Rwandese Genocide and the German Holocaust, although they happened miles away from each other, their execution mirrors a similar strategy. The mass violence seen during World War II and other civil wars across the world have formed part of the world’s history despite all the civilization and pretensions efforts made to restore mankind. Many people were killed for political, social, and economic reasons. The conflicts against different ethnic groups and countries have resulted due to the political greed of the leaders of the states. The wars and mass killings have been seen to result from the religious beliefs of the states, also the motives against nations and social classes have been in recent violence. The German holocaust and the recent Rwandese killing both happened decades apart but the motives and strategies are similar. The main differences between the German holocaust and the Rwandan genocide include the methods of killing, who was killed, and who was killed. The methods of the killings are more similar to each other as portrayed by the role the institutions in power played in the concept of political identity
The Holocaust happened between 1941 and May 1945, recording a total death of 6 million Jews (Kawalya-Tendo, Constantine 7). The Nazi group killed the Jews because of the political interest of the Nazi leaders. The Nazis deported the Jews from Germany and finally murder them at the identified graveyards.
The killings happened by suffocating the individuals in identified camps with a gas chamber filled with Zyklon B gas and crematoria. The approach of massive and logistic operation was developed and carefully carried out by the special officers; and state officials from regular service units including railways.
The extermination of the Jews by Nazi Germany took place in the identified concentration camps. The Nazis, the SS, and German police units were used by the political leaders to conduct mass murders. They would force Jews in trucks and take the killing site for torture and killing. The Jews were ordered to remove their clothes and shot by the police. The Nazis started the killings with the Polish elites including priests, officers, and political leaders. The Slav citizens were considered weak individuals therefore, they were to be turned into German slaves and were denied civil rights.
The Jewish people were living in overpopulated ghettos which made their deportation a lot easier. The Jews were forced to work for the Germans who were selected to represent the Jewish population (Haperen, 2012).
The Jews were forced to live in ghettos with poor living conditions. The life of the Jews living in ghettos deteriorated drastically making them fully dependent on Germans. The Jews faced malnutrition problems due to lack of proper diet, mental health issues due to depression, and many died due to starvation and overcrowding.
The Nazis killed the Jews by shooting them with guns in the identified camps. These show the onset of industrialization of modern technology (Haperen, 2012). Others were depressed. People with mental health issues became the victims of Hitler’s gas experiment under the euthanasia program to determine the effectiveness of the identified gas in killing the Jews during the war.
The Rwandese genocide took place in the year 1994 due to an economic crisis, civil war, population growth, and the struggle for political power. The genocide was between two main ethnic groups of Rwanda named Hutu at Tutsi. The war began when there was a political conflict between the two groups whereby the Hutu were dominating the Tutsi.
The wars began with the assassination of state officials traveling by air. Later after the assassination, the organized militia in Kigali started killing political leaders, in the state offices, and killing Tutsi individuals in the town. The war targeted Tutsi who were termed enemies of the state. In the urban, the killings involved the organized militia with grenades and guns. The radio stations were used to warn the targets individuals if they were being looked for by the militia. The streets of Kigali were parked with the dead bodies of people killed by the Hutu Militia.
The war extended to rural areas in a week. The organization of how it took place shows that the war was strategically planned. The orders were passed administratively. The school and hospital director were the major culprits of the war. The people were killed with machetes, knives, spears, wooden studded nails, and screwdrivers. Every individual in Rwanda was forced to participate in the war to prove that he was not a member of a political party. The Hutus are reported to have helped some Tutsis escape while others.
The individual would visit the homes of the other ethnic groups and kill them. Also, the killing took place in public places such as schools, homes, and streets. Ankrah says that he witnessed h soldiers entering the church and killing over 30 people in there after asking them if they were Hutu or Tutsi. When the congregation refused to participate, they were all butchered to death. During the war, the killing was more personal because the individuals targeted their neighbors and leaders they knew were different from them.
From the two types of wars, it is evident that the organization of the war involved the political personnel in the respective countries. Nazi holocaust involved the political personnel including Hitler, who were thirsty of power in Germany, while in Rwanda the Hutu wanted to dominate the Tutsi. Both wars, therefore, involved racial, political, and economic differences in the states. Most Hutus were killed because they identified themselves with a certain political party. The worst thing is that the teachers and doctors participated in killing children and women in schools and hospitals. The victims of the massacre were not allowed to enter the premises of the hospitals for emergency treatment, therefore, ending up dying.
Killings in the German holocaust were done by the use of Guns, while in Rwanda, the killing involved the use of machetes, knives, and screwdrivers. The difference shows that the holocaust was the beginning of industrialization and modernization brought about by technological advances. The Jews were killed by the suffocating g with gas and parked in crematoria.
German holocaust, killings were done in isolated camps away from public places. The camps were by electric wire which prevented the Jews from escaping. The public could not see the killing and therefore could not believe it. In the story of Night, Elie Wiesel once said, “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.” (Elie Wiesel - Night FULL TEXT). He witnessed people killed but he was fortunate to escape from the massacre. When he tried to warn the neighbors, no one would not believe him because they did not witness. In the Rwandese genocide, killings took place in schools, hospitals, and churches, which are public places. People could witness someone being killed. From the two wars, it is clear holocaust was objective while the Rwandese massacre was more personal.
The relationship between the political alignment and identity of the citizens is deeply rooted in the political powers. The wars illustrate the extent to which institutions can dehumanize people and create identities for the citizens. It also illustrates how political institutions can manipulate can dictate our daily life in the civil society position to gain full political power. The Nazi propaganda used to justify that the Jews were intruders led to mass killings of Jews in Germany. The same applies to Rwanda, where the propaganda that was spread by Hutu Tutsi were the enemies led to mass killings of many Tutsi and others fleeing the country for their safety.
Elie Wiesel - Night FULL TEXT.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=Z2FwcHMuZ2pwcy5vcmd8bWNncmVnb3JtfGd4OjVmNWFmNjhiNjljYmJjMzY
Gendron, S. (2019). undefined. Perspectives on Evil, 55-73. doi:10.1163/9789004409262_005
Haperen, M. V. (2012). The Holocaust and other genocides: An introduction.
Kawalya-Tendo, Constantine. “Understanding the Differences & Similarities between the Holocaust & the Rwandan Genocide through the Relationship of Citizenship & Identity.” (2019). 2-18.
Mukimbiri, J. (2005). The seven stages of the Rwandan genocide. Journal of International Criminal Justice, 3(4), 823-836. doi:10.1093/jicj/mqi070
Sacrifice as terror: The Rwandan genocide of 1994. (1999). doi:10.5040/9781474215459
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