About this blog

I plan to collect historical documents and articles by various authors in this blog, usually without comments. Opinions expressed within the articles belong to the authors and do not always coincide with those of mine.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Extermination of the entire Muslim population of Armenia

The following article was published in "The Jewish Times", June 21, 1990.
By Rachel A. Bortnick:
...the late Cecil Roth, eminent Jewish historian, who states in 'A Short History of the Jewish People' (London, 1969), p. 279:
"The Jewish people must always recall the Turkish Empire with gratitude because, at one of the darkest hours of history, when no alternative place of refuge was open and there seemed no chance of succor, it flung open its doors widely and generously for the reception of the fugitives, and kept them open."
'The fugitives' are the Jews who were banished from Spain in 1492 and those who fled the terrors of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions in the following years. Turkey's 'open-door' policy to Jews in distress continued throughout the following centuries where many found refuge from Russian pogroms and the European Holocaust. In fact, just recently, Selahattin Ulkumen, Turkish Consul in Rhodes during World War II, was named a 'Righteous Gentile' by Yad Vashem in Jarusalem for risking his life to save 42 Jews from deportation in 1942.
I can only comment on a few of the many fallacious statements in the article, beginning with Hitler's 'Who now remembers the Armenians?' which has been proven to be one manufactured after the war. By using it as a fact, he uses Hitler as his ally in accusing the Turks of genocide.
Respected historians, experts in Ottoman history at prominent American universities, are termed 'pseudo-historians' and deemed to be in the same category as the few lunatics who deny the Jewish Holocaust. A few years ago, 69 of these academics publicly denounced the term 'genocide' to refer to the massive deaths of Armenians during their rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in 1914-1915. They find that complicated era of intercommunal fighting and massacres within a world war analogous to the situation in Lebanon today.
A more appropriate analogy with the Jewish Holocaust might be the systematic extermination of the entire Muslim population of the independent republic of Armenia (which lasted from 1918 to 1920), which consisted of at least 30-40 percent of the population of that republic. The memoirs of an Armenian army officer who participated in and eye-witnessed these atrocities was published in the U.S. in 1926 with the title 'Men Are Like That.' Other references abound.
As human beings, we must feel deep sympathy for all the victims of massacres and starvation in Ottoman Turkey, Armenians and Turks. We should also feel sorrow for the Turkish diplomats and bystanders who were murdered by Armenian terrorists in recent years 'in revenge for the genocide.'
As Jews, we must be forever grateful to the Turks for the refuge they gave to our Spanish ancestors and for Turkish tolerance which has allowed Jewish - especially Sephardic - life to continue and flourish in Turkey for the last 500 years. 1992, the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Spanish Jews to the Ottoman Empire, will be celebrated in Turkey, Israel, the U.S. and other countries. It will be a year when 'Turks and Jews will remember together.'

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