History Of Term ‘Genocide’ Linked To Armenians


The National
June 23 2009

It is astonishing to see the word genocide used in quotation marks,
The Armenian city lives in a school museum (June 20), when the word
was coined by the jurist Raphael Lemkin specifically to describe
the barbarity that befell the Armenians at the hands of the Turkish
state. Dr Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent and Holocaust
survivor, used the word genocide in 1943 to describe the deaths of
the Armenians, and then the Holocaust. Before the word existed, the
British prime minister Winston Churchill and world leaders described
the events as the "Armenian holocaust".

In 1985, the United Nations recognised the Armenian genocide in an
official report. In 2003, the International Centre for Transitional
Justice found that the events of 1915 included "all of the elements
of the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 UN Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide".

And in 2005 the International Association of Genocide Scholars
unanimously affirmed the Armenian genocide. The genocide has been
officially recognised by scores of countries and international
organisations worldwide.So, with the exception of Turkish
state-sponsored "historians", most historians and genocide scholars
acknowledge the facts of the Armenian genocide.

Berge Jololian, Cambridge, Massachussetts

While the article by Daniel Bardsley was informative, it seemed
ironic that he would use the word genocide in quotation marks three
consecutive times.

I wonder if it was Mr Bardsley’s choice to use the quotation marks,
or whether it was his editor who decided to put the word in quotation
marks. In case his editor doesn’t know, the word genocide was coined,
in part, to refer to the Armenian massacres of 1915.

If your newspaper is not convinced that the Armenian genocide
took place, then you should stop using the word genocide since its
etymology implies that the Armenian genocide did take place. Your
political correctness or objectiveness aside, the article was an
interesting read.

Simon, Littleton, Colorado


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