Texas House Resolution


May 19, 2017

View PDF of document

85R6921 BPG-D

By: Sanford H.R. No. 191
R E S O L U T I O N

WHEREAS, During World War I, the crumbling Ottoman Empire began a systematic campaign to eradicate its Armenian population, which then numbered more than two million; and

WHEREAS, Armenians and other minority populations had contributed to the prosperity of the once-mighty empire for centuries, but as its borders shrank and its influence diminished, ethnic tensions flared; after the Ottomans entered World War I, their armies suffered heavy losses to Russian forces in the Caucasus, and Armenians in the region were accused of aiding the Russian victory; on April 24, 1915, the government arrested several hundred Armenian intellectuals, who were later executed; Armenian soldiers were disarmed and transferred to labor battalions, in which they were worked to death or killed outright; and

WHEREAS, In the spring and summer of 1915, under the guise of "resettlement," Armenians were driven from their homes in Armenia and Anatolia and herded through the Syrian desert to concentration camps; many of the deportees died along the way from hunger, thirst, and exhaustion, while others were massacred; by 1918, an estimated one million Armenians had lost their lives, and survivors endured tremendous hardships as refugees; and

WHEREAS, The end of the war brought a temporary respite, but in 1920, the atrocities resumed until the ultimate collapse of the empire and formation of the Republic of Turkey; as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished and today, only 3 million live in Armenia, a country that covers no more than 10 percent of the ancient Armenian homeland, while the Armenian diaspora numbers 8 to 10 million in countries around the world, including the United States; and

WHEREAS, In 1915, the governments of France, Great Britain, and Russia decried the slaughter of Armenians as "a crime against humanity"; American ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who led the humanitarian response, characterized the imperial deportation orders as "the death warrant to a whole race"; the persecution is considered genocide by most historians and has been officially acknowledged as such by numerous countries, among them France, Argentina, Greece, and Russia; this horrific event is a dark chapter in modern history, and the world must never forget the suffering of the Armenian people; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 85th Texas Legislature hereby recognize the Armenian genocide.