Genocide is a specific term that refers to a strategy of political violence often done to destroy the existence of a particular group. The word is usually overcomplicated by scholar's debate on the possible usage of the phenomenon (Shaw, 2015). The Word Genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin, who was a lawyer born in Poland and Jewish in 1944 (Jones, 2010). The lawyer formed the term by merging a Greek word 'geno-' which means race or ethnic group and the Latin word 'cide' meaning killing (May 2010). He defined genocide as a plan synchronized of several acts intending to disable the survival of a group. All to annihilate the group themselves.
Objectives and targeting of genocide are clear and need not be confused by specific characteristics of each implementation, as they don't portray actual intention. Methods of penetration evolve with political and technological changes of generations (Straus, 2013). However, the justification behind the genocide remains similar—the perpetrators frames their targets with a particular lens. In recent history, the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide are some examples of cases that caused the death of approximately nine million people. The two cases will be used across the essay to explore what genocide entails and its objectives.
Among the academics and policymakers, genocide remains a topic in concern with arrays of competing and incompatible definitions. The United Nations Convention for Genocide acknowledged genocide as actions did aiming to terminate, in complete or in part, national, ethnical, racial, or spiritual groups could be by coercive and violent means
(Wyman, 2019). The listed actions include the murder of group fellows and causing severe mental or bodily injury to associates of a group. Deliberate interruption of the group's settings of life to cause physical obliteration in part or entire group, preventing births within a group and transfer of group's children to another group forcefully are also actions that constitute genocide.
Genocide is a disavowal of the right of survival to a part or entire human group. It leads to the loss of humanity in consideration of culture and other contributions represented by the group. Mostly occurs when racial, religious, political, or other groups are destroyed either partly or wholly. It happens in times of conflict, and it's a trigger to battle or rebellion (Wardi, 2014). Genocide involves three components that are the first beginning. It presumes conflict among two groups with a history of growth and escalation. Secondly, it functions as a primary means of solving the conflict and becomes functional. Lastly, genocide is contributed by the disparity of power obtained from the battle by the parties involved.
The Armenian Genocide
In understanding the Armenian genocide well, the objectives of the perpetrators need to be emphasized. The Armenian were recognized as non-Muslim religious communities living among the Ottoman society, which dominated by the Islamic religion (Moses et al., 2013). The population was considered to be inferior to the Muslim cadre. In the 19th century, the Armenians, despite being the minority, started challenging the customary grading of the Ottomans. They turned out to be more educated, urbanized, plus wealthier. In reaction, discrimination hardened against the Armenians.
In the entire nineteenth century, the Ottomans Empire was characterized by pressures of power on one side, and the other minorities demanded self-determination. In 1908, a political revolution happened led by young Turks who had new and radical ideas of solving the existing conflicts. They had formed a political organization (CUP) to help in radically transforming the regime (Krain, 2014). Earlier attempts in 1876, where they hoped for the support of their reforms by the great powers, failed as neither the minorities nor the European powers reduced their pressure. Following the failure of the CUP front-runners, they began pan-Turkism, a brand of xenophobia, to form an empire based on Islamic and Turkish background. It would stretch to western China from the border of Russia at Anatolia, and the minorities are excluded or else be Muslims and Tusks nationalities.
The ideology of pan-Turkish had severe consequences for the Armenians as they were the Ottoman's minorities. The Armenians got stereotyped as alien nationality but not viewed as constituent millet of the Ottoman regime (Cheterian, 2015). The situation worsened by settling near to the boundary of Russia, an ancient enemy of Turkey. From time to time, the minorities were blamed for partnering with Russia and demanding secession in Anatolia. Armenians were thus perceived as threats for advocating for independence through withdrawal. The avocations were used as the justifications to initiate actions of destroying the community claiming was treason. With the kind of situation, when the First World War broke out, Young Tusks joined the Germans for an anti-Russian alliance. It was in the environment of revolutionary, war, and transformations of ideas that led to the historic decision of destroying Armenians apply.
Armenians serving in the Ottoman army by February 1915 were mistreated and were neither overworked to die nor killed. Before mid-1915, inhabitants of Armenians had been transported toward the deserts away of their land at Anatolia, the eastern region. It was an original form of ethnicity cleaning. Plans for deposition was made over and over by the Turkish and Kurdish villagers who were incited. Members made killing squads of CUP, and whoever escaped the massacres was likely to perish as a result of famine (Suny et al., 2011). From 1915 to 1918, half of the two million population was killed. Afterward, half-million more Armenians died in Turkey's attempts to expel minorities and freeing themselves from external occupations. Therefore, three-quarters of Armenians perished between 1915 and 1923 in the Ottoman Empire. The objective was clear and straightforward; to destroy the Armenian community using whatever means.
