Μέρος της ομιλίας στο «Διεθνές Συνέδριο Τρεις Γενοκτονίες. Μία στρατηγική».
1. Η Σύμβαση και ο Λέμκιν
Είναι γεγονός ότι στις αρχές του 20ο αιώνα διαπράχθηκαν εκτεταμένες δολοφονίες λαών, οι οποίες παρέμειναν στο περιθώριο της έρευνας, της καταδίκης και της τιμωρίας των ενόχων. Το τέλος του Α΄ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου οδήγησε, μεταξύ των άλλων, τους νικητές να κινηθούν προς την κατεύθυνση της διερεύνησης των εγκλημάτων που έγιναν από τους Νεότουρκους και στη συνέχεια από τους Κεμαλικούς, εναντίον των Ελλήνων, Ασσυρίων και των Αρμενίων. Ωστόσο, συμφέροντα δεν επέτρεψαν τη συνέχεια της διαδικασίας και αφενός οι θύτες συνέχισαν με άλλο προσωπείο, με τον ίδιο όμως ζήλο τα εγκλήματά τους, και αφενός τα θύματα πολλαπλασιάστηκαν.
Ο Β΄ Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος συνέχισε την πολιτική των μαζικών δολοφονιών αφού οι θύτες είχαν μείνει ατιμώρητοι- «ποιος μιλάει ακόμη σήμερα για την εξολόθρευση των Αρμενίων» είχε αναφωνήσει ο Χίτλερ- ενώ τα θύματα όσο και εάν φώναζαν δεν εισακούγονταν. Η πρωτοφανής όμως εγκληματική δράση δεν μπορούσε να μείνει στο σκοτάδι, αφού πλέον ήταν άλλες οι συνθήκες που οδηγούσαν τους υπεύθυνους ενώπιον των ευθυνών τους. Ότι δεν έκανε η Κοινωνία των Εθνών το έπραξε η διάδοχη κατάστασή της, ο Οργανισμός Ηνωμένων Εθνών (ΟΗΕ). Ο ΟΗΕ, με την καθοδήγηση σημαντικών και φωτισμένων ανθρώπων, όπως ο Ραφαήλ Λέμκιν (Raphael Lemkin) που βίωσαν τις μεγάλες σφαγές στην Ευρώπη, κατόρθωσε να διαμορφώσει το νομικό και πολιτικό πλαίσιο προκειμένου να τιμωρηθούν τα μαζικά εγκλήματα.
Για τον Λέμκιν σημείο αναφοράς της ομάδας των ειδικών, υποστηρίχθηκε ότι για να εισαγάγει τον όρο και το περιεχόμενο της Σύμβασης που θα αναγνώριζε το έγκλημα ως Γενοκτονία, είχε σαν παράσταση το Ολοκαύτωμα. Ωστόσο διαπιστώνεται ότι ο Λέμκιν οδηγήθηκε στα βασικά του συμπεράσματα από το μαζικό έγκλημα εναντίον των Ελλήνων, των Ασσυρίων και των Αρμενίων.
O Λέμκιν για να στηρίξει τα επιχειρήματά του αναφέρθηκε (και) στις μαζικές σφαγές- εξόντωση των Ελλήνων και των Αρμενίων και χρησιμοποίησε στο έργο του «Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress (1944)», την ελληνική λέξη γένος και τη λατινική λέξη «cidium», που σημαίνει σκοτώνω- δολοφονώ, για να εισάγει τον όρο Γενοκτονία.
2. Η μεγάλη προσωπικότητα του Ραφαήλ Λέμκιν
Ο Ραφαήλ Λέμκιν (24 Ιουνίου 1900 - 28 Αυγούστου 1959) ήταν Πολωνός δικηγόρος εβραϊκής καταγωγής. Μετά την αποφοίτησή του από άρχισε τη μελέτη της γλωσσολογίας στο Πανεπιστήμιο, όταν εκεί άρχισε να ενδιαφέρεται για την έννοια του εγκλήματος, το οποίο αργότερα εξελίχθηκε η ιδέα της γενοκτονίας, η οποία βασίστηκε στην εμπειρία των Αρμενίων των Ασσυρίων και των Ελλήνων.
Κατά τη διάρκεια του Β΄ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου κατέφυγε στις ΗΠΑ, ωστόσο αν και κατάφερε να σώσει τη ζωή του, έχασε 49 συγγενείς στο Ολοκαύτωμα.
