(tert.am) The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute has published the new monograph of Armen Kirakossian “The Armenian Genocide in Contemporary American Encyclopedias”. The edition was presented in English.
In this publication Dr. Arman Kirakossian studied and analyzed nearly forty specialized and thematic encyclopedias (Encyclopedia of War Crimes and Genocide, Encyclopedia of Genocide, etc.), dictionaries (Dictionary of Genocide, etc.), handbooks (The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies, etc.) and other directories published in the USA during the last fifteen years.
Based on the material gathered the author divided the book into chapters which are representing conceptual and factual aspects of the Armenian Genocide beginning from the origins of the Armenian Question.
The book consists of 16 chapters, list of encyclopedias, a bibliography of a literature related to the Armenian Genocide from different encyclopedias.
Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan said that the institute plans a release of two important volumes for the end of this year – Encyclopedia of the Armenian Genocide in Armenian and English.
Robert Tatoyan presented the monograph entitled “The question of Western Armenian population in 1878-1914.” According to him, this is one of the most controversial issues because Turkey’s modern historiography and authorities are denying the Armenian Genocide on the basis of the Ottoman Empire statistics, which claims 1,300,000 Armenians there.
“I tried to analyze the data by the two major bodies available – the Ottoman Empire and the Constantinople-based Armenian Patriarchate, which has a right to registration,” he said.
Before the Armenian Question was raised, the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire totaled 2.4m.
Mr Demoyan presented an English-language book entitled “The Armenian Genocide in Literature. Perceptions of Those Who Lived Through the Years of Calamity” by Rubina Peroomian, a research fellow at the University of California.
“The author addresses the second generation’s response to the Armenian Genocide in literature, which reflects people’s psychological approaches.”
(horizonweekly.ca) Eddie Yeghiayan’s recently published collection of works dealing with the Armenian Genocide surpasses all previous bibliographies on the subject in both scope and ambition. Encompassing various forms of media in a multitude of languages and stretching at over a thousand pages, it is massive, yet meticulously catalogued and comprehensive volume. The bibliography will aid experts working across many academic fields and disciplines in their study of the Armenian Genocide and will undoubtedly serve as the standard reference work in the years to come.
The Tome. A Project that Hits Close to Home:
Eddie Yeghiayan is the brother of Vartkes Yeghiayan, the Los Angeles-based attorney who in recent years has filed several lawsuits for Armenian Genocide restitution, and the son of Boghos Kevorkian-Yeghiayan (1905-1962) from Sparta, near Konia, and Aroussiag Terzian (1915-2003), both survivors of the Armenian Genocide who settled in Ethiopia. It was in this African Armenian diasporic community that Eddie and his brother Vartkes were born.
Eddie Yeghiayan was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on September 23, 1940. He began his secondary education at the American Academy in Larnaca, Cyprus, but was obliged to leave in 1956 in the middle of civil war while the island was still under British occupation. He relocated to California, where he received his high school diploma from Berkeley High school in 1959 and later received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963. He then continued his education at the San Francisco State University, where he received an MA Degree in 1967and completed a second Master’s Degree at UC Berkeley in Library Science (MLS) in 1977. By then he had already completed his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1974 from the University of California, Irvine.
After a two year stint as an instructor of philosophy and religion at San Mateo College from 1972 to 1974, he returned to UC Irvine to assume a position as a Librarian. He worked in that capacity from 1974 to 2004, when he retired. During his tenure at Irvine Yeghiayan put together the bibliographies of a number of leading contemporary intellectual luminaries and philosophers, including Edward Said, Wolfgang Iser, Judith Butler, Willard Van Orman Quine, and Jean-François Lyotard, to name just a few.
Given his background, it perhaps should come as no surprise that Yeghiayan would have chosen to tackle on the subject as large in scope as the Armenian Genocide. The tome is divided into eight chapters, which are categorized thusly.
Chapter One is devoted to the bibliographic citation of books and articles published in periodicals and academic and specialized journals. It covers some 560 pages and contains 4312 entries.
