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Watch Worse Than War

Premiering on PBS during National Holocaust Remembrance Week on April 14 at 9 p.m. (check local listings), WORSE THAN WAR documents Goldhagen’s travels, teachings, and interviews in nine countries around the world, bringing viewers on an unprecedented journey of insight and analysis.

Watch the full film below:

With his first book, the #1 international bestseller Hitler’s Willing Executioners (Vintage, 1997) Daniel Jonah Goldhagen – then a professor of political science at Harvard University– forced the world to re-think some of its most deeply-held beliefs about the Holocaust. Hitler’s Willing Executioners inspired an unprecedented worldwide discussion and debate about the role ordinary Germans played in the annihilation of Europe’s Jews.

A decade later – and more than half a century after the end of World War II – Goldhagen is convinced that the overall phenomenon of genocide is as poorly understood as the Holocaust had once been. How and why do genocides start? Why do the perpetrators kill? Why has intervention rarely occurred in a timely manner? These and other thought-provoking questions are explored in a new documentary film, WORSE THAN WAR.

  • Molly

    A captivating film that is chilling, horrifying and fascinating all at once. This is something that EVERYONE should see as members of this global community. Thank you to Daniel Goldhagen for making such an important film.

  • Salamaat

    Sad,have not seen a glimpse of Palastenian pain,genocide and daily torture…what does that say…Salamaat

  • C

    Agreed, Salamaat. Where was the coverage of Palestinians? Otherwise, a good film.

  • Sky

    My god, this is the most powerful view of genocide I have ever watched. And believe me, I have watched plenty of programs on holocausts. But Goldhagen is different. He is the first one to link all genocides together. From Pol Pot, Hitler, Tutsie, Armenian, Bosnia and others, he weaves a compelling case for genocide being an integral part of the human experience. He then goes further an explores ways to stop them since the countries of the world consider status quo more important than intervention in the internal affairs of a country–even when massive numbers of humans are being exterminated. He has done the research, he has talked with mass murderers to hear their side, he is the more thorough historian and activist I have seen so far. May he inspire many more!

  • John Taratuta

    The danger I see to Dr. Goldhagen’s proposed ‘genocide checks and balances’ of declaring alleged “leaders” to be “homo sacer” (a concept covered by the Philosopher Agamben in his book of the same title), to be hunted down and captured and killed, seems like a substitution of revenge for justice.

    Should we now put Castro on trail for his crimes of mass murder – murder accomplished at the competent hands of the oft-honored, one time medical student known as Che?

    Is ‘the Passion of Che,” a lessor known photo of Che taken after he was hunted down, the real answer? More recently, the execution of Saddam Hussein took on an almost carnival atmosphere.

    In any case, I could see allegations of genocide lightly tossed around as an excuse to eliminate political rivals, more than ever becoming a deterrent to mass murder, and an international “police force” turning into an out-of-control Gestapo or NKVD (Lenin’s Cheka).

  • Mark

    This is a brilliant film which analyzes the behavior of genocide in general with specific historical examples. These same things seem apply to lesser crimes and grabs for power, which also cause much social damage. This is a wonderful example of understanding history so to, hopefully, prevent repeating it. Goldhagen works to understand instead of sensationalizing and passing simplistic and obvious moral judgement. I would like to see this shown in all schools, perhaps even prisons and basic military training situations.
    Bravo and Well Done, Daniel Goldhagen!

  • SJB

    I found it rivitaing. I appreciated the global coverage of elimination, genoicide. The questions raised about the need for an international committe to handle episodes of genocide versus the UN are excellent. The failure of the UN to protect lives in both the Rwanda and Bosnian genocides was horrific; especially when the forces where at the right place at the right time.A mother should not have to wake up knowing that her young son has been murdered when he could have been saved by the UN. The UN could have saved several but instead pulled away; firing into the air./…..what nightmares the so called peace keepers must have.

    I do not understand how the ex-president of Quatemala could be exempt from being tried in theHaige or some other court. Surely therre is some justice for all victims of murder? How could his fellow country men talk to him; why would they not arrest him; why let him go? Not to acknowledge crime invites murder again././.as seen in the case of Darfar.

    Elimination should also , in my view, encompass other crime besides murder. Rape of women and children; maiming of body parts also kill the mind and spirit effectively damaging people forever.

    I would also have like Mr. Goldhagen to note the smaller but equally horrible killing of the albino children in African countries….that also needs to stop.

    For those who live in the DC area, the Holocaust Museum has an excellent exhibit on Darfar as well as past eliminations./

  • TJ

    We must remember we are a genocidal species, it is in our being…it crosses every culture and nation religion and continent…nothing has changed in this regard in 6,000 years…there are still many evil ignorant deniers of the Holocaust 10,000,000 slaughtered and many still deny that….We allowed it in Bosnia, we still allow it in Darfur…Rwanda…and there will be more of it as I see what’s coming, in the not so far off future…

    Man is a barbaric species…in America our Media is elevating the very lowest of the low with constant coverage for a very ignorant few…it’s happened before it will happen again…

  • Debra

    As a daughter of a violent man, I completely agree with Goldhagen, that as long as there are no consequences for the perpetrator he or she will not control their own behavior. And yet, with a strong external system of consequences in place, most people (even if their nature is malignant) can and will control themselves if only for reasons of self preservation. I have also thought a lot about this problem, whether on a global or domestic scale. I have also come to the conclusion that sometimes ONLY outside help can fix the problem; whether that is a police man or a police force. I have a lot of hope that people will confront this problem and eventually get it under control. Only 20 years ago I was beaten by my husband and the police wouldn’t do anything about it. But now there are systems and REQUIRED RESPONSES in place that takes the decision of action out of the hands of the individual police officer. Domestic violence has been a part of human life for over 6000 years and yet, now in the United States at least, there are tools to deal with it. I am sure that humans will progress and eventually create a system much like the one envisioned by Goldhagen. A system of required responses by leaders, and that the leaders themselves would face consequences if THEY didn’t do what was required of them by their electorate.

  • Todd

    …and we are working on passing laws to send all Mexican illegal immigrants back to Mexico?? What is that? Is this really about our leaders – or is it about ourselves and how we view others as Other?

  • Mack

    I am thankful that I flipped to PBS to catch the screening of this film. It will not be something I will soon forget.

  • liliane pelzman

    Great job Daniel! Thank you and your dad!

    And No More Sorrow!

  • David Bockoven

    One of the causes of genocide, the film points out, is the cost-benefit analysis made by leaders who direct it. In Guatemala, the film showed us Rios Montt, the leader of the massacres of Maya villagers.

    We knew about this in America at the time it was happening. Voices were raised in America, demanding action to stop it.

    In America, the leader (President Ronald Reagan) and his political allies made a cost-benefit analysis. It was that Rios-Montt was an ally, that he was conducting necessary and appropriate “anti-communist” warfare on behalf of his country (and us), and that the US should support him by getting him money, arms, and his continuing rule in his country. Even when it was published that innocent civilians were being slaughtered, our country continued supporting him.

    Many of us knew th anti-communist rationale was not true. Our country’s policy was challenged. Reagan and his neo-con allies were told that they had made a deal with the devil, and were enabling evil. The suspicion had to arise that they were actually complicit in this evil, in the activities of genocide.

    The problem of America’s official participation was shouted down by “Conservative” Americans. After it was over, the whole thing was denied by American leaders. Rios-Montt was permitted to quietly draw back, and into a more conventional political role in his country.

    No mention of that complicity appeared in this film. Why not?

    Some of us have been keenly aware of the horror of genocide for decades. We were aware when our elected officials promoted the activities of Rios-Montt. As in other genocides, protests fell on deaf ears. The one difference was that here nobody came to silence us. They didn’t have to. We were safe enough to speak out, but without effect.

    Why did this film expose Rios-Montt so vividly, and remain utterly silent about America’s partnership in murdering those women and children in those Mayan villages? What political calculus led to the cost-benefit analysis that it would be better to remain silent on that?

  • David Bockoven

    In Guatemala, the middle-class death squad members continue to live comfortable lives of relative privilege, along with Rios-Montt. Unlike in Rwanda or Yugoslavia, they pay no penalty. They are not in prison work squads, hoeing the fields They remain our allies. Why not say so?

