Latcho Drom Movie Screening

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This was the last movie screening for our class. This screening is a movie focusing on gypsies. It was a very interesting and somewhat confusing movie. It had almost no dialogue, but quite a lot of singing. It was basically a musical with a mixture of good and bad singing. Also, there was different styles of dancing that were very interesting to observe.

This movie definitely gave me a perspective of a different culture, including hearing quite a lot of  music that I am not used to. The plot was very hard to understand because of the lack of dialogue and the different language. Although, the beginning focused on a fiance or wedding. Throughout the movie they switched from gypsy camp to gypsy camp showing different ways of livings.

One of the other things I found very interesting was the different musical instruments. I saw a lot of instruments I have never seen, or heard, before. It was also interesting to see the skills they taught children at a young age, like selling flowers, instead of sending the children to school. They would move west and north while exploring the different communities. One scene that touched my heart was the little boy that got the gypsies to play music for his sad mom and he made her happy with his dancing as they sung and played instruments like a jug and spoons.

The scene that shocked me was when they went to Auschwitz after the happy and uplifting scene.  Following that scene we saw a gypsy community that lived in tree houses, which was crazy. Overall, I visited all over the globe with this movie and saw very interesting gypsy activities. It really showcases a culture I didn’t know much about and it was very different. If you like gypsy culture and singing and dancing then watch this movie.

 

A Bridge Betrayed

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The last book read in my class was called A Bridge Betrayed by Micheal Sells. This was an entertaining and well flowing read to end our classes curriculum.  This book focuses on the genocide that occurs in Bosnia and was easy to read. Although, It feels weird to begin to start my final paper now and move along from these blogs.

The book starts fantastically, gripping the readers attention. It begins with the burning of library, which makes me sad because I love books. It also uses the word “apocalyptic” in the first sentence. The start of this book simply had me hooked so I had to mention it. 

Whenever I read stories about genocides, I am always shocked by actions I read about. I have read so many violent stories, yet I still get appalled while reading more. What upset me was the extent of destruction of history that occurred in Cambodia. The Serbs were so against competing religions that libraries and museums would be destroyed to rid of historical transcripts of Muslim, Jewish, and other religions. This almost (but not quite) connects to events occurring today. Removal of statues that supposedly support bad history, but either way it is history. No matter someones viewpoint; history and historical things should not be destroyed.

Like every other genocide, there was some controversy surrounding this one as well, with the UN (big surprise). I have become so numb to learning about violence, and especially government issues surrounded countries in crisis; that while I read I simply wait for the section about what the political power(s) did wrong. What is more disappointing is that these powers will purposefully not give help, or not call a situation a genocide like what was occurring in Cambodia, to protect themselves from international law.

Cambodia was another tragic genocide, one that followed similar patterns to the other genocides studied, but with it’s own uniqueness. Either way, I’m thankful I’m officially done with these readings!

 

Questions :

Was the Holocaust the worst genocide? If not, then which was, if using the description of “worst” genocide can be justified? Is the Holocaust a reasonable genocide to use to compare to other genocide on scales of what occur ed and how bad it was? Can the genocide in Bosnia be compared to the Holocaust?

Why are majority of the most recent genocides not widely taught in classrooms (at least at the high-school level)? Why is there a stopping point where general history course don’t discuss events? What has to occur in a historical event for it to be taught, does the relation to the events connection to the United States influence whether it is taught?

Does how developed a country is change the mindset of the people living in that country? Is there a correlation between genocides and genocidal ideas to how developed a country is?

 

Genocide A World History – Chapter 8

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Our class finally finished Genocide A World History. I overall enjoyed the book but I’m very thankful that this read is over. Now, I only have one more book for this class and I will be able to put all my focus into my final paper. This final chapter, chapter 8, focuses on genocides and violent events occurring post Cold War.

Most violence was occurring near Yugoslavia and in mainly Muslim areas. This violence occurred throughout up-rises and changes of power.  There were radical actions occurring and people being very serious towards their views therefore committing violent actions to people that didn’t follow or believe what they believed in. Muslims were targeted and later on, in current events today, some Muslims have began committing similar actions without being the victims anymore.

Rape became very widely used as a tacit in this genocide. This action of rape was both a tacit and something that the twisted soldiers would do for their own pleasure. No women, of any age, was safe and rape occurred by the hundreds daily. Not even rescue camps were safe, there was controversy with the UN who were supposed be helping but instead would commonly ignore or even engage onto these actions.

