The Omnestacita (from Eurasian omnes, "all", and tacita, "silent"), also known as the Great Genocide and Verbrannten Erde (from Lyrian verbrannten, "scorched", erde, "earth") was a genocide in which approximately 19 million Newellians and 11 million Zacks were killed by Eurasian and Duresian authorities and their collaborators. The genocide occurred during the Great War, and is viewed by historians as the worst genocide in history.
Between 1936 and 1947, the Governments of Eurasia and Duresia systemically arrested, deported, and murdered Newellians and later Zachs in a massive slave-labor program, in which the aforementioned were worked to death to produce armaments for the war effort. In total, approximately 20 million people were killed, including around 4 million children. Of the pre-war population of both nations, at least one-quarter of their total populations were killed, with Newellia suffering even worse a fate, losing an estimated 35%.
The persecution and genocide was carried out in a variety of stages, culminating in what was called the "Final Intercession into Savage Civilization" (Ultima Intercessione in Barbaram Culturam, Abschluss Fürsprache in Barbar Kultur). Following the invasion of Newellia in 1936, the Eurasian and Duresian Authorities instituted laws demanding all Newellians deemed "dangerous or subversive" register with local authorities for "oversight".
Etymology and use of the term
The term "Omnestacita" is a compounding of Eurasian words, originating most likely in 1300's Eurasia to describe the scene in smallpox stricken villages; all quiet. The term was coined by Arveyran Prime Minister Marareta San Mateo in 1949, before which it was called simply the "Great Genocide".
Newellians and Zachs refer to it, respectfully, as the "Catastrophe" in Newellia and "आपदा" in Zackalantis (transliterated as Āpadā, or "Calamity").
Eurasians and Duresians referred to it more euphemistically as the "troubled times".
Almost every portion of the Bipartite was involved in the genocide, turning Bipartite Newellia and Zackalantis into what many historians call a "genocide state".
Eurasia and Duresia were able to arrest and deport vast numbers of Newellians and Zachs throughout the years in which the nations were occupied, at times involving the entire provisional bureaucracy. The Governments of Eurasia and Duresia were not directly involved, instead delegating the control of the genocide to the legates and praetors in the aforementioned nations, who would then force the local governments to comply.
Ideology and Scale
Like many other genocides, the means behind the Omnestacita were very practical. The Bipartite forces' main goal was not, necessarily, to kill all Newellians and Zachs; rather, it was to get as much work from them as was possible and then dispose of them, as they had become useless. Eurasian historian Carolus Septimus Tullius wrote that:
The basic motivation of the Omnestacita was purely monetary; how can we, the Bipartite Alliance, get the most from each worker? The scale to which it was conducted though was unique to it alone. Never before had a country been so thoroughly broken as Newellia and Zackalantis were.
The main ideology behind the genocide was, mainly, that the Newellian and Zach people were culturally inferior to the Eurasians and Duresians. This was referred to exclusively amongst the Bipartite as culturae imparae and minderwertige kultur. The Duresian historian Alexander Zaugg wrote:
The nature of the genocide was that the Newellians and Zachs were culturally inferior, and thus it was in no way morally reprihensible to eliminate them in such a manner. The view of them as inferior allowed them to be viewed as expendable, and thus it was relatively easy for them to be murdered en masse with little regard to their lower status as humans.
Extermination and Work Camps
The most unique feature of the Omnestacita was the use of large, industrialized facilities designed to eliminate massive ammounts of Newellians and Zachs. The largest of these, Groxford, Spring Lake, Chillwood, Honeybarrow, Mahat, Gorhari, Mananavaru, and Veymandhuffushi, all of which maintained extensive labor and extermination facilities. The death camps were primarily designed to eliminate those unable to work, while the work camps would systematically work prisoners to death. Execution was initially done by shooting, but later a system of gassing was developed.
A distinctive feature of the Omnestacita was the widespread medical experimentation that took place in camps. The experiments were often sadistic in nature, with many of them having no practical purpose beyond sheer curiosity. Some, however, were clearly military oriented, perhaps none so well known as the experiments of the Eurasian Dr. Scribonius Mengelius Largus and the Duresian Dr. Arto Donâ, who conducted experiments using smallpox, influenza, typhoid, and a myriad of other diseases to test countermeasures to them.
