Department ofHistory

Dedicated to the man who named "The Crime with No Name"

Through the efforts of Alumnus and Regent, Donald R. Morken and colleague, Mr. Bruce Littman, PLU sponsors annual scholarships in honor of Raphael Lemkin.  Mr. Lemkin coined the term "genocide" and labored for passage of the United Nations genocide convention, which outlaws destruction of races and groups. The Raphael Lemkin Trust, founded by Mr. Irving Young of Haifa, Israel, helps to support prizes and scholarships.  Prizes serve to inspire young people to reflect upon the issue of genocide and to inform them about Raphael Lemkin.

Raphael Lemkin Essay Contest

GENOCIDE:  What does it mean to you?

  • PLU invites currently registered students to write an essay on the topic of genocide.  A panel of faculty members will judge the essays.
  • First Place essay writer will be awarded a $750 prize; the second place award will be $250
  • Essays should reflect Raphael Lemkin's ideals and concerns to include such topics as: the concept and definition of genocide; ethical and legal aspects of genocide and international law; prevention of genocide and enforcement of the genocide convention; historical incidents of genocide; current events and the issue of genocide; other appropriate essay  topics discussed and negotiated between contestants and the faculty review committee prior to the final submission.
  • Essays must demonstrate that students have read the biographical sketch on Raphael Lemkin (available from any staff person in the Division of Social Sciences or LEMKIN BIO.
  • You may submit a draft of your essay to be reviewed by a member of the faculty review committee, if you wish, no later than 4:00pm, February 11, 2013.  One member of the committee will critique your paper, making constructive suggestions.  Your draft will be returned to you no later than February 15, 2013 for any necessary changes.
  • Final Submission:  Submit two copies of the final product no later than 4:00pm, February 22, 2013, in a large envelope marked "Raphael Lemkin Essay Competition," to the Division of Social Sciences, Xavier 101.  The two copies of the final product must include a cover sheet, an abstract, the completed essay, and one computer disk or CD (in word format) containing your essay and related materials.  The cover sheet should include your name, current mailing address, email address, and telephone number.  Format must follow directions as stated at the end of the biographical sketch on Raphael Lemkin.

All entrants will be invited to attend an awards ceremony to be held on March 14, 2013 at 7pm.

For additional information contact:  Professor Robert Ericksen ( or Brenda Murray (  Telephone: 253-535-7595.

Lemkin Lecture

What stories do the survivors tell? This question will be explored at the Lemkin Lecture March 14 which will begin this year's Powell-Heller Holocaust Conference. The Raphael Lemkin Student Essay Contest awards will be presented at the event.