  • Rajkumar Das James

    very thought provoking great documentary . Like most I am troubled by the the killing torture that goes on in the world even today and the international community turns a blind eye to the Heinous crimes and the perpetuators are allowed to go scot free. e.g Pinacheat of Chile. when the poor jews were suffering in Europe for centuries no one came to their rescue, not even during Hitler’s Holocaust. America and other western countries are also guilty of massacres and torture.
    The Jewish people have done a great job in keeping the horrors of holocaust in public view as reminder. And yet the State of Israel as from the book of President Carter, many Jewish intellectuals, Judge Goldstone, and several videos from the west and Middle East have shown the horrors done to Palestinians by of all people JEWS. the conditions there has been described as holocaust,genocide, massacre expulsions bulldozing homes continuing illegal settlements, mass imprisonment of over 10,000 people, seniors,women and children without charges or trail, the wall,cutting water and power, ,basic essentials food medicine destroying schools homes and hospital is mostly ignored even Mr Goldhagen’s documentary.
    I write about all injustices. I am not against any one but against all forms of injustice

  • CFT

    Perpetrators of elimination and genocide do not acknowledge the evil of their actions. The conversation with Rios Montt; his evasions, rationalizations and words, words, words, reveal that the man to this day does not feel the inhumanity of his deeds. The movie creates a feeling of disgust of our fellow men, those who create the genocide, those who carry it out, but especially those who can do something to halt the inhumanity, yet do nothing. Goldfarb says his experience with the study of genocide and eliminations was transforming. But to have created such an exhaustive study and to present it so effectively, documenting the inhumanity to the Armenians, the Kurds, Bosnians, Cambodians, the killings in Rwanda and Darfur and Uganda and Kenya and China and Russia without so much as a mention of man’s inhumanity to man in Gaza and Palestine is disappointing, leaving one with the feeling that perhaps even now human frailty and tribal loyalties will still doom us all to this curse.

  • Stan Banos

    I’ve never much been one of those that readily accepts the mass hysteria concept. That is, everyone somehow perceives some extraordinary (or mundane) occurrence at the same time, experiences said phenomena in a mutually inclusive manner, then uniformly acts out en masse. It seems too easy an answer, too convenient an excuse.

    How does one get various people from all walks of life to act out in the uniform and yet extraordinarily inhumane behavior characterized by genocide? Perhaps we are doomed to repeat such barbaric atrocity because it is, in fact, very much part of our human condition- innate human behavior as real and characteristic of we humans as the urge to procreate or nurture our young. I don’t know. Or perhaps it is just part of the inherent danger of a homogeneous upbringing, where we are brought up more similarly than we realize-characterized by a dearth of diversity, a narrowness of education, a predilection toward group think. That much I can readily believe in…

  • Mary McILwraith

    I was very disappointed by this documentary. It is the sad simplistic well-worn tale of misguided banana republics, poor Africans, a victimized Yugoslavia, the Shoah, etc. The short version is that in all cases fomenting hatred against targeted groups was and continues to be an expedient effective means of brainwashing and conquering millions of people for the sole purpose of seizing and maintaining power. Genocide also seems to be a grassroots phenomenon, i.e. carried out in fields, forests and clearings, at ground level. It’s almost noble when compared to the more sanitary methods of carpet bombing, poisoning, the dropping of the atomic bomb and most recently the protracted air invasion of a sovereign nation based on the ramblings of an Iraqi defector with the unfortunate moniker of Curveball.

    The United States and its allies are as usual gifted the moral high ground offering the biased and lopsided version of history that is so frustrating to anyone trying to grasp a fair and balanced understanding of humanity and momentous events.

    I was in a book store last week and overheard two people discussing the permanent removal of the Palestinians. Should I be “Tweeting” the UN? Shalom?

  • gerald vinci

    Mr. Goldhgen is to be applauded for for furthering our understanding of this very disturbing aspect of the human condition. There is a great deal for thought in this documentary, especially his recommendations for dealing genocidal governments. Some of the responses to his work on this very page will give us clues as to why it is so difficult to mobilize a response to stop the slaughter in places like Dafur and Rawanda. Even among the educated, world savey PBS audience, there are those who are more interested in advancing a personal adgenda, than buiilding a concenus with the message of Mr. Goldhagens work. The result of this finger pointing and contentious debate is that people around world continue to die and the guilty are emboldened by our lack of organized resolve. Genocide is too big an issue to ignore while haggeling over political, religious and ethnic adgendas.
    Again, thanks to Mr. Goldhagen and PBS for a suberb job. There will always be room for reasonable discussions, but have light a candle and that is a step in the right direction.

  • Bill Douglas

    Excellent and valuable work — Thank YOU!……

    QUESTION:
    Based on what you learned during this experience, in your opinion, would the outcome have been different IF these people had “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (i.e., as in the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the States united in America).

  • Joey

    I agree with the author’s assertion that, at the core, genocide is based on “othering,” however his solutions are very flawed. Violence only leads to more violence. Peacekeeprs do not have a sterling record either. Sometimes, they have raped the very people they are supposed to protect.

    In the case of the Guatemala Mayan genocide, those troops were installed, trained, equipped, and encouraged by the US. Who would the author suggest could have intervened to combat both the Guatemalan government and the US government to prevent the genocide? The US has a terroist training center at Fort Benning Georgia (the School of the Americas now known as WHINSEC) that has trained Latin American terrorists who go back to their home countries and commit atrocites since 1948.

    As a former US Army Ranger, how could I have been expected to be a peacekeeper and tell one African Tutsi dressed in civillian clothes from another another African Hutu dressed in civillian clothes? It is impossible.

    “Humanitarian aid” has long been a cover for for military intervention and peacekeeping is largely the same. The real answer to the problem is to somehow convince enough of the world’s people to stop viewing their neighbor as “the other” which is a far more difficult task I am afraid to say.

    Joey the Pacifist

  • Pete in Chicago

    Typical PBS liberal slant:

    NO MENTION AT ALL of the Ukrainian Genocide (Holodomor) – 10 million dead – in the 30s by Stalin. Is it because the author’s father was in Ukraine when his family was murdered by the Nazis? How in the world could that be omitted?

    How about the 20 MILLION Orthodox Christians killed by the atheist Soviets from 1917-1989, the greatest RELIGIOUS Genocide in all of history? Nothing! Oh that’s right, the author is Jewish.

    No mention of the Palestinian and Christian persecutions by Israel. Oh that’s right, the author is Jewish.

    The ONLY US President that the author blasts is President Bush, for dragging his feet in recognizing the Armenian Genocide during the last decade. How about President Clinton’s incompetent handling of CURRENT events in Bosnia from 92-95? Or again in Rwanda in 94? Nothing! How about President Obama current reaction right now in Darfur or Congo? Nothing!

    And the main example he gives of the US and INTL community doing something the RIGHT WAY to stop a Genocide is Kenya in 2008. Condi Rice went in and helped to quell the unrest. Who did Condi work for? You’d never know it was President Bush if you watched this piece.

    As John Stossel says: give me a break. My tax dollars are going towards this propaganda?

  • John LaBreche

    I found the videos compelling. I found the commentary confusing, superficial, and even dangerous. How does the definition of genocide include the mass murder of one’s own people, as in Cambodia, China, and the Soviet Union? These were class wars, not ethnic wars. The description of the Armenian genocide did not include any mention of the collaboration of Armenian Christians with the Russian armies which were again invading Ottoman territory. No mention of China in the Darfur example, or of Russia in the Bosnian example.
    Regarding military intervention by a League of Democracies, this McCain idea is right out of 19th century Western Imperialism. Wasn’t this a root cause of the Indochina wars from 1945 on, which led to the Khmer Rouge? The idea that brown people should hop to orders from whites is offensive. The trigger-happy descendants of survivors of the genocide of the Jews in World War II, such as Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, and Strauss, got us into the Iraq war, which has led to 100,000 deaths and four and a half million refugees. And as Salamaat points out above, why no mention of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians? Surely, scholars can do better than this.

  • Dave

    Thanks for a very informative documentary. The UN is a joke. It’d be better to not exist than to pretend you’re a peacekeeper and abandon the people you’re sent to protect. Albright is disgusting. I would have more respect for her if she just said “Well, that’s Africa, who cares about those people” than saying she did not have the info.
    I am sorry to re-hash others comments but WHY NOT mention Reagan and the School of the Americas. Why not ask those Mayan villagers standing by the mass grave what kind of weapons their people were slaughtered with and where they came from? Lastly, I try so hard not to be objective but why not mention Palestine? Why not talk about what the Jewish people did after their terrible experience in the Holocaust. Isn’t this ELIMINATIONISM at least in part? In Japan today they discuss throwing out the constitution that forbids them raising an army. If the Japanese people can’t learn peace after what they went through and the Jews can’t learn to treat people with more respect after the Holocaust then what chance does anybody else have?

