Books — The World

The World is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston.

Books — The World
Thusady, March 11, 2004

The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response
Author: Peter Balakian
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0060198400

Available from Public Broadcasting One

The poet and memoirist Peter Balakian has written a passionate,
well-researched history of the first modern genocide and the various
American reactions to it. `Who today, after all, speaks of the
annihilation of the Armenians?’ Hitler asked, setting in motion the
Final Solution for the Jews in Europe. Balakian makes clear the
continuing costs of the Turkish government’s attempts to erase the
memory of this tragedy-which we must nevertheless remember. As the
Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet said to himself in a famous poem:

The Armenian citizen has not forgiven the slaughter of his father in
the Kurdish mountains. But he loves you, because you also won’t
forgivethose who blackened the name of the Turkish people.

What this history reveals is that there can be no forgiveness without
a full accounting of the crime-a reckoning the American government can
andshould demand.