2880) Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Response to Turkish Denial

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com
  1. Present-day Turkey cannot be held responsible for the crimes committed in the Ottoman Empire;
  2. Massacres of Armenians in Turkey were largely the result of "inter-communal clashes" over which the central authorities had no control;
  3. In response to a large-scale uprising mounted by Armenians, the Ottoman government ordered them deported;
  4. The Ottoman Armenians formed a political alliance with the advancing Russians, thus committing high treason;
  5. The intent of the Ottoman government was not to cause the destruction of the deportee population but merely its relocation;
  6. "Disloyal Ottoman Armenians killed 1.1 million Muslims and 100,000 Jews";
  7. The number of Armenian victims is exaggerated;
  8. Accusations of the Young Turk regime of committing crimes against humanity by France, Great Britain and Russia are wartime propaganda;
  9. The British convened the Malta Tribunals to try Ottoman officials for crimes against Armenians;
  10. The overall Turkish losses during the WWI being about 2.5 million, they by far exceed the scope of total Armenian losses;
  11. Turkish military tribunal prosecuted the authors of the Armenian genocide;
  12. Top Young Turk leaders were acquitted by the Turkish military tribunal;
  13. Turkish state archives contain no evidence supporting the charge of genocide;
  14. Ottoman authorities punished the perpetrators of the Armenian massacres during the WW1;
  15. Hitler did not refer to the Armenians in plotting the Final Solution; the infamous quote is fraudulent;
  16. The UN did not recognize the Armenian genocide;
  17. To collect American materials alone would not provide a balanced historical record;
  18. Henry Morgenthau’s aim was political, therefore he pursued only one side of a many-facetted story.

The Key Elements in the Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide:
A Case Study of Distortion and Falsification
, Vahakn N. Dadrian, Director, Genocide Research Project, Zoryan Institute, September 1999


The Zoryan Institute has devoted itself to scholarly research on many Armenian-related issues, including the Armenian genocide, since its inception in 1982. Its members have always held the belief that if the Institute produced solid, scientific, and innovative works of scholarship, they would speak for themselves. However, in spite of all the research, all of the documentation, all of the conferences, and all of the publications produced by numerous organizations and individuals—including many not identified with Armenian interests—demonstrating that the mass murder of Armenians that took place during the years 1915-1923 was, indeed, the result of a premeditated plan of extermination by the successive Turkish governments of the time, this has not deterred present-day Turkish governments from continuing a long-standing policy of actively denying it.1

Why, then, is the Zoryan Institute involving itself in directly refuting acute denialism regarding the Armenian genocide at this time? Three considerations make this denial especially problematic. First, because the documentation of the Armenian genocide is inextricably connected with the denial of the genocide by its perpetrators. Any effort at documenting the Armenian genocide must confront the "Turkish denial syndrome." That syndrome has now grown into what I have described as "an industry of denial." In fact, genocide denial is so prevalent that it is now becoming a field of study in its own right. The relative success of genocide denial is contingent on two factors: a) It takes advantage of our innate sense of fair play and willingness to hear "both sides of the story." The late Terence des Pres cogently diagnosed the pitfalls for scholarship and for the quest for truth implicit in the manipulative adoption of this principle of fairness by the apologists skillfully trying to conceal rather than reveal the pertinent facts at issue here.2 There are others who think that when it comes to a crime such as genocide, there can be no "other side." b) Denial does not require any proof, only an assertion and a call for the "reassessment" of history; the burden is on someone else to "disprove" the assertion. Second, genocide denial may be ignored when it is practiced by those who have no credibility and no external audience; it is another matter when genocide denial is practiced by the government of a powerful country and has as its target the governments of other powerful and influential countries, with whom that government is linked by bonds of political and military alliance. Third, the Zoryan Institute takes seriously the value of the study of history and the lessons the world has to learn from it. Genocide has become such a recurrent phenomenon in the twentieth century—and shows no signs of abating—that its study is very relevant to and important for the world today. As Augustc Comte, the founder of the discipline of Sociology almost two centuries ago, would say, it is necessary to fully understand past genocides in order to be able to predict future genocides, and it is necessary to be able to predict future genocides in order to be able to prevent them.

The most recent manifestation of the Turkish denial syndrome was triggered by an initiative of some sixty Congressmen in the United States House of Representatives in April 1999 to pass a resolution "to provide in a collection all United States records related to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to enforce the judgments of the Turkish courts against the responsible officials, and deliver the collection to the House International Relations Committee, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for incorporation into its holdings of official documentation on genocide and for purposes of public awareness and education, and to the Armenian Genocide Museum in Yerevan, Armenia." After enumerating eighteen findings affirming the historicity and importance of remembering the Armenian genocide, the Resolution goes on to require that the above be done "Within six months of the enactment of this resolution...in an act documenting and affirming the United States record of protest and recognition of this crime against humanity."

It is the collection of the National Archives, which contain the World War I and post-World War I documentary records of the U.S. State Department that are at issue here. That department was entrusted with the task of collecting, through its officials stationed in Turkey at the time, evidence on the decision-making, organization, and implementation of the mass murder of the Ottoman Armenian population.

The Turkish government, through its ambassador in Washington, D.C., wrote a letter to all Congressmen, dated May 27, 1999, to which was attached an eleven-page report titled "An Objective Look At H.Res. 155," with a view to blocking the passage of a resolution that proposes to utilize for purposes of research and scholarship the holdings of a strictly American institution. (See Appendix 1 for the respective texts.) Finally, it must not be allowed to pass without notice that the legislative process of the United States Government is being interfered with by a foreign government, which seeks to distort history for its own ignominious purposes.
One would think and hope that a government claiming to be infused with democratic principles would only welcome such a resolution. For decades now the world, especially the academic world, has been told by successive Turkish governments that only solid and reliable research based on primary sources and official documents can resolve the ongoing dispute they themselves have generated about the Armenian genocide. Obviously, and regret­tably, the quest for truth in this connection is, and remains, a hollow pretense. Indeed, a state system that, for more than eighty years, has withheld authentic material on this matter by selectively denying access to its own archives, can hardly be expected to favor a Congressional Resolution that proposes to reinvigorate the quest for truth by introducing new mechanisms of access to primary sources and official documents.

What follows is an effort to examine the objections and sets of allegations put forward in the lengthy Memorandum by the Turkish ambassador, to demonstrate the spurious character of some of them, and the untenable nature of most of them. In fact, practically all of these objections and allegations are part and parcel of the standard repertoire of Turkish denials that are repeated time after time, blithely and almost ritualistically. It is as if none of them had been effectively rebutted and discredited by eighty years of research and publication.

This little book, by necessity, is only one small effort, but it is a response that transcends the particularity of the present case of denial and may well have application for other, future manifestations of denial by Turkish authorities, their partisan advocates and agents.

1 For examples of Turkish denial, see Vahakn N. Dadrian, "Ottoman Archives and Denial of the Armenian Genocide," in The Armenian Genocide: History, Politics, Ethics, ed. Richard G. Hovannisian (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992), pp. 280-310; Roger W. Smith, "Genocide and Denial: The Armenian Case and Its Implications,1' Armenian Review 42, no. 1-165 (Spring 1989): 1-38; Roger W. Smith, "Denial of the Armenian Genocide," in Genocide: A Critical Bibliographical Review, Vol. 2, ed. Israel W. Charny (New York: Facts on File, 1991), pp. 63-85; Richard G. Hovannisian, "The Armenian Genocide and Patterns of Denial," in The Armenian Genocide in Perspective, ed. Richard G. Hovannisian (New Brunswick, NJ and Oxford: Transaction Books, 1986), pp. 111-133; Dennis R. Papazian, "Misplaced Credulity: Contemporary Turkish Attempts to Refute the Armenian Genocide," Armenian Review 45, no. 177-178(1992): 185-213.

2 In an essay dealing with this issue, des Pres deplored the subservience of a growing number of academics to the lures and rewards of "power," at the expense of "the integrity of knowledge." He wondered whether the deliberate misuse of the maxim that "there are two sides to every issue" has not reduced it to a "gimmick" to undermine and distort, rather than to "foster truth." He went on to state: "We are told no genocide took place but only a vague unfortunate mishap determined by imponderables like time and change, the hazards of war, uncertain demographics. There is a commonsense sound to the Turkish proposal.... [However,] Turkey's denial of the Armenian disaster is backed by something larger than mere doubt...." Terence des Pres, "On Governing Narratives: The Turkish-
Armenian Case," The Yale Review 75 (October 1986): 518-519. In a subsequent essay, he scorned the "increasing attempts to suborn the academy....The issue, then, is whether or not we wish to be menials, for at the very least scholars who spend their resources defending the honor of nation-states serve something other than truth." Idem, Introduction. Remembering Armenia," in The Armenian Genocide in Perspective, ed. RichardG. Hovannisian (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1986,) p. 15.

In the preface to his book Key Elements in the Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide: A Case Study of Distortion and Falsification, renowned US scholar, Vahakn Dadrian, Research Project Director at Zoryan Institute in Cambridge, MA, underscores that "The documentation of the Armenian genocide is inextricably connected with the denial of the genocide by its perpetrators. Any effort at documenting the Armenian genocide must confront the 'Turkish denial syndrome.'

Based on documentary evidence, primarily from German and Turkish sources, Professor Vahakn Dadrian provides detailed and convincing rebuttal to the most frequently used lines of arguments put into circulation by some Turkish apologists who attempt to portray the 1915 Genocide as debatable.

1) Present-day Turkey cannot be held responsible for the crimes committed in the Ottoman Empire;

Alternate Use of the Words "Ottoman" and "Turkish"

In the period in question here, all diplomatic correspondence as well as publications by many historians and political scientists continued the existing tradition of using the words "Ottoman" and "Turkish," and "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" interchangeably; nor were officials and learned men of the Ottoman Empire itself always exempt from this practice. Moreover, long before the establishment of the Turkish Republic, in the depositories of the U.S. National Archives, which are the subject of the present contest between the sixty or so co-signers of H.Res. 155 and the Turkish government, one very large group of records is titled "Internal Affairs of Turkey, 1910-29." Decades before the advent of the Turkish Republic, all the tomes pertaining to the Diplomatic Correspondence and Foreign Relations of the United States published under the category General Index to the Published Volumes were marked with the designation "Turkey" as a reference point for the Ottoman Empire.1 Furthermore, the publications of the British Foreign Office dealing with the documents of the decades preceding World War I likewise use the designation "Turkey" as a reference point for the Ottoman Empire.2 The objection to this practice is in this sense, therefore, unwarranted. It should be noted that the ostensible effort to dissociate the Turkish Republic of today as a new and separate entity from the imagery one has about the Ottoman Empire is contradicted by the recent statements of a Turkish Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay. In an interview with two Turkish journalists he publicly declared that "the Republic of Turkey is the continuation of the Ottoman Empire whose legacy is part of our history." He was speaking on the occasion of the festivities celebrating the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Ottoman Empire. He further stated that "to be embarrassed on account of that empire's legacy is tantamount to denying one's very own being."3 In fact, the prolonged and ostentatious fanfares with which the current leadership of Turkey, supported by a panoply of renowned academics, publicists, clerics, and educators, proceeded to celebrate this anniversary, is a telling testimony to the abiding bonds with which present-day Turkey continues to attach itself to the Ottoman Empire's legacy. By dispensing with such festivities, the memory of that legacy could have been otherwise easily consigned to oblivion, thereby making the claim of a solid dissociation a credible one. Instead, one is confronted with a mixture of pretense and double-talk. As if to accent their identification with that Ottoman legacy, Turkish authorities had been pressuring the central office of UNESCO for two years to sponsor the festivities marking the anniversary in question. Ultimately, due to resolute protests from many corners of the world, including the Association of Genocide Scholars convening at its biennial meeting in Montreal in 1997, UNESCO declined to agree to the idea of a non-specific, general sponsorship. It opted instead to sponsor the multi-ethnic character of the cultural contributions of the Empire's cultural contributions, thereby embracing the Empire's various nationalities. UNESCO was intent on avoiding to appear as if it was extending political endorsement that a general sponsorship might imply.4
1 See, for example, the volume covering the 1861-1899 period. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902, pp. 822-850.

2 See, for example, vol. V, The Near East, 1903-9, ed. by G.P. Gooch and H. Temperley (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1928), pp. 1-48 on "The Turkish Empire on the Eve of its Fall," pp. 168-195 on "Turkey and the Great Powers in 1906," and pp. 247-320 on "The Young Turkish Revolution."

3 Turkiye (Turkish newspaper in Istanbul), March 1, 1999. The interviewers are identified as Nihat Kasikci and Hasan Yilmaz.

4 The rationale for this avoidance is amply reflected in a compendium which was distributed to the National Commissions of UNESCO in over 160 countries, and subsequently again to the members of UNESCO's Executive Board shortly before its final meeting for a decision in Paris in the summer of 1998.TitIed The Ottoman Empire: A Troubled Legacy. Views, Comments and Judgments by Noted Experts Worldwide, this book is the compilation of a vast array of denunciations by a host of historians, political scientists and experts on international law about what they consider to be the abominable and, in some respects criminal, features of the Ottoman Empire. A revised edition was published and distributed by the Zoryan Institute in 1907.