  • Mary

    Some of the remarks here indicate that some of us are grappling with the very mind-set that leads “normal” people to commit heinous crimes against their innocent neighbors. Some of us were only watching the program in hopes of spotting holes in the documentary so we could proudly declare the entire project a failure, thus missing it’s message entirely.

    Regurgitating your political or religious dogma without stopping to think it through makes you the ideal person to carry out your religion’s or government’s campaigns of hatred and evil. You have reduced yourselves to puppets. Congratulations.

  • Hope

    Amazing film. I’m going to show this film to my high school students and assign the book. It will open their eyes. Allow them to understand better the circumstances of others. Empathize with the victims. Ask questions about politicians and their motives. Look at the world as an international community. Look at the members of the community as individuals.

    It’s amazing to me how much territory this man has covered in under two hours. Geographic, historical, emotional. A true work of art.

  • Anna

    Ask yourself a few questions- those who accuse Israel of “genocide”: If genocide had been or is now being used against Palestinians, would there be a conflict today? Would there be Palestinian-Israelis living and working freely in Israel? As political leaders in Israel? Why do Palestinian-Israelis want Israeli citizenship AND NOT Palestinian citizenship? If a Jew moved to Ramallah- would they be alive the next day? Why is it that a Pal can live in Israel but a Jew can not live in ‘Palestine’? Isn’t that apartheid against Jews? Isn’t that genocide against Jews by Palestinians? Has anyone READ the Hamas charter? It is precisely because of the anti-genocide policy of Israel- yes the Jewish State of Israel- that a POLITICAL resolution vs. genocide is sought by JEWISH Israel. Who has been calling for the death of all Jewish Israelis and all Jews? Does anyone remember that Israel was established for those Jewish refugees that were threatened by genocide in their home countries? Let’s see- Jews fleeing from Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Yemen, Kurdistan, Germany, Yugoslavia, Romania, Checoslovakia, and on and on. Ask yourselves honestly, is self-defense genocide?

  • Rebeca Swinney

    We look at other nations to see signs of future genocide, but in fact these signs are under our own noses. We are callous of the plight of this group of mostly poor because they have no face. The media is outlawed from giving the public even that. This demographic group had not always caused such fear. Propaganda and social changes which began in the 1980’s turned into mass hysteria in recent times. It has turned the younger generation charged with dehumanizing this demographic group into a race of barbarians; they have an extremely high divorce rate and often their own children rebel when they go through puberty and are then forced into becoming part of this dehumanized demographic group. The oppression on this group is so severe that when researchers tried to show the natural dynamics of oppression which took place with very little bias, the U.S. courts deemed it was too emotionally damaging to test subjects, and outlawed further research on the subject. The public is brainwashed by propaganda put out by the very organizations which profits from oppressing this demographic group. They say that in order to make a great nation we need to eliminate this demographic group from our streets – forever. So the public votes more harshness into an already dismal picture. Now the voters can no longer afford to pay to separate this group from the rest of society. Some of us realize that we are taking money which should be spent to educate our children and citizens and spending it out of fear to keep this group at bay. Under the guise of saving money, those in power either eliminate completely, or keep a bare skeleton of educational programs which have been shown to liberate individuals from this group. Elimination of education was like a self-fulfilling prophecy: most all of this demographic group without an education who are allowed into society end up terrorizing the citizens with crime. These crimes are magnified and trumped as proof that they are inhuman beings different from the rest of us. At what point will the voters decide that in order to save themselves and their children, the answer is to prison overcrowding is mass extermination? Isn’t that the next step?

  • Hector Roy

    Congratulations Jonathan!!!
    What a monumental piece of work!
    Very informative and realistic.
    You went directly to the source.
    Another proof that God doesn’t intervene in any human activity.
    You’re a man that seeks the truth!! You’re right up my alley.

  • Darshan Tolat MD

    Currently only the new philosophy Earthellism can help stop all future genocides. The events in Bosnia in which 300 UN soldiers were helping 25,000 civilians when confronted by the Serbian army is where earthellism can help understand what really happened and how to prevent another similar genocide. This was truly hell on earth and true atheistic human devils rounded up boys and men for execution. If the UN soldiers knew they were face to face with human devils they would have more likely stood their ground and even fought to protect children. Not only was this worse than war it was worse than hell. When we finally realize that we have an obligation to confront and kill atheistic human devils who want to commit genocide, we will then stop genocide in the future.

  • nerd

    Fix this website! The viewer is archaic…needs a pause-button and a way to
    get full-screen, etc. [I'd suggest 'flowplayer'.]

    We call it ‘email’, not ‘mail’.

  • gregg

    I cannot think of a better day than today to catch this amazing documentary : of all we do — correction: all we are lead to do as “all genocide is politics” : and all of that is always based on deep-seeded hatreds between peoples, groups and races … and, as history proves that we cannot count upon those who supposedly represent us to behave properly, it is up to us and us alone to extinguish that which they use against us: our own Hatred.

    So …

    … whether it be hatred of Republicans or Democrats, Christians or Muslims, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women, Those who have More or Those who have Less, God or Devil, Gay or Straight, or whatever inside ourselves we cannot yet accept, it is Hatred that must be extinguished if we are to EVER extinguish Extinguishism once and for all and stand true to our oft-used yet seemingly meaningless “Never Again” politically expedient posturing.

    This is a thoughtful, sobering and introspective reality check on all that is behind the madness of our time … and a healthy reminder that it continues to this day :|

  • Bonnie

    This documentary looked at the worst of human nature manifesting on a large scale. However much of the psychology that is behind genocide occurs in any form of scape goating, whether on a group or even individual basis.

    I agree with the author that certain things must be present for it to happen:
    - dehumanization or viewing the victim as not another human
    - vilification or seeing the victim as evil

    I do not agree with Goldhagen that the victim must be seen as a threat. The above 2 will do.

    And one that he left out:
    - tribalism or identification with a group
    I see repeatedly that this is necessary to justify doing things beyond what one would do with any conscious if making an individual choice. It suspends individual choice. A “my group” vs “the other group” seems to always be part of the picture.

  • Eden

    It was a very well rounded work! The really important factors in this type of calamity were addressed no doubt due to the extensive research made.
    As every case was so challenging, to the credit of all those involved in the making of this film, much respect was demonstrated to the conclusions reached by the different people affected in them.
    I had hoped that the tragedy in the Congo would be addressed. No doubt outside military action, as was the case in Bosnia, will be essential to neutralize all the armed movements in the country.

    I have no personal experiences or ties to such tragedies, but the scene of people playing a little ball so close to the site of the mass grave of Dr. Goldhagen’s relatives was somewhat chilling – the targeted people were almost decimated and there seemed to be virtually no collective memory of it. At a local level the only long term consequences were for the victims…
    I don’t think that the guaranty of personal loss of life to a would be orchestrator of genocide represents a step back for humanity. It would be a cold calculated choice on his part just as it would be for the intended victims. If it were not for the personal cost I fully believe that these horrors would be far more common. Political correctness serves us far better as a buffer to prevent misunderstandings then as a policy maker in such matters! I’m afraid, however, that I have no hope of any world wide significant changes.

  • Ryan Cooney

    This is an incredibly powerful film. I plan on sharing it with my senior Government students. Thanks PBS for yet another excellent, intriguing and moving documentary.

  • Andrew

    Interesting, but cautious piece of work. No mention of genocide of Indians in Western Hemisphere 1500-1900 in context of Maya genocide. No tie in to Holacaust to Hitler who played Cowboys and Indians, read Western novels, and was impressionable child when the Indian Wars were a fresh and recent memory. The good Doctor himself should have mentioned the Jewish proclivity to be victims of genocides, hostilities, prejudice,
    History portrays the GERMANS as the ONLY ONES who were anti-Jewish and pro-racial superiority back in the first half of the 20th century, precious “myths” be damned—the Euro-Anglo world ruled back then held those beliefs so as such were commonly accepted. There is lily white history and there is sorry to stomp in your soup history—-guess which one I back? Let’s hope some resources are put into teaching broader history….after all how many genocides did it take to finally get the world’s attention?

  • Sharon

    I just watched it for a second time. I’m also reading the book. These are very rich and layered works. Thank you for making this film. It opened my eyes.

  • Doris Gaspar

    Since any information about the genocide in Guatemala had originally been omitted from most newscasts at the time of its occurrence, I was looking forward to any information that this film could add to my meager knowledge of the event. Not only did the film fail to do this, it even omitted pertinent facts that should have been presented. The finger was pointed at the international community for failing to intervene, but nothing was said about the collaborating role of the Reagan administration in its support of Montt. While the three-man junta headed by General Efrain Rios Montt were busy eradicating the mainly indigenous Mayan population, the Reagan administration was certifying to Congress that the human rights situation in Guatemala had improved, thereby renewing military aid and arms sales to Montt. The foregoing information is contained in the book, “A History of Latin America” by Benjamen Keen and Keith Haynes which was the text used in my Latin American Studies course at university. This book also states that “Aided by U.S. military advisers, the Guatemalan military slaughtered an estimated fifteen thousand people in the department of Zacapa alone between 1966 and 1968.” I was puzzled by the film maker’s choices of what infomation should not be included in the film.