Chapter Two is devoted to newspapers. It covers the period from 1833 to 2011. It consists of some 230 pages and covers all aspects of the Armenian question as part of the Eastern Question of the Ottoman Empire. The interesting thing about this chapter is that the entries are assorted chronologically. If we take the average number of entries as 18 per page, then this section contains 4,140 entries more or less, which makes it a huge repository on the subject matter.
Chapter Three includes items regarding the Armenian Genocide in journals and magazines. It covers the period from 1823 to 2011 and spans some 210 pages. Here again if we take the average number of entries per page we end up with approximately 1,890 entries.
Chapter Four is devoted to works of fiction, poetry, drama, and subject matter.
The fifth chapter consists not only of doctoral dissertations and masters’ theses, but also undergraduate senior theses relating to the massacres. There are approximately 145 such entries.
Chapter Six contains some 25 pages on audio-visual material. These include documentaries, movies, voice recordings, etc.
Chapter Seven is solely dedicated to archival sources. It is a complete list including collections that have microfilms or microfiches, as well as repositories where the physical presence is required to conduct research.
Finally, in Chapter Eight, Yeghiayan familiarizes us with electronic and internet resources available on the Armenian Genocide.
With this publication, Yeghiayan has presented to us the most complete reference work on the subject of the Armenian Genocide and the Armenian Question. It is an important tool that universities and libraries should be quick to stock up on.
It is significant to note that this bibliography was published by the Vatican and was, in fact, formally presented to Pope Francis I and to delegates attending the centenary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Vatican City during the middle part of April. The bibliography is up to date to 2012, although there is talk of publishing a compendium volume that includes references to all works that have appeared until the middle part of this year. There is also word that a searchable PDF format of the book is being prepared on compact disc. This reviewer has been informed that attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan’s office has taken upon itself to update the compilation electronically on an annual basis and aided in the effort by Armen Manuk-Khaloyan, the law office historian. Continuing Eddie Yeghiayan’s work and bringing it in line with the digital age is a very important endeavor and his work is a welcome and timely contribution to the literature of the Armenian Genocide. Mr. Yeghiayan should be commended for his efforts…
(asbarez.com) FRESNO—The Armenian Museum of Fresno is proud to release The Cry of the Tormented, a book comprised of more than 300 letters written by Armenians during 1915-1918 who were facing atrocities, starvation, deportation, murder, and annihilation. These letters were written to relatives and friends across the world, including those who settled in Fresno and across the United States. First published in Armenian in 1922, it is now available on-line in English and Russian. The project is ongoing and German, Turkish, and French editions are forthcoming with even more translations to follow.
On Thursday, May 21 at 7 PM, the book was officially presented at a special event held at the University of California Center in Fresno. Armenians and non-Armenians alike—were in attendance for the release and the panel discussion that followed. Bill McEwen Editorial Pages Editor of the Fresno Bee served as the Master of Ceremonies. Opening remarks were made by Varoujan Der Simonian, President of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Museum of Fresno; the panelists were Garo Khachigian, MD, Mary Ellen Hewsen, and Margit Hazarabedian, Ph.D.
The Cry of the Tormented is a large volume collected by Bedros Donabedian, a humanitarian worker for Armenian refugees. Although a century has passed since that dark period of Armenian—and, indeed, human—history, many voices of the victims of the Genocide remain unheard. Hundreds of those voices are contained in this book. Thus, the Armenian Museum of Fresno –upon the encouragement of Abraham Terian, Ph.D., who presented the Museum with a copy of the book—undertook a project to translate The Cry of the Tormented into as many languages as possible, to amplify these voices of truth against the suffocating silence of death and denial. In Dr. Terian’s words, “This is yet another centennial memorial by the Fresno Armenians for the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.”
The letters that make up The Cry of the Tormented are preserved verbatim and edited only for formatting and accessibility to English readers. The rough, peasant vernacular of the original text is present with all of its linguistic and grammatical idiosyncrasies present to the best of the translators’ abilities. As with the original publication, the new translations of The Cry of the Tormented maintain all the experiential and emotional power of its contents by retaining its unedited, extemporaneous form.
