To Honor the 50th Anniversary of the U.N. Genocide Convention
We Commemorate the
Armenian Genocide of 1915
and Condemn the Turkish Government's
Denial of this Crime Against Humanity
On April 24, 1915, the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire began a systematic, premeditated genocide of the Armenian people -- an unarmed Christian minority living under Turkish rule.More than a million Armenians were exterminatedthrough direct killing, starvation, torture, and forced death marches. Another million fled into permanent exile. Thus an ancient civilization was expunged from its homeland of 2,500 years.
The Armenian Genocide was the most dramatic human rights issue of the time and was reported regularly in newspapers across the U.S.The Armenian Genocide is abundantly documentedby Ottoman court-martial records, by hundreds of thousands of documents in the archives of the United States and nations around the world, by eyewitness reports of missionaries and diplomats, by the testimony of survivors, and by eight decades of historical scholarship.
After 83 yearsthe Turkish government continues to deny the genocideof the Armenians by blaming the victims and undermining historical fact with false rhetoric. Books about the genocide are banned in Turkey. The words "Armenian" and "Greek" are nonexistent in Turkish descriptions of ancient or Christian artifacts and monuments in Turkey. Turkey's efforts to sanitize its history now include the funding of chairs in Turkish studies -- with strings attached -- at American universities.
It is essential to remember that...
- When Raphael Lemkin coined the wordgenocidein 1944 he cited the 1915 annihilation of the Armenians as a seminal example of genocide.
- The European Parliament, the Association of Genocide Scholars, the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide (Jerusalem), and the Institute for the Study of Genocide (NYC) havereaffirmed the extermination of the Armenians by the Turkish government asgenocideby the definition of the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention.
Denial of genocide strives to reshape history in order to demonize the victims and rehabilitate the perpetrators.Denial of genocide is the final stage of genocide.It is what Ellie Weisel has called a "double killing."Denial murders the dignity of the survivors and seeks to destroy remembrance of the crime. In a century plagued by genocide,we affirm the moral necessity of remembering.
We denounce as morally and intellectually corruptthe Turkish government's denial of the Armenian genocide.We condemn Turkey's manipulationof the American government and American institutions for the purpose of denying the Armenian genocide.We urge our government officials, scholars, and the mediato refrain from using evasive or euphemistic terminology to appease the Turkish government; we ask them torefer to the 1915 annihilation of the Armenians as genocide.
This statement has been signed by more than 150 distinguished scholars and writers, including:
| K. Anthony Appiah
Professor of Afro-American Studies & Philosophy, Harvard University.
Professor History, College of William & Mary
Former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley
Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
Writer; Professor of English, Colgate University
Mary Catherine Bateson
Clarence J. Robinson Professor in English & Anthropology, George Mason University
Professor of Holocaust Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Robert N. Bellah
Elliott Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
University Professor, Georgetown University
Professor of Comparative Literature, Yale University
Robert McAfee Brown
Professor of Theology and Ethics Emeritus, Pacific School of Religion
Professor of History, Pacific Lutheran University
Professor of History, Concordia University
Israel W. Charny
Director, Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem
Associate Professor of American Indian Studies, University of Colorado
Rev. William Sloane Coffin
Pastor Emeritus, Riverside Church, N.Y.C.
Director, Genocide Study Project, H.F. Guggenheim Foundation
David Brion Davis
Sterline Professor of History, Yale University
James Der Derian
Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts
Marjorie Housepian Dobkin
Jean Bethke Elshtain
Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, University of Chicago Divinity School
Professor of Sociology, Yale University
Acting Director, Cambodian Genocide Program, Yale University
Executive Director, Institute for the Study of Genocide, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Lawrence J. Friedman
Professor of History, Indiana University
David May Distinguished Professor of Humanities, Washington University
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Professor of Afro-American Studies, Harvard University.
Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Gender Studies, Harvard University
Kennedy Distinguished Visiting Professor of Theology, Georgetown University.
Associate Professor of Government & Social Studies, Harvard University
Director of Jewish Studies, Purdue University
Professor of Theology and Ethics, Loyola College
Sterling Professor of Comparative Literature, Yale University
Harvard University; Nobel Laureate for Literature
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Professor of Political Science Emeritus, University of Vermont
| Richard G. Hovannisian
Professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History, UCLA
Professor of Sociology, Concordia University
Writer, Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus, CUNY Graduate Center
Director of Jewish Studies, Professor of Religion, Colgate University
Professor of History, Yale University
Robert Jay Lifton
Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate School of the City University of New York
Deborah E. Lipstadt
Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies, Emory University
Professor of Sociology, Southwest State University, Minnesota
Professor of Political Science, Purdue University
Dag Hammarskjold Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Henry Morgenthau III
George L. Mosse
Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Joyce Carol Oates
Robert A. Pois
Professor of History, University of Colorado
Francis B. Randall
Professor of History, Sarah Lawrence College
Nicholas V. Riasanovsky
Sidney Hellman Professor of European History, University of California, Berkeley
Leo P. Ribuffo
Professor of History, George Washington University
Henry Ford II Professor of Social Science, Harvard University
Nathan A. Scott
William R. Kenan Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus, University of Virginia
Professor of Communications, American University
Professor of Government, College of William & Mary
Nobel Laureate, Woodruff Professor of the Arts, Emory University
Max L. Stackhouse
Stephen Colwell Professor of Christian Ethics, Princeton Theological Seminary
Charles B. Strozier
Professor of History, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Writer; former Chair Freedom to Write Committee, PEN American Center
Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan
Professor of English, Boston University; Nobel Laureate for Literature
Professor of Philosophy & Religion, and Afro-American Studies, Harvard University
Professor Emeritus of History, Boston University