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Open letter to;
President of the USA
Mr. Barak Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20
Prime Minister of the UK.
Prime Minister’s Office
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
Prime Minister of the Israel
Prime Minister’s Office
3 Kaplan St. Hakirya
Subject: Centenary of the Armenian Genocide (1915-2015)
On 24th April 2015, Armenians all over the world will mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Many governments, international organisations, institutions and individuals worldwide will join them and pay their respect to 1,500,000 men, women and children, who perished as a result of this horrendous crime against humanity, the first Genocide of the 20th Century, perpetrated by the Young Turkish Government during World War I.
No doubt you are aware that numerous persons of different nationalities and religions, who lived in the Ottoman Empire during the War, sent eyewitness reports to their respective governments, organisations and friends, expressing their horror in the extermination of the Armenians. Some of the eye witness accounts were published by the British Government in 1916 in a book entitled «The Treatment of the Armenians under the Ottoman Empire», better known as «The Blue Book», compiled by Lord James Bryce and the distinguished historian Arnold Toynbee.
It is extraordinary that, in spite of overwhelming and irrefutable evidence, a significant proportion of which has been archived by reputable British, European, American and Jewish intellects, historians and politicians, you refuse to recognise the Armenian Genocide, and in doing so, are contributing to Turkey’s efforts to bury the truth about the extermination of the Armenians, which at the time was called by the Entente allies- Britain, France and Russia- “a crime against humanity».
Out of thousands of eye witness accounts, statements and declarations made by persons of integrity, honour and reputation about the Armenian Genocide, I wish to quote but a handful.
«The British Government today refuses to recognise the Armenian Genocide of
- …Yet the British Foreign Office itself published a great deal of evidence as early as 1916. Their refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide today is an affront to the brave witnesses whose testimony was carefully recorded, and the eminent scholars whose analysis is still valid today.»
Referring to the 3rd edition of «The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire», (House of Lords, November, 2000)
«In the province of Armenia, Abdul Hamid and the Young Turks had deliberately set themselves to the simplification of the Armenian difficulty by deporting and exterminating the whole race, whom they regarded as infidels and traitors.»
DAVID LLOYD GEORGE
(British Prime Minister)
“Memoirs of the Peace Conference” (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1939)»In 1915 the Turkish Government began and ruthlessly carried out the infamous deportation and general massacre of Armenians in Asia Minor. Three or four hundred thousand men, women, and children escaped into Russian territory and others into Persia or Mesopotamia; but the clearance of the race from Asia Minor was about as complete as such an act, on a scale so great, could well be… . There is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons. The opportunity presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race!»
(Underlined by AG)
WINSTON CHURCHILL (voted «the greatest Britain»)
“The World Crisis, vol. 5, The Aftermath», (New York 1929).
My question to the British Government is, was Churchill telling the truth? If yes, in that case Mr. Cameron, as one of his successors should also have the courage to do the same!
«The Turkish atrocities in the district of Bitlis are indescribable. After having massacred the whole male population of this district, the Turks collected 9,000 women and children from the surrounding villages. Two days later they marched them out to the bank of the Tigris, shot them all, and threw the 9,000 corpses into the river.»
ARNOLD J. TOYNBEE
«The Armenian Atrocities, The Murder of a Nation», London,1915.
Geoffrey Robertson QC, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer, published a book in 2014, entitled «An Inconvenient Genocide; who now remembers the Armenians?» I do not need to introduce G. Robertson to you, as, I am sure, you have read his books dedicated to human rights issues. After careful examination of the evidence, the author of the «An Inconvenient Genocide» proves, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the horrific events, which took place in the Ottoman Empire during WWI, constitute a crime against humanity, that is today known as genocide. He condemns the hypocrisy of the governments of the U.K and United States and states.
«…Twenty national parliaments in democratic countries have voted to recognise the genocide, but Britain and USA continue to equivocate for fear of alienating their NATO ally.»
GEOFFREY ROBERTSON QC
«…The final and worst measure used against the Armenians, was the wholesale deportation of the entire population from their homes and their exile to the Desert, with all the accompanying horrors on the way.