2) Massacres of Armenians in Turkey were largely the result of "inter-communal clashes" over which the central authorities had no control;

The Allegation of "Inter-Communal Clashes"

This description denotes the idea of a kind of civil war supposedly resulting from the relative collapse of the authority of the central government. It implies that the Armenians, an impotent, defenseless minority, were able to engage in armed conflict with the omnipotent and dominant Turks and the other Muslims ruling over them. The patent fallacy of such an allegation can be recognized by considering the following facts. On August 3, 1914, i.e., three months before Turkey precipitated the war with Russia, all able-bodied Armenian men in the 20-45 age categories, and later in sequences those in the 18-20 and 45-60 categories, were conscripted in the Ottoman army. What was left behind in the Armenian community was a mass of frightened, if not terrorized, old men, women and children still haunted by the memories of the cycle of the massacres that were committed in the decades preceding World War I. The question poses itself: how could these wretched people be in a position to contemplate, let alone mount, armed clashes against a population identified with and supported by a mighty empire, the Ottoman Empire? The might of that Empire was manifested in its ability to wage for four years a relentless multi-front war in alliance with two other mighty empires, the German (Hohenzollern), and the Austro- Hungarian (Hapsburg). In other words, there was neither a collapse of the authority of the central government, nor, therefore, a vacuum of such authority that might invite anarchy and chaos affording "intercommunal clashes." The fact is that due to the exigencies of the war, the central government easily amplified its authority by (1) suspending the parliament, thereby freeing itself from the constraints of the legislative branch of the government, (2) declaring a state of siege and applying martial law to secure optimum control over the population, and hence (3) was in full charge of wartime developments to the point of acquiring dictatorial power throughout the Empire. According to Vice Marshall Pomiankowski, Austro-Hungary's military pleni­potentiary, who throughout the war was attached to Ottoman General Headquarters, the Young Turk regime first liquidated the able-bodied Armenian men "in order to render defenseless the rest of the population" which, according to him, paved the ground for its "annihilation."

This is a judgment shared by wartime American Ambassador to Turkey Morgenthau. In his memoirs he also stated that, "if this plan of murdering a race were to succeed," the conscripted soldiers would have to be dealt with first. "They were not infrequently massacred. In many instances, Armenian soldiers were disposed of in even more summary fashion...." As Morgenthau put it, "Before Armenia could be slaughtered, Armenia must be made defenseless." For this purpose "...throughout the Turkish Empire a systematic attempt was made to kill the able-bodied men, not only for the purpose of removing all males who might propagate a new generation of Armenians, but for the purpose of rendering the weaker part of the population an easy prey."1

This argument of "civil war," which within and without the academic world gained special currency after 1985, when sixty-nine Turkish and American signatories, mostly from universities in the U.S.A., placed an ad in two major American newspapers rejecting the charge of genocide, calls for some additional I comments. In justifying this position, they referred to the wartime incidence "of serious inter-communal warfare," which they ventured to compare to the civil war that had been going on "in Lebanon for the past decade."2 The absurdity of this position is matched by what appears to be the ignorance attending it. No central government in Lebanon declared General Mobilization and thereby conscripted, disarmed, and gradually liquidated the bulk of the able-bodied male population of a subject minority. No Lebanese government ushered in a comprehensive, systematic liquidation of its minority population by ordering the nightly, surprise arrest of thousands of the various leaders of that minority in all major cities of the land, only to do away with most of them in the course of time. No Lebanese government ruthlessly ordered the deportation of the bulk of the Empire's remaining Armenian population. No Lebanese government sent special teams to the prisons of the Empire, selected and set free "bloodthirsty criminals," who, according to the testimony of a Turkish counter-intelligence officer, after undergoing a week's special training at the War Ministry's training grounds, were dispatched to the interior of Turkey to annihilate through massacre these deportee convoys. "They perpetrated the worst crimes against the Armenians." As to the manifold tortures inflicted upon the arrested Armenian leaders, no Chief of Police of Lebanon bragged "with a disgusting relish" to Lebanon's American ambassador that

..the Government had instigated them, and, like all Turks of the official classes, he enthusiastically approved this treatment of the detested race. Bedri told me all these details were matters of nightly discussion at the headquarters of the Union and Progress Committee. Each new method of inflicting pain was hailed as a splendid discovery, and the regular attendants were constantly ransacking their brains in the effort to devise some new torment. Bedri told me that they even delved into the records of the Spanish Inquisition and other historic institutions of torture, and adopted all the suggestions found there.3

No Lebanese government set out to destroy through wanton methods the over 150,000 emaciated and wretched survivors of the hellish deportation treks in the summer of 1916 in the deserts of Syria and Mesopotamia, while pretending to have had a "relocation" plan for the massive Armenian deportee population. Only an entrenched, omnipotent and well organized central authority could scheme, design and marshal the requisite resources for the enactment of these crimes. It is indeed absurd to compare the civil war in a Lebanon that had no effectively functioning central government with an Ittihadist, Young Turk regime whose very dictatorial wartime powers precluded the possibility of an outbreak of, let alone a lasting civil war of any kind. During the 1915 genocide, and the ancillary genocide in the summer of 1916 in Syria and Mesopotamia, the territories and the respective populations in question were, in fact, in the firm and, one might add, foreboding grip of that dictatorial power, essentially run by the Enver-Talat-Cemal triumvirate.

As the proceedings of the post-war Turkish Military Tribunal disclosed, this wartime grip was so tight with respect to the absolute control of the provincial administration set-up by Ittihadist potentates4 that four governors-general, Hiiseyin Celal (Aleppo), Mehmed Res. it (Kastamonu), Mazhar (Ankara), and Hasan Mazhar (Bitlis) were swiftly dismissed and replaced on account of their resistance to the idea of having the deportee populations of their provinces massacred and annihilated. Another governor, Cemal (Harput) was retired on May 1, 1915 for the same reason.5 Space limitations prevent enumerating and describing the similar and sometimes worse fates of a number of mutassarifs and kaymakams, I he subordinates in the hierarchy of the provincial civil service administration. The outright murder of two kaymakams in Diyarbekir province, who disobeyed the order of Dr. Resjd, the governor-general of that province, is most notable.6

The concoction and promotion of the "civil war" argument, with a view to denying in so many words the historical reality of the Armenian genocide, is a phenomenon that casts in stark relief the pernicious relationship which may be forged, through a variety of means, between political interest groups and academics. In the months following the publication of the ad in the New York Times, Washington Post, and also the Washington Times, a detailed Inquiry into the academic status and background of the sixty-nine signatories revealed that forty of them had received a total of sixty- five grants from two distinctly pro-Turkish organizations, namely, the Institute of Turkish Studies, at the time headed by Heath Lowry, and the American Research Institute in Turkey; the former was based in Washington, DC, the latter operates in Ankara. Moreover, universities or departments with which these forty scholars are, or then were, affiliated, had received more than 170 grants from these two organizations.7 A follow-up study, conducted by the Jerusalem-based Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, surveyed the signatories in the ads. A total of sixty-two questionnaires were sent and a 34% response was received back. The respondents argued on political grounds to justify their signing the ad. "In all of these cases, the apparent needs of the present and future, justifiable or not, are taken as reasonable grounds for censoring or changing the historical record, the veracity and authenticity of which are treated as less significant than current or future political needs."8 Clearly, not every awarding of a grant, scholarship or fellowship necessarily entails or inevitably results in biased or dishonest research or publications, but in this particular case the connections are too close to ignore.

The late Terrence des Pres of Colgate University and a member of the United States Holocaust Council cogently diagnosed this problem and the dire pitfalls associated with it.

The political control of truth quite naturally calls up Orwellian impressions, but in fact the manipulation of knowledge goes deeper than censorship and is more subtle than outright propaganda. It can include conditions under which research will be funded and given a forum, and also the designation of legitimacy to be conferred or withheld in specific fields of inquiry. Jobs, tenure, professional advancement, all can come to depend on taking the approved line. Along with these comes the adjacent phenomenon of the "institute" and "think tank," in most cases with official backing of one sort or another. And then too, there is the way universities pressure their faculties to bring in big money by securing government projects. What all this scrambling means is that in the struggle of memory against forgetting we must compete with official versions and special interests, with public and private demands for serviceable knowledge, with the kinds of on-line information geared to short-term needs. Amid this din the scholar’s independent voice is hard to hear.”9

Counter-posed to the existence of burgeoning Turkish resources for funding research and publications with the tacit, and sometimes even explicit, expectation that the results will favor Turkish interests by favoring "the Turkish point of view" in the dispute about the Turko-Armenian conflict and its culmination in the Armenian genocide, is the non-existence of comparable Armenian resources—not to emulate this Turkish proclivity but to effectively oppose and mitigate its corrupting effects in the academic world. It is, therefore, a welcome relief to recently see "more than 150 distinguished scholars and writers" in America raise their voice of indignation in an ad in the New York Times against the persistence of the Turkish denial of the Armenian genocide, against "Turkey's efforts to sanitize its history" and "Turkey's manipulation of the American government and American institutions...."10 No Armenian or pro-Armenian organization has awarded any of these non-Armenian, intrepid palladins of outraged humanity any grant or fellowship. Therein lies the principal difference in meaning and value between the two types of advertisement placed in the New York Times.

It is most remarkable that two published and prominent Turkish historians have recently disavowed the denialist posture of the sixty-nine signatories described above, and whether coincidence or not, their names are conspicuously absent in the list of the sixty-nine described above. One of them, Engin Akarh, Joukowski Family Professor of History at Brown University, concluded in an article that the empire-wide Armenian deportations "en masse and their actual consequences, do invite the term 'genocide'." The other, Selim Deringil, Professor of History at Bogazici University in Istanbul, categorically declared that "no historian with a conscience can possibly accept 'the civil war' line, which is a travesty of history." In the same article Deringil also declared, "...it is also nonsense to put forward the 'civil war1 argument as justification for the deportation and murder of innocent people from places as far removed from the war zone as Bursa."11 The question is: will they be able to withstand the mounting pressures emanating from their government and the array of scholars with vested interests in the respective politics pursued by it?

1 For the satement of the Austro-Hungarian military plenipotentiary see Joseph Pomiankowski, Der Zusammenbruch des Ottomanischen Reiches (The collapse of the Ottoman Empire) (Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck-und Verlagsanstalt, 1969),p. 160;forthe American ambassador's statement see Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau 's Story (New York: Doubleday, 1918), pp. 301-2, 304.

2 The half-page ads in the May 19, 1985 issues of the New York Times and the Washington Post were placed by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and the American Turkish Association of Washington, DC, respectively.

3 For the release of the convicts see Ahmet Refik (Altinay), Iki Komite, Iki Kital (Two committees, two massacres), ed. H. Koyukan (Ankara: Kekibec Publications, 1994), p. 27; for the Turkish police chief s remarks
see Henry Morgenthau, Secrets of the Bosphorus (London: Hutchinson, 1918), p. 202. It is most significant that in the American edition, Bedri, the name of the Chief of Turkish police, which at that time corresponded to the office and power of a cabinet ministry, is omitted. See Ambassador Morgenthau's Story [n. 7], p. 307.

4 For details of the tight control by the Ittihadist parry's specially selected provincial task-masters of the lethal operations against the Armenian deportee population, see Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Convergent Roles of the State and a Governmental Party in the Armenian Genocide," in Studies in Comparative Genocide, L. Chorbajian and G. Shirinian, eds. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), pp. 112-118.

5 For the case of Governor-General Celal see Takvinxi Vekayi no. 3540, p. 8; A.A. Botschaft Konstantinopel, vol. 169, folios 13 and 84; Tiirkei 183/40, A33705. For that of Resit see Takvimi Vekayi no. 3772, p. 3; ibid. no. 3571, p. 128; Kamil Erdeha, Milli Mucadelede Vilayetler ve Valiler (The provinces and the governors-general in the National Campaign) (Istanbul: Remzi, 1975), p. 78. For that of Mazhar see Takvimi Vekayi no. 3540, p. 8, ibid. no. 3571, p. 128. For that of Hasan Mazhar see Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Documentation of the World War I Armenian Massacres in the Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal," International Journal of Middle East Studies 23, no. 4 (November 1991): 570, note 25. For that of Cemal see above Erdeha, Milli Mucadelede, p. 267 (Takvimi Vekdyiwas the official gazette of the Ottoman parliament whose special "supplement" covered selected portions of the court-martial proceedings of the post-war Turkish Military Tribunal.)

6 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Naim-Andonian Documents on the World War I Destruction of Ottoman Armenian: The Anatomy of a Genocide," International Journal of Middle East Studies 18, no. 3(1986): 327, 348 note 34.