The majority of tests will never be known, as many of the records were destroyed after the war. However, some eyewitnesses report that "I remember one man, Albert, was taken away by Largus and Donâ. He never came back out. When they did finally remove his body, he was in a horrible state. They'd infected him with smallpox or some similar disease. He barely looked human."
Development and Execution
Many historians contend that Eurasian and Duresian societies have been suffused with anti-Newellian and anti-Zach sentiment. Eurasia was particularly vicious in their repression of the Zachs rather than the Newellians, and the Zach portion of the Omnestacita can be viewed as an extension of the Eurasian Occupation of Zackalantis in the 1830's. However, the main genocidal sentiment came from an overall dismissal of Newellian and Zach culture as barbaric, uncivilized, and savage.
One Newellian historian writes: Eurasia and Duresia had a long history of violent repression of minorities, and it can be surmised that the genocide was merely a culmination of this. Newellians and Zachs were a source of free labor, and it was exploited visciously.".
Invasion of Newella and Initial Targets
After the invasion of Newellia, the Provisional Governments established by Eurasia and Duresia began to deprive former Newellian soldiers of their basic rights, starting with the "Newel City Laws" (Leges Mognocognatorum, Newel Stadt Gesetze) is 1937, which deprived them of their citizenship and their right to freely travel the country. Soon, following partisan activity throughout the country, the Provisional Governments announced the "Anti-Rebel Relocation Laws" (Legem Locationi Rebellium , Anti-Rebellen Umzug Gesetze), which deported the majority of former soldiers to concentration camps throughout Newellia.
It is important to note that the Bipartite had already dissolved the Newellian Government by that time, declaring that the Government would be made up of a Provisional structure, with the country divided neatly in two between Eurasia and Duresia (New-Zealand maintained a smaller portion within the Eurasian sector). While the local municipalities remained in place, the Government was wholly controled by the Bipartite and the influence of Newellians was largely marginal.
The initial manifestation of the Newell City City Laws was the effective implementation of anti-partisan actions throughout rural Newellia. The partisans, made up largely of former soldiers and police officials, began attacking the occupying bipartite forces. In response to this, the Eurasians instituted the infamous "Adesta Terrae" policy (Engl. scorched earth), a systemic approach to anti-partisan activity which resulted in whole villages being massacred if partisan activity was reported in the area. A Centurion in command of one such operation wrote:
"When we arrived in the village the elders told us the partisans were "not of our land". I told him that it matters not whether they are of the land, as they were active in the area and that meant the village was helping them. He denied this, of course, but I ordered the whole village to be assembled outside in the forum. I separated the women and children from the men, and had the men shot. The women and children were then shot after. The village was then burned."
The Duresians instituted similar actions with the "Innere Sicherheit Aktionen" (Eng. Internal Security Actions), which followed Eurasian Adustus Terrae by burning suspected villages. These actions had an enormous and immediate affect on partisan morale, and many either surrendered or simply deserted, seriously weakening Newellian resistance.
In the spring of 1934, however, the Duresian Provisional Government suggested that the villages, instead of being immediately liquidated, instead be used for forced labor. The Eurasians agreed to test this theory, and soon after constructed the Groxford Concentration Camp (Castra Carceralia Groxfordis) outside the city of Groxford. The camp initially housed only former partisans, and was ostensibly a prison camp where terms were served temporarily as punishment for past crimes.
The camp proved very productive, although multitudes of prisoners died from harsh labor conditions and rampant disease. The Eurasians quickly established more camps throughout Newellia, including the largest and most infamous, the Chillwood Concentration Camp (Castra Carceralia Frigidisalvae, Gefühlt Holz KZ), which was jointly operated by both Eurasia and Duresia.
The camps established were first populated by dissidents, partisans, resistance fighters, and former soldiers. This continued for several months, during which time the Bipartite began to run out of the aforementioned to arrest. Thus, city blocks populated by religious minorities, like Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Khans, and atheists were relegated to ghettos within the largest cities, where they were forced to work for the Bipartite.
Newell City Massacre
The Eurasians were the first to begin targeting cities in totality. Following partisan activity in Newell City in 1937, Eurasian forces entered the city and enacted what is now known as the Newell City Massacre. The partisan activity was viewed as a major obstacle to total control of Newellia, and thus Eurasian Imperial Command decided that the only way to totally secure the captured nation was a brute show of force. It was meant that fear would keep the country in line.Thus, Eurasian legionaries began an anti-partisan sweep throughout the city, and without warning suddenly and totally sealed off all access to and from the city. Able bodied men and women were arrested en masse and held in mass detention facilities, while the disabled, young, elderly, or otherwise incapacitated were executed. The Eurasians infamously crucified almost 25,000 on major roads throughout the city. In total, a city of 500,000 was liquified in just over two weeks. Almost 250,000 were killed.
