It is April 24 again, and I want to remind you of the Armenian Genocide.
I will not tell you the history of the Armenian Genocide, as I presume you already know about it. You might even have read a book or at least an article or two about a genocide that happened 106 years ago. I will not tell you stories of the genocide, as you might have already seen images of the “death marches”, an entire people driven to the Syrian Desert in the summer of 1915, under cover of the “Great War”, to perish from the heat, hunger, thirst or the knife.
I have no favours to ask. Your favours cannot help me in any way.
I will not ask you for justice, as I know your justice fails to face the crime of the crimes. How could human justice tackle the uprooting of millions, the robbing of their churches, schools, homes, gardens and even cemeteries? What justice for a people where every second member was killed brutally, hundreds of thousands of women kidnapped and raped, hundreds of thousands of orphans forced to adopt a different religion, language and pretend a different identity. How many pages do you have to write for your court case? How many lawyers do you need to defend the victims?
Is human justice possible after Genocide? Your justice is impotent.
I will not even ask for your recognition of the historic truth of a past event. If humanity is unable to recognize an event of the quality of the extermination of an entire civilization for over a century, then what will be the value of your belated recognition?
Recognition? What for?
I will not even repeat the hollow cliché: “Never again!”
I know it will happen again. It did happen again to me when last year the Turkish Army with its generals, F-16s and Bayraktars went back to attack the Armenians of Karabakh. A century after the genocide the perpetrators returned to kill their victims again. They did this with complete impunity. “Recognition” of the fact of the Genocide by civilized nations did not deter the victims from being attacked by the perpetrators, a second time.
It will happen again. I know it as I watch the newly built “Park” in Baku, exposing Armenians in chains, Armenians dying, Armenians with “hooked noses and flat heads”. This Macabre Amusement Park where on Sunday afternoons parents take their kids to play “how to kill Armenians”. This is happening today, not in the times of “National Socialism”.
It will happen again. When it happens the “guardians of morality” of our times the international bureaucrats and the self-declared human rightists will be busy writing reports full of quotes like: “he said, she said.” To the children of victims of new wars of exterminations, from Syria to Central Africa, from Myanmar to the Mount Sinjar, I can only say: you have no other choice but to struggle, to shout in the face of an indifferent humanity. Your fight will be long and lonely, yet you have no other choice.
Nor am I reminding you of the extermination of the Armenians to pretend any “moral superiority” in a world where morality is in short demand. Ask the Palestinians. Israel, the state largely built by the survivors of the Holocaust, continues to keep under occupation another people. Israel, the state, does not recognize the “Holocaust before the Holocaust”, denies the Genocide of the Armenians. Israel did not refrain from sending tons of its sophisticated weapons during the war in Karabakh to kill young Armenian recruits. Israel also offered humanitarian aid to Armenia.
No place for moral superiority after I saw the ruins of Aghdam.
If you did not care about the first modern Genocide for more than a century, it was not because you did not know. It is because you did not care. It is because you did not feel the pain. It is because you watched the pain of others from a distance, and it bored you.
Today, I just want to remind you of the Genocide that happened more than a century ago.
All I have to you is a message, and nothing else: because I know.
If it happened to me, it might also happen to you.
And then you will feel the pain.