«…This massacre of the Armenians, judged both by the numbers involved and the methods used, was the greatest single horror ever perpetrated in the history of humanity».
U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (1913-16)
«Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story”, (New York, 1919).
Besides Morgenthau, many other American diplomats and eyewitnesses have submitted reports to the Government of the United States of America about the Armenian Genocide, such as J. B, Jackson, J. E. Merril, Robert Lansing, Charles F. Brissel, F. Leslie, James Lyman, Samuel Edelman, Hoffman Philip, H. Bernau etc.
See Ara Sarafian’s «United States Official Documents on Armenian Genocide”,
Volume one, (Watertown 1993).
«The Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war and the failure to act against Turkey is to condone it…»
THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1918).
I consider it relevant to remind Mr. Obama of the statement he made on 19th January, 2008, during his election campaign!
«My firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact, supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. As president, I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.»
There were many noble Turks, some holding responsible positions in the Ottoman Government, such as Djelal Bey, Faik Ali Ozansoy, Reshit Pasha, Tahsin Bey, Ferit Bey, Mehmet Cemal Bey, Sabit Bey, Maser Bey, Huseyin Nesimi Bey, governors of Aleppo/Konya, Kutahya, Kastamonu, Erzurum, Basra, Yozgat, Batman, Angora respectively, who refused to carry out orders received from the Central government and as a result were removed from their posts. They were replaced by “more obedient civil servants”, who carried out the task of wiping out the Armenians from the above mentioned locations.
«When you attempt to describe the atrocities committed by those criminals, your pen will shake in your hands, innocent babies unaware of the troubles of the world who need love and care-sleeping in their mother’s lap with an angelic smile on their faces, are cruelly snatched from their mothers and struck by the hard blow of an axe, causing blood to pour instead of tears from their eyes and all the while the Turkish butchers hilariously laughing on their acts and also forcing those others waiting death to laugh with them. How can one describe such maddening cruelties without having his whole body and soul from shaking?»
A prominent leader of the Young Turk party.
See his memoirs «Turkye Intikabini Ic Yuzi», (Aleppo 1929).
Below is a translated extract from the official transcript of the verdict of the court martial conducted by the Ottoman Turkish government in 5 July, 1919 against the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide. The verdict was first published in the Official Gazette (Takvim-i-Vekayi), No. 3604.
“Minister Talaat Pasha and Minister of War Enver Effendi, now expelled from his military career; Djemal Effendi, Minister of the Navy, likewise expelled from the service; Dr Nazim, Minister of Education, these were the principal criminals (fayili asli) and their guilt has been determined by a unanimous vote. …In accordance therefore with the above-mentioned paragraphs in the law code, Talaat, Enver, Djemal and Dr Nazim are sentenced to death».
In 1926 a Swiss journalist, Emile Hilderbrand interviewed Kemal, later known as Ataturk, who accused the Young Turks of the massacre of «millions of our Christian subjects «. The interview appeared in the August 1, 1926 issue of the San Francisco Examiner.
It should be mentioned that in 1926 a Turkish group, including a number of Young Turks, attempted to assassinate Ataturk. The attempt failed and the culprits were executed as traitors.
Ataturk made the following statement to Emile Hilderbrand;
«These left-overs from the former young Turk party, who should have been made to account for the lives of millions of our Christian subjects, who were ruthlessly driven en mass from their homes and massacred, have been restive under the republican rule. They have hitherto lived on plunder, robbery and bribery and become inimical to any idea, or suggestion to enlist in useful labour and earn their living by the honest sweat of their brow»
For Ottoman documents on the Armenian Genocide, I refer you to «The Young Turks» Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire».
Princeton University Press, 2013.
The German Ambassador, Wangenheim on 7 July, 1915 wrote;
«The [Turkish] government is indeed pursuing its goal of exterminating the Armenian race in the Ottoman Empire».
