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Events to remember #3



Armenian Genocide

On a somber note, I thought I would toss out a history lesson. I was reminded tonight about the anniversary of something I learned at a very young age. Most of those who read my blog are too young to know that at one point the world did not fully acknowledge the events of the Holocaust -and until Germany admitted the horrors, the world didn’t recognize the Holocaust as we know it today. History books now recognize this event and there are few people today who have not heard of it. What most do not know is that Hitler thought he could get away with such an event because of something that happened just 22 years prior.

In 1915 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a Genocide -an attempt to eradicate a race and country. To this day, Turkey denies the events despite historical evidence to the contrary. History books are not written to talk about this event due to Turkey’s protest. However, some people know better that to remain quiet.

If you walk into the Holocaust memorial museum in Michigan you first come upon a photo of Hitler with a quoted response to the question: how do you think you will be able to get away wit this? His response “Who now today remembers the Armenians?”

One of the world’s worst tyrants was knowledgeable of the events, yet it’s kept out of our history books. It makes you wonder what other things happened in the world that we don’t know about because people don’t admit to them happening.

[snipped from email message, author unknown]
On the night of April 23-24 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were summarily arrested in the capital of the Ottoman Empire . The massive round-up resulted in the imprisonment of most Armenian politicians, priests, scientists, lawyers, doctors and writers of the Ottoman Empire . Shortly thereafter, the prisoners were deported to the inner provinces where nearly all of them were murdered by the authorities. Approximately 5000 community leaders were eliminates in this fashion. The Armenians were alarmed by the arrest of their community leaders. The Armenian deputies of the Ottoman Parliament expressed their anxiety to the government. These two deputies were themselves deported and assassinated.

April 24 each year since 1915 represents the symbolic date of the Armenian Genocide. That day is marked as a commemoration day for the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Many events and protests are organized throughout the world.

The first mass deportations began in late March 1915 in the region of Cilicia, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea . An extensive plan of deportation and elimination of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire was prepared by Talat pasha, the head of the government. Notices of deportation were posted in public places and the news announced publicly in the streets of the Armenian towns and villages of the Armenian plateau. The Armenian men, women, children were given a few days to leave their homes. Families were expected to take only a minimum of baggage. The Turkish lies for relocation was that if was for the safety of Armenians from the war and that they needed every weapon that could assist them in fighting the war. Many Armenians in their nave trust gave the soldiers all they had to offer. The mass deportations began. The Armenians were organized into convoys and were made to walk to the Syrian Desert to the south. This indicated a well-organized plan. The men were taken to isolated locations beyond the city limits where they were executed. There have been many stories of victims; how their eyes were taped open and they were forced to stare at the sun until they were blinded, how men were lined up in front of camps and decapitated one by one! The women, children and straggling elderly were to die a much slower death. Without food and water, they were dragged from one province to another. They were stripped of their clothes and were forced to walk barefooted and naked through the harshness of the desert! Women, girls were forced to dance around fire pits for the Turkish soldiers. Girls and women were ruthlessly raped and their bodies mutilated. Many of them were sold to Turkish families as slaves. Some Turkish people took many Armenian children to be raised in their homes saving their lives, but losing their Armenian Identity. Many women courageously killed themselves, by throwing themselves into a river, just so the Turks would not get to them. On August 1916, the Ottoman government dismissed the Patriarch of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire and arrested the last holder of that position.

From May 1915 until the spring 1916, nearly all Armenians of the Ottoman Empire disappeared from the Armenian plateau. Around 1,500,000 Armenians were murdered, a country was torn apart and a people left grieving, perpetrated by the government of Turkey , the Ottoman Empire . More than half the Armenian population perished and the rest were forcibly driven from their ancestral homeland. Many Armenians escaped massacres by fleeing to Europe and America , later forming Armenian Diaspora.

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