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Armenian Golgotha

July 11, 2010 10:41:36.846

I picked up Armenian Golgotha for my iPad (via the Kindle app - as a side note, the way it synchs between my iPad and iPhone is awesome). It's a highly disturbing book, and perhaps the most disturbing part about it is reading it now, after the 20th century and the much more well known Holocaust.

Why do I say that? Well, reading Balakian's first person account is looking at "version 1", if you want to run the risk of trivializing it with a bad analogy. Roving death squads? Check. Using cover of war to hide what you're doing? Check. Run at the highest levels of govenment? Check. The only real difference between what happened in Anatolia and what happened 30 years later in central and eastern europe is how blame was assigned (or not).

The Ittihad government was the end of the Ottomans, and a revolution and successor state took over. I'm not going to get into the continuing attempts to deny reality; a few Google searches should tell you everything you need to know about that. No, the thing that realy strikes me while reading this book (I'm only partway through) is how prototypical the Turkish effort was for later genocides, whether you're looking at what the Nazis did in Europe, or at what the Pol Pot regime did in Cambodia. It seems pretty clear to me that an educated elite studied this earlier attempt, and took notes.

posted by James Robertson


Re: Armenian Golgotha

[Canol] July 11, 2010 11:37:39.680

As I said in FriendFeed (to reach a wider audience, I write here, too), don't reach a judgment before reading Turkish archives. You will see that a lot of claims of Armenians are proven to be wrong and that they don't ever tell the whole truth.

Unfortunately, Turkey is a pretty lonely country and when I see news/movies on foreign channels I got very sad how wrong they reflect us to the rest of the world.

Quick fact: Did you know that in some European countries (like Switzerland), it is crime to say that "Armenian genocide did not happen" so you cannot even "discuss" the subject while in Turkey there is no restriction to say that "Armenian genocide happened"? I just saw a web site when searching through Google which claim that it is crime to acknowledge Armenian genocide in Turkey and you would be killed for that, so I wanted to share :)

Re: Armenian Golgotha

[james Robertson] July 11, 2010 11:59:34.810

The Armenian genocide is as well documented as the Nazi genocide, or the Pol Pot (Cambodia) one. Denying it is, at best, uneducated. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader as to what I think "at worst" qualifies as.

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