Book Reviews

Book Review: The Armenian Genocide


Armenians and Greeks have been living in Asia Minor for millennia and had developed distinct cultures, but Turkish hordes from central Asia overran their lands in the 14th century.

Armenians were the first nation to accept Christianity as a national religion, and helped spread the gospel for centuries.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire has lost its military and economic power. The government started experiencing severe problems and blamed non-Muslims for the decline. Young Turks, a group of revolutionary and educated people, advocated liberalization of freedoms (economic, literary, and social).

The sultan reluctantly agreed, but soon Armenians who enjoyed relatively better economic conditions, because of their superior education, skills, and trade acumen, were held responsible to have contributed to the decline of the Ottoman Empire,

At the time and for at least three more decades the German Empire had established close trade and military relations. More than 800 German military commanders were in the Ottoman Empire advising politicians about external and internal policies.

One of their proposals was that in the event of war, Armenians, and Greeks would become “internal” enemies to the government and therefore should be eliminated by every means possible.

At the time, educated Greek and Armenians were in the employ of the government, and even in the army.

Turkish officials knowing about the wealth of Armenians started making plans to systematically exterminate them, first under the guise of relocating wide swaths of the populations (infirm, sick, children, women and adults) on very short notice often within hours).

Columns of unarmed people were marched through cities, and deserted valleys to unknown destinations under the supervision of armed gendarmes (mostly Kurds and Caucasians).

The wealth and property of all those who were relocated were confiscated, and ultimately most of them were slaughtered under unimaginable cruelty.

German authorities have always denied their involvement, but Wolfgang Gust, a historian, anthropologist, and head of the seminal Der Spiegel magazine, together with his wife made it their goal to investigate and publicize the complicity of German politicians with unprecedented access to German foreign office archives of the time.

In this seminal book, the foreword of Professor Vahakn Dadrian, a knowledgeable individual of the Armenian genocide, lays bare the facts and what happened actually.

This is an excellent book, researched with thorough German diligence in archives, proving that German authorities contributed and systematically supported the genocide, as it was unfolding.

Several German consuls stationed in various cities of Asia Minor reported their findings, but the German ambassador in Constantinople chose to ignore them. When a few memoranda inadvertently slipped through to the chancellor’s office, officials quickly field them without showing any to their minister.

The respected Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper comments: ”The documents collected here illustrate clearly the shared responsibility of the Kaiserreich, the most important ally of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The documents were not intended for public use. They are therefore largely undisguised and so vivid that the reader often shudders when reading them”.

The Armenian Genocide absolutely details every German document regarding it.

Germans recognized how Hitler exterminated millions of Jews and paid Israel untold millions for their misdeeds, but the Turkish government (the successor of the Ottoman Empire) first denied the genocide ever occurred. Now more than 90 years later, even a few Turkish scholars admit that the genocide occurred. Still the Turkish

Government will not open its archives for scholars to study official documents so that all now know the incriminating evidence they contain.

This is an invaluable book for all Armenians everywhere, historians, politicians of every stripe to read, study, and keep it as a reference.

It should be a must volume in every library.

Highly recommended.

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