While scholars debate whether the Holocaust is unique or rather one among many genocides, genocide awareness and prevention has always been an important aspect of Holocaust Awareness Week programming. The United Nations defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." [1] Genocides have occurred throughout time, with a disturbing increase in the twentieth century, including not only the Holocaust but also Darfur, Cambodia, Armenia, Rwanda, and Bosnia.

The HAC seeks to help prevent future genocides through education on the horrors of the destruction of human life. While Holocaust Awareness Week largely focuses on the Holocaust, speakers have not infrequently addressed other genocides or genocide prevention as well. In 2017, Morton Lecturer and distinguished human rights lawyer Philippe Sands discussed the origins of the concepts of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.”


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Jack Levin & Gordana Rabrenovic

"The Role of Leaders & Followers in Hate Violence"



John Prendergast

"Darfur: A Genocide We Can Stop"



Gerald Martone

"Mass Violence, Ethnocide, and Mob Psychology"



Phillippe Sands

"On the Origins of 'Genocide' and 'Crimes Against Humanity"



[1] United Nations. “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Article 2” (1948).