Word for the unspeakable Premium14 August 2014 | by John Morrish
BITTER EXCHANGES are taking place every day on the subject of the conflict in Gaza. Some have accused the Israelis of genocide. The word has been applied more widely to the conflict in Iraq. But its meaning has been stretched and diluted to accommodate horrors that, in the eyes of those who use it, would otherwise not be sufficiently shocking. It is worth tracing the word back to its roots.In August 1941, two months after the Nazi invasion of Russia, Winston Churchill spoke about the mass butchery of “Russian patriots” (British intelligence had discovered they were mostly Jews) by the Einsatzgruppen death squads. He concluded: “We are in the presence of a crime without a name.” The name was not long in arriving. The word “genocide” was coined by a Polis
Register for free articles a month or subscribe now from £53* for 6 months unlimited access to article content.
Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Delivered to you each week
Read online / download on your iPad, iPhone, computer or Android device
For institutions: read online / download on your iPad, iPhone, computer or Android device. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Most Read Articles
Manage my subcription hereManage
Sign up for our newsletterSign Up