Other violence occurring was in Rwanda, with the ethnic divisions of the Hutu’s and Tutsi’s. This genocide occurred gradually, and ethnic tensions built up between the two classifications that eventually lead into a huge violent massacre after the training of rebel groups to be able to very efficiently murder with machetes.

The most disappointing part of this genocide was the ability for stronger world powers like the UN and USA to be able to prevent it, but instead they ignored it and it lead to thousands killed. Even the help that was given to Rwanda late into the genocide had controversy surrounding it and did not save as many lives as it could’ve.

Overall, this book is now finished being read and analyzed. I am now completely numb to tragic stories about mass amount of people being killed.

Genocide A World History – Chapter 7

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This second to last chapter of out classes equivalent of a text book, Genocide A World History, focused on anti-communist genocides. Anti-communist genocides refers to more political genocides, political genocides initiated by non-communist governments or leaders. The two main events the book discussed were Guatemala committing genocide against the Mayans and the East Timor Indonesians committing genocide on anyone not falling into their ideas and Christians viewpoints.

Both genocides were extremely violent, just as violent as communist genocides. I find it interesting that there is two categorizations of communist and non-communist genocides. It reflects on communist societies and how violent they tend to be, if majority of these societies have had occurrences with genocides. These events were both violent but the death toll for both was under a million, with a higher death count occurring in Guatemala.

Some of the things that stood out to me while reading this book were the explanations of the violence that was witnessed during the genocides. The rebel group committing the murder in East Timor would attach the bodies to bamboo stocks so they would float in the river when they were thrown in. Most of the bodies would already be half torn apart because they would leave the ripped out organs from relatives on the doorstep of families.  These half degraded bodies would stench and float down the river with flags stuck into them representing the rebel group.

Another explanation of some of the horrors witnessed was an account of women’s actions to guys in one of the genocides. There was stories of women taunting guys and torturing them while running around them naked, in a crazy manor. They would even rape the men, killing them in the end. I found this interesting because I hadn’t read accounts of women raping men until now, and I believe some of these actions were a form of revenge towards the guys.

Overall, I have read more about seemingly crazy and extremity violent actions of humans to humans. Human society surprises me and disappoints me with these events I read.

 

Final Paper Outline – Japanese Medical Experiments in World War II

Outline – Japanese Medical Experiments in World War II

Introduction

  • Hook : Captured prisoners of war during World War II would sometimes witness the horrific pain that came with getting surgery performed without anesthesia as Japanese doctors would cut into flesh and prod at organs.
  • Thesis : Japanese medical experiments that occurred during World War II are know for the lethal research of biological warfare and extensive amounts of human experimentation, did these experiments break medical ethics and what medical results did these experiments find?

Body

Background

  • Unit 731 and Unit 100 were experiment camps located in Japan that held war crimes of medical experiments, some of these experiments included vivisections, frostbite testing, syphilis testing, testing weapons on humans, and testing of starvation effects. During these experiments rape was common to occur.
  • Japan during World War II is known for having lethal war crimes from biological and chemical warfare, to human experimentation. These crimes occurred during the 1930’s and 1940’s (with most occurring between 1935-1945) and these experiments were kept generally silent and not well know today. (David C. Rapoport. “Terrorism and Weapons of the Apocalypse”. In James M. Ludes, Henry Sokolski)

Experiments

  • Unit 731 which was officially called the “Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification center of the Kwantong Army” was located in Pingfang and mainly commanded by General Shiro Ishii. This Unit was responsible for over 500,000 deaths through field experiments and inside experiments, referring to the experimentees as “logs”.  
    • This unit will be the highlight of the paper and  all experiments researched will have happened in this unit
  • Surgeon General Shiro Ishii : commander of Unit 731, he conducted biological warfare medical experiments testing germ warfare and killing thousands, he also artificially induced hypothermia, heart attacks, and strokes and would perform forced abortions and vivisections with some of these being done in medical lectures.  (Barenblatt, Daniel. A Plague Upon Humanity: the Secret Genocide of Axis Japan’s Germ Warfare Operation, HarperCollins, 2004)
  • Experiments performed were forced pregnancy to observe the effects of diseases passed down from parents, forced amputation and observation of the spread of gangrene, feeding infected candy and food to villages to observe the spread of disease, freezing limbs to observe frostbite, flamethrower and grenade testing, observing the effects of starvation, and more.  

