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Dans Le Nu De La Vie Récits Des Marais Rwandais

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Absolutely must go onThese horrific accounts of life at the very edge contrast with Hatzfeld's own sensitive and vivid descriptions of Rwanda's villages and countryside in peacetime These voices of courage and resilience exemplify the indomitable human spirit and they remind us of our own moral responsibility to bear witness to these atrocities and to never forget what can come to pass again Winner of the Prix France Culture and the Prix Pierre Mille Life Laid Bare allows us in the author's own words to draw as close as we can get to the Rwandan genoci. One of the most important books that no one readsThe genocide of the elite Tutsi minority through the 85% Hutu majority was one of the worst and most unpredictable in history In 1994 the airplane of then president Habyarimana crashed his death triggering the long festering resentment of the Hutu against the Tutsi Tutsi and Hutu lived mostly peacefully together as neighbors at that time even though their had been several instances of violent pogroms against the Tutsi before Still when the genocide began Hutu had long since overtaken politics and other important places such as the military essentially ruling all of Rwanda making the claim of their oppression under the Tutsi elite uite inaccurateFrom one day in April 94 to the next Hutu who had been friends with Tutsi refused to talk to them and even threatened them Next came the murders Armed mostly with machetes roughly half a million Tutsi were bludgeoned to death their bodies often mutilated so they would die slowlyThe massacres lasted 100 days and the western nations knew what was happening Shortly before the genocide began the French army left Rwanda and so did all the catholic orders stationed there Next western authorities and the media closed their eyes to the atrocities for than three months In the end it was a Tutsi led army that delivered its people from the terrible suffering This book highlights several eyewitness account Many of the survivors shown here are very young the youbgest just 12 years old All of them lost family members many lost everyone in their families While in 1993 the population of the region shown in this book was 200000 after the genocide it was only 60000 including no less than 14000 orphaned children without parents or an adult to rely on This book is hard to read but very important It is short only 250 pages but packs a mighty punch Recommended for everyone

Review º PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Jean Hatzfeld

The genocide from orphan teenage farmers to the local social worker For years the survivors had lived in a muteness as enigmatic as the silence of those who survived the Nazi concentration camps In Life Laid Bare they speak for those who are no longer alive to speak for themselves; they tell of the deaths of family and friends in the churches and marshes to which they fled and they attempt to account for the reasons behind the Tutsi extermination For many of the survivors life has broken down while for others it has stopped and still others say that it. This is a hard book to read from the comfort and safety of your own warm bed I whipped through it in a couple days It's heart wrenching Each chapter is the story of a different survivor of the genocide in Rwanda

