Modern technology, including the use of mass media to motivate the killers, made the 20th century a century of genocides, from Armenia and the Nazi Holocaust to Rwanda –said Donald Miller from Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. The mass killings in Cambodia, Darfur and Southern Sudan have added other atrocities to the tragic list.
During the years 1933 to 1945 the Third Reich deported millions of Polish and Soviet citizens for forced labor in Germany or in occupied Poland. In addition, political and religious dissidents, homosexuals and others deemed to be behaving in a socially unacceptable way were persecuted. Euthanasia programs were instituted, and prisoners of war were starved, used as slave labor, and tortured before being murdered.
The Armenian Genocide
The first genocide of the 20th Century occurred when two million Armenians living in Turkey were eliminated from their historic homeland through forced deportations and massacres. Ultimately, more than half the Armenian population (1,500,000 people) was killed during the years 1915 to 1923.
The Rape of Nanking
In December of 1937 the Japanese Imperial Army marched into Nanking, the capitol city of China. They raped over 20,000 women, most of them then put to death, then proceeded to murder an estimated 300,000 out of the 600,000 civilians and soldiers in the city. The violence was citywide and there are records of burnings, stabbings, drownings, rapes, and thefts. This continued without end for about six weeks.
In the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, conflict between the three main ethnic groups, the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, resulted in genocide committed by the Serbs against the Muslims in Bosnia. By end of 1995 over 200,000 Muslim civilians had been systematically murdered. More than 20,000 were missing and feared dead, while 2,000,000 had become refugees.
The Rwanda Genocide
Beginning on April 6, 1994, and for the next hundred days, up to 800,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutu militia using clubs and machetes, with as many as 10,000 killed each day.
Pol Pot, Cambodia
An attempt by Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot to form a Communist peasant farming society resulted in the death of 25% of the country's population from starvation, overwork and executions.