7 "US Academicians and Lobbying. Turkey Uses Advertisement as Political Tool," Armenian Assembly of America Journal 14, no. l(Spring 1987): 8. This same research additionally yielded the following facts: only eight of the sixty-nine scholars are, or were, involved in the study of Turkey in the 20lh century, and only ten in the study of Turkey in both the 19lh and 20lh centuries. Of these eighteen specialists combined, only four have explored to any extent the specific topic and the related period in question, i.e., the Turko-Armenian conflict and its violent resolution in World War 1. Thus, it develops that only 26% of the signatories had any expertise on the subject under review, i.e., on the broad subject of pre- Republic Turkish history. The remaining 74% were specialists outside this purview, both in terms of topicality and periodicity, with some of them specializing in Arab Affairs, Islamic carpets, and the patronage of architecture! Ibid. For the specifics of these grants, fellowships and scholarships for 1983-84, for example, see Heath Lowry's February 22, 1984 release of a lengthy list of the recipients and the dollar amounts involved. For an overall analysis of these grants in the 1982-85 period, see Harut Sassounian, "How the Turks Use Our Tax Dollars Against Us," California Courier (October 24, 1985): 4. Yet, Turkish propaganda relentlessly uses this ad to deny the genocide against the Armenians. In its October 19, 1989 issue, Turkish Newspot Digest described the sixty-nine signatories as "all specialists well versed in Ottoman history." So did the Federation of Turkish American Societies in an ad placed in the May 18, 1987 issue of the New York Times. This pattern of using and misusing the ad continues unabated.

8 Israel W. Charny and Daphna Fromer, "Denying the Armenian Genocide: Patterns of Thinking as Defence-Mechanisms," Patterns of Prejudice 32, no. 1 (1998): 47; I.W. Charny, "L'Intolerable Perversion des Universitaires Negateurs du Genocide Armenien ou de l'Holocauste," Revue du monde armenien moderne et contemporain 3 (1997): 125-126.

9 des Pres, "On Governing Narratives," [n. 2], p. 525.

10 New York Times (April 24, 1998): A16,15.

11 Engin Deniz Akarh, "Particularities of History. A Response to Ronald Grigor Suny," Armenian Forum No. 2 (Summer 1998): 62; Selim Deringil, "In Search of a Way Forward. A Response to Ronald Grigor Suny,'1 Armenian Forum No. 2 (Summer 1998): 66, 71. Of course, one could add as a premier Turkish historian in this respect the name of Taner Akcam, who, long before these two gentlemen acknowledged the genocidal fate of the Armenians, in several of his tomes, but especially in his most recent, Insan Haklan ve Ermeni Sorumu (Human rights and the Armenian Question) (Ankara: Imge, Dun Bugiin Yann Series, 1999). There he maintains that the wartime treatment of the Armenians by the Ittihadist regime was a case of "genocide in the sense specified by the United Nations in 1948," p. 21. Akcam clearly states that his use of the word "massacre" (hnm) throughout the book is intended to mean "genocide." But, he remains a maverick, rather than an establishment historian.

3) In response to a large-scale uprising mounted by Armenians, the Ottoman government ordered them deported;

The Fallacy of the Argument of Armenian Rebellion

One may dismiss British, French and Russian documents as coming from the camp of Ottoman Turkey's wartime enemies, but one can not do so with the reports in the state archives of Turkey's wartime allies, Imperial Germany and Austro-Hungary. The consensus among their respective officials is that there was no general uprising of the Armenians. As Ambassador Metternich wrote in his comprehensive seventy-two page report to Berlin, "There was neither a concerted general uprising, nor was there a fully valid proof that such a synchronized uprising was planned or organized." This is confirmed by the German Chief of Staff of the Ottoman IIId Army, Felix Guse, who worked closely with the Commander-in-Chief of the IIId Army, General Mahmud Kamil. It was in Kamil's command zone that 90% of the male Armenian population was massacred. Guse wrote that there was no proof that the Armenians had any plan or intention to mount a general uprising. Similarly, Erzurum's German Vice-Consul Max Erwin Scheubner-Richter stated that except for Van, the uprisings involved only improvised self-defense. In the same vein, German Vice-Consul Hermann Hoffmann reported that the acts of resistance in his district—Zeitun, Urfa, Funducak and Musa Dagh—were spontaneous, with Aleppo's German Consul Walter Rossler emphasizing that the Urfa uprising was to prevent impending annihilation, and that the memory of the massacre which took place there in 1895 prompted some of the residents to try to prevent a recurrence of that horror. The German Consul at Adana, Eugen Biige, reported twice that "all preconditions to mount an Armenian uprising in his district are lacking." German Vice-Consul at Samsun, Kuckhoff, stated that "the vast majority of the Ottoman Armenians was not in any way involved in uprisings." Major-General Posseldt, the German Commandant of the fortress at Erzurum until April 1915, described the Armenians there as "blameless" and believed that they were the recipients of "harassment and provocation on the part of the Turks." German Ambassador Wangenheim himself, the architect of the Turkish-German wartime political and military alliance, declared in a report to his Chancellor in Berlin that, while there may be disagreement about one issue or another, "In only one issue, however, there ought to be agreement: since the advent of the constitutional regime [of the Ittihadists in 1908] the Armenians have relinquished the idea of a revolution, and presently there is no organization for such a revolution."1

In one example of resistance, Vice-Consul Scheubner, who was personally involved, described receiving an order to proceed to an Armenian village, where "rebels" had reportedly barricaded themselves, and to "storm" the village and "punish" the villagers. He goes on to say, "the alleged rebels actually proved to be people who from fear of a massacre had barricaded themselves and would be more than willing to surrender their arms in exchange for a promise to be spared and not killed."2

In another example of how very unprepared for conflict the Armenians were, Commander of the IV"1 Army Cemal Pasa issued an order to collect weapons. The Armenians in the command zone of the IVth Army, who had not been armed, were then forced to purchase weapons in order to be able to hand them over to the authorities and avoid attack.3

As various German officials acknowledged, there were four instances of uprising that were of any significance: Van (April 20 -May 17, 1915), Sabin Karahisar (June 6 - July 4, 1915), Musa Dagh (July 30 - September 12, 1915), and Urfa (September 29 -October 23, 1915). These were not only isolated, local, and disconnected incidents but, above all, they were improvised, last-ditch acts of desperation to resist imminent deportation and thereby iivcrt annihilation. Vice Marshal Pomiankowski, mentioned above, succinctly encapsulates this plight of the Armenians. He characterized the Van uprising as "an act of despair" because the Armenians "recognized that the general butchery had begun in the environs of Van and that they would be the next victims."4 Being Itrictly defensive undertakings, practically all of the insurgents involved perished in the course of the operations regular Turkish army units launched against them to suppress the insurgency.

The Van uprising stands out in two respects. 1) For the purposes of the Turks bent on executing their pre-existing designs, it served as an excuse and as a trigger for the activation of the plan to implement genocide. 2) Unlike the other uprisings, the Armenians prevailed at Van. It is worth reviewing briefly the circumstances of the Van uprising in the light of German and Austro-Hungarian official testimony, in order to assess the denialist argument that it was part of a major Armenian conspiracy which warranted the severest measures of repression.

A Venezuelan officer, Rafael de Nogales, who volunteered his services, held the rank of major in the Ottoman army and, as such, was in charge of the artillery battery bombarding the Armenian positions during the siege of Van. Describing himself as "the only Christian who witnessed the Armenian massacres and deportations in an official capacity," he described the purely defensive posture of the Armenians thus:

I have rarely seen such furious fighting as took place at Van...The Armenians fought with a courage undreamt of by our Circassians. The resistance of the Armenians was terrific, and their valor worthy of all praise...If 30,000 or 40,000 Armenians shut up in Van...had undertaken the offensive, and arming themselves with cudgels if nothing better were available, and axes, and knives, had attempted a sally en masse, who knows if they might not have crushed us at length...[they] committed their usual strategic error, entrenching themselves.5

By sheer chance and fortuitous circumstance only the insurgents of the Van uprising managed to survive when at last they were liberated by the advance units of the Russian Caucasus Army, which overwhelmed the surrounding Turkish defense positions and captured the city of Van. But for the timely arrival of the Russian military units, the insurgents of Van were likewise doomed, given the inevitable depletion of their meager resources of defense, including ammunition and weapons, and the mounting casualties they were sustaining. Nevertheless, nearly 40,000 Armenians in the outlying villages of Van were hunted down and killed.

Parenthetically, it should be noted that a similar pattern obtained in the last-minute rescue of the defenders of Musa Dagh who, likewise, had entrenched themselves in their mountain stronghold to resist deportation and subsequent annihilation. The Turkish High Command had dispatched two regiments from the 41st Division and mountain artillery to crush the insurgents. These 3,000 regular troops were reinforced, as usual, by an equal number of irregulars in pursuit of blood and booty. The French cruiser Guichin, assisted by Sainte Jeanne d'Arc, the flagship of the French Admiral of the Fleet, three other French warships, and one British cruiser, with great difficulty managed to evacuate the 4,048 Armenian survivors and transported them to Egypt's Port Said on September 14, 1915.

Ambassador Metternich advised Berlin that "there may be some truth to the Armenian argument that the uprising in Van was provoked through acts of oppression of the Armenian inhabitants by the Turkish officials and soldiery." In three successive reports Erzurum's Vice-Consul Scheubner alludes to a series of provo­cations against the Armenians of Van by vali Tahir Cevdet, including the ambush and murder of several Armenian notables falsely lured to a negotiation, and the illegal arrest of an Armenian deputy and his subsequent disappearance, only to conclude that it is "unworthy of a government that has a claim on civilization...to directly precipitate an uprising through such provocations." Alexandrette's Vice-Consul Hoffmann wrote, "Considering all that they endured, it is not surprising that the Van Armenians rose up."6 There is no doubt that in the aftermath of the genocide there were individual acts of Armenian vendetta in response to these events. In commenting on these reprisals, Austro-Hungarian ambassador Pallavicini cast doubts on Ottoman figures purporting to show large-scale Turkish casualties. Based on data available at the embassy at the time, he estimated the number of Turkish victims to be "no more than a few thousand.1' Such a figure, he went on to say, is "an insignificant thing compared to the Armenian massacres and deportation of the last two decades." Reacting to the same report on Armenian reprisals, Louis Heck, U.S. High Commissioner in Istanbul in 1919, with ten years of diplomatic experience in Turkey, described these acts of revenge in his eighteen-page report to the State Department as "relatively unimportant acts in magnitude...the result of animal instincts demanding revenge for the suffering of the Armenians." When forwarding this report to London, British High Commissioner Vice-Admiral Sir S.A. Gough Calthorpe, in his cover letter of May 3, 1919, forewarned his government in London of the gravity of Turkish exaggerations about the "relatively unimportant" Turkish losses, which were broadcast to the effect that "immense numbers of Moslems were massacred by the Christians." In the same vein, these Armenian acts of revenge were characterized in a British Foreign Office document as "isolated atrocities...natural, though deplorable."

A comment by Vice-Consul Scheubner helps put the isolated instances of Armenian espionage and sabotage in perspective. He stated that such cases are not only inevitable but are common occurrences in all theaters of war. Given the history of the persecution of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, and given the present plight of "a rightly disaffected people, such acts, however deplorable, appear to me to be only natural."7

All these German and Austro-Hungarian assessments and conclusions on the Van uprising are corroborated with remarkable candor by the Turkish deputy of Van who, in his post-war memoirs, admitted that the Young Turk leaders, i.e., "Ittihad was underhandedly instigating the [Turkish and Muslim] people, prodding them to set upon the Armenians."8

1 Metternich's 72-page report of September 18, 1916, is in German Foreign Ministry Archives, (hereafter A. A.) Turkei 183/40, A25749. The quotation is on p. 14. On p. 42 Metternich also stated that the Armenian uprisings in the summer and fall of 1915 were attempts to avoid imminent deportation and were, therefore, defensive acts. Felix Guse's statement is in his article, "Der Armenieraufstand 1915 und Seine Folgen," Wissen und Wehr 10 (1925): 616. Scheubner's statement of November 5, 1915 is in A. A. Turkei 183/39, A33278. Hoffmann's statement of November 8, 1915 is in ibid., 183/41, A2889. Rossler's observation of November 8, 1915, about the Armenians of Urfa trying to avoid annihilation is in ibid., 183/40, A35046. Rossler's statement about the memory of the 1895 massacre is in ibid., 183/40,A33705.Buge'sfirst report, March 18,1915, isin/6/ii,K168; his second report, June 23, 1915, is in ibid.,K169, folio 91, no. 4. Kuckhoffs statement of July 4, 1915 is in ibid., 183/37, A22101. Posseldt's statement during an interview in the German Embassy in Istanbul is in ibid., KI68, Ref. no. 258. Wangenheim's report of April 15, 1915 is in ibid:, 183/36, A13922.

2 A.A. Turkei 183/45, A33457, Scheubner's December 4, 1916 report to Chancellor Hollweg. The unnamed village is described as being in the vicinity of Hesak. Scheubner was on his way to Mosul in the command zone of the VIth army.

3 Chief of German propaganda operations in wartime Turkey Max von Oppenheim's August 29, 1915 report to the German Chancellor. A.A. Turkei 183/38, A27584.

