Genocide in the 20th Century
The term genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe; it has been applied to the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide and many other mass killings including the genocide of indigenous peoples in the Americas, the Greek genocide, the Indonesian killings of 1965-66, the Assyrian genocide, the Serbian genocide, the Holodomor, the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, the Cambodian genocide, the Guatemalan genocide, and, more recently, the Bosnian genocide, the Kurdish genocide, and the Rwandan genocide.[a]`
Many of you lived during these events. All of you have read about them.
- Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1992-1995 – 200,000 Deaths.
- Rwanda: 1994 – 800,000 Deaths.
- Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 – 2,000,000 Deaths.
- Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 – 6,000,000 Deaths.
- Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938 – 300,000 Deaths.
- Stalin’s Forced Famine: 1932-1933 – 7,000,000 Deaths.
Our History of Genocide
Growing up, I had a neighbor who was a prisoner at Auschwitz. I heard my mother and others whisper about it, but her story was unknown to the children who lived there. Based on her age, I knew she was a little girl. I couldn’t stop thinking and dreamed about the horrible things that child saw and endured.
My best friend’s father was one of the first American soldiers to walk into that death trap. She told me stories about how he’d wake up in the middle of the night screaming. We can only imagine what he saw on that fateful day.
What kind of person can think that killing is the answer to the problems we face in this world. Who has the mentality to believe they are better than another human being?
My God is a loving God. He would never condone man’s inhumanity to man. Is it possible to see another act of genocide in this century?
Genocide or Cost Cutting?
Let’s face it. Life’s getting more expensive. People are living longer and as a result, need more care.
I’m of the age where pre-existing conditions are a fact of life. The other day I laughed when the healthcare issue was again being discussed on whatever news station happened to be on television. I told my husband that “I am a pre-existing condition!”
Does that mean I’m no longer a worthy beneficiary of the healthcare necessary to keep me healthy?
I understand how lucky I am compared to most citizens. My healthcare is provided as an employee benefit through my husband’s former employer. Since we retired, that’s a huge benefit.
That security doesn’t keep me from worrying about my friends and neighbors. Everyone in our circle was talking about their struggle to pick a decent insurance in December.
Why does my mind keep thinking about all the instances of genocide in my lifetime when I hear newscasters and politicians talking about changing and improving our healthcare choices.
- I’m a baby boomer, and we are a huge part (75 million) of the population. (Wait, we are healthier than previous generations!)
- Younger workers object to having to help with healthcare needs for a generation which didn’t prepare properly
- Healthcare costs are dependent upon the pool of people seeking insurance. (What percentage are older, healthy, poor?) You need a pool of people not loaded up with sick people.
- Even if you face no other costs, paying for premiums and deductibles for the traditional Medicare choices of Parts A, B and D (rather than opting for the Medicare Advantage program known as Part C) can quickly eat up retirement savings. (Source: AARP)
- Even with Medicare, seniors face incredible strain under health care costs, according to a new report. The study shows seniors spent $10,000 – $100,00+ over and above Medicare for healthcare costs
Lately, I’ve listened to the debate on healthcare now for months. I’m lucky because my husband came from the insurance industry. If I don’t understand something, he can explain it.
One evening in December, as we watched another debate on the healthcare issue, my eyes rounded in horror as I looked at my husband. “They want to kill off all the old people and the poor. That way, insurance costs for the wealthy will go down and the rich who control everything will get what they want.”
Okay, I’m an author, but I have to tell you, my mind started to spin. Suddenly, I pictured a television-worthy despot ruler who found a way to make people die without the visible horror of gas chambers. It would be so easy to get rid of the people who saw the injustices of the past. All you have to do is make it impossible for them to receive life-saving care. Heck, you could cut the poor with the same program.
Now my mind was spinning with conspiracy theories. I could write a book about this and I bet it would become a best seller!
No, wait…could something like that happen in this day and age? Could anyone be so cruel as to manipulate the laws in such a way as to destroy those who are most likely to oppose them? That’s pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?
Our best hope in this world is to keep everyone accountable. What may seem impossible today is tomorrow’s historical footnote.