Historians meeting in Berlin are debating Germany's responsibility for the Armenian Genocide

Historians in the News
tags: Armenian genocide

In the German Reichstag on September 29, 1916, the diplomat Gottlieb von Jagow had to give parliament an account of the terrible events in Turkey, then the Ottoman Empire.

It was about mass displacement and executions taking place in the eastern region of Anatolia. The German Empire was a colonial power there at the time and also an ally of the Ottoman government, which had previously initiated a mass persecution of Christian Armenians before the onset of World War I. "We did everything we could," stated Jagow in defense of Germany's passivity.

This silent acquiescence toward the mass murders has been the subject of the International Historians Congress in Berlin.

Historians see the German Empire's involvement in the deportation of Armenians as a proven fact. However, the part the Germans played is still not clear. Were they mere witnesses, or were they actually accomplices?

Depending on estimates, 300,000 to 1.5 million Armenians were murdered by the Turks. and refer to it as genocide. Yet in modern-day Turkey, the state that replaced the Ottoman Empire, the human suffering of that era is still officially seen as "a war–related dislocation and security measure." The number of victims is still a matter of dispute in Turkey, making reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia difficult.

Germany knew and turned a blind eye

Read entire article at Deutsche Welle

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