Jean Hatzfeld Ñ 6 Download

To make the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda is a painful task that we have no right to shirk it is part of being a moral adult Susan SontagIn the late 1990s French author and journalist Jean Hatzfeld made several journeys into the hilly marshy region of the Bugesera one of the areas most devastated by the Rwandan genocide of April 1994 where an average of five out of six Tutsis were hacked to death with machete and spear by their Hutu neighbors and militiamen In the villages of Nyamata and N'tarama Hatzfeld interviewed fourteen survivors of. In order of publication the books I am reviewing areLife Laid Bare The Survivors in Rwanda Speak 2000 by Jean Hatzfeld trans Linda CoverdaleMachete Season The Killers in Rwanda Speak 2003 by Jean Hatzfeld trans Linda CoverdaleThe Democratic Republic of Congo Between Hope and Despair 2013 by Michael DeibertThis review is about three books at once because 1 the topics of all three books are related to the 1994 Rwandan genocide and its aftermath and 2 writing about the books individually would force me to compartmentalize which would leave the story only partially told in each review Be forewarned I am going to provide background on related reading because examining my reading about these events in isolation would skew my explanation as much as reading only one book about it would do In the end I hope to tie all of this reading together and encourage you to find out Several years ago I read “A Long Way Gone Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah It was my introduction to the fact that children were being used as soldiers and turned into killing machines Early in 2019 I read two books on the Rwandan genocide From the perspective of a Tutsi refugee Clementine Wamariya wrote “The Girl Who Smiles Beads A Story of War and What Comes After” I also read Philip Gourevitch’s “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families” Gourevitch’s account is a harrowing tale of the events leading up to and in the immediate aftermath of the 1994 genocide These books encouraged me to find out by reading the books reviewed here I will be cross referencing them belowLife Laid Bare The Survivors in Rwanda Speak 2000 by Jean Hatzfeld trans Linda CoverdaleIn this book Hatzfeld interviewed Tutsi survivors from one region of Rwanda and related their stories In this region 50000 out of 59000 Tutsi’s were killed by Hutu militias Most of the survivors hid in nearby marshes where many of the victims were hunted down and chopped to death with machetes The survivors from the marshes could often hear loved ones being hacked to death sometimes they could even see it happening from where they were hiding The victims were in hiding for over a month before the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front RPF army coming from Uganda drove the Hutus out of Rwanda If the RPF had not come when they did most of the victims interviewed concurred that the Hutus would have successfully wiped out everyone In one case of particular irony a man who escaped the Hutu machetes by running through the forest every day lost a leg to a land mine sometime after the Hutus had fled the region Still pointing fingers at the Hutus is easy because they were the ones wielding the cutlasses Here is what one of the victims said to the author “Neither do I wish to express what I think about why the Whites watched all these massacres with their arms crossed I believe that the Whites take advantage of the uarrels among Blacks to sow their own ideas afterward and that’s all” When one reads Gourevitch’s book the connection among France the President of France and his son an arms dealer and the Hutu power military that instigated the genocide in April 1994 Gourevitch 1998 pp 89 155 see also Deibert 2013 p 53 Reading about these experiences and sharing the thoughts of these victims is a profoundly moving and disturbing experience In addition it is a cautionary tale of the danger of building a machinery of hate One can easily forget the horrors that can exist in the world of human beings when one is living in a relatively peaceful place with a privileged and protected middle class lifestyle Still these words are a weak transmitter of the experiences of the victims As American writer Susan Sontag wrote in the preface of Hatzfeld’s second collection “To make the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda is a painful task that we have no right to shirk – it is part of being a moral adult”Machete Season The Killers in Rwanda Speak 2003 by Jean Hatzfeld trans Linda CoverdaleA few years after interviewing the Tutsi victims Hatzfeld went to a prison in Rwanda to interview perpetrators of the genocide from the same region as the victims he previously interviewed The interpreter Hatzfeld employed was one of the Tutsi victims interviewed in his earlier book The Hutu men had fled before the RPF mainly into what was at the time Zaire Eventually the people in the refugee camps were repatriated to Rwanda and many of the perpetrators were imprisoned pending legal actionThree things in particular stood out in these interviews First the way in which the killing was made into a work routine there was a general starting time the need for excused absence if you missed work and the end of the day of work given by a uniform signal which all obeyed Second after the day of killing and looting the men would gather in bars known in local parlance as cabarets drink compare notes and brag about the numbers of people they had killed Third all of the men interviewed felt they were being victimized by the Tutsi led regime in Rwanda for something they were compelled to do the argument being that if they did not participate they would have been killed for refusing This however was not truePerhaps the following excerpts can help explain what I mean“One evening at the rough beginning