The Cry of the Tormented brings the unimaginable horrors of the Armenian Genocide to life in a way that, in the words of the book’s German translator, Margit Hazarabedian, Ph.D., “became personal, became visceral. I was reading, but I saw with my own eyes.” That is the power of these letters. Their contents are so real that they take the discourse on and understanding of the Genocide from the lofty perch of analysis and intellect to an emotionally comprehensible level. Indeed, it is a necessary and important thing to be able to comprehend the incomprehensible in such a way that no one can shut it out, and, moreover, makes it accessible to as many of the world’s people as possible. As English editor, Mary Ellen Hewsen, remarked, “I always understood something of the Armenian Genocide intellectually, analytically, I studied it in school, but it took these letters to teach me emotionally what I missed intellectually.”
The veracity of the letters that make up this book is confirmed and enhanced by the book’s preface. It is “Neither Violets Nor Petals of a Rose”, the last column written for The Fresno Bee by the late Roger Tatarian, Former Vice President and Editor-In-Chief of United Press International and Professor of Journalism at CSU Fresno. Written three days before his passing, the piece reflects upon the letters sent to his father from Bitlis –in what is now Eastern Turkey—by his uncle Simon between 1912 and 1914, and how the contents of the letters described events in the region that foreshadowed the coming massacres and deportation of the Armenian people. Interspersed in those accounts are many messages of hope, wisdom, and faith for the Armenians of Bitlis and Van and for Roger Tatarian’s family struggling to survive in their new home in Fresno. The firsthand presentation of history and hope-against-hope is akin to those in The Cry of the Tormented and further validates them.
What The Cry of the Tormented shows is that the Armenian Genocide is more than just a tragedy; it is a crime against humanity. Through reading this collection of letters, one can see great inhumanity and not divorce oneself from it, and, instead, be engaged in demanding justice for all human beings and making this a world where atrocities against entire nations can no longer take place.
The Armenian Museum of Fresno would like to thank everyone who contributed to this extraordinary project. The first thanks goes to Dr. Abraham Terian who provided the Armenian Museum with original 1922 text and initiated the translation project. “Without him, this book would not have happened,” said Varoujan Der Simonian, Director of the Armenian Museum of Fresno. Next, the Museum acknowledges the time and dedication of the team of scholars who have and continue to put months of emotionally and intellectually taxing work into this project. These incredible volunteers from three generations include Dr. Garo Khachigian, Mary Ellen Hewsen –English edition; Alex McKinsey and Professor Irina Merzakhanian –Russian edition—and Margit Hazarabedian, Ph.D. into German.
In his opening remarks, Der Simonian extended special thanks to Dr. Khachigian and Mary Ellen Hewsen, who are, respectively, the translator and editor of the English edition of The Cry of the Tormented. “Dr. Khachigian is familiar with the complex dialects of Armenian that these letters are written in as it is akin to the language of his grandfather, thus he had the monumental challenge of literally translating the Armenian text that was often mixed with Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic. Besides being a difficult task, it was also emotionally very demanding,” said Der Simonian. The Cry of the Tormented is more than just a memorial for the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, “our goal is that after 100 years we want their voices to be heard by as many people as possible – it is a call to our collective responsibility to make this world a better place for all human beings to live and let live,” Der Simonian said.
Dr. Terian emphasized the significance of these letters by saying that they are written during the genocide – while the atrocities were actually taking place. He further commented that these letters are not recollections of memories that someone may argue of their validity, but they are the voices of the eyewitnesses, themselves, who are no longer with us.
Dr. Khachigian describes his integral role in this project in his own words, “I am not a translator, but my heart and brain worked as one to the task, with passion. I realized the importance of this task that Varoujan Der Simonian had initiated, and took the challenge to translate into English” Mary Ellen Hewsen, a scholar of political science, especially as it pertains to the study of the Middle East observed in the editing process that “Trying to remain clinical while working was the hardest part,” because of the great trauma depicted in the letters. However, in reflection on her role in the project, she says that “I am humbled, as an odar, to be among so many Armenians.”
