Raphael Lemkin and West Germany’s Accession to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
On 20 December 1950, the Secretary General of the United Nations invited the Federal Republic of Germany to accede to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948. For several reasons the West German authorities treated the Convention as a tool to conduct foreign policy. The ratification of the Convention by West Germany and the form in which it was to take place were also important for Lemkin. Lemkin’s aforementioned fears explain why it was so important to him that the German language version of the Convention did not include phrases that distorted its original connotation and bring it closer to the Nuremberg principles. After a meeting of the Bundestag Law Committee on 3 May 1954, the West German justice minister informed Lemkin about the course of the discussions and also informed him that most of the proposed amendments and changes were accepted.
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