Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
Session A4 1: Armenian Genocide and Beyond
Time:
Thursday, 22/July/2021:
11:30am - 1:00pm

Session Chair: Marc Sherman, Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem, Israel
Location: Room 1

Presentations

Armenian Resistance to the Hamidian Massacres

Deborah Mayersen

University of New South Wales Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Australia

Between 1894 and 1896, the Hamidian massacres claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. This paper presents an exploratory analysis of Armenian resistance to the massacres. It examines the context and contours of resistance, including the strategies employed, scope and organization of resistance efforts. Evidence indicates that resistance was widespread, and Armenians adopted a diverse range of strategies in attempting self-protection. In some places Armenians mounted organized, armed resistance, with limited successes. In other locations a range of non-violence resistance strategies were utilized. These included attempts to purchase immunity from the violence, to seek sanctuary in places perceived as safe, and to hide from the perpetrators. The relative powerlessness of the Armenian minority, however, meant that most attempts at resistance were overwhelmed. Additionally, resisters were often targeted for especially violent retribution. The lack of success of resistance efforts can also be partially explained by the role of the Ottoman government in the massacres.



Armenian genocide scholarship in the digital era

Suren Manukyan

Armenian Genocide Museum&Institute, Armenia

Sources of Armenian genocide were long time very problematic for many scholars for several reasons.

During the WWI war, military censorship was enforced in the Ottoman empire and any information about the Armenian massacres was prohibited. The orders and decisions of the main criminals – Young Turk leadership were not documented, and those that were written were deliberately destroyed. Foreigners were also restricted from entering the country to keep the crime in secrecy. However, to some extent evidences were preserved in the archives of various countries: Turkey, Germany, Russia, Great Britain and France.

As a consequence of Genocide Armenians spread throughout the world. The subject was also banned in Soviet Armenia. So, the preserved testimonies were distributed among different communities, and to study them, one had to travel around the world without a sure guarantee that they would be available to the researcher.

Early editions were printed in very limited editions and were not available even in large libraries. Armenian media of the time was very rarely preserved.

The digital age has changed the situation drastically. Different communities, archives and individuals around the world have begun to digitize their content - letters, memoirs, photographs, and in some video interviews with survivors. The network of depositories in the Internet allowed scholars to have access to rare, unique materials and huge corpus of documents.

In my presentation I will show the “Map of Armenian genocide digital materials” available from different parts of the world and waiting for its researchers.



TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW ISRAEL RELATES TO THE GENOCIDES OF OTHER PEOPLES

ISRAEL W. CHARNY

INSTITUTE ON THE HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE JERUSALEM, Israel

The State of Israel is deserving of severe criticism for its denials of genocides to other peoples.

I personally live appreciatively in Israel but am frequently criticized by fellow Jews for calling attention to Israel’s moral failings. There is no doubt that Israel suffers continuation of historic antisemitism in prejudicial attacks such as by the UN. However, I am convinced that legitimate critiques are necessary to bring about positive change to greater decency, integrity and democracy in Israel.

We expected that Israel as heir to the forever-unforgivable Holocaust would be “a light unto nations” in empathy, rescue and prevention of genocide.

Woe unto us. The outstanding case of Israel’s blatant denials is its failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide. In my new book, ISRAEL’S FAILED RESPONSE TO THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE: Denial, State Deception, Truth versus Politicization of Histor, published by Academic Studies Press, I cite previously classified documents of the Foreign Ministry that tell a“political whodunit” tale in which Israel lied with chutzpah and impunity and accused Turkey, the original perpetrator and to this day continuing denier of the Armenian Genocide, of threatening Jewish lives if Israel allowed the famous 1982 First International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide to take place. (It did take place successfully despite brutal Israeli efforts to cancel it.)

I add that many readers will be fascinated at revelations of how Shimon Peres and Elie Wiesel, otherwise heroes for many of us, led efforts to wipe out the conference.

I go on to how Israel systematically avoids recognition of genocides of other peoples, such as Yezidis by ISIS, Rohingya by Myanmar, and Uyghur by China; and report on the ultimate degradation of how Israel continued to be a major arms supplier even to countries engaged in genocide or who were considered potential perpetrators (e.g., Azerbaijan).



Memory, Trauma and Cooperation: An analysis of genocide recognition efforts among Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians in Australia

Themistocles Kritikakos

University of Melbourne, Australia

This paper examines a unique period in the early twenty-first century when Greek, Assyrian, and Armenian community members in Australia cooperated to attain genocide recognition. Unlike the Armenian genocide, the lesser-known Greek and Assyrian experiences of violence in the late Ottoman Empire (1914-1923) have been traditionally overlooked by scholars and gained little to no political recognition. However, there has recently been a historical reappraisal of the Greek and Assyrian experiences of violence in relation to the Armenian genocide. By using an oral history method, this paper investigates the transmission of trauma through time and place, and how the past is remembered within families and communities. It also examines how the three groups have negotiated memories to attain genocide recognition and re-imagined the Australian military and humanitarian response to the plight of Greek, Assyrian, and Armenian victims, survivors, and refugees from the Ottoman Empire between 1915-1930. This paper ultimately contends that while divergences and differences inform how the three groups remember the past within their respective communities, a common understanding and shared memory of the past informs genocide recognition efforts.