By Michael M. Gunter &  Hannibal Travis

I) What Is Genocide? The Armenian Case / Turkey, Past and Future – by Michael M. Gunter

II) Did the Armenian Genocide Inspire Hitler? – Turkey, Past and Future / by Hannibal Travis

The Ambiguity of Genocidee liberal use of the term “genocide” has stirred numerous controversies and debates. Despite an international law definition, the word has been applied in some questionable instances. The deliberate murder of more than a million Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge, some of whose victims are pictured here, was undoubtedly a horrific crime, but does it fit the definition of genocide?

Michael Gunter

What Is Genocide? The Armenian Case

Turkey, Past and Future – by Michael M. Gunter

Middle East Quarterly – Winter 2013, pp. 37-46 (view PDF)

Shortly after the World War II, genocide was legally defined by the U.N. Genocide Convention as “any… acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”[1] The key word from the perspective of this article is “intent.” For while nobody can deny the disaster wrought on the Armenians by the 1915 deportations and massacres, the question is whether or not it can be defined as genocide—arguably the most heinous crime imaginable.

The strict international law definition of genocide has not prevented its application to virtually every conflict involving a large number of civilian deaths from the Athenian massacre of the inhabitants of Milos in 416 B.C.E., to the Mongol sacking of Baghdad in 1258, to the fate of the native North American Indians, to Stalin’s induced famine in the Ukraine in the early 1930s, to the recent conflicts in Bosnia, Burundi, Chechnya, Colombia, Guatemala, Iraq, Sudan, and Rwanda, which is not to deny that some of these cases do indeed qualify as genocide.

The liberal use of the term has naturally stirred numerous controversies and debates. Israel Charny offers little help by arguing that any massacre constitutes genocide, even the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown.[2] At the other end of the spectrum, Stephen Katz views the Holocaust as the only true genocide in history.[3] In between these two polar definitions, Ton Zwaan has attempted to distinguish between “total” and “complete” genocide and “partial” genocides.[4]

Even the U.N. definition suffers from some ambiguities owing to being a compromise among all signatories. Thus, the convention legally protects only “national, racial, ethnic, and religious groups,” not those defined politically, economically, or culturally, giving rise to varying interpretations of its intentions. For example, while the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia convicted seven Bosnian Serbs of genocide for their role in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslims,[5] the International Court of Justice, in its judgment in Bosnia vs. Serbia, focused on Serbia’s “intent” rather than “outcome” regarding the murder of Bosnian Muslims, absolving it of the charge of genocide.[6] Clearly, these contradictory decisions have added to the confusion of what genocide legally constitutes.

Likewise, the debate whether the Darfur events constituted genocide continues apace. U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell characterized Darfur as a case of genocide based on a U.S. government-funded study, which had surveyed 1,136 Darfur refugees in neighboring Chad.[7] By contrast, a study commissioned by U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan concluded that, while the Darfur events should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, they did not amount to genocide.[8] Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also declined to characterize the violence in Darfur as genocide while the Arab League and the African Union took a similar position, emphasizing instead the civil war aspect of the conflict. For their part EU, British, Canadian, and Chinese officials, among others, have shied away from calling it genocide. Samantha Power, the author of a Pulitzer Prize winning study on genocide, favored the term ethnic cleansing to describe what was occurring.[9]

When in July 2008, ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accused Sudanese president Omar Bashir of genocide and asked the court to issue an arrest warrant, many in the Arab League and the African Union criticized the genocide charge as biased against their region.[10] It remains to be seen how wise the ICC has been in bringing genocide charges in this case. Clearly, there was a lack of agreement on what did or did not constitute genocide in Darfur. Such a situation illustrates the ambiguity surrounding the concept of genocide.

In an attempt to alleviate these problems, scholars have offered such additional detailed concepts as “politicide” to refer to mass murders of a political nature, “democide” to describe government-perpetrated mass murders of at least one million people, ethnocide, Judeocide, ecocide, feminicide, libricide (for the destruction of libraries), urbicide, elitocide, linguicide, and culturicide, among others.[11] In addition we now have such concepts as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing.

