We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda
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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
In April 1994, the Rwandan government called upon everyone in the Hutu majority to kill each member of the Tutsi minority, and over the next three months 800,000 Tutsis perished in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the war in Rwanda, a vivid history of the tragedy's background, and an unforgettable account of its aftermath. One of the most acclaimed books of the year, this account will endure as a chilling document of our time.
out. And how can you feed hundreds of thousands, dig them holes to shit in, give them plastic sheets to sleep under, and say you haven’t established a camp? Anyway, why use an army in a place you don’t care enough to kill and die for? Total paralysis. Then I switched stations to Radio Star, the rebel “voice of the liberated Congo” from Goma, and took more notes: The road to Mugunga and west is open. The interahamwe have fled. Announcer says, “The whole problem is cleaned up.” Refugees are
his final days as President of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko was incontinent. Trophy seekers who scoured the military camp where he played out his endgame in Kinshasa found little of greater interest than the Big Man’s diapers. It was said that Mobutu’s mental grip was also rather weak. Several people who boasted impeccable access to the gossip of the old court assured me that by the end he was barking mad—pharmaceutically and characterologically unmoored, sometimes maundering and sometimes vivid with
north, and she understood, too, that most of the Tutsis in Kigali had been massacred. Her friend Jean, who had asked her to take his wife to Nairobi, had gone there by himself to find a house for his family, and his wife had been killed along with their four children. Garbage trucks were plying the streets, picking up corpses. But the killing hadn’t yet reached the south. Odette and Jean-Baptiste thought that if they could get there they might be safe, only the Nyabarongo River stood in the way,
institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and when I did ask him about the Church, his response hardly seemed to qualify as a defense. “To my knowledge,” he said, “no official of the Church publicly declared anything that was happening to be unacceptable. Monsignor Vincent Nsengiyumva, the old Archbishop of Kigali, is the best example. He made no secret of his friendship with President Habyarimana. Of course, the other bishops and the other clergy disapproved. But, you know, profane society in
should be the basis of greater power. Under the circumstances, the last best hope for Hutu Power was to assert—in its usual simultaneous onslaught of word and action—that honesty and truth themselves were merely forms of artifice, never the source of power but always its products, and that the only measure of right versus wrong was the bastardized “majority rule” principle of physical might. With the lines so drawn, the war about the genocide was truly a postmodern war: a battle between those