Medical Findings

  • Many of the medical findings related towards biological warfare, consequently the most deaths from the humans experiments were causes of testing biological warfare. Some of these results were the creation of bombs such as the flea bomb and defoliation bacilli bomb which spread the bubonic plague. (Kristof, Nicholas D. “Unmasking Horror – A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity”)
    • Doctors that worked in Unit 731 were required to keep quiet and carry deadly pills on them because they must keep the information found in Unit 731 to the grave.

 

Medical ethics

  • Definition of Medical ethics: Moral principles that govern the practice of medicine.” (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/medical_ethics)
    • If a doctor supports and works for a political system are they still breaking the ethic medical codes by performing inhumane work for that political system?

Japan and War Crimes

  • Japan was not tried for war crimes because they were granted immunity through the U.S. by releasing the information they found from these experiments. This information could help aid the U.S. in their research in biological warfare.

Comparison to other Medical Experiments

  • Medical experiments were also occurring in Auschwitz such as Operation Paperclip
    • The U.S. also granted immunity for Nazi Germany who conducted these experiments under the same conditions as Japan, release the information that was found to the U.S. this information was also used for U.S. study of biological warfare. (Jacobsen, Annie (2014). Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program to Bring Nazi Scientists to America)

Conclusion

 

  • The experiments in Unit 731 did not yield great medical results and inflicted pain upon many causing thousands of deaths. These experiments should be more taught and the United States ignorance of processing this as a war crime is inhumane. Hopefully human experiments will no longer be done and no longer be ignored in the future.

 

 

Brother Number 1 – Cambodia reading

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After a break from readings our class began our last two books before the end of the semester. The book Brother Number One discussed Cambodia, specifically an auto-biography of Pol-Pot who controlled Cambodia for some time under a Communist rule. What I found most interesting about this book was to learn about his personality and the way he came to power. Pol-Pot was truly a fascinating man.

The most interesting thing in the reading was discovering the background of Pol-Pot.  This section of the book was written in an easier and more enjoyable way to read, and helped explain what caused Pol-Pot to rise to power. He had a pretty normal life, very studious and being higher in education than most before he was twenty. This connects on how most leaders must be well educated to get to their positions (except for a certain leader in America currently). This education was the first sign to him being able to lead a country, if only temporarily. With his education he began to teach, which also showcases his leadership. He was a well liked teacher with a popular and outgoing personality.

Pol-Pot being a teacher was one of my favorite facts I learned about him. I always have had a soft spot for teachers, partially because my mom is a teacher. Pol-Pot was well know to be a communist even while teaching, but was appreciated because of his unbiased teaching, even on the topic of politics. His teaching is what gave an true idea of Pol-Pots personality. The students were the ones who portrayed their thoughts and stories of Pol-Pot, and he was very well liked.

Overall, I only discussed Pol-Pots background in this blog post but that is because I found it the most intriguing. I think it is extremely fascinating to break down a political leader who killed thousands. Looking at someones well liked past before their rule and killings. There seems to be no connection in their future actions between past actions is surprising. But the real point of confusion is which Pol-Pot is his true self, how much of his likeness or how much of his killing is really him.

Questions

How many other countries have had situations similar to Cambodia with communist uprising? Why are these situations not was widely learned

How impactful is the extent of development that a country is in when it comes to politics? Are less developed countries easier to start revolutions in? Does development in a country strongly impact attitudes of people in that country?

Does personality strongly influence the degree of impact someone can have? Can political leaders “change” their personality to appeal to a group? Can a personality influence the political beliefs someone develops?

American’s Secret Role in the Rwandan Genocide

My class read an article on the website the guardian regarding the role the American played in the Rwandan genocide. This article was both surprising and unsurprising in the sense that I was not aware of this role America had, but also from knowing American history I was not surprised that our country was a part of a role like this. It is disappointing to read that America could’ve intervened and saved many lives, but decided not to. I just hope this country doesn’t make a mistake like that again.

This article explained America’s role in the Rwandan genocide while also giving a very nice summary of the Rwandan genocide. I liked how the bits of information about America was inserted into the summary, plus the summary was a useful and straight to the point explanation of what happened in Rwandan. America basically knew about the events in Rwanda but decided to ignore them, which is simply as bad as supplying the Hutu’s with weapons. Ignoring a situation is equivalent to allowing the situation, and many people were killed from this situation being ignored.