Why this semantic disarray? Henry Huttenbach has argued, “Too often has the accusation of genocide been made simply for the emotional effect or to make a political point, with the result that more and more events have been claimed to be genocide to the point that the term has lost its original meaning.”[12] Jacques Semelin has similarly explained: “Whether use of the word ‘genocide’ is justified or not, the term aims to strike our imagination, awaken our moral conscience and mobilise public opinion on behalf of the victims.” He adds: “Under these circumstances, anyone daring to suggest that what is going on is not ‘really’ genocide is immediately accused of weakness or sympathizing with the aggressors.” Thus,

The term genocide can be used as a propaganda tool by becoming the hinge for a venomous rhetoric against a sworn enemy. Given the powerful emotional charge the word genocide generates, it can be used and re-used in all sorts of hate talk to heap international opprobrium on whoever is accused of genocidal intent. … The obvious conclusion: The word is used as much as a symbolic shield to claim victim status for one’s people, as a sword raised against one’s deadly enemy.[13]

Intent or premeditation is all important in defining genocide “because it removes from consideration not only natural disasters but also those man-made disasters that took place without explicit planning. Many of the epidemics of communicable diseases that reached genocidal proportions, for example were caused by unwitting human actions.”[14] Although some would disagree, the fate of the North American indigenous people is a case in point as they died largely from disease, not intent. Therefore, a large loss of life is not in itself proof of genocide. Ignoring intent creates a distorted scenario and may lead to incorrect conclusions as to what really occurred.

The Armenians

What then of the Armenian case? Unfortunately, as the well-known journalist and scholar Gwynne Dyer concluded more than thirty-five years ago, most Turkish and Armenian scholars are unable to be objective on this issue resulting in a situation of “Turkish falsifiers and Armenian deceivers.”[15]

The main purpose of this discussion, therefore, is not to deny that Turks killed and expelled Armenians on a large scale; indeed what happened might in today’s vocabulary be called war crimes, ethnic cleansing, or even crimes against humanity. To prove genocide, however, intent or premeditation must be demonstrated, and in the Armenian case it has not. It must also be borne in mind that what occurred was not a unilateral Turkish action but part of a long-term process in which some Armenians were guilty of killing as many Turks as they could in their attempt to rebel. Christopher de Ballaigue argues that “what is needed is a vaguer designation for the events of 1915, avoiding the G-word but clearly connoting criminal acts of slaughter, to which reasonable scholars can subscribe.”[16]

Arnold Toynbee, the renowned historian who coedited the Blue Book compilation of Turkish atrocities during World War I,[17] later wrote: “In the redistribution of Near and Middle Eastern Territories, the atrocities which have accompanied it from the beginning have been revealed in their true light, as crimes incidental to an abnormal process, which all parties have committed in turn, and not as the peculiar practice of one denomination or nationality.”[18] Indeed, in his final statement on the subject, Toynbee declared: “Armenian political aspirations had not been legitimate. … Their aspirations did not merely threaten to break up the Turkish Empire; they could not be fulfilled without doing grave injustice to the Turkish people itself.”[19] In addition, Adm. Mark Bristol, U.S. high commissioner and then-ambassador to Turkey after World War I, wrote in a long cable to the State Department in 1920: “While the Turks were all that people said they were, the other side of the coin was obscured by the flood of Greek and Armenian propaganda painting the Turks as completely inhuman and undeserving of any consideration while suppressing all facts in favor of the Turks and against the minorities.”[20]

More recently, Edward J. Erickson, a military historian, concluded after a careful examination: “Nothing can justify the massacres of the Armenians nor can a case be made that the entire Armenian population of the six Anatolian provinces was an active and hostile threat to Ottoman national security.” This said, Erickson added: “However, a case can be made that the Ottomans judged the Armenians to be a great threat to the 3rd and 4th [Ottoman] Armies and that genuine intelligence and security concerns drove that decision. It may also be stated that the Ottoman reaction was escalatory and responsive rather than premeditated and pre-planned.”[21]

On the other hand, Taner Akçam, a Turkish sociologist who has prominently broken with his country’s official narrative, concluded after compiling weighty evidence that the “Ottoman authorities’ genocidal intent becomes clear.”[22] This conclusion was challenged by Turkish researcher Erman Sahin who accused Akçam of “dishonesty—which manifests itself in the form of numerous deliberate alterations and distortions, misleading quotations and doctoring of data—casts doubt on the accuracy of his claims as well as his conclusions.”[23] In a later critique of Akçam’s subsequent work, Sahin concluded: “These are substantive matters that raise serious concerns as to the author’s theses, which appear to be based on a selective and distorted presentation of Ottoman archival materials and other sources. … Such errors seriously undermine the author’s and the book’s credibility.”[24]

More recently, Akçam claimed that despite Turkish attempts to “hide the evidence” through systematic “loss” and destruction of documents, his new work in the Ottoman archives “clearly points in the direction of a deliberate Ottoman government policy to annihilate its Armenian population.”[25] Maybe, but maybe not. Equally likely is that any destruction of documents at the end of World War I was simply designed to protect military secrets from falling into enemy hands, something any government would want to do. More to the point, Akçam also states that “the clearest statement that the aim of the [Ottoman] government’s policies toward the Armenians was annihilation is found in a cable of 29 August 1915 from interior minister Talat Pasha” in which he asserted that the “Armenian question in the eastern provinces has been resolved. … There’s no need to sully the nation and the government[‘s honor] with further atrocities.”[26] This document, however, does not prove genocidal intent except to those determined to find it. Rather, Talat’s statement might simply mean precisely what it states: The Armenian deportations, although resulting in many atrocities and deaths, have solved the issue.

