Category Archives: Armenian Genocide

The Rebirth of a Nation

Armenian Flag

Image courtesy of Pixabay and Marsel Majid

Some in silence and some in tears, the souls of great empires and the brave hearts of nations have left the stage of humankind never again to reappear. It is not for us, those who have lived and walked on an earth soaked in blood to decide the future, but for the young who look beyond the tomorrows and choose their road.

Life now passes too soon for us; it never ends, youth believes, for them.

The empires – the Holy Roman Empire, the Mongols, the Romanovs, the Han Dynasty or the Byzantine- and others are gone and they have washed their hands of their bloody deeds. Why should they be remembered for their horrific chapters in the history of mankind? And surely there is no reason to remember the ignoble chapter in history that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics played during its brief but perverse era on this globe as a superpower.

Or is there?

We talk today of Russian Mafia, of oligopolies, of the Russian Federation and how Russian President Putin is attempting to manipulate the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Election. Some would even form alliances with the Russian tyrant. How quickly we forget the evil and the trials and tribulations of the Soviets, of their political plots that led to the murders of millions of innocent men, women and children. Wasn’t it only yesterday that they, the Soviets, were shouting, “We will bury you (United States)!” Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin have played their roles and are now only a page or two of 20th century history. These men are dead, but the seeds they planted while they were in power still live. Their scarlet flag inspired men and women to plunder and kill anyone who would raise their voices in opposition to their cause.

As an American of Armenian heritage, I cannot lock my lips when I hear the words “ Ottoman” or “Young Turks” or see them on the written page. They murdered my grandfather, my aunts and cousins – who instigated the 1st genocide of the 20th Century, on that ignoble day, April 24, 1915, with their slaughter of 1.5 million of my ancestors.

From the ashes of that genocide the Armenians created the first Republic of Armenia in full view of our beloved Ararat on May 28, 1918. It lasted but three years and then the red, blue, and orange of our flag was not seen again for 70 years. A lack of experience in governance and the reliance of western help led to the demise. The Armenians survived the gulags, the Second World War, the purges, and the bread lines to live another day. That day came on September 21, 1991, when Armenia declared its Independence.

Today, Armenians around the world can stand tall on what the young republic has accomplished as a free society: economic reforms, free enterprise, a market economy that helped stock the shelves of store with foreign and local goods. There are no more bread lines or midnight knocks on the doors, with the KGB breaking them down and making unwarranted arrests.

The rebirth of the Republic of Armenia has been a painful one. But it has given the nation, the first nation in recorded history to go to war to remain a Christian nation, the liberty and freedom to chart its own destiny.

Armenians, history has shown, are survivors. Give them a task, they will do it. Today, in the land of a 1000 Christian churches and the home of Noah’s Ark, life is good and they will make it even better.

“It is not the weight of the problem, but the number of those who are willing to bear the fight and lighten the load that count.” -Armenian adage

In celebration of the Silver Anniversary of Armenia’s independence, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, issued the following statement to the Armenian People:

“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I want to extend my congratulations to the people of Armenia as you celebrate the 25th anniversary of your nation’s independence on September 21.

“The United States deeply values its warm friendship with Armenia and with all of you. In the past quarter century, Armenia has made great progress, and my government looks forward to continuing to work closely with you in support of shared prosperity, strong democratic institutions, the rule of law, and regional peace. We appreciate Armenia’s consistent support for effective international peacekeeping, and its leading role in responding to the Syrian refugee crises. We are also grateful for the presence in the United States of a vibrant and highly-accomplished Armenian community.

“On this special day, I offer best wishes to all Armenians for a peaceful and prosperous year to come.”

John Kerry,
Secretary of State
Washington D.C.
September 19, 2016

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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Genocide by any other name

German Flag in a Heart
Image courtesy of PinkBlue and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many of you who will read this may not recognize their names. Some, including myself, can never forget them – for their sadistic acts were part of my nightmare for years: Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrick, Joseph Mengele, Ilse Koch, Adolph Eichmann, Talaat, Enver, Cemal Pasha.

And, I can recall, before one of my book talks in Wisconsin, a gentleman told me I should be thankful for what the Turks (Talaat, Enver, Cemal) did, “…after all, it brought your parents to America. And you were fortunate to be born in the United States.”

This kind of ignorance burns in my heart.