we came back late We had spent the day running after the fugitives We were tiredBut on the way back we discovered another group of girls and boys We pushed them along as prisoners to the judge’s house He ordered that they be sliced up on the spot in the dark No one grumbled despite our weariness from an exhausting day But afterward he assigned us ordinary schedules such as we were used to” p 63And “For the simplest farmers it was refreshing to leave the hoe in the yard We got up rich we went to bed with full bellies we lived a life of plenty Pillaging is worthwhile than harvesting because it profits everyone eually” p 64In addition to the interviews Hatzfeld included some research material on the background of each of the men he interviewed One of them was a relatively important figure in atrocities in that region Joseph Desire Bitero He was also a leader among the prisoners at the time of the interviews The author described an encounter with Bitero at the prison “He arrived in his pink uniform with a swing in his step exchanging discreet friendly greetings with every other prisoner he met He did seem jolly said hello nicely and would gladly have offered us a beer if he’d had one handy Whenever Joseph Desire goes back and forth between his special block and the garden by the road he claps some former drinking or killing companion on the back fires off a joke winks and rolls his eyes and asks how everyone’s doing testing his popularity while trying to renew old ties” p 165 173 He was an ordinary jovial neighborly guy FrighteningIn the final chapter of the book entitled “The Killers” Hatzfeld delivers short biographies of each of the men interviewed Two of them struck me in particular Leopold Twagirayezu was described as having “been a fervent Catholic since childhood” Fulgence Bunani was described as “A fervent Catholic he served as a voluntary deacon during lesser rites in the church in Kibungo and filled in for the pries who had to minister to several parishes” That church in Kibungo was the site of a massacre of 5000 people who had taken shelter thinking they would be spared because they were in a churchThe Democratic Republic of Congo Between Hope and Despair 2013 by Michael DeibertTen years after Hatzfeld released his book of interviews with the perpetrators of the genocide author and journalist Michael Deibert released this book This book traces the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC and it relates in great detail the time in recent history after the Rwandan genocide In doing so he discusses what he refers to as “The Great Congo Wars” which took place essentially between 1994 and 2001 Of course conflicts continued in regions of the DRC after 2001Only when one reads the book can one grasp the enormity of the conseuences of these wars but three things stood out in Deibert’s account of this time in history First that different African nations including Kagame’s Rwandan regime and Uganda’s Museveni regime among others supported various bands of fighting groups in different resource rich areas of the DRC Their purpose was resource extraction To facilitate the resource extraction various multi national mining companies worked with these armed bands Second the money from the resource extraction was invested in buying arms guns bullets grenade launchers mortars missiles and so on Third these “militias” were known for three things in particular mass killing brutally violent rape and impressment of children to fight as soldiers for a first hand account of how this could happen see Beah 2007 Deibert explains “The effect of the continued battles on the population was horrendous as in the town of Kpandroma about 50 miles north east of Bunia which saw an average of one rape case reported every day between July and mid December 2004” It was in Deibert’s book that I understood about the killing of Hutu refugees One instance in 1997 was described as “systematic methodical and premeditated” p 60 Throughout the book including up to the time of publication roving bands of “militias” continued to spring up in the resource rich border regions along Rwanda and Uganda Every time the activities of the various groups are related in the book there are atrocities and counter atrocities committed mass killings rape abduction and forced laborConclusionIt is all about the money A theme I have repeated in previous reviews cannot be overemphasized In the boardrooms of mining corporations and munitions corporations in Europe Canada and the United States the champagne and caviar are flowing With the goal of sueezing out every possible cent in order to have it flow into their already gorged coffers these human vampires have the blood of all of these victims on their hands But it goes virtually unnoticed The corporations who provide the never ending stream of reports on celebrity marriages do not find telling the truth about the system to be profitable It would be interesting to learn how many members are on the board of mining and weapons companies or maybe even all threeBut this will not bring back all of those lost lives I remember these words from Nelson Mandela “Like slavery and apartheid poverty is not natural It is man made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” I would add that the unbridled profit driven death cult that is the weapons industry and the mining industry can also be overcome It is definitely not natural It is man made It can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beingsI strongly recommend you read these books Why I will let Clementine Wamariya author of “The Girl Who Smiles Beads A Story of War and What Comes After” answer that “What’s wrong with me Or what’s wrong with you If I don’t share with you my history if I don’t explain what I’ve brought with me to this moment in time – that to me the bird hitting the window sounded like a shell detonating – then how could you know me”

