The term genocide derives from the Greek genos (race) and the Latin -cide (killing).
The term was coined by the Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944. Between 1945 to 1946, Lemkin was an advisor to the American Zionist and Chief United States Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials Robert H. Jackson. The term genocide appeared in the indictment of the National Socialist leaders, although they were formally charged with claimed crimes such as the vague "crimes against humanity" and "crimes against peace". See also Nuremberg trials: Non-trial of the Allies for atrocities and starting wars.
The etymology of genocide indicates that the term refers specifically to the killing of a race/ethnicity. However, the "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" (1948) instead describes it as "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group". Thus, despite including some non-racial groups, the convention carefully does not include mass killings of groups perceived as political enemies, thereby excluding many mass killings under Communist regimes, such as of the kulaks, despite the Communists stating the aim "to exterminate the kulaks as a class". The convention also describes as genocide some non-killings, such as forcibly preventing a group from having children or transferring the children away from the group. Genocide according to the convention also includes causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of a group without killing them.
Another term is democide, which refers to mass killings of civilians from all causes by a government and excludes the non-killings described in the convention.
Genocides and other forms of mass killings have existed throughout human history, including many after WWII. However, today it is overwhelmingly the argued genocide during The Holocaust that is mentioned and described in the mass media. See also the article on Holocaust uniqueness.
See the "External links" for lists and descriptions of various genocides and mass killings, many likely being completely unknown to general public.
Regarding the "White genocide conspiracy theory", see the article on this topic.
Genocides and mass killings
- Genocides, Politicides, and Other Mass Murder Since 1945, With Stages in 2008
- Genocides and Politicides events 1955-2002
- Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
History of the concept
Sometimes described as genocide