Το 1945 - 1946, ο Λέμκιν έγινε σύμβουλος του Ανωτάτου Δικαστηρίου των ΗΠΑ της δίκης της Νυρεμβέργης. Ο Λέμκιν συνέχισε την εκστρατεία του για να υπάρξουν διεθνείς συμβάσεις που απαγορεύουν τη γενοκτονία. Πρότεινε μια παρόμοια απαγόρευση των εγκλημάτων κατά της ανθρωπότητας κατά τη διάρκεια των Διάσκεψη Ειρήνης των Παρισίων του 1945, αλλά η πρότασή του απορρίφθηκε. Αργότερα στη Γενική Συνέλευση ΟΗΕ πρότεινε τη Σύμβαση για την Πρόληψη και Τιμωρία του Εγκλήματος της Γενοκτονίας, η οποία και υιοθετήθηκε από τα κράτη- μέλη.
Ο Λέμκιν πέθανε στα 59 του χρόνια, ωστόσο παρότι η ζωή του ήταν αφιερωμένη στην μνήμη των εκατομμυρίων θυμάτων της γενοκτονίας, μόνο επτά άτομα παρακολούθησαν την κηδεία του….
Από τους Έλληνες, τους Ασσυρίους και τους Αρμένιους οφείλει να αποδοθεί η σχετική τιμή προς τον Λέμκιν. Σε έναν άνθρωπο που έδωσε ένα μεγάλο μέρος της ζωής του για την υπόθεση της Γενοκτονίας.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Raphael Lemkin (June 24, 1900 – August 28, 1959) was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent. He is best known for his work against genocide, a word he coined in 1943 from the root words genos (Greek for family, tribe, or race) and -cide (Latin for killing). He first used the word in print in Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress (1944).
Lemkin was born Rafał Lemkin in the village of Bezwodne in Imperial Russia, now the Vawkavysk district of Belarus. Not much is known of Lemkin's early life. He grew up in a Jewish family and was one of three children born to Joseph and Bella (Pomerantz) Lemkin. His father was a farmer and his mother a highly intellectual woman who was a painter, linguist, and philosophy student with a large collection of books on literature and history. With his mother as an influence, Lemkin mastered ten languages by the age of 14, including French, Spanish, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian.
After graduating from a local trade school in Białystok he began the study of linguistics at the John Casimir University in Lviv. It was there that Lemkin became interested in the concept of the crime, which later evolved into the idea of genocide, which was based on the Armenian experience at the hands of the Ottoman Turks then later the experience of Assyrians massacred in Iraq during the 1933 Simele massacre. Lemkin then moved on to the University of Heidelberg in Germany to study philosophy, and returned to Lwów to study law in 1926, becoming a prosecutor in Warsaw at graduation.
 Working life
The plaque (Polish/English), 6 Kredytowa Street, Warsaw, Poland
From 1929 to 1934, Lemkin was the Public Prosecutor for the district court of Warsaw. In 1930 he was promoted to Deputy Prosecutor in a local court in Brzeżany. While Public Prosecutor, Lemkin was also secretary of the Committee on Codification of the Laws of the Polish Republic, which codified the penal codes of Poland, and taught law at Tachkimoni College in Warsaw. Lemkin, working with Duke University law professor Malcolm McDermott, translated the The Polish Penal Code of 1932 from Polish to English. McDermott would later provide Lemkin with help in leaving Europe.
In 1933 Lemkin made a presentation to the Legal Council of the League of Nations conference on international criminal law in Madrid, for which he prepared an essay on the Crime of Barbarity as a crime against international law. The concept of the crime, which later evolved into the idea of genocide, was based on the Armenian Genocide and prompted by the experience of Assyrians massacred in Iraq during the 1933 Simele massacre. In 1934 Lemkin, under pressure from the Polish Foreign Minister for comments made at the Madrid conference, resigned his position and became a private solicitor in Warsaw. While in Warsaw, Lemkin attended numerous lectures organized by the Free Polish University, including the classes of Stanisław Rappaport and Wacław Makowski.
In 1937, Lemkin was appointed a member of the Polish mission to the 4th Congress on Criminal Law in Paris, where he also introduced the possibility of defending peace through criminal law. Among the most important of his works of that period are a compendium of Polish criminal and taxation law, Prawo karne skarbowe (1938) and a French language work, La réglementation des paiements internationaux, regarding international trade law (1939).
