Now that we've covered the HOLOCAUST, we are going to look more closely at the FIVE OTHER Genocides of the 20th Century. Click on the images below to be linked to information on these tragedies.
In April 1915 the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population. The persecutions continued with varying intensity until 1923 when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. The Armenian population of the Ottoman state was reported at about two million in 1915. An estimated one million had perished by 1918, while hundreds of thousands had become homeless and stateless refugees. By 1923 virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolian Turkey had disappeared... (MORE INFO)
The Great Purge, also known as the Great Terror, marks a period of extreme persecution and oppression in the Soviet Union during the late 1930s. While previous purges under Stalin involved the persecutions of kulaks (wealthy peasants), Nepmen (people who engaged in private enterprise during the New Economic Policy of the 1920s), clergymen, and former oppositionists, the Great Purge is characterized by imprisonments and executions not only of these usual suspects but of Communists leaders and party members, members of the Red Army, and the Intelligentsia in great numbers. The Great Purge instituted a new type of terror in which the boundaries of those oppressed were practically nonexistent – any stain on the record, including mere association with a perceived enemy, brought one under suspicion of the NKVD, the Soviet secret police. So-called enemies of the people were charged with treason, wrecking, espionage and more. (MORE INFO)
The Cambodian Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where collectively more than a million people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Cambodian Civil War(1970–1975). The mass killings are widely regarded as part of a broad state-sponsored genocide.
Analysis of 20,000 mass grave sites indicate at least 1,386,734 victims of execution. Estimates of the total number of deaths resulting from Khmer Rouge policies, including disease and starvation, range from 1.7 to 2.5 million out of a 1975 population of roughly 8 million.
The Communist Khmer Rouge regime arrested and eventually executed almost everyone suspected of connections with the former government or with foreign governments, as well as professionals and intellectuals. Ethnic Vietnamese, ethnic Thai, ethnic Chinese, Cambodian Christians, and the Buddhist Monkhood were the demographic targets of persecution. As a result, Pol Pot has been described as "a genocidal tyrant." Martin Shaw described the Cambodian genocide as "the purest genocide of the Cold War era." (MORE INFO)
From April to July 1994, members of the Hutu ethnic majority in the east-central African nation of Rwanda murdered as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority. Begun by extreme Hutu nationalists in the capital of Kigali, the genocide spread throughout the country with staggering speed and brutality, as ordinary citizens were incited by local officials and the Hutu Power government to take up arms against their neighbors. By the time the Tutsi-led Rwandese Patriotic Front gained control of the country through a military offensive in early July, hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were dead and many more displaced from their homes. The RPF victory created 2 million more refugees (mainly Hutus) from Rwanda, exacerbating what had already become a full-blown humanitarian crisis. (MORE INFO)
In April 1992, the government of the Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia. Over the next several years, Bosnian Serb forces, with the backing of the Serb-dominated Yugoslav army, targeted both Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) and Croatian civilians for atrocious crimes resulting in the deaths of some 100,000 people (80 percent Bosniak) by 1995. It was the worst act of genocide since the Nazi regime’s destruction of some 6 million European Jews during World War II. (MORE INFO)