Twentieth Century Atrocities and Genocides

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Evaluating Atrocity and Genocide


The question, which genocide or atrocity in history was worst comes up again and again and some people get very angry and upset about which was the worst of them all. My response to this question is a little different, based on twenty years studying history and in particular studying World War II and Nazi Germany.

1) I recognize that there are some atrocities and genocides I know very little about. Some such events happened in antiquity and we have very little accurate information about them. In evaluating this question, I also take into consideration that I did not personally suffer in any of these government persecutions, so someone else may have much stronger feelings than me.

Although my father and his family did survive both the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Poland during World War II, the fact that they survived to immigrate to America after the war is probably due to the fact that they were Catholic, lived in a fairly small town, and were extremely fortunate.


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Numbers are not the Whole Story

2) Numbers are certainly not all that should be evaluated when examining a great tragedy, they are not everything. For example, more people died under Stalin's rule than under Hitler's, although with Stalin it seems as if most deaths were incidental to hard work, physical exposure, and starvation.

Stalin and his government do not seem to have focused on any one nationality or religious group. But the Nazis built a vast and interconnected industrial system to eradicate specific groups and classes of people. We don't know all the details yet, but the numbers of foreigners and peasants who died at the hands of the Chinese communists may be even greater.

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Non-European Genocidal Actions


3) Then there is the Rwandan Genocide, in a less civilized area of the world, the total number of individuals slaughtered was much smaller, but horrifying and gruesome because the murders were so brutal and bloody and done "up close" with machetes and knives.

We have known for a long time that poisoning someone from a distance is much easier emotionally than shooting them with a rifle, which is easier than knifing them in the chest, which is easier than beating them to death with your fists. So I think of these kinds of things when I think about mass murder and torture.

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A Personal not a Professional Reaction


4) I always consider and point out to my students, whether unspeakably cruel and barbaric actions were committed within a relatively primitive society or within a highly educated and modern industrial society. So for me, and this is a personal judgment, not an academic or logical one, the Nazi genocide “seems” more horrible because:

(a) The Nazi crimes took place in a modern “supposedly civilized" Christian nation.

(b) So many people participated or were at the very least collaborators.

(c) The Nazi goal was far “worse” than death; their goal was isolation, humiliation, degradation, cruelty, torture, horrifying experiments, starvation, and then death.

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A Qualified Conclusion


Somehow the Nazi efforts seem worse to me, but professionally as an academic and personally, as a moral human being, I do not encourage my students to think this way and I will not permit them to argue about it.

I think arguing about which atrocity is worse would be counter-productive and would not teach us the important things we need to learn about societies and civilization, human morality and choice, and the absolutely necessary limits on power.


Source

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Comments 58 comments

Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago

Unfortunately, in terms of 20th century genocides, there is quite a long list to choose from. In addition to those you mentioned, you could add the Armenian genocide, the "killing fields" in Cambodia, the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia, Darfur, and too many others.

Horrific things have occurred throughout human history, but the firepower at people's disposal and the sheer size of the earth's population help to explain why the numbers are so ungodly in the 20th century as opposed to earlier eras. Hopefully, the 21st century will not have such an ugly record.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

I agree with you, Phdast7, that Nazi Germany was the worst. All genocides are horrible but theirs was systematic, calculating, and specific. Stalin was a terrible paranoiac who mistrusted everyone and was simply mentally ill. The others are horrible but the Nazis take the cake and I pray that we never see their likes again.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Freeway - There are many, many twentieth century genocides which I teach in my classes, but did not mention in this hub. My goal was not to be all-inclusive, but to generate thought and possibly conversation. Thank you for your comments.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago

Yes I know. I just find it amazing to reflect on what a bloodbath the 20th century was, particularly since we think of the modern world as more "civilized" than people of the past.


Wesley Meacham profile image

Wesley Meacham 4 years ago from Wuhan, China

Interesting comments on genocide. I also concur with Freeway, there is a lot more out there. For goal of generating conversation I think you're successful.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi HS - He was indeed a terribly paranoid individual. I am with you and pray and hope that no such regime ever comes to power again. Thanks for the comment.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Freeway - It is amazing. And you are right most of us do assume that the twentieth century was "more civilized." Its as if human nature and the capacity for cruelty stayed the same, but our technology and weapons improved many times over. Depressing and frightening at the same time..


