Hitler and the "Annihilation of the Armenians"
A History Commentary by Jennifer Brainard
it seems, was a student of history.
World War II, he ordered the murder of 10 million Jews, Romani,
and others not perfect enough for his racially pure super-society.
But it was not the first time. It had happened before - to
the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
during World War I.
1915, the Turkish government planned to eliminate the minority
ethnic Armenians from the lands of the Ottoman Empire. An
ancient people, with their own language and culture, the Armenians for the most part had
tried to live peacefully with their Turkish rulers. But in
the mass nationalism of World War I, the Turks planned and
executed one of the most brutal genocides in history to achieve
"Turkey for the Turks."
leaders of the Armenian communities were executed suddenly
and without cause. The remainder of the population was deported
to Syria and Macedonia. They were force marched under horrible
conditions with no provision for food and water. The plan
was that few Armenians would reach their destination. Few
did. Most of those who did not die of starvation, died of
their defeat in World War I, the new Ottoman government tried
the leaders of the genocide and sentenced them to death in
absentia. However within a few months the proceedings were
suspended and the matter dropped. The survivors were not allowed
to return to the Armenian plateau, and few Armenians live
today in their traditional homeland. It was a "successful"
genocide. Although many tried to help the Armenians, the international
community failed to act to hold those responsible accountable.
1931 Hitler discussed with Richard Breiting the need for massive
resettlements (deportations). He said "We intend to introduce
a resettlement policy. Think of the biblical deportations
and the massacres of the Middle Ages...and
remember the extermination of the Armenians. One eventually
reaches the conclusion that the masses of man are mere biological
in 1939 Adolf Hitler, on his way toward the "final solution"
for the Jewish people, made this statement of his plans in
have placed my death-head formations in readiness - for
the present only in the East - with orders to them to send
to death mercilessly and without compassion , men, women,
and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus
shall we gain the living space (lebensraum) which we need.
Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the
Armenians? (italics added)
does tend to repeat itself when we don't learn it's lessons,
and sometimes someone like Hitler comes along who counts on
us being "mere biological plasticine."
has more on the Armenian Genocide, World War I and other genocides:
Armenian Genocide Multimedia Exhibit
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