The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus

The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus

The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus

The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus

Excerpt

If a man is killed in Paris, it is a murder; the throats of fifty thousand people are cut in the East, and it is a question.

Victor Hugo

During World War I, the authorities of the Turkish Ottoman Empire carried out one of the largest genocides in world history, destroying huge portions of its minority Armenian population. That genocide followed decades of persecution, punctuated by two similar but smaller rounds of massacres in the 1894-96 and 1909 periods that claimed two hundred thousand Armenian deaths. In all, over one million Armenians were put to death during World War I. Adding to this figure are the several hundred thousand Armenians who perished in the course of the Turkish attempt to extend the genocide to Russian Armenia in the Transcausus in the Spring and Summer of 1918 and then again in the Fall of 1920 when Ankara's fledgling government ordered General Karabekir's army to "physically annihilate Armenia." The European Powers, who defeated the Turks time and again on the battlefield, were unable or unwilling to prevent this mass murder. Of even more consequence, they failed to secure punishment of the perpetrators in the aftermath of the war despite the commitment they publicly had made during the war to do so. The events of that time have subsequently slipped into the shadows of world history, thus gaining the title "the forgotten genocide."To this day, Turkey denies the genocidal intent of these massacres. Such a scale of perpetration at the very least warrants a documentary exposure and examination. The results may yet impel the civilized world to show a greater concern for the depth of the anguish that has been tormenting generations of Armenians. It may even move the more enlightened segments of the population of modern Turkey to face the historical fact of the Armenian genocide and try to come to terms with it.

Over the past 80 years, the Armenian nation has struggled to have the history of the Armenian genocide brought to light and examined. Despite

Notes for the Introduction begin on page xxv.

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