In these chapters, Naimark discusses the Spanish genocides in Central and South America and the Settler genocides committed by English and Dutch settlers towards indigenous peoples of Africa and Australia. I was infuriated by the destruction of history and the indiscriminate and brazen rape of women that occurred during this time, the latter which caused venereal diseases that hastened the demise of these societies by hindering their ability to reproduce, in addition to a certain slow death. Reading this, I realized that while Germany receives a bad reputation for having a history of genocide, but many other European countries bear responsibility for wiping out entire populations of people on less organized levels, to the point of which the entire population is extinct. This is not an issue of proportionality. The Nazis executed 6 million Jews, leaving approximately 3.5 million around 1950, leaving about one-third of the European Jewish population traumatized, but intact. In the case of the native peoples of Hispaniola (the present day Dominican Republic and Haiti) their numbers decreased from three million to two hundred within fifty years, which I will admit is a longer time period than that of the Holocaust, but for Germany to receive all of the “credit” for genocide is a gross representation and should be displayed and challenged by all.
All in all, it is really demoralizing to know that colonization destroyed all of these cultures and peoples with so much potential for greatness, and in some points when I read about this, I wonder about the type of world that I would be living in if colonization and racism had never occurred, specifically about the Pre-Columbian societies and the language they would speak (because the Spanish and the Portuguese brought Spanish and Portuguese to South America—to those who are wondering). To think that all of this history and potential is simply forever extinct because of greed and caustic indifference is so enraging that I have come to the conclusion that the concept of savagery that the conquistadors and settlers portrayed on the indigenous populations of Africa, Australia, and the Americas really applied to the settlers and conquistadors themselves. And while I recognize the contributing factors of societal distance and the like to their actions, that in no way excuses them from the punishment that they deserve for committing these genocides and ruining the potential of this world.
Some insightful reading: