Murder at Golgotha: Revisiting the Most Famous Crime Scene in History

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Library Locations Map Details. Central Library Borrow it. Library Links. Embed Experimental. Layout options: Carousel Grid List Card. Include data citation:. Copy to clipboard Close. Cite Data - Experimental. Structured data from the Bibframe namespace is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4. Additional terms may apply to data associated with third party namespaces. Alongside official documentation, many Turkish public figures during the time have acknowledged the systematic nature of the massacres.

We tried to extinguish the Armenians through methods that belong to the medieval times". They are the greatest stain that has ever disgraced our nation and race. They were entirely the work of Talat and Enver. It is far from my thought to cast a veil over these misdeeds, which are such as to make the conscience of mankind shudder with horror for ever; still less will I endeavour to minimise the degree of guilt of the actors in the great drama. The aim which I have set myself is that of showing to the world with proofs in my hand, who are the truly responsible authors of these terrible crimes.

We have plundered the possessions of the men whom we deported and massacred; we have sanctioned theft in our Chamber and our Senate. During my few days of service in this government I've learned of a few secrets and have come across something interesting. The deportation order was issued through official channels by the minister of the interior and sent to the provinces. Following this order the [CUP] Central Committee circulated its own ominous order to all parties to allow the gangs to carry out their wretched task. Thus the gangs were in the field, ready for their atrocious slaughter.

Some politicians tried to prevent the deportations and subsequent massacres. One such politician, Mehmet Celal Bey , was known for saving thousands of lives and is often called the Turkish Oskar Schindler. I never imagined that any government could take upon itself to annihilate its own citizens in this manner, in effect destroying its human capital, which must be seen as the country's greatest treasure. I presumed that the actions being carried out were measures deriving from a desire to temporarily remove the Armenians from the theater of war and taken as the result of wartime exigencies.

Given the fact that the crime is all too evident, the perpetrators should have been hanged already.

During the Republican period, several Turkish politicians expressed their discontent with the deportations and subsequent massacres. We knew, before we did it, that the Christian world would not tolerate it and they would direct their anger and hatred toward us. Why did we impute the title of murderer to our race? Why did we enter into such a decisive and difficult struggle? That was done just to secure the future of our country, which we know to be more precious and sacred than our lives.

The Russian Empire's response to the bombardment of its Black Sea naval ports was primarily a land campaign through the Caucasus. Early victories against the Ottoman Empire from the winter of to the spring of saw significant gains of territory, including relieving the Armenian bastion resisting in the city of Van in May The Russians also reported encountering the bodies of unarmed civilian Armenians as they advanced.

Although a neutral state throughout the war, Sweden had permanent representatives in the Ottoman Empire who closely followed and continuously reported on major developments there. The report began as follows:. The persecutions of the Armenians have reached hair-raising proportions and all points to the fact that the Young Turks want to seize the opportunity, since due to different reasons there are no effective external pressure to be feared, to once and for all put an end to the Armenian question.

The means for this are quite simple and consist of the extermination utrotandet of the Armenian nation. Reflecting upon the situation in Turkey during the final stages of the war, Envoy Alhgren presented an analysis of the prevailing situation in Turkey and the hard times which had befallen the population. In explaining the increased living costs he identified a number of reasons: "obstacles for domestic trade, the almost total paralysing of the foreign trade and finally the strong decreasing of labour power, caused partly by the mobilisation, but partly also by the extermination of the Armenian race [utrotandet af den armeniska rasen]".

Commenting on the interpretation that the deportations resulted from the purported collaboration of the Armenians with the Russians, Wirsen states that the deportations were nothing but a cover for their extermination: "Officially, these had the goal to move the entire Armenian population to the steppe regions of Northern Mesopotamia and Syria, but in reality they aimed to exterminate [utrota] the Armenians, whereby the pure Turkish element in Asia Minor would achieve a dominating position".

The way the Armenian problem was solved was hair-raising. I can still see in front of me Talaat's cynical expression, when he emphasized that the Armenian question was solved". She witnessed the massacres in Mush and saw most of the children in her care murdered, along with Armenian priests, teachers, and assistants. She escaped after nine days on horseback, but stayed on in the region for another two years under increasingly difficult working conditions. After a period at home she again went to Armenia and, until she retired in , worked for Armenian refugees in Syria and Lebanon.

Many of her photos are now in the National Archives of Norway. In combination with her comments, written in her photo albums or on the back of the prints themselves, these photos bear strong witness of the atrocities that she saw. Danish missionary Maria Jacobsen wrote her experiences in a diary entitled Diaries of a Danish Missionary: Harpoot, — , which according to genocide scholar Ara Sarafian, is a "documentation of the utmost significance" for research of the Armenian Genocide. Another Danish missionary, Aage Meyer Benedictsen, wrote in regards to the massacres that it was a "shattering crime, probably the largest in the history of the world: The attempt, planned and executed in cold blood, to murder a whole people, the Armenian, during the World War.

Due to the period of weak central government and Tehran 's inability to protect its territorial integrity, no resistance was offered by the mostly Islamic Persian troops when, after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the extreme northwest of Persia, Islamic Turks invaded the town of Salmas in northwestern Persia and tortured and massacred the Christian Armenian inhabitants. Mohammad-Ali Jamalzadeh , a prominent Persian writer in the 20th century, studied in Europe where he joined a group of Iranian nationalists in Berlin who were to eventually start a newspaper Rastakhiz in Baghdad in After remaining in Baghdad, Jamalzadeh went to Constantinople where he witnessed the deportations of Armenians and encountered many corpses during his journey.

The Armenian Genocide is widely corroborated by international genocide scholars. The International Association of Genocide Scholars IAGS , consisting of the world's foremost experts on genocide, [] unanimously passed a formal resolution affirming the factuality of the Armenian Genocide. Leading texts in the international law of genocide such as William Schabas 's Genocide in International Law cite the Armenian Genocide as precursor to the Holocaust and as a precedent for the law on crimes against humanity. Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin, when he coined the term genocide in , cited the Turkish extermination of the Armenians and the Nazi extermination of the Jews as defining examples of what he meant by genocide.

Historian Stefan Ihrig observes that the Armenian Genocide was part of the prehistory of the Holocaust and that, merely ten years before Hitler's rise to power, the German debate on genocide, begun in , concluded with justifications of genocide and calls for the expulsion of Jews. A segment of speech given by Hitler to Wehrmacht commanders at his Obersalzberg records him asking rhetorically "Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians?

Anderson surmises, "we have no reason to doubt the remark is genuine, both attack and defense obscure an obvious reality" that the Armenian Genocide has achieved "iconic status As a response to continuing denial by the Turkish state, many activists from Armenian Diaspora communities have pushed for formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide from various governments around the world. On 4 March , a U. The efforts also include reaffirmation of a genocide by Ottoman Turkey in President, abstained from using the term "genocide". Pope Francis described it as the "First genocide of the XX century", causing a diplomatic row with Turkey.

The bishop of Rome defended his pronouncement by saying it was his duty to honour the memory of the innocent men, women and children who were "senselessly" murdered by Ottoman Turks years before he became Pontiff. He also called on all heads of state and international organizations to recognize "the truth of what transpired and oppose such crimes without ceding to ambiguity or compromise. Turkish World War I casualty figures are often cited to mitigate the effect of the number of Armenian dead. Volkan Vural, retired ambassador of Turkey to Germany and Spain, says that the Turkish state should apologize for what happened to the Armenians during the deportations of and what happened to the Greeks during the Istanbul Pogrom.

Murder at Golgotha: Revisiting the Most Famous Crime Scene in History

I don't believe that historical facts about this issue is not revealed. The historical facts are already known. The most important point here is that how these facts will be interpreted and will affect the future". Turkish governmental sources have asserted that the historically demonstrated "tolerance of the Turkish people" itself renders the Armenian Genocide an impossibility. Would you admit to the crimes of your grandfathers, if these crimes didn't really happen? But the problem lies precisely in this question, says Hrant Dink , publisher and editor-in-chief of the Istanbul-based Armenian weekly Agos.

Turkey's bureaucratic elite have never really shed themselves of the Ottoman tradition—in the perpetrators, they see their fathers, whose honor they seek to defend. This tradition instills a sense of identity in Turkish nationalists—both from the left and the right, and it is passed on from generation to generation through the school system.

This tradition also requires an antipole against which it could define itself. Since the times of the Ottoman Empire, religious minorities have been pushed into this role. In , Turkey started an "initiative to resolve Armenian allegations regarding " by using archives in Turkey, Armenia and other countries.

That is why we have proposed and propose again that, without pre-conditions, we establish normal relations between our two countries". Efforts by the Turkish government and its agents to quash mention of the genocide have resulted in numerous scholarly, diplomatic, political and legal controversies. In , Turkey recalled its ambassador to France to protest the Genocide monument erected in Marseille "to the memory of the 1,, Armenian victims of the genocide ordered by the Turkish rulers in ". Early drafts of Ruhashyankiko's report referred to the World War I era Ottoman massacre of Armenians as genocide, but that reference disappeared from his final report under pressure from Turkey.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry attempted to prevent any mention of the Armenian Genocide at an international conference on genocide held in Tel Aviv in Several reports suggested that Turkey had warned that Turkish Jews might face "reprisals" if the conference permitted Armenian participation.

The proposal occurred in the context of the publication of "The Slaughterhouse Province", the eyewitness report by Leslie Davis , American diplomat and consul in Kharpert from —, who reported that "thousands and thousands of Armenians, mostly innocent and helpless women and children, were butchered" in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey responded by blocking United States Navy visits to Turkey and suspending some United States military training facilities on Turkish territory.

Blair , went into hiding after a series of anonymous threats. In , psychologist Robert Jay Lifton received a letter from the Turkish Ambassador to the United States, Nuzhet Kandemir, questioning his inclusion of references to the Armenian Genocide in one of his books. The ambassador inadvertently included a draft of the letter, written by scholar Heath W.


Lowry , advising the ambassador on how to prevent mention of the Armenian Genocide in scholarly works. The book was the first to be published in Turkey that openly acknowledged the events of as genocide. Soon after its publication, Zarakolu received threats and in his publishing house was the target of a bomb attack. Prosecutors acting on their own initiative have used Article of the Turkish Penal Code prohibiting "insulting Turkishness" to silence a number of prominent Turkish intellectuals who spoke of atrocities suffered by Armenians in the last days of the Ottoman Empire most of these cases have been dismissed.

Subjected to a hate campaign , he left Turkey, before returning in to defend his right to freedom of speech : "What happened to the Ottoman Armenians in was a major thing that was hidden from the Turkish nation; it was a taboo. But we have to be able to talk about the past". These prosecutions have often been accompanied by hate campaigns and threats, as was the case for Hrant Dink , who was prosecuted three times for " insulting Turkishness ", and murdered in After a meeting with then UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in , Turkey's prime minister announced that the Turkish government might order the expulsion of all illegal Armenian immigrants from Turkey.

He repeated the statement in a BBC interview immediately afterwards, declaring that there were , illegal Armenian citizens living in Turkey and that: "If necessary, I may have to tell these , to go back to their country because they are not my citizens. I don't have to keep them in my country. He added that "France is the last country which can lecture Turkey on genocide and history". At a symposium held on 24 April , Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned France for its official commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and termed the deportations of Armenians by the Ottoman government in the early 20th century "appropriate at the time".

Armenia has been involved in a protracted ethnic-territorial conflict with Azerbaijan , a Turkic state, since Azerbaijan became independent from the Soviet Union in The conflict has featured several pogroms, massacres, and waves of ethnic cleansing , by both sides. Some foreign policy observers and historians have suggested that Armenia and the Armenian diaspora have sought to portray the modern conflict as a continuation of the Armenian Genocide, in order to influence modern policy-making in the region.

The rhetoric leading up to the onset of the conflict, which unfolded in the context of several pogroms against Armenians, was dominated by references to the Armenian Genocide, including fears that it would be, or was in the course of being, repeated.


The worldwide recognition of the Genocide is a core aspect of Armenia's foreign policy. The premeditated destruction of objects of Armenian cultural, religious, historical and communal heritage was yet another key purpose of both the genocide itself and the post-genocidal campaign of denial. Armenian churches and monasteries were destroyed or changed into mosques, Armenian cemeteries flattened, and, in several cities e. Aside from the deaths, Armenians lost their wealth and property without compensation.

The assets were then funneled to European banks, including Deutsche and Dresdner banks. After the end of World War I, Genocide survivors tried to return and reclaim their former homes and assets, but were driven out by the Ankara Government. In , the Armenian Patriarch in Constantinople presented a list of the Armenian holy sites under his supervision. The list contained 2, religious places of which were monasteries while 1, were churches. In UNESCO stated that after , out of Armenian historical monuments left in Eastern Turkey, have vanished completely, are in ruins, and are in need of repair in stable conditions.

According to the President of IAGS, Henry Theriault, while current members of Turkish society cannot be blamed morally for the destruction of Armenians, present-day Republic of Turkey , as successor state to the Ottoman Empire and as beneficiary of the wealth and land expropriations brought forth through the genocide, is responsible for reparations. In March , the group released a final report entitled Resolution with Justice — Reparations for the Armenian Genocide.

The historian Alfred de Zayas has stated that, because of the continuing character of the crime of genocide in factual and legal terms, the remedy of restitution has not been foreclosed. Thus the survivors of the genocide against the Armenians, both individually and collectively, have standing to advance a claim for restitution. Whenever possible complete restitution or restoration to the previous condition should be granted.

Where it is not possible, relevant compensation may be substituted as a remedy. De Zayas also states that genocides are considered delicta juris gentium crimes in addition to being a crime against humanity. Therefore, statutes of limitation do not apply, and the Turkish state is still criminally liable for the genocide and is legally obligated to provide reparations for the victims. Another historian, Vahagn Avedian, has argued that, although the UN Genocide Convention was not in force until , the treaties in force at the time of the genocide pertaining to the protection of civilian population, such as the Martens Clause of Hague Conventions of and , mean that the actions of the Turkish governments the Ottoman, the insurgent nationalist movement as well as the succeeding republic , should be viewed from the perspective of Internationally Wrongful Acts.

Avedian wrote that:. Thus, the insurgent National Movement, which later became the Republic, made itself responsible for not only its own wrongful acts, but also those of its predecessor, including the act of genocide committed in — The committee process determining the arbitral award was agreed to by the parties and, according to international law, the resulting determination has legal force regardless of the ultimate fate of the treaty.

Over memorials, spread across 25 countries, commemorate the Armenian Genocide. In , the 50th anniversary of the genocide, a hour mass protest was initiated in Yerevan demanding recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Soviet authorities. At the center of the circle there is an eternal flame. Each 24 April, hundreds of thousands of people walk to the monument, which is the official memorial of the genocide, and lay flowers around the eternal flame.

The museum holds a permanent, online and temporary exhibitions, which give a detailed and documented description of that period and of the atrocities. The first artwork known to have been influenced by the Armenian Genocide was a medal struck in St. Petersburg while the massacres and deportations of were at their height. It was issued as a token of Russian sympathy for Armenian suffering. Since then, dozens of similar medals have been commissioned in various countries.

Numerous eyewitness accounts of the atrocities were published, notably those of Swedish missionary Alma Johansson and U. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr. German medic Armin Wegner wrote several books about the atrocities he witnessed while stationed in the Ottoman Empire. Years later, having returned to Germany, Wegner was imprisoned for opposing Nazism , [] and his books were burnt by the Nazis. This book was a bestseller that became particularly popular among the youth in the Jewish ghettos during the Nazi era.

Kurt Vonnegut 's novel Bluebeard features the Armenian Genocide as an underlying theme. The first feature film about the Armenian Genocide, a Hollywood production titled Ravished Armenia , was released in It was produced by the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief and based on the account of survivor Aurora Mardiganian , who played herself. It resonated with acclaimed director Atom Egoyan , influencing his Ararat. The paintings of Armenian-American Arshile Gorky , a seminal figure of Abstract Expressionism , are considered to have been influenced by the suffering and loss of the period.

Several musicians have dedicated songs to the Armenian Genocide. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Systematic killing of Armenians residing in the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Empire Republic of Turkey. Further information: Genocide. Etymology Timeline Traditional Urheimat. Stone and Copper Age Shulaveri-Shomu culture c. Middle Ages. Arabic period Emirate of Armenia — Early modern age. Perso - Ottoman period Safavid and Qajar rule — Modern age.

Independence First Republic of Armenia — Main article: Armenian Question. Main article: Armenian national liberation movement.

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Main article: Hamidian massacres. Main article: Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Main article: Young Turk Revolution. Main article: Adana massacre. Further information: Ottoman labour battalions. Further information: Siege of Van. Further information: Deportation of Armenian intellectuals on 24 April Further information: Tehcir Law. See also: Armenian casualties of deportations. Main article: Special Organization Ottoman Empire.

See also: Trebizond during the Armenian Genocide. See also: Confiscated Armenian property in Turkey. Main article: Turkish Courts-Martial of — Main articles: Prosecution of Ottoman war criminals and Malta exiles. See also: Operation Nemesis. See also: Near East Foundation. Main article: Witnesses and testimonies of the Armenian Genocide. See also: Ambassador Morgenthau's Story. See also: Armin T. Play media. Main article: Armenian Genocide recognition. Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Resolution, 24 April "Today we commemorate the anniversary of what has been called the first genocide of the 20th century, and we salute the memory of the Armenian victims of this crime against humanity".

See also: Armenian Genocide denial. See also: Nagorno-Karabakh War and Sumgait pogrom. See also: Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey. Main article: Armenian Genocide reparations. Main article: Armenian Genocide in culture. Journal of Genocide Research. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction.

