From the time humans existed, hatred seemed to be the dominant trait
that possessed the souls of men. It was inevitable emotions could provoke
people to engage in acts without thinking; but it was the acts that were
premeditated which were classified as evil and brutal. A. M. Rosenthal, the
author of No News From Auschwitz, described a single moment in history where
these kinds of acts were invoked. This appalling endeavor is known as genocide
which is the deliberate destruction of a national, racial or a religious group
(Winston Dictionary). Genocide is universal rather than limited to one time and
one group of people.
The Catholics in Ireland were being threatened and eliminated by the
Puritans. The typical Irish lifestyle came to an abrupt halt during the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Lewis 9). In 1641, the Norman-Irish, who
were worried that their lands would be lost, and the native Irish, who were
forced to accept an unfamiliar culture, rebelled (Lewis 9). In 1649, Oliver
Cromwell, leader of the Parliamentarians in the English Civil war, lead the
Puritans into a bloodbath against the Catholics (Lewis 9). "He did it brutally,
massacring the Irish without mercy and called the large scale killing ‘the
righteous judgements and mighty works of God'" (Meyer 78). Thousands of
Catholics preferred to suffer and die than deny their faith (Firth 10). By the
middle of the seventeenth century, the Protestants settled on the land they
seized from the Catholics and the Catholics were forced to colonize in towns
which clung to wild coastlines with dangerous tides (Meyer 78). The differences
between the lives of the Catholics and Protestants were clear and the foundation
for their troubles had been laid (Meyer 78).
Another case of genocide occurred when the Armenians were eradicated by
the Turks from the Ottoman Empire (Armenian Genocide). During 1915 and 1916,
one and a half million Armenians were killed. "The Armenian Genocide was
masterminded by the Central Committee of the Young Turk Party" (Armenian
Genocide). The extermination of the Armenians occurred in a systematic fashion.
First the Armenians in the army were disarmed, placed into labor
battalions and then killed. Then the Armenian political and intellectual leaders
were rounded up on April 24, 1915, and killed. Finally, the remaining Armenians
were called from their homes and told they would be relocated ... and then
marched off to concentration camps ... in the desert ... would starve and
thirst to death in the burning sun (Armenian Genocide). To this present day, the
Turkish Government denied these allegations. They claimed the Armenians were
only removed from a "war-zone." The leaders of the Young Turk Government were
found guilty of carrying out the killing by a secret network (Armenian Genocide).
The decision to eradicate the Armenians was not an impulsive decision, but "the
result of extensive and profound deliberations" (Armenian Genocide).
In the case with China, genocide resulted in the extermination of the
newly born female infants. Since ancient times, the Chinese have regarded the
males to be precious and more prestigious than the females. The birth of a boy
signifies wealth, prosperity and luck (Chow). The Chinese Government recently
passed a law which limited the birth of children to one child per family in
order to decrease the current population. If the first born was a girl, the
parents would kill the toddler in order to receive another chance at conceiving
a son. The son is deemed as the "golden child" because he will keep the family
name alive (Chow). The female babies are eliminated by suffocation immediately
so the parents do not develop an emotional bond. Their lifeless bodies are
wrapped in a thin cloth and are buried like meaningless possessions (Chow).
These cruel acts took place without the government's knowledge. This phenomenon
is not as frequent as it was when the law was first introduced.
Undoubtably, genocide is an inhumane course of action chosen by
irrational individuals. The bloodshed of the Puritans against the Catholics,
Turks against the Armenians, and the Chinese parents against their very own
flesh and blood were only a few examples of the numerous situations of this sort
of calamity. Indeed, it was evident genocide has no boundaries, and was not
confined to a specific moment in history or one category of people. It is sad
but true, the beliefs of one person could eliminate the existence of people with
different denominations.