There is hope for Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide – so long as history doesn’t repeat itself

Rohingya Muslim Refugees fleeing Myanmar (via Getty Images)

Issy Sawkins
University of Exeter

The United Nations has finally called for the investigation and prosecution of Myanmar’s top military command for crimes of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim population of the Rakhine State.[1] The brutality of the military reached its peak during the ‘clearance operations’ of August 2017, since which 750,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

A 400-page report was published by the United Nations on September 17 2018, the result of a year-long investigation into the well-planned killing and rape of Rohingya women and girls, and the burning and looting of their homes.[2] It is the first time that such specific atrocities have been documented for which blame is directly apportioned to the highest level of Myanmar’s military.[3]

Whilst the report indicates a step in the right direction regarding the prosecution of the perpetrators, it fails to address the issue of the displaced Rohingya community. In particular, what is the international community doing to help these victims of genocide?

The 750,000 Rohingya refugees have sought shelter at the camps and makeshift settlements set up in Bangladesh specifically to cater for the refugees. The main refugee camp is located at Kutupalong, located in North-East Bangladesh, but the constant stream of refugees has resulted in several additional camps being built in the surrounding countryside.[4]

Whilst the international community is providing aid to these refugees, predominantly in the form of food supplies and vaccinations against deadly diseases, Bangladesh, by offering them refuge in these camps, is providing the most substantial help. And unfortunately, a lack of global response to refugees of genocide does indeed have a historical precedent, one that leaves little room for optimism. Continue reading “There is hope for Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide – so long as history doesn’t repeat itself”

Himmler’s Newly Discovered Diaries in Historical Context

Himmler diaries

Nicholas Terry
History Department, University of Exeter

Cross-posted from Holocaust Controversies

British tabloids like The Sun, Daily Star, Daily Express and Daily Mail are currently agog at the news that Himmler’s diaries have been discovered in Russia, having learned that their German equivalent Bild is serialising excerpts (behind a paywall) of a remarkable discovery by German and Russian historians in the Russian archives.

So far, only Sven Felix Kellerhoff, the history editor at Die Welt, has offered properly grown-up commentary and avoided falling into the trap of over-sensationalising the find. Most of the British tabloids, by contrast, have evidently misread the text of the story in Bild and are now passing on a number of confusions. Continue reading “Himmler’s Newly Discovered Diaries in Historical Context”