When people say genocide, I don’t think of what’s happening/happened in Africa. I think of A LOT of people dying, but I don’t in vision how they die. So when I hear the word genocide, I don’t think of people getting beat to death, or sexually harassed or thousands and millions of dead bodies covering miles of land. I don’t think of people dying because they’re aren’t what other people want. And that was probably last week, before we watched Hotel Rwanda in social studies, but now, after seeing that movie, whenever I hear the word genocide I feel a chill down my spine.
Because thinking about people getting sexually abused, beat, whipped, burned, cut, is totally different from actually seeing it. In class, we thought what we were seeing was horrible, but that wasn’t even a fraction of what actually happened it was kind of just a preview. The genocide that happened in Rwanda was depressing and horrifying. But aren’t all genocides? I know how genocides happen and how people do it, dehumanization. I still can’t even imagine it though, I can’t imagine ever being in a situation where I actually killed someone or was trying to be killed. I can’t even imagine watching someone be killed even it was an accident.
So after learning about this and the holocaust, my one question is how did people have enough hope to survive? Some similarities I discovered between the genocide in Rwanda and the holocaust were they both intensely used dehumanization. For example, in Rwanda they took clothes away from the women and MADE THEM be prostitutes and or raped them before they were killed or died from the terrible living conditions. An example of dehumanization in the holocaust is when they stole away their personal beliefs and publicly displayed it, like when the Nazi’s formed a crowd and shaved the Jewish man’s beard.
Some other commons things that happened in both the Rwanda genocide and the holocaust was bribes and big rallies (band wagons). The most powerful connection that I found besides dehumanization was the fact that they thought of the genocide they were participating in, was one big joke. In the holocaust it was called the “cruel joke” and in the Rwanda genocide it was known as “the carnival of cruelty”. Making these genocides into a big joke and laughing about it over a beer was a lot easier to deal with than actually facing the reality of what they were doing.