But, before we turn back the history pages to the 20th Century, let us glance at some current, contemporary political affairs that have dominated the wire services, newspapers, and TV. A tabled German resolution pertaining to the 1915 Armenian Genocide which has been gathering dust for nearly a year, was finally dusted off last week and brought to the floor of the Bungdestag for a vote.

The German legislators overwhelmingly passed the resolution affirming that, indeed, the 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks was, in fact, an act of genocide. Only one politician voted against the resolution and a second abstained.

Obviously, it was not news to the German–speaking first and-second generation German-Armenians who had stormed the legislative session to await the vote. Their fathers and mothers and grandparents were among the victims of the “death marches”, executions, deportations, carried out, en masse, beginning May 24, 1915. Talaat Pasha, the Minister of the Interior, had sent his directives to all regions that the Armenians must be wiped out and that those who refused to carry out the directives would face the ultimate punishment.

Germany’s military elite knew what its ally’s plans were, and did nothing to stop them from carrying them out. In fact, they honed their killing skills in the Turkish fields of death.

How convenient.

The truth is, not only could Kaiser Wilhelm II have stopped the killings, his troops aided and abetted in the crime of genocide against the Christian Armenians. Germany, after all, is a Christian nation. But, the Kaiser was no fool; the German monarch needed the Turks to fight alongside their troops against the Russians, the British, French, and the Arabs.

And now the onus is on President Barrack Hussein Obama. Despite a campaign promise to the Armenian people that he would declare the 1915 Turkish massacre of the Armenians a genocide, Obama has failed to fulfill the vow. He apparently believes that Armenians have short memories. (He should have discussed our long-term memories with the present Turkish regime, instead of begging them to allow the US to maintain military bases in the country.)

Armenians never forget a friend. And, to our last breath, never forgive our enemies.

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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A Message to the Kurdish People

Soldiers marching across terrain
Image courtesy of khunaspix and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My dear, dear, Kurdish friends…you may not remember me, but I can’t forget you.

I am that “insane American” who, when hungry, you shared your bread and mason with. You may not remember me but one of your elders may. He is the one who called me crazy because he knew I was an American who left his native land and had traveled thousands of miles into your strange country. Alone. With only one hundred dollars in my pocket. Which, at the time, could buy me a few lemons or oranges.

That winter of 1948 I shall never forget.

What a world. Hitler and his Nazis dead. The war over. Peace on Earth and now the world can rebuild. Thank God the world will never see another war again. What looney of a leader would ever want to fight a war with weapons of mass destruction?

And you believed that Allah was Great and me, an Armenian, believed that Jesus Christ was my Savior.

But, then, we were in the USSR at that time. And we sure needed our gods to get through the hunger and the famine and the informers, didn’t we? Even though we didn’t speak the same languages, we understood each other.

You told your Kurdish stories to me, and I retaliated with hyperbole of America.

The Kurds, you said, believe the circle is the evil work of Satan. That if a stranger quickly drew a circle in the sand around a Kurd, the encircled Kurd would not cross over until one of his tribe erased it so that he could walk away. To leave the circle without the help of a believer would definitely open the door into his house and into his life.

And I countered with…If you worked hard in America, you could own a beautiful house or a farm or an automobile and that bread and milk and honey is plentiful and you don’t have to wait in line to purchase what you want in America. And if I didn’t like America I could go anywhere in the world. Even travel to the Soviet Union.

I don’t think he believed my stories.

I didn’t believe his. But, we remained friends to the end.

There were times I didn’t have a kopeck in my pocket and told Kurdish vendors: “Dangi nyet…dangi nyet.” (I have no money to pay). They would evoke the words of the prophet, Mohammed, that the Koran teaches the need to help their fellow kind, to give alms to those in need. During my early days among the Soviets, the government believed I was a “spy”; I truly needed help to survive.

It was a time that I had time to read and think and pray. And how many times did I read Omar Khayyam”s “The Rubaiyat”. Who can forget those beautiful words:

“Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,

A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou

Beside me singing in the Wilderness-

And Wilderness is Paradise now…”

How worlds have changed since that time we shared a cup of Chai.

Let me make it clear that it is no secret to me and my world that the Kurds willingly aided and abetted the Turkish troops in the crime of genocide of the Christian Armenians in 1915. I would not have been born in the United States if members of my mother’s family had not been victims.