  • Paperback
  • 244
  • Dans Le Nu De La Vie Récits Des Marais Rwandais
  • Jean Hatzfeld
  • English
  • 10 May 2018
  • 9781590512739

About the Author: Jean Hatzfeld

Jean Hatzfeld is a journalist He worked for many years as a war correspondent for Libération a French newspaper before leaving to focus on reporting the Rwandan genocide



10 thoughts on “Dans Le Nu De La Vie Récits Des Marais Rwandais

  1. says:

    Note This review is for the full four part seriesFrench reporter and longtime resident of the African continent Jean Hatzfeld documents the Rwandan Genocide in detail than any other historian or journalist But don't look to his series for a complete historical context or a full examination of the motives of the killers or the previous crimes of the Tutsi people and the colonialists Other books like Philip Gourevitch's excellent We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families informs and educates the reader thoroughly on context motivation and history Hatzfeld instead offers direct contact with the killers and the survivors He tracks life in one small village as it progresses over 24 years from the 100 days of the cuttings of the genocide through the forced return and imprisonment of the escaped Hutu killers to the killers' pardon in 2003 to live side by side with the survivors and finally to the legacy of the genocide for the next generation of children the children of both the killers and the survivors Hatzfeld's series of four poignant and well written books focus on the lives of the people of the Bugesera a modest sized district in the southeast of Rwanda a place where Hutus slaughtered an estimated 100000 Tutsis Hatzfeld is detailed in his dispatches following the same small group of people gaining their trust by breaking through a haze of trauma and for the killers by passing through prison walls It's doubtful any other reporter or historian will even gain similar access and intimacy with all the players What is missing for the most part is the role the government of long time President Paul Kagame plays in their livesLife Laid Bare The Survivors in Rwanda Speak introduced us to the Rwandan voices the survivors of the Bugesera men women children all who ran from the blades for 100 days until the Tutsi army led by Paul Kagame refugee turned General turned President could reach the marshes and the hillside of the district It is here that Hatzfeld first introduces the reader to the victims and survivors of evilHatzfeld's second installment Machete Season The Killers in Rwanda Speak is a short and dark tome offering up direct testimony and confessions of one small group of cutters who terrorized their small community for 100 days they a part of a larger group that murdered thousands using mostly machetes killing efficiently than the Nazi death camp apparatus killed Jews Reading Hatzfeld's commentary on his meetings in the crowded Rilima Prison I detect little joy in his work and note his reticence during interviews of genocidairesThe Antelope's Strategy Living in Rwanda After the Genocide book three titled because the victims of the genocide when they could run ran like the Antelope staying in their herd knowing that the Hutus would cut the slow the old the infirm and those who carried their babies first On the hilltops of the Bugesera in 1994 the comfort of the pack helped Innocent Rwililiza only so much Out of the thousands that sought safety above the village just a few dozens survived the rest cut down by their Hutu neighbors and the Interahamwe If it was possible to report a dark and horrifying version of the genocide than that provided in books one and two Hatzfeld finds it as he documents Innocent's Rwililiza's story of survival In Blood Papa Rwanda's New Generation Jean Hatzfeld introduces readers to the children of the genocidaires and the survivors While much of the book is spent with the children Hatzfeld researches the community or Gacaca courts organized in Rwanda to free up the enormous backlog in the traditional court system He tells the story of one particular case a cutter a man whose confession Hatzfeld documented in Machete Season a man who served seven years in prison and was then pardoned by President Kagame along with many other second tier offenders in 2003 and a man who committed a crime so atrocious and evil that in 2010 his community's Gacaca court immediately dispatched the offender to life in prison

  2. says:

