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Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide"

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"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"
— Attributed to Adolf Hitler note 

Some pesky population happened to get in the way and got exterminated as a side effect. For storytelling reasons, the operation may not be called genocide or otherwise be made to sound bad. There are three basic ways in which this can play:


Legally speaking, genocide is a category that is fairly recent, dating from the 1920s and entering public consciousness after World War II. The man who coined it, the lawyer Raphael Lemkin, defined it as "a coordinated strategy to destroy a group of people, a process that could be accomplished through total annihilation as well as strategies that eliminate key elements of the group's basic existence, including language, culture, and economic infrastructure." This was eventually enshrined into the 1948 UN Convention of Genocide where it defined genocide as actions, committed with demonstrable intent, to kill off "a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group". The key phrase is "co-ordinated" which establishes intent and infrastructure geared to achieving said crime, as well as whether a group of victims can fit categories of identifiable "nation, ethnicity, race, or religion".


Since the category was codified, the word is often invoked by many individuals across the political spectrum, to invoke the word to describe any action of mass operations committed by states or organized communities, without regard to whether said example fits the 1948 definition. A large number of historians and scholars when examining allegations of genocide have generally struggled to separate deaths caused by famine, war, disease, or expansionism, many of which are consequences of government policies, often incompetently implemented, but lack the evidence of "co-ordination" to display the intent to destroy another people as part of original policy.

The option to be offended is an interesting one.

- How dare you accuse me, my country, or my Lord of genocide?
- But it's true!
- That's not the point. The point is that I get offended when you say such horrible things!

Compare Villain with Good Publicity, Devil in Plain Sight, "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word, Distinction Without a Difference, Deadly Euphemism, Metaphorically True and Never Say "Die".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Yhwach has a history of targeting the Quincies whenever he wants to redistribute Quincy power, or simply power himself up. Six years before the story began, he enacted The Purge on all "impure" Quincies, killing entire generations of men, women, and children. He doesn't refer to this as "genocide"; he refers to it as Auswahlen, or "Holy Selection". When he uses a minor version on pure Quincies he no longer deems useful just to power up his "useful" Quincy, he tells the victims they should be happy because they're "supporting" their comrades. The only Quincy in history known to be immune to Auswahlen is Uryuu, who has been Kicked Upstairs by Yhwach in an attempt to find out why.
  • In Code Geass, Princess Euphemia is accidentally Brainwashed into wanting to kill all Japanese people, and the Brittanian military follows her orders to slaughter them. While the genocide is eventually called off, the Brittanians seem to consider the Japanese "a dangerous, belligerent race" because they dared to fight back when faced with annihilation.
    • Later on, Lelouch murders everyone in Britannia's core science division when his girlfriend is killed by one of their agents, calling it the annihilation of a corrupt kingmaker. Of course, they're also responsible for creating Geass-infused child supersoldiers who performed dozens of political assassinations to manipulate Britannia and the world at large, but the reaction from everyone is still horrified betrayal.
  • After Freeza single-handedly exterminates the Saiyan race in Dragon Ball Z, he comes up with a fake story about their home planet being destroyed by meteors that even his henchmen who were there stuck with, probably to avoid Genocide Backfire from the few surviving Saiyans left. It doesn't work, of course. He is none too secretive about his other genocides, however, which just goes to show how afraid of the Saiyans he is.
    • Super Buu's human-exterminating Beam Spam translated to "Genocide Attack" in the original Japanese version, but was renamed "Human Extinction Attack" in the English dub.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Operation British in the series' Back Story provided the trope-naming Colony Drop, which first involved completely annihilating a space colony's population with chemical weapons. The manga series Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, which covers the events leading up to the original anime, includes this operation. Admiral Dozle Zabi invokes this trope when, while briefing Lieutenant Ranba Ral on Zeon's plans, Ranba reacts incredulously to the outright murder of an entire colony's citizens. Specifically, Dozle tries to convince Ranba to command the operation by downplaying the genocidal aspect—not only countering that Ranba was already responsible for the deaths of a hundred million colonists but that the colony group was a defeated enemy nation. Using one of their colonies as a weapon, Dozle tried to argue, would make their deaths "count for something." Ranba disagrees, considers this operation the work of the devil, and refuses to take part any further.
  • One Piece: It's heavily implied that this happened with the "Void Century"; the World Government is dead set on wiping out any information about those missing hundred years, to the point where they completely destroyed an island and placed a 79,000,000 bounty on an 8-year-old girl for just speaking the language that the only surviving records of that century were written in. It is known that there was a civilization that was presumably destroyed during that century, as artifacts from it exist, but beyond that, nothing else is known because of how effective the World Government is at snuffing out any information.
    • In Reverie Arc, when Im is revealed to the readers, we see him marking several targets and their pictures on a dartboard, and stabbing them. The Five Elder Stars bow to him, and ask Im's wish, on whose light should be cleansed. This actually implies that whichever person/family Im chooses, will be hunted down to their descendants, and exterminated from the world. Not even Former Celestial Dragons are exempt from it.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Lucifer volume Mansions of the Silence, Lucifer annihilates billions of souls as a side effect of saving the life of one single person. (That one person was someone he owed a favor, his billions of victims were not.) Of all the people who witness this tragedy, only Bergelmir says anything about this action being immoral, and even he is quite polite about it. Even so, everyone else simply ignores him as they would a person who's being generally rude, impolite, and socially inappropriate. Those present know that annoying Lucifer is really not the best course of action if your plans involve seeing another day, so they're probably staying quiet out of simple self-preservation. But in any case, elsewhere in the comic, it is mentioned that it's impossible to destroy a soul — it simply unravels and then rewinds itself over millennia. And considering that the Mansions of Silence are in some ways worse than Hell, it could just as well be said that Lucifer granted their inhabitants a break from their usual torment.
  • Nemesis the Warlock: When Torquemada is on trial for his genocide of billions of aliens as Grand Master of Termight, his defence is to proudly proclaim his crusades necessary because the aliens wanted to destroy them as well, bringing Nemesis' Torture Technician uncle to the stand to prove his point. He leaves out that it's actually Torquemada's wars of annihilation that made some aliens call for humanity's extermination.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures Xadhoom refers to her planned genocide of the Evronian race as "debt collection": they destroyed their homeworld and apparently exterminated her race, so she assumed the name "Xadhoom", meaning "Creditor", and started killing. Ultimately Subverted when it turned out there were some survivors of her race, so she simply left the Evronians without a homeworld and in shambles after killing off a large part of their race.
  • In Runaways, Xavin's attempt to bring an end to the war between their homeworld and Majesdane resulted in both worlds being wiped out. While Xavin's homeworld was just one colony of the larger Skrull Empire, so far as we know, the Majesdanians had only their planet and maybe a colony or two elsewhere, and thus it can be assumed that the Majesdanians are nearly extinct (to say nothing of any other lifeforms that lived on their planet...)
  • In the Strontium Dog arc "The Final Solution", The New Church publicly claims that they're moving the mutant population in New Britain to new homes in another dimension where they can live in peace away from normal human beings. What they're really doing, however, is rounding up mutants from their ghettos and dumping them in a dimensional wasteland to be stranded and killed by an Eldritch Abomination, but they know that nobody would make much fuss if they make it sound like a peaceful relocation program.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 3: The other Olympians consider Genocide a disgusting aspect of Ares, which proves them better than he. The only characters to actually commit genocide, wantonly even, are the same Olympians who despise Ares but they don't consider their actions to be such as they were just cleaning up "barbaric" and undesirable races across the cosmos that they considered to be warlike so by their reckoning they were doing something righteous which couldn't possibly be termed genocide. Diana is unamused by their thought process.