In a carefully nuanced study, historian Donald Bloxham concluded that what happened was premeditated and therefore genocide.[27] Though stating in an earlier article “that there was no a priori blueprint for genocide, and that it emerged from a series of more limited regional measures in a process of cumulative policy radicalization,”[28] he, nevertheless, used the term genocide because of the magnitude of what happened and because “nowhere else during the First World War was revolutionary nationalism answered with total murder. That is the crux of the issue.”[29] At the same time, he wondered “whether recognition [of genocide] is really going to open the door to healing wounds and reconciliation, as we are often told, or whether it is a means of redressing nationalist grievances. Is it an issue of historical truth, morality and responsibility, or of unresolved political and material claims?”[30]

Finally, it should be noted that the Armenian claims of genocide are encumbered by intrinsic legal and philosophical problems. This is due to the fact that any finding under international law of genocide in the Armenian case at this late date would constitute a legally untenable ex-post-facto proclamation, namely: Make a crime of an action which, when originally committed, was not a crime. The concept of genocide did not even exist until it was formulated during World War II by Raphael Lemkin, while the genocide convention only entered into force in 1951.

The Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni

Hovhannes Katchaznouni was the first prime minister (1918-19) of the short-lived Armenian state following World War I. It is useful to turn to his April 1923 address to the Armenian revolutionary and nationalist Dashnak party congress, held in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. While not gainsaying “this unspeakable crime … the deportations and mass exiles and massacres which took place during the Summer and Autumn of 1915,”[31] Katchaznouni’s speech constitutes a remarkable self-criticism by a top Armenian leader. No wonder that many Armenians have done their best to remove this telling document from libraries around the world. It is, therefore, useful to cite what Katchaznouni had to say at some length:

In the Fall of 1914, Armenian volunteer bands organized themselves and fought against the Turks because they could not refrain themselves from fighting. This was an inevitable result of psychology on which the Armenian people had nourished itself during an entire generation. … It is important to register only the evidence that we did participate in that volunteer movement to the largest extent. …

We had embraced Russia wholeheartedly without any compunction. Without any positive basis of fact, we believed that the Tsarist government would grant us a more or less broad self-government in the Caucasus and in the Armenian vilayets liberated from Turkey as a reward for our loyalty, our efforts, and assistance.

We overestimated the ability of the Armenian people, its political and military power, and overestimated the extent and importance of the services our people rendered to the Russians. And by overestimating our very modest worth and merit was where we naturally exaggerated our hopes and expectations. …

The proof is, however—and this is essential—that the struggle began decades ago against the Turkish government [which] brought about the deportation or extermination of the Armenian people in Turkey and the desolation of Turkish Armenia. This was the terrible fact![32]

K.S. Papazian’s Patriotism Perverted

A decade after the publication of Katchaznouni’s speech, but still much closer to the events of World War I than now, Kapriel Serope Papazian produced a most revealing critique of the Dashnaks’ perfidy, terrorism, and disastrous policies that had helped lead to the events in question. Written by an Armenian who bore no love for the Turks, but hushed up, ignored, and virtually forgotten by many because its self-critical revelations do not mesh with the received Armenian thesis of innocent victimization, Papazian’s analysis[33] calls for close scrutiny.

Authored just after the notorious Dashnak murder of Armenian archbishop Leon Tourian in New York City on Christmas Eve 1933,[34] Papazian began by expressing disdain for the group’s “predatory inclinations” before examining the “terrorism in the Dashnaks’ early [1892] program,” which sought “to fight, and to subject to terrorism the government officials, the traitors, the betrayers, the usurers, and the exploiters of all description.” Having analyzed the movement’s ideological and operational history, Papazian explored what actually transpired during World War I:

The fact remains, however, that the leaders of the Turkish-Armenian section of the Dashnagtzoutune did not carry out their promise of loyalty to the Turkish cause when the Turks entered the war. … Prudence was thrown to the winds … and a call was sent for Armenian volunteers to fight the Turks on the Caucasian front.

