Essay by WeedHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 1996

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After Rodney King was beaten, and the white police officers were aquitted, he said 'Why

can't we all just get along?' A question asked by many people. Rascist and Genocidal acts such as

this have been going on for many years, and should not be tolerated.

In international law, the crime of destroying, or committing conspiracy to destroy, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group is known as Genocide. It was defined in the Convention on

Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted by the United Nations

General Assembly on December 9, 1948.

The crime of Genocide has been committed or attempted many times in recorded history.

The best known example in this century was the attempt by Nazi Germany during the 1930's and

1940's to destroy the Jewish population of Europe, known as the Holocaust. By the end of World

War II, 6 million Jews had been killed in Nazi concentration camps.

The known objective of the Nazi rule was Jewish extinction. In November 1938, shortly

after the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a young Jew, all synagogues in Germany

were set on fire, windows of Jewish shops were smashed, and thousands of Jews were arrested.

This 'Night of Broken Glass' (Kristallnacht) was a signal to Jews in Germany and Austria to leave as

soon as possible. Several hundred thousand people were able to find refuge in other countries, but a

nearly equal number, including many who were old or poor, stayed to face an uncertain destiny.

When war began in September 1939, the German army occupied the western half of Poland

and added almost 2 million Jews to the German power sphere. Limitations placed on Polish Jewry

were much worse than those in Germany. The Polish Jews were forced to...