Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Foreword

Douglas Irvin-Erickson

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xiv

With the publication of this volume, Anton Weiss-Wendt builds on his longstanding reputation as a leading expert of Soviet legal and political history. A Rhetorical Crime offers the most important scholarly consideration to date of the UN Genocide Convention in Soviet law and politics during the Cold War and presents a masterful overview of the position of the convention in US foreign policy. The breadth of the book is built on the author’s novel use of new primary sources, including Soviet archives that have been unexplored by scholars in the field of genocide studies, international criminal law, international humanitarian...

Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xviii

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-10

The legal history of the Genocide Convention features a surprisingly short chronology. It typically begins with a brief discussion of the term genocide, as proposed by Raphael Lemkin in 1944, continues with the debates on the draft Genocide Convention in the United Nations in 1947–1948, and then goes straight to the establishment of ad hoc international tribunals for Rwanda and ex-Yugoslavia in 1994 and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 1998.1 Another way of narrating the history of the Genocide Convention is by making it essentially into Lemkin’s life story. This approach—which generates...

read more

Chapter 1: Soviet Scholars of International Law as Foot Soldiers in the Cold War

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 11-29

Propaganda can be rendered as the fight for hearts and minds by means of partisan arguments. Obviously, the superpowers that spread a propaganda message had a more benevolent understanding of their own efforts. Thus the US State Department in 1953 used the example of the United Nations to explicate the relationship between propaganda and substantive policies:

When our objective is primarily to influence the attitudes of others by communicating to them (through either words or actions) broad ideas or concepts, we speak of propaganda. When our objective is primarily to attain certain diplomatic results,...

read more

Chapter 2: Trial by Word: The Gulag Condemned

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 30-49

The vast forced labor camp system commonly known as the Gulag and the mass deportations that had been feeding it since the late 1920s proved a liability for the Soviet Union when it tried to expand its political influence internationally. According to US intelligence information, as of December 1948 the Gulag contained some thirteen million prisoners, of whom nine million were Russians, two Germans, and the remainder dozens of other nationalities.1 (This figure likely encompasses the total number of prisoners who passed through the camp system to date.)2 The earlier analyses suggested that the Soviets used mass deportations...

read more

Chapter 3: Soviet Satellites Shift Allegiances: Hungary, Yugoslavia

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 50-59

As far as action on genocide was concerned, within the Communist bloc Hungary proved most likely to cause a backlash against the Soviets. Genocide charges against the Soviet Union were spearheaded by Monsignor Béla Varga. A Catholic prelate, Varga was a member of Hungary’s Independent Smallholders Party and parliament speaker in 1946–1947. Varga found himself among the seventy-four Hungarian politicians spirited away to the West by the CIA while the Communists were consolidating their power in the country. Under his leadership, the Hungarian National Council (HNC)—encouraged and funded through the US State...

read more

Chapter 4: The Struggle for Influence in Postcolonial Africa and the Middle East: Algeria, Congo, Nigeria, Iraq

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 60-76

In the wake of the Second World War, more than ever, colonial domination awoke guilty conscience and stigma. The Soviet Union stood for a radical interpretation of the doctrine of self-determination and posed as an advocate for dependent nations totaling some 250 million people. In the long run, the relationship that Moscow had established with the developing world was defined by expediency. With no experience of administering oversee possessions, the USSR nevertheless attempted to get a foothold in North Africa and the Middle East through the UN system. Rebuked by the United States and Britain, Stalin...

read more

Chapter 5: Southeast Asia and the Rise of Communist China: Tibet, Bangladesh, Cambodia

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 77-87

Lemkin was known for having his hand in anything and everything related to genocide. That is what a friend of his, Clara Hoover, assumed when reading two pieces on “genocide in Tibet” in the New York Times in early June 1959.1 Whether Lemkin was personally involved or not (he passed away two and a half months later), on July 24 the International Commission of Jurists pleaded for a UN investigation of Chinese conduct in Tibet, including the “supreme crime of attempted genocide.”2 The organization was founded in 1952 in West Berlin as a counterweight to the Soviet-controlled International Association of Democratic....

read more

Chapter 6: (Soviet) Piggy in the Middle: American Liberal Left versus Radical Right on US Ratification of the Genocide Convention

