Yehuda Bauer and others have observed that genocide, while inhumane, is not foreign to humanity at large. Humans are remarkably good at ignoring the prospect of punishment for their misdeeds–they were long before Hitler, and they have continued to be so–assuming, of course, that they viewed their murders as misdeeds. The field of genocide studies suggests some perpetrators did not view their actions as moral wrongs. And humans are remarkably able through cognitive dissonance to ameliorate or obliterate their own personal senses of guilt.
Specific genocides are special. But genocide, no matter where it occurs, though evil, is also thoroughly human. It is up to us to prevent and stop it, though we may never see its end.
Thoughts this Yom Ha-Shoah, the 70th anniversary year of the end of World War II and the Nazi Holocaust.