    Fan Works 
  • In Weaver Nine, the PRT has a blanket kill order on every and all members of the Society. Given that very few of them have committed crimes worthy of a death sentence, and the fact quite a few of them are innocents who joined the Society in gratitude after the Society rescued them from slavery, unjust imprisonment, torture, or other terrible fates... it reeks of Genocide.
    • In addition: Weaver's Society is all but legally a nation unto itself, with infrastructure, territory, and such. Most obvious is when she offers forty citizens to the defense of Brockton Bay, more than half the number of capes the Protectorate could gather.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • It's noted that after the Dheronians, who destroyed Krypton with Thanos' support (and were originally Kryptonians themselves, many thousands of years before), finished the job, they departed in Nine Fleets. It's also noted that Asgard, Krypton's ally, found eight of them (the location of the ninth is unknown), methodically destroyed the vast majority of the adult population, only sparing the children, who it banished to who knows where. This is portrayed fairly neutrally, as a demonstration that while the main characters generally see the Lighter and Softer side of Asgard, there's a darker side too.
    • In chapter 52 of the sequel, Doctor Strange enacts the genocide of the Red Court of Vampires by murdering Camazotz, the Mayan God that spawned them. While they were a genuinely Always Chaotic Evil species of magical monsters, some of the collateral damage discussed when the same event takes place (with different means and participants) in the relevant canon - for instance, partly infected heroic members of a resistance organisation not only lose their superpowers but if they're past a certain age, suffer from No Immortal Inertia. This is again presented somewhat ambiguously; in this case, as something dark, though perhaps necessary, and something that emphasises just how terrifying Strange is capable of being.
  • The Conversion Bureau has ponykind forcing mankind to "convert" en masse into ponies. If they don't, they're killed. That this is genocide is ignored by both the ponies and the authors, who see it as the best possible thing that can be done. The fact that the authors gleefully ignore this and in fact treat it as a good thing (sometimes going so far as to vehemently defend it) is actually frightening and was in fact a factor for the very first TCB fic never being finished. However, most deconstruction stories often subvert this trope where humans and ponies alike realize the true meaning behind the bureaus and often rebel against Celestia.
  • In Lines And Webs, non-equine races can't be magically mind-controlled by Celestia to stop them from being violent, so she plans to drive their species to extinction in order to enact her vision of a peaceful harmonious world. Interestingly downplayed, Celestia doesn't want to actively commit genocide, just cause their civilizations to shrink until they die off naturally. Of course, it's still resulting in mass starvation, so it really isn't any different.
  • Implied to be in the planning stages in Event Horizon: Storm of Magic, where an After-Action Report written on the rescue of Daenerys from the Dothraki for The Company™ describes them as "savage barbarians", and that when they eventually initiate their colonization program in Essos, they'll have to come up with a "Final Solution to the Dothraki Problem". And The Company™ is supposed to be the good guy, relatively speaking.
  • In A Cure for Love, L points out to Light that his subordinates have opened death camps. Light denies he has anything to do with it (after all, why would he need to? His means of mass murder is so much more efficient).
  • In Kara of Rokyn, the nomadic Travelling Clan -to which Kara's wrestler rival Jara belongs- was persecuted and nearly wiped out in the past. Although nobody condones such actions nowadays, it's still a touchy subject that Kandorians prefer not to talk about.
  • In RWBY Alternate, it's mentioned that Pyrrha's father is the leader of a movement that wants the "mass removal" of the Faunus from his country. This also involves eradicating them.
  • A Tale of Two Rulers: After Ganondorf and several other Gerudo tried to take over Hyrule, an unspecified ruler of Hyrule killed numerous Gerudo. The few remaining Gerudo were left scattered. Even centuries later, Gerudo are still an extremely rare Dying Race. This past genocide is so unknown that not even the current princess regent Zelda knows about it.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the Holocaust drama Conspiracy (2001), the word "extermination" is almost never used, and is not written down as such by the secretary. Instead, everything is couched in euphemisms. Interestingly, this was before the specific word "genocide" to denote such mass slaughters was coined. Coupled with the Translation Convention, Kritzinger and Lange struggle to come up with something that would encapsulate it, as "war" is thoroughly insufficient, and settle on "chaos".
  • Played straight to the very end of the Critters quadrilogy. Even in the last movie, where they hint at this trope being in place, when the crites have almost completely been annihilated but cannot be completely made extinct because galactic law prevents doing this, those trying to protect the last of the critters assume the role of the 'bad' guys, even though one of them, the shapeshifter 'Ug', was a returning 'good guy' from all the previous movies. In the end, the 'bad guys' are defeated and the last of the crites are destroyed and that evil bastard Ug who was trying to save them from extinction is killed as well, and there is much rejoicing. Ug had the upper hand in the situation, but the 'good guys' took him down by pointing their guns at the last of the crite eggs, and he had to make a fatal mistake trying to protect them. Isn't it nice when the 'good guys' use sleazy bad guy tactics to kill the virtuous bad guy?
  • Denial is about "historian" David Irving's Real Life Holocaust denial and his attempt to silence real historian Deborah Lipstadt from calling him a Holocaust denier via a frivolous libel lawsuit.
  • Never Let Me Go: People "are completed" on an industrial scale. And "completed" actually equals harvested for their organs. The main characters are clones who have been created specifically for this task.
  • Star Wars
    • A New Hope: The Evil Empire regime removes the Galactic Senate just before they destroy the populated planet Alderaan. Thus, there is no Senate that can protest against this atrocity. While they don't say outright that the upcoming demonstration of the Death Star's firepower is the reason why they removed the Senate, they do mention that they used to need the Senate to manage the vast Empire, but now they're using the threat of the Death Star to prevent trouble instead.
    • And Order 66, aka the Great Jedi Purge, in Revenge of the Sith.
    • The Expanded Universe explains events a bit more. The Emperor wanted to disband the Senate for quite some time before the events of A New Hope. He used the outing of Princess Leia, a member of the Imperial Senate, as a Rebel agent as a pretext to finally disband it. It was one of the last symbols of the Old Republic (something he wanted to be rid of entirely) and potentially filled with Rebel sympathizers. Considering that three of the Alliance co-founders were Senators, he may have had a point. Thing is, with no Legislature, there was no scapegoat for his own crimes, and once they no longer had to maintain public appearances, some Senators went to openly work for the Rebellion.
  • The Substitute 4: Failure Is Not An Option: Karl Thomasson has a discussion about the Holocaust with Buckner, a student who is part of a Neo-Nazi cult at the Military Academy Thomasson is teaching at. Thomasson dismantles Buckner's rather pathetic attempt to downplay the figure from six million to five hundred thousand by pointing out that the violation of Thou Shalt Not Kill in itself is the issue, not the raw number.
    Thomasson: Let's say it was a thousand. A thousand innocent people murdered, not for something they did, but for who they were. If that's not a holocaust, what the hell would you call it?
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Magneto interrupts a mutant committee meeting over the development of a cure for mutation to deliver a scathing appraisal of what he considers to be avoidance of this issue, drawing from his own experiences with mass extermination:
    Speaker: This cure is voluntary. Nobody's talking about extermination.
    Magneto: No one ever talks about it; they just do it. And you go on with your lives, ignoring the signs all around you. And then one day, when the air is still and the night is fallen, they come for you.
    Speaker: [interrupts] Excuse me-
    Magneto: Only then do you realize that while you're talking about organizing and committees, the extermination has already begun.
    • Magneto is exploiting this trope, however: he is using fear of genocide to widen the divide between mutants and humans and perpetuate his war against humanity, ostensibly to protect the mutants from just such an extermination.
    • Anything involving Magneto and his views on genocide is always rather uncomfortably ironic since his whole motivation is to wipe out the entire human population (and he nearly succeeds in X2). Naturally, he never applies the apt description of genocide when it's him. Surprisingly, even after the number of movies made, no-one has yet called him out on this hypocrisy.

