Genocide is defined as the systematic killing of a whole people or nation. While many countries have accepted that genocide occurs. Our country has never formally accepted the Armenian genocide. The most notorious genocide ever publicized has been from Hitler’s German attack and extermination of Jewish persons in World War ll. The systematic exterminations of Jewish persons are better known as, the Holocaust.
The first protests to the Armenian genocide were April 15, 1914, with printed material being widely distributed. Photos were shown to convince persons around the world that genocide had in fact occurred. Even with photos and materials in hand many disbelieved anything had occurred and did not want to be involved.
Armenian genocide began in 1914 approximately. Death tolls were estimated between 200,000 and 600,000 with varying stories listed throughout the internet and libraries. Many nations believe this same extermination of a certain population did in fact occur and was hidden due to the lack of cooperation from other countries at the time.
Aug. 2, 1914. A secret treaty is signed by Turkey and Germany placing Turkey under German control. Since the beginning protests people around the world have begun to distribute many more photos. With families sharing their history and survivors telling stories we need to accept the truth. Over time however the denial by Turkey has played a key role in our government’s continued lack of acknowledgement. Perhaps political reasons outweigh the truth regarding genocide.
Aug. 8, 1914. Telegraphic censorship is announced by the government. We will never really know the entire truth. History can be rewritten and locked away from public access for ever. Governments are artists at this very game of historical charades. With the strength of photography one is moved beyond anger to the knowledge we must not deny accountability for these acts of murder. If you are not moved to support the truth being told, then perhaps nothing will stir you.
Aug. 18, 1914. Some 1,080 shops are burned that are owned by Armenians. Throughout mankind’s history we have killed each other, enslaved one another and utilized women for sex slaves. We are human animals who want to be better in most cases. Unfortunately, when we cannot recognize mass murder or genocide we have taken three hundred paces backwards. Denial is not responsible and as Americans we demand responsibility.
What is more alarming the families have little to support their stories? A few photos that other nations have said, “Yes they died but so did many other nationalities.” This is the crux of this debate about the numbers of deaths and if the genocide occurred at all.
Current protestors utilize video and free speech at every turn. Web sites are dedicated to telling the truth as survivors believe it must be told. Why there are not more supporters from all walks of life is a question left unanswered. Perhaps each small article or posting brings that little nudge to the politics of our nation to finally recognize the Armenian genocide and stop allowing Turkey to gag our government’s free speech.
Sources: Armenian genocide.org
Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus second edition