Pilecki Institute head: ‘genocide’ definition described something more than crime against humanity

Poland In spoke with the head of the Pilecki Institute in Warsaw, Wojciech Kozłowski, about the impact of the work of Polish-Jewish lawyer Rafał Lemkin, thanks to whom the definition of genocide was precisely described, and the horrors of WWII could be properly described.

Mr Kozłowski pointed out that Lemkin’s use of the word ‘genocide’ – which comes from the Greek ‘genos’ meaning race or kind, and the Latin cide meaning killing – was “an answer” to the shortcomings of the term “crime against humanity” which was deemed to be an understatement for the events of the Holocaust which occurred during WWII.

“In a way he answered the call that we heard in 1941 in one of the radio speeches that the UK prime minister winston Churchill gave, when he said that what was happening especially in eastern Europe is some new type of barbarism that has been completely forgotten in Europe since the Mongol slaughter in the 1240’s,” Mr Kozłowski said.

Click here to watch the full interview with the head of the Pilecki Institute in Warsaw, Wojciech Kozłowski.

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