  • In the Animorphs series
    • The Andalite military's plan to "quarantine" planet Earth to keep the Yeerks from using the resources (especially the Human Resources) of Earth to conquer the galaxy. But it's not actually militarily possible to enforce this quarantine — so everyone treats this as a euphemism for genocide.
    • Alloran had previously attempted something extremely similar with the Hork-Bajir, by releasing a virus, resulting in a huge death toll (and, if anything, ensuring that all of the surviving Hork-Bajir would be the Yeerk-Controlled ones. And also leading to him losing his rank and reputation.)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: when the Pevensies become rulers of Narnia at the end of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, it's casually mentioned that in establishing their golden age, they "stamped out" the apparently Always Chaotic Evil species that had followed the White Witch. According to the author, the original inhabitants of Telmar were so evil that Aslan turned them all into non-sapient animals, effectively ending their lives as people. The narrative voice of the Narnia series always makes his opinions clear, and here they seem entirely in line with the opinions of his heroes.
    • In the second book Miraz forces the remnants of "old Narnia" into hiding, which is pretty much what it sounds like.
      • Somewhat notably, a hag and a werewolf appear in the second book (as minor villains) AFTER Miraz forces all remnants of Narnia into hiding. Make of that what you will
    • The White witch is revealed to have killed EVERYONE on her (original) world (with a single word no less) but it's ok, it was in self-defense, she had just lost all of her soldiers.
  • In Charlie Jane Anders' The City In The Middle Of The Night, every member of a nomadic civilization is killed except two people. Aliens killed the nomads because they stole natural resources and hurt their babies. The author makes the aliens sympathetic and justifies the genocide.
  • In Date A Live Sir Isaac Ray Peram Westcott uses a manner of speaking very different from what he really wants. He uses the word "rewrite" when he really meant "cataclysm", "destruction", "death", "annihilation", "genocide", "war", and other depraved things that humanity can invoke on the world. He often says that in order to make a mind game with people who are listening to this.
  • In Harry Harrison's Deathworld, their world has gotten really too death-y, so they decide to emigrate. There is a nice planet with a nice plateau BUT the plateau is inhabited. The Deathworlders suggest simply eliminating this population. 'Oh no' says the hero, 'that would be wrong'. Instead, they lead this war-like race off the plateau to rich farmlands where they can cut a swathe through the native population, enjoy their luxuries, get seduced by the lifestyle, and never return to the plateau. This wholesale slaughter is 'oh well you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs'.
  • Ender's Game. Throughout the book Child Soldiers are being trained to fight in case an alien race known as the Buggers invade like they'd done twice before, the last time being 70 years prior. It turns out in the end that the Child Soldiers were actually being trained to launch an invasion against the Buggers, resulting in the extermination of their species via Earth-Shattering Kaboom while tricking the children into thinking they were only playing a game. The Buggers themselves, thought to be Always Chaotic Evil by most Earthlings and portrayed as such in propaganda, were actually peaceful, having ended their hostilities against mankind generations ago. And the initial hostilities were an honest misunderstanding. They didn't mean to start a war, they were just saying "hello" by introducing their drone-soldiers to our territory and having them fight a bit. Drone-soldiers killing each other is roughly analogous to a hand-shake because each individual drone has no mind of its own. They had no idea that ALL of our drone-soldiers were actually individual Queens. How insane is that, an entire race of Queens and nothing but Queens? Who could possibly have predicted such a form of intelligent life existed? They became passive when they realized this, in the sense of only now fighting a defensive war. They made no further attacks and merely tried their best to not be wiped out by the vengeful hand of humans, who they were trying desperately to communicate their apology to. (It nearly worked.)
  • The Hunger Games: During the assault on a Peacekeeper mountain fortress in District 2, Gale comes up with the idea of causing a landslide to trap them inside; he even wanted to bomb the railway leading out of it to ensure there are no survivors (they decide to leave the railway open). When told that there were District 2 civilians inside, he said that he felt they deserved to die as well. The rebels go through with the plan, and hundreds (if not thousands) die as a result of Gale's actions.
  • The Illuminatus! Trilogy: In one of the many versions of the backstory, Gruad has just destroyed Atlantis, wiping out its entire population: "But deep inside, he knows that what he has done isn't nice".
  • In the children's book The Inventors, the two main characters Nate and Cat have won a scholarship with the world's greatest inventor Ebenezer Saint, who they discover is planning to destroy humanity and start rebuilding society from scratch. At one point, Saint begins rolling out a list of euphemisms for what he's about to do, before asking for suggestions for more. He accepts Nate's suggestion of "Begin the genocide", but calls him a drama queen for it.
  • R. A. Salvatore's novels about Drizzt feature the massacre of entire groups as a social institution for the dark elves of Menzoberranzan, although usually conducted on a smaller scale then genocidal: Killing a group of people is a crime, but only members of that group can make the official complaint. Thus: If you successfully kill everyone, so no one is left to protest, no crime can be said to have been committed. Ironically, this institution is also a part of how they maintain social order: If one of the royal houses falls out of favor with their evil Goddess, then other houses will use this system to gang up on them.
  • In Mo Dao Zu Shi, the cultivation world fights back against the tyranny of the Wen Clan. Later it is revealed that the sects had hunted down the non-cultivator members of the clan, even the elderly and children. Wei Wuxian had attempted to save a few Wen members that were left but was vilified and killed, and all the remaining Wen members were killed. Thirteen years later, the Wen Sect, which had previously been the largest sect, had all been killed. Except 4-year-old Wen Yuan, who had been found, hidden, and eventually revealed to be Lan Shizui.
