Sen. William Proxmire's Campaign Against Genocide

Testimony by Senator William Proxmire Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee May 24, 1977


In 1948, in the shadow of the holocaust, the international community responded to Nazi Germany's methodically orchestrated acts of genocide by approving the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Although this document was signed by President Truman,  the Senate did not ratify it nor did the Congress pass any similar provision outlawing genocide in the United States. Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire championed this cause, passionately believing that the U.S. ought to formally support the U.N. resolution, and between 1967 and 1988 he delivered more than 3,000 speeches on the subject. The Senate adopted a ratification resolution in February 1986, Proxmire's own "Genocide Convention Implementation Act" passed in 1987, and President Ronald Reagan signed it at the end of Proxmire's senate career, on November 4, 1988. The document given here is a mimeographed copy of testimony Proxmire gave during the middle of his two-decade campaign to make genocide illegal under U.S. law.


Related Topics: World Wars and Conflicts
McCarthyism, Korea and the Cold War
Creator: Proxmire, William, 1915 -
Pub Data: Mimeographed typescript from the Proxmire Papers 1938-2004, Mss. 738, at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Citation: "Testimony by Senator William Proxmire Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee May 24, 1977." Mimeographed typescript from the Proxmire Papers 1938-2004, Mss. 738, at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Online facsimile at http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1512 Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1512; Visited on: 12/18/2014
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