It was inevitable emotions could provokepeople to engage in acts without thinking; but it was the acts that werepremeditated which were classified as evil and brutal. A. M. Rosenthal, theauthor of No News From Auschwitz, described a single moment in history wherethese kinds of acts were invoked. This appalling endeavor is known as genocidewhich is the deliberate destruction of a national, racial or a religious group(Winston Dictionary). Genocide is universal rather than limited to one time andone group of people.
The Catholics in Ireland were being threatened and eliminated by thePuritans. The typical Irish lifestyle came to an abrupt halt during thesixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Lewis 9). In 1641, the Norman-Irish, whowere worried that their lands would be lost, and the native Irish, who wereforced to accept an unfamiliar culture, rebelled (Lewis 9). In 1649, OliverCromwell, leader of the Parliamentarians in the English Civil war, lead thePuritans into a bloodbath against the Catholics (Lewis 9). “He did it brutally,massacring the Irish without mercy and called the large scale killing therighteous judgements and mighty works of God'” (Meyer 78).
Thousands ofCatholics preferred to suffer and die than deny their faith (Firth 10). By themiddle of the seventeenth century, the Protestants settled on the land theyseized from the Catholics and the Catholics were forced to colonize in townswhich clung to wild coastlines with dangerous tides (Meyer 78). The differencesbetween the lives of the Catholics and Protestants were clear and the foundationfor their troubles had been laid (Meyer 78). Another case of genocide occurred when the Armenians were eradicated bythe Turks from the Ottoman Empire (Armenian Genocide). During 1915 and 1916,one and a half million Armenians were killed. “The Armenian Genocide wasmasterminded by the Central Committee of the Young Turk Party” (ArmenianGenocide).
The extermination of the Armenians occurred in asystematic fashion. First the Armenians in the army were disarmed, placed into laborbattalions and then killed. Then the Armenian political and intellectual leaderswere rounded up on April 24, 1915, and killed. Finally, the remaining Armenianswere called from their homes and told they would be relocated . . .
and thenmarched off to concentration camps . . . in the desert . .
. would starve andthirst to death in the burning sun (Armenian Genocide). To this present day, theTurkish Government denied these allegations. They claimed the Armenians wereonly removed from a “war-zone. “The leaders of the Young Turk Government werefound guilty of carrying out the killing by a secret network (Armenian Genocide). The decision to eradicate the Armenians was not an impulsive decision, but “theresult of extensive and profound deliberations” (Armenian Genocide).
In the case with China, genocide resulted in the extermination of thenewly born female infants. Since ancient times, the Chinese have regarded themales to be precious and more prestigious than the females. The birth of a boysignifies wealth, prosperity and luck (Chow). The Chinese Government recentlypassed a law which limited the birth of children to one child per family inorder to decrease the current population.
If the first born was a girl, theparents would kill the toddler in order to receive another chance at conceivinga son. The son is deemed as the “golden child” because he will keep the familyname alive (Chow). The female babies are eliminated by suffocation immediatelyso the parents do not develop an emotional bond. Their lifeless bodies arewrapped in a thin cloth and are buried like meaningless possessions (Chow). These cruel acts took place without the government’s knowledge.
This phenomenonis not as frequent as it was when the law was first introduced. Undoubtably, genocide is an inhumane course of action chosen byirrational individuals. The bloodshed of the Puritans against the Catholics,Turks against the Armenians, and the Chinese parents against their very ownflesh and blood were only a few examples of the numerous situations of this sortof calamity. Indeed, it was evident genocide has no boundaries, and was notconfined to a specific moment in history or one category of people. It is sadbut true, the beliefs of one person could eliminate the existence of people withdifferent denominations.