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  • Topic: World War II, War crime, International Military Tribunal for the Far East
  • Pages : 3 (1216 words )
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  • Published : May 9, 2011
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The term genocide was not coined until 1943 when Raphael Lamkin used it to describe the Nazi reign in Europe (ROD notes). Genocide refers to the systematic destruction of a racial or cultural group. Two examples of this are the Holocaust and the Rape of Nanking. The Holocaust deals with the Nazi’s takeover of Europe during World War II, and the Rape of Nanking is the Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930’s. These events in history serve a painful reminder of the cruelest depths of human nature, but also of the possibilities that lie within every catastrophe.

Bystanders always play a key role in any event, whether they have a positive or negative effect on the outcome of the situation at hand. Most, if not all, of the bystanders during the Rape of Nanking were western missionaries that happened to be in China at that time. Among them were doctors, a filmmaker, and even a Nazi. The filmmaker was a man named John Magee whose films have helped historians unlock some of the mysteries about that gruesome time. Rabй was another bystander who happened to be a Nazi with connections to Adolf Hitler. He contacted Hitler and told him of the current atrocities in Nanking and asked for assistance in fighting the Japanese; assistance that was later denied. All of the Westerners decided to take action in this situation by setting up the International Safety Zone, which harbored 300,000 Chinese refugees, in the center of Nanking. This assistance helped the people of Nanking to a phenomenal degree. On the contrary, the bystanders during the Holocaust did very little to help the victims. The bystanders during the Holocaust were mainly the Germans who lived in the surrounding areas of the concentration camps. Most of these Germans had an idea of what was going on, yet they did nothing. They had an ignorant mindset; they did not want to know and they did not care. Due to this ignorance many war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed in both cases (Horvath)....
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