On April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported Armenian intellectuals, community leaders, and other luminaries from Constantinople (now Istanbul) and drove them into Ankara, Turkey. This action kicked off a series of events that, collectively, would become known as the Armenian Genocide and marked the first holocaust in modern history.
Let’s take a look at some of the facts we know, today, about this tragedy.
Every Year, Armenians All Over The World Gather To Commemorate The Armenian Genocide
This is true even to this day. According to KUTV, Utah Armenians came together today to commemorate the Armenian Genocide, which Utah recognizes as a “Day of Remembrance,” even though the United States doesn’t officially recognize the genocide.
In His Infamous Obersalzberg Speech, Adolf Hitler Made Reference To The Genocide
According to the Genocide Education Project, Adolf Hitler was inspired to carry out his own holocaust by the events that took place during the genocide. In fact, the genocide is often considered the “first holocaust” of the modern era. On August 22, 1939, Reichmarshal Hermann Goering was directed by Hitler to invade Poland with no quarter, indicating that just as no one “remembered” the Armenian holocaust, no one would remember the impending Jewish Holocaust, either.
“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. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations 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 today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
Kim Kardashian, Who Is Of Armenian Heritage, Often Speaks About The Genocide On Her Social Media Accounts
Kim Kardashian, who is perhaps the most famous Armenian-American in the world today, has frequently used her extensive platform to bring awareness of the Armenian Genocide to both her followers and to the news. Kardashian even took to her website to decry a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal that categorically denied that the genocide was real. The ad, taken out by the Turkic Platform, claimed that not only did the genocide not happen, but that not as many people died as the Armenians claim, and that the Armenians were to blame.
Thanked the Armenian diaspora for all of their efforts over the years to achieve genocide recognition. I’m optimistic that one day soon Congress will pass the resolution to recognize the #ArmenianGenocide pic.twitter.com/GSgLete92E
— Rep. Frank Pallone (@FrankPallone) April 22, 2018
When Kardashian spoke out against the ad, she received a huge backlash from Turkish citizens and from others online who believe that the genocide isn’t real.
“Advocating the denial of a genocide by the country responsible for it—that’s not publishing a ‘provocative viewpoint,’ that’s spreading lies. It’s totally morally irresponsible, and, most of all, it’s dangerous. If this had been an ad denying the Holocaust, or pushing some 9/11 conspiracy theory, would it have made it to print?”
— USC Shoah Foundation (@USCShoahFdn) April 23, 2018
Several Movies About The Genocide Have Been Made
In recent times, however, two movies about the Armenian Genocide have sparked national attention and outrage: The Promise, which starred Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, and The Ottoman Lieutenant, which starred Josh Hartnett. The former film, which was directed by Hotel Rwanda‘s Terry George, places the blame for the genocide at the feet of the Turkish government. The latter film, which offered what the Hollywood Reporter called a “revisionist” viewpoint, instead placed the blame of the genocide at the feet of a “rogue group of Armenians.” This “revisionist” viewpoint prompted the creators of The Promise to allege that the creators of The Ottoman Lieutenant were directly tied to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Neither film did well at the box office.
The facts of the Armenian Genocide still hold true today.