The term genocide, meaning the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group, was coined in 1943 by Raphael Lemkin in response to the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust. According to the International Association of Genocide Scholars, "In the 20th century, genocides and state mass murder have killed more people than have all wars." Despite the International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide and the tireless work of activists, mass violence continues and too often the perpetrators go unpunished.
As students study these specific events, it is important to help them think about how universal aspects of human behavior such as prejudice, stereotyping, and conformity contribute to the proliferation of violence, and about how the decisions made by groups and individuals have the power to stop, prevent, or intensify acts of genocide.
LESSONS, UNITS AND PUBLICATIONS
- Holocaust and Human Behavior Resource Book
- Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians
- Totally Unofficial: Raphael Lemkin and the Genocide Convention
- Darfur Now and Not on our Watch Study Guide
- Teaching Reporter
- Genocide and Eliminationism: A study guide to accompany the film Worse than War