This weekend, President Biden named the Armenian genocide of 1915 correctly: a genocide. The Washington Post today published a background article on the subject. It begins: “The word genocide was coined in 1944 by a Polish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin, who lost 49 members of his Jewish family in the Holocaust.” And continues with a history of the horrifying events that began in April, 1915. From the article:
On April 24, 1915, the government arrested about 250 Armenian leaders and intellectuals. This is seen by many as the beginning of the massacre, and April 24 now marks Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. In the following months, most of those Armenian leaders were killed. The military forced Armenian villagers from their homes and on long, cruel marches to concentrations camps in what is now northern Syria and Iraq. Many of them died along the way; others died in the camps of starvation and thirst. Meanwhile, irregular forces and locals rounded up Armenians in their villages and slaughtered them. Historians estimate that between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians died.” (source)A few years ago, I wrote about the most famous book about the Armenian genocide, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel, written in 1933. Today I decided to republish this blog post to celebrate the long-overdue recognition of this horror story. The Turkish government has succeeded in pretending that these events never happened, and in pressuring every American president to go along with their pretense. Now this is no longer the case.
“The most horrible thing that had been done was not that a whole people had been exterminated, but that a whole people, God’s children, had been dehumanized.” – The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, 2012 edition, p. 727)