Armenian Genocide and Holocaust Denial

By Ze’ev Farber, farber.lawyer@gmail.com

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The Holocaust means the genocide of the Jewish people carried out  according to the Nazi Final Solution, aimed at systematically killing all members of the Jewish people. Then, a few decades after the Holocaust, its denial started, in several ways. One of them was trivializing the Holocaust and denying its uniqueness. In no other time in human history was one nation nothing but victim, while another one was nothing but criminals. German Jews did nothing to threaten the German people. All they tried was being good citizens of Germany. This is not similar to all other cases claiming the definition of Holocaust. Thus, for instance, in 1994, the Hutus of Rwanda massacred the Tutsis of Rwanda, and, later on, the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front massacred the Tutsis. So, is it proper to call these Rwandan atrocities Holocaust, or rather mutual, brutal total war? The latter seems more appropriate.

When I hear people talk about Armenian Holocaust, what comes to my mind is just one name, Andranik Toros Ozanian, an Armenian general, who, in 1918, made an ethnic cleansing attempt by leveling, in Zangezur region of Armenia, and the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan about 150 Turkish villages. Earlier on he had led anti-Turkish Armenian guerilla forces, and was one of leaders of the 1903 the anti-Turkish Armenian apprising in Sasun.  The 1915 massacre of Armenians was preceded by a revolt of Armenians living in the Ottoman city of Van, against the Ottoman Army, allying with Russian Army which was advancing towards the town.  The Turks, considering the Armenian population a Fifth Column, retaliated brutally, by mass deportation of Armenians, which resulted on many of them dying of hunger, thirsts and at the hands of bandits.

The establishment of an Armenian state independent of Turkish domination cost much blood, both Turkish and Armenian, with both sides resorting to ethnic cleansing and murder or peaceful civilians merely for belonging to the opponent ethnicity. Since the Turks overpowered the Armenians, the Armenians claim to be the targets of genocide committed by the Turks. But, if the Armenians prevailed, it would be the Turks who would have crying havoc, demanding the entire world to recognize the Turkish Genocide. So, should one speak of Holocaust in this case? It is more appropriate to speak of mutual brutal total war.

 Actually, by demanding to recognize the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenians claim themselves to be the only victim of their conflict with the Turks, thus denying the massacre of Turks by Armenians. The mere facts of massacre of Armenians are undisputable. The discussion recently held in the Knesset’s Committee of Education only indicates the ignorance of Israeli parliamentarians who didn’t bother to study the issue before the discussion, and to the fact that the Jews’ awareness of their own Holocaust, in which one third of the Jewish people was murdered has been reduced to such an extent, that even Israeli parliamentarians are willing to assist Holocaust Denial, or at least the denial of the uniqueness of the Holocaust.           

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