The Kurds, with no homeland of their own, were only too eager to drive their neighbors off the land, strip their victims of any wealth and help in the round- up of old men, women, and children for the eventual “death marches” that ended in the Syrian desert. The Kurds are as culpable as the Turks for the massacre of 1.5 million Armenian. Time and yes, even God, can’t ease the pain or change the past.

In the madness of our times, the Kurds apparently have forgotten what they had sown. They have forgotten what happens to minorities living on land ruled by dictators who advocate submission to the ruling class. “Turkey for the Turks,” they had shouted. And blindly the ignorant masses followed. “All Power to the Soviets”…and the workers believe. “Gleichschaltung! Gleichschaltung!” the Nazis shouted…as they goose-stepped to whatever their Fuhrer Adolph Hitler demanded. And his demands lead to millions dying on the killing fields, a world of chaos, destruction in ruin.

It hasn’t changed much, has it?

The Kurds know it, today they are not only fighting against a barbaric enemy, ISIL, but, in the ominous shadows lurk Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who, if the opportunity is given, would order his mighty military troops – not to fight ISIL – but to end “The Kurdish Problem” as his sadist predecessors accomplished in 1915. And, if that is not enough to be concerned with, the Kurds have in front of them Iraq to contend with. Iraq has not forgotten the Kurds and the Kurds have not forgotten “Halabja”.

This generation of Americans will never forget Iraq and our nation should never forget what then Vice President Dick Cheney said when the US launched its invasion of Saddam Hussein’s land because the Iraq president had “weapons of mass destruction.” “We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” The vice president would have had more support if he had advocated the invasion because Hussein had actually killed some 5,000 Kurds in the city of Halabja, using poison gas.

Then there is the perverted Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been literally fighting for his life, but would rather see millions die, his nation in ruins, his people fleeing to foreign shores and countless more dead than give up power. If he is willing to do this, then what would Assad do to the Kurds who want a piece of the northern region to create their own homeland.   If Assad, too, was ready to gas his enemies,  and it was only by a casual remark by Secretary of State John Kerry that eventually convinced the Syrian dictator to allow the Western powers to dispose of the poisonous gas – what will be the fate of the Kurdish people.

In the year 1915, the Ottoman Turks massacred 1.5 million Armenians.

In the year 2016, will the Kurds become the next victims of a genocide.

 

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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Why We Will Never Forget

Noravank Monastery, Armenia
Scenic Novarank Monastery in Armenia

She seemed tall, I was so small, and board-shouldered, with raven-black and shining hair, that reached all the way down her back when she took it out of a bun, nestled at the nape of her neck. The lines on her round face added to her somber air. She has seen too much. She had endured too much. Yet, as far back as I can remember, I struggled to catch up to her in the kitchen of our apartment in southwest Detroit. And she would pick me up from the linoleum, kiss me on the forehead, then put me down gently, savoring for the moment the promise of life continuing, and quickly tended to the streaming pots that were always singing some tune over the gas-lit stove.

I didn’t know what it was to be poor or what it meant to be “a starving Armenian,” for Nana, that was what my grandmother was called by everyone, made sure that there was food on the table. Not only for our family – but for anyone who needed a meal.

When dad came into the kitchen it was never for food; he came because he needed money, gold coins from the hem of Nana’s black housedress. The kitchen was Nana’s and my mother’s domain, and no one dared trespass. They knew the consequences. But, it was – I would later learn – the time of the Great Depression and everyone apparently was out of work and father had lost everything – the coffee houses where the survivors of the genocide would come for a cup of suorge, Turkish coffee, and discuss how they would get revenge. After all, Armenian villages were “cleansed” by the Young Turks who made sure that “the Armenian Problem” would not be a problem forever more. “Turkey for the Turks” – was their nationalistic blood cry, and, as the world stood by, one million five hundred thousand of my ancestors were wiped off the map of Turkey.

After one hundred one years, Armenians will not and cannot forget. Henry Morgenthau, Sr., US Ambassador to Turkey, noted, “I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this…the great massacres of the past seem almost insignificant when compared with the sufferings of the Armenia Race in 1915.” In his memoir he described the deportations and atrocities as a “cold-blooded, calculating state policy,” in the chapter on the Armenians “The Murder of a Nation.”

But that was, after all, in 1915. It’s a long time ago. Haven’t the Armenians, devout Christians, learned from the Bible, “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed .” (Psalm 103:6).