The Armenian Museum extends additional thanks to The Fresno Bee. In particular, Executive Editor, Jim Boren and Editorial Pages Editor, Bill McEwen. They were responsible for providing and permitting the use of Roger Tatarian’s “Neither Violets Nor Petals from a Rose” collection of letters that Mr. Tatarian’s father had received from his uncle prior to WWI that were published two weeks before his death in his last column in the Fresno Bee. Mr. McEwen read some of these letters to the audience.
All profits from the sale of The Cry of the Tormented will go to a fund to have hard copies of the translation printed and distributed to schools, libraries, churches, and cultural centers around the United States, with Fresno County as the priority.
YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)—The Foundation for Research on Armenian Architecture has published a new book, “Genocide after Genocide”, which it hopes will contribute to the struggle against cultural genocide in Turkey.
Samvel Karapetyan, head of the Foundation for Research on Armenian Architecture, described the book as a weapon which can be used to stop the destruction of Armenian cultural monuments and artifacts in Turkey.
In a speech given during the book’s presentation, Karapetyan said that “the work, created by us, aims to inform Armenians and the people of the world about the genocide towards our own monuments in our historical homeland. We thus tear off the Turks’ mask or at least should try to do so by voicing the crimes committed.”
According to Karapetyan, the Minister of Urban Development of Armenia Narek Sargsyan, the Ministry of Culture, Monarch Capital, and the Hayastan Fund all contributed to the creation of the comprehensive volume.
32 of the monuments included in the book can be viewed in a mobile exhibition, which will stop in Yerevan and Brussels.
Remembering the Armenian Genocide 1915
By Canon Patrick Thomas
Publication Date April 2015
Publisher: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Llanrwst
(horizonweekly.ca) 2015 is the centenary of that Armenian Genocide. In this moving and powerful account of the suffering undergone by Armenians, Patrick Thomas draws on eye-witness material from a wide variety of sources. He shows why it remains profoundly important to acknowledge and remember this first major genocide of the twentieth century.
Canon Patrick Thomas has spent much of the past ten years studying Armenian history, culture and religion. In 2013 he was designated ‘Honorary Pastor to Armenians in Wales’ by the Armenian Primate of Britain and Ireland. Dr Thomas is Vicar of Christ Church, Carmarthen, Canon Chancellor of St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, and a member of the Anglican Oriental Orthodox International Commission.
(Horizon Weekly) Bedros, by Irene Vosbikian. Bedros is the inspirational saga of a man who, his father butchered before his eyes, survives the Armenian Genocide – the first genocide of the 20th century. It is a true story of hope, perseverance and bravery. Bedros is an inspiration to the descendants of all the persecuted immigrants who dreamed and triumphed in the New World.
About the Author
Irene Vosbikian was born in South Philadelphia and is a second generation Italian American. Her father, Rudolf Di Fulvio, was killed in WW II one month before she was born. As such, history and its ramifications have always been an integral part of her life. She married Peter Vosbikian, a first generation Armenian American, and spent many hours listening in awe as her father-in-law recounted hundreds of stories of his life in his homeland. These vivid, first-hand accounts of the Armenian Genocide by the Turks led Irene to plunge further into detailed and documented reports of this horrendous part of history. The result is BEDROS.
(horizonweekly.com) Author Douglas Kalajian believes the title of his new book conveys a dilemma that will be familiar to many Armenian Americans born after the tumult that dislodged their parents and grandparents from their homeland. Stories My Father Never Finished Telling Me: Living with the Armenian Legacy of Loss and Silence, recounts Kalajian’s attempts to draw out his father’s story as a survivor of the Armenian Genocide.
The author’s father, Nishan Kalajian, was born in Dikranagerd (Diyarbakir) in 1912. For him, the genocide was not a distant, historic event but the defining reality of his life. He lost his mother, his home, and everything familiar before being cast into the world alone.
