The Armenian Holocaust
In 1915, the Turkish government launched a premeditated organized campaign to eliminate the millennia-old Armenian people from their traditional homeland in what is now southeastern Turkey. The Turkish officials responsible for the genocide were never brought to account. This was not lost on Adolf Hitler. Just days before launching World War Two he told his generals, “Who today, after all, speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?” What makes this genocide unique is that Turkey refuses to acknowledge it ever happened. And that denial is the final stage of genocide: closure and justice is denied to the victims and their descendants.
This program marks the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.
Araxie Barsamian, mother of AR’s David, survived the Turkish genocide of the Armenians. Her parents, brothers, and other members of her extended family were not so fortunate. In 1986, just a few months before her death, she spoke about her experiences to a history class at the University of Colorado at Denver.
The photo of David’s parents, Araxie on the left, Bedros on the right is from their wedding day, 15 August 1921 in Beirut, Lebanon. She had just turned 16.
Robert Fisk, based in Beirut, was the renowned Middle East correspondent for The Independent. He was winner of the Amnesty International UK Press Award and the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom. The Financial Times called him “one of the outstanding reporters of his generation.” He was the author of Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon, The Great War for Civilization, and The Age of the Warrior. He died in October 2020.
Carla in OR –
Your CD of your mother talking in 1986, in Colorado, about her experience with the ethnic cleansing in Armenia was amazing. I’ve listened to the recording twice. The sound quality was amazingly clear. It was marvelous to hear your mother’s voice and Robert Fisk’s commentary about the Armenian Holocaust (with a capital H). Your mother’s story was made even more emphatic by her charming accent and the prompting for English words in the background. It’s so important to record the voices of the earlier generations before they die so that our descendants get an idea of where they came from. I know my granddaughters have no idea what my grandparents’ lives were like in the Bronx and Brooklyn and since almost everyone from even my generation is dead, my memories are their only link.
Shulamith in Seattle –
I’ll never forget being stuck in the parking lot at Trader Joe’s for what seemed like hours, riveted while listening to your mother’s story of her escape from the Armenian Genocide.
John C. Watson –
The Turks also apparently went after the Assyrians.
george beres –
As an American of Greek heritage, I’ve known that my ancestors of the late 1800s were victims of Turkish genocide just as the Armenians were. Turkey continues to maintain the obvious lie that it is not guilty of that mass murder. Turkey is guilty, and I challenge the Turkish murderers in behalf of Greeks, as well as Armenians. – George Beres in Eugene, Oregon