  • Andy

    A woefully poor examination of the phenomenon that fails even to mention what was by far the greatest genocide in human history, i.e. the European conquest of the world which included among other things the virtual elimination of indigenous North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean as well as the world trade in African slave labor. Amazing that Goldhagen can discuss the driving of Armenians into the desert without mentioning parallel events in North America perpetrated by the US government and army. It is no coincidence that Goldhagen is a political scientist with the political scientist’s typically shallow understanding of history and culture and that he is woefully ill equipped to understand this painful aspect of human history, preferring a simplistic analysis based on the rational self interest of a few leaders and the moral suasion of powerful countries, which are by far the most homicidal forces extant. It’s no wonder that while Goldhagen is a successful book seller he is such a marginal and repudiated figure in field of genocide studies.

    The film is sickingly self indulgent and narcissistic. Just to give one example of many, can you believe that we have to watch the author go up in the elevator and sit in the waiting room at Albright’s office? He worked ten years to come up with a series of head shots showing himself deep in thought?

  • Alex

    This makes it onto my personal list of top ten films of social conscience. Right up there with An Inconvenient Truth, Harlan County USA, Boyz N The Hood, Sicko. This does it for me for genocide. The film that clarifies the topic — beyond doubt. Thank you PBS for presenting this film.

    Global warming, poverty, the healthcare debate, and now genocide brings out the good hearted people and quite frankly the mean ugly people, the tea party kind of people.

    Mr. Goldhagen, I applaud you for speaking truth to power. 100 million people killed! We have to do more.

  • Ralph S.

    The book goes deeper in some ways than the film. On p.331 there’s a chart that lays out what Goldhagen calls “eliminationist assaults”. He lists Native Americans, and earlier in the book, he says “The Americans’ systematic destruction of Native American life and lives, and their spatial elimination from American society, was an imperial conquest carried out by the state with the broad support of Americans” . In the book there’s mention of other eliminationist campaigns by the United States. He includes the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

    I think the film and the book intend to define the phenomenon of genocide/eliminationism. I’m sure a book could be written for each and every occurrence in genocide’s sad history: The Native American genocide, the Darfur genocide, etc, etc, etc.

    The book and film are significant contributions to our understanding of the phenomenon. By defining the phenomenon, each genocide becomes understandable. Each is part of a program of one people against another. Above all, it is a deliberate human endeavor and it takes a significant toll. As such, if we want to, we can label each occurrence, and, if enough of us care about the next Darfur, hopefully we will save lives.

  • George Wruck, Jr.

    Two or three thoughts on your PBS genocide film:

    I can’t remember precisely how you put it, but it really does seem that the prime function of the UN is not to solve world problems, but to make sure that no one oversteps the sovereignty of a country. Which then suggests that the solution is some absolute moral authority which ignores sovereignty.

    This calls to mind the Michael Rennie speech at the end of the b&w movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in which he explains that the race of robots automatically moves against any aggressor, so invoking robotic ire is “unthinkable”. Your solution has to follow this model. Smart minds need to devise a mechanism that is immediate, automatic, and of such proportions that doing dastardly deeds becomes unthinkable.

    Which calls to mind a third thought which I did not hear in your film. All these decision makers who ordered these actions were men, not women. Male domination of society is historic. Maybe there is something deep inside men who don’t (or won’t) grow up, who harbor childish fears about the “stranger”. Maybe the real solution is two or three generations of female leadership.

    thanks

  • ursula duba

    to SBJ

    “Elimination should also , in my view, encompass other crime besides murder. Rape of women and children; maiming of body parts also kill the mind and spirit effectively damaging people forever.

    I would also have like Mr. Goldhagen to note the smaller but equally horrible killing of the albino children in African countries….that also needs to stop”.

    Let’s give Goldhagen some slack: How many other horrific human ‘actions’ which cripple people emotionally and/or physically for life should Goldhagen have packed into this 2-hour docu? Do you reproach an obstetrician who researches and writes about maternal deaths why he doesn’t also research and write about stroke victims?

    Let’s hope that MANY OTHERS will be inspired by Goldhagenss docu to research, write and make documentaries about the many horrors inflicted on people worldwide.

  • Villangam Vignesh

    Last year Tamils in sri lanka were randomly massacred by the state government. It was a genocide. India, China, Russia and Pakistan together supported the killings directly and indirectly. Western governments kept low profile in the name of agreeing “elimination of LTTE.” After all, the sri lankan minister of defense and then Army Chief of Staff are US permanent residents. None bothered then including UN. Yet no proper inquiry has been done, Everything that we here from the western governments (including to Mr. President, people from foreign affairs committee) is “Be the bygones are bygones, and move on” Business as usual in Washington. Georgia state university allowed only the sri lankan ambassador tell his story. Opponents were kept out of bounced. North Carolina Congressman toured sri lanka on sri lankan lobbyist money to give green light to sri lankan government.

    What is the point of taking Pulitzer winning documentaries after 10 years of everything that happened went as it was; no inquiry and no punishment.

    I do not think we in the western countries are sympathetic for the real suffering people, but we support some of them only because we do not like their oppressors for our own reasons.

    It is sad that even we do think twice to mention some states that are really oppressive and involve in the ethnic cleansing and neo-genocide. I still remember how PBS & Tavis Smiley Had to allow sri lankan minister Mr. Kohanna to provide his version of the event only because Ms. Mia Arulpragasam expressed her views on ethnic killings. It is good letting people express their views whatever they are, but unfortunately the same state Representatives or the media allow others to express their views. Hope this response of mine won’t sink in such fashion.

  • Darshan Tolat MD

    Earthellism, the new philosophy based on astrobiology, can prevent all future genocides. Those who start or commit genocide have a disbelief in hell and a misunderstanding of the true power of God. They are overt atheist or closet atheist who misunderstand the true power of God by believing that if their actions were wrong God would somehow stop them and when they are able to continue their genocide the say that God wants them to continue their genocide. Worse than War should be Worse than Hell and the presence of genocide at all proves that hell is on the surface of earth. Earthellism teaches us that anyone who wants to commit genocide then obtains the ability to act on these tendencies is a atheistic human devil and deserves to be assassinated to prevent all future genocides.

  • Nampiima Dana

    I turned on half way through the show and was immediately drawn in… well partly because I knew Emmanuel Gatari and spent some time learning about the Genocide in Rwanda while I lived in East Africa. I really resonated with seeing the faces of both the survivors and killers that remained to tell the horror stories as well as the ones mumified in some of the memorial sites around Rwanda.

    I re-watched it again online- thank you so much. It makes it easy especially to those that live abroad.

    I get this dreaded sense that even in my place of birth it is possible to look at a human being and yet not see them as humans. It made me think of small ways it starts in people. I see fear as a motive in my culture to buy many things (safer cars, alarm systems, pills, buyers insurance, all sorts of insurances, etc.) Watch commercials and see how many of them use fear as a motive for you to buy their item. This fear that has been so successful in moving people to buy materialistic things now could be moving people to buy into political ideals. The radical Muslims which are far from the majority seem to overshadow all Muslims into a state of fear. could it be a means to buy into political movements? radical movements? What about the idea that there are illegal immigrants that live in our areas and “steal” tax money living off of welfare. In what ways am I living in that danger and maybe at times keeping silent to avoid conflict? Children with deformities are not seen as equal and maybe at times encouraged to be aborted so the mother and father will not have to have a child with lots of “issues.” We do not want to “burden” society with those that have more health issues. Maybe at times society does not see the value of a human with downs syndrome, or one leg instead of two, or whatever issue the child may have. I have observed these trends and wonder what lasting impact they may have on society in the future. Is it these little whispers that start in society that ten years down the road turn to the roar of Genocide?

    I am just processing.
    but thank you for awakening my mind once again.
    Nampiima

  • JJ

    I’m heartened that there are individuals on this comment thread that see that this work is NOT well-rounded. It’s definitely presented in a one-sided fashion and ignores causality. The Armenians were not expelled because of their ethnicity. They were expelled because they were traitors leading insurgencies to help the Russians overtake Turkey. Unfortunately, most people won’t dig deeper and are taking this guy’s assertions as complete.

