Jennie's Reviews > We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Ou... by Philip Gourevitch
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Jul 08, 2008

really liked it
Read in August, 2008

How can you call a book about genocide great? It was informative and powerful. Tragic and very very sad. It made me so angry at times I had to put it down for fear I would throw it across the room. This book had me so frustrated with the politics involved that I just want to scream in frustration.
I have to add some of the most powerful, to me, statements made in this book:
"In May of 1994, I happened to be in Washington to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, an immensely popular tourist attraction adjacent to the National Mall. Waiting amid the crowd, I tried to read a local newspaper. But I couldn't get past a photograph on the front page: bodies swirling in water, dead bodies, bloated and colorless, bodies so numerous that they jammed against each other and clogged the stream. The caption explained that these were the corpses of genocide victims in Rwanda. Looking up from the paper, I saw a group of museum staffers arriving for work. On their maroon blazers, several war the label buttons that sold for a dollar each in the museum shop, inscribed with the slogans "Remember" and "Never Again." The museum was just a year old; at its inaugural ceremony, President Clinton had described it as "an investment in a secure future against whatever insanity lurks ahead." Apparently, all he meant was that the victims of future exterminations could now die knowing that a shrine already existed in Washington where their suffering might be commemorated, but at the time, his meaning seemed to carry a bolder promise."

"The West's post-Holocaust pledge that genocide would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow, and for all the fine sentiments inspired by the memory of Auschwitz, the problem remains that denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good."

"According to its mandate, the UNHCR provides assitance exclusively to refugees - people who have fled across an international border and can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in their homeland - and fugitives fleeing criminal prosecution are explicitly disqualified from protection. The mandate also requires that those who receive UNHCR's assitance must be able to prove that they are properly entitled to refugee status. But no attempt was ever made to screen the Rwandans in the camps; it was considered far too dangerous. In other words, we - all of us who piad taxes in countries that paid the UNHCR - were feeding people who were expected to try to hur us (or our agents) if we questioned their right to our charity." It was well established that the Hutus were the refugees, many of which were those who were directly involved in the genocide of the Tutsis. And they were protected by the UNHCR.

"The world powers made it clear in 1994 that they did not care to fight genocide in central Africa, but they had yet to come up with a convincing explanation of why they were content to feed it."

"Never before in modern memory had a people who slaughtered another people, or in whose name the slaughter was carried out, been expected to live with the remainder of the people that was slaughtered, completely intermingled, in the same tiny communities, as on cohesive national society."

There were more. Truly, a great book. Makes me have little use for those, like the UN, who sit and discuss doing something about a genocide but in the end can't come to any conculsions. Doing good is necessary in this world, not just denouncing evil.
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03/18/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Marissa (new) - added it

Marissa What page is the quote "The West's post-Holocaust pledge that genocide would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow, and for all the fine sentiments inspired by the memory of Auschwitz, the problem remains that denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good." on?


Jennie No idea. Sorry. Don't have a copy of the book in my hand, or in my house.


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