Into the Quick of LifeBy Jean Hatzfeld
In Rwanda in 1994, five out of six Tutsis (800,000) were hacked to death with machetes by their Hutu neighbours. In the villages of Nyamata and N'tarama, where, in the first two days of the genocide, over 10,000 Tutsis were massacred in the churches where they sought refuge, Jean Hatzfeld interviewed some of the survivors.Of all ages, coming from different walks of life, from orphan teenage farmers to the local social worker, fourteen survivors talk of the genocide, the death of family and friends in the church and in the marshes of Bugesera to which they fled. They also talk of their present life and try to explain and understand the reasons behind the extermination. These horrific accounts of life at the very edge contrast with Hatzfeld's own sensitive and vivid descriptions of Rwanda's villages and countryside in peacetime. "Into the Quick of Life" brings us, in the author's own words, 'as close to (the event) as we can ever get'. It is a unique insight into a genocide.