by Joe Jarvis, DailyBell:
His neighbor, a woman who had lived in the same community with him all his life, shouted out to the Nazi soldiers. Hersch Altman was 11 years old, hiding with his older sister. His Polish neighbor pointed them out. He got away. His sister did not. Hersch never saw her again.
There are tens of millions of stories just like that one. You can change the names, the places, the regimes, and the ethnicity of those involved. Yet the same thing has played out again and again.
During WWII the worldwide death toll was about 55 million. Excluding military casualties, Hitler was responsible for the death of 12 million assorted “enemies” of the state. This included Hersch Altman’s entire family. He survived by running and hiding throughout the Polish countryside.
In China just between the years 1958-1962, Mao “worked, starved, or [beat] to death” about 45 million Chinese civilians. Millions more Chinese civilians were murdered over the next 50 years.
In Russia, Stalin starved about 7 million Ukrainians to death from 1932-1933. American intellectuals were busy telling Americans how great Uncle Joe was. Most estimate a total of 20-60 million civilians were killed by Stalin.
In North Korea just since the 1990′s several million civilians have been murdered, or died in forced labor camps. Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia murdered 2 million civilians in the 1970′s, and the Rwandan genocide in the 1990′s saw over a million deaths.
I could go on but you get the point. It is important to recognize the conditions which lead to these atrocities, in order to protect ourselves, our communities, our families, and all of society.
There are 8 stages which lead up to a genocide. Not all 8 stages always occur before a genocide, nor does any one necessarily signify an impending genocide. By recognizing these 8 steps, we can stop the madness before it starts.
1. “Us” versus “Them”
Nazi’s are such an easy target when it comes to explaining genocide–they claimed the Jews were different, that they were undermining the culture, and that they were stealing from the rest of Germany by being the middle-man in many transactions.
In Russia, the bourgeoisie or the business class were targeted. Leaders told the proletariat they had been exploited by the bourgeoisie.
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