Thousands of Armenians from all over the world flocked to the standards of such famous fighters as Antranik, Kery, Dro, etc. The Armenian volunteer regiments rendered valuable services to the Russian Army in the years of 1914-15-16.

On the other hand, the methods used by the Dashnagtzoutune in recruiting these regiments were so open and flagrant that it could not escape the attention of the Turkish authorities … Many Armenians believe that the fate of two million of their co-nationals in Turkey might not have proved so disastrous if more prudence had been used by the Dashnag leaders during the war. In one instance, one Dashnag leader, Armen Garo, who was also a member of the Turkish parliament, had fled to the Caucasus and had taken active part in the organization of volunteer regiments to fight the Turks. His picture, in uniform, was widely circulated in the Dashnag papers, and it was used by Talat Paha, the arch assassin of the Armenians, as an excuse for his policy of extermination.[35]

What then should be made of Papazian’s Patriotism Perverted? Without denying that the Turks played a murderous role in the events analyzed, his long-ignored and even suppressed revelations indicate that the Armenians were far from innocent victims in what ensued. Indeed, Papazian’s text makes it clear that incompetent but treacherous Armenians themselves were also to blame for what had befallen their cause. It is unfair to fix unique blame upon the Turks.

Guenter Lewy’s Critic

A major contribution to the debate over the Armenian atrocities, Guenter Lewy’s The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey,[36] rejects the claim of a premeditated genocide as well as the apologist narrative of an unfortunate wartime excess, concluding that “both sides have used heavy-handed tactics to advance their cause and silence a full and impartial discussion of the issues in dispute.” In his view, “the key issue in this quarrel is not the extent of Armenian suffering, but rather the question of premeditation: that is, whether the Young Turk regime during the First World War intentionally organized the massacres that took place.”

Lewy questions the authenticity of certain documents alleged to contain proof of a premeditated genocide as well as the methods of Vakhakn N. Dadrian,[37] one of the foremost current Armenian scholar-advocates of the genocide thesis, whom he accuses of “selective use of sources … [which] do not always say what Dadrian alleges” and “manipulating the statements of contemporary observers.”

As for the argument that “the large number of Armenian deaths … [offers] proof that the massacres that took place must have been part of an overall plan to destroy the Armenian people,” Lewy counters that it “rests on a logical fallacy and ignores the huge loss of life among Turkish civilians, soldiers, and prisoners-of-war due to sheer incompetence, neglect, starvation, and disease. All of these groups also experienced a huge death toll that surely cannot be explained in terms of a Young Turk plan of annihilation.”

So how does Lewy explain what happened to the Armenians? “The momentous task of relocating several hundred thousand people in a short span of time and over a highly primitive system of transportation was simply beyond the ability of the Ottoman bureaucracy. … Under conditions of Ottoman misrule, it was possible for the country to suffer an incredibly high death toll without a premeditated plan of annihilation.”[38]

Lewy’s book was reviewed prominently and positively in two leading U.S. journals of Middle East studies. Edward J. Erickson noted the finding that “both camps have created a flawed supporting historiography by using sources selectively, quoting them out of context, and/or ignoring ‘inconvenient facts,'” concluding that “simply having a large number of advocates affirming that the genocide is a historical fact does not make it so.”[39] Robert Betts, while claiming that “for the Turkish government to deny Ottoman responsibility for the Armenian suffering makes no sense,” also stated that “what emerges from Lewy’s study is the dire state of the empire and its population in 1915 and its inability to protect and feed its own Muslim citizenry, let alone the Armenians.”[40] Moreover, such distinguished scholars of Ottoman history as Bernard Lewis,[41] Roderic Davison,[42] J. C. Hurewitz,[43] and Andrew Mango,[44] among others, have all rejected the appropriateness of the genocide label for what occurred. On May 19, 1985, sixty-nine prominent academics in Turkish Ottoman and Middle Eastern studies (including Lewis) published a large advertisement in The New York Times and The Washington Post criticizing the U.S. Congress for considering the passage of a resolution that would have singled out for special recognition “the one and one half million people of Armenian ancestry who were victims of genocide perpetrated in Turkey between 1915 and 1923.” Instead, they argued that such questions should be left for the scholarly community to decide.

Indeed, the Armenian massacres of 1915 did not come out of the blue but followed decades of Armenian violence and revolutionary activity that elicited Turkish counter violence. There is a plethora of Turkish writings documenting these unfortunate events, just as there are numerous Armenian accounts.[45] The Armenians, of course, present themselves as freedom fighters in these earlier events, but it is possible to understand how the Ottomans saw them as treasonous subjects.