“I knew that much from an early age,” Douglas Kalajian said. “But I desperately wanted to know more: How he survived, how he kept his wits and his faith, how he moved forward without being consumed by bitterness and hate.”
His father volunteered none of it. “He dealt with his most painful memories in a most Armenian way, by pushing them aside,” Kalajian said. “My mother warned me never to ask him about any of it, and I never did—at least, not directly.”
But whenever an opportunity presented itself, he’d approach the topic obliquely and with great caution. The results were often frustrating but occasionally fascinating.
“When he responded at all, my father often shared only a scrap or two before changing the subject or retreating to his books,” Kalajian said. “It was left to me to figure out the importance of each scrap, and to connect it to whatever had come before or that came after.”
This is how the life-long conversation between father and son continued, in fits and starts, yielding scattered pieces of a puzzle that the author is still trying to complete more than 20 years after his father’s death.
“As a writer, I felt compelled to tell as much of my father’s story as I could because I believe it holds important lessons,” Kalajian said. “But I also wanted to tell my own story about growing up in the shadow of a great cataclysm with a father who would not speak about what he had experienced.”
The book’s subtitle “conveys my challenge in learning to appreciate a complex cultural inheritance that is rich and wondrous but also dark and painful to contemplate.”
Most important, Kalajian stressed that he wrote the book for his daughter and her generation, in hopes that they’ll figure out “how to celebrate the best parts of that inheritance while finally vanquishing the pain.”
A retired journalist, Kalajian worked as an editor and writer for the Palm Beach Post, the Miami Herald, and the New York Daily News. He lives in Boynton Beach, Fla., with his wife, Robyn. They produce TheArmenianKitchen.com, a website devoted to Armenian cooking. Kalajian is also the author of the non-fiction book Snow Blind, and co-author of They Had No Voice: My Fight For Alabama’s Forgotten Children.
Stories My Father Never Finished Telling Me is his first book with an Armenian theme, and also the first book Kalajian has published independently. It is available from Amazon.com and other online book vendors, or can be ordered from any bookstore.
(armenianweekly.com) LOS ANGELES—Defying Fate, the memoirs of Aram and Dirouhi Avedian and the fifth volume of the Genocide Library, was published recently in Los Angeles.
Dirouhi Cheomlekjian (later Avedian) was born circa 1907 in Izmit. In 1915, she and her family were deported by the Turkish government and marched to the Der Zor desert in Syria, “the mass grave of the Armenian people.” The only one to survive her family’s massacre in Al-Shaddadeh, Dirouhi was adopted by local Arabs. She grew up in the Syrian desert, where years later she met Aram Avedian, her future husband. After spending 13 years in near captivity, she escaped to Aleppo.
Aram Avedian was also born circa 1907, in the Armenian village of Tsitogh, near Erzurum. In 1914, his father froze to death while serving in the Turkish army. At the onset of the genocide, Aram and his family were exiled to the Syrian desert. After being marched for almost a year and witnessing the horrors of the deportation and massacres, Aram and his family reached Al-Raqqah, Syria, where the young boy was kidnapped by an Arab horseman. Aram, too, spent the next 13 years in the Syrian desert, among various Arab families, and he, too, ended up escaping to Aleppo.
Aram and Dirouhi Avedian eventually moved to Los Angeles, where, in the late 1970’s, they wrote down their individual memoirs, wishing to document their experiences of the genocide and survival as testaments for future generations. The couple died within less than three months of each other: Dirouhi passed away in 1987, Aram in 1988.
The Avedians’ handwritten memoirs were later collected and edited by their daughter, Knar Manjikian, who also annotated the resulting volume, Defying Fate, and wrote its introduction. The text was translated into English by Ishkhan Jinbashian. “Whenever my mother spoke of the family members she had lost, she said all she wished was to see them in her dreams,” Manjikian writes.
