Letter of Indignation of Dr. Tessa Hofmann to Jack Straw

ARBEITSGRUPPE ANERKENNUNG – Gegen Genozid, Für Völkerverständigung e.V.


Dr. Tessa Hofmann
Mainauer Str. 9, II
D- 12161 Berlin
Phone: 0049/30/83854208
Fax: 851 79 74
Email: [email protected]

Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
– Jack Straw –

King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

March 11, 2004

– Interview with UK Ambassador Mrs Thorda Abbott-Watt


it has been brought to our attention that the UK Ambassador to the
Republic of Armenia, Mrs. Thorda Abbott-Watt has repeatedly denied the
genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the years

Mrs Abbott Watt mentioned `mass killings` and `brutality`, but
that half of the victims died during death marches or exile in desert
areas from starvation, exhaustion and epidemics. The UN Convention on
Genocide describes such circumstances as `deliberately inflicting on
group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical
destruction in whole or in part.’ (Art. 2, c)

Mrs Abbott Watt is wrong in publicly doubting that the case of the
Armenian Genocide did not correspond with the definition and categories
of the UN Genocide Convention. She may not know that the author of this
convention, Mr Raphael Lemkin, drafted it on the empirical base of both
the Armenian and the Jewish Genocide as case studies during WW1 and WW2.

Mrs Abbott Watt may also be ignorant of the joint statement of May 27,
1915, in with the governments of Britain, France and Russia warned the
Ottoman government to held its members personally responsible for the
crimes committed on the Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire. In this
statement the killings of the Armenian population were categorised,
under the terms of contemporary law, as a crime against humanity and

Mrs Abbott Watt is obviously not qualified as a scholar of genocide
research. Otherwise she would know that the denial of genocide is
considered as an integral part of the crime and its final stage. Sadly,
Mrs Abbott Watt herself contributes to the crime of denial, thus keeping
painfully alive the trauma of the Armenian nation and upsetting all
others others, who are aware of the consequences of genocide denial.

As an international NGO, which is focusing on the recognition of denied
genocide crimes, we urge you to re-consider whether it is advisable
that Mrs Abbott Watt, who is ignorant of basic facts of legal history
and international relations and who makes repeated incompetent and
offensive statements, may continue her diplomatic career in a country,
where half of the population descends from survivors of genocide.


Dr. Tessa Hofmann


[1] The full text reads: `For about a month the Kurd and Turkish
populations of Armenia has been massacring Armenians with the connivance
and often assistance of Ottoman authorities. Such massacres took place
in middle April (new style) at Erzerum, Dertchun, Eguine, Akn, Bitlis,
Mush, Sassun, Zeitun, and throughout Cilicia. Inhabitants of about one
hundred villages near Van were all murdered. In that city Armenian
quarter is besieged by Kurds. At the same time in Constantinople Ottoman
Government ill-treats inoffensive Armenian population. In view of those
new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied
governments announce publicly to the Sublime-Porte that they will hold
personally responsible [for] these crimes all members of the Ottoman
government and those of their agents who are implicated in such