  • Likely the largest genocide ever imagined is at the conclusion of the Skylark Series. The protagonists have previously tangled with the "ameboid" Chlorans, who attack, enslave, and exploit humans (but do not exterminate them). In the earlier encounter, there was just one Chloran planet; the option of genocide (called explicitly by that name) was considered, but due to pleadings of "soft-hearted" women the milder option of sending the planet far away was taken. But when discovering a faraway galaxy with millions of Chloran planets, the protagonist Seaton decides that the Chlorans are "a cancer" and a danger to the entire universe and that nothing would do but to kill every single one of them — emphatically rejecting any other option. He and his arch-enemy turned ally DuQuesne proceed to do just that, causing all the Chloran suns to go nova. "The Chlorans died in their uncounted trillions. The greeny-yellow soup that served them for air boiled away. Their halogenous flesh was charred, baked, and desiccated in the split-second of the passing of the front wave from each exploding double star, moments before their planets themselves started to seethe and boil. Many died unaware. Most died fighting. Most died in terrible, frantic effort to escape... But they all died." Immediately afterwards, DuQuesne, feeling not the slightest remorse at having just killed uncounted trillions of sentient beings and destroyed an entire galaxy, proposes to his long-cherished lady love and is thrilled to hear that she truly loves him. (DuQuesne, however, is a self-admitted villain.)
  • Victoria has the far-right, misogynist regime of the Confederation carrying out a "soft" genocide on the Lady Land Azania. While not physically exterminating the Amazons after conquering their country, they systematically destroy their culture and re-educate or enslave the survivors, and they also deprive them of the advanced technology they need to reproduce in the absence of men, thereby ensuring their extinction as a people. This is presented as freeing them from horrible oppression, as they are returned from their wayward, Godless way of life to woman's proper place in the world as wife and mother.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Babylon 5:
    • Many characters go out of their way to not call what the Centauri are doing to the Narn genocide.
    • The Hyach removed the Hyach-Do from their history.
    • Justin, the Shadows' human mouthpiece, admits that a few species are "lost" as a result of the Shadows' ideology of encouraging development through conflict. He finds it "unfortunate", and feels that it can't be easy for the Shadows.
  • When the human fleet of Battlestar Galactica discover a disease that could wipe out the entire Cylon race, Helo seems to be the only one willing to publicly describe using it as genocide. Adama does admit in private that he views it as genocide, however. It eventually becomes clear that pretty much everyone realizes it is genocide, they just don't care.
  • In Blackadder The Second, Edmund briefly becomes Lord High Executioner, or as he calls it: "The Minister of Religious Genocide". It's his responsibility to execute "traitors" and closeted Catholics by command of Elizabeth the First. Notably, the episode never moralises on genocide, and Edmund regards it as nothing but a tedious and very deadly chore he has to do.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Ghost Monument", in a cross with Deadly Euphemism, Angstrom only ever refers to what the Stenza are doing on her homeworld, Albar, as "cleansing".
  • In The Event, when the only possible refuge left for the aliens is Earth and its resources clearly won't suffice for both them and the humans, Sophia concludes that "we need to make room". One of her henchmen, who had until recently acted as The Mole inside the U.S. government and gradually grew to sympathize with the humans, immediately calls her out on it: "You mean GENOCIDE!"
  • Uther Pendragon in Merlin (2008) views his slaughter of magic users and all dragons except one as completely justified. His son, Arthur, goes along with it to please him, but it's repeatedly shown that he will not kill harmless magic users if he isn't forced into it.
  • If you consider allowing a race you could have effortlessly saved to die because of a non-interference policy to count as genocide, Janeway and Archer from Star Trek both committed genocide, in this case calling it principle (they justify it as not interfering with evolution). Notably Averted by Picard in "Pen Pals" who was initially unwilling to interfere but after hearing the plea of the species in question agreed to "bend" the rules and classify it as a request for help.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Living Witness", an alien civilization called the Kyrians remembers an encounter with Voyager centuries ago very differently from what really happened. Because Voyager traded with the Vaskans, one of their enemies, they revised the events to make Voyager a bunch of bloodthirsty villains who slaughtered their people. Evil Janeway doesn't share the Vaskan ambassador's concerns about annihilating the Kyrian population.
    Ambassador: I want them defeated, but this is genocide!
    Janeway: Defeat... genocide... why quibble with semantics?
  • In The Vampire Diaries, Elena causes the slaughter of tens of thousands of vampires without blinking, justifying it because it brings her closer to a cure.
  • While people are getting slaughtered by the thousands in Equatorial Kundu on The West Wing, C.J. Cregg is not allowed by the White House legal counsel to say the word "genocide" in front of the press. This was in reference to the Clinton Administration standing by with the Rwandan Genocide going on, which they referred to as "genocide-type acts" because acknowledging it was genocide would mean under the Genocide Convention, they were required to intervene. Unlike the fictional administration here, they never did.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has the Lintillas, hundreds of billions of clones of one particularly attractive and talented lady created by a faulty cloning machine at a Brantisvogan escort agency. As halting the cloning process would kill the current incomplete clone (and thus be murder), various legal experts tried to get the definition of murder changed in order to make it legal. As it turns out, they managed to get murder renamed (to 'revoked') but failed to achieve anything else (such as legally changing the spelling; 'revoked' is still spelt M-U-R-D-E-R-E-D).
    • One tactic involved mass cloning another individual, Allitnil, who is irresistible to the Lintillas. Each Allitnil and Lintilla pair would be tricked into signing a death warrant under the guise of a marriage license, and the two of them would be vaporized. If later series are to be believed, the plan was quite unsuccessful.

