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Inventing The Term Genocide To Genocide The German People And The West? by John Wear

Invention of the Word Genocide
The word “genocide” was first used in 1944 by the Polish Jew Raphael Lemkin in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.[1] Lemkin states in regard to his invented word “genocide”: “By ‘genocide’ we mean the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group. This new word, coined by the author to denote an old practice in its modern development, is made from the ancient Greek word genos (race, tribe) and the Latin cide (killing), thus corresponding in its formation to such words as tyrannicide, homocide [sic], infanticide, etc.”[2] Most people today use this narrow definition and define the word “genocide” as the deliberate destruction of national, racial, religious or ethnic groups. However, Lemkin intended the word “genocide” to have a much broader meaning. Lemkin states: “Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor.”[3] Raphael Lemkin’s invented word “genocide” received spectacular mileage at the Nuremberg trials. Historian James J. Martin states: “Its use by both the principal British figures of the prosecution, Maxwell-Fyfe and Sir Hartley Shawcross, the Attorney General of Great Britain, to castigate the Nuremberg defendants collectively, was more than Lemkin expected.”[4] In this article I will show that Raphael Lemkin’s new word “genocide” also appropriately applies to the Allied treatment of the German people after World War II.

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