    In order of publication the books I am reviewing areLife Laid Bare The Survivors in Rwanda Speak 2000 by Jean Hatzfeld trans Linda CoverdaleMachete Season The Killers in Rwanda Speak 2003 by Jean Hatzfeld trans Linda CoverdaleThe Democratic Republic of Congo Between Hope and Despair 2013 by Michael DeibertThis review is about three books at once because 1 the topics of all three books are related to the 1994 Rwandan genocide and its aftermath and 2 writing about the books individually would force me to compartmentalize which would leave the story only partially told in each review Be forewarned I am going to provide background on related reading because examining my reading about these events in isolation would skew my explanation as much as reading only one book about it would do In the end I hope to tie all of this reading together and encourage you to find out Several years ago I read “A Long Way Gone Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah It was my introduction to the fact that children were being used as soldiers and turned into killing machines Early in 2019 I read two books on the Rwandan genocide From the perspective of a Tutsi refugee Clementine Wamariya wrote “The Girl Who Smiles Beads A Story of War and What Comes After” I also read Philip Gourevitch’s “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families” Gourevitch’s account is a harrowing tale of the events leading up to and in the immediate aftermath of the 1994 genocide These books encouraged me to find out by reading the books reviewed here I will be cross referencing them belowLife Laid Bare The Survivors in Rwanda Speak 2000 by Jean Hatzfeld trans Linda CoverdaleIn this book Hatzfeld interviewed Tutsi survivors from one region of Rwanda and related their stories In this region 50000 out of 59000 Tutsi’s were killed by Hutu militias Most of the survivors hid in nearby marshes where many of the victims were hunted down and chopped to death with machetes The survivors from the marshes could often hear loved ones being hacked to death sometimes they could even see it happening from where they were hiding The victims were in hiding for over a month before the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front RPF army coming from Uganda drove the Hutus out of Rwanda If the RPF had not come when they did most of the victims interviewed concurred that the Hutus would have successfully wiped out everyone In one case of particular irony a man who escaped the Hutu machetes by running through the forest every day lost a leg to a land mine sometime after the Hutus had fled the region Still pointing fingers at the Hutus is easy because they were the ones wielding the cutlasses Here is what one of the victims said to the author “Neither do I wish to express what I think about why the Whites watched all these massacres with their arms crossed I believe that the Whites take advantage of the uarrels among Blacks to sow their own ideas afterward and that’s all” When one reads Gourevitch’s book the connection among France the President of France and his son an arms dealer and the Hutu power military that instigated the genocide in April 1994 Gourevitch 1998 pp 89 155 see also Deibert 2013 p 53 Reading about these experiences and sharing the thoughts of these victims is a profoundly moving and disturbing experience In addition it is a cautionary tale of the danger of building a machinery of hate One can easily forget the horrors that can exist in the world of human beings when one is living in a relatively peaceful place with a privileged and protected middle class lifestyle Still these words are a weak transmitter of the experiences of the victims As American writer Susan Sontag wrote in the preface of Hatzfeld’s second collection “To make the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda is a painful task that we have no right to shirk – it is part of being a moral adult”Machete Season The Killers in Rwanda Speak 2003 by Jean Hatzfeld trans Linda CoverdaleA few years after interviewing the Tutsi victims Hatzfeld went to a prison in Rwanda to interview perpetrators of the genocide from the same region as the victims he previously interviewed The interpreter Hatzfeld employed was one of the Tutsi victims interviewed in his earlier book The Hutu men had fled before the RPF mainly into what was at the time Zaire Eventually the people in the refugee camps were repatriated to Rwanda and many of the perpetrators were imprisoned pending legal actionThree things in particular stood out in these interviews First the way in which the killing was made into a work routine there was a general starting time the need for excused absence if you missed work and the end of the day of work given by a uniform signal which all obeyed Second after the day of killing and looting the men would gather in bars known in local parlance as cabarets drink compare notes and brag about the numbers of people they had killed Third all of the men interviewed felt they were being victimized by the Tutsi led regime in Rwanda for something they were compelled to do the argument being that if they did not participate they would have been killed for refusing This however was not truePerhaps the following excerpts can help explain what I mean“One evening at the rough beginning we came back late We had spent the day running after the fugitives We were tiredBut on the way back we discovered another group of girls and boys We pushed them along as prisoners to the judge’s house He ordered that they be sliced up on the spot in the dark No one grumbled despite our weariness from