Armin T. Wegner, a German officer, who was assigned to the Turkish Army, managed to take hundreds of photographs of the actual killings with a hidden camera, provided the following shocking picture in an open letter to U.S. President W. Wilson;
«…Here they died-slain by Kurds, robbed by gendarmes, shot, hanged, poisoned, stabbed, strangled, mown down by epidemics, drowned, frozen, parched with thirst, starved, their bodies left to putrefy or to be devoured by jackals. Children wept themselves to death, men dashed themselves against the rocks, mothers threw their babies into brooks and women with child flung themselves singing into the Euphrates. They died all the deaths on earth, the deaths of all the ages.»
ARMIN T. WEGNER
Wegner’s «Open Letter to President Wilson» appealing for the creation of an independent Armenian state, was published in «Berliner Tageblatt», 23 February, 1919.
Hitler, who had perfected the extermination methods used by Talaat Pasha, applied them to the Jewish Holocaust. Approximately a quarter of century after the Armenian Genocide (22. 8. 1939), on the eve of the German invasion of Poland, he gave the following orders to his «death units».
«I have given orders to my Death Unites to exterminate without mercy or pity men, women and children belonging to the Polish-speaking race. It is only in this manner that we can acquire the vital territory, which we need.»
When asked what answer he would give to future generations, Hitler said; «Who today remembers the extermination of the Armenians?»
For the German original see «Akten zur Deutschen Auswartigen Politik» 1918-1945, Series D, Band VII, (Baden-Baden, 1956).
Had the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide been brought to justice at a Nuremberg style International trial, Hitler would not have dared to make such a cynical statement!
For details of the German involvement in the Armenian Genocide, I refer you to the recently published book entitled «The Armenian Genocide, Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915-16», edited by Wolefgang Guest, (2014 New York- Oxford).
The two genocides of the 20th Century were perpetrated against the Armenians and the Jews. It is therefore appropriate that reference be made also to the Israeli Government vis-a-vis the Armenian Genocide.
It is incredible that the Israeli Government, in spite of the enormous pressure and criticism from the Jewish intellectuals, organisations and public at large, has adopted the same attitude to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide as those of the British and American Governments. One would have expected that the Israeli Government would have appreciated the sufferings of the Armenians better than any other nation. The Israeli Government should not forget that the leniency shown by the victors to the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide encouraged Adolf Hitler to plan and execute the Jewish Holocaust and make his infamous statement, «who today remembers the extermination of the Armenians»?
Fortunately there are many Jews both in Israel and worldwide, who are not willing to auction the truth and their integrity for political and economic considerations!
Let us read some extracts from their testimonies:
«I bow before this higher majesty of sorrow. I take the Crown of Thorns from Israel’s head and I place it upon Armenia’s».
ISRAEL ZANGWILL, famous Jewish writer («New Armenia», New York, 1917).
«One-and-a-half million people disappeared. It wasn’t negligence; it was deliberate, I do not think that the government has to take an official decision on the issue, but we must clarify to the Turks that we cannot accept their political demands to ignore a historical event. An ethical stand cannot be dictated by political needs-these are two separate tracks.»
Minister of Justice of Israel
Quoted by Lilly Galili, «A Holocaust by Any Other Name,» Ha’aretz, 24 April 2000.
In August 2001, 126 highly distinguished Jews from all over the world, released a statement affirming the Armenian genocide and demonstrating their friendship with the Armenian People.
«We, the undersigned, are scholars, rabbis, teachers, community leaders, and students of Jewish heritage. As Jews, we share many similarities with the Armenian people. We were both victims of genocide during the twentieth century and have survived despite those who would deny us our right to exist. On this year, 2001, which marks the 1700th anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity, we as Jews salute our Armenian friends and their contributions to Western society and culture.»
