Kilka uwag w związku z polskim wydaniem pracy Rafała Lemkina, Rządy państw Osi w okupowanej Europie
Comments on the Occasion of the Polish Edition of Rafał Lemkin’s Axis Rule in Occupied Europe
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The article has been written on the occasion of the first Polish edition of Rafał Lemkin’s classic: Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, the book which paved the way for the legal protection of entire nations threatened with annihilation for political reasons, often by their own state, and adoption by the UN, in December 1948, of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The author argues that an original contribution of Lemkin’s thinking to development of international and humanitarian law laid not only in his view that the civilised nations should condemn, prohibit and prevent any attempts of deliberate liquidation of an entire group of people as the “crime of crimes,” with which the mankind lost a chance to benefit from that group’s cultural and intellectual contributions in the future. But also it was Lemkin’s determination to collect evidence that made it possible to build logical reasoning corroborating the personal responsibility of Third Reich leaders, including Hitler, for the mass crimes committed by German state institutions in occupied European countries. Thus Axis Rule in Occupied Europe was the first attempt to prove responsibility of Nazi Germany for atrocities committed in occupied Europe through careful analysis of law and regulations introduced by the occupying powers.
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