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks for coming by to read and for commenting, Wesley.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Phdast7, interesting article and I would probably come to the same conclusion, Hitler ordered a genocide and convinced those in power that this was the only course of action to ensure Germany's internal 'cleanliness' and ensure Germany's supremacy after its victory over the Allies. It was systematic and carried out with calculated efficiency. One can only imagine what could have happened had Hitler won the war - mass genocide in every nation over which the Nazis had power. It sends a shiver down my spine just to consider it.


aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 4 years ago from American Southwest

You make good points about the factors other than numbers. Another factor with Stalin was that he seemed to focus on his own part of the country. Since it is natural to care for people associated with oneself more than strangers, attacking one's own people shows something unnaturally horrible.

I have been looking at what the Japanese did in WWII. The Rape of Nanking was horrible, but it doesn't seem to me at the same level as what the Nazis did; it was "in hot blood"; crimes committed by an army in wartime. However, I have read a little about what was done in Manchuria by the Japanese and that seems to have been atrocities at least at the level of the Nazis, though not, as you point out, as organized and institutionalized.

As you point out, arguing about what was worse isn't that useful, but I think it is worth making comparisons just for the sake of perspective. It is so easy, growing up in America, to think that most people have been nice to most people at most times.

I think one important point is, civilization and education are no guard against inhumanity; they just provide different tools for the evil that is in men's hearts.


UnnamedHarald profile image

UnnamedHarald 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I don't know whether it was my age or the times that seemed to be progressing towards a better world. The 21st century seems to be stuck in reverse- or at least the same-old-same-old. Thought provoking. Oh, and I'm flattered to be included on your list.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

This is a very interesting article, with much food for thought. For example I hadn’t realised that more people died under Stalins’s rule than Hitler’s. I also can see that arguing about which is worst would be, as you say, counter-productive. Any genocide or atrocity is a wound in human consciousness, and needs healing. I have read encouraging things about conflict resolution initiatives in Rwanda. I suppose perhaps there the genocide was not so calculatedly planned, which does make the Holocaust seem more chilling, as well as its horrendous scale.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Jools - I think you are right; it was the systematization, the calculation, the focus on efficiency (and even PROFIT - how little can we feed these inmates and how much will big business pay us for their labor?) that make the Nazi crimes against humanity seem so very terrible. It is hard to even imagine what the Nazis would have done had they won. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

aethelthryth - Thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed comments. The rape of Nanking is another example of ferocious cruelty, but I think you point is well-taken; those atrocities were committed in the midst of battle. Manchuria, for the reasons you point out is another matter altogether. You are right, civilization and traditional education are not effective at preventing such inhumanity. I appreciate your comments.


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Theresa, what a brilliant and engaging hub, which begs so many questions....

...I have one for you. What's your expert opinion on the Armenian genocide? Some groups like to think they had it worse than anyone else, but what the Turks did to the Armenians was pretty egrigious.

Thanks and enjoy your Saturday - Happy Mother's Day!

John


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Another really great piece here. I believe Nazi Germany was the most horrific, and it is so surreal to think of the astrocities that are ongoing in the world today. Thank you for always putting in your time, research and heart into your hubs. You are a great history teacher.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Sadly, we do seem to be stuck in reverse, or at least in neutral. Occasional flattery is nice; I was pleased to include you on my list. I know there are other "good" writers and historians out there, but none of us can read everybody. Have a great week. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you for your encouraging comments, Melovy.Yes, most of the time trying to compare pain, suffering, or atrocities isn't very helpful. I think you have summed it all up in a striking and profound manner: "Any genocide or atrocity is a wound in human consciousness, and needs healing."

