FORMER Chelsea manager Avram Grant has said the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was worse than the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the mass murder of millions of Jews during World War II by Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
“There is no word that can best describe the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi; it can’t even be compared to the Holocaust. It’s more than the Holocaust. People killing each other because of who they are, you can’t find words to describe this,” Grant said in an exclusive interview with Times Sport on Tuesday at Kigali Serena Hotel.
However, Grant urged Rwandans to focus on the future as the only way to develop their nation. Using a metaphor, Grant said that just like in football, when you lose a game, you can’t change anything but instead you focus on the next game which you can influence.
“What happened 20 years ago affected Rwandans but as my father told me, we should stop living in the past and look to the future. These words have shaped me into better and a stronger person,” he said.
Six million Jews were killed by the Nazi in six years, an average of a million victims each year, while in Rwanda, a million of Tutsi were killed in a record 100 days – 10,000 a day – by their compatriots, in most cases neighbours – making it one of the cruellest and fastest human catastrophes in recorded history.
Grant, an Israeli of Polish origin, was in the country since Wednesday last week to share with Rwandans his country’s experience of the Holocaust during the Second World War from 1939-1945.
During his tour, Grant visited various places including Kagarama Secondary School in Kicukiro, Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village as well as the Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi and Nyanza memorial site.
Grant’s father was a victim of the holocaust.
On Kagame’s leadership
The former West Ham boss noted that during his stay in the country, he was impressed by the Rwandan people and their culture, but mostly the leadership of President Paul Kagame.
“In my opinion, the leadership of President Kagame is in the right direction for Rwanda, and I also liked his speech because it gives achievable targets. He gave reasonable targets and I was very impressed,” Grant said before adding:
“I have not been here for long but I think Rwanda has potential. But like in football, you need to use your potential for good things.
People need to know that their leaders will do good things but they are bound to make mistakes sometimes, the most important is the bigger picture.”
Grant lauded the unique reconciliation path the country has taken. “That the survivors and the killers are living together, I have never faced it in my life, one week is short for me to understand this, I will have to come back to understand more,” wondered the 59-year-old Grant.