In response to a comment from a reader who wrote:

“Since the atrocities were committed under the Ottoman Empire, I have never understood why the new modern Republic of Turkey can’t acknowledge and apologize for the Armenian Genocide. It may be similar to the relationship between the U.S.A. and the Indigenous Native Americans or, even, the institution of slavery in our own country. But while we can’t change history, by acknowledging and apologizing for it, we can move forward, having admitted to the wrong-doings and promising not to allow them again, anywhere.”

Billions upon billions of words have been written about the Armenian Genocide. And some of the finest and most knowledgeable scholars and researchers have offered proof beyond a reasonable doubt that this horrible crime against the Armenians and humanity was perpetrated by the Turkish regime.

To apologize would make them culpable, there is no statute of limitation for murder.

If I had it in my power, I would demand that Turkey cede the six Armenian provinces in what was once the Armenian Plateau to the Motherland. Within those six provinces is the former capital of Armenia, Ani. Paul Salokep (who wrote a special feature for the National Geographic Magazine as he walks around the world) commented on that part of the highlands, “I have seen no place on my journey more beautiful or sadder, than Ani…”

At one time in its long history, 1001 churches dotted the landscape of Ani. Today they stand in ruins…and a visitor would be hard-pressed to find even one of the hundreds of thousands of Armenians who, since the year 351 bowed in reverence, praying to Jesus Christ, their Savior, for this is now a land of Islam.

For the record, Germany paid more than $70 billion in compensation to the families who lost their loved ones to the beasts of the Nazi regime. How much should Turkey pay to the victims of the Armenian genocide?

There are but a handful of survivors left on earth.

Turkey is no fool. They know that time is on their side…

Or is it?

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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Never, Never Shall We Forget

Armenian Genocide Rally

There were bits and pieces of information spreading throughout the Armenian communities. It was whispered that the Turks were rounding up and arresting Christians. But no one would confirm the rumors. With each passing moment, more information was being shared, but the community leaders were not available to confirm or deny.

The Armenians, in the beautiful city of Constantinople, were in a panic. Their fathers and mothers had told them stories of the massacres under Abdul Hamid I and Abdul Hamid II, but that was a generation previous. Were not we, Christian Armenians, fighting alongside our Islamic neighbors against those horrible Allies…England, France, Italy, and Japan? Were not our sons dying for the glory of Turkey?

The elders told all to “stay calm”. But there were those among them who had lived through the horrors of Abdul Hamid II’s pogroms, when more than 200,000 of their brothers and sisters were slaughtered. And that was a mere two decades ago.

It is April 24, 1915.

Just a year previous an orange glow accompanied the sun as its rays sliced through the clouds like a dagger. The gold cross which had once crowned the majestic dome of the Roman Catholic Church where Emperor Constantine had worshipped, had been replaced with the symbolic “new moon” of Islam on the renamed Blue Mosque and now heard the prayers of those whose knees bowed to Mecca.

Europe was in flames.

A coalition made up of Germany, Austria, and Hungary –which had seduced Turkey to fight on their side with a promise that all of the Arabian Peninsula would be annexed by the Ottomans once victory over the Allies was secured. The Allies included England, France, Italy, and Japan. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife lit the powder keg that exploded into World War I. On August 1, 1914, Germany had declared war on Russia.

But America was at peace.

The US economy was booming thanks to the war in Europe. President Woodrow Wilson, the first Democrat to occupy the White House in 20 years, enjoyed overwhelming support because he had “kept America out of the war.” Wilson can thank Roosevelt for ending the Republican monopoly on the Presidency.

Because he did not agree with his handpicked protégé (William Howard Taft), Theodore Roosevelt decided to run as an independent for the Progressive Party, the Bull Moose Party, which split the electoral votes in favor of Wilson. The popular vote in 1914 gave Wilson -6,294,293; Roosevelt -4,117,000, and Taft 3,486,110. Incidentally, the Socialist in that race, Eugene Debs, garnered 897,011 votes.

Americans were flocking to the movie houses that year to see D.W. Griffith’s phenomenal film, “Birth of a Nation”, a classic three-hour drama of the Civil War and the Reconstruction Period. According to reviews, Lillian Gish starred as a Southern Belle, who is terrorized by a Negro. Her honor is avenged by the Ku Klux Klan who comes to the rescue like knights in shining armor.

But no one came to the rescue of the Armenians.

As Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, pointed out, the Turks had a hidden agenda. On April 24, 1915, the Turkish government began and ruthlessly carried out the general massacre and deportation of Armenians in Asia Minor. The clearance of the race from Asia Minor was about as complete as such an act could be, on a scale so great. There is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons. The opportunity presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race opposed to all Turkish ambitions…Churchill asserted.