There does seem to be, in the last forty years or so, more awareness of the need for teams trained in conflict resolution, that soldiers and traditional diplomats are not equipped to handle many of these situations. Great comments. Thanks so much.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi John - Thank you for the Mother's Day wishes. It has been raining softly for the last 13 hours here in Georgia, but it is not at all depressing, just wonderfully calming and soothing. Of course, I did not have to dress several children in their Sunday best and try to get them to church in the rain! Then I wouldn't be nearly as pleased with the rain. :)

BTW, we are undoubtedly now HP best friends...imagine my delight (academic's care deeply about their studies, but we certainly have healthy egos) when I read your generous comment and the first words were... "what a brilliant and engaging hub..." Quite a Mother's Day present and I thank you. :)

The hub does beg many, many questions. Material for future hubs, mine, yours, other hubbers. Unfortunately, I am only aware of the basic outline of the Armenian genocide, but from the little I know it was indeed an unprovoked and horrifying attack on a minority population within their borders.

Could a more detailed look at the genocide be a hub you would consider writing? BTW, terrific and appropriate use of the word egregious -- one of my favorite words. :) Have a great week. :)


mbyL profile image

mbyL 4 years ago from Switzerland, Zurich

this one was quite interesting and I enjoyed reading it! Sharing interesting and Voted up!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Faith. Obviously all atrocities and genocides are just horrible, but there is something very chilling to me when one is so industrially organized and efficient. That seems so cold-blooded. I do try to be a good history teacher. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

This Hub led to some interesting comments, some I hadn't expected. I am glad you found it interesting and appreciate your comments and votes. Hope you are having a great week. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

Humanity really know how to shine the light on atrocities.. and that's the shame when we really or at least I do consider them all to be equal in its way.. some more severe.. but the end results remain the same.. :( Of course, there are reasons for the variations, but in the end.. to me I consider it murder, homicides, and everything after that is Historian commentary.. your hubs have that murder by murder analysis that really means so much .. our children can read and see what we have done..perhaps it'll change their way of thinking.. perhaps....


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Frank - Thank you for reading and commenting. You are right, every genocide, every mass atrocity comes down to one group of human beings "murdering" another group. So tragic that history is replete with such instances. We can only hope and pray that future generations do think and behave morally. It doesn't look very good though, does it. Theresa


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon

Hello Theresa! I am here in the filling of a promise to lend support to an atrocity that must never go forgotten. Having lived in Germany for 8 years, I took the opportunity to spend a day a Dachou. It is today, a memorial, a museum and living evidence that man will never be able to measure the depth of cruelty which he can impose on another. Great hub


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

arb - Visiting Dachau, or any of the camps for that matter, is an extremely sobering experience. I was twelve when my father took us to Dachau and I have never forgotten it. I already knew about WW II and the Holocaust, because my father and his family lived through the German and then the Soviet invasions of Poland.

Your description of Dachau is most apt, and sadly it does seem as if we will never be able to "measure the depth of cruelty." Perhaps in being aware of the political, economic, and moral conditions which give rise to such cruelty, we can work to minimize those conditions.

Thank you for your comments and your gracious compliment. Theresa


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 4 years ago from Canada

this is impressive, and like your other hub I read, one which makes me think, while I can think of the numbers, and the people who died on the less personal level, I can agree that the Genocide due to Hitler is still one of the most horrible. I was also able to visit some of the camps, and like arb it is a sobering experience.


dmop profile image

dmop 4 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

So many great comments I feel I really have little to add. I do feel such sorrow that I am a part of the race that claims such greatness and civilization yet can be so cruel to our fellow humans. I fear that man may never extinguish the possibility of such evil, but I do hold on to hope.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Rebecca - I went overboard responding to your last comment (my apologies) so I will keep this response short. The numbers are unbelievable and the cruelty is beyond belief as well. Visiting the camps as both "you and arb" know is an incredibly sad and sobering experience, but probably one that is good for us. Visiting a camp takes one beyond the numbers and statistics to the reality of the Holocaust. Thank you for your encouraging comments. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you dmop. There are some great commenters on HubPages and I am extremely fortunate that some of them follow most of my work. But every comment no matter how brief, or what the content is always deeply appreciated.

The Holocaust and other atrocities, often produce sorrow, sadness, even in some people despair, I suppose. Like you I hope and pray that humanity will mature, move closer to God, and that these terrible things will end, but I am not very optimistic either. Thank you for your comments. Take care.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

I am in no way capable of commenting on such a topic... I can just say.. I found it compelling and very interesting.. History has always fascinated me but due to certain obligations I had to opt for Science over history...

