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Genocides in history
Genocide appears to be a regular and widespread feature of the history of civilization. The phrase "never again" often used in relation to genocide has been contradicted up to the present day.
Determining what historical events constitute a genocide and which are merely criminal or inhuman behavior is not a clearcut matter. Furthermore, in nearly every case where accusations of genocide have circulated, partisans of various sides have fiercely disputed the interpretation and details of the event, often to the point of promoting wildly different versions of the facts. An accusation of genocide is certainly not taken lightly and will almost always be controversial. The following list of alleged genocides should be understood in this context and not regarded as the final word on these subjects.
A record of several alleged genocides is found in the Bible, although the perceived accuracy and import of the accounts relates to the reader's opinion of the Bible as a whole. To name a few:
- The conquest and massacre of various middle-eastern peoples, including Israel, by the empires of Assyria and Babylon.
Alexander's genocide of Persians
The Macedonian generalissimo Alexander and his army of sixty thousand ravaged Persia's capital city, Persepolis, around 331 BCE, slaughtering nearly all the inhabitants, burning the great palace of Xerxes, and plundering vast wealth. While the butchery and the destruction of priceless cultural treasures is inexcusable by modern standards of morality, it cannot be rightly termed genocide: after all, the Persian ethnos was not placed in serious danger. There is evidence that the Macedonian conqueror was perfectly willing to coexist with the Persians, both as a culture and as an ethnos, provided they showed him submission. Of course Alexander was responsible for many acts of genocide perpetrated upon smaller groups of people, such as his near-extermination of the Thebans, his extermination of whole tribes in Bactria and Thrace, and his brutal campaigns in India.
Many campaigns of the Roman Empire can by modern standards be rated as genocide:
- Caesar's campaign against the Helvetii: approximately 60% of the tribe was killed, and another 20% was taken into slavery.
- Carthage: the city was completely destroyed, and its people murdered or enslaved.
- Jerusalem: the city was burned and its people murdered or enslaved.
- The Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229) in France can be considered as a case of genocide. It was carried out against the Cathar people, militarily and by use of the Inquisition.
Genghis Khan and his sons
- One of the greatest alleged genocides in terms of raw numbers is the killings that occurred during the formation of the empire of Genghis Khan and his sons. It is estimated that millions of civilians were ruthlessly and systematically killed throughout many parts of Eurasia in the 13th Century.
Genocides since 1500
The indigenous populations of the Americas sharply plummetted following the arrival of Europeans from 1492 onward. Not all the mortality was consciously inflicted: disease and hardship, and the severing of social ties, all took their toll. The native tribes of the Caribbean were eliminated like the Guanches in the Canary Islands the previous century (Crosby 1986). Central Mexico, with an estimated pre-Conquest population of 25 million, was reduced to a residual population of a million in the 17th century. In 1790, when the first U.S. census was executed, there were 300 Indians left in Pennsylvania, 1500 each in New York and Massachusetts, and still some 10,000 in the Carolinas (Braudel 1984 p 393).
The long-term decimation, sometimes by government policy and sometimes not, of the Natives of South and North America by Europeans is estimated to be one of the largest and longest in history. 
Various estimates of the pre-contact Native population of the continental U.S. and Canada range from 1.8 to over 12 million. Over the next four centuries, their numbers were reduced to a low of 237,000 by 1900. It has been estimated that the Native population of what is now Mexico was reduced from 30 million to only 3 million over the first four decades of Spanish rule.
European persecution of Natives started with Christopher Columbus' arrival in San Salvador in 1492. Native population dropped dramatically over the next few decades. Some were directly exterminated by Europeans. Others died indirectly as a result of contact with introduced diseases for which they had no resistance.
Over the next four centuries, European settlers would systematically displace Native American peoples, from the Arctic to South America. This was accomplished through varying combinations of warfare, the signing of treaties (of which the Natives may not have fully understood at times), forced relocations to barren lands, destruction of their main food supply -- such as the bison -- and the spread of European disease, notably smallpox.
- The Beothuk people, an aboriginal group native to the Dominion of Newfoundland, are now completely extinct as a result of extended conflict with European colonists (mostly fishermen who regarded them as thieves), loss of habitat and importation of diseases such as tuberculosis.
- Activities of European colonists and importation of previously-unseen diseases (including in some cases the distribution of disease-contaminated blankets) caused many deaths in other Canadian native communities; the Beothuk are unique in Canadian history as having suffered not only genocide but outright extinction.
- In a metaphorical sense, many native cultures suffered "genocide" when the Catholic church forcely converted many natives throughout Canada.
