Raphael Lemkin's Genocide

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The Importance of Raphael Lemkin’s Term ‘Genocide’
Genocide, popularly regarded as one of the worst crimes of humanity, is a relatively new phenomenon. The term itself had only recently been included in the modern English language since 1944, when it was coined by Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin as a reaction to the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust. As a relatively new concept, genocide is always in an urgent need of understanding from the public, since the masses plays an important role in both the prevention and, unfortunately, the execution of genocide. Considering that the killers in the Nazi holocaust were ordinary German people, the danger of an imminent genocide exists in the fiber of our everyday society. Therefore, this essay will
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Since genocide is a unique and dangerous phenomenon that is different from other types of violence in history, it required for a functional definition for ease of recognition, of which Raphael Lemkin was the first to be able to do. Here we look again at the definition: "coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundation of the life of national groups, with aim of annihilating the groups themselves." The keywords of which are (1)"coordinated plan", (2)"different actions", and (3)"destruction of essential foundation of life", each contributing an essential part of the construction of a genocide. The first keyword, "coordinated plan", refers to the way in which genocides are intentional and often approved and organized by a state or group. The obvious example, again, would be the Holocaust, in which the imprisonment and destruction of Jews were organized by the National Socialists Party (Nazis). In “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe,” Lemkin also dismantled the “we didn’t know” myth, which claims that genocide happen unintentionally. With objective observation, the signs of a stage engagement in genocidal activities is clear. For example, during the Armenian Genocide, Young Turks officials were completely open in calling out for the eradication of all Armenian people. In one such instance, Nazim Bey, an Ottoman …show more content…
The inclusion of this new term to the UN’s Genocide Convention in 1948 is the result of his relentless advocacy for minorities. Lemkin was different to many UN lawyers at the time in his insistence on protecting the group identity of minorities instead of solely focusing on protecting the individuals, and thus he faced many failures and oppositions before he reached the final definition of ‘genocide’. The idea of protecting group identity, however inferior it used to be in the international discourse, was an important breakthrough, since it pinpoints the exact scale of discrimination imposed on minorities by prejudiced nationalists. Furthermore, groups are more important than mere individuals in the formation of culture, diversity, and civilization, which Raphael Lemkin saw as a critical influence in the identity of the individuals themselves. Additionally, in introducing the term ‘genocide’ for the first time in his work on the Holocaust, Lemkin was able to connect the term to the infamy of this historical event. The atrocity and cruelty of the Holocaust still shocks world today, which contributes to the connotation of ‘genocide’ as a dirty, atrocious crime. The positive result is the public’s strong impression of the phenomenon’s danger. However, this is also where

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