  • Blessing

    Thank you, Mr. Goldhagen, for your research and passion. Thank you for all the time and work you put into putting this together to produce for viewing by the public. I think you were a ‘voice’ for many victims and parties involved. Being a voice is so very important. Very painful stories and events have taken place throughout the history of the world, and very painful stories and events are taking place and will take place in the future.

  • Gerry G

    Thank you, PBS, for airing this provocative and stunning film. Thank you, Pershing Square Foundation, Einhorn Family Trust and other sponsors for enabling this important work. Thank you Mike Dewitt for your part in helping make Daniel Goldhagen’s work enter our lives.

    I will re-view and study this work further and thereby surely deepen my understanding of Goldhagen’s thesis and rationale… and hopefully identify and seize ways of action at the “ordinary citizen” level.

    In reading quite a number of the comments posted to date, I am struck by the apparently deep human need we have to BE the victim, in our own perception and in that we would have all observers hold. Commenters protesting that “[my group]’s plight has been ignored” is at one level understandable – but when that becomes a basis for condemning the whole work, I have to wonder what set of criteria is dominating.

    Which takes my mind right back to “Worse than War”s subject: How often does the battle for the hearts & minds of public opinion hinge on competing claims as to who is rightfully the “victim”? The Serbs, the Montt regime, the Hutus, the Nazis all seem to fit this pattern: did not each one claim to be the hapless victim of the about-to-be-eliminated Other? Is this yet another universal element of beginning genocidal behavior, I wonder? Is there an imperative that, whenever we claim that “higher moral ground” of victimhood, we must pause and first ratchet DOWN the rhetoric to allow for truthful, dispassionate introspection — since this seems an automatically pre-programmed path towards eliminationism and creating Other, real victims??

  • Johnson

    The world tested all its weapons on Tamils through GoSL, 3000 times air strike – more than the explosive used in Hiroshima, cluster bombs, chemical weapons, 5000-6000 shelled daily etc. within the safe zone. More than 50,000 Tamils butchered within 3 months in their own homeland. 300,000 Tamils made refugees in their homeland and being kept in concentration camps. UN did not hold Security Council meeting. UN kept its silence and still keeping its silence. But when North Korea tested one bomb underground, immediate meeting held. WHY???

    Tamil Genocide
    http://www.topix.com/forum/world/sri-lanka/TC70A5EDNMP25J14C

    Massacres of Tamils by Sri lanka
    http://www.topix.com/forum/world/sri-lanka/TPHS2BRT61CRONBGP

  • PBS Lover

    I DVR’d the presentation. A wonderful program. My friends and I are getting together for dinner, a viewing and afterward a discussion. We’ve done this a few times before with other PBS programs, but not for anything as heavy or as moving as this. It’s a pot luck dinner. We’re putting $20 each into a jar at the middle of the table and will be sending it to you. Keep up the good work, PBS. We love you!

  • DANNY

    VERY UNPROFESSIONAL

    I watched you documentary film “Worse than War” and I like you idea about putting an end to genocide towards people. The way you have presented this film has really disgusted me and made me write this letter to you. I’m hoping that you made this film this way because you haven’t gathered enough relevant and true information, otherwise you have put all the guilt on Serbian people on purpose, then you are one mean person that is spreading western propaganda to make money on you books and films! You are building you career on tortured Serbian people who have stood up to their slaughters that killed Serbian people throughout the ages. Your hands will be dirty because of this film and you will take the guilt.
    As a teenager, I have survived the war in Bosnia and I lived with these people in that time. I have felt the right and wrong on both sides!
    You are putting all the guilt on Serbian people without even mentioning Serbian victims! I agree that the genocide in Srebrenica should be forejudged if it happened, but I have got the feeling that this has been enlarged because of political reasons! In the film you don’t say why the attack by Serbs happened in Srebrenica! Why? Srebrenica was the protected zone and the only armed forces should have been the UNITED NATIONS. However, the UN has been hiding the Muslim armed forces under the command of Naser Oric (he was taken to court in Hague, but was released even though he killed women and children) that have killed around 3500 Serbs in villages around Srebrenica to provoke the Serbs! When the provoked Serbian side and Serbian people had to put a stop to genocide against them, the western politics awaited prepared and they have accused Serbian side in all the media in order to legalize their NATO military action against the Serbs and in that way put the Serbs down. Muslims have increased their number of victims in Srebrenica by brining the bodies from different locations (bodies have been murdered in other front lines far away from Srebrenica).
    I saw in you film that you father survived and thank God for that. Ratko Mladic was not that lucky. His father has been killed in II World War from “ustase” when he was only 2 years old (ustase=Muslim and Croatian soldiers that have been fighting for Hitler).
    This is the truth Mr. Daniel about Srebrenica in short lines, if you care about the truth?
    From 1991 to 1995, 8000 to 10000 Serbs have been killed in Sarajevo
    130 000 Serbs have died in Bosnia from 1991 to 1995
    In your film you haven’t mentioned this huge loses, rather you only talk about Srebrenica and this is the only incident you have pulled out from history. You use this incident to make Serbian people to look really bad in you film. Don’t get me wrong, anyone who did the genocide in Srebrenica should be punished, but who will punish those that have killed Serbs???
    DIDNT THE SERBIAN VICTIMS DESERVE TO BE MENTIONED IN YOUR FILM???
    When you have already decided to mention the genocides on Balkan, why did you skip to mention JASENOVAC??? Do you know what happened there in World War II?
    DO YOU KNOW THAT JASENOVAC WAS THE ONLY DEATH CAMP FOR CHILDREN IN THE WORLD??? DID YOU KNOW THAT AROUND 20,000 CHILDREN HAVE BEEN KILLED IN JASENOVAC???
    700,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED THERE. THIS IS WHAT IS KNOWN AND MOST OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE SERBS FROM BOSNIA AND CROATIA BUT FROM THIS NUMBER THERE HAS BEEN 33,000 JEWS AND 80,000 ROMS THAT HAVE BEEN KILLED THERE AND HAVE DIED IN THE HORROR WAY IN THIS FACTORY OF DEATH ON THE RIVER SAVA.
    A PART OF MY FAMILY HAS DIED THERE!!! THERE IS NO SERBIAN FAMILY IN WESTERN BOSNIA THAT HAVENT LOST SOMEONE IN THIS DEATH CAMP-JASENOVAC
    You have said that you worked on this film for 10 years and I really don’t understand how could you miss the history about Jasenovac, where your Jewish people have been murdered beside my Serbian people? The only clarification I can see that your film is politically motivated. The most of this film has been dedicated to the Muslim victims of Srebrenica but you do not mention Serbian victims at all.
    Every year in Donjoj Gradina there is a prayer for all the victims killed in Jasenovac and Donjoj Gradina. For the last 2 years we have visitors from Israel. He is a Chairman of the Ex-Prisoner of War Lobby Erim Balaila Ram Doron. He comes with a group of students from Israel to attend the prayer for all the victims including the 33,000 Jewish victims.
    You are sitting with Haris Silajdzic and you are making an interview with the only war leader left in political scene in Bosnia. You are making the interview with the biggest war lobbyist, with a man who is responsible for the war in Bosnia. Serbia has written the Interpol Warrant for Haris Silajdzic because he is responsible for genocide in Bosnia! For the same genocide there is the Interpol Warrant for Ejup Ganic who is arrested in London a couple of month ago. Serbia is waiting for his deportation and trail.
    Once again I say I am against any genocide but really don’t know what do you want from Serbian people.
    Serbian people are one proud nation, that has its history and didn’t deserve this rude discrimination from the West. Serbian people have never attacked other countries in its history, but on their territory they have been defending themselves from almost all the countries that border with them. Since 1389 when the Serbian territory has been attacked by Turkey (Battle of Kosovo) Serbs have been only defending themselves and from that time problems arise for Serbian people that are active until now. After the Battle of Kosovo, Turkey has occupied all Serbian territory including Bosnia in which Serbs were the big majority. Muslim didn’t even exist in Bosnia at that time. The present Muslims in Bosnia today are ex-Serbs that have been converted to Muslims under the pressure to the Islam religion. The majority in Bosnia now are the Muslims and they want to get rid of all the Serbian people in Bosnia and the want to rule in Bosnia (don’t think this is not possible for exp. Croatia with the help of NATO 1995 has banished 400,000 Serbs from Croatia even though they lived there for thousands of years). Muslims in Bosnia have been declared as a nation in 1974 and from 1995 they call themselves “Bosnjaci”. Even today most of the Muslims have Serbian last names but Muslim first name. This is the proof that they have been converted to Islam religion.
    I just want to tell you that in you film you have humiliated Serbian, Roms and Jewish victims with you unprofessionalism because you haven’t mentioned them but you have working on genocide in that area. For example: that is the same as if I would be making a documentary film about Holocaust and it that film haven’t mentioned the massacre of Jews. I would be ashamed of my work when I would make something unprofessional like that!
    I truly hope that you are going to investigate the massacre of Serbs, Jews and Roms on territory of Bosnia and Croatia (territory of Ex-Yugoslavia) and in foundation of that make a documentary film about those victims and readjust big sin and a un justice which you did because you haven’t mentioned them. I would appreciate if you would visit the conservation camp Jasenovac and Donja Gradina(these two places are basically same place of crime divided by the river Sava. Jasenovac belongs to Croatia and Donja Gradina is part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) and find out by yourself what has happened there because you have started to dig into this you should finish it properly.

