GenocideAfter Rodney King was beaten, and the white police officers wereaquitted, he said “Why can’t we all just get along?” A question asked by manypeople. Rascist and Genocidal acts such as this have been going on for manyyears, and should not be tolerated.In international law, the crime of destroying, or committing conspiracyto destroy, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group is known as Genocide.It was defined in the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime ofGenocide, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9,1948.The crime of Genocide has been committed or attempted many times inrecorded history. The best known example in this century was the attempt by NaziGermany during the 1930’s and 1940’s to destroy the Jewish population of Europe,known as the Holocaust.
By the end of World War II, 6 million Jews had beenkilled in Nazi concentration camps.The known objective of the Nazi rule was Jewish extinction. In November1938, shortly after the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a youngJew, all synagogues in Germany were set on fire, windows of Jewish shops weresmashed, and thousands of Jews were arrested. This “Night of Broken Glass”(Kristallnacht) was a signal to Jews in Germany and Austria to leave as soon aspossible. Several hundred thousand people were able to find refuge in othercountries, but a nearly equal number, including many who were old or poor,stayed to face an uncertain destiny.
When war began in September 1939, the German army occupied the westernhalf of Poland and added almost 2 million Jews to the German power sphere.Limitations placed on Polish Jewry were much worse than those in Germany. ThePolish Jews were forced to move into ghettos surrounded by walls and barbed wire.The ghettos were like jailed cities. Each ghetto had a Jewish council that wasresponsible for housing, sanitation, and production. Food and coal were to beshipped in and manufactured products were to be sent out for German use.
Thefood supply allowed by the Germans was mainly made up of grains and vegetables,such as turnips, carrots, and beets. In the Warsaw ghetto, the amount of foodgiven provided barely 1200 calories to each inmate. Some black market food,smuggled into the ghettos, was sold at a very high price, and unemployment andpoverty were common. The population was large, and the amount of people reachedsix or seven persons in a room.
Typhus became common, and the death rate roseto roughly 1 percent a month.At the time of ghettoization in Poland, a project was launched fartherin the east. In June 1941, German armies invaded the Soviet Union, and at thesame time an agency of the Soviet Socialists, the Reich Security Main Office,dispatched 3000 men in special units to newly occupied Soviet territories tokill all Jews on the spot. These mobile detachments, known as “Einsatzgruppen”,or “Action Squads”, were soon engaged in nonstop shootings. The massacresusually took place in ditches or ravines near cities and towns. Occasionally,they were witnessed by soldiers or local residents. Before long, rumors of thekillings were heard in several capitals of the world.Camps equipped with facilities for gassing people were being created onthe soil of occupied Poland.
Most prospective victims were being created on thesoil of occupied Poland. Most prospective victims were to be deported to thesekilling centres from ghettos nearby. From the Warsaw ghetto alone, more than300,000 were removed. The first transports were usually filled with women,children, or older men, who could not work for the Germans. Jews capable oflabor were being held for work in shops or plants, but they too were to bekilled in the end.
The heaviest deportations occurred in the summer and fall of1942. The destinations of the transports were not known to the Jewishcommunities, but reports of mass deaths eventually reached the surviving Jews,as well as the governments of the United States and Great Britain. In April1943, the 65,000 remaining Jews of Warsaw put up a fight against German policewho entered the ghetto in a final roundup. The battle was fought for threeweeks.The death camps in Poland were Kulmhof, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka,Lubin, and Auschwitz, Kulmhof was supplied with gas vans, and it’s death tollwas 150,000.
Belzec had carbon monoxide gas chambers in which 600,000 Jews werekilled. Sobibor’s gas chambers accounted for 250,000 dead, and Treblinka’s for700,000 to