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  • Originally published 10/25/2013

    Handmaidens of Genocide

    "Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields" is a shocking reading experience.

  • Originally published 09/03/2013

    No Good Options for Obama in Syria

    Inaction means Assad remains in power and Obama looking weak, but the president faces hurdles to action both at the UN and in Congress.

  • Originally published 07/29/2013

    Yale's Ben Kiernan: Genocide goes on all around us today

    Remote tribes in Indonesian Papua and the Amazon are at grave risk of genocide and it is happening now in Syria and the Sudan, despite the world saying ''never again''.So says a genocide expert, Yale University history professor Ben Kiernan. Papuan tribes - more than 40 regarded as ''uncontacted'' - faced genocide by the Indonesian military, he said. ''Not enough is known about what is happening in Papua, but lots of refugees are fleeing,'' he said.In Papua, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru indigenous people faced deforestation, disease and violent confrontation. Although only the violence could be called genocide, diseases brought by ranching and logging often could not be called accidental....

  • Originally published 07/22/2013

    Amy Kaslow: Will Khmer Rouge Officials Ever Face Justice?

    Amy Kaslow is a longtime journalist covering international economics and postwar reconstruction....Despite years of prodding from Cambodian survivors and international pressure, the tribunal only began hearing testimony in 2007. By that time, Pol Pot—Khmer Rouge architect and lead executioner—had been dead for nearly a decade. A royal pardon allowed his brother-in-law, Ieng Sary—co-founder of the Khmer Rouge and mastermind of torture and mass murder—to travel on a diplomatic passport and enjoy both a homestead in Pailin, the former bastion of Khmer Rouge leaders, and his lavish villa in Phnom Penh. Sary, the man Pol Pot called Brother No. 3, was apprehended in 2007 and died this past March while standing trial in Case 002 for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.

  • Originally published 06/03/2013

    Jay Winter: Raphael Lemkin, a Prophet Without Honors

    Jay Winter is a professor of history at Yale University. His latest book, René Cassin and Human Rights, with Antoine Prost, is just out from Cambridge University Press.When did the Second World War end? In the absence of a formal peace treaty in 1945, we celebrate on the dates of military surrender—V-E Day (May 8), or V-J Day (August 15). But in a sense, it would be better to see December 9-10, 1948, as when the war came to an end. It was then that the United Nations, sitting in plenary session in Paris, voted for two major advances in international law, which together said to the world: "Never again." The last joint operation of the war against the Axis powers was to establish a human-rights regime to affirm everything the Nazis tried to destroy.The first law was the Genocide Convention; the second was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their passage in a 24-hour period was an astonishing achievement. Consider the moment. The Berlin blockade had been under way for six months. The bloodbath attending the end of British rule in India was continuing. The Arab-Israeli war of 1948 had ended, for the time being. Mao's army was approaching Beijing. Eight months later, the Soviet Union would explode its first atomic bomb. The cold war was well and truly on.

  • Originally published 05/22/2013

    Efrain Rios Montt Will Still Face Justice -- and So Should Henry Kissinger

    Credit: Flickr.Despite the May 20 ruling by Guatemala’s Constitutional Court, which overturned the original verdict on procedural grounds, the May 10 conviction of that country’s former head of state, General Efrain Rios Montt, for the genocide of Guatemala’s Mayan people, could be a defining event in modern history.

  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    Former Leader of Guatemala Is Guilty of Genocide Against Mayan Group

    GUATEMALA CITY — A Guatemalan court on Friday found Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, the former dictator who ruled Guatemala during one of the bloodiest periods of its long civil war, guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.Judge Yasmín Barrios sentenced General Ríos Montt, 86, to 80 years in prison. His co-defendant, José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, who served as the director of intelligence under the general, was acquitted of the same two charges.“We are completely convinced of the intent to destroy the Ixil ethnic group,” Judge Barrios said as she read the hourlong summary of the ruling by the three-judge panel. Over five weeks, the tribunal heard more than 100 witnesses, including psychologists, military experts and Maya Ixil Indian survivors who told how General Ríos Montt’s soldiers had killed their families and wiped out their villages....

  • Originally published 05/07/2013

    Over 100 Holocaust scholars urge Obama: Cancel invite to Sudan delegation

    Washington, D.C. - One hundred and seven leading Holocaust and genocide scholars from around the world have sent a letter of protest to President Obama, urging him to cancel a planned visit to the United States by Sudanese leaders involved in the Darfur genocide. The delegation will represent Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for his role in the Darfur genocide. Heading the delegation will be Bashir adviser Nafie Ali Nafie, a prominent participant in the mass killings. The letter of protest was organized by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, based in Washington, D.C. It is the latest in a series of Wyman Institute initiatives seeking U.S. action to stop the Darfur atrocities and bring Bashir to justice. "We must make it clear to the perpetrators of genocide that the United States will treat them as outlaws and bring them to justice, not treat them as respected statesmen and bring them here for friendly visits," the letter of protest argues.

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Yair Auron: Israel must recognize Armenian genocide

    YEREVAN, MARCH 23, ARMENPRESS: Being a country which experienced the suffering of the genocide, Israel has to recognize Armenian Genocide. Israeli historian, scholar and expert specializing on Holocaust and Genocide studies, racism and contemporary Jewry Yair Auron made a statement at two-day international scientific conference titled “Armenian Genocide. Challenges ahead of the century”....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Khmer Rouge co-founder dies

    Ieng Sary, who co-founded Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge movement in 1970s, was its public face abroad and decades later became one of its few leaders to be put on trial for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people, died Thursday morning. He was 87.His death, however, came before any verdict was reached in his case, dashing hopes among survivors and court prosecutors that he would ever be punished for his alleged war crimes stemming from the darkest chapter in the country's history.

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