phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Ethnic cleansing

Posted by Gary on April 30, 2005

In Reply to: Ethnic cleansing posted by ESC on April 30, 2005

: : : The phrase "Ethnic cleansing" was not "originated by Western journalists". It is a translation right?

: : What are you suggesting it is a translation of?

: ENTHIC CLEANSING - "the mass murder or removal of an ethnic group from an area by another ethnic group. In the late 1980s, this term for genocide was popularized. The Armenians and Azerbaijanis were fighting for control of the autonomous enclave of Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988; according to Serbo-Croatian sources, Soviet officials used this term - in Russian, 'etnicheskie chiski, 'ethnic purges' - to describe the attempts of one group to drive out the other. In an April 1993 news conference, President Clinton was questioned about conflicts in Bosnia. He responded, 'The principle of ethnic cleansing is something we ought to stand up against.' The phrase 'ethnically clean' was first used in Yugoslav politics in an April 1987 speech by Slobodan Milosevic." From Safire's New Political Dictionary by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993). Page 224-225.

In the New York Times, July 1982: "The nationalists have a two-point platform, according to Becir Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo, first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania."

It's not clear whether or not this is a translation. The concept has certainly been around for a very long time, but the form of words may have come about in the 1980s. I'm still looking for the source.