Well.. You write beautifully Theresa.. I am glad I found a History Professor... here on Hp... that too... the most cool one :)


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thanks so much for the list of other historians on HP for those of us who now and them like some meat on the bones of what we read.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

rahul - Thank you so much for visiting and reading and for your generous compliments.. I am glad you found it compelling and interesting, because some scholarly and historical writing isn't! And then we wonder why the general public isn't crazy about history. :) We seem to have taken opposite educational paths, you and I.

I was very interested in archeology, botany, geology, and astronomy in high school and didn't much care for history because it was all about memorizing dates and names.

In college I suddenly encountered several incredibly gifted and dedicated history professors and that coupled with my family history (survivors of WW II, immigrants from Poland) turned me into a history major. :) I do try very hard to write with clarity and grace. I appreciate you noticing. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Kathleen - You are very welcome. We have to recommend the gems that we find to one another. I know there are a lot of other good writers, good historians out there, but it just isn't possible to be familiar with all of them...well, not and keep a day job. :) These Hubbers are all good and all different. :)


PWalker281 4 years ago

A thought-provoking hub. I'm wondering, however, why you would call Rwanda a "less civilized part of the world."


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I am a historian and typically when I describe a region of the world as civilized or less civilized I am talking about the development of the region (or lack of development) in terms of a strong and functional economy, a stable and well-functioning government, a society that with a well developed legal system that protects its citizens, and so forth.

I could have mentioned any number of nations in South America, Asia, the Middle East (European Roumania under Ceascescu would have also been a good example). However, I mentioned Rwanda because I know a little more about this region based on some reading I did as part of a graduate course a few years ago.

Thank you for reading the hub and for your comments.


PWalker281 4 years ago

And thank you for the clarification. My paranoia is probably showing, but I just wanted to be sure :-).


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

No problem at all. I have my own paranoid thought and feelings, too. It seems to be a human condition and life can be very unfair...so all we can do is keep watch over them. Sometimes our thoughts are right and protect us.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Sagittarius - First, thank you for reading and commenting. Second, I am very sorry that your family suffered so terribly during the war. What unbelievable and terrible tragedies befell so many members of your family. Many, many individuals and families from a great variety of ethnicities, nationalities, and religions suffered horribly.

As you point out, the Nazis certainly targeted socialists, communists, Polish intellectuals, Jews, Gypsies, Russian soldiers, BUT they killed many, many people from many other groups, and you are right, sometimes the decision was based on a last name and their insane hatred for people who were not “Aryan.”

Third, no hub, mine or anybody else’s, can address all of the genocides (which are certainly important), it would take a book length document and there are books that try to do just that. And I explained that I was not doing an all-survey of historical genocides, so there were many genocides that I did not discuss.

Fourth, I try to speak about areas which I have studied in detail and not presume to discuss historical events when I only know a brief general outline. What I find so very puzzling is why someone with your obvious knowledge level and concern would spend time dissecting and critiquing my hub instead of writing one of your own.

Fifth, I appreciate all the information you sent me, but I am not going to participate in a discussion or argument with you. My purpose was to encourage people to think about the foolishness of picking the “worst” genocide. I am also not going to engage in scriptural analysis and interpretation. That discipline has its place, but not here and not now.

Sixth, as someone with seven years university training, I was taught to be very careful about the materials I read. As a professional, I am not comfortable basing any discussion on You Tube video, or internet articles or individual websites.

I trust sources/material that has been read and evaluated by numerous experts and authorities in the field. The sources you refer to have not undergone that level of scrutiny; that does not mean they are wrong or bad, but it does mean I cannot build a thesis upon them.

Seventh, as we all know, Holy Scripture has many interpreters and many interpretations; I believe scripture is best suited for revealing the glory of God and serving as moral guidance and instruction for humanity. Yes, it contains some history, some parables, some poetry, but…that does not mean its best function is as a History or Literature textbook.