4 Pomiankowski, Der Zusammenbruch [n. 7], p. 160.

5 Rafael de Nogales, Four Years Beneath the Crescent,. Muna Lu trans. (New York and London: Scribner's, 1926), pp. 1,76, 135. Nogales' roleat Van is confirmed by a cipher of Van's vali, Cevdet. Dated April 22/23, 1915, it is document no. 2003 in Askeri Tarih Be/geleri Dergisi 34 (October 1985), p. 41. In his review of the German translation of Nogales' book years later, another officer, also a participant in these events, wrote, "I confirm the accuracy of his description of the events and the truth of his judgments..." F.E.A. Krause, Gottingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 1(1931): 18.

6 Metternich's report of September 18, 1916 is in A.A. Turkei 183/40, A25749, p. 25 of the 72-page report. Scheubner's first report about the ambush and murder, April 25, 1915 is in A.A. K168, no. (2540); the second report, May 15, 1915, on the illegal arrest of an Armenian deputy is in ibid,, 169, no. 9 (3224); the third report, August 5, 1915, on Armenians being provoked, is in ibid., Tttrkei 183/39, A28584. Hoffman's report, November 8,1915, is in ibid., 183/41, A2889,BN 944, pp. 12-13 of the 25-page report.

7 Pallavicini's March 16, 1918 report to Vienna. Austrian Foreign Ministry Archives, (hereafter AFMA) 12 Turkei/379, folio 210. U.S. Commissioner Louis Heck's statement is on folio 450 of the eighteen-page report, folios 440-457. That report is an enclosure in Vice-Admiral Calthorpe's report to London, FO371/3658/75852, folio 437. As to the other British Foreign Office document about "isolated atrocities," see FO371/4363, October 4, 1918 account. Scheubner's "secret" August 5, 1915 report to his ambassador in Istanbul. A.A. Tiirkei 183/39, A28584.

8 Ibrahim Arvas (Haydarpasazade), "Tarihi Hakikatler. Eski Van Mebusu Ibrahim Arvasin Hatiralan" (Historical facts. The memoirs of former Van deputy Ibrahim Arvas), Yeni tstiktal, April 21, 1965, no. 193.

4) The Ottoman Armenians Formed A Political Alliance With The Advancing Russians, Thus Committing High Treason;

The Charge of Armenian Treachery

Reference is made to "the Ottoman Armenians' violent political alliance with the Russian forces." One is prompted to ask, "what alliance" and "by which Ottoman Armenians?" In the annals of violent behavior inflicted upon defenseless human groups by tyrants, apologists have often taken refuge behind such utterly senseless generalizations. It is a matter of historical record that the leaders of the major Armenian political party, the Dashnaktzoutiun, as early as August 1914, publicly declared their allegiance to the Ottoman state and vowed as citizens of the state to fight for the defense of the country should the government, against all advice, decide to intervene in the war. It is likewise a historical fact that the religious head of Turkey's Armenian community, the Patriarch, through an encyclical, enjoined all the Armenian faithful in the provinces as well as the Ottoman capital to obey the governmental officials everywhere and loyally discharge their duties as Ottoman subjects. Nor can one dismiss the ancillary fact that the leaders of the above-cited Armenian political party did all they could to stop the Armenian volunteer movement that was gaining momentum in the adjoining Russian Trans-Caucasus, but failed. Still, the fact remains that the bulk of these volunteers eager to fight in the ranks of the Russian army against the Turks were either Russian subjects or citizens of various countries in Europe and North America. In any event, how could the presence of some Ottoman subjects, past and present, among these volunteers in any way justify the resort to the sweeping indictment of all "Ottoman Armenians?" By the same token, why is the fact ignored that thousands and thousands more Azeris and Kurds were likewise fighting against the Turks in the ranks of the Russian army? The same may be said about thousands of Jewish volunteers from Russia and Europe who in 1915 fought against the same Turks by serving in the columns of Ihe British Expeditionary Force at the Dardanelles and again in 1918 in the army of British General Allenby at the Palestine front. Does it not follow that there were other abiding and strategic considerations than the involvement of a few thousand Armenian volunteers in the Russian war against Turkey, in the genocidal selection and targeting of the Armenians?

Against this background, the assertion that the anti-Armenian Pleasures were but limited to the eastern theaters of war, and as such were strictly regional in thrust and scope, is simply nslounding. It is belied by the grim realities of the Armenian I'rnocide, whose sweeping compass engulfed Armenian population flusters in all corners of the vast Ottoman Empire. As one high-ranking wartime Turkish counter-intelligence officer in his post-wur memoirs movingly lamented, "among those Armenians who were atrociously wasted, despite the fact that they were most innocent, guiltless, and who had committed no crime whatsoever, were the Armenians of Bursa, Ankara, Eskisehir, and Konya."1

These involved regions and provinces that were far removed from the war zones!

1 Ahmet Refik (Altinay), Iki Komite, Iki Kital (Two committees, two massacres) [n. 9], p. 27.

5) The Intent Of The Ottoman Government Was Not To Cause The Destruction Of The Deportee Population But Merely Its Relocation;

The Utter Fiction of the Claim of "Relocation"

The U.S. Congress is invited to lend credence to the transparently incredible assertion that the deported Armenian population was being merely relocated to another region within the country, without it being clarified that this region was the lethal deserts of Mesopotamia and that nothing but murder and death awaited the deportees. The brutal and utter cynicism of this assertion is exceeded only by the insolence with which the intelligence of the Congressmen, for that matter the intelligence of any thinking person, is thereby being insulted. Responding to this official claim at the time, Lewis Einstein, the Special Agent of the U.S. State Department at the American Embassy in Istanbul, mocked this brand of "official euphemism...the grim humor of paternal solicitude which usually covers the most barbarous massacres in Turkey...an armed policy of deportation, and the implied sequel of extermination."1 Another U.S. official, Leslie Davis, wartime American consul at Harput, in his report to the State Department described how huge clusters of Armenian deportee convoys on their way to Mesopotamia were rerouted to Harput "only to be butchered in this province...the Slaughterhouse Province."2 The candid testimony of a Turkish general with military jurisdiction over the Mesopotamia regions in question is even more telling in this respect. In his post-war memoirs he em­phatically declared that "there was neither preparation, nor organi­zation to shelter the hundreds of thousands of the deportees."3

1 Lewis Einstein, "The Armenian Massacres," Contemporary Review616 (April 1917): 490. See also his Inside Constantinople (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1918).

2 Leslie A. Davis, The Slaughterhouse Province. An- American Diplomat's Report on the Armenian Genocide 1915-1917, ed. Susan K. Blair (New Rochelle, NY: Caratzas, 1989), p. 181.

3 Orgeneral AH Fuad Erden, Birinci Dunya Harbinde Suriye Hatiralan (Syrian memoirs of World War I), vol. 1 (Istanbul: Halk Matbaasi, 1954), p. 122. Erden was the Chief of Staff of Cemal Pasa, the Commander-in-Chief of the IV"1 Ottoman Army.

6) "Disloyal Ottoman Armenians killed 1.1 million Muslims and 100,000 Jews";

The recklessness of this statement is matched by the sordidness attending it. More important, it reveals and punctuates the ineptness with which the picture of 100,000 entirely invented Jews is injected into the controversy. The attempt to play on Jewish sensitivities already exacerbated by the impact of memories of the Holocaust and thereby to coopt the Jews in the ongoing game of deniaHsm is as transparent as it is lurid. Even by official Ottoman statistics, this falsehood emerges as absurd as one may be able to imagine. Moreover, the figure represents a magnitude that would have provoked reaction and intense inquiry a long time ago. Nor is there any reference to any record or credible source on this matter in the entire literature respecting the whole episode at issue here. Indeed, as far as official Ottoman statistics are concerned, in the areas in which, according to Turkish claims, the Armenians committed atrocities in the course of "inter-communal clashes," the number of Jewish residents did not exceed 4,000. (See Appendix 2 for the respective Jewish population statistics.) The question begs itself: where did this charge and the associated figure come from and how?

The figure of "1.1 million Muslims" killed roughly corresponds to the total number of the Ottoman Armenian population as presented by several Turkish sources. Like so many other, similar assertions, this too borders on the fantastic, as expounded earlier in the section "The Allegation of 'Inter-Communal Clashes,'" on pp. 6-12. The argument advanced there bears restating briefly. Nearly all able-bodied Armenian males were conscripted in the Ottoman-Turkish army in stages coinciding with the period of neutrality of the Ottoman Empire (July-November 1914), and with the earlier stages of that empire's involvement in the Great War (December 1914-February 1915). Are we to understand that the remaining mass of desperate and destitute children, women, and old men, all of them crippled "Ottoman Armenians," did or could attack and in the process kill 1.1 million Muslims and 100,000 Jews? Lest this Utterly nonsensical claim be dignified by any further explanation, the discussion may be appropriately terminated by invoking the apt observation of the French essayist Montaigne:

no one is exempt from talking nonsense;
the misfortune is to do it solemnly.
-Essays v. III, i.

7) The number of Armenian victims is exaggerated;

On the Number of Armenian Victims

Without providing specifics, the Memorandum states that "the number of Armenians claimed to have perished has tripled over the last 80 years." Far from such being the case, however, that number remains fairly constant as far as credible sources are concerned. In March 1919 the then Ottoman Interior Minister, relying on statistical data which the staff of the ministry had been compiling during the previous two months, publicly declared that "during the wartime deportations some 800,000 Armenians were killed."1 Excluded from this figure are the Armenian conscripts who, in the wake of their conscription, were liquidated in stages by fellow Turkish soldiers, and countless children, young girls, and brides who were forcibly Islamised and absorbed into the mainstream of the Turkish national entity. If one discounts French and British sources, identified as they were with the enemy camp, the available German and Austro-Hungarian sources involving civilian and military officials of all ranks, and serving as wartime allies of Turkey, supply much more inclusive figures. According to these sources, the number of victims of the Armenian genocide ranges between 1.2 and 1.5 million.2

1 Alemdar (Turkish newspaper in Istanbul), March 15, 1919. Takvimi Vekdyi No. 3909, July 21, 1920, pp. 3, 4. The minister in question was Cemal.

2 According to German Interim Ambassador to Turkey, Radowitz, 1.5 million Armenians died and 425,000 survived. A.A. Turkei 183/44. A27493, October 4, 1916 report. The German parliamentarian, Foreign Office Intelligence Director, and later Cabinet minister, Erzberger, estimated 1.5 million victims. A.A. Turkei 183/42, A13959, May 27, 1916 report. German major Endres, serving in the Turkish army, estimated that "1.2 million Armenians perished in Turkey during the war." Die Turkei (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1918), p. 161. Austrian Vice Marshal Pomiankowski declared that "approximately one million Armenians perished," [n. 7], p. 160. Austrian consul at Trabzon and Samsun, Dr. Kwatkiowski, reported to Vienna on March 13, 1918 that "in round figure 1 million Armenians were with studied cruelty deported from the six eastern Anatolian provinces as well as from Trabzon province and Samsun district. From these only a fraction could escape death." AFMA 12 Tiirkei/380, ZI. 17/pol. Austria-Hungary's Adrianople (Edirne) consul Dr. Nadamlenzki reported that from the entire realm of the Ottoman Empire, including its European part, by October 29, 1915 "already 1.5 million Armenians were deported." Ibid. 12 Tiirkei/463, Z.94/P.

8) Accusations of the Young Turk regime of committing crimes against humanity by France, Great Britain and Russia are wartime propaganda;

The Legal and Political Import of the May 24, 1915 Declaration by the Allies (The Entente Powers)

In that declaration France, Great Britain and Russia accused the Young Turk regime of "connivance and often assistance" in the perpetration of the mass murder of the Armenians, at the same time warning that "in view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity..."1 the Allies proposed to prosecute and punish after the war all the perpetrators involved. This declaration is dismissed out of hand as wartime propaganda. Quoting author David Fromkin, the ambassador likewise dismisses "the British official accounts" as untruthful propaganda reflecting the exigencies of the war. Yet historian Arnold Toynbee, who in 1916 produced the official and most comprehensive British documentation of the Armenian genocide, some half a century later in his memoirs reconfirmed his findings and reaffirmed the historical reality of that genocide. He wrote, "the massacre of Armenian Ottoman subjects [during the Sultan Abdul Hamit era, 1894-1896] was amateur and ineffective compared with the largely successful attempt to exterminate...in 1915...[That undertaking] was carried out...under the cloak of legality, by cold-blooded governmental action."2

The depositories of the state archives of the German Federal Republic and of Austria are replete with official documents attesting to the complicity of the Young Turk regime in the enactment of the genocide.3 So are the files of the Turkish Military Tribunal, which, in the 1918-1920 period, amassed a large volume of official and unofficial documents for the prosecution of the authors of the Armenian genocide and their numerous accomplices. That Tribunal, in its series of indictments and sentence renditions, declared the Central Committee of Ittihad, the CUP (Committee of Union and Progress), to be mainly responsible for the centrally organized mass murder of the Ottoman Armenian population. At (he same time it condemned the vast network of government officials, high and low, who "submitted" to the dictates of the Ittihad party in the execution of the mass murder. Included in this category were the Ministers of the two wartime Cabinets and the provincial governors of various ranks.4 In other words, the domestic courts of post-war Turkey certified through their findings the criminal intent of the Young Turk regime as set forth in the May 24, 1915 declaration of the Entente Powers.

