Genocide Timeline

A timeline showcasing the various genocides of the 20th century, along with influential external events.

Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Genocides

These acts of genocide targeted Christian groups living under the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Up to 750,000 Greeks, 250,000 Assyrians, and 2,000,000 Armenians were forcibly relocated, raped, and/or massacred by the Young Turks. The Turkish Republic continues to deny that these genocides ever occured

World War 1

World War 1 broke out with Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia. It wasn't long before other nations got involved and Europe was divided into two sides: The Allies (Russia, Britain, France) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary)


In two short years, Joseph Stalin took the lives of 2.5-10 million Ukrainians through a man-made famine. Food was withheld from civilians until grain production quotas were met. The impossibility of meeting the high quotas ensured the starvation of millions.

The Rape of Nanking

In December of 1937, an estimated 300,000 people living in China's capital, Nanjing, were massacred by the Japanese Imperial Army. Upwards of 20,000 females, young and old, were gang-raped and tortured by the Japanese.


The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsered annihilation of an estimated 6 million Jewish people, 200,000 Roma, and 200,000 disabled. Led by Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Regime created a web of concentration camps, where victims were killed in gas chambers or worked to death.

Term "Genocide" Created

Raphael Lemkin, a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent, combined the Greek word "genos" (meaning family, race or tribe) with the latin suffix "-cide" (meaning to kill). The resulting word, genocide, would be used to define brutal crimes against humanity, such as the Holocaust.

Genocide Convention

Thanks to Raphael Lemkin's work, the United Nations approved the "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide", which established the definition of genocide and its status as an international crime.

Mao Zedong

Under the rule of communist leader Mao Zedong, at least 45 million civilians living in the People's Republic of China lost their lives to starvation and execution. His campaign for industrialization, the Great Leap Forward, caused the worst famine in history (in terms of the death toll).


Led by Pol Pot, the communist party Khmer Rouge overthrew the government and began to reconstruct Cambodia on the communist model of Mao's China. Civilians were forced to work as farm labourers, while the intellectuals and minority groups (Chinese, Vietnamese, Buddhist Monks, etc.) were targeted. An estimated 2,000,000 were executed, starved, tortured and/or worked to death.


The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel guerrilla group led by Joseph Kony, began a campaign against the Ugandan government by terrorizing the Alcholi tribe. An estimated 300,000 innocent civilians were forcibly exiled, mutilated and killed, while children were forcibly recruited as child soldiers.

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