The Ten Stages of Genocide

  • STAGE ONE

    CLASSIFICATION

    The differences between people are not respected. There’s a division of “us” and “them”, which can be carried out using stereotypes, or excluding people who are perceived to be different.

  • STAGE TWO

    SYMBOLIZATION

    This is a visual manifestation of hatred. Jews in Nazi occupied Europe were forced to wear the yellow Star of David. In Cambodia the Khmer Rouge forced people from the Eastern Zone to wear blue scarves. From 1992, in north-west Bosnia, all non-Serbian citizens were forced to wear white armbands.

  • STAGE THREE

    DISCRIMINATION

    The dominant group denies civil rights or even citizenship to identified groups. The 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their German citizenship, made it illegal for them to do many jobs or to marry German non-Jews.

  • STAGE FOUR

    DEHUMANIZATION

    Those perceived as “different” are treated with no form of human rights or personal dignity. During the Genocide in Rwanda. Tutsi’s were referred to as “cockroaches”, the Nazis referred to Jews as “vermin”

  • STAGE FIVE

    ORGANIZATION

    Genocides are always planned Regimes of hatred often train those who go on to carry out the destruction of a people. The Sudanese Government supports and arms the Janjaweed (Arab Militia) in Darfur to carry out the violence and killings.

  • STAGE SIX

    POLARIZATION

    Propaganda begins to be spread by hate groups. The Nazis used the newspapers Der Stürmer to spread and incite messages of hate about Jewish people.

  • STAGE SEVEN

    PREPARATION

    Perpetrators plan the genocide. They often use euphemisms such as the Nazi’s phrase “The Final Solution” to cloak their intentions. Acts of genocide are disguised as self-defense if there is an ongoing armed conflict or civil war, such as in Bosnia.

  • STAGE EIGHT

    PERSECUTION

    Victims are identified because of their ethnicity or religion and death lists are drawn up. People are sometimes segregated into ghettos, deported or starved and property is often expropriated. Genocidal massacres begin.

  • STAGE NINE

    EXTERMINATION

    The hate group murders their identified victims in a deliberate and systematic campaign of violence. Millions of lives have been destroyed or changed beyond recognition through genocide.

  • STAGE TEN

    DENIAL

    The perpetrators or later generations deny the existence of any crime. Evidence is destroyed and witnesses are intimidated. There has been an increase in Holocaust denial online in recent years.