The man who coined the term genocide

Witness History

By BBC World Service

The man who coined the term genocide

Monday, 16 August

Genocide has a long and grim history, but until the 1950s, the mass extermination of a people or a group was an atrocity without a name, a definition or an international law against it. One man did more than anyone else to change that: the Polish Jewish lawyer, Raphael Lemkin. He coined the term genocide and fought for decades to stop it. He also survived it, but lost his whole family in the Holocaust. Viv Jones hears his story from Israeli journalist Lili Eylon, who met him at the United Nations and witnessed his one-man lobbying campaign. Photo: Raphael Lemkin in 1950 Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images.
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