Sources and Additional Reading

Recognition

By not recognizing a genocide, especially the first modern-day genocide like the Armenian Genocide, a nation, though not actively denying, are being passive about genocides, and are, in fact, supporting it.  A country that turns its back and pretends not to notice a thousand or a million people dying is sending a message to the world that a million deaths is not important enough to stop.  This makes it likely that the country will not send aid or take measures to stop these most obvious human rights violations in the future.  More importantly, historians and world leaders will not learn from genocides and will not foresee the warning signs, nor the end result and possible annihilation of a people.  Instead of using past genocides to help avoid future ones, nations that do not recognize a genocide are choosing to forget it happened, and are supporting genocide as an acceptable form of control.

If one does not recognize, one is denying.  Denial of one genocide makes people treat all genocides as insignificantly as the one denied.  “If you deny one genocide, you deny all genocides” according to Genocide scholar Dr. Jack Nusan Porter[19].

murdered ArmeniansExecuted Armenians

Prevention of Future Atrocities

The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is an important step in preventing future genocides.  When a group is able to commit such a grave crime and walk away virtually unpunished, corrupt leaders are encouraged that genocide is not a serious crime, but rather a legitimate way to eliminate an unfavored group of people.  Hitler interpreted the Armenian Genocide as a successful example of ethnic cleansing and exterminated the Jews and other minorities. He thought if the Turks could get away with genocide and have the world forget the atrocities committed, he could get away with it too:


“The aim of war is not to reach definite lines but to annihialate the enemy physically” [20].  “Who today, after all, speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?” [21] -Adolf Hitler.  

The Holocaust was a genocide attempted because the world “forgot” that the Armenian Genocide occurred.  Subsequent genocides have been made possible because of the mentality that genocides are not worth the resources necessary for prevention.

mother and infants'

A dead woman and her two dead infants. They all died of starvation.

orphans

The orphans of Armenians killed in the Genocide

 

“Studies by genocide scholars prove that the single best predictor of future genocide is denial of a past genocide coupled with impunity for its perpetrators. Genocide Deniers are three times more likely to commit genocide again than other governments.”
Testimony to Congress by Dr. Gregory Stanton, President, International Association of Genocide Scholars.[22] 

 

massgrave A mass grave for dead Armenians

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.
[23]

 

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