Equally significant is the fact that the concept of "crimes Bgainst humanity," enunciated by France, Great Britain and Russia was embraced by various instances involved in the establishment and proceedings of the post-war Turkish Military Tribunal. They i leserve to be highlighted and underscored. When Arab deputy Fuad submitted a motion on November 2, 1918 to institute parliamentary hearings to investigate the complicity of the Ministers of the two wartime Cabinets, he invoked "the rules of law and humanity."5 When the new sultan responded on March 3,1919 to the request of the post-war Cabinet to authorize a new law for court-martialing the culpable parties, he decried the culpabilities in question as "crimes against humanity," thereby echoing the choice words used by the above-mentioned Powers.6 Moreover, in its summery verdict at the end of the Yozgat trial series, the same Military Tribunal maintained that the guilty parties had violated the principle of "human sentiments."7 Thus, the Tribunal elected to transcend the judicial compass of Turkish municipal law in prosecuting the offenders. It chose to inject into its machinery of justice the new principle of humanity at large, thereby extending the boundaries of legal protection for any class of citizens of a state. In brief, there was at the very least a tacit recognition and acceptance of a new legal doctrine that in certain cases state sovereignty ceases to be absolute or unconditional and that, therefore, national laws become subject to specific international law.

The May 24,1915 official and formal declaration had other by­products in the aftermath of World War I. Their inordinate significance requires a brief review of their incidence. International law experts were troubled by the fact that the laws and customs of war did not have any distinct and concrete clauses for the protection of civilian populations during warfare. This applied not only to populations in territories which were captured by a belligerent, enemy army, but also to populations that were part of the citizenry of that belligerent state. The question that posed itself as a result was: how to deal with criminal offenses that as yet are not codified completely and explicitly as laws or regulations. In the latter's absence, no penal codes and, hence, no prosecution could be instituted. The question was solved in a preliminary way in the Preambles of the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions, which incorporated the so-called Martens Clause, named after the Russian jurist and diplomat Fyodor Martens, who conceived of it and framed the draft of it. The centerpiece of that clause was the concept of "the principles of the laws of nations," a sort of conventional and customary international law that comprised three general elements: {1) "usages established among civilized peoples," (2) "the laws of humanity," and (3) "the dictates of public conscience." When the 1919 Peace Conference's Commission on the Responsibilities of the Authors of War and on Enforcement of Penalties for Violations of the Laws and Customs of War tried to adopt this Martens Clause and apply it to defeated Germany by creating a relevant Article in the Treaty of Versailles, it ended up relinquishing its effort in this regard, upon the resistance of the American delegation. Abandoning its principle of "crimes against civilization and humanity," the Commission was forced to acquiesce to Article 228, which provided only for the prosecution of German military personnel charged solely with war crimes.8 Notwithstanding, the Commission reiterated in its final report the two signal principles of the May 15, 1915 declaration: 1. Liability to criminal prosecution "without distinction of rank, including Chiefs of State;" 2. It cited Turkey among the other Central Powers as having been guilty of offences against "...the laws of humanity."9

This stance was more productive, however, with respect to the framing of several articles of the peace treaty of Sevres. Article 226, especially, stipulated the Turkish government's recognition of the right of the Allied Powers to try and to punish the guilty Turks involved. Article 230, on the other hand, obligated Turkey to hand over to the Allied Powers those suspected of being guilty in this respect. As Bassiouni concluded, "Thus, the parties to the Treaty of Sevres intended to bring to justice those who committed 'crimes against humanity'...."10

Even though signed by the respective parties, the August 10, 1920 Treaty of Sevres was not ratified as a result of the emergence and ultimate triumph of the Kemalist insurgency movement in Anatolia, and finally in the Ottoman capital, Istanbul. That Treaty was consequently displaced and replaced by the July 24, 1923 [Treaty of Lausanne. In the text of this latter treaty, all references to "Armenian massacres," even to the words "Armenia" and "Armenians" were expunged. This abortiveness did not end the quest for a solution to establish a minority protection system that would be guaranteed by the post-war League of Nations, the precursor of the United Nations. A series of minority treaties were introduced in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in the Baltic region and the Caucasus. Other similar instruments afforded protection for specified minorities, including the Jews in Poland, Muslims in Yugoslavia, and the Ruthenians in Czechoslovakia. But the conflicts tended to persist and the entire system collapsed with I lie outbreak of World War II. "Even so, the system remains an historically important step in elevating the treatment of minorities into a matter of international concern."11

The significance of a major event is gauged not only by its positive consequences but also by its latent potential to entail adverse consequences. Two noted scholars went out of their way to emphasize the disasters that would befall humanity as a result of the abortiveness of the May 24, 1915 Allied declaration. Legal historian James F. Willis offered this comment: "Of all failures to punish the war criminals of the First World War, this one, [i.e., that 'the Armenians...were too easily ignored and forgotten'] was perhaps the most regrettable, and it would have terrible consequences."12 For his part, renowned international law expert Bassiouni berated in so many words the very same Allies who failed to carry out their threat of May 24, 1915 to prosecute and punish the authors of the Armenian genocide. This failure "came back to haunt the very same Allies...after World War II."13 So did Albert Speer, one of the principal confederates of Adolf Hitler.14

1 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Historical and Legal Interconnections Between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust: From Impunity to Retributive Justice," Yale Journal of International Law 23, no. 2 (Summer 1998): 504.

2 Arnold Toynbee, Experiences (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 241,341. See Appendix 3 for a review of Toynbee' s remarks and judgments reflected in his published works throughout his lifetime.

3 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "Documentation of the Armenian Genocide in German and Austrian Sources," in The Widening Circle of Genocide, ed. I, Charny (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Pub., 1994), pp. 77-125.

4 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "A Textual Analysis of the Key Indictment of the Turkish Military Tribunal Investigating the Armenian Genocide," in The Armenian Genocide in Official Turkish Records. [A special edition of the Journal of Political and Military Sociology 22, no. 1 (Summer 1994): 133-171. For the listing of all the respective verdicts, see p. 141.

5 Dadrian, "The Historical and Legal Interconnections" [n. 32], p. 551.

6 ibid

7 ibid

8 M. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes Against Humanity in International Criminal Law (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1992), pp. 165-67.

9 Ibid., p. 170, especially the text of note 78, and p. 173, note 88.

10 Ibid.,p. 174-5.

11 Matthew Lippman, "The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: Fifty Years Later," Arizona Journal of Comparative and International Law 15, no. 2 (1998): 422.

12 James F. Willis, Prologue to Nuremberg. The Politics and Diplomacy of Punishing War Criminals of the First World War (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982), p. 163.

13 Quoted in Dadrian, "The Historical and Legal Interconnections" [n. 2], p. 505.

14 For his respective statement see ibid., p. 556, note 250.

9) The British convened the Malta Tribunals to try Ottoman officials for crimes against Armenians;

The Non-Existence of "Malta Tribunals"

In the Memorandum in question, on three different occasions reference is made to so-called "Malta Tribunals" which in fact never existed and accordingly are nowhere in the respective literature cited. The British camp and affiliated domiciles at Malta were strictly a detention center where the Turkish suspects were being held for future prosecution on charges of crimes perpetrated against the Armenians, Ottoman citizens. The envisaged international trials on the new penal norm "crimes against humanity" never materialized, however—largely because of political expediency. The victorious Allies, lapsing into dissension and growing mutual rivalries, chose to strike separate deals with the ascendant Kemalist insurgents in Anatolia. One such deal concerned the recovery of some British subjects who were being held hostage by the Kemalists and who were to be released in exchange for the liberation of all Malta detainees. Commenting on this deal for the exchange which he later deplored as "a great mistake," British Foreign Affairs Minister Lord Curzon wrote the following, "The less we say about these people [the Turks detained at Malta] the better...I had to explain why we released the Turkish deportees from Malta skating over thin ice as quickly as I could. There would have been a row I think...The staunch belief among members [of Parliament is] that one British prisoner is worth a shipload of Turks, and so the exchange was excused."1

It is, therefore, inaccurate to state that the Turkish detainees were released because "the charges were exhaustively probed, investigated, and studied." Nothing of the sort happened. The Allies, especially the British, studiously avoided getting judicially involved at that juncture of developments. Everything was deferred for an eventual, anticipated international trial. To an incidental, single inquiry from London, Aukland Geddes, the British ambassador in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 1921 responded saying that the U.S. archives at that time already contained "a large number of documents on Armenian deportations and massacres"2 but that under existing conditions it was not possible to assign and charge specific culpabilities to the Turkish detainees at Malta as the Allies were not involved in the specific task of prosecution that would require pre-trial investigations, the administration of interrogatories, and the application of other methods of evidence gathering. Nor did the British "exhaustively search the archives of many nations," not in 1919, not in 1920, or ever! Like so many other statements noted above, these are purely fabricated declarations to confuse the issue and confound third parties.

1 British Foreign Office Archives, FO 371/7882/E4425, folio 182.

2 FO 371/6503/E6311, folio 34.

10) The overall Turkish losses during the WWI being about 2.5 million, they by far exceed the scope of total Armenian losses;

The Juxtaposition and Equating of Armenian Losses with Turkish Warfare Losses

Turkish historians and others identified with Turkish interests continue to resort to this artful device in order to minimize the scope and import of the Armenian catastrophe. Two distinct and separate categories of losses are cleverly collapsed into a single and undifferentiated category where one may readily play the numbers game through simple additions and subtractions and come up with wholly deceptive figures. What is involved here is, on the one hand, the category of victims of organized mass murder and, on the other hand, essentially the dead resulting from warfare with foreign armies and from other war-related causes. This is clearly stated in the report of American Major General Harbord, to which reference is made in the ambassador's Memorandum. Harbord stated that "Not over 20 percent of the Turkish peasants who went to war have returned...Six hundred thousand Turkish soldiers died of typhus alone...and insufficient hospital service and absolute poverty of supply swelled the death lists." Counterposed to this account is Harbord's other account dealing with the conditions of the Armenian victims. He referred to "the wholesale attempt on the [Armenian] race...," at the same time underscoring "the evidence of this most colossal crime of all ages [involving] mutilation, violation, torture and death...Testimony is universal that the massacres have always been ordered from Constantinople." After announcing that "the official reports of the Turkish Government show 1,100,000 as having been deported," Harbord estimated the number of the Armenian victims of the genocide to be "about 800,000."1

1 Harbord Report to the U.S. Secretary of State, "American Military Mission to Armenia," International Conciliation CLI (151), [New York] {June 1920): 280,281,282.

11) Turkish military tribunal prosecuted the authors of the Armenian genocide;

The Legitimacy of the Turkish Military Tribunal Prosecuting the Authors of the Armenian Genocide

This tribunal was created through a series of Imperial Rescripts in late December 1918 and early January 1919. The issuing of them was an exercise of the type of sweeping powers with which reigning sultans were vested by the Ottoman Constitution. It was only natural that the occupants of the many Cabinet posts of successive post-war Turkish governments were enemies of the defunct Young Turk regime. So were those sitting in judgment of the Nazis at Nuremberg. One cannot just dismiss the resulting findings and judgments simply because of the presence of an animus of hostility against the accused. Given the enormity of the crimes involved, such hostility often simply becomes inescapable, but there are other yardsticks with which to assess findings and judgments in judicial proceedings.

The statement "why a government allegedly intent on eliminating a portion of its citizenry would try and convict those who committed crimes against those very citizens" is an exercise in sophistry. One needs only consider the fact that not one unitary government but disparate governments identified with disparate regimes are at issue here. Indeed those trying to administer retributive justice in the post-war era were in design and function the very antithesis of those who enacted the genocide during the preceding war.

Moreover, several aspects of the court-martial proceedings merit attention for the quality of their judiciousness, despite the consideration of the fact that these trials were urged on by the victorious Allies, under whose shadow they took place.

a. Using judicial discretion, the panel of judges decided to hold public trials in order to "help the defendants and facilitate their defense" and, "in a spirit of impartiality and lofty justice"1 as avowed by this panel.

b. Led by Istanbul University law professor and president of the Turkish bar association, C. Arif, a battery of sixteen lawyers was engaged as defense counsel. These attorneys frequently and vigorously challenged the prosecutors, their witnesses, and often the panel of judges, at the same time raising many constitutional questions.2 It is, therefore, astonishing that the ambassador, through the Memorandum, dares to declare that the defendants were tried "with almost no presentation of evidence." One wonders indeed whether he and/or his staff have ever heard of Takvimi Vekayi and if so, have ever perused its many issues. The official gazette of the Ottoman government, its supplements regularly carried many portions of the proceedings of the court-martial, including the presentations of the defense counsel.

c. Before being introduced as accusatory exhibits, each and every official document was authenticated by the competent staff personnel of the Interior Ministry who thereafter affixed on the top part of the document the notation: "it conforms to the original." 3

d. The series of verdicts pronounced by the Tribunal were based almost entirely on these authenticated official documents which had a wartime provenance and had, therefore, nothing to do with post-war "politics." As at Nuremberg, so at Istanbul, courtroom testimony was given minimal significance. This deliberately designed procedure was announced by the Deputy Attorney General on March 29, 1919, at the 16lh sitting of the Yozgad trial series.4

1 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "Genocide as a Problem of National and International Law: The World War I Armenian Case and Its Contemporary Legal Ramifications," Yale Journal of International Law 14, no. 2 (Summer 1989): 297.