She adds that after having lived among Arabs for so long and all but forgotten how to speak and write in Armenian, her parents relearned their mother tongue after the age of 20. They achieved this, she writes, by becoming avid readers of Armenian literature and Aleppo’s Arevelk Daily. Her mother further honed her Armenian by corresponding with her brother, who lived in Istanbul, and through public service, as she went on to become a lifelong member of the Armenian Relief Society.
In the foreword to Defying Fate, Hagop Manjikian writes: “Despite the sparseness of [the Avedians’] writings and their humble designation by the authors as a ‘notebook’ and a ‘journal,’ respectively, we had no doubt that they deserved to be published as a full-fledged book, in keeping with our principle of favoring quality over quantity, substance over size, and depth over appearance.”
Copies of Defying Fate can be ordered in the United States by mailing a check to H. and K. Manjikian, 10844 Wrightwood Lane, Studio City, CA 91604. The price of each copy, including shipping, is $15.
A project of H. and K. Manjikian Publications, the Genocide Library was established in 2005 by Mr. and Mrs. Hagop and Knar Manjikian with the goal of publishing key chronicles of the Armenian Genocide. Titles published to date include Passage through Hell by Armen Anush (first and second editions), The Fatal Night by Mikayel Shamtanchian, Death March by Shahen Derderian, The Crime of the Ages by Sebuh Aguni, and Defying Fate by Aram and Dirouhi Avedian. The Genocide Library’s next title is Our Cross, by M. Salpi (Aram Sahakian), slated to be published this year.
(horizonweekly.ca) – The Turkish version of “Ravished Armenia” by Armenian Genocide survivor Arshaluys Mardiganian has been published in Turkey.
Arshaluys Mardiganian’s “Ravished Armenia” has been translated into Turkish language by the former worker of Istanbul-based “Agos” periodical Tiran Lokmagyozyan. The book was publishrd by Turkish Pencere Yayınları publishing house.
Taraf’s columnist Özlem Ertan reflected upon the Turkish version of the book and stated that this is a must read book. Among other things Özlem Ertan underscored: “One must read Arshaluys Mardiganian’s book to get in touch with the painful phantoms of the past and to listen to the voice of conscience.”
Aurora (Arshaluys) Mardiganian
Aurora (Arshaluys) Mardiganian (January 12, 1901, Çemişgezek, Mamuret-ül Aziz, Ottoman Empire – February 6, 1994, Los Angeles, California, USA) was an Armenian American author, actress and a survivor of the Armenian Genocide.
Aurora Mardiganian was the daughter of a prosperous Armenian family living in Chmshgatsak (Çemişgezek), twenty miles north of Harput, Ottoman Turkey. Witnessing the deaths of her family members and being forced to march over 1,400 miles, during which she was kidnapped and sold into the slave markets of Anatolia, Mardiganian escaped to Tiflis (modern Tbilisi, Georgia), then to St. Petersburg, from where she traveled to Oslo and finally, with the help of Near East Relief, to New York.
In New York, she was approached by Harvey Gates, a young screenwriter, who helped her write and publish a narrative that is often described as a memoir titled Ravished Armenia (full title Ravished Armenia; the Story of Aurora Mardiganian, the Christian Girl, Who Survived the Great Massacres (1918).
The narrative Ravished Armenia was used for writing a film script that was produced in 1919, Mardiganian playing herself, and first screened in London as the Auction of Souls. The first New York performance of the silent film, entitled Ravished Armeniatook place on February 16, 1919, in the ballroom of the Plaza Hotel, with society leaders, Mrs. Oliver Harriman and Mrs. George W. Vanderbilt, serving as co-hostesses on behalf of the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief.
Mardiganian was referred to in the press as the Joan of Arc of Armenia, describing her role as the spokesperson for the victims of the horrors that were then taking place in Turkey and the catalyst for the humanist movement in America. In the 1920s Mardiganian married and lived in Los Angeles until her death on February 6, 1994.
“Keep Turkey on our side …
whether as a result Armenians do perish or not.”
