the armenian genocide

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The Armenian Genocide. Greg Bedian Genocide Education Network of Illinois. What we’ll cover today. Genocide overview Armenia overview Armenian Genocide Moving toward genocide Implementation Facts and figures Aftermath What’s happened since What’s happening now Resource review. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • The Armenian GenocideGreg BedianGenocide Education Network of Illinois

  • What well cover todayGenocide overviewArmenia overviewArmenian GenocideMoving toward genocideImplementationFacts and figuresAftermathWhats happened sinceWhats happening nowResource review

  • Where did the word Genocide come from?

    Greek genos (race) + Latin -cida (killer) Raphael Lemkin coined the word genocide in 1943"I became interested in genocide because it happened so many timesfirst to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action."Lemkin was the driving force behind the Genocide Convention, which was adopted by the UN in 1948One million Armenians died, but a law against the murder of peoples was written with the ink of their blood and the spirit of their sufferings

  • Historic Armenia

  • Republic of Armenia

    Location: Southwestern Asia29,800 sq km (smaller than Maryland)Population: 3 millionCapital: YerevanIndependent nation since 1991Present Day Armenia

  • Background on ArmeniaOver 4000 years oldHas its own language, alphabetHas distinctive architecture First nation to adopt Christianity, 301 ADThe location of the Garden of Eden and Mt. Ararat, where Noahs ark landed

  • Armenian Genocide Overview The first genocide of the 20th CenturyOccurred in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1923More than 1.5 million Armenians killed2 million lived in the Ottoman Empire at that timeNearly every Armenian lost a family memberPerpetrated by the Young Turk GovernmentMain reason for genocide: Turkification Pretexts for genocideReligious differencesEconomic differencesScapegoat for WWI military losses

  • Seeds of GenocideThe Ottoman Empire was in decline, losing territory, wealth, and influence Nearly 500,000 Muslim refugees created by Balkan War settled in and around ConstantinopleArmenians were frequently subjected to massacres, kidnapping, rape and robberyAs Christians, Armenians were second class citizens in Ottoman TurkeySome Armenians resisted this mistreatment and agitated for reforms

  • Preparation for the GenocideSpecial groups of Turks and Kurds, often made up of released prisoners, were created to carry out the massacresMost Armenian men were drafted into the army, then disarmed and put into labor campsGovernment officials, Muslim clerics and others spread rumors of Armenians betraying Turkey, calling for punishment of the infidelsCommunity leaders arrested on April 24, 1915, and put to death soon after

  • Perpetrators of the Armenian GenocideTalaat PashaInterior MinisterEnver PashaMinister of WarJemal PashaMinister of the NavyLeaders of the Committee of Union and Progress, or Young Turks

  • April 24, 1915Hundreds of Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople, Symrna, and elsewhere are arrested and later killedWith its able-bodied men in the Army, and without its leadership, the Armenian population was defenseless

    Use of new technologiesWomen, children, and the elderly were loaded onto trains and relocated, unable to return to their homesRefugees by the hundreds were forced into caves, fires were lit at the entrance and those inside were killed by asphyxiation in primitive gas chambers

  • Implementing the GenocideArmed groups would come to a village, and take remaining able-bodied males to the outskirts of town and massacre themWomen, children and elderly then ordered to prepare for deportation, valuables were registered and stored for safe keepingCaravans preyed upon by marauding bands, stole remaining valuables, raped and killedGirls carried off, children enslaved or raised as Kurds or TurksStarvation and disease, exposure, brutality, massacreMost of those that make it to the desert are killed

  • Map of Deportation Paths and Killing ZonesBursa

  • January 15th, 1916

    To the Government of Aleppo:

    We are informed that certain orphanages which have opened also admitted the children of the Armenians.

    Should this be done through ignorance of our real purpose, or because of contempt of it, the Government will view the feeding of such children or any effort to prolong their lives as an act completely opposite to its purpose, since it regards the survival of these children as detrimental.

    I recommend the orphanages not to receive such children; and no attempts are to be made to establish special orphanages for them.

