Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Which genocide was the worst?

“We should look at every genocide equally.” That is a quote from the president of the German-Canadian Congress in their complaint against a permanent Holocaust exhibit at the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. This article in the National Post on the weekend, shows how divisive government assistance can be. The controversy highlights two issues, the first being which genocide was the worst?
The Armenian and Rwandan Genocides were horrible and tragic events; but to compare them to the Holocaust is a disservice to the memory of those lost through the 1930's and 40's, and the survivors.  
The Holocaust was unique in human history because it involved legislation by the German government of the time, including the participation of the professional class and the entire legal system. Furthermore, for the president of the German-Canadian Congress to compare any of those events to the expulsion of Germans from East Prussia at the end of the Second War is intolerable.
Secondly, this new museum in Winnipeg is heavily funded by taxpayer’s money from various levels of government, Federal, Provincial and Municipal, including to their dismay, citizens who are members of the German-Canadian Congress.  Government cannot and should not try doing all things for all people. If the museum was funded entirely by private and corporate donations this controversy would be moot.

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