I appreciate your concerns and I strongly urge you to move beyond being simply an HP “commenter” and begin the work of becoming an HP “essayist.” I wish you well. Sincerely, phdast7.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Thought provoking hub and as I can see by reading the comments, somewhat controversial as well. It is unfortunate that we, and by "we" I suppose I mean those who are commenting here, clothe ourselves in self-righteous hubris when discussing this subject. The fact that genocide remains a reality in our "civilized" world seems to me to speak to how little we really value human life--and how much less still, we value life in third world countries. I suppose for me on Memorial Day, I must reflect on that--


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Theresa,

I'm sorry I missed this when it came out and am happy that I happened along it now.

It's an interesting question that you have raised and you clearly understand that it's difficult to be qualitative about genocide. I would agree with you, however, in that I would extend this dubious honor to the Nazis as well.

What sets the Nazis apart (in my mind)is the way they so fully mechanized the process of killing.

A sobering topic on a sobering day. Thanks for writing this and I will be sharing!

Thomas


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago

Hi PhDast, Certainly the most important thing for us remember , which you always cover so well , is that the WWII era of genocide, Hitler , Stalin , and every puppet regime of that era contributed to the worst numbers in history! And the unknown numbers of dead by all of these combined certainly is the worst . In truth .....there is an unknown tally to come even yet!awesome hub !, you are pretty amazing in your research!love reading your hubs , In addition , every soldier of the WWII era that dies even now is a victim.......Ed


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good evening, Audrey. I had hoped it would be thought-provoking, as opposed to provocative, but I must admit I was surprised at the controversial statements. I did the best I could with them and moved on. Sadly you are correct, we don't value human life as we ought to, and many of us don't appear to vale human life in the Third World at all. I think it has been a day of reflection for many of us. Thank you for your comments. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

HI Thomas - You are the second person to happen across this particular Hub on Memorial Day. As you say, it is sobering.

The mechanization and the processes they used to maximize labor, reduce costs, and then extinguish life are simply beyond the pale. But I am cautious about people's motives for wanting to debate these sorts of questions, of course.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing. My preferred "free" essay (meaning no footnotes or citation) is "Grappling with Important Questions about Oppression, the Holocaust, and Terrorism." No hurry, but when you have time, I would be interested in what you think.

It seems like the better of the two essays to me, but what do I know? I am high on the freedom of writing without footnotes! So, is this what it feels like for the rest of you all the time? :)

Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you, Ed. Your observations are very appropriate and right on target. The numbers of people persecuted and murdered by so many regimes (on the left and on the right) in the twentieth century defies human comprehension. And I would agree with you about our World War II soldiers.

It was the veterans experiences and stories that first drew me to my major area of research. I think my first 12 or so Hubs were about the American GIs. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Thank you for your very generous comments. In my five years at Emory University, they certainly stressed the importance and necessity of thorough research. My dissertation director and German History professor would be very pleased to read your comments. :) I hope you have a great week. Theresa


Sagittarius 2012 profile image

Sagittarius 2012 4 years ago from Canada

Tereso,

 “We believe that history matters. A society out of touch with its past cannot have confidence in its future. History defines, educates and inspires us. It lives on in our historic environment. 

As custodians of our past, we will be judged by generations to come. We must value it, nurture it and pass it on.” The History Matters Declaration 2006.

Why is history so important? : “It broadens the mind”- Richard Evans; “It help us see resolution to our present conflicts” – Julian Richards: “It challenges our intellect”- Ludmilla Jordanova; “ It helps us fight prejudice” – Ruth Scurr; “ It enlarges our own humanity” – Peter Jones;  “It reminds us that individuals make a difference” – Joanna Bourke;         “It gives us a shared identity” – Barry Coward; “It shows us the complexity of situations”- John Hudson; “It make us see that we are not simply detached observers of events” Alun Munslow; – from BBC History August 2006.

Hiding part of  history is usually meant to deceive people, not to educate them. 

As custodian of our past we have to display the whole truth that we know, not to hide big part of it, just to be politically  correct.

Hiding the truth about the genocide of Arameans and Armenians is deception and injustice.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Saggitarius - We have discussed this before. Nothing has changed.

1) First, I never ever claimed to be covering "ALL" genocides. I write about what I have studied and know.

2) After all these months, you still haven't written a single Hub, even though you say you care deeply about the genocide of the Arameans and Armenians.