The Holocaust, despite having similar origins, had significant variations. Jews were traditionally rejected in European nations, and the 19th century showed substantial advancements in political, economic, social, and cultural aspects (Stone, 2010).. During the period, the antisemitic movement emerged, which initially attempted to revoke the Jews and undermine their progress. The antisemitic developed a perception that defined Jewish as a naturally alien tribe that polluted the world. Following the defeat of Imperial German in the first-word war, the Nazis came to power led by Hitler (Ihrig, 2016).
Hitler had a charismatic person and ideology of union, and the Nazi movement was centered in the fashion of Fuhrer and antisemitism racialist. While in power, the Nazis decided on painting German as an Aryan nation to eliminate Jews and the Jewish spirit (Lipstadt, 2012). Germans started scrambling to show their linage had not been contaminated by the mixture of the Jewish heritage and their traits not determined by Christianity. To please Hitler and Nazi leaders, various groups from the party and state began competing over Jewish policy and who is most radical. The justification for the Jews was that they robbed people of their wealth, corrupting the society, and collaborating globally to destroy Aryan's desires for prosperity (Sicher, 2013). The objective was politically driven as the Nazi's new brand of antisemitic to initiate national hatred against the Jews.
The Holocaust occurred in three overlapping phases in 1933-39, 1939-41, and 1941-45 (Yehuda et al., 2016). In the first step, from 1933 to 1939, Jews got demarcated, taken, and chased away from imperial Germany land. The second phase happened during second-word war when the Germans invaded Poland were most Jews had settled near railway centers. This occurred between 1939 and 1941. In the third phase between 1941 and 1945, Germany attacked Russia's home of Jewish origin. The Jews were murdered through shooting, and eventually, they were transported to specific areas to be gassed and cremated for secrecy and proficiency.
Analysis of the cases
From the two genocidal cases, it is possible to compare the characteristics present in an attempt to define genocide and the objectives. In the meaning of genocide, it is stated that its intention is destroying entirely or a portion of a countrywide, tribal, ethical, or spiritual group by either forceful or bullying means. In both cases of the Armenian cause and the Holocaust, the same objective portrayed itself. The Armenian were targeted to be destroyed based on religious ground for being Christians while the Holocaust involved the elimination of the Jewish group.
Genocide definition analysis
Despite contraversions in defining genocide, from the stated cases oh Armenian and Holocaust, it can be distinguished from other humanity crimes. Lemkin, the Polish-born lawyer, who witnessed the Holocaust genocide, coined the term genocide. In the Holocaust, all the members of his family except his brother perished. The actions motivated Dr. Lemkin in championing for annihilation to be acknowledged as a crime under the law covering all nations (Lemarchand, 2011. Though genocide is a product of the Holocaust, it occurred several times in history, including to Armenia.
U.N definition of genocide was set in 1948 while approving the convections for prevention and punishment of genocide as a crime (Bilali, 2013. Genocide got established as an international crime with member nation vowing to prevent and punish the crime. The definition can, however, be applied about the Armenian and Holocaust genocides whereby, as stated above, there was the intention to destroy in whole or part the non-Muslim and Jewish respectively through the said actions. The first action as per the U.N definition of genocide was by killing the member of a group. In both the Armenian and Holocaust genocide, killings were carried out by forming massacre groups, shooting, and even using gas in the Holocaust genocide.
The second act listed was the cause of severe bodily or mental impairment to associates of the intended cluster. Physical severe health injuries, which involve beatings, excessive force used, and mutilation was witnessed in the two causes of genocidal, which led to the killings. The perpetrator's actions must be intentionally and directed to at least a member of the group targeted (Short et al., 2017). The part of mental health involves long-term disadvantages for a victim to live a healthy life. The harm is irreversible and permanent, which could be due to inhuman treatments, threats of death, and use of violence as portrayed in the two cases of genocide. Armenian soldiers and civilians were turned to slaves and tortured while in the Holocaust, Jews were wiped away from German.
The third act is the deliberate exposure of the group to conditions that bring physical destruction with the aim of causing slow death to them. Such measures for long term death include slavery, deportation, imprisonment, famine, and other actions of depriving the group survival resources (Cheterian, (2015).All the mentions effects were witnessed in Armenian and Holocaust genocide as people were deported, and others perished of famine, dehydration, and lack of medical services. The fourth action was imposing measures to prevent births within the group, like the separation of sexes. For instance, in Armenians, men who served in the army were killed or worked to death.
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