The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide
Milan Kundera, the great Czech writer said, “The struggle of humankind against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Writing in the 1970s, he acknowledges how events get passed over and passed by. “The bloody massacre in Bangladesh quickly covered over the memory of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Allende drowned out the groans of Bangladesh, the war in the Sinai made people forget Allende, the Cambodian massacre made people forget Sinai, and so on and so forth until ultimately everyone lets everything be forgotten.” History is precious. It contains the DNA of peoples. When it is lost or denied, something irreplaceable occurs which diminishes us all.
Recorded at the World Affairs Council.
Peter Balakian, historian, poet, and professor at Colgate University, is the author of Black Dog of Fate and The Burning Tigris, and translator of Armenian Golgotha. In 2016 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his collection Ozone Journal.