3) You desperately need to learn some manners (stop being rude and accusatory) and figure out how to have a "conversation" with someone. Hurling insults and making false accusations is not a conversation.

4) I have a productive and meaningful life. You need to get one too. I am busy and do not have time or energy for childish nonsense. Any future comments like this will be immediately deleted.

5) I say again, for the third time, If you are so concerned about the lack of knowledge about that particular genocide, why in the world haven't you written a Hub. Of course writing a Hub is much harder work and takes a lot more effort than mean-spiritedly criticizing other Hubs. Very sad.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

I agree that the Nazi atrocities in WW II were the worst, but I guess I am talking sheer numbers and the calculated methodology employed. It was a bloody century and there were far too many cruel and unnecessary deaths of innocent people the world over. I hope this one is better.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago

Theresa ! Awesome points all ! I too favor WWII as the worst , Germany , Russia , Poland , Japan , China , all about the same time and yet when I think of the world of media then , or the lack thereof , I feel that anything since then doesn't quite compare too. Todays atrocities Disturb me more in a way because the world Knows better " for lack of a better term ! Media is there , The power of intervention of other nations is there ! The united nations , the wealth of our world ! No excuses for Ruwanda , for Cambodia 's 'killng fields ', Maybe its just the purety and innocence of the moral intentions of the second world wars allies that holds our interest ! Awesome hub my dear !....Ed


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

It is my fervent hope as well, Jim. It was a terribly bloody and awful century and so many lives were lost. For those who survived all the many cruel and tragic governemtn actions, it amazes me that they can be optomistic at all....I am not sure that I could be. Anyway, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. ~~Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Ed - I know exactly what you mean. . . the world does know better. With all of our media and technology we know exactly howmany people are being slaughtered and how and where. You are so right, there is no excuse for nations to look the other way when such things happen in our wired and connected worlds. Excellent point. Thank you for the wonderfully encouraging and generous comment. Take care. ~~Theresa


rlbert00 profile image

rlbert00 4 years ago from USA

I'm not sure how I missed this one the first time around but I did...I think that I am in agreement with most that the Nazi's systematic extermination of those that they deemed "life unworthy of life" would be the worst. It is hard to wrap one's head around it but the level of coordination and efficiency with which they murdered their victims makes it truly horrific in my opinion. Nicely done on this one and I must say that I am honored to be included in your list, thank you.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

rlbert - Not sure how you missed it either. :) But glad you found it, especially since you were mentioned. :) I was pleased to include you on my list. I agree with you. Other massacres may be more barbaric or even exceed the Holocaust numerically (Stalin), but the clinical efficiency, the planning, the vicious propaganda seem to be unique, at least in degree, to the Nazis. I will never fully understand it, no matter how long I study it. Thanks for your comments and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. ~~Theresa


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago

phdast , again we have to acknowledge that the Russians may have lost 11 million people at that time as well ! Not too big in written history ! ...........Hey have a great thanksgiving day ! ....oh my gosh you already got it !.........Ed


Theater girl profile image

Theater girl 3 years ago from New Jersey

You always make history live for the reader! So gripping and wonderful! Voted up!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Theater Girl. You couldn't have said anything that would have pleased me more. I was a rather stilted and stiff writer in grade school. So nice to know that decades of reading some really good writers (and decades of practice, too) has finally paid off. My summer so far has been teaching three days a week and scrubbing and spackling and painting a 1920's Lake House that my extended family group purchased as a family vacation spot. I hope your summer has gone, is going well. :) Theresa


purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 2 years ago

Someone put it nicely. Gripping and wonderful. It was not an account of the genocides in a true sense. Rather it gave an understanding of how men and women alike in our society treat the so called "Others" for purposes that a person may not consider worth pursuing in their personal life. I have recently written a hub on genocides where I have included farmer suicides in India as a genocide too. I agree that in a true sense of definition, farmers suicide may not qualify for being called a genocide. But still, its a matter of opinion whether we consider deliberate policy failures as crimes or not.

A very interesting read. Voted up.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

purnimamoh - Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them. Deliberate governmental policy failures which affect so many people are indeed tragic. Seems like their is so much injustice and hardship all around the world. Blessings! Theresa

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