Friday, May 06, 2005
Federal ID - So many reasons to NOT do this
|Here is one:|
Group Classification on National ID Cards as a Factor in Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
Presented on November 15, 2001 to the Seminar Series of the Yale University Genocide Studies Programby Jim Fussell, Prevent Genocide International (*)
The role played by group classification on national identity cards in crimes of genocide in Rwanda and in Nazi Germany should trouble all persons concerned with prevention of genocide. In Nazi Germany in July 1938, only a few months before Kristallnacht, the infamous "J-stamp" was introduced on ID cards and later on passports. The use of specially marked "J-stamp" ID cards by Nazi Germany preceded the yellow Star of David badges. In Norway, where yellow cloth badges were not introduced, the stamped ID card was used in the identification of more than 750 Jews deported to death camps in Poland. (1) Ethnic classification on ID Cards in Rwanda instituted by the Belgian colonial government and retained after independence, was central in shaping, defining and perpetuating ethnic identity. Once the 1994 genocide in Rwanda began, an ID card with the designation "Tutsi" spelled a death sentence at any roadblock. (2) No other factor was more significant in facilitating the speed and magnitude of the 100 days of mass killing in Rwanda.