The result, passed emphatically in December despite not inconsiderable opposition, was a resolution which I co-drafted, reading as follows Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute. Retrieved 17 June The New York Times. John's Law Review. Oxford University Press. Encyclopedia of human rights Google Books. The history and sociology of genocide: analyses and case studies. Yale University Press. Wayne State University Press.

The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 January Retrieved 31 August Retrieved 13 December The Huffington Post. Armenian National Institute. New York: Penguin Press. Genocide Watch. State to Recognize the Armenian Genocide". Armenian Weekly. Retrieved 23 June Hovannisian, Richard G. New York: St. Martin's Press. The Armenian Weekly. Les diasporas dans le monde contemporain.

Yerevan: Zangak Armenian claims of 'genocide' during the events Anadolu Agency. In Schwelling, Birgit ed.

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Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. Seemingly unaware that any term used to refer to a historical crime of this nature is necessarily always already 'politicized', when used in this context, just as when President Obama used the same term as a means of avoiding the word 'genocide', Medz Yeghern ceases to be a private term of communal mourning for Armenians, it becomes something else: a political instrument in the hands of others.

International Center for Transitional Justice. Archived from the original on 3 July In Winter, Jay ed. America and the Armenian Genocide of Cambridge University Press. This is the report of the British expert, Benjamin Whitaker, who was tasked by the Sub-Commission to research the problem and come up with his evaluation. After eight years of research, Whitaker concluded that the First World War Armenian experience was a case of genocide within the terms of the meaning of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Whitaker saw fit, however, to describe it as a war-conditioned 'aberration'. Archived from the original on 4 June Elie Wiesel Foundation. Archived from the original PDF on 10 July Archived from the original on 2 July The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.

Archived from the original PDF on 23 June American Thinker. Archived from the original on 28 August Islam and Dhimmitude. Martyred Armenia. Turkey: a Past and a Future. Transaction Publishers. Historical Dictionary of Armenia 2nd ed. Scarecrow Press. Martin's, pp. In Aghayan, Tsatur ; et al. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences. Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. New York: HarperCollins.

New York: Metropolitan Books. Oxford: Berghahn Books. Looking toward Ararat Armenia in modern history. Bloomington: Indiana university press. Daily Sabah. Retrieved 3 May In Suny, Ronald ; et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The German Foreign Ministry operative, Ernst Jackh, estimated that , Armenians were killed and a further 50, expelled from the provinces during the Hamidian unrest. French diplomats placed the figures at , killed. Archived from the original on 22 December Retrieved 17 February Cited in Shirinian, George N.

Berghahn Books. Princeton University Press. Armenian atrocities, the murder of a nation. University of California Libraries. London, New York [etc. Cosimo, Inc. Retrieved 15 April Bloomsbury Publishing. State Identities and the Homogenisation of Peoples. Jacobs Confronting Genocide: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

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On 24 April the Ministry of the Interior ordered the arrest of Armenian parliamentary deputies, former ministers, and some intellectuals. Thousands were arrested, including 2, in the capital, most of whom were subsequently executed That particular date was chosen because on April 24, , the Ottoman Young Turk government began deporting hundreds of Armenian leaders and intellectuals from Constantinople Istanbul ; most were later murdered en masse.

Greenwood Publishing Group. On the night of April 24, , the brightest representatives of the Armenian intellectual elite of Constantinople, including writers, musicians, politicians, and scientists were arrested and brutally massacred. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Retrieved 31 January New York: Alfred A Knopf. New York: Avon Books. See Rosen, Ruth. San Francisco Chronicle.

Archived from the original PDF on 11 October Retrieved 16 December From empire to republic: Turkish nationalism and the Armenian genocide. Zed Books. United States. Retrieved 24 April All things Considered. United States: National Public Radio. Mandell, Ariane 23 April The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 2 February University of Utah Press. International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma.

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  8. Encyclopedia of War Crimes and Genocide. Primary source: "Armenians are sent to perish in desert; Turks accused of plan to exterminate whole population; people of Karahissar massacred". L'Histoire in French. In Donald Bloxham, A. Dirk Moses ed. The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies. Genocide at the Twilight of the Ottoman Empire". The release of "Kung Fu Panda 3" brings back Po, everyone's favourite panda kung fu master. Show less. A Storm of Witchcraft. Director Robert Eggers' debut "The Witch" has already garnered rave reviews on the festival circuit. This horrifying story of a 17th century fam Show more Director Robert Eggers' debut "The Witch" has already garnered rave reviews on the festival circuit.

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