- Throughout the 19th century, Native Americans were driven off their traditional lands to facilitate the installation of settlers (colonists). On some occasions, entire villages were massacred by the U.S. Army. Tribes were generally relocated to reservations on which they could be more readily pushed toward assimilation into mainstream U.S. society.
See cultural genocide.
- During the Civil War in Guatemala an extraproportional large number of Maya Indians were killed. Under the rule of Efrain Rios Montt (1982-1983) 75,000 Mayas were killed.
- Genocide in the Congo Free State, prior to its being taken over by Belgium to form the Belgian Congo
- Under the rule of King Leopold II, the Congo Free State suffered a great loss of life due to criminal indifference to its native inhabitants in the pursuit of increased rubber production.
- Exploitation of the Dutch East Indies, French Indochina, German Southwest Africa, Rhodesia, and South Africa paled in comparison to that in what later became the Belgian Congo. The most infamous example of this is the Congo Free State.
- King Leopold II (of Belgium) was a famed misanthropist, abolitionist, and self-appointed sovereign of the Congo Free State, 76 times larger geographically than Belgium itself.
- His fortunes, and those of the multinational concessionary companies under his auspices, were mainly made on the proceeds of Congolese rubber, which had historically never been mass-produced in surplus quantities.
- Between 1880 and 1920 the population of the Congo halved; over 10 million "indolent natives" unaccustomed to the bourgeois ethos of labor productivity, were the victims of murder, starvation, exhaustion induced by over-work, and disease.
- Mass-murder or genocide in the Congo Free State became a cause celèbre in the last years of the 19th century, and a great embarrassment to not only the King but also to Belgium, which had portrayed itself as progressive and attentive to human rights.
- Boer (not Afrikaner) and other historians feel that the second war of the British Empire against the Boer (not Afrikaner) Republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State were a definite form of genocide: because the Boers protested against British plans to annex their Boer Republics, they declared war against the British.
- The British rounded up Boer civilians, placing them in concentration camps. Until the Boers surrendered in May 1902, at least 27,000 Boer (not Afrikaner) civilians had been killed.
- These figures are more accurately reflected as follows;
24,000 Boer Children, nearly half of the Boer child population had died. 3,000 Boer women also died.
- In 1985, the United Nations Whitaker Report recognized the German attempt to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples of Southwest Africa as one of the earliest attempts at genocide in the twentieth century. In total, some 65,000 Herero (80 percent of the total Herero population), and 10,000 Nama (50 percent of the total Nama population) were killed or perished. Characteristic of this genocide was death by starvation and the poisoning of wells for the Herero and Nama populations that were trapped in the Namib desert. The responsible German general was Lothar von Trotha
- Many historians have stressed the historic importance of these atrocities, tracing the evolution from Kaiser Wilhelm II to Hitler, from Southwest Africa to Auschwitz.
- Germany Refuses to Apologize for Herero Holocaust (2002)
- Germany admits Namibia genocide (2004)
- Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker - Der Völkermord an den Herero
- Officially 937,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutus. See History of Rwanda, Rwandan Genocide.
1983 - present
- The United States government's Sudan Peace Act of October 21, 2002 accused Sudan of genocide for killing more than 2 million civilians in the south during an ongoing civil war since 1983.
- In 2004 it became widely known that there was an organised campaign by Janjaweed militias (nomadic Arab shepherds with the support of Sudanese government and troops) to get rid of 80 black African groups from the Darfur region of western Sudan. These peoples include the Fur, Zaghawa and Massalit.
- Mukesh Kapila (United Nations humanitarian coordinator) is quoted as saying: "The vicious war in Darfur has led to violations on a scale comparable in character with Rwanda in 1994. All the warning signs are there."
- On September 9, 2004 United States Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that the actions of the armed Muslim Arab Janjaweed organization in Darfur, conducted with the tacit approval, if not active support, of the Government of Sudan, constitute genocide. Powell stated before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility."
- Western countries are as yet undecided how or whether to intervene, while at present millions of people are displaced, had their family separated and property destroyed. There is a risk of famine and epidemic because of overcrowding in camps, the destruction of agriculture, and poor supplies of medicine and food.
- The Australian Aboriginal Population was decimated when the Caucasian population moved in. Many died from disease introduced by those settlers and some were shot. During the White Australian Policy, it was expected that Australian Aboriginal population would slowly "assimilate" into the main white population. The removal of Aboriginal children from their families by the Australian government is considered by some to have constituted genocide, using the argument that it falls within the ambit of Art. 2(e) of the Genocide convention. There is also a converse argument that the removal of Aboriginal children was intended to protect, rather than exterminate them. See Stolen Generation and Keith Windschuttle. The relative effects of those and other factors is a subject of strong historical and political debate, including whether they constituted genocide.