  • The band members of System of a Down are Armenian-American, and they are all very active in spreading the word about the Armenian Genocide. However, their music is almost never specifically about genocide: the only song from them that specifically mentions the word "genocide" is the song "P.L.U.C.K." (which stands for "Politically Lying, Unholy Corrupt Killers") from their self-titled debut album in 1997. "Holy Mountains" from their album Mezmerize/Hypnotize is also about the Armenian Genocide, but doesn't even mention that word.
    • It's somewhat justified in the fact that their lyrics are primarily concerned with specific issues. They tend to tackle topics such as drug decriminalization and environmentalism in order to curb complacency in general, and Serj Tankian (the lead singer) even said that he would rather not preach about the genocide.
  • Sirusho is an Armenian pop star that releases her music internationally, and while she is not as well-known as System of a Down, her more recent work thematically concerns the Armenian Genocide. However, despite most of her 2016 album Armat being about the Armenian Genocide and releasing two singles on its centennial anniversary regarding the very same subject matter, she never outright says the word "genocide" in any of her songs.

    Video Games 
  • A gameplay mechanic in Age of Wonders. When you take over a town, you have the option to "migrate" the race currently inhabiting the town, replacing it with a race that's friendly to you. It's a very useful option — say you're a good-aligned race but just took over an undead town and want to replace it with another good-aligned race — but you're still basically committing mass deportation and resettlement...
  • In Bendy and the Ink Machine Chapter 5, Tom, Allison, and optionally Henry wipe out a village full of Lost Ones and Searchers. Admittedly, it was in self-defense, and the fallen may be able to return from the ink, but still.
  • In Bloodborne, it's stated in the backstory that the inhabitants of Castle Cainhurst were exterminated by the Executioners, an army of Healing Church fanatics led by Martyr Logarius. What makes it this trope is that the Vilebloods are consistently demonized by the last surviving Executioner as evil and corrupt heretics deserving of their fate. Who conveniently doesn't seem to realize or care about the many sins of the Healing Church.
  • A codex in Dragon Age: Origins talks about a long series of wars between the Qunari and all the other nations of Thedas. The Qunari were eventually driven back when they withdrew to avoid civilian casualties. In the lands they had occupied, there had been many converts to their strange, totalitarian, and occasionally brutal religion. When the Chantry could not convert them back, they simply purged the civilians and then denied that it ever happened.
    • Several codexes about the Exalted March Against the Dales detail how relations between the Elven Kingdom of the Dales and the other (human) nations soured, so the human Chantry invaded, conquered, and annexed the elven kingdom. The elves were given a "choice": Convert to Chantry worship and work as second-class servants and laborers in fantastic slums in human cities, or flee into the forest. Most Chantry clerics hold that the elves should be grateful that the Chantry gave them that choice at all, rather than slaughter every elf down to the last man, woman, and child, and maintain that since elves fought back in the war that means they weren't "helpless victims."
  • In Halo 2, after the changing of the guard, the remaining Prophets initiate an Order 66-style genocide of the Elites, disguised as a Brute uprising.
  • In the Mass Effect series, the extermination of the vast majority of the quarian species during the Geth War (which admittedly was initiated by the quarian government under the same logic humanity used in regards to Skynet, with a Skynet-esque response by the geth) is successively downplayed from one title to the next. With dialogue in the first game stating directly that "the geth killed billions and drove [them] from [their] homeworld," the tie-in novels written by the lead writer of the first game and part of the second having the third-person narrator directly describe the geth's actions as "genocide in which less than a single percent of the [quarian] population survived", the second game limiting its description to "the Geth drove [them] from [their] homeworld," and the third presenting it as the conflict in which the Geth "won their freedom."
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda gives us the kett, a race of Scary Dogmatic Aliens that invaded the Heleus Cluster and almost immediately started a war of extinction against the native angara roughly eighty years before the Andromeda Initiative arrived. It takes about a third of the game to uncover that the kett are actually perpetuating an Assimilation Plot that can be summed up as "convert any compatible specimen of every species we can get our paws on into more kett, kill the rest, then move on". It's literally the only way they can procreate because they intentionally removed their reproductive organs via genetic engineering, which means they willingly chose to become a virus-like plague on the galaxy that has genocide of everything non-kett hard-coded into their life cycle. They call this insanity "exaltation", have built their entire society around it, treat it with religious zeal, and honestly think they're doing their victims a great favor.
  • In StarCraft, Mengsk crosses a Moral Event Horizon by having the entire civilian population of the planet Tarsonis slaughtered by the alien Zerg so that he can crown himself emperor. In Star Craft II, he starts out as a Villain with Good Publicity who has managed to erase all traces of his crime. His loyal lackeys all shut up about it (or did he have them all assassinated?), and in the public social life of the empire, it's out of line to point out that the Zerg invasion of Tarsonis was convenient for Mengsk's power grab. To imply that the emperor was actually behind the attack is surely out of the question. Of course, there is one single exception to this dreadfully polite silence: Our hero, the main character, the "Traitor & Terrorist" Jim Raynor. Oh, and the genocide really backfires on Mengsk once the hero's forces have taken over the television network so the truth can no longer be suppressed.
  • Stellaris
    • You can "purge" anything from individual pops (each of which represents roughly one billion people) to entire species, including your own, but no matter what the game calls it, it's genocide on a mind-boggling scale, the other empires in the galaxy are very aware of it and tend to react suitably appalled if you indulge in it. Methods range from comparatively merciful mass neutering to execution squads systematically going from house to house. The tool tip for the latter option even includes another cynically trivializing term: "dissolution of a people". Early versions of the game allowed absolutely everyone to purge anyone they didn't like, but later updates restricted the ability to purge pops to the morally darkest grey and black empires, which usually means some combination of militaristic and xenophobic mindsets. The most extreme Absolute Xenophobe factions have this hard-coded into their foreign policy — every alien species they conquer gets purged automatically, resulting in their total extinction in as little as two years.
    • Meta-example, the game is still plagued with horrendous lag late game, due to the number of renders and background calculation which only gets worse as more of the galaxy gets colonized. Obviously, the lag can be alleviated by, shall we say, 'reducing the number of renders', especially those of other empires. This is one of the reasons why Fanatical Purifiers is quite a popular play style.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky:
    • The ancient Lydian president takes the second option ("I Did What I Had to Do") regarding the near-extinction of Somnians perpetrated by his orders. However, Solomon does explicitly refer to it as genocide.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Black Dragons are a genocidal breed of dragons that have been corrupted by the Old Gods, and now serve their insane master on his quest to kill everything. In the face of this threat, the Red Dragons, after many years of conflict, decide the only thing to do is declare every single Black Dragon corrupted and beyond redemption and to exterminate every last one of them. That's every Black Dragon, Drake, Whelp, and Egg. And the player helps them do this, even personally dispatching the last fertile Black Dragon female and smashing her eggs. The irony of the Red Dragons, the Protectors of Life, being forced to declare indiscriminate oblivion on an entire species is not lost. However, in a far distant and unrelated quest, there are signs that the Red Dragons have taken steps to purify a Black Dragon egg and to restart the flight anew. With one member: Wrathion, who ended up killing off the entirety of the Black Dragon species, barring himself.
    • Also played straight with the war against the now homeless Zandalar Tribe and the remnants of troll species (barring the Darkspear, who are playable).
  • Yggdra Union has lots of genocide as "justice" when you get to the part where Yggdra has finally forced the Empire out of her country, then decides to invade Bronquia and destroy it. Even after Kylier tries to get her to realize that she's going to become the new 'evil invader', Yggdra tells her "This is Justice." Then the game forces you to mow through the 'Bronquian Militia', which is basically a bunch of level 1 units trying to defend their homeland, and makes you feel very bad about it. "What is Justice?" is a question that a lot of people are asking throughout the game.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Code:Realize, the Vampire War that occurred two years prior to the beginning of the story turns out to have been a mostly successful human effort to wipe out the vampire race. The public has been told that the vampires were planning to exterminate humanity and that the war was one of self-defense. In actuality, it was a show of force on Queen Victoria's part to discourage other nations from declaring war on Britain.

  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Played with in regards to T'kutts-Afa, who committed "sort of genocide." He forcibly uploaded mind copies of his entire species to a virtual world, then killed their living bodies and preserved them in a way that they could easily be resurrected. There's a strong argument to be made that this is not actually genocide but more a mass kidnapping, but everyone (including T'kutts-Afa) still calls it genocide because it's the only word that comes close to encapsulating what he did wrong. The worst part for him is that although he had some immensely compelling reason to do it he erased his own memory of the event and has no idea what it was.
    • Petey later does something similar to save a heavily populated world from an approaching supernova. After everyone is uploaded, he sends bots to turn off all the appliances and stack the bodies in freezers on the off chance they'll be able to save the planet and move the people back in. One of T'kutts-Afa's victims is disturbed to realize he is sympathetic to the perpetrator of this atrocity.

    Web Original 
  • Zinnia Jones: Debated in the episode A challenge to Christians: Stop defending genocide
  • One political meme riffs on the tendency for political extremists to deny crimes against humanity perpetrated by dictators they agree with:
    Authoritarian left: "Never happened. Besides, they were kulaks anyway"
    Authoritarian right: "Never happened. Besides, they were jews anyway"
    Libertarian left: "Never happened. Besides, they were fascists anyway"
    Libertarian right: "Never happened. Besides, 14 is the legal age of consent in some countries anyway"
  • SCP Foundation: In Dr. Bright's proposal, it's revealed that the early Foundation committed genocide on the faeries and hid all records of their existence. The document for a certain other anomaly that must not be namednote  reveal that some of the faeries survived, and the previous account was a lie. The faeries used to be allies to the Foundation but were betrayed, with many being killed and all having their names somehow stolen. Note, however, that the setting has no certain continuity and either or both of these accounts might be untrue.

