Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Genocide in the Twentieth Century: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts
Genocide in the Twentieth Century: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts is a fitting title for this collection, since genocide is one of the salient, dominating features of the twentieth century. Certainly, there were attempts be one group of people to eradicate the existence of another, but in the last century industrialization and mobilization allowed this to occur on a vast, unprecedented scale.
This book grapples with the term genocide, trying to find a firm meaning for the act, and settling on a pretty wide view. It covers the genocide of the Hereros people in Africa under the Germans at the turn of the twentieth century, the Armenian Genocide, the Soviet man made genocide in the Ukraine in the years between the wars, the Genocide of the Jews, Gypsies, and disabled people during the Second World War.
After the war years, it turns to other areas: The Indonesian Massacres in the 1960s, the Genocide in East Timor, Bangladesh in the early 1970s, Burundi, Cambodia, and of indigenous people the world over. The book was published in 1995, so the genocide of Bosnian Muslims is not a part of this collection.
Each section is an academic, historical investigation of an incident of Genocide, followed by eyewitness testimony. The book, in keeping with its stated mission, explores some of the motivations for genocide, and what can be done to prevent them.