The Armenian Genocide as a Prototype
  • Richard G. Hovannisian


The year 2000 ushers in a new century and new millennium; it also marks the eighty-fifth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. That calamity completely altered the course of Armenian history as well as the geopolitical, economic, and ethnographic complexion of the Middle East. At this particular threshold of time, the Armenian Genocide, like the Holocaust and the genocidal massacres in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Balkans, and elsewhere, now belong to a past century and in the minds of many may not seem to have much significance for current generations. Yet the lessons from those crimes remain compelling and need to be passed on. In the Armenian case, more than anything else, it is the trauma that is especially enduring because of the refusal of the perpetrator regime or its successors to acknowledge the crime and to seek redemption. Instead of apologies and educational programmes to face their history and themselves honestly, the Turkish government and most Turkish intellectuals continue along a path of self-righteous negation. In this dissimilation they are joined by sympathetic academics abroad, thereby only compounding the trauma of the victims. In fact, the case of the Armenian Genocide has become the prototype of denial of modern premeditated mass killing, with particular relevance to negation of the Holocaust. It is not coincidental that, the Holocaust excepted, there has been no admission of responsibility by any genocidal regime in the 20th century.


Mass Killing Turkish Government Holocaust Denial Congressional Record Armenian Genocide 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Richard G. Hovannisian

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