Crimes against humanity are felonies, such as genocide, targeting many people because of their race, religion, or other beliefs. They are spread throughout history from Biblical times to the 90’s. They have also been all over the world. Crimes against humanity begin with racism, hatred, discrimination, and intolerance. These crimes can be explained through their roots, examples, and the survivors.
Discrimination, “the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people” (Merriam Webster Dictionary- Discrimination), may just start out as just simple acts of excluding people, but they can lead to far worse actions. Intolerance is very similar. Intolerance is “to be unable or unwilling to allow some people to have equality, freedom, or other social rights,” (Merriam Webster Dictionary- Intolerance). These two are alike because they both have no individual reason to discriminate or to be intolerant; they may be based off of a stereotype. Finally there is hatred. Hatred is defined as “prejudiced hostility or animosity,” (Merriam Webster Dictionary- Hatred). Hatred is something that most people feel towards someone or something. Who knew it could lead to something as cruel as genocide? Discrimination, intolerance, and hatred are all linked to crimes against humanity because those are what cause the perpetrators to commit such evil crimes.
Throughout history and all over the world, there have been many crimes against humanity. Race and religion are two of the most common reasons for targeting a group of people. One example of racism leading to these crimes is the Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian massacres. From 1894- 1896, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Abdul Hamid II, ordered a series of violent military operations on the Armenian people who were protesting against the government. Between 100,000 and 200,000 people died (“Armenian Massacres,” ABC-CLIO). Today the Armenian government denies everything. Another racial crime was the Cambodian Genocide from 1975-1978. During the Cambodian Genocide, the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, attempted to Cambodia an agrarian society. The goal was to make this society in conformity with the Chinese- Communist agricultural model (World Without Genocide). In this tragic genocide nearly one quarter of the Cambodian people, or two million, died (McCormick Dedication Page). This final example may be the most commonly known crime against humanity- the Jewish Holocaust. The Holocaust was a systematic collection and execution of the Jews in Europe. These persecutions were run by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler. Jews throughout Europe were forced from there homes into massive concentration camps. More than 6 million Jews were killed (United States Holocaust Memorial Mueseum) in this genocide during World War II. Religion and race have definitely played a key role in crimes against humanity.
Although genocides killed millions of people, there are a handful that live to tell of their experiences....