Within in a 2-year period 1.5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were massacred by the Turkish. To this day it is illegal to talk about the Armenian Genocide in Turkey.
On April 25, 1915 through a series of brutal events, the Turkish government began their execution of the Armenians. The Turks burned, drowned, starved, crucified and slaughtered in the pursuit to eliminate christian Armenians.
There had always been trouble between the Christian Armenians and the Turks in the Ottoman Empire. The Armenians were taxed more for being Christian, and often not treated fairly. They turned to Russia for freedom and independence. It was during World War I, that the Armenians sided with Russia against Turkey, in response came the Genocide.
Today, April 24th marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Still a century later people refuse to acknowledge the massacres as a genocide including the Turks. Many spoke out, showing their support as the anniversary approached including Germany, the European Parliament, Pope Francis, François Hollande the French president and Vladimir Putin.
Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan spoke in Yerevan this morning and shared the following statement: “Recognition of the genocide is a triumph of human conscience and justice over intolerance and hatred.”
What happened to the Armenians during World War I inspired Hitler during World War II in his genocide of the Jewish people. Hitler spoke to the commanding generals at Obersalzberg on August 22, 1939 and declared:
“I have issued the command – and I’ll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad – that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness – for the present only in the East – with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
Armenians everywhere today remember the 1.5 million lost as the unforgotten heroes of the Armenian Genocide.