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We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families:… (1998)

por Philip Gourevitch

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3,010573,270 (4.43)104
In April of 1994, the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority. Over the next three months, 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the killings in Rwanda, a vivid history of the genocide's background, and an unforgettable account of what it means to survive in its aftermath.… (mais)
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The Rwandan genocide is one of those historic events which a lot of people have heard of, yet barely anyone knows of the developments leading up to it and the effect it had on the population of the region. This puts it on contrast to the Holocaust, however the stories the author tells from his encounters with survivors and perpetrators are no less heartbreaking. The conflict is explored through personal anecdotes with the author providing supplementary historical and political context. A large section at the end of the book deals with the aftermath of convictions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and a discussion of the West's disinterest in human rights violations during the genocide in particular and in Africa politics in general. ( )
  hiwigiwi | Jan 8, 2021 |
The title of the book comes from a letter written to Paston Elizaphan Ntakirutimana. In it, several Advent pastors, hiding in a hospital state, "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families..." (p 42). Such a devastating cry for help...only to end in betrayal. But probably the most helpless and hopeless line in the book (for me anyway), was "I took it we were under attack, and did nothing because I had no idea what to do" (p 33). I can't imagine knowing full well murderers were coming for me, and yet having no idea how to save myself. Imagine having nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide. No way to protect yourself. Heartbreaking. Like macabre trick or treating, gangs went from town to town, just looking for people to massacre.
I find myself asking over and over again how neighbors, friends, relatives, business partners could rise up against their brethren. To kill over and over again with such horrific brutality. Not just an impersonal shot to the head. Not just a quick execution from a far off distance, but an up-close and personal hacking, slashing, chopping; a hand to hand combat/rape/pillage with machetes and knives, sticks and stony rage. The willingness, the eagerness to turn on people you had once worked, lived, learned or played side by side. Colleagues killed colleagues. Neighbors annihilated neighbors. Teachers assassinated their students. Friends turned one another with surprising ease. Gourevitch tries to make sense of it in We Wish to Inform You... by going back historically and analyzing the time before the genocide. His style is to think about the subject from a distance and then living with it up close. He walks around a topic to scrutinize it from every angle. His focus was to ask what really happened and how its aftermath is understood today (at the time of his writing). ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jan 5, 2021 |
This is what excellent journalism looks like. Chilling, providing facts and explanations and asking the penetrating moral and ethical questions, giving blame everywhere it is deserved. An important, well-written book about a brutal chapter in the 20th century. ( )
  askannakarenina | Sep 16, 2020 |
This is what excellent journalism looks like. Chilling, providing facts and explanations and asking the penetrating moral and ethical questions, giving blame everywhere it is deserved. An important, well-written book about a brutal chapter in the 20th century. ( )
  askannakarenina | Sep 16, 2020 |
This is what excellent journalism looks like. Chilling, providing facts and explanations and asking the penetrating moral and ethical questions, giving blame everywhere it is deserved. An important, well-written book about a brutal chapter in the 20th century. ( )
  askannakarenina | Sep 16, 2020 |
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Decimation means the killing of every tenth person in a population, and in the spring and early summer of 1994 a program of massacres decimated the Republic of Rwanda.
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In April of 1994, the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority. Over the next three months, 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the killings in Rwanda, a vivid history of the genocide's background, and an unforgettable account of what it means to survive in its aftermath.

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