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Observing 102nd Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

 

April 24 marks the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and tens of thousands are expected to march to commemorate the event.

In recognizing the significance of the occasion we would like to bring to your attention a small but select number of titles which deliver scholarly expertise and informed opinion around the subject.

 


 

LET THEM NOT RETURN
Sayfo – The Genocide Against the Assyrian, Syriac, and Chaldean Christians in the Ottoman Empire
Edited by David Gaunt, Naures Atto, and Soner O. Barthoma

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“With a list of top-notch contributors, this is an excellent addition to what little is currently available on this under-researched genocide. The organization of the contributions and the volume’s breadth of scope are particularly impressive.” · Mark Levene, University of Southampton

The mass killing of Ottoman Armenians is today widely recognized, both within and outside scholarly circles, as an act of genocide. What is less well known, however, is that it took place within a broader context of Ottoman violence against minority groups during and after the First World War. Among those populations decimated were the indigenous Christian Assyrians (also known as Syriacs or Chaldeans) who lived in the borderlands of present-day Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. This volume is the first scholarly edited collection focused on the Assyrian genocide, or “Sayfo” (literally, “sword” in Aramaic), presenting historical, psychological, anthropological, and political perspectives that shed much-needed light on a neglected historical atrocity.

 

 

THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915-1916
Compiled and Edited by Wolfgang Gust
Translated from the German
Foreword by Vahakn N. Dadrian

“…this massive volume contains the only English-language translation of 240 primary documents found in German Foreign Office files. A very extensive overview section provides superb historical background, especially concerning the German involvement. A much earlier compilation of German-language documents was compiled by German theologian Johannes Lepsius in 1919, but some text was ‘deleted or manipulated by the German Foreign Office.’ Gust and his wife were able to restore some of the original text, and they added many documents not found in the Lepsius volume. This meticulously compiled work will provide historians and students with invaluable information about this lesser-known aspect of the genocide.” · Choice

 

 

 

THE SPIRIT OF THE LAWS
The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide
Taner Akçam and Umit Kurt

 

“Akçam and Kurt have written a fundamentally important book… We know that genocides are accompanied by the expropriation of the assets possessed by the targeted population… But nothing like that has been done for the Armenian Genocide—until now.” · Eric Weitz, CUNY City College

Pertinent to contemporary demands for reparations from Turkey is the relationship between law and property in connection with the Armenian Genocide. This book examines the confiscation of Armenian properties during the genocide and subsequent attempts to retain seized Armenian wealth. Through the close analysis of laws and treaties, it reveals that decrees issued during the genocide constitute central pillars of the Turkish system of property rights, retaining their legal validity, and although Turkey has acceded through international agreements to return Armenian properties, it continues to refuse to do so. The book demonstrates that genocides do not depend on the abolition of the legal system and elimination of rights, but that, on the contrary, the perpetrators of genocide manipulate the legal system to facilitate their plans.

 

 

JUDGMENT AT ISTANBUL
The Armenian Genocide Trials
Vahakn N. Dadrian and Taner Akçam

 

“This volume is the most comprehensive and analytical work to address the Armenian genocide from legal-criminal perspective to date. …[It] should be regarded as an important contribution to the field of Armenian genocide studies, Ottoman legal history, and the history of War Tribunals… It provides readers with a compelling argument about the historical veracity of the Armenian genocide.” · The Cyprus Review

Turkey’s bid to join the European Union has lent new urgency to the issue of the Armenian Genocide as differing interpretations of the genocide are proving to be a major reason for the delay of the its accession. This book provides vital background information and is a prime source of legal evidence and authentic Turkish eyewitness testimony of the intent and the crime of genocide against the Armenians. After a long and painstaking effort, the authors, one an Armenian, the other a Turk, generally recognized as the foremost experts on the Armenian Genocide, have prepared a new, authoritative translation and detailed analysis of the Takvim-i Vekâyi, the official Ottoman Government record of the Turkish Military Tribunals concerning the crimes committed against the Armenians during World War I. The authors have compiled the documentation of the trial proceedings for the first time in English and situated them within their historical and legal context.

 

 

UNSILENCING THE PAST
Track-Two Diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation
David L. Phillips

 

“Phillips’s firsthand information and analysis are extremely useful…an indispensable source…a profound, interesting, and challenging book.” · Peace, Conflict and Development: An Interdisciplinary Journal

The Turkish-Armenian conflict has lasted for nearly a century and still continues in attenuated forms to poison the relationship between these two peoples. The author, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations and previously advisor to the United Nations, undertook, as head of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Committee, to bring the two sides together and to work with them towards a peaceful resolution of the enmity that had made any contact between them taboo.

 

 

 

 

THE HISTORY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus
Vahakn N. Dadrian

 

“… marshals considerable evidence to show how the development of the Turkish-Armenian conflict escalated to the point of genocide … Dadrian makes [an] important contribution to our understanding of the dynamics of the Ottoman decision to destroy its Armenian subjects.” · MESA Bulletin

The Armenian Genocide, though not given such prominent treatment as the Jewish Holocaust which it precedes, still haunts the Western world and has assumed a new significance in the light of “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia and, more recently, Darfur. This study by the most distinguished scholar of the Armenian tragedy offers an authoritative analysis by presenting it as a case study of genocide and by seeing it as an historical process in which a domestic conflict escalated and was finally consumed by global war.

 

 

 

 

ON THE PATH TO GENOCIDE
Armenia and Rwanda Reexamined
Deborah Mayersen

 

“This is an excellent book. The combination of theory and context works well…The prose is sharp and the author has set up the problem in a logical way that is easy to follow. It also benefits from an interdisciplinary approach. Her grasp of detail is superior to many theorists…It reads very fluently, the author is clearly a gifted prose writer. The thread of argument runs through the book in a compelling way…The conclusion is full of intriguing ties to other case studies and the author summarizes her argument well.” · Cathie Carmichael, University of East Anglia

Addressing the question of how the risk of genocide develops over time, On the Path to Genocide contributes to a better understand why genocide occurs when it does. It provides a comprehensive and comparative historical analysis of the factors that led to the 1915 Armenian genocide and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, using fresh sources and perspectives that yield new insights into the history of the Armenian and Rwandan peoples. Finally, it also presents new research into constraints that inhibit genocide, and how they can be utilized to attempt the prevention of genocide in the future.

 

 

 

PORTRAITS OF HOPE
Armenians in the Contemporary World
Edited by Huberta von Voss
With a Preface by Yehuda Bauer, Jerusalem

 

“In this book Armenia…is not so much a nation rather than a landscape of remembrance, broken up and held together by violence and expulsion and through an eternal ‘traveling’ culture. Huberta von Voss allows us to experience this culture through the portraits of members of this culture who are dispersed throughout the world.” · :die tageszeitung

Elie Wiesel called the genocide of the Armenians during the First World War ‘the Holocaust before the Holocaust’. Around one and a half million Armenians – men, women and children – were slaughtered at the time of the First World War. This book outlines some of the historical facts and consequences of the massacres but sees it as its main objective to present the Armenians to the foreign reader, their history but also their lives and achievements in the present that finds most Armenians dispersed throughout the world. 3000 years after their appearance in history, 1700 years after adopting Christianity and almost 90 years after the greatest catastrophe in their history, these 50 ‘biographical sketches of intellectuals, artists, journalists, and others…produce a complicated kaleidoscope of a divided but lively people that is trying once again, to rediscover its ethnic coherence. Armenian civilization does not consist solely of stories about a far-off past, but also of traditions and a national conscience suggestive of a future that will transcend the present.’ [from the Preface]