Sunday, December 07, 2008

"this we will not do"

Rafael Lemkin coined the word genocide. Lemkin was a quiet and gentle man, and a international lawyer at the Nuremberg War Trials which took place after World War II. It was Lemkin who made up the word genocide to describe the particular crime against humanity, the Holocaust, the Nazi plan of extermination of Jews during the 20th Century. He lost all his family in Nazi concentration camps.

In the midst of horror and grief he found the clear word to use in international law and treaties, a communication of the rule of law, to define that something for the future to say --- this we will not do.

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