After finishing the International Seminar ‘Europe Against Genocides’, organised by University Camilo José Cela at its Almagro building, the Vice Rector for Research, Science and Doctoral Studies at University Camilo José Cela, Francisco López-Muñoz, took part in the panel of the TV program La tarde en 24 Horas, of the 24-hour Spanish news channel, in which the causes, consequences and possible ways of preventing genocides were discussed.
The panel, moderated by the presenter Igor Gómez and featuring Emilio Ginés Santidrián, a criminal lawyer and member of the United Nations Committee for the Prevention of Torture, defined the term “genocide” as the murder of a society, driven by cultural, biological, religious and political ideology, as described by Rafael Lemkin in 1948.
Francisco López analysed the possible causes of the Jewish Holocaust in Nazi Germany. “Germany in the early twentieth century was a very developed, very advanced and cultured society, boasting the best university professors and science. […] However, it did not emerge in one day, it was forming over several centuries. An anthropological racism was slowly germinating. The Nazis said that Jews were not human beings, that they came from another evolution of the human species, and it was all based on stereotypes that were germinating in German society until the Nazis arrived and tapped them”.
To the question of whether, today, a genocide of this type could be repeated, Francisco López believes that “the problem persists as soon as two peoples or two communities come into contact. Three weeks ago, I was in Burundi, on a medical mission, and what I saw there does not encourage hope. In Burundi, a republic south of Rwanda, conflicts are very real, and it is vox populi that new killings may arise very quickly.”
For his part, Emilio Ginés Santidrián said that “you cannot only hold governments or politicians responsible for these massacres, there are entire nations behind them. In Germany and France, collaboration was widespread, and other groups looked the other way. And that is a problem that we will continue to encounter.”
Francisco López concluded by stating that “the media have a fundamental role in defending against genocide, but today they focus on what happens and do not analyse what came before or what happens after. Analysing what happens after is essential to prevent genocide.”