“Who Today Remembers the Annihilation of the Armenians?”

As we approach the centenary of the Armenian Genocide — the major portion of which began in 1915, during the Great War — the history of those awful events is being largely ignored by the media and Western public officials. The facts of the Ottoman atrocities are not hidden, but neither are they publicly recalled in any meaningful fashion. There is no indication that there will be any significant official commemoration outside of Armenian circles of what happened in Anatolia and Syria a hundred years ago.

The following text was translated by JLH from German-language material at the Armenia portal. The translator includes this introduction:

These translated pieces are the longest of a number of statements on a commemorative site, which also includes this quote from Theodore Roosevelt in a letter in 1918:

“…the Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey is to condone it… the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense…”

Unless I missed it, there has been very little commemoration anywhere of this anniversary. The Germans — while they were not financially punished as they had been after WWI — were not allowed to simply forget what had happened in the Holocaust. However imperfect and corrupt, there were efforts — at least in the Federal Republic — to cleanse society of the worst remnants. And for every German who beat his breast in repentance, there was probably another who thought resurgent Nazi thoughts. But the folk in between those extremes had to find a way of fitting into the morality of the post-war West, as it was.

The Turks have had no such experience and now are capable of throwing a tantrum worthy of Hillary testifying on Benghazi, just to make us shut up. And the PC press, already manufacturing excuses for the butchers of Boston, is not interested an any further indictments of their Islamist pets.

We cannot afford to be shut up. This atrocity is a touchstone of twentieth century evil. And it lives on in the twenty-first.

The translated text:

“Who today still talks about the annihilation of the Armenians?” asked Hitler on August 22, 1939, as he announced before high military officers and commanders of the SS death squadrons that the coming war signified the merciless annihilation of the enemy — man, woman and child. The first European genocide, of 1915-1916, had been perpetrated on the Armenians by the Turks beginning exactly 24 years before. Is it a forgotten and denied genocide even today? A cooperative seminar of the Memorial House of the Wannsee Conference with the Bochum Institute for Diaspora and Genocide Research confronted the structural questions of this genocide on April 24th of this year [probably 2007].

The date was not chosen at random — it is the Armenian memorial day. On April 24, 1915, the Young Turk regime which had come to power in 1908 initiated the arrest, deportation and murder of Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople and therewith set in motion the murder of 1.5 million Armenians — two-thirds of those Christian folk who had been living in the Ottoman Empire for centuries.

Deir-es-Zor, the death camp in the desert, has the same awful resonance for Armenians that Auschwitz holds for the Jews. “There are many parallels between the genocide perpetrated on the Jews and the one perpetrated on the Armenians. Both mass murders occurred during a war. The Young Turks, too, had an ethnic, racial concept of nation and dreamed of Turan — a mega-empire stretching from Thrace to Central Asia,” explains Dr. Mihran Dabag, the director of the Bochum Institute, whose founding joined Germany to the international comparative study of genocide.

In contrast to the genocide of the Jews, the genocide of the Armenians has found next to no place in the collective memory. At a Berlin seminar, one participant made use of the still-current Turkish “argument” that only (!) 300,000 Armenians had been killed.

Even in 1993, the British Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis,* in an interview with Le Monde, maintained that the planned annihilation of the Armenians is not proven. And yet this genocide is massively documented in the political archives of the German foreign office. Author Ralph Giordano notes, “Hundreds of detailed reports about the systematic atrocities were sent to Berlin by German officials and military personnel from Turkey, which was Germany’s ally in the First World War. And yet Turkey still denies these acts and Germany is silent.”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

From the Berliner Zeitung in 1998:

At that time, Armenia encompassed an area twenty times as large as its area today. It reached from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from the Black Sea to deep in Iraq. The Roman historian Tacitus calls the Armenians “ambigu gens,” an ambivalent people, but was that a fault?

Armenia was located precisely on the cut-off point between East and West, and took what it needed from both. Its culture was Iranian with Hellenistic elements. Its kings were of Parthian ancestry and received their crown from the hands of the Roman emperor.

For far longer than a thousand years, Armenia was divided and contested by Byzantines, Turks, Arabs, Persians and finally Russians. The First World War brought the catastrophe. Most of the Armenians still in the country were living under Turkish domination, regarded as undependable foreigners. The first great, systematic genocide of this century began in 1915. As always in such things, the beginning was disguised as a resettlement. The Armenians only discovered on their death march that they were being taken to the Syrian desert — the middle of nowhere.

Photos from this time show rows of crosses and Armenian women nailed to them, like a kaleidoscopically multiplied Golgotha. The pictures were taken as “souvenirs” by German officers, who were in the Turkish army in great numbers at that time. They were following the strict orders from Berlin not to interfere in internal Turkish affairs.

* Whose slide to the dark side is documented by Andrew Bostom in Sharia Versus Freedom.