  • Mohammad

    Not mentioning the ethnic cleansing of Palestine makes this documentary with all its great content an empty one, how could the author paint himself as the most morally sensitive human on earth and fails to even mention the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 from Palestine. People who still hold the deeds to their lands and the keys to their homes which they were forced out of in 1948 hoping to come back one day, only to be occupied by strangers. And just to answer Anna’s ignorant question, Suffering from genocide does not give you the right to commit genocide against other people and take over their land and make it your own. Israel was established on Palestinian land as an occupier force and by the means of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Palestinians are occupied by Israel and are under military control of the Israeli army, and half a million Settlers do live in the west-bank heavily armed and protected by the racist Israeli army and they have no interest in living among Palestinians their only interest is to force the Palestinians out of what little land they are imprisoned in. Israel is so racist it would never consider integrating the Palestinians whiten Israel, and Palestinians do not have a say on who can live where in Palestine, Israel makes all the decisions and they decide for the Palestinians us when to live and when to die. Stealing other people’s land and claiming it is your own does not make you a rightful owner, only a vicious occupier, Hamas did not take any Jewish land or occupied any Jewish people, on the contrary, The Israeli Jews took over Palestine, committed genocide against the Palestinians, driven millions out of their homes who are still living in refugee camps in the west-bank, Gaza, middle-east and the all over the world, many living in conditions not fit for even animals. I cannot believe a scholar like this who claims to hold the highest level of moral values and who values human life and freedom greatly, tries to hide crimes committed by his own people.

  • KBJ

    This was a very good documentary that definitely should pull at your heart as to just how cold humans can be. Some very interesting interviews and some very compelling research. One point not mentioned about the history of Guatemala: The Mayans’ were terrorized and killed by both sides of that conflict. The guerrilla’s committed atrocities including mass murders. The guerrilla’s would take actions against the Mayans’ with accusations for being complicit with the Army and the Army would charge the Mayans’ with helping the guerrillas. The Mayans’ were caught in the middle.

  • Saied

    Unspoken Genocide: Convention on War Crimes and Genocide in Sri Lanka.
    Sri Lanka has presented model genocide, a model which has successfully massacred hundreds of thousands of civilians without any witness. A war without witness is what Sri Lanka has presented before the world as a model. This model has now given strength to the rest of the oppressing governments of the world and shown ways of how to oppress in a more brutal way without having to worry about international or national criticisms.

  • Cober

    Danny you are so funny hahahahah shame on you.The whole world knows for Srebrenica genocide ,but i guess ur smarter then whole world.Please stop ……..

  • Mohammed

    To the other Mohammed, and everyone who posts that what is happening in Palestine is genocide.

    It’s not. Use your dictionary. You like to frame it this way so as to have an excuse to rail against America and Israel. Stop blaming others, and start helping others.

    It is particularly pathetic that this is what you post after having watched the documentary. You give a bad name to all us Muslims.

  • Sebastien

    I agree with Mohammed (the second one). The Palestinians are not living like dogs as you like to claim to try and garner support (and pity?)

    The UNDP’s Human Development Index, which measures ‘’health, knowledge, and standard of living’’, ranks the Occupied Palestinian Territories higher than every sub-Saharan African country, including South Africa.

    The index places the Palestinians in the ‘High Human Development’ category for adult literacy rates (93.8%), life expectancy at birth (73.3%), and malnourished children (3%). In all categories, the territories ranked higher than all South Asian and Arab countries, and even outpaced Brazil, Russia (adult literacy notwithstanding), India, and China.

    Even after Israel’s invasion of Gaza, World Health Organization representative Mahmoud Daher stated that ‘’It [Gaza] is, of course, crowded and poor, but it is better off than nearly all of Africa as well as parts of Asia. There is no acute malnutrition, and infant mortality rates compare with those in Egypt and Jordan’’.

    Average aggregate GDP per capita in the Occupied Palestinian Territories ($4 400 in the Gaza Strip , $2 800 in the West Bank ) is greater than 80 other countries including Albania, Armenia, Morocco, Uruguay, Ukraine, Indonesia, and Viet Nam.

    In a recent Wall Street Journal article Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said of the Palestinians living in the West Bank: ‘‘[W]e have a good reality. The people are living a normal life.’’

    You should try and add some context to your argument Mohammed 1.

  • JP

    Very interesting stats Sebastien. But lets put it to the smell test..

    You quote the UNDP’s Human Development Index, which measures ‘’health, knowledge, and standard of living’’, ranks the Occupied Palestinian Territories higher than every sub-Saharan African country, including South Africa.

    So lets take those same stats and compare them with conditions under which the Israelis live. How large the would the disparity be ?

    And if those were the conditions which the Jews lived under in the middle east, how loud and wouldn’t the outcry be from the Jews that “we living like dogs ?

    So yes, lets add some context

  • james

    I think that this and other materials on this topic should be mandated in our Public Schools, maybe then these girls and boys that think they have it so tough could come to grips with reality and survival. As the comments before missed the mark this is a political action, whether it’s to commit the action or stop the action, it is political. Saddam Hussein at one time was an alley, he did as the others and killed without any resistance, before Desert Storm and after the no fly was enacted.

  • JP

    Interesting concept James, but who’s version of politics will be taught in schools since the subject is in itself is political ?

    You see therein lies the problem just as with this documentary “Worse Than War”. Professor Goldhagen only told part of the truth. Take for instance the expose’ of the genocide in Guatemala. If Goldhagen were truly an honest broker, he would have explained how this right wing mass murders, and there were more than one, got their start.

    It goes something like this: Once upon a time back in the 1950’s there was a democratically elected President named Jacobo Arbenz, who echoed the ideals of the American Revolution, and as President started a land reform program because 70% of the land was owned by 3% of the people. Starting to sound familiar, well it get better.

    These land reforms, as it normally goes, are not so good for multinational companies especially if they are American companies. One in particular who is doing business in Guatemala launches a major public relations campaign in the USA, convinces the American public and Con-gress that Arbenz had turned Guatemala into a Soviet satellite destined to destroy capitalism in Latin America. And the CIA came a knocken.

    Well, in 1954 the CIA orchestrated a coup, American planes bomb the capital, and a democratically elected president is overthrown by a brutal right wing dictator named Col. Carlos Castillo Armas. Just like in Iran in 1953.

    At this point the story is about the same, a civil war erupts pitting a anti-government guerrilla group against the new government’s army and right wing death squads who are trained, supplied, and supported by the United States. In the 1980’s was when the violence intensifies guess who suffers the most, yeah that’s right the Mayas at the hands of the death squads.

    Now, is this bit of truth something that you had in mind teaching our girls and boys in school when it come to reality and survival ?

    By the way, while I found Goldhagen’s documentary very interesting, I also though it was a little disingenuous and self serving.

  • james

    Well, JP, why stop there. Lets take a look at the 1800’s at our own country and the mass murder of the Native Americans, now what has been or has not been taught in our schools on that? Let’s take this a step further, in reality what does control the political machines anyway. Money and big corporations get my vote, not the citizens of that country.

  • JP

    Yep. it’s the old golden rule. He who has the gold, rules. And in most all cases, badly.

  • JP

    But to respond to your post more specifically, what has been done to the American Indians is pretty much common knowledge. What never get discussed this country’s current foreign policy. Do you think that what happened in Guatemala, various policy ventures don’t go on today ? American interests in the Middle east can be summed up in one word, OIL ! What it was, is what it still is. And it’s that type of foreign policy ventures the cause people to strap on explosives an become terrorist. That’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room that never get attention.

