Mass crimes against humanity and genocides
The genocide against Armenians.
"Great Catastrophe" of 1915-1922:
Armenian Genocide Memorial.
- "There are times, young fellah, when every one of us must make a
stand for human right and justice, or you never feel clean again." Lord
John Roxton. Quoted in The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 1
- "Armenia is dying, but it will survive. The little blood that is left is precious blood that will give birth to a heroic generation. A nation that does not want to die, does not die." Anatole France, French author, 1916.
- "When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact. ... The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915." Henry Morgenthau Sr.,
U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, 1919.
- "In its attempt to carry out its purpose to resolve the Armenian question by the destruction of the Armenian race, the Turkish government has refused to be deterred neither by our representations, nor by those of the American Embassy, nor by the delegate of the Pope, nor by the threats of the Allied Powers, nor in deference to the public opinion of the West representing one-half of the world." Count Wolff-Metternich,
German Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire on 1916-JUL-10, in a cable to the German Chancellor
- "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." Former President of the U.S., Jimmy Carter 1978.
- "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." Former President of the U.S., Ronald Reagan, 1981.
||Number of victims
|1915 to 1922
||Armenians and other Christians
||300,000 to 1.5 million Armenian Christians; an unknown number of
Greek Christians and others.
The Armenian Genocide:
"The Armenian genocide of 1915-1916 effectively wiped out the Christian Armenian population of
Turkey, claiming the lives of from 300,000 to 1.5 million victims (Sources differ in number.). Perhaps 75,000 Armenians
remain in Turkey today, most of them in Istanbul." 2 According to the hr-action.org web site, which is no longer online:
Armenian Genocide occurred in a systematic fashion, which proves that it was
directed by the Turkish government.This was the
İttihat_ve_Terakki government 3 -- also known as the "Young Turks" -- of the Ottoman Empire. First
the Armenians in the army were disarmed, placed into labor battalions,
and then killed. Then the Armenian political and intellectual leaders
were rounded up on [1915-]April 24 and killed. Finally, the remaining
Armenians were rounded up, told they would be relocated, and then
marched off to concentration camps in the desert between Jerablus and
Deir ez-Zor where they would starve and thirst to death in the burning
sun...The authorities in Trebizond, on the Black Sea coast, did vary
this routine: they loaded Armenians on barges and sank them far out at
Although the main victims of this genocide were Armenian Christians, the
approximately five million Greek Christians living in Turkey at the start of
World War I were also targeted for programs of deportation, forced marches
leading to extermination, and ethnic cleansing. These victims have been
almost entirely forgotten. They include Greek Orthodox victims living along
the Anatolian coast in 1914, at Adrianople, Constantinople and Smyra during
1916, in Ordou in 1918, etc.
By 1923, Greece had received about a million
Christian refugees -- mostly composed of the elderly and children. Able-bodied adults generally were unable to make it to safety. 5,6,7,8
Mustafa Kemel, the founder of
modern Turkey in 1923 , who later took the name of Ataturk, spoke openly
about the genocide, calling it an "abomination of the past." However,
the history books of current and previous governments of Turkey
have either denied
that the genocide actually happened, or suggested that typhoid, the
Russians, and/or the Germans were responsible for the massive loss of life. The use
of the term "genocide" is "categorically unacceptable,"
according to Yüksel Söylemez, the chairman of a group of former Turkish ambassadors. Turkish president Ahmet Necdet Sezer said the accusations of genocide are baseless and that they "upset and hurt the feelings of the Turkish nation."
Recent acknowledgments of the genocide:
- Some have suggested that Turkish
government's unwillingness to admit to the past atrocity by its predecessor
may threaten its prospects for its future membership in the European Union.
In 2004, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said:
"I believe that when the
time comes, Turkey should come to terms with its past, be reconciled with
its own history and recognize this tragedy. This is an issue that we will
raise during the negotiation process. We will have about 10 years to do so
and the Turks will have about 10 years to ponder their answer."
- 1997: The Association of Genocide Scholars reaffirmed that the mass murder of over a million Armenians in Turkey in 1915 is a case of genocide which conforms to the statutes of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. It further condemned the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government and its official and unofficial agents and supporters. 10
- 2001-JAN-18: France passed a
law branding as a "genocide" the mass murder of Armenians at the hands of the
- 2005-MAR: Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader Deniz Baykal agreed to
address the past. The Prime Minister noted that the state archives in Ankara
and Istanbul are open to everyone. He said that an independent entity --
like UNESCO -- might participate in an historical fact-finding mission.
- 2005-APR-24: On this date, the 90th anniversary of the genocide was observed. Essentially all survivors of the genocide will probably have died by the
time of the next decennial remembrance in 2015.
- 2008-SEP: In a dramatic move, President Sargsyan of
Armenia invited President Gul of Turkey to Armenia to watch a World Cup
qualifier between their two soccer teams. This was followed by
representatives of the two states meeting to discuss opening their border,
establishing diplomatic relations, and generally improving tensions between
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Lost World." CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014). Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. Available in paperback and Kindle formats.
Amazon review: "The Lost World is a novel released in 1912 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle concerning an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin of South America where prehistoric animals (dinosaurs and other extinct creatures) still survive."
- "Genocide history brief," at: http://www.maxpages.com/genocide/Genocide_History
- Also known, in English, as the "Committee of Union and Progress" or the "Union and Progress Party."
- "The Armenian Genocide," at: http://www.hr-action.org/armenia/ [Apparently off line)
- Sofia Kontogeorge Kostos, "Before the Silence," at: http://www.umd.umich.edu/
- "Memories from Smyrni - 1900 - 1922," at: http://smyrnialbum.s5.com/
- Roberto Lopes, "The Hellenic Genocide," at: http://www.hellenicgenocide.org/
- Bernhard Zand, "Armenian Genocide Plagues Ankara 90 Years On,"
Der Spiegel, 2005-APR-25. at: http://service.spiegel.de/
- "Turkey 'must admit Armenia dead;," BBC News, 2004-DEC-13, at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/
- "Armenian Genocide recognition," Wikipedia, as on 2015-APR-07, at: http://en.wikipedia.org
Copyright © 2001 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2001-JAN-1
Latest update: 2017-APR-23
Author: B.A. Robinson