an exhausting day But afterward he assigned us ordinary schedules such as we were used to” p 63And “For the simplest farmers it was refreshing to leave the hoe in the yard We got up rich we went to bed with full bellies we lived a life of plenty Pillaging is worthwhile than harvesting because it profits everyone eually” p 64In addition to the interviews Hatzfeld included some research material on the background of each of the men he interviewed One of them was a relatively important figure in atrocities in that region Joseph Desire Bitero He was also a leader among the prisoners at the time of the interviews The author described an encounter with Bitero at the prison “He arrived in his pink uniform with a swing in his step exchanging discreet friendly greetings with every other prisoner he met He did seem jolly said hello nicely and would gladly have offered us a beer if he’d had one handy Whenever Joseph Desire goes back and forth between his special block and the garden by the road he claps some former drinking or killing companion on the back fires off a joke winks and rolls his eyes and asks how everyone’s doing testing his popularity while trying to renew old ties” p 165 173 He was an ordinary jovial neighborly guy FrighteningIn the final chapter of the book entitled “The Killers” Hatzfeld delivers short biographies of each of the men interviewed Two of them struck me in particular Leopold Twagirayezu was described as having “been a fervent Catholic since childhood” Fulgence Bunani was described as “A fervent Catholic he served as a voluntary deacon during lesser rites in the church in Kibungo and filled in for the pries who had to minister to several parishes” That church in Kibungo was the site of a massacre of 5000 people who had taken shelter thinking they would be spared because they were in a churchThe Democratic Republic of Congo Between Hope and Despair 2013 by Michael DeibertTen years after Hatzfeld released his book of interviews with the perpetrators of the genocide author and journalist Michael Deibert released this book This book traces the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC and it relates in great detail the time in recent history after the Rwandan genocide In doing so he discusses what he refers to as “The Great Congo Wars” which took place essentially between 1994 and 2001 Of course conflicts continued in regions of the DRC after 2001Only when one reads the book can one grasp the enormity of the conseuences of these wars but three things stood out in Deibert’s account of this time in history First that different African nations including Kagame’s Rwandan regime and Uganda’s Museveni regime among others supported various bands of fighting groups in different resource rich areas of the DRC Their purpose was resource extraction To facilitate the resource extraction various multi national mining companies worked with these armed bands Second the money from the resource extraction was invested in buying arms guns bullets grenade launchers mortars missiles and so on Third these “militias” were known for three things in particular mass killing brutally violent rape and impressment of children to fight as soldiers for a first hand account of how this could happen see Beah 2007 Deibert explains “The effect of the continued battles on the population was horrendous as in the town of Kpandroma about 50 miles north east of Bunia which saw an average of one rape case reported every day between July and mid December 2004” It was in Deibert’s book that I understood about the killing of Hutu refugees One instance in 1997 was described as “systematic methodical and premeditated” p 60 Throughout the book including up to the time of publication roving bands of “militias” continued to spring up in the resource rich border regions along Rwanda and Uganda Every time the activities of the various groups are related in the book there are atrocities and counter atrocities committed mass killings rape abduction and forced laborConclusionIt is all about the money A theme I have repeated in previous reviews cannot be overemphasized In the boardrooms of mining corporations and munitions corporations in Europe Canada and the United States the champagne and caviar are flowing With the goal of sueezing out every possible cent in order to have it flow into their already gorged coffers these human vampires have the blood of all of these victims on their hands But it goes virtually unnoticed The corporations who provide the never ending stream of reports on celebrity marriages do not find telling the truth about the system to be profitable It would be interesting to learn how many members are on the board of mining and weapons companies or maybe even all threeBut this will not bring back all of those lost lives I remember these words from Nelson Mandela “Like slavery and apartheid poverty is not natural It is man made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” I would add that the unbridled profit driven death cult that is the weapons industry and the mining industry can also be overcome It is definitely not natural It is man made It can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beingsI strongly recommend you read these books Why? I will let Clementine Wamariya author of “The Girl Who Smiles Beads A Story of War and What Comes After” answer that “What’s wrong with me? Or what’s wrong with you? If I don’t share with you my history if I don’t explain what I’ve brought with me to this moment in time – that to me the bird hitting the window sounded like a shell detonating – then how could you know me?”

