German Bundestag Recognizes Armenian Genocide

A scene from German consideration of the Armenian Genocide
A scene from German consideration of the Armenian Genocide

A scene from German consideration of the Armenian Genocide

Bundestag’s Historic Vote Further Isolates Turkey, Shines Spotlight on Obama’s Complicity in Denial
BERLIN—The German parliament on Thursday approved a resolution recognizing the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide. The word “genocide” is used in both the text and headline of the resolution, which also states that Germany bears some guilt for its inaction at the time. Following the vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Germany “for consultations.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was not present during the vote. Her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Social Democrats (SPD), and the Greens supported the resolution. A spokesperson for Merkel on Wednesday said the while the chancellor supported the measure, she would not attend the legislative hearings.

With German affirmation of the crime, more than 25 countries have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Bundestag vote was nearly unanimous with only one opposed and two abstentions. For over an hour leading up to the historic vote, German parliamentarians spoke in favor of the measure, which affirms the Armenian Genocide and crimes committed against other Christian minorities.

Armenian community leaders at the Bundestag during consideration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution

Armenian community leaders at the Bundestag during consideration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution

“We welcome the resolution adopted almost unanimously by the ‪#‎German‬ Parliament today, recognizing the ‪Armenian Genocide‬ and those of other minorities in the ‪#‎Ottoman‬ Empire, in 1915-1916. It is a historic day, considering the German-‪‎Turkish‬ alliance in those years. By recognizing the Armenian Genocide the German Parliament, just as the ‪#‎Austrian‬ Parliament did last year, could pave the way for ‪#‎Turkey‬ to come to terms with its past and move forward. Turkey is becoming more and more isolated in its politics of denialism,” said Kaspar Karampetian, president of European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy, after the Bundestag vote on Thursday.

Armenian community leaders and members in the audience hold signs thanking the legislature for its efforts

Armenian community leaders and members in the audience hold signs thanking the legislature for its efforts

“We congratulate the political groups CDU/CSU, SPD and the Greens on the adoption of the resolution, in particular Cem Özdemir – co-leader of the German Green Party, who played a crucial role, amidst all the pressure. It is a strong message, that all of the speakers emphasized the fact of the Genocide, the German complicity in it and the need for Turkey to recognize it,” added Karampetian.

Dozens of German-Armenian community members gathered outside the German parliament in Berlin on Thursday to celebrate the decision by German lawmakers.

“The overwhelming recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the German Parliament is the biggest diplomatic defeat for Erdogan,” said Mario Nalpatian, Vice President of the Socialist International and member of the International Armenian National Committee on the Bundestag decision.

In an interview with Prensa Armenia news agency, Nalpatian stressed the importance of the resolution “because of the implications that this recognition will have in Turkey and outwards, as the German Empire was an ally and supported the Turkish government that planned and executed the genocide”.

“Germany once again points out the only possible way to Turkey: to assume its guilt and apologize as Willy Brandt did in Auschwitz when he was German Chancellor,” he added.

ANCA Says Germany’s Recognition Shines Spotlight on Obama’s Complicity in Erdogan’s Denial
The German Bundestag’s historic vote earlier today officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide shines a global spotlight on U.S. President Barack Obama’s continued complicity in Turkey’s denial of this still unpunished crime, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“The Bundestag’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide—made all the more powerful by its honest reckoning with Germany’s own role in this still unpunished crime—further isolates Turkey, while shining a global spotlight on the Obama Administration as the leading international enabler of Ankara’s campaign of genocide denial,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “There is still time for President Obama to follow Germany’s lead, reject Turkey’s gag-rule, and speak honestly about the Armenian Genocide.”

Prior to his election, President Obama was clear and unequivocal in promising to properly characterize Ottoman Turkey’s murder of more than 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children between 1915 and 1923 as genocide. In a Jan. 19, 2008, statement he wrote: “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

President Obama has broken that pledge in annual Armenian Remembrance Day statements issued on or near April 24th, the international day of commemoration of this crime.

The U.S. first recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1951 through a filing which was included in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Report titled: “Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” The specific reference to the Armenian Genocide appears on page 25 of the ICJ Report: “The Genocide Convention resulted from the inhuman and barbarous practices which prevailed in certain countries prior to and during World War II, when entire religious, racial and national minority groups were threatened with and subjected to deliberate extermination. The practice of genocide has occurred throughout human history. The Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide.”

President Ronald Reagan reaffirmed the Armenian Genocide in 1981. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation on the Armenian Genocide in 1975, 1984 and 1996. This year, West Virginia became the 44th U.S. state to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Under Congressional mandate, the U.S., between 1915 and 1930, embarked on an unprecedented humanitarian campaign providing the equivalent of over $2 billion in today’s dollars to help save Armenian Genocide survivors.

Read the  text of the measure (in German). 

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

7 Comments

  1. Dr. Hermon Mihranian said:

    Thank you Germany for recognizing Armenian Genocide.
    Armenians will never forget the barbaric killings of innocent Armenians during the Ottoman Empire. Turkey must pay for it”s cruel deeds. Time has come for the world to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
    May God Bless and protect All Armenians in the world.

  2. sylvie tertzakian said:

    kudos to germany! it’s recognition of the genocide based on moral grounds.

  3. rubina gharakhanian said:

    DANKE!!!!! DANKE!!!! DANKE!!!!!!!!! AND DANKE!!!!!!

  4. Shant said:

    This is a good thing. But what does it do for the Armenian nation? If Obama and the U.S. recognizes the Genocide, what will that do for the Armenian nation?Reagan recognized the Genocide in the 80s. The U.S. congress has recognized it in the past — what did that change? Nothing – we haven’t gotten our lands back, none of what was stolen from Armenians — financially and otherwise — has been returned.

    We keep focusing on recognition, but without REPARATIONS the value of recognition is very limited. On it’s own, it won’t help the realities on the ground in Artsakh and Armenia. Sometimes I wonder whether this emphasis on recognition is a scheme designed to blind and distract the Armenian people from fighting our own internal evils — those corrupt powers sitting in Armenia who won’t allow the people to prosper — the diaspora’s growing problem of complete assimilation which in a way is a self-genocide.

    What if we focused more on defeating the corruption in Armenia to reduce the dependance on Russia and we did a better job at keeping our heritage among the diaspora? We barely speak Armenian with each other anymore!

    My point is we have a lot of control to really make Armenians better off world-wide and I would like to see our leaders put more emphasis on these things. Let’s continue striving for justice but let’s stop being a victim and realize we still have control over own fates.

  5. Alyse Fung said:

    Germany’s honesty in recognition of the Armenian genocide is commendable. I hope those who deny the fact for their own benefits will follow Germany and live in peace. Alyse Fung

  6. Raffi said:

    Erdogan should appreciate Germany’s gesture to help Turkey to come in terms with it’s past, he should grab this opportunity to come over with a problem that can’t and will not go away without making justice to Armenians, it is the only way to bring Turkey to the civilized world.

*

Top