Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Cross Cultural Analyses Encounters with “The Other”: A History and Possibilities

Encounters with “The Other”: A History and Possibilities

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* Cambodia (1975-1997). Somewhere between 1.5 and 3 million Cambodians were killed in a vision-driven attempt to create a new society – an ideal socialist agrarian republic based on Marxist-Leninist and Maoist principles. The effort required a total societal transformation including the creation of a “new man.” Mass killings were organized of those opposed to or seen as unfit for this new world – ethnic minorities, intellectuals and professionals, civil servants, and recalcitrant city dwellers.

* The Partition of India (1947). Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs who had co-existed for a millennium attacked each other in efforts to purify their newly separated states. The members of two states were bent on destroying one another through horrific acts of violence. Gangs of killers were reported to have set whole villages aflame, hacking to death men and children and the aged while carrying off young women to be raped.

* Croatia (1941). In the service of establishing a “Greater Croatia,” an estimated 500,000 Serbs were murdered, 250,000 expelled, and 200,000 forcibly converted to Catholicism. (Estimates vary widely.) Most atrocities occurred in several concentration camps throughout Croatia. Serbs, identified with blue badges were often murdered immediately upon arrival.

* Armenia (during World War I). The Ottoman government, followed by its successor Turkish government, systematically exterminated 1.5 million Christian Armenians. The campaign began in 1915 with the roundup, arrest, and deportation of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, the majority of whom were eventually murdered. The Armenian holocaust is an example of a decades long Tolerance solution that devolved into Catastrophe.

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