The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective

By Robert Gellately; Ben Kieman | Go to book overview

5
Genocide and the Body Politic in the Time
of Modernity
MARIE FLEMING

The term “genocide” derives from the Greek word genos (“race”) and cide (from the Latin occidere, meaning “to kill”). It was introduced in 1944 by the jurist Raphael Lemkin and refers to a type of mass killing widely regarded as the most egregious of crimes. Lemkin identified the phenomenon itself decades earlier, in the massacre of the Armenians in Turkey. In 1921 he insisted that the doctrine of state sovereignty was not a license to kill millions of innocent people, and he agitated in the 1930s for international support from criminal lawyers to address the question of what to do about murderous regimes. Finally, in the 1940s, in the aftermath of war and Nazi atrocities, he and other jurists successfully pressed to get genocide recognized as a crime in international law. The definition provided by the 1948 Genocide Convention registered the considerable anxiety Lemkin felt about planned and systematic state persecution and destruction of racial and religious groups. Although he had also voiced concerns about criminal mistreatment of “social” groups, the General Assembly of the United Nations, under pressure from the Soviet Union, retreated from what looked like a possibility of including “political and other groups” in the list of potential victims.1

Some researchers are now convinced that genocide is not really a new crime at all and that genocidal acts against helpless populations have been going on for many centuries, perhaps even thousands of years. Certainly, there have been plenty of mass crimes throughout history and too much slaughter of innocent civilians, especially under war conditions. If we adopt a broad view, however, genocide can become a synonym for mass killings. This approach might make it possible, as Frank Chalk says, to identify “any

____________________
1
See Raphael Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe (Washington, D.C., 1944); Frank Chalk, “Redefining Genocide, ” in George J. Andreopoulos (ed.), Genocide: Conceptual and Historical Dimensions (Philadelphia, 1994), 47ff.

-97-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 396

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.