The news of the liquidation of the city was squashed by Eurasian authorities, who claimed it had been "under assault from partisan rebels", and later claimed the city populace had been "evacuated due to a disease outbreak". It is unclear which, if either, of these stories were meant to convince the Newellians.
In mid 1938, Eurasian and Duresian military leaders met on the Eurasian colony of Paestum to discuss the continuation of the forced labor situation. The minutes from the conference do exist, however their Duresian counterparts were destroyed after the war and the original Eurasian copy was written in purposefully vague and euphemistic language, so what was originally said remains unknown.
It was determined that in Newellia there was a prewar population of roughly 8,000,000, while Zackalantis had an estimated population of 12,000,000. It was decided that, after the countries had been totally annexed, their populations would be progressively and expeditiously deported to work camps (Castra Poena, Arbeitslagern) where those who could not work would be executed upon arrival. This process was termed "Selectionem Operarii; Auswahl von Arbeitnehmern" (Selection of Workers).
The conference also determined that the camp situation would need to be drastically expanded if the goals of production were to be met.
Following the Paestum Conference, the bipartite leadership decided that a systematic means of disposal for unworkable members of both societies was required. In the many camps that had been established, the methods for disposing of those who could not work involved summary execution. This was both highly costly, as bullets were expensive to manufacture, and inefficient, as the so-called "undesirables" could not be killed en masse. Thus, the idea of "Selection of Workers" was implemented expeditiously. Many camps had specific execution chambers, which could be filled with poisonous cyanide gas, built to expediate the process of extermination. One survivor of the Chillwood camp recalled:
"We arrived and were pushed out of the train-car, one after another. Eurasian officers on raised platforms shouted at us, issuing orders. Very few of us spoke Eurasian. One pointed at my grandmother, younger sister, and I and shouted "Women to the left!" A guard with a machinepistol walked along side us, shouting. We came to another area, where another officer pointed at us and shouted "Elderly and children to the left, all others to the right!" My grandmother and sister obeyed. I never saw them again. I learned later that way lead to the showers."
This brutally efficient method proved highly effective, and by 1945, when the camps reached their apex, establishments like Chillwood were murdering thousands every day. The Eurasians and Duresians referred to this euphemistically as "abnegatio materiae" and "Asset-Zerstörung", both meaning "asset reappropriation" or "asset denial".
Alongside the extermination camps, the bipartite also created work camps. In fact, the work camps, (Eurasian: "Castra carceralia"; Lyrian: "arbeitslager") were the main focus of the entire genocide, created to further enconomic and ideological agendas. Most camps forced prisoners to construct large factory complexes, and would frequently work them to death to persue economic gains.
Disease was rampant throughout the camps, and thousands of prisoners died from malnutrition and various infectious maladies. More were killed by guards for trivial offenses. Within Duresian camps, crimes such as talking back to a guard or petty thievery were capital infractions. Throughout the war, the majority of Eurasian and Duresian materiel came from these camps. The economic growth that these camps allowed cannot be understated.
In Arveyres, a similar method of imprisonment of Newellians was enacted starting in 1936. Arveyres rounded most of the Newellians into the state prison system as they were seen as enemies of the Empire and able-bodied men (not women, as they were pardoned by the Queen) over the age of 20 (by 1936) were sold into indentured servitude to work in the Duchy of Pontevedra, which was specifically created to serve the plantations of indentured servitude.
The Duchy of Pontevedra, mainly on the southern coast, was the home of many "machine cities", as they were called in Arveyran. These hosted many housing complexes, factories, farms, and mills. The conditions that slaves faced in Arveyres were much less harsh than that in Eurasia and Duresia. Other ethnic minorities were not targeted in Arveyres during the Omnestacita, unlike ethnic Zack and Zack nationals in Eurasia.
