We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families is a first person account of the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide.  Based on interviews with survivors and perpetrators, Philip Gourevitch’s book also examines the International Community’s response to the genocide while it was taking place.  The book takes its title from a note seeking help sent by a group of pastors to the President of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church’s operations in western Rwanda.

Discussion Questions

Please note that some of the discussion points below may act as spoilers for the book’s content

The book contains some upsetting content and is not suitable for younger readers.

1.      what was the author’s motivation in visiting Rwanda in 1995 and subsequently writing this book?

2.      why were the bodies in the Nyarubuye Church not buried?  Is physical evidence required to remember the genocide?

3.      why were Hutus who opposed the Hutu Power ideology among the first to be killed?

4.      had the victims of genocide been psychologically prepared for their deaths?

5.      why did so many ‘professional’ people (eg doctors, teachers etc) participate in the genocide?

6.      what is the significance of Tutsis being referred to as ‘cockroaches’?

7.      what role did newspaper Kangura and radion station Radio Television Libres des Milles Collines play in the genocide?

8.      discuss what is meant by ‘Genocide, after all, is an exercise in community building’.

9.      can you understand why so many Rwandans were keen to return to their country so soon after the genocide?

10.  is ‘a single death a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic’?

You can download this book activity.

You can read further HMD resources about Rwanda including a timeline of Rwandan history from colonial rule to present day and life before, during and after the genocide.

You can also read about survivors Clare and Beata Uwazaninka, and rescuer Sula Karuhimbi.

Other resources include Children of Rwanda, a poem by Reverend Francois Murenzi.

The speech given by General Romeo Dallaire at the HMD 2006 National Commemoration.

A podcast of survivor Jean Louis Mazimpaka recounting his experience.