Among the Senators were;
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Holocaust survivor, Professor Yehuda Bauer, a leader in Israeli Holocaust scholarship, Jay and Leslie Cohen, Professor of Judaic Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Professor Israel W. Charny, Editor-in- Chief, Encyclopaedia of Genocide, Deborah Dwork, Director Centre for Holocaust Studies Clark University, Professor Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr Stephen Feinstein, Director Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies University of Minnesota, Stephen M. Goldman, Director Florida Holocaust Museum,
Professor Ephraim Karsh, Head of Mediterranean Studies King’s College, University of London, Steven Kepnes, Ph.D. Director of Jewish Studies Colgate University, Robert Jay Lifton, Author of «The Nazi Doctors» Department of Psychiatry Harvard University, John Loftus, President Florida Holocaust Museum, Thane Rosenbaum, Novelist and human rights law professor, Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun, Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University, Gerald Sorin, Distinguished University Professor and Director of Jewish Studies, SUNY, New Paltz, Rabbi Lennard R. Thai, Vice President Union of American Hebrew Congregations and Lawrence D. Wasser, Executive Director Florida Holocaust Museum.
Extracts from the letter written by Professor Israel Charny to the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 2002.
«As a Jew and Israeli, I am deeply ashamed of the position taken by our Ambassador and Ministry to deny that the genocide of the Armenian people in 1915 was in fact genocide. This is the equivalent of denials of the Holocaust of our people.
I am enclosing for you a copy of a statement signed by 126 Holocaust scholars in 2000 recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Signators include a leader in Israeli Holocaust scholarship, our Professor Yehuda Bauer; and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Holocaust Survivor, Elie Wiesel.
PROFESSOR ISRAEL W. CHARNY
Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopaedia of Genocide Executive Director, Institute on the Holocaust & Genocide, Jerusalem.
For your information, most of my family, grandfather, granduncles, grandaunts, including my four year old sister, together with tens of thousands of other elderly men, women and children from Cilicia, Eastern Turkey, where I was born and where my ancestors lived for over a thousand years, were deported to Der- El-Zor, the Syrian desert and perished. According to my mother, during the deportation, on the way to the desert, my four year old sister could not walk anymore and was bayoneted by a Turkish solder in front of her! My parents survived due to the fact that, they together with other able-bodied young men and women, were sent to Damascus to build roads for the Turkish Army. When the British occupied Syria, they went back home, which was put under French mandate after the war.
I would also like to refer you to the policy of the present day Turkish Government vis a vis the Armenian Genocide.
Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, first as PM and now as President of Turkey, has constantly been singing the same old song. He is suggesting that a group of historians should examine the evidence to decide if there has been an Armenian Genocide. A well-documented and proven historical event does not require re-confirmation. Erdogan is adding insult to injury. How would the Jewish people feel if Germany had made the same suggestion vis-a-vis the Holocaust? Mr. Erdogan knows full well that the planned death marches and killings of innocent men, women and children by bullet, sword and hunger aimed at exterminating a race, can only be defined as GENOCIDE!
Let us remind Mr. Erdogan that there were over 2,500,000 Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of WWI. At the end of the war there were approximately 100,000 left, most in Istanbul. According to Churchill «three or four hundred thousand men, women, and children escaped into Russian territory and others into Persia or Mesopotamia”. It is estimated that between 150000 to 200000 Armenians, mainly women and children were either forced to convert to Islam or sold as slaves. The question is, what happened to the rest and their properties, their mobile wealth, their bank accounts, their churches, their cultural institutions, their schools etc.?
The recent decision taken by Mr. Erdogan to mark Dardanelle Day on 24 April aims at not only sabotaging events organise to mark Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, but also creates tension between the Armenian and the Turkish people. The President of Turkey knows full well that every year, on April 24, Armenians all over the world mark the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Up until this year, Turkey marked the anniversary of Dardanelle Day on 18 March. All of a sudden, this year, on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, Mr. Erdogan decides to mark Dardanelle Day on April 24! Moreover, he invites the world leaders, including the Armenian President to Turkey, to attend Dardanelle Day celebrations!
One would not expect such insensitive and disrespectful behaviour even from Mr. Erdogan at such a time.
It is hoped that you, as well as other heads of governments will condemn Mr. Erdogan for his unacceptable behaviour.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that the authors of the statements quoted in this letter are considered to be persons of integrity and honour, who were convinced, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the Ottoman Turkish Government planned and executed the extermination of the Armenians during the First World War.
If you consider their verdict to be true, then as heads of three powerful states, who proclaim to defend truth, justice and democratic values, you should recognise the Armenian Genocide. Thank you.