 World War II
During the Polish Defensive War of 1939 Lemkin joined the Polish Army and defended Warsaw during the siege of that city, where he was injured by a bullet to the hip, afterward evading capture by the Germans. In 1940 he traveled through Lithuania to reach Sweden, where he first lectured at the University of Stockholm. With the help of Malcolm McDermott, Lemkin received permission to enter the United States, arriving in 1941.
Although he managed to save his life, he lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust; they were among over 3 million Polish Jews and Lithuanian Jews who were murdered during the German occupation. Some members of his family died in areas annexed by the Soviet Union. The only European members of Lemkin's family who survived the Holocaust were his brother, Elias, and his wife and two sons, who had been sent to a Soviet forced labor camp. Lemkin did however successfully aid his brother and family in emigrating to Montreal, Canada in 1948.
After arriving in the United States Lemkin joined the law faculty at Duke University in North Carolina in 1941. During the Summer of 1942 Lemkin lectured at the School of Military Government at the University of Virginia. He also wrote Military Government in Europe, which was a preliminary version of his more fully developed publication Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. In 1943 Lemkin was appointed consultant to the U.S. Board of Economic Warfare and Foreign Economic Administration and later became a special adviser on foreign affairs to the War Department, largely due to his expertise in international law.
In 1944, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published Lemkin's most important work, entitled Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, in the United States. This book included an extensive legal analysis of German rule in countries occupied by Nazi Germany during the course of World War II, along with the definition of the term genocide. Lemkin's idea of genocide as an offense against international law was widely accepted by the international community and was one of the legal bases of the Nuremberg Trials. In 1945 to 1946, Lemkin became an advisor to Supreme Court of the United States Justice and Nuremberg Trial chief counsel Robert H. Jackson.
After the war, Lemkin chose to remain in the United States. Starting in 1948, he gave lectures on criminal law at Yale University. In 1955, he became a Professor of Law at Rutgers School of Law in Newark. Lemkin also continued his campaign for international laws defining and forbidding genocide, which he had championed ever since the Madrid conference of 1933. He proposed a similar ban on crimes against humanity during the Paris Peace Conference of 1945, but his proposal was turned down.
Lemkin presented a draft resolution for a Genocide Convention treaty to a number of countries in an effort to persuade them to sponsor the resolution. With the support of the United States, the resolution was placed before the General Assembly for consideration. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was formally presented and adopted on December 9, 1948. In 1951, Lemkin only partially achieved his goal when the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide came into force, after the 20th nation had ratified the treaty. This treaty had confined its consideration solely to physical aspects of genocide which The Convention defines as:
…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, such as:
· (a) Killing members of the group;
· (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
· (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
· (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
· (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Lemkin's broader concerns over genocide, as set out in his "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe", also embraced what may be considered as non-physical, namely, psychological acts of genocide which he personally defined as:
· "Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups. Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group."
· "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. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population which is allowed to remain or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization by the oppressor's own nationals."
He also outlined his various observed "techniques"  on achieving genocide which ranged from:
· Cultural 
· Endangering Health
· Mass Killing
Less well known was Lemkin's view on crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Soviet Union. In 1953, in a speech given in New York City, he described the "destruction of the Ukrainian nation" as the "classic example of Soviet genocide," going on to point out that "the Ukrainian is not and never has been a Russian. His culture, his temperament, his language, his religion, are all different...to eliminate (Ukrainian) nationalism...the Ukrainian peasantry was sacrificed...a famine was necessary for the Soviet and so they got one to order...if the Soviet program succeeds completely, if the intelligentsia, the priest, and the peasant can be eliminated [then] Ukraine will be as dead as if every Ukrainian were killed, for it will have lost that part of it which has kept and developed its culture, its beliefs, its common ideas, which have guided it and given it a soul, which, in short, made it a nation...This is not simply a case of mass murder. It is as case of genocide, of the destruction, not of individuals only, but of a culture and a nation."
For his work on international law and the prevention of war crimes, Lemkin received a number of awards, including the Cuban Grand Cross of the Order of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes in 1950, the Stephen Wise Award of the American Jewish Congress in 1951, and the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955. On the 50th anniversary of the Convention entering into force, Dr. Lemkin was also honored by the UN Secretary-General as "an inspiring example of moral engagement."
Lemkin is the subject of the 2005 play Lemkin's House by Catherine Filloux, and a one-act play by Robert Skloot (2006, Parallel Press) called If The Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide.
Lemkin died of a heart attack at the public relations office of Milton H. Blow in New York City in 1959, at the age of 59. In an ironic final twist for a man whose life was dedicated to the remembrance of millions of victims of genocide, only seven people attended his funeral.