41336 - The contribution of Lemkin to the evolution of Mankind.

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Vicky Baklessi

I would like first of all to greet you here from Boston in America. We are pleased that there is this interconnection which proves that even when we are far away, we are together in the same struggle. It is also interesting to think that for the first time that the word existed in the United Nations, it happened in New York, so again in this country and it is interesting that this was done for all genocide victims of the whole world. Consequently, December 9th is not a day for one genocide, it is the day for the victims, for the memory, for their dignity, just as Raphael Lemkin in essence wanted it, when he coined the word genocide, creating this way a new tool which allows to the victims to resist to the barbarities and to be able to condemn the genociders without having the need from anyone else to claim it. We are not only of recognitions, we are also of the next stage that of the reparation process. All these genocides that Mankind, has been submitted to and in essence all these strikes that she has received and consist of the proof that we need the Rights of Humanity so that we protect it in a more efficient and more strategic way, they show that we are capable, we, the survivors of the genocided, the continuity of nations that have been submitted to genocide. In fact we shouldn’t have existed, while we are still here continuing the struggle and now we have obtained centenary genocides that give the examples. I would like to refer to these because all the genocides that you heard in the introductory speech of Antonis Pavlidis, are genocides that have been studied by Raphael Lemkin. In all countries of the world, where there was something similar and even now in fact we consider that there are countries that genocide has not occurred because we haven’t studied enough these situations. The fact that now we can also speak of the forgotten genocide in Namibia against the Herero and Nama people, the fact that we can speak of the genocide of the Armenians, the Assyrians, the Greeks we must keep in mind that they are genocides that were studied by Lemkin before the genocide of the Jews for a more general reason. Because he had realized that there was a necessity for Humanity to be protected from acts of barbarity. In continuation he chose to create this word genocide so that it becomes understood to everyone that it is about a new crime, a new form which is much worse than all others and in this way to escape from the category of crime by systematically using this word. So it’s good for us to speak of genocide, of genocided people, of genociders without using any other word because it is the only one which has a meaning on an international level. The fact that here, in the Old Parliament, there are representatives of genocide victims, by indeed different nations and they are all together for the same purpose, it is a huge victory and proves that the vision of Lemkin was important but that it could also be implemented. What is of meaning now for us, since we are united and we have proved to the genociders that we will not forgotten and we will continue this struggle , it is also to continue the work of Lemkin .Because it doesn’t suffice to admire the work of this lawyer, we must also continue that which he wants. What he wanted was that the term genocide be supplemented so that it can be applied also to other situations that it is not yet applied to. Such as the Gulags, for which he has already spoken about in his archives and then to see how these are implemented even in extermination camps in North Korea. So we don’t speak of an issue that belongs to the past. We speak of something which belongs to the future. We are pieces of this future and we have to realize that all together, just as we saw this year with the genocide of Roma, commemorated for the first time in Greece on August 2nd, that we can produce work in practice, which forms the whole stance of the genociders. Because it is not simply a passive stance we have, but we have passed on to a counterattack by saying this: we don’t only remember the old genocides and even the forgotten genocides but we are ready to face with tools, with courts, with institutes the next ones who will try to become genociders. And if we didn’t have the tools provided by Lemkin they would have succeeded. So it is very important for us to realize that the people victims united consist of an example of resistance, an example of counterattack. At a time when we live even in Greece attempts to make notions disappear, just as they do with names, we have to understand that we are capable of resisting to centenary genocides and of course we are capable of resisting to acts of barbarity that try even to forget the word Macedonia. What is of enormous importance is that united the victims are more powerful than the genociders. But we must also think geopolitically, we must think geostrategically. We are not simply in a framework of victimology. We aren’t not going to protect only the victims. We must also protect the innocents before they become victims because they it is the only way to be righteous. And if this does not suffice, we will continue even further with a chameleon spirit so that we protect the nations before they begin these processes. And when we have reached the first stages of Stanton to be able to notify the humans, the people, the nations , before they become victims, that they are going to be submitted to an attack and to disarm it before it begins. All these issues we must think that Lemkin had them in mind, He wasn’t just trying to study the genocides of the past. He was trying by giving examples, in a manner of paradigm, to prove that these genocides which have not been characterized as such, they permitted, because they were only existences and not lives, to give birth to other genocides. Even the Nazi’s when they genocided the Jews and the Roma they used the fact that no one spoke yet about the genocide of the Armenians. But they themselves didn’t even speak about the genocide of the Nama because they had managed to extinguish all the data and it was only after 1985 that we spoke again about this genocide. We must realize that we will find other genocides. Now that the tools exist and we will have to recognize them and not only wait for others to recognize us but to be the example by us also recognizing genocides. This is important not only in Greece but generally in the world and if we now have in essence the anniversary of December 9th it is to prove that this date will be an index which will allow us each year to see what we have achieved, how we have progressed and how efficient we are. Of course we will think also in Greece the genocide of the Pontians because we will reach the one hundred years. What is important though is that the genocide of the Armenians and the Assyrians which are already centennial genocides, showed us the example of what we can do also in these anniversaries. Now we are in an anniversary and on December 9th since 1948 and we must realize that it is our role to continue this struggle and not simply remember but to not forget the future. Finally I would like to close by saying that the struggle begins now because we have the tools. We now have the fighters of Humanity and we getting are ready with the Rights of Humanity to pass onto the next stage which no one had coined before from the victims, because we weren’t thinking of Humanity as an entity but as a set of people. This was a strategic error because the crimes against Humanity do not occur only against some humans, peoples or nations. They occur against Humanity. Because genociders are chronociders. We must think that that Time is with us and we must fight considering that we will be with him. With these facts we will overcome many difficulties and we will achieve that are unthinkable for the time being. So I would like to wish to all of you there, from Bostoon here that together, wherever we may be, we have the same struggle the same missions to accomplish so that we resist efficiently to barbarity who is the only enemy the Humanity has. Be well, in good continuity.

Boston, 09/12/2018

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