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United Nations definition:
 Intent to destroy in whole or in part a national,
ethnic, racial or religious group
Genocide occurs in 8 stages
 Stages can occur simultaneously
 Earlier ones must occur before later ones, but
earlier ones can continue over time
 Things can be done at each stage to combat
genocide from occurring
Eight Stages of Genocide
 1. Classification
 2. Symbolization
 3. Dehumanization
 4. Organization
 5. Polarization
 6. Preparation
 7. Extermination
 8. Denial
Societies are distinguished into “us” and
 By ethnicity, race, religion or nationality
The main way of preventing genocide at
this early stage is to develop
opportunities in a society for people to
work and live together who are from
different ethnic, social, national or
religious backgrounds
Give names or symbols to the classified groups
 Distinguish by name, dress (e.g. Yellow stars
during Holocaust)
 Classification and symbolization are universally
human and can be imposed on a group by
 Not always a problem to have a symbol representing
a group, only when it results in discrimination
Can combat this by legally forbidding hate
symbols and literature
 But only successful when supported by society
Dehumanization is when one group treats
another group as second class citizens or
 may be compared with animals, parasites,
insects or diseases
When a group of people is thought of as
“less than human” it is easier for the group
in control to murder them.
 Hate propaganda in print and on hate
radios is used to make the victims seem
like villains.
Always organized, usually by the state,
though sometimes informally or by
terrorist groups
 Special army units or militias are often
trained and armed
 Plans are made for murder
Extremists drive the groups apart.
 Hate groups broadcast propaganda that
reinforces prejudice and hate.
 Laws may forbid intermarriage or social
interaction between the groups
 Moderates are targeted and intimidated into
 Moderate leaders are those best able to
prevent genocide and they are often the first
to be assassinated.
Victims are identified and separated
 Segregated into confined living quarters,
concentration camps or restricted to faminestruck region and starved
Death lists are drawn up.
 Members of victim groups are forced to wear
or carry identifying
 At this stage, an international Genocide Alert
must be called
Extermination begins, and quickly becomes
the mass killing legally called "genocide.“
 Called "extermination" by the killers because
they do not believe their victims to be fully
Sometimes the genocide results in revenge
killings by groups against each other,
creating the downward cycle of mutual
genocide where the victims actually
organize and commit a second genocide
on the perpetrators.
Denial is among the surest indicators of further
genocidal massacres.
 The perpetrators try to cover up the evidence
and intimidate the witnesses.
 Deny that they committed any crimes, and often
blame what happened on the victims
 They block investigations of the crimes, and continue
to govern until driven from power by force, when they
flee into exile.
Leaders of the genocide continue to deny the
crime unless they are captured and a tribunal is
established to try them