By René Lemarchand
Unlike the Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia, or Armenia, scant consciousness has been paid to the human tragedies analyzed during this publication. From German Southwest Africa (now Namibia), Burundi, and japanese Congo to Tasmania, Tibet, and Kurdistan, from the mass killings of the Roms via the Nazis to the extermination of the Assyrians in Ottoman Turkey, the brain reels while faced with the inhuman acts which have been consigned to oblivion.
Forgotten Genocides: Oblivion, Denial, and Memory gathers 8 essays approximately genocidal conflicts which are unremembered and, thus, understudied. The individuals, students in political technological know-how, anthropology, historical past, and different fields, search to revive those mass killings to where they deserve within the public recognition. Remembrance of lengthy forgotten crimes isn't the volume's merely purpose—equally major are the wealthy quarry of empirical info provided in each one bankruptcy, the theoretical insights supplied, and the comparative views prompt for the research of genocidal phenomena. whereas each one genocide is exclusive in its conditions and causes, the essays during this quantity clarify that planned concealment and manipulation of the proof by way of the perpetrators are extra usually the rule of thumb than the exception, and that reminiscence usually has a tendency to distort the prior and blame the sufferers whereas exonerating the killers.
Although the instances mentioned listed here are yet a pattern of a litany going again to biblical occasions, Forgotten Genocides bargains an immense exam of the range of contexts out of which time and again emerge an analogous hideous realities.
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Extra info for Forgotten Genocides: Oblivion, Denial, and Memory
Genocide, Mass Murder, or War Crimes? The title of this book raises another question: In what sense can one describe these massive human rights violations, horrendous as they are, as genocides? To this query there are no satisfactory answers. ” Long after Lemkin gave it a name as well as a definition—“A coordinated plan of action aimed at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups completely”8—disagreements persist about these and other attributes.
Years ago, when I was a graduate student at UCLA, his help and encouragement while I tried to make sense of the complexities of ethnic politics in Rwanda and Burundi, at a time when neither one evoked the faintest interest among most scholars and Africanists, has been invaluable. I thank each of the contributors for their patience while the manuscript was going through many revisions and painful surgical cuts, some accompanied by much gnashing of the teeth. No one is more deserving of my gratitude than Margaret Joyner, an accomplished editor, for her exemplary skills in giving final shape to each of the chapters.
Nowhere is this bias more obvious than in post-genocidal contexts. As many of the cases in this book demonstrate, what to forget and what to remember is a political choice, more often than not dictated by the need to erase the past to legitimize the present. A dominant narrative thus emerges that projects the victor’s version of history and silences dissenting voices. 29 Drawing on the insights of Paul Ricoeur and Eva Hoffman, I made a case for reconciliation between Hutu and Tutsi through the sharing of ethnic memories.