Friday, April 24, 2015

Armenian Genocide: 100 Years of Remembrance

 "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."- Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

 One hundred years ago today, the rounding up of Christians for the slaughter that became known as the Armenian Genocide began. An estimated one and a half million were killed between 1915 and 1923. In Hollywood, California over 130,00 marched in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of this crime. Today in the Middle East, mass slaughter and ethnic cleansing are underway again.

A century ago the world remained silent before this slaughter of Christians. The failure of the international community to condemn this crime encouraged others to repeat the crime on a greater scale afterwards.  On August 22, 1939, Adolf Hitler in a speech to his Wehrmacht commanders at his Obersalzberg home cited the events in Armenia to rationalize committing a new genocide that targeted the Jewish people:
"I have given the order – and will have everyone shot who utters but one word of criticism – that the aim of this war does not consist in reaching certain designated [geographical] lines, but in the enemies' physical elimination. Thus, for the time being only in the east, I put ready my Death's Head units, with the order to kill without pity or mercy all men, women, and children of the Polish race or language. Only thus will we gain the living space that we need. Who still talks nowadays of the extermination of the Armenians?"
One hundred years later the world is talking about the extermination of the Armenians, but the Turkish government remains in denial. Below is an award-winning documentary made for German public TV called, "Aghet" concerning the Armenian genocide.

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