2 Ibid. pp. 304-307.

3 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Documentation of the World War I Armenian Massacres in the Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal" [n. 11], p. 563.

4 Ibid

12) Top Young Turk leaders were acquitted by the Turkish military tribunal;

The Conviction of Top Young Turk Leaders by the Turkish Military Tribunal

The categorical declaration that "according to the trial transcripts" none of these leaders "were convicted of organizing and executing massacres against the Armenian people," is again belied by the actual text of the verdict. As the principal ground for conviction and sentencing, which was death on the gallows, the Tribunal cited "the massacres against the Armenians" in various parts of the Ottoman Empire. Continuing, the Tribunal further asserted that these bloodbaths were "organized and executed" by "the Ittihadist [Young Turk] leaders," a fact which was "investigated and ascertained" by the Tribunal. Among those convicted and sentenced to death were Interior Minister, later Grand Vizier, Talat, and the two top military leaders, War Minister Enver, and Minister of Navy and Commander-in-Chief of the Ottoman IVth army, Cemal.1 It is likewise untrue that the "Tribunal did not convict Dr. Behaeddin Sakir and Cemal Azmi." The former was convicted and sentenced to death at the end of the Harput trial series;2 the latter, who was governor-general of Trabzon province, was convicted and sentenced to death at the end of the Trabzon trial series.3

1 Takvimi Vekdyi no. 3604, p. 219, right hand column. The verdict was issued on July 5, 1919 and the text of the conviction and sentence rendition was published on July 22, 1919.

2 Takvimi Vekdyi no. 3771, p. 2, left hand column. Conviction was announced on January 13, 1920, the text of the conviction and sentence rendition was published on February 9, 1920.

3 Takvimi Vekdyi no. 3616, p. 3, left hand column. Conviction was announced on May 2, 1919, the text of the conviction and sentence rendition was published on August 6, 1919.

13) Turkish state archives contain no evidence supporting the charge of genocide;

On the Value of the Turkish State Archives Relative to the Task of Documenting the Armenian Genocide

It is maintained by Turkish authorities that the evidence contained in these archives, civilian as well as military, does not in any way support the charge of genocide. Before accepting such a conclusion, however, one has to ask the cardinal question: how intact, complete, and reliable are these depositories that purportedly cover the entire evidence on the wartime treatment of Ottoman Armenians.1 The facts listed below cast in stark relief the dubious aspects of these archives, especially those of Yildiz, the Prime Ministry, and the General Staff.

a. For more than six decades the Turkish authorities had made these depositories containing material on the Armenian question inaccessible to most researchers. In fact a regime of preferential treatment was instituted. Those well-known for their pro-Turkish proclivities or open partisanship were allowed access; others were denied it, such as Trumpener and Weber, experts on modern Ottoman history.2

b. After the archives, i.e., some parts of them, were finally opened up to the public with great fanfare in January 1989, access to them remained, and still remains, restricted through the imposition of a host of conditions. Indeed, the government, i.e., the authorities administering the archives, reserve the right to control and, when necessary, to deny access on three grounds: (1) risk to national defense, (2) risk to public order, and (3) danger to Turkey's relations with other states, or to the need for maintaining normal relations between two foreign countries.3

c. Beyond these restrictions, deliberately framed in general and vague terms to allow the indulgence in arbitrary interpretations, there is the practice of selectively withholding documents for a variety of excuses. This practice is applied to those researchers who are suspected of not being in line with Turkish national interests.4

d. Despite great impediments, the post-war Turkish Military Tribunal had been able to seek, locate, and secure an array of documents, including formal and informal orders for the elimination of the bulk of the empire's Armenian population. These documents implicated the Ottoman High Command, the Ministers of Interior and Justice, and the top Young Turk leadership.5 Yet, nowhere can one find a trace of these archives of the Military Tribunal, which seem to have simply vanished. Nor is there any credible account as to who made the vast documentary corpus attesting to the facts of the Armenian genocide disappear, and how.

The conclusion becomes inescapable that what one may be able to glean from the Turkish archives is circumscribed and limited by what the authorities involved are arbitrarily and selectively willing to offer.

1 See Dadrian, "Ottoman Archives and Denial of the Armenian Genocide" [n. 1].

2 For example, author Ulrich Trumpener was denied such permission. Germany and the Ottoman Empire I914-I9J8 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968), Preface, pp. viii-ix; Frank G. Weber, Eagles and the Crescent (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970), Acknowledgments, p. viii; Stanford Shaw, on the other hand, had free access all this time to the same archives, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Vol. II, Reform, Revolution and Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), Preface, pp. viii, xvii.

3 Resmi Gazete (Official Gazette), no. 20163, May 12, 1989, Cabinet Council's no. 89/14028 decision, pp. 1-6; the three conditions are contained in article 10, subsections a and b.

4 In an interview with the editor of an Armenian newspaper in the United States, Ara Sarafian, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Michigan, recounted the vexing problems of this type he had in the Yildiz archives in Istanbul. Three prominent authors, Justin McCarthy, Kemal Karpat, and Mim Kemal Oke, known for their works categorically denying the Armenian genocide, had had free access to the documents of this archive. When Sarafian proposed to check some of their published claims, statistical figures and other data, he was invariably

prevented from doing so by a variety of pretexts, including the occasional assertion that no such documents exist, or that they can not be found. In one particular instance involving Karpat's treatment of the Yildiz Perakende collection, Sarafian tried to check some material cited by Karpat, but was told that the collection was "closed" and had never been "open." Hairenik, (May 13, 1993): 5. A summary of that account also appeared in an article titled 'The Issue of Access to Ottoman Archives," Zeitschriftfur Turkeistudien 6, no. 1 (1993): 93-99.

5 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's Prosecution of the Authors of the Armenian Genocide: Four Major Court-Martial Series" Holocaust and Genocide Studies 11, no. 1 {Spring 1997): 32.

14) Ottoman authorities punished the perpetrators of the Armenian massacres during the WW1;

Did the Ottoman Authorities Really Punish the Perpetrators of the Massacres of the Armenians During the War?

The Turkish Memorandum sent to the U.S. Congressmen maintains that "1,376 individuals were sentenced to varying degrees of punishment. ..62 officials were sentenced to death and were executed...." As far as it is known former Turkish diplomat Kamuran Giirun who, citing documents from the archives of the Ottoman Interior Ministry, released these figures for the first time in his book denying the Armenian genocide.1 He was persuasive enough to induce noted Ottomanist and Arabist Bernard Lewis to embrace without the slightest reservation and almost automatically this claim in his latest work. Conceivably Lewis was trying to fortify the rationale for the revising, if not retracting, of his earlier recognition of the Armenian genocide, which he had seen fit to characterize as a "holocaust."2

In advancing this argument an obvious effort is made to once more deny the reality of the Armenian genocide by denying the rationale of it. Indeed, why would a government organize a mass murder and then turn around and punish some of the actual perpetrators? To the extent that there is some truth to it, the argument is neither baffling, nor devoid of an explanation. But, as explained below, the greater truth is that the limited trials that were set in motion were nothing short of being farcical. The reasons are as follows.

a. Subsequent to the completion of their criminal deeds against their Armenian victims, many of the perpetrators began to be viewed as distinct liabilities for the regime. For one thing, they knew too much regarding the lethal secret operations conducted against the victim population, and some of them started to drop hints that unless they were accommodated in certain respects, they may "spill the beans." Referring to the decision of the Central Committee of the Young Turk Ittihad party to hang two such prominent mass murderers, actually a major and a lieutenant who were part of the Special Organization's killer squads, a Turkish general in his post-war memoirs confirms this occurrence. Describing them as "bloodthirsty brigands," he offers this explanation for their demise through hanging. "When deciding to get rid of them, the party's Central Committee most probably reasoned as follows; 'Indebtedness to [recruited] executioners and murderers is bound to be heavy...Those who are used for dirty jobs are needed in times of necessity [in order to shift] responsibility. It is likewise necessary, however, not to glorify them but to dispose of them just like toilet paper, once they have done their job.'"3 On the same occasion, party boss and then Interior Minister Talat, is quoted in a cipher telegram as having declared with respect to the execution of one of them, Major Ahmed — "His liquidation in any case is necessary. Otherwise he will prove very harmful at a later date. Talat."4

There were several such cases where top Young Turk leaders are seen ordering the liquidation of all kinds of massacrers on account of the same, or similar considerations.5

b. Far more significant, however, were the circumstances under which the authorities did indeed conduct investigations and trials with a view to punishing the offenders, only in the end to reduce these trials to sheer travesty. For example, one Muslim witness (a Turkish peasant) who, instead of limiting himself to the crime of robbery for which a gendarme was being tried, and against whom he was to testify for that crime, insistently wanted to describe the scenes of the massacres he personally had witnessed. He kept begging to be allowed to testify "on the worst crimes to which I have been an eye-witness." Yet, he was put down and summarily dismissed by the presiding judge with the swear word "dog." Furthermore, those gendarmes who were less cruel towards the Armenians but still robbed them, were found guilty and were punished. "Their cases served as the basis of embellished reports about the punishment of the perpetrators who had victimized the Armenians."6 This fact was confirmed and became public at the 11lh sitting of the Yozgad trial series (March 3, 1919). Aziz Nedim, an Ottoman civil inspector, and a personal friend of Talat from the earlier days of Saloniki, had been sent to Bogazliyan, a county in Yozgad district in Ankara province, to investigate the abuses against Armenian deportees. But, in his testimony he admitted that he had received specific orders not to investigate the incidence of massacres but to limit himself to economic crimes. Attorney General Sami in that sitting concluded that "when inspectors came to the area, they confined their investigations to...plunder and fraud."7

In other words, the authorities were not in the slightest interested to prosecute and punish perpetrators of massacre, but rather to stop the massive misappropriations and embezzlements. By virtue of these abuses the vast riches of the Armenian victim population were being personally appropriated by the organizers and executioners of the massacres instead of being transferred, as was their duty to do, to the Treasury of the state.

The whole picture is summed up by a noted Turkish publicist with a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University. He had close ties with the Young Turk leaders during the war, and for two years after the war in Malta where he, along with the former, had been detained by the British. He wrote, "a commission of investigation composed of inspectors of the Ministries of the Interior and Justice, was formed...to punish those guilty of excesses. Some minor offenders were really punished; but those favoring the deportations being very influential in the Government, the whole thing amounted more to a demonstration rather than a sincere attempt to fix complete responsibility."8

1 Kamuran Giirun, Ermeni Dosyasi (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu, 1983), pp. 221 -222.The English translation is in The Armenian File (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985), pp. 212-213.

2 Bernard Lewis, The Middle East. A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years (New York: Scribner, 1995), p. 340.

3 Erden, Birinci Dunya Harbinde [n. 29], p. 217. The brigands involved were Major Ahmed and Lieutenant Halil in whose belongings were found, among other things, "blood-stained ornamental gold coins." (p. 218).

4 ZiyaSakir, Yakin Tarihin Uc Buyu'k Adamt (Three great men from the recent past) (Istanbul: A. Sait Pub., 1943), pp. 57-59. Falih Rifki (Atay), Zeytindagi (Mount Olive) (Istanbul: Ayyildiz, 1981), p. 67. It should be recognized in this respect that not only IVLh Army Commander Cemal in Syria and Palestine, but also IIId Army Commander Vehib Pasa in eastern Turkey, despite their strong ties to the Ittihad Party, refused to embrace the secret genocidal agenda of the party's top leadership and whenever they could they tried to resist and discourage the attendant massacres. In 1916, for example, Vehib court-martialed and hanged a gendarmery commander and his accomplice for organizing the massacre of some 2,000 disarmed Armenian labor battalion soldiers. He subsequently issued a proclamation threatening similar swift retribution against any and all who might be tempted to attack and harm the Armenians in the process of being deported. Ariamard (Istanbul), December 10, 1918. Cemal Pasa acted similarly. In 1916, for example, he executed a gendarmery officer on charges of rape and assault. AFM A, Consul Ranzi's February 15,1916 report to Vienna. 12 Tiirkei/463, No. 4/P.

5 See a brief account of these operations of post-crime liquidation, including those undertaken by the Kemalists, in Vahakn N. Dadrian, "A Twist in the Punishment of Some of the Arch Perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide," The Armenian Cause 10, no. 2 (May 1993): 2E-5E.

6 Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Archives, Series 17, file Ho, pp. 37, 38, and p. 163 of report no. 67 relayed to the Interior Minister by one of the four commissions which Minister Talat had sent to Anatolia to investigate the abuses committed against the Armenians in the course of the deportations. For more details on this subject see Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Armenian Genocide and the Pitfalls of a 'Balanced' Analysis. A Response to Ronald Grigor Suny," Armenian Forum no. 2 (Summer 1998): 123-124.