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 88-101

In the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union and the United States decided to step back from the brink of nuclear war. Known as détente, the easing of strained relations between two superpowers appeared to extend beyond international politics. The emergence of a more favorable atmosphere in Washington prompted over fifty labor, religious, and civic groups to form in 1964 the Ad Hoc Committee on the Human Rights and Genocide Treaties (CHRGT), under the aegis of the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC). The coalition launched a nationwide campaign to oblige the US government to commit...

read more

Chapter 7: Moscow Taps the New Left: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement, Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 102-119

Mass protests against the Vietnam War, which exacted an enormous human cost, led to the emergence of the so-called New Left in the West during the 1960s. In the United States, the radical left alliance comprised, among others, the Vietnam antiwar advocates, Black Panthers, and Native American activists. The Soviets traditionally viewed the grassroots movement with suspicion insofar as it did not take orders from Moscow. From the perspective of propaganda, however, public discontent in the noncommunist world was worth tapping. With a great many ideological strains and tactics on display, charges of genocide against the US government...

read more

Chapter 8: Soviet-Turkish Relations and Socialist Armenia

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 120-132

Specific to the Soviet Union was an academic study of genocide pioneered by ethnic Armenian scholars. Obviously, it had to do with the collective trauma of mass murder committed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Ottoman Turks. When it comes to commemoration, the Armenian Communist leadership ended up performing a balancing act between their ethnic identity and party discipline. The issue of genocide came up on the wave of ethnic nationalism during Khrushchev’s Thaw and reflected the status of Soviet-Turkish relations. The latter, in its turn, were largely dependent on the state of Turkish-American...

read more

Chapter 9: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 133-149

A survey of the Soviet press from 1948 onward reveals that, among a great many hot spots during the Cold War, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had generated the most “genocide” hits. Paradoxically, it reflected a bad conscience rather than firm convictions on the part of the Soviets, who never fully committed to the Palestinian cause. Before the Soviet Union, or any other state for that matter, had taken to accusing Israel of genocide, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) brought similar charges against Pakistan in the ECOSOC. The WJC maintained that Resolution 96(I) of December 11, 1946—which provided for an international...

read more

Chapter 10: An Uncertain End to the Cold War and the Reactivation of the Genocide Treaty

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 150-164

Despite the strenuous efforts on behalf of the Genocide Convention in the United States during the 1970s, its future looked rather bleak at the beginning of the new decade. The fateful decision of the Soviet Politburo to invade neighboring Afghanistan, in the last week of December 1979, did anything but strengthen the foundations of international law.

Counterintuitively, the first charges of genocide on record were issued prior to the Soviet invasion. Mohammad Daud, who in July 1973 overthrew the monarchy in a bloodless coup, took a tough line on Pakistan in the attempt to garner...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 165-170

Some scholars have dubbed the twentieth century the “century of genocide.” In that case, the Cold War decades could, then, be safely described as half a century of genocide allegations. Ever since Raphael Lemkin spelled out the word genocide, it has been less a legal concept than a discourse. The concept is one committed to paper by the United Nations, while the discourses are many. The bulk of what we hear and read about genocide today belongs to the latter category.

During the Cold War, the Genocide Convention in general and the word genocide in particular belonged to the arsenals of the ideological warring sides....

read more

Afterword: Genocide Rhetoric and a New Cold War

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 171-176

The Russian Ministry of Justice maintains a “List of Extremist Materials.” Individuals producing, stockpiling, and disseminating such materials are liable to prosecution. In the summer of 2015 the list was expanded on account of Raphael Lemkin’s 1953 article “Soviet Genocide in Ukraine.” Translated into twenty-eight different languages, the annotated article appeared in book format in Kiev, Ukraine in 2009.1 Censoring Lemkin’s ideas on genocide tells us less about the Soviet Union of sixty-five years ago than about the Russia of today. Obviously, I am not the only one who is having a déjà vu moment. Although the factor of...

Appendix A

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 177-179

Appendix B

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 180-186

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 187-188

It took nearly seventeen years for this project to mature from the level of an idea to an actual book. During the past twelve years I had the privilege of being associated with the Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities in Oslo, Norway. The center, led by director Guri Hjeltnes, has been extremely supportive of my academic research. This book would never have come to be had not it been for the center’s institutional support. Among the scholars who have read and commented on the original manuscript, Douglas Irvin-Erickson of George Mason University was particularly forthcoming. I appreciate the...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-224

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 225-236

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 237-252

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 253