    Real Life 
  • The Other Wiki has more information on this here.
  • The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide compels all nations that have signed it to act with full force to stop and prevent any acts of genocide in the world. Most modern versions of this trope are usually countries trying to cop out of this agreement since they have neither the resources nor the desire to get involved in a long, drawn-out conflict with little apparent gain to the intervening countries ("It's a civil war, not a genocide!"):
    • The massacres in East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) by the Pakistani government in 1971 provide a particularly grisly example. Richard Nixon viewed Pakistan as a Cold War ally and used its leader, Yahya Khan, to negotiate America's "opening" with Maoist China. Therefore the US not only refused to condemn Pakistan but actually supported them. The Bangladeshis did resist Pakistani military action, and India ultimately intervened in the conflict, so the violence wasn't entirely one-sided. But the mass killings of Bengalis predated any concerted resistance, let alone India's involvement.
    • During the genocide in Rwanda and the slaughter of a large chunk of the population for being the Tutsi and not Hutu, the UN and major nations insisted on calling the events genocide-like acts as a way of loopholing out of doing anything. The USA was a particular abuser of this – since the Somalian intervention in 1993 blew up in their face, they didn't want to risk another failure. Probably the best account of this is Michael Barnett's Eyewitness to a Genocide, which documents it from the perspective of someone who actually worked at the UN at the time (it isn't pretty).
    • During the genocide in Darfur, European authorities were very reluctant to call it a genocide, instead repeating the cop-out from Rwanda and calling it "Genocide-like acts". In this particular case, intervening would make them look bad as "intervention" has become a very dirty word in light of The War on Terror. Thus it was not a genocide. This didn't prevent the International Criminal Court from issuing a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir specifically indicting him for three counts of genocide (as well as five counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes). The arrest warrant has not been served, as al-Bashir has made a point of not visiting any country that might arrest him.
  • Imperial Japanese Army Chinese Expeditionary force policies on the treatment of POW, subjugation of partisans, and establishment and maintenance of 'Comfort Houses' during the eight-year China Incident don't make for pleasant or socially-acceptable small talk.
  • During World War II, most Germans and a lot of people in the allied nations as well refused to acknowledge that the concentration camps were really death camps – even if they knew the truth for certain, it was so much easier to pretend it wasn't happening. To this day, there are still people who cling to the fantasy that the Holocaust didn't happen at all, or that it "only" happened to the Jews – thus retconning away the other victims: the Slavs, the gays, the intellectuals, the Romani, the mentally disabled, and so on.note 
    • For some Jews, it's a case of "Would be rude to say 'Holocaust'". They prefer the word Shoah (Hebrew for "catastrophe"). Jews often see their mass destruction as something unique in scale. The "uniqueness" of the Holocaust is also advocated by German historians such as Hans Mommsen and Hans Ulrich-Wehler, citing the high-level of pre-meditation and infrastructure dedicated to killing programs, and the fact that it was achieved by an advanced European nation that had undergone modernisation. These subtle critiques get lost when used in political footballs, however, where mass famines (the Irish potato famine, the Holodomor, the Great Bengal Famine of 1943) and population displacement (the Partition of India, the Nakbanote ) are promoted by activists and advocates to be on the same scale as the Holocaust, which leads to a messy and bitter feud among victims groups.
    • There is also the fact that the term 'holocaust' is a Greek term meaning sacrifice (as in a sacrifice to God, normally burnt), thus the usage of that particular word so as to imply they were being sacrificed as opposed to brutally murdered may have something to do with it.
  • The Armenian Genocide was a Trope Maker for 20th-century genocides to come, and indeed Raphael Lemkin coined the word to describe Turkey's actions against Armenia after attending the trial in Berlin of the Assassin of Talaat Pasha note . The Republic of Turkey passionately denies it was a genocide to this day, mainly to protect their reputation and avoid paying reparations. There are citizens in Turkey who want the government to acknowledge the genocide, though they may not be the majority since the country is very nationalistic, and in fact, people have been prosecuted saying genocide occurred under a law criminalizing "insulting Turkishness". This gets tied into international politics because Azerbaijan, an avowed enemy of Armenia and close ally of Turkey, demands that Turkey refuse to acknowledge the genocide. Not that Turkey's government is in a particular rush to do so anyway, Azerbaijan just gives them another excuse.
    • This particular one has repercussions elsewhere. A major controversy ensued when Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, urged the U.S. Congress not to recognize the Armenian Genocide; unsurprisingly, this was not considered becoming of one of America's most respected civil rights organizations. The internal conflict proved to be too much and the ADL has since downplayed the issue, though they're still against recognition.
    • This also extends to many of Turkey's allies. The US President, for example, must avoid using the "G" word when addressing Armenian-Americans on the Day of Remembrance for the genocide, using instead the Armenian term Medz Yeghern (The Great Calamity), which predates the creation of the word 'genocide' and has since gained Unfortunate Implications due to its use as a way to dance around having to say it was a genocide. For the record, although both George W. Bush and Barack Obama stated that if they became President, they would issue a formal recognition of the genocide, Ronald Reagan is currently the last U.S. President to do so. [1]
    • Turkey's denial wouldn't quite be such a problem to Armenians if not for its constant foreign meddling whenever the subject comes up in other countries. Not only has it been successful in getting recognition of the genocide blocked in the US, but whenever the subject of making a movie about it comes up in Hollywood, Turkey does its best to find some way to get the project shut down or bring it down after its release. For instance, when the movie The Promise was released, there was an all-out internet war between Armenians and Turks, with many Turkish trolls bombarding the film's IMDB page with one-star reviews long before the film premiered in theaters and they could possibly have seen it, and purchasing advance tickets to theater screenings only to ask for a refund at the last minute.
    • The topic received a significant bump in publicity in June 2016 when the German parliament, the Bundestag, passed a pro-Armenian resolution that explicitly included the term "genocide" in its very name. To say that Turkey was upset would be the understatement of the year. The German motion led to major political turmoil between the two countries that still hasn't been fully settled as of January 2018. German politicians were forbidden from visiting Bundeswehr soldiers stationed at the Turkish air force base Incirlik, and both sides pulled no rhetorical punches for over a year until the situation finally began to relax a bit.
  • The situation is similar to what happened to the Pontic Greeks, considered a Genocide in Greece and of course not in Turkey. The Assyrians suffered a similar fate as well at around the same time. Unsurprisingly, many Assyrians and Greeks on the net supported Armenians in regards to The Promise.
  • Older Than They Think: The Roman destruction of Carthage and its entire population — and the enslavement of its survivors — was widely lauded by Romans of its time as both just and necessary, with the worst aspects of Punic culture used as added justification for their annihilation. For years before it actually happened, Cato the Elder, a famous Senator, ended each speech he made with the demand "Carthago delenda est," Latin for "Carthage must be destroyed."
    • Of course, in the case of the Ancient World, boasting of destruction of whole tribes and places was common in records, and while it is true that the Romans destroyed the Carthaginian Empire in the Third Punic War, that did not necessarily mean extermination of all Carthaginians. The Romans also converted Carthage into a new colony and encouraged settlement there and made it into a Roman province. Carthage was a merchant oligarchical state and most of its clients simply traded one conqueror for another.
    • For Raphael Lemkin, the Albigensian Crusade was an outstanding example of a pre-modern genocide. It targeted a religion, Catharism (seen by the Catholic Church as a heresy) and involved mass murder of some 200,000 people who were denied quarter and involved the specific intent for targeting and eradicating an entire belief system and all its practitioners.