On that day, April 24, 1915, orders issued by Talaat, the Minister of the Interior, and Enver, the Minister of War, instructed the Ottoman military to round up the Armenian political leaders, religious leaders, and intelligentsia in Constantinople. The detainees were driven from the city and later executed. Armenians who had held ranks in the military, and those who held posts in government, as well as soldiers, who had fought alongside their Turkish counterparts, were disarmed, relieved of their duty, taken to labor camps and later slaughtered. Talaat’s order to his governors read: No Christian Armenian in the province who refused to accept Allah and the Koran shall be spared.

Women and children and the elderly were driven from their homes at bayonet point, rounded up into caravans and led on death marches with little to no food, starving and killed when they were too weak to stay in line. Before the end of the decade, there were no Armenians remaining in Turkey.

More than one million, five hundred thousand Armenians died in what civilized people have called the first genocide of the 20th century. That date, April 24, 1915 – one hundred and one years ago – is truly a day that has gone down in infamy.

No Armenians will ever forget April 24, 1915. The blood of our forefathers runs through our veins and our hearts.

And although I abhor referring to him or anything he has said or written, out of necessity I will. In launching his insane plot to wipe every Jewish man, woman, and child from the face of the earth, Nazi Dictator Adolph Hitler, in 1939, rallied his generals when they hesitated to carry out his command by saying, “After all, who today remembers the Armenians.”

We do. We shall never forget. We demand justice.

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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How Quickly We Forget

ISP-dictator4
During my lifetime the world has witnessed the rise and fall of many sadistic dictators. Topping the list of 20th Century despots are Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Hikedi Tojo, Mao Tse-tung, Francisco Franco, and Ho Chi Minh.

It seems, as in the gang drug wars, when one drug lord is executed, another quickly claims the territory.

And now, civilization has to be concerned over a newcomer on the world stage of aggression – the young psychopathic ruler of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, who seems to enjoy shooting off long-rang missiles and torturing members of his own family before executing them. More on Kim later.

I realize we humans have short memories. Quick test: Who today remembers the (1) Katyn Forest massacre? (2) The slaughter at Oradourt sur Glane, France? (3) Austerlitz and (4) The First Genocide of the 20th Century?

My mother used to say that the only time you will remember an evil deed is when the sword strikes you or your loved one and, by a miracle of God, you survive.

I was reminded of that as I sat last night as I watched a young American student, arrested and convicted by the North Koreans for removing a political banner from a hotel, burst into tears and beg the court for mercy. Breaking into tears, 21-year-old Otto Frederick Warmbier, pleaded with the court, apologized for his actions, and tearfully asked for his freedom.

“My brother and my sister need me…I beg that you see that I am only human. I realize that I have made the worst mistake of my life.”

Warmbier’s plea fell on deaf ears. The Korean judges knew that Kim Jong Un’s shadow hung over their decisions. The judges ordered the young American to be incarcerated and to serve or 15 years of hard labor.

As the courtroom drama played across the TV screen in our living room, my wife turned to me and said: “Did you cry?”

“My dad always reminded me that men don’t cry….but `yes’ I cried and, in fact, got on my knees and begged for mercy.”

I was Warmbier’s age when I was arrested by the KGB (nee NKVD) at the airport in Yerevan, Armenia. My mission to Moscow was to present a petition to the US Ambassador in hopes that he could help a group of American Armenians to return home. I was arrested by two NKVD officers and charged as an “enemy of the state” (diminishing the power of the state.) Just by attempting to go to the American Embassy, the law reads that I was diminishing the power of the state.

My dear wife interrupted my thoughts with another question. “What will happen to him?”

“Oh, he’ll serve some time…”

“Fifteen years!” she screamed across the room. “For trying to remove a poster from a wall in his hotel!”

“No, no, no!” I responded, “Don’t worry….our CIA is very busy as we speak, looking down a list of possible North Korean spies in this country, someone in the class of the Soviet master spy, Rudolph Abel. And when they find one, they will hire an attorney (remembering the movie Bridge of Spies) of Tom Hanks’ caliber, who then will proceed to broker an exchange for Wamblier. We got Francis Gary Powers back for Abel, didn’t we?”

