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Essay: What causes genocide to occur? What conditions that facilitate genocide are present in this new situation?

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  • Subject area(s): International relations
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  • Published: 15 September 2019*
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  • Tags: Genocide essays

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Questions: What causes genocide to occur? What conditions that facilitate genocide are present in this new situation? Based on your causation theory and given a new, current situation, will genocide occur?


One prominent cause of genocide is dehumanization. In Armenia, this happened when “Rxxe and beating were commonplace. Those who were not killed at once were driven through mountains and deserts without food, drink or shelter. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians eventually succumbed or were killed .” (Kifner) “There were executions into mass graves, and death marches of men, women and children across the Syrian desert to concentration camps with many dying along the way of exhaustion, exposure and starvation.” (Perpetrator Account)

People were made to suffer by the Turks, on which they call the march to their extermination. Though most people died on the route, since they didn’t have any resources to survive. They either died on the way, or they were beaten and killed at the camps. The Armenians were in a situation that they were made to die either on the way to the extermination camps or on the camp itself. They showed no mercy towards killing them for their only goal was to exterminate all of the Armenians to gain power in their land.

In the Holocaust, “Women who in their former lives were decent self-respecting human beings now stole, lied, spied, beat the others… By stealing bread, shoes, water, you stole a life for yourself, even if it was at the expense of other lives. Only the strong, the cruel, the merciless survived. ” (Perl Interview)

The people were sane and moral at first, but when they came to the extermination camps where they were detained, they were slowly becoming animals – careless people who do everything to survive, which is dehumanizing them

Bosnia – According to the Bosnian government, more than 30,000 women have been rxxxd in this former Yugoslav republic’s nine-month-old war, with some of the victims as young as 12. The government, partly supported by testimony from Muslim victims and captured Bosnian Serb soldiers, has accused the Serbs of employing rxxe as a tactic to “boost morale” among the victorious fighters and humiliate Bosnian women and their families.

Cambodia – Up to 40 percent of the deaths in this new regime were caused by starvation and disease, as Cambodia’s traditional agricultural systems, markets, and family plots were all eliminated and replaced by directed and viciously applied policies

Cambodian families were split up and people were assigned to work groups. The goal of the Four-Year plan was to achieve an average national yield of three tons of rice per hectare throughout the country. To achieve that goal, most Cambodians were forced to work harvesting rice more than 12 hours a day without rest or adequate food.

Weak/New Government

Another cause of genocide that appeared in both the Holocaust and Armenia was the creation of a new government. In the Holocaust, “…the elimination [of Jews] was central to Hitler’s vision of the “New Germany.”  (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Hitler also used propaganda to have the people in Germany to get in board towards the mass killings and the Holocaust. As time passes, the more intense the actions that they do towards the Jews since they’re also too preoccupied with their “New vision of Germany.” This also connects to dehumanization since they’re willing to do anything what it takes to achieve that vision.

In Armenia, “The Young Turk movement of ambitious, discontented junior army officers seized power in 1908, determined to modernize, strengthen and “Turkify” the empire.” (Kifner).

This ties in with dehumanization because when the Turks decided to exterminate all the Armenians, they did not think of them as humans since they’re all too preoccupied with having the vision of “strengthening their empire.”

Cambodia: The end of the [Vietnam] war did not put an end to bloodshed and chaos in Southeast Asia, however. Cambodia (also known as Kampuchea) had suffered U.S. bombing during the war. And it remained unstable for years. In 1975, Communist rebels known as the Khmer Rouge set up a brutal Communist government under the leadership of Pol Pot. In a ruthless attempt to transform Cambodia into a rural society, Pol Pot’s followers slaughtered 2 million people. This was almost one quarter of the nation’s population. A Vietnamese invasion in 1978 overthrew the Khmer Rouge. The Vietnamese finally withdrew in 1989. In 1993, under the supervision of UN peacekeepers, Cambodia adopted a democratic constitution and held a free election. Pol Pot was captured and detained in 1997 for the war crimes he had committed.

Irrational hatred towards a group (religion, except Rwanda)


The Hutu and Tutsi were believed to have come from the same descent. Though, they have different morals and cultures which distinguished a difference and separation from both groups.

Germany and Belgium believed that different groups distinguished based on physical characteristics, which separated them into different groups and helped the Tutsis (the more dominant group) rule over the the Hutus, despite that they comprise 80% of Rwanda.

Some Hutsis became angry that they weren’t treated with respect. They rebelled and fought back against the Tutsis with the help of Belgium and the Roman Catholic Clergy. After a year of fighting, independence was proclaimed throughout Rwanda. They took over Hutsis and abolished monarchy.

The transition of power induced mass killings and mass migration of Tutsis. Additional mass killings of Tutsis in Rwanda happened throughout after.

While the relationship between the Hutus and their neighbors prior to the 1950s had essentially been based on hierarchy and dominance- the Hutus- a farming people, were exploited by the tithe system and other feudal disadvantages by the Tutsis, a wealthier, cattle- raising community– Hutu- Tutsi relations were, for the most part, relatively peaceful. Hutu dissatisfaction, where it existed, was expressed nonviolently. After Rwanda’s independence from Belgium in 1962, however frequent Hutu persecutions of Tutsis began taking place. The genocide of 1994 was the most extreme expression of a relationship of violence between the two peoples in the second half of the twentieth century.

Though the actual genocide lasted a mere one hundred days, the background of those three murderous months dated back to the German and Belgian colonial periods (1890s to 1962), when Hutus and Tutsis were identified as different peoples. The Tutsis held a higher social status than most of the Hutus, who were perceived as belonging to a lower socioeconomic order. Under Belgian colonial rule in Rwanda, identity cards bearing an individual’s ethnic group were introduced in 1933. Not only was his or her ethnic background stated, but the bearer’s place of residence was also recorded on the card. The person in whose name on the card was held could not relocate to another address without approval from the colonial authorities. After Rwanda’s independence in 1962, the identity cards were retained as a means of discrimination in favor of the Hutu majority.


Holocaust, Hebrew Shoʾah, Yiddish and Hebrew Ḥurban (“Destruction”), the systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II. The Germans called this “the final solution to the Jewish question.” The word Holocaust is derived from the Greek holokauston, a translation of the Hebrew word ʿolah, meaning a burnt sacrifice offered whole to God. This word was chosen because in the ultimate manifestation of the Nazi killing program—the extermination camps—the bodies of the victims were consumed whole in crematoria and open fires.

Although the Germans killed victims from several groups, the Holocaust is primarily associated with the murder of the Jews. Only the Jews were targeted for total annihilation, and their elimination was central to Hitler’s vision of the “New Germany.” The intensity of the Nazi campaign against the Jews continued unabated to the very end of the war and at points even took priority over German military efforts.


Armenians in the area were blamed for siding with the Russians and the Young Turks began a campaign to portray the Armenians as a kind of fifth column, a threat to the state. Indeed, there were Armenian nationalists who acted as guerrillas and cooperated with the Russians. They briefly seized the city of Van in the spring of 1915.

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Revert back to thesis, talk about the evidences

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