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What is GENOCIDE?

Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

While a precise definition varies among genocide scholars, a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”[2] Because of the insistence of Joseph Stalin, this definition of genocide under international law does not include political groups.

The preamble to the CPPCG states that instances of genocide have taken place throughout history,[2] but it was not until Raphael Lemkin coined the term and the prosecution of perpetrators of the Holocaust at the Nuremberg trials that the United Nations agreed to the CPPCG which defined the crime of genocide under international law. (Taken from Wiki)

I have read Ellie  Wiesel’s “Night”, quiet a while back.. But I am not going to write a review for the book.. I don’t think I am capable of reviewing such an honest account of an incident against humanity…

Night, by Elie Wiesel, provides a short and moving account of Wiesel’s experience in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The subject matter is difficult to think about, but it is important to deal with and remember nonetheless.

Night, by Elie Wiesel, is a hard book to read. The writing is clear and the volume is short, but it is difficult nonetheless. Who wants to read about torture and genocide, about people being ripped from their homes, losing their faith and turning on their own families? It is depressing, to say the least.

Night is not, however, primarily about making the reader sad or dwelling on the past. It is about remembering. Wiesel wrote his memoir so that we would remember what happened and remember what civilized humans are capable of. 

Night will not let the reader pretend the Holocaust was anything other than what it was. Wiesel tells the complete truth about his experience, and the reader is left with hard questions.

Remembering, however, is not a fruitless task. We remember so that we can tackle the big questions honestly and so we can change. We remember because Rwanda and Darfur prove the lessons of the Holocaust still need to be learned. We may not want to remember, but we should. So, read.

Here are few quotes from HOLOCAST  survivors :

“A nation is not when everybody goes to church every Sunday, or everyone goes to mosque on Friday. A nation is full of everybody doing whatever they want to do.”
Abrahim ??? (one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”)

“We good people are a majority in the world, but we are so powerless. We can be powerful if we unite our efforts”
Abu Asal Abu Asal (Voices from Darfur)

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Elie Wiesel

“Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”
Elie Wiesel

“On the one hand, that sounds pretty depressing: so much effort for little result on the ground. But, on the other hand, not one person… was about to give up. Darfur is still too important to ignore, and we all know we will help convince the world into action, even if it takes us longer than we would like and longer than basic decency demands.”
Andrew Stroehlein, International Crisis Group

This is part of  2010 Social Justice Reading Challenge
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