13 thoughts on ““Who Today Remembers the Annihilation of the Armenians?”

  1. Think there is an error in the translation :

    ‘ “Who today still talks about the annihilation of the Armenians?” asked Hitler on August 22, 1930, ‘

    ‘beginning exactly 24 years before’

    For 1930 I think we should read 1939.

    • Ivan, I think you are exactly right. I looked at the original, and found “1939” in the appropriate place. So I’ve corrected it.

  2. Two words:
    Anti-Christian Genocide.
    Think also of the Greeks.
    Never forget.

  3. Does anyone know if this wikipedia article quoting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk where Ataturk refers to the massacre of millions of Christians(obviously meaning the Armenians) is accurate?

    • Yes, that is an accurate quote. He really, really didn’t agree with the Three Pashas, and wanted somehow to create a country that was an actual country rather than a cluster of cultural and ethnic groups within a common border.

  4. Thank you for remembering what happened to our people during WW1. Most of my relatives were marched into the desert and died there. My father somehow survived, and kept within a deep hatred of the Turks. He was scarred but said little to us about it and wanted us to grow up free in America. Before he died he told me stories of the horrors he and his relatives saw and experienced.

    He told us ‘not to trust Muslims; they don’t think like us’. Then we didn’t understand what he meant. Now we understand.

  5. Many Countries acted on principle rather then political expediency and recognized this genocide including Canada, France, Germany and the EU etc. However one can’t help loosing faith in human nature when out of all the countries that recognize the Armenian genocide one would have expected Israel to have been the first having of course experienced its own genocides of its people. But to this day it still fails to recognize it.

    • Position of Israel

      Israel moved closer to officially recognizing the genocide in 2011 when the Knesset held its first open discussion on the matter, partly as a result of strained relations with Turkey. By a unanimous vote of 20–0, Israel’s Parliament in Jerusalem approved referring the subject to the Education Committee for more extensive deliberation.[93] Israel’s Speaker of Knesset told an Israel-based Armenian action committee that he intends to introduce an annual parliamentary session to mark the Armenian Genocide.[94] A special parliamentary session held by the Knesset in 2012 to determine if Israel will recognize the Armenian genocide ended inconclusively. Speaker of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin and Cabinet Minister Gilad Erdan were among those supporting formal recognition by the government.[95]

      Give it time, Israel is a tiny country with few friends, at the time of the massacre it did not exist. It was actually part of the Ottoman empire.

      One should be careful of pre judging Israel, here we have to put up with this kind of thing:


      Claiming that zionist Jews did the Armenian Massacre.

      That you too pick out Israel from a host of countries who have not acknowledged the Armenian massacre says something too.

      • “That you too pick out Israel from a host of countries who have not acknowledged the Armenian massacre says something too”

        There were two genocides committed in the 20th century that I know of, one of the Christians in Asia Minor which I have a personal interest as my father at the age of 12 together with his family were chased out of the country during which he witnessed various atrocities including Turks butchering Greek pregnant women. The second obviously was the Jewish genocides in Europe. The simple point I was making, perhaps naively, was the expectation that these two peoples having experienced there own respective holocausts would have a natural empathy towards each other regardless of the positions taken by any other country, although I do take your point about Israel being a tiny country with few friends. In case you wondering I do not go along with these conspiracy “nutters” illustrated by the link you posted.

        • Thank-you for that, but I do beg that you resist singling out Israel as many tend to do, part of anti-Semitism is expecting more of Jews than of others, and this includes expecting more of Israel than of other countries.

          Not that I am accusing you of this.

          But we are not even allowed to defend our borders without a shrill screech of ‘disproportionate response’.

          Yesterday we had three mortar bombs over from Gaza, for most countries that would be enough cause to go in and sort the problem out once and for all.

          No so for Israel, we are singled out for a different set of standards.

          Our Holocaust did not stop in 1945, Bevin (UK Labour minister FCO) continued it, helping Egypt, Jordan and Iraq to do the same.

          Now our assailants are backed by the whole of the EU, including countries who voted Yes to UN resolution 181.

          It is EU money that pays the terrorists to murder Israeli men, women and children.

          The PA, in the person of Haj Amin Al Husseini was at Auschwicz in 1943, he later founded the PLO to continue the extermination of Jews, so our holocaust is still with us, day in, day out.

          I am sad for the Armenians, they too are a testimony to the barbarism of Islam, and I am happy for our government to recognise the massacre, but our relationship with Turkey is dictated from Wahington as was recently demonstrated, having to apologise to Turkish murderers and mutilators is not pleasant. But that same genocidal instinct of Islam is currently focused right here in Sderot, if they can find a way, the Hamas terrorists will be over here in minutes ready to cull all and sundry, and that could happen in the next hour….

  6. One should note that the first act of the genocide was the disarming of the Armenians, all Americans should note this fact. Gun control has preceeded every genocide so far.

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