7 Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's" [n. 60], p. 39.

8 Ahmed Emin (Yalman), Turkey in the World War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1930), p. 221. The author had close ties with the Young Turk leaders during the war and spent eighteen months with most of them in detention in Malta after the war before being released in October 1921 under the exchange program negotiated between the British and the insurgent Kemalists.

15) Hitler did not refer to the Armenians in plotting the Final Solution; the infamous quote is fraudulent;

Hitler, the Holocaust, the Nuremberg Trials and the Armenian Genocide

Hitler's reported reference to "the annihilation of the Armenians," the veracity of which is being questioned in the Memorandum, is but one of the indices that describe the historical and legal interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust.1 Nor is that reference the only one that portrays Hitler being inspired and encouraged by the impunity accruing to the authors of the Armenian Genocide. Eight years earlier, in June 1931, Hitler is reported to have included in his list the case of "the extermination of the Armenians," among the mass murders in history that he perceived to have been successful operations.2

Even though it is true that the 1939 document in question was not ultimately used at Nuremberg, where it was introduced as a prosecution exhibit, because of strong objections by German defense counsel, that does not mean that it is invalid. At the time of the Nuremberg trials there were uncertainties regarding the provenance and venue of the document containing Hitler's statement. However, noted American specialist in this field Gerald L. Weinberg explained in his book and subsequently in a communication to the New York Times that the provenance and the source of the document was later identified to be the main note taker of Hitler's secret speech, namely, Admiral Canaris, the chief of the Counter-intelligence Department of the German Armed Forces High Command (Abwehr). Weinberg gives credence to the authenticity of the document by emphasizing the more solid reliability of Canaris as a source compared to the other two sources in which Hitler's respective words are missing.3

The organic character of the links between the two foremost genocides of this century is a recurrent theme in the works of some prominent experts of international law. These links are treated as the byproduct of the failure to prosecute the first of the two genocides. But as Bassiouni pointed out, "the fact that a crime is not prosecuted does not negate its legal existence."4 Still, through this type of existence it may help generate and sustain the existence of other crimes emulating it. This is the sense in which Bassiouni links the mass murder of the Armenians "now commonly referred to as genocide [and which] remained unpunished," to the calamity of World War II. "The crimes against the laws of humanity" attending the World War I Armenian genocide, were "prosecutable and punishable international law crimes...The reluctance [to deal with them] came back to haunt" the world.5

The summary judgment of another international law expert is more trenchant as it links the two genocides even more closely by suggesting that the second genocide was conditioned, if not pre­conditioned, by the first genocide, on account of it having remained unpunished. He wrote, "Nothing emboldens a criminal so much as the knowledge he can get away with the crime. That was the message the failure to prosecute for the Armenian massacre gave to the Nazis. We ignore the lesson of the Holocaust at our peril."6 Middle East historian Howard M. Sachar concurred when in his respective book he wrote, "The [Armenian] genocide was cited approvingly twenty-five years later by the Fuhrer...who found the Armenian 'solution' an instructive precedent."7

1 For a review of these indices see Vahakn N. Dadrian, "Common Features of the Armenian and Jewish Cases of Genocide: A Comparative Victimological Perspective," in Victimology: A New Focus, v. 4, Violence and Its Victims, ed. I. Drapkin (Lexington, MA: Heath and Co., 1975), pp. 99-120; idem., "The Convergent Aspects of the Armenian and Jewish Cases of Genocide. A Re interpretation of the Concept of Holocaust," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 3, no. 2 (1988): 151-169; idem., "The Comparative Aspects of the Armenian and Jewish Cases of Genocide: A

Socio-Historical Perspective," In, Is the Holocaust Unique? ed. A. Rosenbaum (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996), pp. 101-135.

2 Edouard Calic, Unmasked: Two Confidential Inlet-views with Hitler, trans. R. Barry (London: Chatto and Windus, 1971), p. 81.

3 Gerald L. Weinberg, The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany: Starting World War II, 1937-39 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 610-12. The author is William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of History, University of North Carolina. His conclusion is based upon his own research in the archives of Britain's Foreign Office, especially the papers of former British ambassador to Berlin, Neville Henderson, and the "detailed and careful articles that appeared in the scholarly quarterly issued by the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich in 1968 and 1971." See his piece "Hitler's Remark on Armenians Reported in '39," New York Times (June 18, 1985). See also Kevork B. Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide (Cambridge, MA: Zoryan Institute, 1985).

4 M. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes Against Humanity in InternationalCriminal Law [n. 39], p. 176

5 M. Cherif Bassiouni, "The Time Has Come for an International Criminal Court,'11 Indiana International and Comparative Law Review 1, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 3-4. Bassiouni expresses a similar view in his most recent article, "From Versailles to Rwanda in Seventy-Five Years: The Need to Establish a Permanent International Criminal Court," Harvard Human Rights Journal 10(Spring 1997): 58.

6 David Matas, "Prosecuting Crimes Against Humanity: The Lessons of World War I," Fordham International Law Journal 86 (1989-90): 86, 104.

7 Howard M. Sachar, The Emergence of the Middle East 1914-1924 (New York: A. Knopf, 1969), p. 115. For details see his entire chapter IV, "The Armenian Genocide," pp. 87-115.

16) The UN did not recognize the Armenian genocide;

Raphael Lemkin, International Law and the Armenian Genocide

One of the signal after-effects of the Nuremberg trials was the general realization that, irrespective of the impact upon the rest of the world of their punitive thrust, Nuremberg rendered paramount service to humankind by directing attention to the fact that a crime of that magnitude should never be left untreated but should rather be fully exposed. In a sense the degree to which such a crime is exposed is a condition that often determines the effectiveness of the ensuing punishment.

Conversely, impunity renders the crime debatable, infects its legacy with contagiousness and tends to make it for others with comparable propensities a venture worth emulating. These possibilities were underlined by none other than Albert Speer, who was one of the most trusted cohorts of Hitler and who, with great competence, ran the affairs of the Nazi munitions and armaments industry. After serving some time in Spandau prison as a Nazi war criminal—the charges against him were "war crimes "and "crimes against humanity"—he came up with a volume containing his memoirs. In it he wrote that the war criminals of World War I were allowed to escape punishment. Yet, punishment "would have encouraged a sense of responsibility on the part of leading political figures i f after the First World War the Allies had actually held that trials they had threatened."1

The Turkish ambassador's Memorandum disputes that the U.N. ever recognized the Armenian Genocide. But the fact is that the very crystallization of the new international legal norm "crimes against humanity," long before Raphael Lemkin conceived and developed its equivalent, "genocide," has its origin in the public recognition of the Armenian genocide by the three principal Allies in World War I, Great Britain, France and Russia. As discussed in detail in the section on "The Legal and Political Import of the May 24,1915 Declaration by the Allies" (pages 20ff. above), these three Entente powers, by their May 24, 1915 declaration threatening the Turkish officials with prosecution and punishment, ushered in the new doctrine that made the notion of crimes against humanity synonymous with that of genocide. The Turkish perpetrators were officially and publicly threatened with punishment on grounds of the charge of the then evolving, organized mass murder of the Armenians, i.e., the empire-wide massacres, which for the first time were defined as "crimes against humanity." The development of this doctrine into a legal norm to be embodied in the 1919 Report of the Commission on the Responsibilities of the Authors of War and on Enforcement of Penalties for Violations of the Laws and Customs of War, then in the Nuremberg Charter, and subsequently into the Preamble and the main body of the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, are topics fully covered in the respective literature focusing on the international law aspects of the problem.2

Since these developments, in one sense, are the culmination of the resolute efforts of Raphael Lemkin, his relationship to the phenomenon of the Armenian genocide deserves special attention. In fact, evidence indicates that his interest in the codification of the crime of genocide as a crime under international law was first triggered by his emotive, as well as intellectual, reaction to the horrors of the Armenian genocide. It was revealed as early as 1952 in an American publication, for example, that, as a student at Lvov University, Lemkin had an argument with a professor at that university in 1921, in the very aftermath of the Armenian genocide. The professor was maintaining that the Armenians were Ottoman subjects and the state could do with them as it pleased, including killing them. He went on to say that there was no international law to protect them and that "When you interfere with the internal affairs of a country, you infringe on that country's sovereignty." Eight years later Lemkin was appointed Warsaw's district attorney or public prosecutor. He told his mother then, "I need now to learn at firsthand how laws operate. Then maybe I can do something about them." To that his mother replied, "It is the moral power that counts."3 Lemkin's confrontation with his professor was the direct result of the emotions he experienced in the course of the proceedings of the murder trial of an Armenian student in Berlin who had assassinated Talat Pasa, the wartime Interior Minister and subsequently Grand Vizier of Turkey, to avenge the killing of his mother, a victim of the Armenian genocide. In a private letter, written on July 26,1950, Lemkin referred to the "Armenian victims of genocide in 1915." In an unpublished autobiographical manuscript he wrote, "In Turkey, more than 1.2 million Armenians were put to death...all the Turkish criminals were released. I was shocked. A nation was killed and the guilty persons were set free."4 In a law journal article, Lemkin summed up his goal-directed endeavor: "By declaring genocide a crime under international law and by making it a problem of international concern, the right of intervention on behalf of minorities slated for destruction has been established."5

As to the question of a specific recognition of that genocide, these are the facts. The Subcommission on Human Rights, a vital component of the U.N., in August 1985, after having been deadlocked for more than fourteen years, finally decided to vote on the respective Resolution contained in the special rapporteur's report that had been in preparation for several years. In it, Benjamin Whitaker, the British specialist and its author, after eight years of meticulous research, had concluded that the World War I Armenian experience at the hands of the Turks was a case of "genocide" as defined by the U.N. Convention on Genocide.6 Despite insistent and persistent Turkish efforts of all kinds and in all directions to have the Resolution framed negatively, and having failed in that effort, to having it rejected by a majority vote, the Subcommission, led by U.S. expert Carey, by a vote of 14 to 1, with four abstentions, adopted the Resolution by the use of the words "it takes note." The only negative vote was cast by the representative of the Soviet Union. In other words the Subcommission refused to cast a negative vote and thus refrained from rejecting it, and by an overwhelming vote opted to accept it.

Of all the members of the U.N., as far as it is known, it is only Turkey that is continuing to interpret this outcome as meaning that the U.N. "never recognized" the Armenian genocide!7

In line with this stance, it is further maintained that the Nuremberg trials "were not genocide trials" but trials prosecuting only war crimes. This fallacy too requires correction. The Nuremberg Charter, as a new code of international law, clearly states that "crimes against humanity" are "crimes against peace," or are "war crimes." The tribunal consistently tried to link together these three forms of offenses. As Bassiouni pointed out, "the inclusion of 'crimes against humanity' in both the Nuremberg Charter and the indictment represented a significant...advance in international criminal law...it was intended to include offenses committed by a state against civilians, including its own nationals, during the preparation and the waging of war."8 In other words, in Nuremberg military aggression and wartime domestic genocide were inter-linked. This is a condition that aptly fits the Turkish model of genocide. Without provocation, but under German prodding and generous promises of rewards, the Ottoman Turks intervened in the war by attacking Russia unilaterally, thereby provoking the intended Russo-Turkish war. Nor can one easily dissociate the circumstances of that war from the circumstances of the likewise provoked and intended Armenian genocide.

A related misstatement attaches to the declaration that "the crimes against humanity punished under the Nuremberg Charter were not required to be directed against a particular national, ethnic or racial group." Article 6c of that Charter in plain English refers to the condition: "persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds.. .."9 If an individual is persecuted for belonging to a racial or religious group, does it not follow then that the essential target of the persecution is the racial or religious group, and that against this central fact the persecution of the individual is merely an incidental fact?

1 Albert Speer, Spandau: The Secret Diaries, trans. Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Macmillan, 1976), p. 43.

2 Bassiouni, Crimes Against Humanity [n. 39], pp. 168-185; Vahakn, N. Dadrian, 'The Historical and Legal Interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust [n. 32]: 504-505, and the section on " The Nuremberg Crucible," subsection B, "Nuremberg and the Legacy of Humanitarian Intervention Applied to Armenia," pp. 552-554; The United Nations War Crimes Commission, History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of ^/¦(London: His Majesty's Stationary Office, 1948), pp. 32-36,45,188-189, 192-197.

3 H. Yahreas, "He Gave a Name to the World's Most Horrible Crime," Collier's (March 3, 1952): 29.

4 Armenian Assembly of America, "Raphael Lemkin, the Armenian Genocide and the Genocide Convention," Fact Sheet No. 10, The Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923 (Washington, DC: Armenian Assembly, October 1985).

5 Raphael Lewis, "Genocide as a Crime Under International Law," American Journal of International Law 41 (January 1947): 150.

6 Dadrian, "Genocide as a Problem of National and International Law" [n. 49], p. 224.

7 Varoujan Attarian, Le Genocide des Armeniens devant I'ONU, with a Preface by Nobel Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Bruxeltes: Editions Complexe, 1997), pp. 88-93, 100-104, 109-110.

