Press reports about the possibility of erecting a monument in Kraków commemorating the stay of soldiers of the Turkish army in the Polish territories annexed by Austria during the First World War, confirmed by the spokesman of the city president, deeply appalled the Polish Armenian community.
In view of this idea, we express our outrage and resolute opposition.
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It was during this war that the authorities of the Turkish Empire decided to exterminate the Christian population, Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in Anatolia and Mesopotamia, their own citizens, the eternal inhabitants of these lands. One of the proofs of the Turkish crime are telegrams sent to Washington by the then US ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau. The key telegram reads:
Deportations and excesses against peaceful Armenians are mounting, and shocking eyewitness reports suggest that the campaign of racial extermination is taking place under the pretense of retaliation for insurgency. Protests and threats are futile and are likely to stimulate the Ottoman government for more drastic measures, because it is determined to deny responsibility.
Rafał Lemkin, Polish lawyer of Jewish origin, studying just after the war
The Jagiellonian University and the Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv, then the founder of the definition of genocide adopted by the UN General Assembly, wrote about these terrible events:
In Turkey, more than 1,200,000 people have been killed for no other reason than that they were Christians. […] The nation was killed and the guilty were released. […] The persecution of the Armenians, a strong Christian element living in the very heart of the Mohammedan religion, was inevitable because the fundamental principles of the Koran stood in total opposition to the teaching of Christ […]. There was no place in the Ottoman Empire for people of Christian faith. […] Crime has been
carried out systematically.
The empire army was entrusted with executing the decision of the authorities. Ruthlessly, Turkish soldiers killed men, raped women, rushed civilians in long marches of death across the desert, until almost all persecuted perished.
During the Holocaust, around 1916, the Armenian Archbishop of Lviv, Józef Teodorowicz, devised a rescue plan consisting in bringing several thousand Armenians from Turkey to Eastern Galicia and settling them among the Polish Armenians. The Austro-Hungarian authorities, allied with the genocidal Turkish regime, made it impossible to carry out the intention of our archbishop.
It is for these reasons that we appeal to the City Council of Krakow for blocking the plan to commemorate soldiers of the army, which is guilty of the crime of genocide of the Christian population in the name of militant Islam.
We remind you of the fundamental ethical duty that Rafał Lemkin wrote about:
You have to get the nations to understand that an attack on each of them is an attack on all of them.
May this indication find a response in the community of the city of Krakow and among all Poles, after all also murdered in the twentieth century by genocide.
On behalf of the Management Board and members of the OTK,
and a large group of sympathizers
after the President of the OTK
The city of #Krakow is planning to erect a monument honoring the Ottoman army during the first World War, perpetrator of the #ArmenianGenocide.
By signing this petition, we express our firm objection and indignation. https://t.co/bai4nxBlqP
— EAFJD (@eafjd) February 1, 2018