Martin Mennecke


Churchill described the atrocities committed by Nazi troops and police under the German attack on the Soviet Union as something unprecedented: ‘‘Since the Mongol invasions of Europe in the sixteenth century, there has never been methodical, merciless butchery on such a scale, or approaching such a scale. And this is but the beginning. . . .We are in the presence of a crime without a name.’’1 A few years later, at Nuremberg, because of the lack of international legislation on this very crime, Hermann Go¨ring and his cronies were not convicted of genocide against Europe’s Jews or against the Sinti and Roma. The term ‘‘genocide’’ found entry into the language of only some of the indictments. In fact, as is well known to genocide scholars, the term ‘‘genocide’’ had first been coined in a scholarly publication in 1944, too late for the Nuremberg trials, and was introduced to international law only in 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (UNCG).2 This convention was the result of Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin’s tireless lobbying of government representatives from around the world to make genocide an international crime.