8 M. Cherif Bassiouni, "International Law and the Holocaust," California Western International Law Journal 9, no. 2 (Spring 1979): 229.

9 William W. Bishop, Jr., International Law. Cases and Materials, 3d ed. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1971), pp. 999-1000, "Charter of the International Military Tribunal."

17) To collect American materials alone would not provide a balanced historical record;

The Relevance and Significance of the U.S. Archives

Unlike the three Entente Powers, Great Britain, France and Russia, who were allies, the United States had the distinct advantage of having in wartime Turkey a network of consuls in such cities in the interior as Harput, Trabzon, Aleppo, Mersin (Adana), and, of course, in the Ottoman capital, Istanbul; at different times it also maintained consular agents in Urfa, Samsun and Erzurum. Therefore, the U.S. government was in a unique position to observe at close hand and record through these American diplomats and functionaries the events in question up to April 1917, when the U.S. joined the above-cited Allies to wage war against the opposing Central Powers and accordingly broke off diplomatic relations with Ottoman Turkey.

This fact renders the American archives highly relevant for the thorough study of the Armenian deportations and massacres. That relevance is matched by the significance that attaches to the neutrality the U.S. government maintained for three years. During this period American representatives stationed in various parts of Turkey ended up becoming an invaluable resource as they were afforded the singular opportunity to document through the prism of neutrality the origin and evolution of a major case of centrally organized mass murder.

In questioning the reliability of the testimony provided by these American officials, aspersions are cast upon the latter's presumed sources, in the process blaming "missionaries," the incidence of "anti-Muslim bigotry," and above all, Ambassador Henry Morgcnthau. According to this mind-set, it is as if the stories of the Armenian genocide are just an array of falsehoods maliciously fabricated by the representatives of the U.S. government who, in reckless disregard of the mandates of their official duties, deliberately misinformed and misled their superiors in Washington. Space limitations prevent tackling every one of these arguments, but a brief review of the deprecations leveled against Ambassador Morgenthau may suffice to exemplify the questionable premises of this attitude of discrediting the U.S. archives dealing with the fate of the Armenians in World War I.

What is at issue here is the nature, dimensions, and above all the outcome of the wartime treatment of the Ottoman Armenian population by the Young Turk regime in power during that war. Compared to this central concern, everything else remains incidental. Morgenthau's numerous reports to the State Department and his post-war memoirs unambiguously confront and tackle this central concern. As pointed out by a few detractors, he may have erred in some respects, blundered in other respects, and in the description of some events in his book he may have submitted to the impulses of his ghostwriter to embellish certain points, and yielded to the pressures of a superior at one point or other. But two

paramount facts more than offset these shortcomings, which are endemic in all such cases. 1. In terms of authenticity and utmost reliability, his wartime reports take precedence over the import of his book. 2. Nevertheless, both source entities i.e., the ensemble of his wartime reports, and his post-war book, do converge in the crystallization of a quintessential theme that constitutes Morgenthau's central message: He emphatically confirms the genocidal intentions of the leaders of the Young Turk regime and equally emphatically affirms the reality of the intended genocidal outcome. He summarized his wartime findings by incorporating in his book a chapter that bears the title, "The Murder of a Nation."1 These facts clearly signal the extraordinary value of the U.S. archives in terms of resolving the pseudo-controversy on the Armenian genocide. Anyone who may have any doubts on this may consult the following references in the U S National Archives.

R.G. 59. 867. 4016/799 (July 10, 1915)
R.G. 59. 867. 4016/74 (August 11, 1915)
R.G. 59. 867. 4016/70 (September 3, 1915)
R.G. 59. 867. 4016/117 (October 9, 1915)
R.G. 59. 867. 4016/162 5 (November 4, 1915)
R.G. 59. 867. 4016/797 (November 18, 1915)
R.G. 59. 867. 00/798/2 5 (December 1, 1915)

What is equally significant, the key element in Morgenthau's testimony is confirmed and reinforced by those other American diplomats who succeeded in his post for the remainder of the war. They continued to report "the horrors of the anti-Armenian campaign" about which the U.S. Embassy was "in receipt of ample details." On Oct. I, 1916, U.S. Charge Hoffman Philip advised the Mate Department to "threaten to withdraw our diplomatic representative from a country where such barbarous methods are not only tolerated but actually carried out by order of the existing government." (R.G. 59.867.4016/297). Abram Elkus, the next U.S. Ambassador, on Oct. 17, 1916, in a cipher telegram reported to Washington that "...deportations accompanied by studied cruelties continue...forced conversions to Islam perseveringly pushed, children and girls from deported families kidnaped...Turkish officials have now adopted and are executing the unchecked policy of extermination through starvation, exhaustion, and brutality of treatment hardly surpassed even in Turkish history." (R.G. 59.867.4016/299).

And yet, the assault against Morgenthau continues unabated. The Turkish ambassador's Memorandum describes him as a man who "sought to vilify the Ottoman Empire." His motives are questioned because in a letter to President Wilson he admitted that he wanted to go public with the evidence he had gathered during his ambassadorship on the fate of the Armenians and thereby "win a victory for the war policy of the government." Through the misuse of this quotation an important ancillary fact is being ignored, however. That letter was written on November 26, 1917, eighteen months after the Ambassador had left his post in Turkey and the material he proposed to use for his book was essentially of wartime provenance.

1 Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau 's Story, [n. 7], p. 301.

18) Henry Morgenthau’s aim was political, therefore he pursued only one side of a many-facetted story.

The Crusade Against American Ambassador Morgenthau

Given these facts, a brief review of the work (which is included in the Turkish ambassador's brief bibliography) of an author who has been leading the assault against Morgenthau may be called for. He is recognized as a principal source for the attempts to discredit Morgenthau and thereby give impetus to the Turkish endeavor to deny the Armenian genocide. The reference is to Heath Lowry who, by questioning the reliability of Morgenthau as a source, is believed to be trying to indirectly invalidate the Armenian genocide story that is anchored on the accounts of Morgenthau. This, in spite of the fact that in the preface to his booklet on Morgenthau, Lowry explicitly states that his purpose is not to answer the question of whether the World War I Armenian experience "should or should not be termed 'genocide.'" Yet, flatly contradicting himself, Lowry, in an interview with Erhan Akyildiz, a Turkish newspaper reporter, in the same year that his booklet appeared, unequivocally admitted that his purpose in producing the booklet against Morgenthau was "aimed at refuting the Armenians' theses of genocide."1

Lowry's preoccupation, if not obsession, with undermining the testimony of Ambassador Morgenthau apparently has driven him to remain fixated with the image of a few ailing trees—the purported flaws of Morgenthau's book—thereby ignoring the robustness of the forest—the fundamental truth about the extermination of the Ottoman Armenian population punctuating the central thesis of the book as a whole. Lowry observes, for example, that a particular passage in Morgenthau's book cannot be found in his diary, the accounts of which avowedly provide the basis of his book. He promptly accuses Morgenthau of "slander." In that passage Talat is reported to have declared to Morgenthau, who once more had tried to intercede on behalf of the Armenians, that "We are through with them. That's all over."2 In other words, Morgenthau is not merely suspected but flatly accused of having invented this particular story for the purposes of his post-war book. Yet, German ambassador Bernstorff in his memoirs quotes Talat in almost identical terms. As Bernstorff wrote, "When I kept pestering him about the Armenian Question, he once said, 'What on earth do you want? The question is settled, there are no more Armenians?'"3

Moreover, Lowry, in his further effort to disparage Morgenthau, reproduces excerpts from a letter by George Schreiner who, for nine months in 1915, had served as Associated Press correspondent in Turkey. In those passages Schreiner attacks Morgenthau for being critical of the Turks and some of their leaders. And yet Schreiner's own book has many accounts of atrocities committed against the Armenians, who "are going through hell again. I have heard that some have been burned alive...Massacres are said to continue...that shocking phase of barbarity....It is out in the open, in the waste places, that the worst comes to pass...My efforts to do my duty [to get out a story on the Armenian outrages] have prejudiced the Turkish censors against me."4 So much for Lowry's quest for discernment with respect to rectitude and forthrightness. Incidentally, Lowry, who made such an issue of Burton J. Hendrick 'ghosting' Morgenthau's book was himself caught ghosting for the Turkish Ambassador in Washington regarding the denial of the Armenian Genocide, about which three noted genocide scholars published an expose in an academic journal.5

Despite all this, however, Lowry felt constrained to make an admission at the end of his booklet. He declared that Morgenthau's "wartime dispatches and written reports...submitted to the U.S. Department of State," rather than his book, are "the real" material on which to base any pertinent study, including the wartime Armenian experience.6 It may, therefore, be appropriate to end this segment of the discussion by accommodating Lowry on this point and adducing excerpts from a nine-page "Private and Confidential" letter Morgenthau sent to Secretary of State Robert Lansing on November 18, 1915. The significance of these wartime statements is accented by the fact that for unknown reasons they are excised from the printed version of the document in the respective volume put out by the State Department in 1939. These excerpts succinctly encapsulate Morgenthau1 s verdict on "the Murder of [the Armenian] Nation."

I am firmly convinced that this is the greatest crime of the ages...massacres accompanied with rape, pillage and forced conversions...Unfortunately the previous Armenian massacres were allowed to pass without the great Christian Powers punishing the perpetrators thereof; these people believe that an offense that has been condoned before, will probably be again forgiven...It was a great opportunity for them to put into effect their long cherished plan of exterminating the Armenian race and thus finish once for all the question of Armenian reforms which has so often been the cause of European intervention in Turkish affairs.7

1 Gu'nes, December 9, 1990, Sunday edition. In the course of the same interview, Lowry volunteered that his "love for Turkey was especially strengthened as a result of my marriage with a Turk, Bilek Harmanci." In another interview he granted to Ufuk Guldemir, the Washington correspondent of a prominent Istanbul Turkish daily, Cumhuriyet, the discussion again revolved around his anti-Morgenthau book. In that context the information is supplied that Lowry "among his friends is actually recognized as a Turk who best knows America." In the same vein he is further characterized as a man who is "continuing the [Turkophile] legacy of Moltke, Goltz, and [Liman von] Sanders." These German generals are celebrated in Turkish nationalist literature as champions of the cause of Ottoman Turkey. For the latter interview, see Cumhuriyet October 26, 1990, book review supplement, p. 4.

2 Heath W. Lowry, The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau's Story (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1990), p. 58. In Morgenthau's book [n. 7] it is on p. 392, but on pp. 337-8 and 342 Morgenthau quotes Talat in a similar vein.

3 Memoirs of'Count Bernstorff"(New York: Random House, 1936), p. 176. For similar comments see pp. 180 and 374.

4 George A. Schreiner, From Berlin to Bagdad. Behind the Scenes in the Near East (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1918), pp. 332,333. See also pp. 32, 39, 208, 244, 327, 338.

5 Roger W. Smith, Eric Markusen, and Robert Jay Lifton, "Professional Ethics and the Denial of the Armenian Genocide," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 9, no. 1 (Spring. 1995): 1-22.

6 Lowry, The Story [n. 87], p. 79.

7 U.S. National Archives, R.G. 59.867.00/798/2, pp. 7,8. In the volume put out by the State Department the reference reads: Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States. The Lansing Papers, 1914-1920, vol. 1 (Washington, D.C., 1939), pp. 766-769.

As in the case of many other wartime reports Morgenthau sent to Washington, the internal consistency between the thrust of his wartime correspondence and that of his post-war writings is striking. That consistency is patently evident in the present case. Upon his return to the United States, three years after he sent that letter to Lansing, Morgenthau published an article in which he made exactly the same argument about Turkish pre-war designs and the extermination of the Armenians. This is what he wrote in 1918:

The conditions of the war gave to the Turkish Government its longed-for opportunity to lay hold of the Armenians.... They criticized their ancestors for neglecting to destroy or convert the Christian races to Mohammedanism at the time when they first subj ugated them. Now.. .they thought the time opportune to make good the oversight of their predecessors in the 15th century. They concluded that once they had carried out their plan, the Great Powers would find themselves before an accomplished fact and that their crime would be condoned, as was done in the case of the massacres of 1895-96, when the Great Powers did not even reprimand the Sultan.
—"The Greatest Horror in History," Red Cross Magazine (March 1918): 162.



Post a Comment

Please Update/Correct Any Of The
3700+ Posts by Leaving Your Comments Here

- - - YOUR OPINION Matters To Us - - -

We Promise To Publish Them Even If We May Not Share The Same View

Mind You,
You Would Not Be Allowed Such Freedom In Most Of The Other Sites At All.

You understand that the site content express the author's views, not necessarily those of the site. You also agree that you will not post any material which is false, hateful, threatening, invasive of a person’s privacy, or in violation of any law.

- Please READ the POST FIRST then enter YOUR comment in English by referring to the SPECIFIC POINTS in the post and DO preview your comment for proper grammar /spelling.
-Need to correct the one you have already sent?
please enter a -New Comment- We'll keep the latest version
- Spammers: Your comment will appear here only in your dreams

More . . :

All the best