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Does the Holocaust teach us anything about modern-day genocide? (Oh, and happy new year)

January 2, 2010

Things are quiet on this blog while we’re preparing for a server transfer and redesign. But here’s a nice graph from a piece in Foreign Policy last month, on whether the Holocaust is the right tool for teaching us about genocide (or helping us identify early warning signs, etc.). The whole piece is worth a read, but I thought this bit was particularly compelling:

“Genocide” is too limiting a term in any case. In recent years, governments have not necessarily been exterminating entire subgroups en masse with crystal-clear intent. Yet some governments show no qualms about shelling huge numbers of ethnic minority civilians trapped in confined war zones, as we saw in Sri Lanka earlier this year. More common still are governments that kick one ethnic group off its land and force the people into displacement camps where they become permanent wards of international humanitarian agencies — think Darfur, for example, to mention just one place commonly labeled a “slow-motion genocide.”

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