A Witness to Genocide

A survivor of the Armenian massacre turns trauma to testament

Toward the end of World War II, Winston Churchill memorably observed that what had happened in the concentration camps of Germany defied language itself. It was an unspeakable crime, quite literally. Raphael Lemkin was a Polish-born adviser to the U.S. government at the time, and he coined the word "genocide" in his remarkable study, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe (1944), yoking a Greek root (genos) with a Latin suffix (cide).