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.
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.
Tom 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!