This is a different sort of post.
In discussions with people from the balkans, I find a strong opinion on genocide and ethnic cleansing, as would be expected. To quote someone from Slovenia, who I asked about both just now, "They are both equally bad"
This seems to be the prevailing opinion not just within the balkan states, but around the world.
To ensure that this post is clear I want to explain what I see as the key difference between the two; intentionally causing death.
Genocide is a campaign to kill another ethnicity.
Ethnic Cleansing is a campaign to remove them from the land.
To begin I want to examine various states with "mixed" ethnicities and how they've done since the end of WW2, by looking at each and every country in Europe with over 10% of the population from a minority group.
Switzerland is the bright spot. While officially everyone is "swiss" one could easily split the country across the franco/germanic divide. Despite that, Switzerland is peaceful and modern and stable.
Wales is the next biggest success story, but has a weak but ingrained separatist party.
The baltic states of Estonia and Latvia are often beset by instability caused, in part, by their large russian minority and a split in both countries over east-west relations.
The former USSR itself fell apart not only due to communism collapsing, but due to the desires and wants of the various ethnic republics.
Of those republics, Moldova and Ukraine, both over this 10% barrier, have separatist Russian communities that have set up their own states. Belarus is the only former republic with such a large minority without instability and much of this is due to the totalitarian dictatorship that exists in the nation.
Yugoslavia is another former state that split up due to ethnic tension, with only Slovenia being below the 10% barrier, and also, stable. Every other republic has faced problems. Bosnia, Serbia (Kosovo) and Croatia, has faced violent war, while Montenegro and Macedonia face internal instability.
Cyprus faced a civil war and remains divided to this day.
Northern Ireland also faced major troubles for decades due to the split there.
Belgium, however, the most "progressive" and "western" of these, has avoided mass violence but has had over a decade if instability and many separatist movements.
Why is it, though, that I wanted to look at countries with over 10% belonging to a minority group?
Because of what happened after WW2.
Ethnic Cleansing of Germans.
The scattered German population across Eastern and Southern europe was one of the factors that lead to WW2.
Consider that after this event, and the similar expulsion of the Polish by the Soviets, that both Germany and Poland have only within the past few years faced the same kind of "mainstream" rabid nationalism that we've seen for decades in France.
As such my argument here is a simple one.
The "Modern" and "Progressive" Europe that people idolize, is, in part, built on ethnic cleansing, and that, in short, Europe should be ashamed.
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