Genocide is a deliberate, co-ordinated plan to destroy a group of people, usually members of a certain national, ethnic or religious group. The Holocaust was a genocide.
The term “genocide” did not exist prior to 1944, but examples of its occurrence, such as the Armenian Genocide of 1915, pre-date this.
The ‘Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948, as result of the events of the Holocaust. The Convention came into force on 12 January 1951.
Article 2 states that genocide means “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.