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  • When historians talk about the atrocities of the 20th century,

  • we often think of those that took place during and between the two World Wars.

  • Along with the Armenian genocide in modern-day Turkey,

  • the Rape of Nanking in China,

  • and Kristallnacht in Germany,

  • another horrific ethnic cleansing campaign

  • occurred on an island between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

  • The roots of this conflict go back to 1492,

  • when Christopher Columbus stumbled onto the Caribbean island

  • that would come to be named Hispaniola, launching a wave of European colonization.

  • The island's Taíno natives were decimated by violence and disease

  • and the Europeans imported large numbers of enslaved Africans

  • to toil in profitable sugar plantations.

  • By 1777, the island had become divided

  • between a French-controlled West and a Spanish-controlled East.

  • A mass slave revolt won Haiti its independence from France in 1804

  • and it became the world's first black republic.

  • But the new nation paid dearly,

  • shut out of the world economy and saddled with debt by its former masters.

  • Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic would declare independence

  • by first overthrowing Haitian rule of eastern Hispaniola

  • and later Spanish and American colonialism.

  • Despite the long and collaborative history shared by these two countries,

  • many Dominican elites saw Haiti as a racial threat

  • that imperiled political and commercial relations with white western nations.

  • In the years following World War I,

  • the United States occupied both parts of the island.

  • It did so to secure its power in the Western hemisphere

  • by destroying local opposition and installing US-friendly governments.

  • The brutal and racist nature of the US occupation,

  • particularly along the remote Dominican-Haitian border,

  • laid the foundation for bigger atrocities after its withdrawal.

  • In 1930, liberal Dominican president Horaciosquez

  • was overthrown by the chief of his army, Rafael Trujillo.

  • Despite being a quarter Haitian himself,

  • Trujillo saw the presence of a bicultural Haitian and Dominican borderland

  • as both a threat to his power

  • and an escape route for political revolutionaries.

  • In a chilling speech on October 2, 1937,

  • he left no doubt about his intentions for the region.

  • Claiming to be protecting Dominican farmers from theft and incursion,

  • Trujillo announced the killing of 300 Haitians along the border

  • and promised that this so-called "remedy" would continue.

  • Over the next few weeks, the Dominican military,

  • acting on Trujillo's orders,

  • murdered thousands of Haitian men and women,

  • and even their Dominican-born children.

  • The military targeted black Haitians,

  • even though many Dominicans themselves were also dark-skinned.

  • Some accounts say that to distinguish the residents

  • of one country from the other,

  • the killers forced their victims to say the Spanish word for parsley.

  • Dominicans pronounce it perejil, with a trilled Spanish "r."

  • The primary Haitian language, however, is Kreyol, which doesn't use a trilled r.

  • So if people struggled to say perejil,

  • they were judged to be Haitian and immediately killed.

  • Yet recent scholarship suggests that tests like this

  • weren't the sole factor used to determine who would be murdered,

  • especially because many of the border residents were bilingual.

  • The Dominican government censored any news of the massacre,

  • while bodies were thrown in ravines,

  • dumped in rivers,

  • or burned to dispose of the evidence.

  • This is why no one knows exactly how many people were murdered,

  • though contemporary estimates range from about 4,000 to 15,000.

  • Yet the extent of the carnage was clear to many observers.

  • As the US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic at the time noted,

  • The entire northwest of the frontier on the Dajabón side

  • is absolutely devoid of Haitians.

  • Those not slain either fled across the frontier or are still hiding in the bush.”

  • The government tried to disclaim responsibility

  • and blame the killings on vigilante civilians,

  • but Trujillo was condemned internationally.

  • Eventually, the Dominican government

  • was forced to pay only $525,000 in reparations to Haiti,

  • but due to corrupt bureaucracy,

  • barely any of these funds reached survivors or their families.

  • Neither Trujillo nor anyone in his government

  • was ever punished for this crime against humanity.

  • The legacy of the massacre remains a source of tension

  • between the two countries.

  • Activists on both sides of the border have tried to heal the wounds of the past.

  • But the Dominican state has done little, if anything,

  • to officially commemorate the massacre or its victims.

  • Meanwhile, the memory of the Haitian massacre remains a chilling reminder

  • of how power-hungry leaders can manipulate people

  • into turning against their lifelong neighbors.

When historians talk about the atrocities of the 20th century,

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醜い歴史。1937年のハイチ人虐殺 - エドワード・パウリーノ (Ugly history: The 1937 Haitian Massacre - Edward Paulino)

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    menghsuan228 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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