World History

c.1900 to the present



Apartheid: Apartheid was a system of racial segregation in South Africa by the National Party government. Non-white political representation was abolished in 1970, depriving black people of their citizenship.

Ethnic cleansing: The phrase "ethnic cleansing" was first widely used in the media surrounding the Yugoslav Wars in Croatia and Bosnia, following the discovery of Bosnian-Serb concentration camps.

Les pieds-noirs: Les pieds-noirs were Algerians of European descent (about 13% of Algeria's population) who were forced to leave the country after Algerian independence. African and Asian soldiers from Indochina who served in World War I and World War II were called tirailleurs. Dutch colonials in South Africa were known as Boers. French women who had fallen in love with or had sexual relations with a German soldier during the Nazi occupation of France did not have a nickname, but were scapegoated and cruelly punished by their communities after the war.

Mein Kampf: Mein Kampf ("my struggle") was written by Adolf Hitler and published in 1925. Anti-Semitism was a recurring theme in the book and foreshadowed Hitler's genocidal policies against the Jewish people. All of the writers listed were guilty of anti-Semitism in their writings, including Karl Marx who was Jewish himself.

Nazi Germany: In Nazi Germany, Jews, homosexuals, communists and Roma were sent to concentration camps. All of these groups were sent to concentration/extermination camps by the Nazis. Also targeted were Poles, intellectuals, Roman Catholic clergy, and Communists. It is estimated that 11 million civilians and POWs were murdered by the Nazis, including 6 million Jews. Other victims included Poles, Romani, homosexuals, Soviet prisoners, and the physically handicapped.

Nuremburg Trials: The Nuremburg Trials (1945-1946) was a series of military tribunals that prosecuted prominent members of the Nazi party for war crimes. Not included in the proceedings were Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, or Heinrich Himmler, whom had all committed suicide prior to capture.

Rwandan Genocide: The Rwandan Genocide was a mass slaughter of Tutsis by Hutus with a death toll estimated to be between 500,000 and 1,000,000. The genocide was a culmination of tensions that had existed between the two ethnicities for centuries. This genocide was the catalyst for the creation of the International Criminal Court so that incidents of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes could be properly prosecuted.