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Rwanda Genocide Essay

The word genocide comes from the Greek word genos meaning race or clan and cide meaning killing. In Raphael Lemkin’s words, genocide is the crime of destroying a specific group of religious and/or racial people. Some areas in which genocide may occur is Africa, the Middle East, or any other third-world countries. Genocide tends to occur in recently collapsed areas of infrastructure, government, etc. The Holocaust took place in Germany and other German controlled areas.The Holocaust began in 1938 and ended in 1945, while the Rwanda genocide began on April 6th of 1994 and not yet ended. Both the Holocaust and the Rwanda massacre were similar due to their uses of classification, symbolization, dehumanization, and polarization. However, the Tutsis faced organization, preparation, extermination, and denial differently than the Jews from Germany. Tutsis and Jews were both classified as the “others” group. Classification is when cultures have categories in which they distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality.The Tutsis and Jews were both the original high standard people of the social pyramid. The colonists believed that the Tutsi were natural rulers, so they only put the Tutsis into positions of authority and discriminated against Hutus and Twa. (Hymowitz; Parker) Many Jews, as well as homosexuals and handicapped people, were targeted as enemies to Adolf Hitler. The reason why they were Hitler’s target was because he believed that they weakened the Nazi Party. (Fremy) This category impacted the way others viewed the Tutsis and Jews who were once the superior race.This similarity is important to this category because we can see that much of the well-known genocides have influenced other genocides. The two genocides also compare with their use of symbolization. Symbolization is shown with a logo used as a symbol of hatred that one group feels towards another. The Hutus labeled the Tutsi people with their physical appearances. It was also expected for the two groups to carry ID to ensure whether they belong with the Hutus or the Tutsis. (The Rwandan Genocide: The Steps to Genocide) Hitler also used symbols to easily identify his enemies.Nazi Germany colored homosexuals with a pink triangle, brown triangles for gypsies, green for criminals, and red for political enemies. (Fremy) This category has affected both groups because it was much easier to torment those who were the “enemies. ” This similarity is important to the category because many innocent lives have perished due to the symbols of hatred that were forced upon them. Both the Tutsis and the Jews were dehumanized in similar ways. Dehumanization is when one group denies the humanity of the other group.The Hutus usually taunted the Tutsi people by calling them cockroaches or trees because of their skin color and their height. Also, some colonial rulers felt that by favoring the Hutu and trying to take back some power from the Tutsi, they could remain in power longer. (Hymowitz; Parker) In order to dehumanize the Jews, Josef Goebbels used negative propaganda to blame Jews for the economic and social conflicts or Germany as well as the world. The Nazis also dehumanized them by calling them the “inferior race”, which laid the groundwork to eliminating the Jews from their rights and freedom. Dehumanization of the Jews) This category impacted both groups because they were all stripped of their humanity. This similarity is important to the category because it only took one statement or so to make the Tutsis and Jews look bad. The Hutus and the Nazi Germans both organized parties to help eliminate the Tutsis and the Jews. Organization can be informal, decentralized, and even include the use of militias to provide deniability of state responsibility. The Hutus organized the MNRD and the Interahamwe, who planned the genocide well.They also used propaganda, coordinated attack against the Tutsis, and often received shipments of weapons. (The Rwandan Genocide: The Steps to Genocide) The Nazis put Jews, and the others into ghettos which allowed him easy access to kill whoever is too weak to live. “In the upside-down world of the Holocaust, dignified professionals were Hitler’s advance troops. ” (Black) This category impacted both groups because now we know that everyone who was not a Tutsi or a Jew had turned their backs on them and worked against them.This similarity is important to this specific category because now we also know that people will do anything not be executed and known as an addition to the enemies. Both the Hutus and Nazis use polarization. Polarization is the stage that involves the use of propaganda in order to persuade people to turn their backs on people who were once their friend. The main media source was the radio. The Hutu extremists controlled the radio and used it to play hate propaganda messages telling all Hutus to kill the Tutsis. (Hate Radio) In Nazi Germany, the Nazis told Jews that they were worthless human beings that didn’t deserve to live.Nazis deprived Jewish people from the human rights and moved them into dirty, disease-ridden ghettos. (The Ghettoization of European Jews) This category impacted both groups by showing that they would go to extreme measures to eliminate the opposing groups. This similarity is important to the category because it showed everyone that with one simple rumor, people will turn their backs on you in a snap. Although both genocides had many similarities, they also had a difference known as preparation. Preparation is the stage where both groups planned out how they would kill their enemies and with what weapons.Hutus marched throughout the country with machetes, guns, grenades, and clubs, brutally murdering both Tutsis and Hutu moderates. “The prosecutors’ burden involved the interpretation of euphemisms such as the phrase “go to work” as a call to kill the Tutsi and the Hutu who opposed the Rwandan regime. ” (Holocaust Encyclopedia) During the holocaust, the Nazis moved Jews into disease ridden ghettos to protect the “master race. ” The Nazis would also send Jews to be undressed and killed with poison gas in gas chambers. Auschwitz Concentration Camp) This category impacted both groups by displaying the way each group had their way of thinking. This difference is important to the category because we are able to see the many ways that they had decided to take out their opponents. The Hutus and the Nazi Germans also differed in their methods of extermination. In Stanton’s words, extermination is the stage in which they exterminate their enemies in who they believe are not fully human. This genocide was carried out entirely by hand, often using machetes and clubs.The men who’d been trained to massacre were members of civilian death squads, the Interahamwe. (Peace Pledge Union) The Nazi people chose to exterminate the Jews through gas chambers. If any of them stopped walking along the way, then they would be shot dead and left in the snow. (Wiesel) This category impacted both groups because it showed their capability to go through with the mass killings. This difference is important to the category because their methods all differed and showed the strengths of the Germans and the Hutus. Both the Hutus and the Nazis denied that they ever committed their genocides.Denial is the last of the eight stages where a group denies that they committed a crime in which they really did commit. The Hutu opposition leader, Victoire Ingabire, was arrested for 8 years for denying that the Rwanda genocide ever occurred. Rulisa said the leader was found guilty of the “crime of conspiracy in harming authorities through terrorism and war” as well as denial of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. (AFP) Himmler instructed his camps to destroy all existing evidence showing that the Holocaust ever took place. He was very fixed on the many survivors who lived to tell their experience from the concentration camps and gas chambers. Austin) At the end of the Holocaust, Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 in his underground bunker before he was able to be captured. The Rwanda genocide ended when the Rwandan Patriotic Front took over the country. Both genocides have impacted the world around us by creating peace organizations and genocide prevention groups. In the end, both the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust were similar in their ways of classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, and denial. However, the two groups differed in their methods of preparation and extermination.In order to prevent genocides from occurring, we must avoid falling into despair as a whole society.

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