not American slavery which was a business. Rmhermen 14:42 Aug 27, 2002 (PDT)
  • I have to differ here - it was absolutely targeted at a single ethnic group, after all. Europeans were never "slaves" (though bond servitude came close), only those of African origin. The religious aspect was there too - slaves in the US were converted to Christianity will they, nil they.
  • However, technically the point of slavery was not to wipe out all Africans. It may have been partly intended to destroy African culture - people of the time spoke of it as "taming" or "civilizing" the "savages". That, however, would go under cultural genocide. Slavery was surely a crime against humanity, and many died as a result of its practice, but it was not the systematic pogrom we think of as "genocide".
  • On another note, the genocide of Native Americans should mention South America, too. There were grotesque percentages of the indigenous population lost to the Spanish settlers. -- April

Not sure, bacterian schock is say to have played major role in the a huge mortality of South American Indians. According, to some historians the project of Cortez was to build a multi-ethnic country. This not deny the fact there were a lot of criminal act against the native at this time as reported among other by Las Cazas. Ericd 21:58 Sep 8, 2002 (UTC)

I agree this article s very confuse. Most of the fact here are massive assasination not genocice. There was no genocide in Cambodia or it's a unique case of auto-genocide ?

    • How is Cambodians targeting and killing ethnic Chinese and Thais not genocide? --rmhermen

Article was improved since I wrote this remark. I was speaking of the massive assination of Cambodian by Cambodian. Someone improved the article to precise that for a part massacres in Cambodia were ethnic-selective and thus can be qualified as genocide. Ericd 21:49 Sep 8, 2002 (UTC)

  • I agree - based on the discussion above, many of the examples should be moved to democide. -- April
    • Democide was dropped earlier because it is not a standard word - just the opinion of one professor if I recall. --rmhermen
      • Yes, but I did both a Google and a literature search; it seems to have entered the language. (I think I mentioned it in the democide talk section.) It's used by a fairly narrow range of people - human rights activists, and some scholars of modern history - but more often than you'll find other terms here covered in detail. If Wikipedians believe the term to be too shaky, then the more political killings can just be moved to "mass murder" instead. -- April
        • All my life I've heard the word genocide used as the deliberate slaughter of huge populations. I don't recall anyone categorizing these awful slaughters, in terms of the motivation of the killers or the characteristics of the victims. Bottom line: you kill a million people, that's genocide. --Ed Poor
Ed, you may have heard the word used that way, but I think we should defer to what the original coiner of the word (Raphael Lemkin) meant by it, and to how the word is defined legally (the legal definition having been adopted at Lemkin's urging) -- under both definitions, if in a bid to reduce the world's population, I randomly chose 50% of the world's population and kill them, I'm not committing genocide (even though I'd be killing 3 billion+ people); but if I killed the two hundred surviving members of some tribe in the jungle because I believed they were an inferior race that must be exterminated, then I would be. According to the original and legally accepted definition, its not the numbers that count (indeed, under the legal definition you don't have to kill anybody at all to commit genocide), its the targetting and motivation that makes an action genocide. If the popular usage is different from this, dare I say popular usage is simply mistaken. -- SJK
Okay, the popular usage is mistaken, just as people are wrong to call the 90mm floppy disk (which is 1.24% larger than 3.5 inches) a "3 and a half inch" disk. But let's not say "the generally accepted definition" if it's not generally accepted. Merriam-Webster has "the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group", so I think we have to take into account both international law and popular usage. Moreover, let's be careful that we don't fall into supporting advocacy of any sort. Recent international treaties may be intended by their supporters more to target specific countries rather than to create general rules that all UN members intend to follow themselves; if so, let's not play into their hands. --Ed Poor