I would like to explore more information regarding the RPF and the corruption and violence they committed. Every article or book I have read discussing the Rwandan genocide references the problems surrounding the RPF. I am curious to research where the corruption started, how it impacted the genocide, and all the types of corruption the RPF were apart of. I was also surprised about how much corruption existed in this genocide overall. Corruption from the hospitals to the refugee camps, with volunteers from rescue organizations getting killed as well. From reading lots of books about genocides I would say this was one of the most corrupted genocides, although every genocide and violence has its corruption.

Questions:

Which countries were involved in this genocide overall and which ignored the genocide like the USA did? Which countries may have helped the genocide? Was there repercussions faced for countries that aided?

What is Rwanda like today? Have they improved post genocide or is there still feuds and things in Rwanda impacted from this event?

what are reasons that cause corruption? What does corruption lead to, as in what benefits does it end in? Is there more pros or cons in committing corruption?

We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families – Part 2

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The second part of the book We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families focused on post Rwandan genocide and the other violence that occurred.  One of the main points of this part of the reading was explaining how the violence switched sides, the Tutsi’s started to attack the Hutu’s in revenge. It also explained more interviews with survivors and discussion of who or what was really causing the violence

I enjoyed reading the interviews, I find them extremely interesting like always. They always stay in my thoughts the most, helping me remember key points and situations in the books we read. These interviews in the book were unbiased but I believe the author was very biased. It was evident that he was very pro-Tutsi and anti-Hutu, which I sympathize with but for writings I wish for no bias. Overall, I believe the book was definitely the most biased we have far read but I enjoyed the reflections of many primary sources throughout it.

One thing that surprised during this reading was discovering the corruption in the refugee camps. Many camps were set up, and implied to be helpful and a saving lives. Instead, many camps were filled with traitors, people who still killed. Also, there were lacks of supplies and food, even lack of volunteers to help control the situations. Many volunteer organizations had members killed in Rwanda, which is rare and expressed the distressing occurring there.

Lastly, what made me really sad about the book was the extent of people that took advantage of Rwanda post genocide. After majority of the killings had stopped the society was very weak so people visited from other parts of Africa to steal and loot. After the terrible incident in Rwanda I don’t understand how people are able to take advantage of people who are so weak, it really expresses how terrible societies can be.

Questions:

What was the main cause of the corruption in the refugee camps? What did this impact and why was the corruption and violence so prevalent?

Why was the Rwandan genocide hidden from the public, or kept more quiet than necessary, for so long? What caused the reluctance to call the incidents in Rwanda a genocide?

Psychologically why did the Tutsi’s feel inclined to murder the Hutu’s even after expressing the pain through their murder? What causes the emotion of revenge and does this emotion impact people in less developed societies more than people in developed societies?

Biter Harvest Movie Screening

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On Wednesday my class watched the movie Biter Harvest that came out last year. This movie was about Ukraine during Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union. The movie combined a romance story with the violence and political conflicts during Ukraine at the time.

The story began in a small Ukraine village following the main character, Yuri, he grew up in this village. Yuri leaves to escape the strict collectivization and study art while working in a factory shortly after his father and lovers mom are killed by Soviets. He watched the slow starvation of many through collectivization and kept his spirit alive through loving a beautiful girl from his Ukrainian town who was pregnant with his baby.

Gradually the violence escalated more and more, and the struggle for survival got worse. Yuri was kicked out the art academy for having some disapproved beliefs towards the Soviet system, but he continued to fight for freedom almost getting killed multiple times. He even got sent to prison for murder but used his artistic skills to survive and even escape the prison.

Natalka, Yuri’s lover, also did not approve of the collectivism. She too fought back for freedom, for her baby, at one point even drugging her rapist. Both Natalka and Yuri went through a lot, a lot of killing and resistance – for their baby. Honestly, there were many points in the movie where they should’ve died, but movies are movies so they kept on surviving.

In the end, Natalka looses the baby but her and Yuri find their way back together again. They even decide to take in a small child that Yuri helped on his journey back home, their new child. The movie ends with lots of fighting and more deaths, but overall ends generally happy with Yuri, Natalka, and their new kid escaping , even if it is to Poland.

This movie was exciting but not my favorite. It had beautiful cinematography but the plot and sappiness could’ve been improved. Although I am glad I experienced this very different movie.