  • Turkish4Life

    What this film fails to acknowledge is how much foreign governments lobby in the USA to get certain favors and Congress to become denialists. In the case of the Armenian Resolution, my country has a lobbying machine with a lot of money to give to members of Congress like: Schmidt, McMahon, Cohen, et al. The Livingstone Group is one of our biggest lobbyists along with Hastert and Gephardt, we pay over $45,000 a month to get the events of the Armenian genocide Recognition squashed. We also have very big corporations like Raytheon who has military defense contracts in Turkey that has “persuaded” congressman to squash it. There was a Turkish woman Sibel Edmonds who was a whistleblower to all of this foreign money thrown around.
    As a Turkish American I am not proud of my country throwing around money to re write history. But at the same time this is a new Turkey we are not responsible for our ancestors as Americans are not responsible for the genocide of Native Americans.
    I would still like Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, currently many educated Turkish Scholars are recognizing the facts of 1915 and previous smaller massacres like the 1896 Sultan Hamid Massacres (Hamidian Massacres) Armenians were not the only group they wanted out of the country: Greeks, Pontic Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds and many more were killed under the Ottoman Empire reign. Turkey is hesitant because they are afraid that acknowledgement would mean giving the ancestoral land back to Armenia which is mostly barren with Kurdish nomads occupying them. Acknowledgement and moving on to bridging a future with Armenia would be the right thing to do. Currently 42 states in the USA and 22 Countries already recognize the Armenian Genocide.
    Politics and dealing with foreign countries can be daunting, the Sudanese government gets a free pass because of the information they traded with the USA over Bin Laden’s life while he lived in the Sudan. So we merely turn our head on the killings in Sudan and not make everyone accountabile for their crimes. Politics and Morality don’t go hand in hand. Germany has admitted to the Third Reich’s treatment of Jewish people, and have moved on.
    Also the UN is worthless, there should be another international group that will hold countries accountable like the Kenyan situation, it stopped many people from getting killed by early intervention.

  • abdulahi

    Tragedy in Ethiopia
    By Kristine Kostuck
    Contributing Writer

    The serenity, the relief of a village community that hadn’t been touched by their country’s civil warfare in 1977. There would be enough food to get through the rainy season with this harvest. But the village was burning, the sound of gunshots and screams filled the air.

    It was like any other day for the people of Ethiopia. The civil war was winding down but a new generation of genocide was about to begin. It would last for years and continue until the people it affected saw no hope for peace.

    The attack on the village left 165 dead. Some survivors fled while others waited, hoping for something to save them. If any were lucky enough to pull through the gunshot wounds and burns, they would lead a life of silence and chance. If victims spoke of their struggles they would put their families in danger for generations to come.

    One of the survivors of that day in 1977 chooses to remain anonymous for this very reason, even though he is currently living in Fargo. Shot five times in the head, once in the arm and multiple times in the legs, he spends most of his time on his living room floor. He is paralyzed from the waist down and only has one useable arm. He is cared for by his wife, another Ethiopian immigrant.

    He doesn’t remember much from that day. He was only 14 years old. The atrocity left marks on him that will always affect him physically and emotionally. He does remember the day his village was set afire. The flashbacks always start in the same. He is looking out of a window, his eyes filling with tears because he is watching his father’s green farmland burn. Eventually he can’t cry anymore and is forced to run for his life.

    After the first shot to the head, he was comatose. “They left me as a dead man—it was like I was already dead,” he said. He is still unsure of how long he laid face down in the dirt before the American Red Cross found him. They rescued him and a few others that day, taking them to a refugee camp in Somalia. There, they removed each bullet from his head. He says he couldn’t talk for three weeks.

    His recovery took weeks but later he was moved to America with his wife.

    She was also rescued by the Red Cross and has endured just as much pain as her husband. She will spend the rest of her life wondering what happened to her five children. She had to leave them behind because she lost track of them during the chaos of a weekly attack.“I don’t know if they are dead, imprisoned or still on the run,” she said, “But I know that most of the time I can barely speak of some of the things I saw in my homeland.” For the sake of keeping them alive, if they are alive, she wishes to remain anonymous as well.

    The couple both came from upper class families in Ogaden, Ethiopia, and are dedicated to their religion. Within the years of the civil war, most of their family were shot or imprisoned. Why this happened to them or is happening to other civilians is unknown by many. Some of the Ethiopian people don’t even understand why there is so much violence or why they are being targeted. Perhaps because the genocide has gone on so long.

    The two describe the regime as inhuman, because they are not targeting a specific group, class or religion but almost any Ethiopian civilian. The regime is a tribe called the Tigra, that works closely with the country’s government.

    When the war was supposed to be over, the killing continued, and after a few years people started to fight back. The regime invented more ways to kill people, this time with torture. Even the most peaceful protesters weren’t safe when the government killed over a hundred students outside of a peace rally. After enough bodies piled up, the people just stopped trying to reason with the government.

    The Fargo couple have been very fortunate to escape. America was the secure home they desperately needed, but was not the end of their struggle. Neither speaks a word of English and they can’t work. They are surviving with the help of disability services, but hope to have more someday. Their first step is learning our language, something they are working on.

    They are very grateful for everything our country has done for them. But they are troubled when they pay taxes because they know it could go to the Ethiopian government. As America is an ally, it is no secret we have given them money. The two are not resentful of this, but instead wish for a way the world could see their country’s story through their eyes.

    “The worst thing I think could happen to them, has,” said Arabi Rabi, a Minnesota State University student. He is from the same place as the couple and is a spokesperson for the “Silent Cry” documentary promotion. “The Red Cross, any media and the other human rights groups are banned from the country,” he said.

    “Silent Cry” is a film that a group of four British students made after visiting Nairobi Kenya, over a spring break trip. They first heard about Ethiopia’s horrific story when they met a taxi driver. He told them about a refugee camp, called the IFO Refugee Camp, in the northern part of Kenya, a destination for the genocide victims. The students knew they had to visit it. If everything the driver said was true, they were going to capture it on film. This led to the documentary “Silent Cry.”

    The documentary broke their silence and became the voice for the Ethiopian people when it was given global distribution. The mission is to raise awareness about the genocide. “We can’t make a mark until everyone knows that its going on,” said Rabi. “I just hope one day we have enough people standing behind us to make a change.”

    Rabi became part of the awareness project after he noticed nobody in the United States knew about his country’s oppression. He searched for something that could educate people about it and stumbled onto the “Silent Cry” film in Minneapolis. “I watched it twice, I cried both times. It was terrifying to think that the same things I had nightmares about as a kid, when I lived in Kenya, are still going on,” he said.

    Rabi left Africa when he was very young, and has lived in the States most of his life. When he left Africa, he and his family hoped they would never have to be exposed to that kind of danger again or see anyone suffering in that way. “I’ve seen people being killed weekly. Then they put dead bodies on public display,” he said.

    Both Rabi and the couple from the village say they saw things that were too hard to put into words, things that will forever haunt them. In “Silent Cry,” the women talk about being raped by multiple men in the span of hours, forced to watch their children buried alive and being forced to kill their children. Killing people almost seems like a game to the regime, they get creative when they torture their victims. But the militia didn’t like to waste bullets, said Rabi. Many victims had enough of their bones broken so they couldn’t move and were left to starve. Others were hung with barbed wire.

    Rabi decided to bring the documentary to Fargo to educate as many here as possible. “All these people are asking for is to not be harmed, stop hurting us, our families, stop the rapes and violence. If these people were just given their human rights this would go away,” he said.

    “Silent Cry” will be shown at MSCTC in Moorhead, on March 25 at 2:30 p.m., in the MSCTC Auditorium. From the parking lot, enter the South 1 door—that’s the door by the flagpole. After the film a brief discussion will follow, with Rabi’s own reflections on the genocide.

    Questions and comments: kkostuck@hotmail.com

    If You Go
    What: “Silent Cry”
    Where: MSCTC Auditorium
    When: Thursday, March 25, 2:30 pm
    Info: 800.426.5603

  • Darshan Tolat MD

    Earthellism is even more needed since Press person Helen Thomas resigned after her comments regarding a Jewish homeland. Clearly, the lessons of WWII are still to be learned by Mankind. The genocides of WWII were hell on earth yet some still cannot believe such evil could ever exist and must be in denial of such evil. To ignore the murder of innocent women and children in a way that says that such things just happen is a person who is acting as a closet atheist or worse. Others who deny the Holocaust must not believe in a just and humane God and are also closet atheist who are capable of acts of genocide themselves. True atheist at least do not believe in a unjust and inhumane God.

  • Peter Musurlian

    Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has created a masterpiece. I have had this documentary on my DVR for 3 months. I finally watched it today and was completely taken by its brilliance.

    There are so many chilling and classic moments, but the scene in the Halls of Congress in Guatemala, was not only gripping television, but deserves never-ending praise for being captured on tape and broadcast.

