The First Genocide of the 20th Century
The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, traditionally among Armenians, as the Great Crime was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland in the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey.
It took place during and after World War I and was implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert.
The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The Assyrians, the Greeks and other minority groups were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be part of the same genocidal policy.
Armenian Genocide Photos
|A group of people, among them Harutyun Hovakimyan, are digging from the earth the remains of Armenian victims, Der-Zor, 1938s|
Famous Armenian Genocide Quotes
Was published in "The Armenian & the Armenian," Inhale & Exhale, New York: Random House, 1936. He wrote that in New York in 1935.
"I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of
unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or
water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again.
For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia."
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister. April 27, 1994 on the floor of the Knesset in response to a TV interview of the Turkish Ambassador
"It was not war. It was most certainly massacre and genocide, something the world must remember... We will always reject any attempt to erase its record, even for some political advantage."
May 11, 1918, letter to Cleveland Hoadley Dodge
...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.
The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, 1952
The association of Mount Ararat and Noah, the staunch Christians who were massacred periodically by the Mohammedan Turks, and the Sunday School collections over fifty years for alleviating their miseries—all cumulate to impress the name Armenia on the front of the American mind.
May 16, 1978, White House ceremony
It is generally not known in the world that, in the years preceding 1916, there was a concerted effort made to eliminate all the Armenian people, probably one of the greatest tragedies that ever befell any group. And there weren't any Nuremberg trials.
April 22, 1981, proclamation
Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it, ... the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.
George H.W. Bush
April 20, 1990, speech in Orlando, Florida
[We join] Armenians around the world [as we remember] the terrible massacres suffered in 1915–1923 at the hands of the rulers of the Ottoman Empire. The United States responded to this crime against humanity by leading diplomatic and private relief efforts.
US ambassador to Armenia said to American Armenians on February 19, 2005
"Today I shall call this Armenian genocide". "I think that we, the US government, owe you, our fellow citizens, a more straightforward and honest discussion of this problem. I can tell you as a person who has studied this problem - I have no doubts about what happened." "I think that it is inappropriate for us, the Americans, to play with words in this case". "I believe that we must call a spade a spade."
Our common morality and our nations credibility as a voice or human rights challenge us to ensure that the Armenian Genocide be recognized and remembered by the Congress and the President of the United States.
Then US Senator Barack Obama was asked by Azeri journalists during his trip to Baku over his signing of a letter to Pres. Bush asking him to recognize the Armenian Genocide. He told the Azeris:
“I believe the letter sent by the Senators to President George Bush to recognize the genocide of Armenians reflects historic facts.” He is quoted by AzerNews as saying that the letter to Bush indicated that a large number of innocent Armenians were killed during the genocide. “By signing the letter, I also defended the interests of the State of Illinois [that] I represent. Killing civilians anywhere in the world should not be allowed, ” Sen. Obama said.
Prince Abdul Mecid
Heir-Apparent to the Ottoman Throne, during an interview…
"I refer to those awful massacres. They are the greatest stain that has ever disgraced our nation and race. They were entirely the work of Talat and Enver. I heard some days before they began that they were intended. I went to Istanbul and insisted on seeing Enver. I asked him if it was true that they intended to recommence the massacres which had been our shame and disgrace under Abdul Hamid. The only reply I could get from him was: 'It is decided. It is the program."
Addressing the US House of Representatives.
"Mr. Speaker, with mixed emotions we mark the 50th anniversary of the Turkish genocide of the Armenian people. In taking notice of the shocking events in 1915, we observe this anniversary with sorrow in recalling the massacres of Armenians and with pride in saluting those brave patriots who survived to fight on the side of freedom during World War I. - Congressional Record, pg. 8890"
To a German officer upon seeing the deportations in Mamure said…
"I am ashamed of my nation (Ich schame mich fur meine Nation)"
Minister of the Interior of Turkey publicly declared on March 15 that on the basis of computations undertaken by Ministry Experts…
"800,000 Armenian deportees were actually killed...by holding the guilty accountable the government is intent on cleansing the bloody past."
One of the triumvirate rulers publicly declared on 19 May 1916…
"The Ottoman Empire should be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation."
In a conversation with Dr. Mordtmann of the German Embassy in June 1915…
"Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate (grundlich aufzaumen) its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention. What on earth do you want? The question is settled. There are no more Armenians."
While persuading his associates that a Jewish holocaust would be tolerated by the west stated…
"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"
Countries that have Recognized the Armenian Genocide
The first country to recognize the events as 'genocide'
(1975, 1982, 1990)
The Soviet Union recognised the events of 1915 as a genocide in 1965 despite being taught in schools for many years.
(1996, 2002, 2004)
(2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
On June 15, 2005 the German Bundestag passed a resolution recognizing the expulsion and massacre of the Armenians in 1915 and called upon Turkey to acknowledge its "historical responsibility", but avoided using the word genocide, while it notes that “many independent historians, as well as parliaments of many countries and international organizations call events of 1915 a genocide”.
Regional Governments that have Recognized the Armenian Genocide
Spain (Basque Country, Catalonia, Balearic Islands)
United Kingdom (Wales)
Australia (New South Wales, South Australia)
Syria (Aleppo, Deir ez-zor)
Brazil (Sao Paulo, Ceara, Parana)
United States (42 U.S. states)
The New York Times
Los Angeles Times
REMEMBER. REFLECT. RESPOND.
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