- However, in Tasmania, where racially distinct Aboriginal groups existed, Aboriginal population was almost entirely wiped out in the 19th century with only those with mixed blood surviving. It was legal for the settler to shoot natives on the spot and many died from disease introduced by those settlers. The last surviving group was transferred to a colony on Flinders Island and all of its members died out slowly due to neglect. Their languages are entirely lost and most of their cultural heritage is gone, though people of mixed descent still insist on spiritual connection to the land.
- Al-Anfal Campaign against Iran-aligned Kurdish populations - ethnic cleansing, and in cases bordering on genocide. Chemical weapons attacks on Kurds 1986-88 (Saddam Hussein's forces used Sarin to kill the population of a Kurd village. See Halabja poison gas attack for a full discussion) and on Iranians.
- Attacks on and ethnic-cleansing against rival ethnic groups in the South (Shia Muslims) and North (Kurds) of Iraq after the Persian Gulf War.
- Approximately 500,000–750,000 Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire were killed. The Turkish government still denies that there was any genocide.
- Between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire died. Armenians and most historians believe the deaths constituted genocide. The Turkish government denies allegations of genocide.
- Between 300,000 and 600,000 Pontian Greeks in the Ottoman Empire were killed, and several hundred thousand others exiled. The Turkish government denies there was any genocide, instead blaming the wars with Greece which took place around the same time.
- Wars of the Vendée: the revolutionary National Convention ordered a pacification of the province, with specific instructions to kill children and women of reproductive age.
German Nazi genocide before and during World War II (also known as: the Final Solution, the Holocaust)(1933–1945).
- The Holocaust: approximately 11 million people were killed (figure is contested, according to the Nazi racist ideology, as some ethnic groups were considered "sub-human"). This includes:
- 7.5 million Soviet civilians and 3.2 million Soviet POWs. This number includes 2 million Soviet Jews mainly in the areas of former Eastern Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia proper, many of whom were killed by squads of Nazi collaborators formed among Ukrainians, Latvians, Russians and Lithuanians. The Jews of Eastern Poland were doubly counted also among victims in Poland.
- Organized ethnic cleansing carried out by Serbs against Croats, Roma, and Bosniaks throughout the period.
- More than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred in Srebrenica in July 1995. See also History of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Genocide of the Serbs during WWII
After the invasion and destruction of the Yugoslav army by Hitler in 1941, he supported the creation of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) which was run by the extreme Croatian fascists called the Ustasa. The leader of this state Ante Pavelić put into effect a campaign of persecution and genocide against the Serbs, Jews and Gypsies.
This policy was set out by Mile Budak , the Minister for Education & Culture who in his speech of 22nd July 1941, said that:
- The basis for the Ustashe movement is religion. For minorities such as the Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies, we have three million bullets. We will kill a part of the Serbs. Others we will deport, and the rest we will force to accept the Roman Catholic Religion. Thus the new Croatia will be rid of all Serbs in its midst in order to be 100% Catholic within 10 years.
The number of people killed by the Ustashe between 1941-1945 is uncertain and has been debated, but in total over 100,000 people, mostly Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, were killed in areas under Ustašaa control. Much lower and much higher numbers have been in circulation, but without much actual backing.
The Independent State of Croatia was the only state created by the Axis Powers that ran its own concentration camps independently of Nazi direction, the largest being the Jasenovac concentration camp, in fact a collection of camps that covered tens of square kilometres, where most were killed. 
- Approximately 2,000,000 - 7,000,000 people, mostly Ukrianians, died in the famine. Ukrainian nationalists maintain that this was an act of genocide by Russia against the Ukrainian people, but this claim is contested by four facts: (1) there was never any discrimination against Ukrainians in the USSR, (2) the Soviet government, not Russians, contributed to the famine, (3) historically Russians have no quarrel with Ukrainians and (4) the famine struck the area far larger than Ukraine.
- Killed approximately 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975-1979.
- The Khmer Rouge, or more formally, the Communist Party of Kampuchea, led by Pol Pot, Ta Mok, Duch and other leaders, organized the mass killing of ideologically suspect groups, ethnic Vietnamese, ethnic Chinese or Sino-Khmers, ethnic Chams, ethnic Thais, former civil servants, demobilized soldiers, Buddhist monks, secular intellectuals and professionals, and refugees. Khmer Rouge cadres defeated in factional struggles were also liquidated in purges.
