This weekend marks the 77th anniversary of the Nanjing Atrocities, a seminal event in the history of World War II, yet one that few know much about.
Genocide prevention advocate Mike Brand shares his insight into genocide prevention.
Each year, Facing History and Ourselves and Knights and Daughters of Vartan host an annual Armenian Genocide Commemoration Essay Contest. In 2014, the contest asked high school and college students across the United States to respond to the question, “On the threshold of the 100th anniversary, how should the world recognize the Armenian Genocide?” This essay, from Facing History student Elizabeth Ray, took second place. It was reprinted with Elizabeth's permission.
In the midst of global catastrophe, it might seem counterintuitive to pause and acknowledge Genocide Awareness Month this April. But we cannot approach painful histories as ones to remember only when times are good.
As educators in the U.K., Victoria Mole and her colleagues, Jenna Adcock, and Katie Duce, wanted to teach their students more diverse and broad histories, such as the Nanjing Massacre in 1937. It’s an often-overlooked period of World War II when the Imperial Japanese Army forces brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of people–including both soldiers and civilians in the city of Nanjing, China.
A Bosnian Muslim widow examines body bags containing the remains of recently exhumed victims of the 1992 “ethnic cleansing” campaign waged by Serbs against their Muslim neighbors (July 2001). Exhumations of mass graves began in 1996 and are expected to last for many years to come. Nearly 30,000 Bosnian Muslims—most of them civilians—were listed as missing at the end of the war; most are believed to have been victims of “ethnic cleansing.” Photo courtesy of Sara Terry and the Aftermath Project. This month marks the 19th anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre in Bosnia, which has been called the worst crime on European soil since World War II.
In several areas of the United States, April is recognized as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.
Here are four classroom resources you can use in April, or any time of year, to introduce your students to specific moments in world history while encouraging them to consider the behaviors—such as prejudice, stereotyping, and conformity—that contribute to the proliferation of violence today.
I am not Armenian. I did not grow up learning about the Armenian Genocide. I attended schools in two of the best public school districts in Southern California and achieved not just an undergraduate degree, but two master's degrees. I had been teaching for several years before I ever learned about the Armenian Genocide.