    Peter Musurlian
    Glendale, CA

  • Andrew

    Content notwithstanding, Goldhagen’s narration is painfully slow and unbearable. If the message weren’t so important, I seirously would have stopped watching after five minutes.

  • Mike

    The movie is very powerful, Thank you. I would say that a global government or a world “strike force” would be a bad idea though. You have proven the UN to be inadequate, and obviously the League of Nations was a disaster too. What people fail to see is the money behind these groups. I think I would have liked to see you focus on that a little more. There are powerful people that are pulling the strings through the financial systems. They are forming monopolies this way too. With groups like EU, The AU was established 1 year before the Darfur massacre occurred. That was no help. I think the tendency to heard together causes more problems than it produces.

  • mike

    correction… HERD together

  • Dave Jones

    Definition of Genocide:
    The 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

    By this definition the acts carried out against the Palestinian People in Palestine constitute genocide.

    So does what Europeans did to the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

    Get over it. This film is VERY biased because of its director and its financing. The director’s unwillingness to bring up the issue is sad, given an otherwise decent documentary.

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  • Julia

    No mentions of the genocide of Native Americans….. Once again overlooked. How convenient.

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  • EJ Hill

    Brilliant expose on genocide. Exactly why the South African Citizens Defence Force were established, to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Keep up your good work, and keep an eye on South Africa ;-)

  • Morgan

    Ok people I shall now tell you why certain things weren’t talked about.
    1. For those of you who are complaining about the Palestinians, there is no proof that that is genocide. Yes there is proof that Israeli Solders are known to harass Palestinians and other non-Jews, but that is a separate issue, its about territory. Also keep in mind that the government will only tell us what we want to hear no matter how much free speech we have in the USA, the rest is up to us to find out on our own.

    2. Stalin and Mao are shown in this video to prove they were mass murderers, but they were not really genocidal maniacs, it has not been proven that they were. They’re just currently on a genocide watch list, even though they are long gone. Yes they killed a lot of people, but they did it not out of racism, caus genocides occur out of racism! Ignorance and sometimes mass hysteria and rumors that are spread about people.

    3. So why was Ukraine not in this video? That’s an easy one, for starters most people in the Ukraine have mixed feelings about Stalin, not all of them think it was genocide, and the public is divided about this issue. For me this was not an act of genocide, this was an act of mass murder, but it was more of political thing and not so much racial. Also keep in mind that other people in Soviet Union were murdered, so its not like the Ukrainians were the only victims, in this case it was more of a politicide! It’s a huge difference between scholars mixed up about it, to most scholars who recognize the Armenian Genocide, as a genocide.

    4. Communist regimes only fit the more relaxed definition of genocide, since this definition includes political victims called politicide. However, with Pol Pot it was quite different. He was targeting people based on ethnicity, race and religion and trying to get rid of them for good, he sent them to death camps. Yes the Gulag in Soviet Russia and China a lot of people died, but most of the time it’s a work camp to somehow contribute to the economy, even though the way the gulag is set up is inhumane, it should not be confused with actual genocide. In Cambodia it was not a gulag it was a death camp!

    5. So why didn’t Mao end up on the genocide list for killing a lot of Tibetans? That’s easy, there are still Tibetans alive today living inside of China, if he was trying to eliminate them he would have trust me.

    6. Why weren’t the Native Americans in this document? I’m not sure but I think this has more to do with the twentieth century than the nineteenth century.

    7. So what if the man who wrote this book and did this documentary is Jewish. So what? How does this make him any less human? It doesn’t he’s brave to do this, I admire him for doing this, and I think it was necessary that he did this. What does Palestine have to do with this documentary? It doesn’t! Don’t take it out on him, he’s doing his job, it was really hard for his father to go to the place he grew up in, for those of you who can’t empathize with him you wouldn’t know this.

    8. The Kurds did not end up in this video, yes Saddam was like Hitler, but the Kurds are still being persecuted to this day and nobody has done much to speak about them. Although that’s a issue that needs to be more debated on I think.

    For those of you that don’t like this video, don’t watch it again!

  • Morgan

    Here are some other issues I would love to point out:

    1. Yes there is in fact an issue about the Armenian Genocide, it’s a well documented genocide that the Turks refuse to talk about, and the only time they bring it up is when they are trying to keep other countries quiet about it. I fear that this will backfire on them one of these days, not that I care!

    2. Genocide has no time limit on it, so even if the Armenian Genocide isn’t recognized by 2015 it doesn’t mean that it won’t be talked about or forgotten, I find it hard to forget something that was so bloody and terrible.

    3. Yes a lot of Turks deny this, but it’s the government’s fault, they are the ones that wanted to brainwash them, they grew up hearing stories that they though true about Armenian rebels that killed people, guess what, those rebels ran straight over into Russian territory in Eastern Armenia, so how can they be killing random Turks when they just crossed the border into Eastern Armenia in the first place? See this doesn’t make sense, also who is the perpetrator, who is in charge here?

    4. Sorry Turks, but the Armenian Genocide, was a true genocide. Its was done out of racism, territory issues, and ignorance. Heads don’t end up on stakes by accident, and people who are told they have been deported, don’t just die in the desert by accident while there are plenty of people back at home buying their houses that are up for sale.

  • Pannha Vang

    For some reason I am unable to watch this video in my region so I will just ask. Is there anything on the genocide of the Native Americans?

  • tricia

    2011 August 07

    Daniel,

    I appreciated your documentary flim on Worse than War, your bravery on speaking out, and your gentle way with the ones your spoke with, but, yet, stern and heartfelt …

    Well thought out and to the point … I have to say, whatever inspired you or interest of other nations … I do believe that you have all nations and countries at heart …

    My thought and prayers go out to all families, all nations… i was truly touched…

  • mel wahl

    Sorry, but I can’t see much potential for change when it comes to stopping “tyrants killing innocents” (no due process). Why? Because we now have the reality of millions of unborn infants being aborted by their own mothers and this kiling is being justified, not by the uneducated, but by the so called intellectual elite.

    I do, someday however, expect to to see a PBS documentary about this period in history, “Silent Screams”.

    If anybody out there has the courage to start collecting the film for that one, let me know. I’ll be happy to contribute to the project. Viewership might be somwhat hard to drum up but that shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

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  • Tina K

    Just came across your documentary and found it moving and very informative. It covered many different examples and showed the similarities in each no matter what country.

    I guess though I was hoping that you may have mentioned or have started with the initial genocide that this very country (Canada and USA) perpetrated against their own Native People. This genocide continues to this day only in a much more covert way with no real acknowledgement from either government to the messy history that North America is built. I find it ironic that you made mention or somehow made a suggestion that the American Government should be more proactive, however, fail to remind that this Government are the sons of the very fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers that began with the genocide of the Native Peoples. Canada and the USA have their own genocide to acknowledge, and then maybe they will be able to open their eyes to stopping this from happening in other countries.

  • Lane Schrage

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  • Cindy

    Well done. I watched this presentation for a class assignment in Victimology. I must say I was aware of the problem but I am glad that I am not the only one who takes this point of view on this issue. I am always proud to be amonst people that speak the truth when it may not be the popular thing to do. Thank you to the writers producers and the station for getting this difficult subject out for others to see.

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    This is a profound tragedy …

  • BADKarma

    A Hamas “leader” recently admitted that there are no such thing as “Palestinians”, there never was a “Palestine”, and the people falsely labeled “Palestinians” are really about half ethnic minority Saudis and half ethnic minority Syrians; both of which countries treated them like hammered crap (and slaughtered them wholesale) for millenia. Of course, none of that matters in the face of the fact that Israel is Jewish.

    You whores DO realize that you’re all EXACTLY LIKE the ordinary German citizens who helped the Nazis round up and exterminate the Jews, right?

  • Mary Kate Conneally

    Ever since I was a child, I have struggled to understand how human beings can be so cruel to each other. As the author states, genocide’s foundation is cruelty. It’s about more than just dehumanizing others; it’s about something deep in the human psyche- something dark and evil- that when it is taped into, unleashes vast horrors. By observation, whatever this is- this unrestrained cruelty- it is certainly perpetuated on a large scale primarily by men. I am not saying that women are not cruel and that they have not participated in genocide. What I am stating is the obvious- that when you look at the pictures of these mass slaughters- these hacking killing machines, these slaughtering guns, the rapists, and the leaders who light the flame beneath the cauldron of violence, what you see is men. Why is this never addressed? What is it about the male psyche in particular that can be so easily inflamed towards cruelty? I don’t think genocide will ever stop until we look at and address that. I was disappointed that once again discourse on genocide failed to address the obvious.

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