  3. says:

    This is a gripping but sombre subject It does exactly what it says on the tin first hand accounts of what Rwandan genocide survivors experienced during those 100 days with a short intoduction to their current lives as added by the author I think background would have made it fascinating but if you want that read 'Shake Hands With The Devil' by Romeo Dallaire

  4. says:

    Life Laid Bare by Jean Hatzfield 4 Stars“In 1994 between eleven in the morning on Monday April 11 and two in the afternoon on Saturday May 14 about fifty thousand Tutsis out of a population of around fifty nine thousand were massacred by machete murdered every day of the week from nine thirty in the morning until four in the afternoon by Hutu neighbors and militiamen on the hills of the district of Nyamata in Rwanda” pg 14Jean Hatzfield has uite a collection of work dealing the Rwanda genocide each from a different perspective Last year I read the Machete Season based on interviews of ten Hutu members imprisoned for their participation in the slaughter Life Laid Bare provides the survivors’ perspective Hatzfield again personally interviews fourteen survivors ranging in age from 12 – 65 years old In many ways the stories are similar Most people initially sought refuge in a local church as that was the traditional method of survival during past conflicts However it became apparent rather uickly that this time safety would not be afforded forcing those surviving the initial onslaught to flee into the marshes Here difficult decisions had to be made Would a family stay together or separate to increase the chances of at least one member surviving? If not survival separation could at least make death easier for whoever was not killed first “When everyone in a family must die when you can do nothing to save your wife or ease her agony and it’s the same for her it’s better to go get yourself killed somewhere else I will say what I mean precisely If you will not be dying first if you will hear the cries of your papa your mama the screams of your wife or child and if you cannot lift a hand to save them or even to help them die easier you in turn die in the wreckage of the feelings you shared in the good times because you will feel too guilty for a situation that is utterly beyond youThat is why I thought it might be better that we should be cut all of us out of one another’s sight” pg 85 If caught the prospects were so devastating that individuals bargained not for pardon but for a uick death Unfortunately most of the time not even this was granted As with Machete Season Hatzfield begins the book with an effective chronology of events from 1921 – 2003 providing context for these events I also felt that the inclusion of photos of survivors leant a personal touch to these stories What I thought was most poignant from this work was the consensus that history will repeat itself not somewhere else but there in Rwanda Keeping in mind that this was based on personal interviews it is difficult to ascertain whether this is merely perception and fear or based on evidence Although the reader can certainly sympathize with those fears when you combine the harrowing events the survivor’s faced with the fact that 2 out of 3 Tutsis have returned to their homes and killer and victim are once again neighbor and that not one Tutsi seems to be willing to take responsibility for his or her role much less seek forgiveness This concept is probably dealt with in detail in the final work The Antelope Strategy which I will probably read without waiting a year I didn’t rate this as high as Machete Season mainly because I felt that the intervening observations by Hatzfield distracted a bit from the survivors’ tales

  5. says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book I enjoyed hearing the first hand accounts told from the survivors themselves I did not know much about what happened in Rwanda in 1994 before I read this book I had heard about the genocide of course but I didn't know any of the specifics I wonder if it was all over the newspapers when it was happening and I just missed it very possible as I was in my last year of college in 1994 and busy with finals that April But really I don't remember seeing a single news article about it when it was happening It is hard to imagine how this horrible event could have happened The Tutsis and Hutus were neighbors Their children played together The wives worked together The husbands drank together in the local cabarets And suddenly on April 7 the hutus just began killing all the Tutsis Not even shooting them humanely but chopping off their arms and legs with machetes and leaving them to die or making piles of children and setting them on fire How could that have happened? And what amazes me is that the Tutsis don't seem to have fought back at all Maybe because they were so outnumbered I don't know But I think it was than that of a fundamental substance inside of each of them which made them willing to accept whatever fate dealt them The stories are so incredibly sad I often had to put the book down and go do something else for awhile before returning to it I would definitely recommend it

  6. says:

    This is a hard book to read from the comfort and safety of your own warm bed I whipped through it in a couple days It's heart wrenching Each chapter is the story of a different survivor of the genocide in Rwanda

  7. says:

    I can't find words to describe feelings this book arose none seem fitting

  8. says:

