Genocide Symposium Held in Montreal

MONTREAL- The Association of Genocide Scholars held its second international conference at Montreal’s Concordia University on June 11-13.

The conference–with the theme of "Genocide and the Modern World," encompassed a wide range of topics central to understanding and preventing genocide. In addition–the conference unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the Turkish government’s continuous denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Taking part at the conference were renowned academic figures including–from the United States–Vahakn Dadrian–Roger Smith–Henry Friedlander–Daniel Goldhagen–Helen Fein–Alexandre Hinton–Maria Rosenbloom–Jack Porter–Eric Markusen–Edward Paulino–Ervine Staub–David Kops–Peter Balakian–Fran Sterling–Pamela Ballinger–Rouben Adalian–Jeanette Smyth–Robert Skloot–Steven Jacobs–Anthony Oberschall; from Tel Aviv Israel Charney; from the United Kingdom–Mark Levene and Michael Freeman; from Canada–Robert Jann Van Pelt–Kurt Jonassohn–Philip Katz–Frank Chalk–Rhoda Howard–Howard Adelman–Karen Bjornson and Damir Mirkovic; from Germany–Gunnar Heinsohn and Beate Ziegs; from Denmark–Stig Hornshoj-Moller; from Australia–Jennifer Balant; from Belgium–Ahmed Ziauddin; from Russia–Vadim Ogev; and representing the UN from Geneva–Ben Kiernan–Edward Kissy–Payam Akhavan.

Various issues examined during the three day session were the motivation for genocide–the psyche of the perpetrators–the political aspects of genocide–the structure of genocide perpetrating entities and other cooperative entities. The panel also analyzed issues of minority discrimination as well as academic curriculum of genocide and the implementation of such studies in various universities. In depth discussions were held on the international laws of punishing genocide perpetrators–in hopes of preventing such future atrocities. Balakian–presented his views and the facts on the current Turkish government’s relentless efforts of denying the Armenian Genocide through a variety of venues–including the academic world. The author exemplified Princeton University’s Heath Lowry as the kind of effort put forth by the Turkish government.

Dadrian and Adalian presented their findings on the three aspects of the Armenian Genocide–including the historical perspective–the political phase and the technical concepts surrounding the study of the issue.

Participating in the organization of the conference–the Armenian National Committee of Canada–created various other forums for the visiting scholars to interact with the Armenian-Canadian community. Representing the ANCC at the conference were Vardges Dolabjian–Roupen Kouyoumjian and Aris Babikian. Also–several luncheons and banquets honored the participants of the conference.

Invited to the different sessions of the three day gathering–were Right Rev. Khajag Hagopian–Montreal City Council chairwoman Noushig Eloian–Council member Hasmig Belleli–as well as representatives of the Canadian Greek and Cypriot community.

A special event organized by the Montreal Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association featured Dadrian speaking on the German responsibilities in the Genocide of the Armenia’s. Giro Manoyan and Dzovig Kahwedjian were the masters of ceremonies for the evening. The entire participating group from the conference attended the event.

Following Dadrian’s presentation–Heinsohn congratulated the scholar on his work–and promised that he would do his utmost to educate the German academic community on these findings.

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