USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

David Scheffer on Genocide Education

Dublin Core


David Scheffer on Genocide Education


Genocide -- Study and teaching.


Oral history video clip featuring David Scheffer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Scheffer, David


Tape number: 4060E


video / mp4




Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Prior, Cecily


Scheffer, David


United States Department of State, Washington D.C.


Oh, I think in the United States, education about atrocities, about what we call international humanitarian law or the laws of war, has been relegated to law schools, to a few courses in colleges, to the military academies, and to our armed forces, who do receive instruction, down to the lowest rank, on these issues in the United States. But beyond that, you know, I would be surprised to learn if junior high or high school students are actually really aware of the degree of killing that takes place throughout the world; or of the legal regime that is out there to establish principles to prevent it and to bring those who do it to justice. I am sometimes invited to, you know, speak to young audiences, and I am sometimes fascinated at the lack of any knowledge whatsoever. Why? In part because young people these days are not reading the newspapers as much; they don’t sit down and watch the evening news as much as I think the immediately earlier generation did in the ’60s and ’70s, when particularly the Vietnam War seized a lot of people to be looking at the news and to be thinking about it, et cetera. I can only hope that the Internet generation will learn through the Internet that there is so much they can learn about really the dark side of this planet, that they need to learn about, in order to rise to the challenge of the twenty-first century. I deal with the worst news possible out there, so I don’t usually walk into a room with good news. But I do think it’s very important for the young people who have reached a certain level of maturity to understand that this is not an easy place to live, this earth. It’s very difficult for a lot of people to live and to survive on this planet, and they need to understand that and gain a perspective about it and reach beyond what I too often find to be sort of a selfish pursuit of how well are they going to succeed in business. They need to also understand how well is this earth going to succeed in the survival of large numbers of its population.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “David Scheffer on Genocide Education ,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed September 30, 2020,