About the Armenian Genocide
Posted by Fredsvenn on May 7, 2016
Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Nazi Germany (1933-45):
“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
[August 22, 1939]
The Obersalzberg Speech is a speech given by Adolf Hitler to Wehrmacht commanders at his Obersalzberg home on 22 August 1939, a week before the German invasion of Poland.
The speech details, in particular, the pending German invasion of Poland and a planned extermination of Poles. It shows Hitler’s knowledge of the extermination and his intention to carry out the said genocide in a planned manner.
“Our strength consists in our speed and in our brutality. Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter – with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. It’s a matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization will say about me. I have issued the command – and I’ll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad – that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readiness – for the present only in the East – with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
Turkey, the successor to the Ottoman Empire, vehemently rejects that the deaths constitute genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity will be granted annually to an individual whose actions have had an exceptional impact on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes. The Aurora Prize Laureate will be honored with a US $100,000 award.
In addition, that individual will have the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by selecting an organization that inspired their work to receive a US $1,000,000 grant. The Aurora Prize will be awarded annually on April 24 in Yerevan, Armenia.
George Clooney presented the first Aurora Prize, an award recognizing an individual’s work to advance humanitarian causes, to Marguerite Barankitse, who saved thousands of lives and cared for orphans and refugees amid the Burundi civil war. Armenian philanthropists selected her for the award.
Clooney has been a prominent voice in favor of countries recognizing the killings as genocide, which the U.S. hasn’t done.
Before he presented the award, Clooney reminded the audience that Adolf Hitler once reportedly said: “Who remembers Armenia?” Clooney said: “The whole world.”
“By recognizing Marguerite Barankitse’s courage, commitment and sacrifice, I am hopeful that she can also inspire each one of us to think about what we can do to stand up on behalf of those whose rights are abused and are in most need of our solidarity or support,” Clooney said.
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (German: Die vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh) is a 1933 novel by Austrian-Bohemian writer Franz Werfel based on true events that took place in 1915, during the second year of World War I and at the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.
The novel focuses on the self-defense by a small community of Armenians living near Musa Dagh, a mountain in Hatay Province in the Ottoman Empire—now part of southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast—as well the events in Istanbul and provincial capitals, where the Young Turk government orchestrated the deportations, concentration camps and massacres of the empire’s Armenian citizens.
This policy, as well as who bore responsibility for it, has been controversial and contested since 1915. Because of this or perhaps in spite of it, the facts and scope of the Armenian Genocide were little known until Werfel’s novel, which entailed voluminous research and is generally accepted as based on historical events.
The novel was originally published in German in November 1933. It achieved great international success and has been credited with awakening the world to the evidence of the persecution and genocide inflicted on the Armenian nation during World War I.
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh also foreshadows the Holocaust of World War II due in part to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, which paralleled the novel’s creation. In 2012, David R. Godine, Publisher issued a revised and expanded English translation of The Forty Days of Musa Dagh that incorporates virtually all of the material left out of Geoffrey Dunlop’s 1934 translation.
Ravished Armenia (full title: Ravished Armenia: The Story of Aurora Mardiganian, the Christian Girl, Who Survived the Great Massacres) is a book written in 1918 by Arshaluys (Aurora) Mardiganian about her experiences in the Armenian Genocide.
A Hollywood film based on it was filmed in 1919 under the title Auction of Souls (which also became known as Ravished Armenia, based on the book from which it was adapted). All known complete copies of the film have since been lost, but Mardiganian’s account is still in print.