Imagine a World Free of Mass Violence

"Preventing Genocide" is a video documentary and archive grown out of the work of Dr. David A. Hamburg. Produced as an extension to Hamburg's book of the same name, the collection presents the perspectives of numerous world leaders -- including Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu among many key figures -- as an educational resource, one that reveals the growing opportunities for the prevention of mass violence. Genocide need not happen ever again.

Dr. Hamburg's work has focused on genocide and its prevention for a number of years. The documentary looks at three different genocides as case studies: the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, and the more recent Rwandan genocide. Through these case studies, viewers can learn the warning signals that often precede genocide, and see the possibilities for intervention and prevention. The brief footage that illustrates each case study examines potential actions toward prevention. Finally, the documentary examines the additional intellectual, technical and institutional resources now available for prevention that were absent or minimal in earlier genocides.

Presented with the documentary are over two dozen videotaped interviews with key individuals who, through their own work and life experiences, promote the prevention of genocide. These videos -- representing twenty-nine recorded hours of in-depth discussion of the issues -- serve as source material for the final documentary.

In the three genocides explored in the documentary, there is inherent drama: flagrant incitement, vivid brutality and heartbreaking missed opportunities. Yet as the video evolves, there is an authentic basis for hope in illumination of today’s opportunities for prevention that have become increasingly clear in the past few years and will grow in the foreseeable future. In making this documentary accessible, we at Stanford hope to advance that cause.

Final documentary
Final documentary

Original materials in the collection are housed permanently in the Stanford Department of Special Collections and University Archives. The catalog record is: For access and permission requests, please contact the Public Services Librarian at: