Recognise the Armenian Genocide

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Background

On the 24th of April 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested approximately 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople, leading to a mass killing of Armenians within modern day Turkey. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour; followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million.

More information can be found on Wikipedia.

 

Why you should care

In a remark made in 1939, in a speech regarding the intended invasion of Poland and a planned extermination of Poles, Adolf Hitler remarked “Who still talks nowadays of the extermination of the Armenians?”. Further detail can be found here, but it will suffice to say that we have a very clear example of a particularly candid leader declaring his intention to commit an act of genocide, and that he believed history would come to forget this crime, as this had already happened with earlier crimes.

By downplaying, ignoring, or even forgetting entirely that the crime of the Armenian Genocide happened, we encourage future Adolf Hitlers, Joseph Stalins, and Talaat Pashas to commit such acts in the belief that they too can get away with mass murder.



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