Guillermo Altares, a well-known journalist and former head of the international section of the Spanish daily El País, published an article in the same newspaper entitled “Genocide Denied for Political Reasons”, noting that there is more documentary evidence on the Armenian Genocide than the Holocaust.
“Armenpress” presents the unofficial translation of the article:
”Only 30 countries called 1915 genocide, the murders of the Armenians, despite the fact that historians do not hesitate to use this term.
When the Armenian Genocide took place, the term genocide had not yet appeared. But it was this crime against humanity that ushered in the era of mass extermination in the early 20th century, prompting Polish lawyer Rafael Lemkin to look for a new term to describe an atrocity previously unnamed -the killing of ethnic or religious groups just for the sake of it and because that they are existed.
This is not the only paradox related to 1915-1918. Up to 1.5 million pre-planned extermination and deportation of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Independent historians are more than convinced that it is about the genocide, but it was recognized only by 30 countries, the last of which was the United States last week. Spain has not done that yet! Turkey even considers the use of this term under Article 301 by Turkish Criminal Code a crime and generalizes these killings in the context of World War I.
“The Armenian Genocide is an established fact in academia”, explains Taner Akcham, a well-known Turkish historian, genocide scholar and professor at Clark University in the United States. Taner Akcham, considered by The New York Times to be the Armenian Genocide Sherlock Holmes, devoted his entire career to seeking and publishing evidence (that the killings of Armenians were not unplanned or sudden massacres, but state policies pursued by the Young Turks who came to power in 1908). They remained until 1918, when the Ottoman Empire collapsed after World War I. In the history of the Ottoman Empire, violence against Armenians and against Christians in general- 200,000 Armenians were killed during 1894-1896- was regular, but until then no one had set a goal of total annihilation. “Even the US administration, the Congress or the staff have no doubt that what happened to the Armenians can be described as genocide”, said Akcam. It was planned and I can easily state that there is more documentary evidence on the Armenian Genocide than on the Holocaust. We have many certified telegrams that clearly show the genocidal intention of the Ottoman authorities” says Akcham.
In books like ”A Shameful Act” the Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility or Killing Orders- Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide”, Akcham reveals the coded telegrams of Young Turks Interior Minister Talat Pasha (who has been killed in 1921 by an Armenian soldier), which leave no doubt about his intentions. For years the Turkish government claimed that they were fake, but after his intelligence work, Akcham proved that they were real. According to one of them in 1915 and in September at the beginning of the massacre Talaat Pasha ordered the following: “The government has decided to exterminate all Armenians living in Turkey, not sparing women, children or the sick. As tragic as these methods of destruction may seem, we must end their existence without listening to our consciousness”, Although the originals were destroyed, Akcham found the photos of the telegrams in New York in 2015.
There are obvious facts that before the Holocaust, during which 6 million people were killed, the Nazis took note of what happened in Turkey for their plan to exterminate European Jews. ”On 1939, August 22, Hitler addressed his generals about the impending war with Poland” said Benjamin Carter Hett, an American historian and author of ”The Death of Democracy”, a book about Hitler’s rise to power. According to one of them, Hitler said: “After that, who remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?” The other two interpretations do not contain these words. But the fact that this transcript was circulated by The New York Times in 1945 shows that a connection has been established between the massacres of Armenians an Jews since the 1940s.
“Undoubtedly it had a great impact on Lemkin” says in his autobiography Jose Ricardo de Prada, one of Spain’s leading experts on international justice. Samantha Power, who served as Ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama in 2002 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for for the book “Problem from Hell. America and the Age of Genocide”. There he recounts how Lemkin, a student in Lviv, argued with a professor who justified the massacres of Armenians, arguing that in the end every government had the right to do to its citizens what it wanted, including to kill them. Like “a farmer who can kill his own chickens”. It was because of that debate the idea emerged that there should be laws above states that would punish these crimes.
“During the Armenian Genocide, there was no one like Hitler” said Taner Akcham, when he asked about comparing the two crimes against humanity and added: “The genocide was a decision of a political party, implemented by a political party- Union and Progress. This is one of the main differences between the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. The other is that the Young Turks did not have the racist ideology that the Nazis had. Of course, they were nationalists, but they made the decision to commit genocide because they thought that the existence of Armenians was a threat to the empire, they thought that killing of Armenians could neutralize that threat”.
The genocide was accompanied by mass deportations to the Syrian deserts, and with the most brutal massacres. Ethnic cleansing was universal.
Neither the Holocaust nor the Armenian Genocide achieved their ultimate goal, which is to wipe out Jews and Armenians from the face of the earth. But, yes, they managed to destroy the millennial cultures of the Jews in Eastern Europe, the Armenians of Anatolia. Both Auschwitz and Der Zor, a Syrian desert camp where tens of thousands of Armenians starved to death, abandoned Jewish cemeteries, forgotten Polish synagogues, or the ruins of the medieval Armenian capital of Ani, perpetrated by the new Turkish authorities, are reminiscent of 20th century horror”.