  • According to Azerbaijan's propaganda, Armenia is an evil nation at least in part because the Armenian army deliberately killed civilians during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.note  In particular, the Khojaly Massacre was the most infamous one, which was seen as completely uncalled for in the international community. The Armenian government continues to deny responsibility for the massacres committed by the Armenian army on Azerbaijan's citizens, contending that they gave the citizens advance warning and an escape corridor before invading the town, but the Azeri army prevented anyone from evacuating. There were pogroms on both sides of the conflict too, such as the massacres of Armenians in Baku and Sumgait which Azerbaijan denies took place, though Khojaly was still worse in terms of casualties. So it's more like two countries doing this to each other. Hence the Azeris' demand for Turkey not to recognize the Armenian genocide, in retaliation.
  • The other Trope Codifier of things to come from the C20th: the German treatment of the Herero and Nama peoples of what is now Namibia. Read of it, and you can't help seeing the template for the Holocaust. Although they had taken notes from the Boer Wars of the previous century, they took them to new extremes.
  • The disappearance of Muslims from Greece (and, later, the rest of the Balkans excluding Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Albania) is sometimes incorrectly identified as this. In 1923, after the long and bloody affair that was the Turkish War of Independence (in which the Turks soundly defeated the British, French, Italians, and Greeks put together), the Greeks and the Turks jointly negotiated a treaty providing for the exchange of populations: Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey for Muslims in Greece. As a result, approximately 1.5 million (surviving; the Turks had already perpetrated the Pontic Greek genocide, which claimed between 750 and 900,000) Christians for about 500,000 (surviving; there had been reprisals, pogroms, and other atrocities perpetrated against Turks and Jews in Greek Macedonia since the Ottomans had ceded it) Muslims. The incredible, full-circle irony of this is that the population transfers were based on religion, not ethnic or cultural identity. The result was that many Greek (and Greek-speaking) Muslims were deported to Turkey and Orthodox Turks were expelled to Greece. The whole affair remains a source of much bad blood between Greece and Turkey (though they've both grown closer recently), and many people from both countries feel they were more the victim, and it's one reason why the Armenian genocide is a Berserk Button issue in Turkey, being seen by many as a Double Standard. Still, as it stands today, Turkey is about 99.8% Muslim (some sources put the Christian population of the country at about 1,000), while there remain large Muslim populations in the Balkans (majority populations in Albania and Kosovo, minority in Bulgaria, and plurality in Bosnia).
  • The systematic extermination and/or relocation of indigenous people in the United States was generally depicted by contemporary writers (even L. Frank Baum of all people) as justifiable, necessary, and inevitable, with few exceptions, and they were mythologized as a Dying Race to more or less cover up the fact that it was largely being done on purpose. This kind of myth was also used in Argentina and Australia, countries where European settler-immigrants also wanted the locals to make space for them (but not New Zealand or South Africa, where it was pretty clear that the locals were there to stay). Also used in The Raj (of 1848-1947), wherein the British consistently favoured static/agricultural nations and peoples over nomadic tribes — most famously in Burma, where they managed to piss off the mountain tribes enough that they sided with the Japanese.
  • The famine in the Soviet Union during the 30s, especially in Ukraine described as Holodomor, is sometimes considered a genocide. Even Raphael Lemkin supported recognizing it as such in the early 50s.
    • Academic historians who regarded reports after the opening of the Soviet Archives note the difficulty of seeing the famine, or any famine, as legally falling under the 1948 definition of genocide, since if the famine was deliberately engineered to starve Ukrainians, it did not explain how it affected regions outside Soviet Ukraine, in Russia, Kazakhstan, and the Caucasus where millions starved in conditions and situations similar to the Ukraine. The causes of the famine and its links to Stalin's policies of collectivization are also contentious since famine had been common in Russia since the Russian Empire, and the harvest at the start of 1933 was lower than projected and there was a drought that led to the start of the crisis, which at the very least seems to question intent and co-ordination. Supporters note that unlike Lenin, who allowed foreign aid and backed off war communism in favour of NEP in response to a similar famine in the early 20s (caused largely by the Russian Civil War deprivations), Stalin's USSR did no such thing and intensified persecution of the kulaks during collectivization and refused to allow international observers to visit the famine-stricken Kuban area in Ukraine where the majority of people died in the famine.
    • Nicolas Werth, an anti-communist demographer, had initially opposed seeing the famine of 1933-1934 as genocide in the wake of the publication of the "Black Book of Communism". Recently, he has lent some support noting that one could possibly regard the actions of the Soviet bureaucracy to Ukraine as an institutional response to the peasant rebellion that broke out at the beginning of collectivization. Ukrainian peasants resisted forced collectivization and requisitions by acts of sabotage, destroying crops, and burning cattle and this led the local Soviets under general orders to stop providing new seeds for planting and likewise provided the internal passport which made it difficult for them to move to gain food in new areas, which aggravated the crisis causing mass starvation, which would fit the legal rubric of genocide if one sees the peasants of the Kuban as a "national/ethnic/religious/racial" group distinct from Ukraine's urban centers and the peasants in the Caucasus/Kazakhstan and Russia. This was Rafael Lemkin's contention since he regarded the Ukrainians as a distinct ethnic entity.
    • Timothy Snyder, in his book Bloodlands, also regards the Ukraine famine as a genocide, though he uses different parameters than Lemkin. He noted that if one included political groups under the 1948 contention, then one could identify the actions of the Soviet government as genocidal. He notes that the 1948 UN Genocide Convention was compromised because the Soviet Union deliberately argued against including political groups as categories falling under the criteria for victims of genocide. William Schabas, one of the foremost authorities on genocide, disagrees. He noted that the Soviet Union's refusal to include "political categories" was backed by many countries some of whom such as Sweden/Iran/Egypt/Belgium hardly qualified as Soviet puppets, as well as the World Jewish Congress and that it was determined by the vagueness of defining political groups.
    • The Soviet Union protested the inclusion of political affiliation or class as potential classes for genocide along with race, national identity, cultural identity, and religion in the official definition used by the United Nations. As one of the five founding members of the United Nations with a permanent seat on the security council, they had the clout to have those removed. After all, if they hadn't, then they'd have been guilty of genocide several times over.
  • Whether the Manifest Destiny period of the US counted as one towards the Native-Americans varies hugely on who you ask, with generational gaps accounting for a large portion of it. Aside from the numerous broken treaties with tribes, wars, massacres, and bounty programs (such as in California), there were also boarding schools whose primary purpose was to "properly" educate native children, barring them from speaking their native tongue and otherwise ensuring they would be assimilated into the European-dominant culture in the US. And this is to say nothing about the effects of the reservation system, the forced displacement of people from traditional lands, and the (usually) well-meaning but ultimately destructive policies that followed them (such as the reduction of Navajo livestock). The now-infamous American (former) professor Ward Churchill invoked this in his book A Little Matter of Genocide. He naturally argues that it was. At the very least, the situation hit on every point in Raphael Lemkin's definition, above: the end result was the economic, cultural, and sometimes physical destruction of the Native-American peoples, much of it was coordinated, and much of it intentional. The thorniness of the situation is not helped by being still-present: cultural and linguistic erosion is ongoing, and while it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this was because of modern coordinated practices, the political socioeconomic pressures that contribute to it are a direct result of what came before.
