VATICAN (ArmRadio)—German writer and historian Michael Hesemann has been studying the Armenian Genocide for over 20 years now.
The historian has studied more than 3000 pages of the Vatican Secrete Archives related to the Armenian Genocide. He says all archives are open, and it’s only necessary to write a letter to get access to the Vatican Archives of the period of Benedict XV until 1939.
“What I found is a very drastic, very moving eyewitness reports from monks and priests who managed to escaped the genocide, managed to escape to Constantinople and reported about what happened to the Armenian Patriarchate and the Pope’s Apostolic delegate, the Representative of the Pope in Constantinople,” Hesemann told reporters in Yerevan.
“Besides, we have the documentation of the attempts to stop the killing, to stop the massacres, to stop the deportation by the Apostolic delegate and the Pope himself, who wrote hundreds of letters to the Sultan, which the Apostolic delegate tried to present to the sultan, but never got an audience for weeks. Only with the help of the Austrian and German Ambassadors he got the access to the Sultan, and the latter responded to the letter with a great delay. When he replied in November 1915, the greatest part of the deportation had already happened, and the Armenians were already in the Syrian deserts to die,” the historian said.
“It is also a story of deceit, a story of how the Turks tried to deceit the Pope about what was going on. So the Archives clearly document why Pope Francis called in 1915 the first genocide of the 20th century.”
Referring to the Turkish attempts to deny the Armenian Genocide, Hesemann said that “all archives are open today, the Vatican, the American and German archives are open, and the only archives that remain partially closed are the Turkish ones.”
According to him, all scholars in the world who have studied the archives will clearly say it was not only a genocide of Armenians, but also an extermination of the Christian element in the Ottoman Empire. It was an ethnic and religious cleansing.