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The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide was a harrowing time where the Ottomans systematically rid of Armenian minorities. In 1915, this holocaust resulted in as many as an estimated 1.5 million deaths through deportation and mass murder. The persecution continued until 1923 when the end of the Ottoman Empire came and the Republic of Turkey replaced it. Hundreds of thousands of people were left to be homeless and refugees.

Facts about the Armenian Genocide:

  • Much like in the worldwide acknowledged Jewish Holocaust, the Armenian people were not only killed, but brutally tortured, massacred and regularly starved. Most of them were ruled to die in the desert from starvation and dehydration.

  • The genocide started when prominent Armenian leaders such as intellectuals, writers and professionals were taken and deported, and thus murdered. The Ottoman Empire had implanted the concept that Armenians ruled as a threat to them, so the authorities in Constantinople took the hostages which they shortly after killed.

  • There is little photographic footage of this holocaust because the Young Turk government strictly enforced a rule where photography and reporting were not allowed. American missionaries and diplomatic representatives still managed to break the news of their witnesses to other parts of the world.

  • April 24, 1915 is commemorated as Genocide Remembrance Day. It is also known as ‘Red Sunday’.
  • People were not only killed, but brutally tortured. Reports show that the victims were not only shot, but also burned, drowned, given poison, killed from noxious gas inhalation, struck with disease, or taken out to sea and thrown overboard. Rape was also frequently reported in victims’ cases as well.

  • Genocide was NOT a crime at this time. In fact, genocide was not even a term until 1944 when Raphael Lemkin used the term to describe the actions that the Nazis displayed to the Jewish people. It was not even until 1948 that the United Nations approved genocide of being a crime.

  • The Ottomans were concerned that the Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire at the time would offer assistance to Russia in the situation of a war, which fueled their inane reasoning in the genocide.

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Many tragedies and harrowing events which did not have to happen go ignored, unacknowledged and severely under reported to population. It is our duty as lawful citizens to call for law when unjust actions are made, and unfortunately, too many have been acted on in the past and recent past as well. The Armenian Genocide happened just 100 years ago in 1915, yet it is not regularly spoken of in history classes or lectures. It is important and crucial as members of society that we are aware of what is happening and what has happened in accordance to not make the same mistakes over again.

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