Armenian Genocide Essay, Research Paper
When the word genocide is perceived the thought of the Jewish holocaust is what usually comes to mind. Hitler s war against the Jewish population was well published and placed in the eyes of almost all. Yet what of the American genocide. These nations had fallen into the same hell on earth but no one spoke of the horrors that lurked in their everyday life.
Before the genocide of 1915 more than 2 million Americans lived in Turkey today only about 60,000 still remain. Historical Armenia covered an area of about 100,000 square miles including parts of what are now the republics of Armenia, Azelbaijan and Georgia. Not only were the population decimated but thousands of Armenian churches, monasteries and monuments were also destroyed in eastern Turkey.
Across the border the Republic of Armenia, now about one tenth of the size of historical Armenia, being land locked and isolated from natural resources its fight for its economic life.
There had been problems between the Turks and the Armenians but a pattern of extermination was not yet established. As the events of 1915 unfolded most of the Armenians were unaware of a centralized plan of genocide was in process. But by the end of the decade a mere handful of Armenians remained. Although the Turks continued to deny that there was a systematic plan to exterminate the Armenians in fulfillment of a pan-Turkic ideology the events that took place contradict their actions.
Three related actions by the Young Turk government diminished the possibility of Armenian resistance (Donald & Lorna Tourgan Miller) First those most capable of defending their towns and villages had been drafted and were serving as loyal soldiers of the Ottoman army to fight WW1. By the early part of 1915 the Armenians were disarmed. Also many were put into jobs to work for the war with jobs such as to build roads, and pack war supplies. They were so poorly fed that many dropped from hunger and exhaustion. It soon became evident that the goal was to work the Armenians until they did drop. With almost no exceptions those who did not die from exhaustion at work were taken in groups of fifty or one hundred and shot. Even more horrid than that was they were forced to dig their own graves then were shot and thrown in like old rag dolls doscarded by a child who has no use for the lifeless doll.
A second step to secure that the Armenians resistance was reduced was the Turkish took controll of all guns owned by Armenians. The confiscated guns were then photographed and presented as evidenceof Armenian rebellion. These photographs created a political reason that legitimized the inhumane actions that were taken againts the Armenians.