Genocide Lesson Plan

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1 Genocide Lesson Plan Outcome Students will gain an understanding of the various genocides that have taken place in the 20 th century Materials/Resources List of Genocides that have taken place in the 20 th Century 8 Stages of Genocide article Library/research time Activities 1 1. What is genocide? 2. Ask students to list situations that might be categorized as genocides 3. Provide students with the actual list of genocides that have occurred in the 20 th century. Inform students that this is only a sampling of cases. What are some of the causes of genocide? Can genocide be prevented? 3. Handout the article entitled 8 Stages of Genocide and allow students some time to read through it. *Note: Language may need to be simplified depending upon grade level of students. 4. Once students have read the article, divide students into groups of 4 and have the groups select a genocide that they wish to research. Prior to the selection process, teachers may wish to narrow down the list of genocides that students are able to choose from. 5. Students will be provided with library time to research their topic and produce the following: a. A one page summary of the selected genocide b. A display board that traces the history of their genocide and breaks down this history into the 8 stages of genocide (as per the article provided). c. Optional: A symbolic emblem to represent the genocide that they have researched. This emblem will be placed on a large classroom timeline once all research projects have been completed. 6. Students will present their findings to the class. 1 Steps 1 & 2 were adapted from a lesson plan developed by Michael H. Reggio entitled Genocide, Torture, Human Rights: Where Are We Headed? This lesson can be viewed at:

2 Extension At this time, teachers may wish to revisit the history of the ICC timeline (from the Introductory ICC lesson) and compare the dates of the researched genocides to the ICC timeline. Note: Teacher may wish to develop a large timeline using mural paper. This timeline can be displayed in the school once the project is complete. Draw a long line and use today s date to mark the end of the line. Divide the line using the following significant dates: 1948 Genocide Convention 1949: International Law Commission (ILC) begins to draft an ICC statute 1954 Cold War 1981: UN asks ILC to return to work on International Code of Crimes April 1998: Finalized draft text of Rome Statute completed Feb 3, 1999: First country ratifies ICC (Senegal) Have students add their genocide emblems to the large timeline. Have students return to their research groups and discuss the following question: If the ICC had existed during the time that your genocide took place, at what point in history would it have been acceptable for the ICC to take action against the perpetrators? Debrief as a class

3 GENOCIDE IN THE 20 th CENTURY German government massacred over 81% of the population of the Hereros in southern Africa (65,000 out of a total population of 80,000) Ottomans killed over one million Armenians attempting to completely eradicate (kill) all of the Armenians living in Turkey Ukrainians executed up to 250,000 Jews. 4. early 1930s - Stalin of the Soviet Union purposely starved to death up to ten million Ukrainian people. 5. late 1930s - Soviet Union shot and killed up to 500,000 people for political reasons (there is proof that in , sometimes up to 1000 persons were shot per day in Moscow alone). 6. early 1940s - Nazi Holocaust killed nearly six million Jews by firing squad, burning alive, and poison gas. 7. early 1940s - Germans executed up to 500,000 gypsies in an attempt to destroy them s - China attempted to destroy Buddhism in Tibet and killed thousands Indonesia killed 600,000 people accused of being "communist." 10. late 1960s - Tutsi killed up to 300,000 Hutus in African nation of Burundi. 11. since over 100,000 Indians killed in Guatemala by military. 12. late 1960s - thousands of Ibos in Nigeria were massacred or starved to death by the government up to three million Bengalis killed by the Pakistan government Thousands of Ache Indians were tortured, enslaved, or killed by the Paraguayan government. 15. late 1970s - up to three million Kampucheans killed by the Kmer Rouge to present - up to 100,000 out of a total population of 600,000 East Timorans killed by Indonesian troops s - Thousands of Bahai have been tortured and killed in Iran and Middle East. 2 Resource obtained from a lesson plan developed by Michael H. Reggio entitled Genocide, Torture, Human Rights: Where Are We Headed? This lesson can be viewed at:

4 THE EIGHT STAGES OF GENOCIDE 3 By Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, President, Genocide Watch Modified Version Classification Genocide is a process that Symbolization develops in eight stages that are Dehumanization predictable but not inexorable. Organization At each stage, preventive Polarization measures can stop it. The later Identification stages must be preceded by the Extermination earlier stages, though earlier Denial stages continue to operate throughout the process. _ 1998 Gregory H. Stanton 1. CLASSIFICATION: All cultures have categories to distinguish people into us and them by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies that lack mixed categories, such as Rwanda and Burundi, are the most likely to have genocide. The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend ethnic or racial divisions, that actively promote tolerance and understanding, and that promote classifications that transcend the divisions. This search for common ground is vital to early prevention of genocide. 2. SYMBOLIZATION: We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people Jews or Gypsies, or distinguish them by colors or dress; and apply them to members of groups. Classification and symbolization are universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to the next stage, dehumanization. When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups: the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule, the blue scarf for people from the Eastern Zone in Khmer Rouge Cambodia. To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden (swastikas) as can hate speech. Group marking like gang clothing or tribal scarring can be outlawed, as well. The problem is that legal limitations will fail if unsupported by popular cultural enforcement. Though Hutu and Tutsi were forbidden words in Burundi until the 1980 s, code-words replaced them. 3. DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder. At this stage, hate propaganda in print and on hate radios is used to vilify the victim group. In combating this dehumanization, incitement to genocide should not be confused with protected speech. Genocidal societies lack constitutional protection for countervailing speech, and should be treated differently than in democracies. Hate radio stations should be shut down, and hate propaganda banned. Hate crimes and atrocities should be promptly punished. 4. ORGANIZATION: Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, though sometimes informally (Hindu mobs led by local RSS militants) or by terrorist groups. Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings. To 3 Resource obtained from the Genocide Watch website:

5 combat this stage, membership in these militias should be outlawed. Their leaders should be denied visas for foreign travel. 5. POLARIZATION: Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda. Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates, intimidating and silencing the center. Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups. 6. IDENTIFICATION: Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols. They are often segregated into ghettoes, forced into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. 7. EXTERMINATION begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called genocide. It is extermination to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it is sponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing. Sometimes the genocide results in revenge killings by groups against each other, creating the downward whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral genocide. 8. DENIAL is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They 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. Genocide Watch is the Coordinator of the International Campaign to End Genocide 1804 S St. N.W. Washington, D.C USA. Phone: Fax: Web:

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