With the collapse of the Duresian Republic in 1946, Eurasia found itself in the position of being forced to maintain vast amounts of territory with little support. This put increasing strain on imperial coffers, and coupled with the heavy increase in partisan activity, it became untenable and unviable to continue to occupy Newellia, Reisal, and Zackalantis. The Eurasian Military initiated a plan of withdrawal that would minimize Eurasian casualties, and this also included the liquidation of the camps.
The idea that the camps were "liberated" is a misconception, as very few camps were ever truly liberated by non-Eurasian or non-bipartite entities. Instead, most camps were liquidated by the Eurasians, who systematically destroyed the factories and camps throughout the territories. There were few survivors, however, an account of a survivor details what occurred.
"Apparently orders had come down. The guards ordered everyone who could move out of the baracks. Flame thrower units appeared and lit the rows of barracks on fire, burning those who could not get out. They then lined us up, front to back, and aimed for the head. They were economizing their bullets, you see. Why waste a single on one man when four could be killed? I played dead, and eventually they ran low of bullets. Those who remained alive were abandoned as the troops retreated. Out of 50,000 of us, perhaps 1,000 remained."
This spread throughout all the remaining camps. The Eurasians did attempt to liquidate camps that were directly under Duresian control, however due to a strain on manpower they were occasionally unable to due this, and instead shelled and bombed the camps from a distance to avoid endangering their troups. Once a camp was liquidated, or at least liquidated to the greatest possible extent, it was completely abandonded. Many camps were found in this half-destroyed and savaged state.
The number of victims depends on which definition of "Omnestacita" is used. In total, it is estimated that 12 million people died in the genocide overall. The Eurasian and Duresian camp authorities kept detailed records of the number who were killed, and it is from these that post-war estimates are drawn. The majority of victims were of Newellian and Zack descent.
Motivations for the Genocide
There were varying and differentiated motivations for the Omnestacita between Eurasia and Duresia. Many modern scholars on the topic agree that the Eurasians and Duresians approached the genocide from very different perspectives, both of which were nonetheless in alignment on the outcome. It can be suggested that the Eurasians focused more on profit-driven initiatives, and sought to more make the largest economic gain from the genocide as possible with no regard towards civilian deaths. In contrast, the Duresians were motivated by a racist and supremacist ideology, and were primarily driven to exterminate those they deemed inferior, with economic gain and profits merely being an added benefit to undertaking such actions.
This lead to varied social structures within the camps themselves. The Eurasians were particularly vicious towards captured partisans, Jews, non-Catholic Christians (as Duresia was a majority Catholic country at the time), and Zacks. In contrast, the Duresians were more brutal towards captured communists, Muslims, and Newellians. This did not necessarily mean that in either case they were more lenient towards those who did not fit those categories; instead, those groups were singled out for especially harsh treatment. It was common knowledge in the camps that those who did not, in Eurasian camps, hide their faith, or hide their heritage in Duresian ones, would quickly meet their end.
While Eurasia was certainly profit driven, far more so than their Duresian counterparts, they were in no way less racist or ideologically opposed to the existence of Newellians or Zacks. However, this racist position was not their primary motivation. The primary motivation behind the Eurasian creation of the camps was economic profit and gain. Indeed, Eurasian companies and corporations made untold fortunes with lucrative government contracts. This lead, somewhat surprisingly, to a slightly higher attrition rate in the Eurasian camps. This can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the Eurasian guards were infamous not for their cruelty but for their indifference. One prisoner wrote in his memoirs:
"I had been sent first to a Duresian camp, then to a Eurasian one. In the Duresian camp, I witnessed guards taunt a child who begged for food, holding it above his head before leaving him in the mud to starve. In a Eurasian camp, I saw a similar scene, yet instead of taunting the guards simply shot the prisoner, who in this case was a woman whose age I did not know. A fellow prisoner told me their rationale. 'What's one prisoner dead when you'll get five more in their stead?'"
Another factor was that the factories in Eurasian camps were notoriously unsafe. Many Eurasian camp factories were hastily constructed and met no safety standards, and were often filled with toxic chemicals and varied unshielded machinery. A large portion of prisoner deaths, amongst those not killed outright in the gas chambers and executions, are attributed to terrifically unsafe work conditions. Further, the Eurasians were the largest institutors of the liquidation policy towards the end of the war, and thus this allowed for even higher attrition rates, far exceeding expected numbers. Omnestacita scholar Miguel Perez wrote "The Eurasians killed for profit and racism was an afterthought; the Duresians killed for racism and profit was an afterthought."