The German ambassador in Constantinople, Count Paul Wolff-Metternich, wrote to the Imperial Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, in Berlin on December 7, 1915:
… Our displeasure over the persecution of the Armenians should be clearly expressed in our press and an end be put to our gushing over the Turks. Whatever they are accomplishing is due to our doing; those are our officers, our cannons, our money… In order to achieve any success in the Armenian question, we will have to inspire fear in the Turkish government regarding the consequences. If, for military considerations, we do not dare to confront it with a firmer stance, then we will have no choice but… to stand back and watch how our ally continues to massacre.
The Chancellor’s response:
The proposed public reprimand of an ally in the course of a war would be an act which is unprecedented in history. Our only aim is to keep Turkey on our side until the end of the war, no matter whether as a result Armenians do perish or not.
Toronto—The Zoryan Institute is pleased to announce that the long-awaited English edition of The Armenian Genocide: Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915-1916, compiled and edited by Wolfgang Gust, has just been released by Berghahn Books. It contains hundreds of telegrams, letters and reports from German consular officials in the Ottoman Empire to the Foreign Office in Berlin which describe in graphic and shocking detail the unfolding genocide of the Armenians. The documents provide unequivocal evidence of the genocidal intent of the Young Turks and the German government’s official acquiescence and complicity.
Upon the earlier release of the German and Turkish editions of the book, the media reacted emphatically:
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [Germany]—“The documents collected here illustrate clearly the shared responsibility of the Kaiserreich, the most important ally of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War… They are therefore largely undisguised and so vivid that the reader often shudders when reading them.”
Forum Wissenschaft [Germany]—“Wolfgang Gust documents, in this excellent political-historical edition from contemporary German sources and the Foreign Office of the Reich government, the murderous events themselves…as well as the political co-responsibility of the German state.
Hurriyet Daily News [Turkey]—“If you read the book and look at the documents, if you are a person who is introduced to the subject through this book, then there is no way that you would not believe in the genocide and justify the Armenians.”
The exceptional importance of these documents is underscored by the fact that only German diplomats and military officials were able to send uncensored reports out of Turkey during World War I. Apart from the Americans, who remained neutral in the war until April 6, 1917, German diplomats and their informants from the missions or employees of the Baghdad Railway were the most important non-Armenian eyewitnesses of the Genocide. These documents, meant strictly for internal use and never intended for publication, are remarkable for their candid revelations. Even as allies of the Ottoman Empire, German officials still felt compelled for moral and political reasons to report and complain about the atrocities being committed against the Armenians by their Ottoman ally.
In describing how he came to undertake this massive project, Gust writes,
…….I was shocked to see the Germans again playing an important role in mass murder at the edge of Europe. This genocide was neither initiated nor committed by Germans, but was widely accepted by them. Imperial Germany was the closest ally of the Young Turks and had a formal military alliance with them. Was there a link between these two most important genocides in Europe? Did the Nazis copy the methods of the Young Turks, who had committed the Armenian Genocide? Were the two World Wars in reality one historical event, as some historians believe?
Questions upon questions. Was Imperial Germany a driving force in the genocide of the Armenians, or possibly even the source of the idea, as some non-German historians have suspected…. Did Imperial Germany view the Armenian Genocide with indifference or with sympathy? Did some Germans or part of the leading class resist the deportations and mass killings? And finally, did Germany have the power to stop the Armenian Genocide, and if they were able to so, why did they not make use of this power?
The answers to these questions are found in this prodigious 800-page collection. For more information about the book, please contact the Zoryan Institute firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 416-250-9807.
The Armenian Genocide: Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915-1916, compiled and edited by Wolfgang Gust. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2014. $89.95US, $95.50CDN.
The Zoryan Institute is a non-profit, international center devoted to the research and documentation of contemporary issues with a focus on Genocide, Diaspora and Homeland. The Zoryan Institute through its division, the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, runs an annual course in comparative genocide studies in partnership with the University of Toronto and is co-publisher of Genocide Studies International in partnership with the University of Toronto Press. For more information please contact the Institute by email email@example.com or telephone 416-250-9807.