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Articles > Genocide > Thinking aloud: The 2015 centennial of the Armenian Genocide


By Christina Najarian

In less than two years, the world will have an opportunity to prove Adolf Hitler wrong.  It was him who, prior to embarking upon a genocidal campaign in Europe, said: “Who, after all, remembers the annihilations of the Armenians?”

Unfortunately, 98 years after the onset of the Armenian Genocide, many countries worldwide still do not recognize the darkest moment of our history. Perhaps more painfully, the Armenian nation is still unprepared. With so little time left until the April 24, 2015 centennial, the nation needs a strategy to ensure the recognition of the Genocide and to address its consequences in the foreseeable future, both necessary pre-conditions for healing between the two nations to begin.

The centennial can bifurcate in two directions: it can be a time of healing or a time of further division. I suspect much will depend on the state of Turkey’s civil and political societies themselves. However, Armenians should not rely on the developments in Turkey to move this agenda forward, as there is simply too much at stake. There needs to be a new course of action to guarantee that the centennial is a time of healing.

To date, the Armenian community is still unprepared to ensure worldwide recognition. I always thought that Armenia’s struggle towards genocide recognition was stifled by its weak stance in the global economy and also by weak coordination between Armenia and the Diaspora. I always wondered, however, if domestic politics too had any role to play here.

There are currently separate centennial committees working in isolation to promote genocide recognition before the 2015 memorial service. These committees include the Pan-Armenian Centennial Committee put together by official Yerevan and the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee set up in Los Angeles by major Armenian-American organizations on the West Coast. These committees share similar objectives, but they apparently rarely collaborate. It begs a question if there is enough drive on both sides to join forces and create a unified front, a formula that is guaranteed to be most efficient.

Source: Policy Forum Armenia, 13 September 2013

Added: Saturday, September 21, 2013
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