Pogrom vs genocide

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Pogrom and genocide are two words that are similar in meaning, but with a slight difference. We will examine the difference between the definitions of pogrom and genocide, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A pogrom is an organized persecution of a particular ethnic group, sanctioned by the ruling political party or government. A pogrom usually includes violence and riots. Pogrom is most often used to describe ethnic violence against Jews in Russia, but the term has widened in meaning to include any state-oppressed group of people. The goal of a pogrom may be to exterminate the target group of people, or it may simply be to expel the group from the country. The  word pogrom is a Yiddish word, coined from the Russian word pogromu meaning to destroy or to wreak havoc.

Genocide is the organized killing and extermination of a particular group of people or ethnic group of people, sanctioned by the ruling political party or government. Genocide may involve violence and riots, but it may also simply involve incarceration and quiet executions. The goal of genocide is to eradicate a target group from the earth. The word genocide is derived from the Greek word genos meaning race, and -cide meaning killing.


On the other hand, Poland was the only country in which, after the Nazis were defeated, local anti-Semites carried out a pogrom and murdered dozens of Jews. (The Jewish Press)

Referring to the July 4, 1946 pogrom in the town of Kielce — where a mob and secret security forces killed at least 40 Jews and two Poles who were defending them — Rosen said that Hlond “did not condemn the pogrom nor urge Poles to stop murdering Jews.” (Haaretz)

Mutilation, gang rape and killing documented in Congo’s Kasai region could be a harbinger of genocide, the U.N. torture investigator told Reuters on Wednesday, calling for action to prevent another Rwanda or Srebrenica. (Reuters)

In fact we were receiving reports of genocide in the South East and North West Provinces of Cameroon. (The New Telegraph)