  • Peru had a similar story with Alberto Fujimori's "ligation days", but it's not Peru that denies it. Like Iran and a few of Israel's other neighbors with the Holocaust, this one involves countries unrelated to the actual perpetrator: The United States (mostly because of some American companies who supported Fujimori) and Japan (because the Japanese-Peruvian Fujimori resided there for years and it took a long effort to be brought back to face justice).
  • In East and South-East Asia, the Japanese are considered notoriously cavalier about their Army's war crimes during the 1930s and 40s. Part of this comes from genuine ignorance, as Japan's right-wing has been partially successful in preventing this from being covered in schools and school textbooks; they fear that acknowledging the 6-20 million deadnote , as well as the specifics of the various war crimes and crimes against humanity (biological weapons testing on hundreds of thousands, human medical experimentation on tens of thousands, mass-rape of hundreds of thousands, torture of hundreds of thousands, forced prostitution of tens of thousands, POW deaths from preventable causesnote  and heavy-handednessnote  in the hundreds of thousands, POW-beheading contests, etc, etc) would harm the patriotism and national pride of Japan's youth. Interestingly enough, some surveys of national pride would appear to indicate that the advent of the internet has resulted in a dramatic decrease in Japanese patriotism, as the i-net-savvy younger generations have started to become aware of their country's horrible war deeds.
  • Matthew White, a self-described "atrocitologist", has taken it upon himself to be a scholar of the absolute nadirs of evil human beings have committed. He coined the term hemoclysm ("blood flood") to describe the worst atrocities of history. While World War II tops the list in raw numbers with at least 55M deaths, when the ranks are adjusted for the world's population at the time, it drops to ninth. The Mongol conquests may have killed 40M in the 13th century (#3 in raw numbers, #2 in adjusted rank), and the An Lushan Revolt in the 8th century supposedly claimed 36M (#4 in raw numbers, #1 adjusted). None of these meet the definition of "genocide" since they constitute 'attempted extermination of a people'. Stephen Pinker, who used Matthew White's work as a tiny fraction of his research for The Better Angels of Our Nature, makes the case that hemoclysms and genocides of history have been relatively frequent, and even advances the rather bold claim that they were 'ordinary' in the minds of the people of those eras.
    • Of course, this also conflates various types of killing; while the Mongols really did execute a couple of genocides, this only accounted for a small part of their body count. Also, the idea that it was "normal" at the time is modern-day revisionism and propaganda: it wasn't at all. Indeed, one of the major reasons that the Mongols were so harsh to some of their enemies was precisely to terrorize everyone else into surrendering, so that they didn't have to fight as much. If their enemies just gave up, it was much easier for the Mongols to rule over them. Additionally, some of it was done to end endless inter-tribal violence; by simply killing all the older men (gendercide), they effectively deprived the losing tribe of the ability to take revenge. People like Vlad the Impaler and the Mongols are remembered precisely because they were unusually harsh, and they were well aware of the psychological impact on the enemy and took full advantage of it.
      • Finally, just as you'd expect of someone whose entire claim to fame rests on massive kill figures, White's numbers are extremely dubious and much-disputed. The supposed topper (the An Lushan Revolt) is a case in point. For a start, in Chinese history, there have nominally been armies or massacres of exactly 800,000 people no less than three hundred times. This is because '800,000' was actually shorthand for 'well, nobody knows for sure, but trust us it sure was a hell of a lot'. Chinese sources on non-800,000 numbers tend to be somewhat wonky at the best of times, especially regarding warfare. On top of this, a great many of the things used to gauge the overall population figures in the area concerned are wonky, like using census and tax returns listing numbers of household (which don't just reflect the population loss, but also the breakdown of the ability to count the people still alive).
  • Countless tribes were exterminated in tribal warfare, their names never recorded and the crimes lost to history.
    • The standard outcome of a defeated city was to be subject to massacre for much of history. For example, the 1258 Siege of Baghdad ended with roughly two million exterminated. This would be called genocide by most modern scholars.
    • The Bible chronicles the extermination of many peoples, in some cases directly commanded by God. In one of the more famous examples, Numbers 31 states all male Midianites were killed by Israel, down to newborn infants, as were all women who were not virgins. The virgins were taken as slaves. The tone of the book does not indicate that this act should be condemned as genocide. In Samuel I Chapter 10, King Saul is ordered to exterminate the Amalekites and is rejected by God (Who goes so far as to repent selecting him) for being insufficiently thorough in the genocide. The theological implications are not a good topic for discussion, but the tone does hint at how societies of the era viewed such horrors.
  • Paul Mojzes in his book Balkan Genocides argues that the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 were actually a series of genocides — ones that the world has mostly forgotten, partially because they happened in a rather remote area, and partially because the term "Genocide" had not yet been coined back then. He also argues that some of the events called "ethnic cleansing" (such as the war in Bosnia 1992-95) or "repatriation" (the expulsion of the Germans after World War 2) actually constituted genocide.
  • From 1976-1983, the National Reorganization Process in Argentina carried out an extensive campaign of what could best be called "politicide", exterminating 30,000 members of various leftist political groups. Right-wing supporters of the junta went into denial, with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and various other Cold War leaders all trying to paint the situation as a civil war — at least up until the Argentines attacked British territory during The Falklands War in 1982, and it backfired so badly that the Junta ended up falling to pieces in few months.
  • Following the rift between Israel and Turkey due to the Mavi Marmara incident, an argument arose in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, regarding the question of acknowledging the Armenian Genocide as such, mostly due to political reasons.
  • What the Belgians did to the Congolese is still up for debate as to whether it actually was a genocide, mostly because the Belgians did not try to exterminate the Congolese — they wanted to enslave them instead. However, if it does count as genocide, then it would have caused far more casualties than the Holocaust. It does not help that Belgium has made Holocaust denial illegal, but denying this doesn't look like a problem; they still have a Monument of Leopold II where it is written: "I have undertaken the work in Congo in the interest of civilization and for the good of Belgium."
  • A minority of French historians want the War in the Vendée (during The French Revolution) being recognized as genocide, calling the events "Franco-French genocide". This view is generally considered fringe by most scholars (pro and anti-revolutionary) who noted that the uprising there is more precisely a Civil War with considerable violence and casualties on both sides. It was the Vendeean Royalists, who first opened fire on the Republic (out of protest at the French government's anti-Catholic policies and Conscription), when they massacred 200 people at Machecoul, likewise the Committee of Public Safety had considerable local support from Republican Vendeeans, which meant that it wasn't directed against the whole region, but specifically those parts of it that were counter-revolutionary and actively rebelling against the state.
  • This trope and Dwight D. Eisenhower are the reasons why we have so much footage of then-recently liberated concentration camps: as the head of the American armed forces in Europe, when he saw one of the concentration camps, he ordered that footage of life in them be taken so that, by their sheer awfulness, no one could credibly deny the crimes of the Nazis.
    • As Eisenhower is supposed to have said:
      Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses – because somewhere down the track of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.
    • As Eisenhower actually said (or possibly, General George Marshall to Eisenhower):
      The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty, and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they [there] were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit [to Gotha] deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.” [Italics made by a TV Tropes editor.]


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dont Say Genocide


Elven Genocide

Intoner Four succeeded in finishing off the fleeing "Evil" elf soldiers, after exterminating most of the "Evil" elven race, all with a gleeful smile...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / KnightTemplar

Media sources:

Main / KnightTemplar