Question 1 – Katyn Forest – Stalin ordered the execution of some 20,000 Polish officers because, according to reports, the Soviet dictator believed that after the war against the Nazis was over, “we (the Soviets) would have to fight them anyway…” The mass murders were first blamed on the Nazis, but, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian President, Boris Yeltsin admitted that the Soviets had committed the atrocities.

Question 2 – The Nazis massacred every living man, women and child in Oradour in retaliation after they discovered one of their SS officers dead. The SS encircled the town, shot the men, then hauled women and children into the church and set the church on fire. Those who tried to escape the inferno were gunned down. The SS also stopped a train bound for Oradour and arrested all the passengers who were then taken to a field and executed. The bodies were tossed into the burning church.

Question 3 – Most Americans have forgotten the name of Reinhard Heydrick who is known by those who lived through World War II as the “Hangman of Europe.” One of the masterminds of Hitler’s “Final Solution” of the Jews, Heydrick and his SS troopers rounded up millions of Jews who were shipped by trains to the gas chambers and crematoriums at Auschwitz.

Question 4 – Beware my dear Kurds, what you have sown, for soon you shall reap. The Kurds, culpable in the crime of the Ottoman Empire’s genocide of Christian Armenians in 1915, today wage war against Turkey, the architect of the genocide against a peaceful people who had lived alongside their fellow countrymen for more than 800 years. The Kurds’ goal is to establish a state by carving off lands in southern Turkey, northern Syria and Iraq. Who, but the Armenians today remember the crimes committed against Armenians by the Sultans, the Young Turks, and their agents of death – Talaat Pasha, the minister of war, and Enver Pasha, the minister of war who executed the plan to annihilate more than 1.5 million Armenians.

Believe me, the plague of genocide can spread from Iraq, Iran, Syria, in Russia, China, Poland, Germany – in India and Asia – to every corner of the earth.

Can it happen again? Dear Readers, it already has…

 

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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Should we not be helping those who need help now?

Dzovinar Mooradian: Mother, Grandmother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and Armenian Genocide survivor
Dzovinar Mooradian: Mother, Grandmother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and Armenian Genocide survivor

In the eyes of each and every Syrian refugee fleeing their war-torn homeland today,  I can see the face of my mother.

My mother, orphaned before she was 10 during the 1915 Turkish genocide of Christian Armenians, walked hundreds of miles over hostile, mountainous terrain, leaving behind her the ancient and sacred waters of the Euphrates. The nightmare of the bodies of her parents left in a home plundered and torched by the savage Turk would be a never-ending nightmare.

That she survived is a miracle.

Without food, without shelter, witnessing terrible atrocities, she took to the nearby mountains where she found other refugees who shared whatever little food they had. She and the others were eventually saved by angels who appeared in the form of the International Red Cross.

The Red Cross, through its resources, managed to transport the children to orphanages in Europe and America.

Like many other Armenians, my mother eventually ended up on Ellis Island where, in time, she became just another “one of those starving Armenians.” She and my father built a life in their adopted land that stressed hard work and respect for all…no matter the color of their skin or religious beliefs..

Though her lips were sealed whenever we asked her to recall the journey from Turkey to America, she would always praise the Red Cross and the Near East Relief Society for the work they did in saving her and the other Armenians.

Because of her unique and tragic childhood, mother devoted her life to helping those who needed help.

And who today will step forward to help the brave refugees from war-torn Syria? Iraq? Afghanistan?  Who will stop the despicable crimes the terrorists are committing across the globe?

Is it I, Lord?

Hymns are inspiring, words incite, but actions by those who have the power can save the day.

We are adrift as a nation, a house divided, breaking our pledges to friends, bickering over walls, and who will our “Nation Great Again.” In the meantime, the nation suffers, the people suffer, as our so-called elected officials point fingers.

Bodies of children are being washed ashore. Hundreds, no, thousands sit on the shores, hungry for freedom and liberty, finding nothing but misery. God forgive us for WE do not know what course to take.

If we are to be “great again,” should we not be helping those who need help now?

Men, women, and children, fleeing tyranny and war, are being exploited by ruthless and manipulating hordes who promise to show them the sea to the “promise land” in exchange for anything of value.  And once the precarious crossing is made, those who survive soon discover that that land of milk and honey is but a mirage.

These are times to build bridges, not walls. Walls divide. Bridges carry us over troubled waters.

I am reminded of a sonnet penned by Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your stories pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift the lamp beside the golden door!”

 ***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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