    Minister of the Interior,TA

  • September 16, 1916.To the Government of AllepoIt was at first communicated to you that the government, by order of the Jemiet, had decided to destroy completely all the Armenians living in Turkey An end must be put to their existence, however criminal the measures taken may be, and no regard must be paid to either age or sex nor to the conscientious scruples. Talaat Pasha, Minister of the Interior August 22, 1939. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readinessfor the present only in the Eastwith orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians? Adolf Hitler

  • Reaction to GenocideArmeniansMost didnt know what was happening until it was too lateChurch leaders urged villagers not to give in to provocationsSome organized self-defense or fledTurks, Kurds and others Many took advantage of the situation - looting, killing, etc.Some risked their lives to help save ArmeniansForeignersMany news reports, diplomatic protestsSome were able to save ArmeniansNo real action taken to stop genocide by foreign governments, neither Turkeys enemies nor its allies

  • Over 145 articles about the genocidewere printed in 1915 alone

  • Pre-Genocide: 1914

    Sivas225,000Erzerum215,000Mamuret-Ulaziz204,000Bitlis198,000Van197,000Diyarbakir124,000Post-Genocide: 1926


  • AftermathIn 1914, there were 2,538 Armenian churches, 451 monasteries, and nearly 2,000 schools Today, outside of Istanbul, Armenians possess six churches, no monasteries, and no schoolsNearly all moveable property was either confiscated by the government, looted by mobs or seized during death marchesThe sum of five million Turkish pounds, (around 33 tons of gold) deposited by the Turkish government at the ReichsBank in Berlin in 1916 was in large part, perhaps wholly Armenian money."Sir James Baldwin, the former British prime minister

  • Post-GenocideArmenia to become US Mandate, US did not accept this missionAid activities to help survivors were prominent in American society

  • NEAR EAST RELIEFFirst international US Red Cross Mission$117 Million raised (over $1 Billion today!) Remember the starving Armenians Setup orphanages, clinics and schools for the Armenians

  • What happened to the perpetrators?Genocide organizers tried in abstentia and found guilty, but never pursuedArmenian assassins hunted down and killed the main perpetratorsOn March 15, 1921, Soghomon Tehlirian shot and killed Talaat Pasha in BerlinDuring the trial, details of the Armenian Genocide were discussed and Tehlirian was acquittedIntrigued by the case, Raphael Lemkin began studying what happened to the Armenians. His work later resulted in the Genocide Convention

  • Armenian Genocide TodayArmenians dispersed all over the worldOnly about 55,000 Armenians left in Turkey, most in Istanbul, far from historic Armenia The Armenian names of cities, villages, mountains, rivers, and even animals have been changed to Turkish namesAncient churches and other historic sites are being intentionally neglected or destroyedMuch of Armenian culture has been lostNearly all traces of 4000+ years of Armenian existence on those lands are being eliminated

  • Ongoing Genocide

  • Genocide DenialTo this day the Turkish Government is actively and aggressively engaged in Genocide denialTurkey passed a law in 2004 known as Article 301 which makes it a criminal offense to mention the Armenian Genocide in TurkeyHrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk, and other prominent Turks have been arrested for violating Article 301.Turkey currently pays millions to US lobbying and PR firms to plan and implement its denial campaign with the US government and in the US mediaTurkey has funded Turkish studies chairs at prestigious universities like U of Chicago and Princeton to promote the Turkish view of the history

  • What they sayThe number of Armenian deaths is grossly inflatedMore Muslims died during the same period Armenian American evidence of genocide is derived from dubious and prejudicial sourcesThe Armenian deaths do not constitute genocide The British convened the Malta Tribunal to try Ottoman officials for crimes against Armenians and all of the accused were acquittedThe Holocaust bears no meaningful relation to the Ottoman Armenian experience

  • Things to RememberGenocide can happen anywhereGenocide usually occurs during times of crisis or warGenocide denial is a continuation of genocide, killing the victims twiceGenocide is a crime against all of humanity, not just the victims

  • Learn More About

    BooksThe Road From Home, by David KherdianA Problem from Hell, by Samantha PowersThe Burning Tigris, by Peter BalakianA Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, by Taner Akcam

  • The End

  • Speak Up! Stand Against Genocide!In Germany, they first came fo