See also: Democratic Kampuchea
(1965-today) Organised Indonesian occupation of western New Guinea, providing training and finance of Indonesian troops conducting the genocide, and a number of U.S. companies such as Freeport-McMoRan have been accused of directly paying TNI troops to continue military actions against the native landowners.
- Nanjing Massacre: Some authorities claimed 300,000 people killed during the three months following the fall of Nanjing to the Japanese. Genocide targeted at Chinese at other places of China: Manchuria, the Wan Bao Hill Incident , Xiangyang.
- Unit 731 conducted biological and chemical warfare experiments through unanesthetised vivisection on human. About 30,000 people died this way.
- Sook Ching Massacre: When British Malaya fell to the Japanese Imperial Forces in February 1942, ethnic Chinese in Singapore were systematically exterminated on the pretext of eliminating "anti-Japanese" elements. The death toll range from 5,000 to 100,000.
- Smaller scale Genocide also targeted at Koreans, Filipinos, Dutch, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Burmese.
In total, about 20 million Chinese, 9 million Korean, 2 million Taiwanese, and more millions of South Asians and Pacific Islanders were killed between the official invasion of China in 1937 to the end of World War II in 1945.
1973 - Present
- Since the end of the Vietnam War hostilities against the Degar (Montagnard) by the Vietnamese government have been widespread. After the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam at the close of this war, the Vietnamese government retaliated against the tribes who had helped the U.S. Nearly two thirds of the Degars have died since 1973, including more than half the male population. These reprisals continue at present (2003) and are considered by many to fit the definition of genocide.
Soon after Dyer's arrival, on the afternoon of April 13, 1919, some 10,000 or more unarmed men, women, and children gathered in Amritsar's Jallianwala Bagh (bagh, "garden"; but before 1919 it had become a public square) to attend a protest meeting, despite a ban on public assemblies. It was a Sunday, and many neighbouring village peasants also came to Amritsar to celebrate the Hindu Baisakhi Spring Festival. Dyer positioned his men at the sole, narrow passageway of the Bagh, which was otherwise entirely enclosed by the backs of abutted brick buildings. Giving no word of warning, he ordered 50 soldiers to fire into the gathering, and for 10 to 15 minutes 1,650 rounds of ammunition were unloaded into the crowd, some of whom were trampled by those trying to escape. According to official estimates, nearly 400 civilians were killed, and another 1,200 were left wounded with no medical attention. Dyer, who argued his action was necessary to produce a "moral and widespread effect," admitted that the firing would have continued had more ammunition been available.
Indian National Congress Party genocide of Sikhs
1984 More than 4,000 Sikh men, women and children were slaughtered by Congress Party hoodlums in November 1984. In Delhi alone, 2,733 Sikhs were burned alive, butchered or beaten to death. For three days and nights the killing and pillaging continued without the police, the civil administration and the Union government, which was then in direct charge of Delhi, lifting a finger in admonishment. The Congress was in power, and senior Congress leaders like HKL Bhagat and Jagadish Tytler, led from the front directing their thugs, while the entire council of ministers twiddled their thumbs. Rajiv Gandhi, having ensconced himself as prime minister, later sought to justify the terror unleashed by his party. Addressing a rally at Delhi's Boat Club to celebrate his mother's birth anniversary, he thundered: 'When a big tree falls, the earth will shake.'
(1989 - present) Thousands of Muslims were killed, women were raped by Indian Army as well as high class Muslim people to suppress Liberation war in Kashmir. After Kashmiri uprising began since late 1980s Hindu civilians as well as military have been killed and over half a million Hindus have been driven away from their homes by Kashmiri Freedom fighters in India's Jammu and Kashmir regions.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War, over a period of just under nine months (267 days), 3 million Bangladeshis were killed by Pakistan Army. On average, 11,235 people were killed each day. It was the first time in history so many civilian Muslims were killed by a Muslim Army. Around 200,000 women aged between 8 years and 60 years were raped. Several thousands children (war-babies) were born, most of them were taken by families in Canada and countries in Western Europe (mainly France and Sweden). Some were taken to Mother Teresa, Calcutta.
- Braudel, Fernand, The Perspective of the World, vol. III of Civilization and Capitalism 1984 (in French 1979).
- Cronon, William, Changes in the Land : Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England 1983 ISBN: 0809016346
- Crosby, Alfred W., Ecological Imperialism : The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900, Cambridge University Press, 1986 ISBN: 0521456908
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