    MadagascarIt's part of Rwandan custom to take refuge in God's houses when the massacres begin Time let us have two days of uiet then they rushed into the church and starting slicing people upI save how savagery can replace kindness in the heart of man faster than a driving rainWe remember all the fearsome moments we personally lived through as if they had happened just last yearI hear no one asking for forgiveness In any case I know that there is nothing that can be forgivenWe must simply take up life againTo feel hate you must be able to direct it at definite names and facesIf I were not stopped short by poverty I would travel far from here to a country where I would go to school all week long and play soccer on a nice grassy field and where no one would want to mistrust me and kill me ever againI live a life that no longer interests meThe Whites watched all these massacres with their arms crossed I believe Whites take advantage of uarrels among Blacks to sow their own ideas afterwardsI suffer from begin tied to this present life which is not the one I was supposed to haveIf you go home you will be killed If you flee into the bush you will be killed If your remain here you will be killedSurviving with the memory of your wife and child when you don't know how they were killed when you have not seen them dead and when you have not buried them is what takes the most heart out of youIf you will jot be dying first if you will hear the cries of your papa your mama the screams of your wife or child and if you cannot lift a hand to save them or even to help them die easier you in turn will die in the wreckage of the feelings you shared in the good times because you will feel guilty for a situation that is utterly beyond youFor us there is before during and after but they are three different lives and they have been broken apart foreverI yearn for the pastWe breathed deeply of deathIf you linger too long with the fear of genocide you lose hope You lose what you have managed to salvage from life You risk contamination from a different madness When I think about the genocide in a moment of calm I mull over where to put it properly away in life but I find no place I simply mean that it is no longer anything human

  9. says:

    One of the most important books that no one readsThe genocide of the elite Tutsi minority through the 85% Hutu majority was one of the worst and most unpredictable in history In 1994 the airplane of then president Habyarimana crashed his death triggering the long festering resentment of the Hutu against the Tutsi Tutsi and Hutu lived mostly peacefully together as neighbors at that time even though their had been several instances of violent pogroms against the Tutsi before Still when the genocide began Hutu had long since overtaken politics and other important places such as the military essentially ruling all of Rwanda making the claim of their oppression under the Tutsi elite uite inaccurateFrom one day in April 94 to the next Hutu who had been friends with Tutsi refused to talk to them and even threatened them Next came the murders Armed mostly with machetes roughly half a million Tutsi were bludgeoned to death their bodies often mutilated so they would die slowlyThe massacres lasted 100 days and the western nations knew what was happening Shortly before the genocide began the French army left Rwanda and so did all the catholic orders stationed there Next western authorities and the media closed their eyes to the atrocities for than three months In the end it was a Tutsi led army that delivered its people from the terrible suffering This book highlights several eyewitness account Many of the survivors shown here are very young the youbgest just 12 years old All of them lost family members many lost everyone in their families While in 1993 the population of the region shown in this book was 200000 after the genocide it was only 60000 including no less than 14000 orphaned children without parents or an adult to rely on This book is hard to read but very important It is short only 250 pages but packs a mighty punch Recommended for everyone

  10. says:

    First off this is not an easy read It is not an enjoyable read In fact I have a hard time recommending it at all as it is deeply disturbing But like books of the Shoah I think that it is important history to not forgetThis book is told from the point of view of survivors of the Rwandan genocide in a very specific region of the country an area where 4 out of 5 Tutsi residents were slaughtered If you watched Hotel Rwanda let me say this is nothing like that It is much worse and even worse than HBO's great film Sometimes in April This book is much graphic infinitely sad and remarkable in the insights of the victims They have a much honest view of the genocide than is reported by sources outside the countryOne of the things I found very unusual was the manner in which the survivors describe their plight their neighbors who committed the genocide and their possible motivations etc The author notes that the text has been translated a number of times from the native language Kinyarwandan to French or sometimes a French dialect then finally to English The result is some unexpected language that seemed to make me think about the meaning and what the speaker was trying to convey of an event that is almost indescribableDon't read this book if you are sensitive to horrific information Believe me this genocide though smaller in scope involved cruelties as bad if not worse than the Nazis

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