Moreover, throughout all these events, the Armenians were never more than a large minority even in their historic provinces.[46] Yet they exaggerated their numbers before World War I and their losses during the war. Had the Armenian fatality figures been correct, very few would have survived the war. Instead, the Armenians managed to fight another war against the nascent Turkish republic in the wake of World War I for mastery in eastern Anatolia. Having lost, many Armenians claimed that what transpired after World War I was a renewed genocide. As Christians, the Armenians found a sympathetic audience in the West whereas the Muslim Turks were the West’s historic enemy. Add to this the greater Armenian adroitness in foreign languages—hence their greater ability to present their case to the world—to understand why the Turks consider the genocide charge to be grossly unfair, especially since the Armenians have adamantly rejected any culpability on their part in this tragic event.


Without denying the tragic massacres and countless deaths the Armenians suffered during World War I, it is important to place them in their proper context. When this is done, the application of the term “genocide” to these events is inappropriate because the Turkish actions were neither unilateral nor premeditated. Rather, what transpired was part of a long-continuing process that in part started with the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78, which triggered an influx of Balkan Muslims into Anatolia with the attendant deterioration of relations with the indigenous Christian Armenians.[47]

To make matters worse, Patriarch Nerses, an Ottoman subject and one of the leaders of the Armenian community, entered into negotiations with the victorious Russians with an eye to achieving Armenian autonomy or even independence. This was followed in coming decades by continued Armenian nationalist agitation, accompanied by the use of terror, aimed at provoking retaliation, which they hoped would be followed by European intervention. When World War I broke out, some Armenians supported the Russian enemy. Kurdish/Muslim-Armenian animosities also played a role in this process.[48]

As for the necessary attribute of premeditation to demonstrate genocide, there are no authentic documents to such effect. Although there are countless descriptions of the depravations suffered by the Armenians, they do not prove intent or premeditation. The so-called Andonian documents that purport to demonstrate premeditation are almost certainly a fabrication.[49] And in response to the Armenian contention that the huge loss of Armenian lives illustrates premeditation, what then should be said about the enormous loss of Turkish lives among civilians, soldiers, and prisoners-of-war? Were these Turkish deaths also genocide or rather due to sheer incompetence, neglect, starvation, and disease? And if the latter were true of the ethnic Turkish population, they were all the more so in respect to an ethnic group that had incurred upon itself suspicion of acting as a fifth column in a time of war.

Even so, Armenian communities in such large Western cities as Istanbul and Smyrna were largely spared deportation probably because they were not in a position to aid the invading Russians. Is it possible to imagine Hitler sparing any Jews in Berlin, Munich, or Cologne from his genocidal rampage for similar reasons? If, as the Armenians allege, the Turkish intent was to subject their Armenian victims to a premeditated forced march until they died of exhaustion, why was this tactic not imposed on all Armenians? Therefore, without denying outright murders and massacres that today might qualify as war crimes, it seems reasonable to question the validity of referring to the Armenian tragedy as genocide.

Michael M. Gunter, professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University, was senior Fulbright lecturer at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey.

[1] Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 78 U.N. Treaty Series (UNTS) 277, adopted by the General Assembly, Dec. 9, 1948, entered into force, Jan. 12, 1951.
[2] Israel W. Charny, “Towards a Generic Definition of Genocide,” in George J. Andreopoulos, ed., Genocide: Conceptual and Historical Dimensions (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), pp. 64-94.
[3] Stephen Katz, The Holocaust in Historical Context, vol. 1 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
[4] Ton Zwaan, “On the Aetiology and Genesis of Genocides and Other Mass Crimes Targeting Specific Groups,” Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Amsterdam/Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Nov. 2003, p. 12.
[5] David Rhode, Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica, Europe’s Worst Massacre since World War II (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997), p. 167; Jacques Semelin, Purify and Destroy: The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), pp. 34-5, 65-6, 138-9, 195-8, 213-20, 245-6; “Report of the Secretary General Pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 53/35: The Fall of Srebrenica,” U.N. doc. no. A/54/549, Nov. 15, 1999.
[6] The Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Serbia and Montenegro), case 91, International Court of Justice, The Hague, Feb. 26, 2007.
[7] “Documenting the Atrocities in Darfur,” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., Sept. 2004.
[8] The Guardian (London), Feb. 1, 2005.
[9] Scott Straus, “Darfur and the Genocide Debate,” Foreign Affairs, Jan.-Feb. 2005, pp. 128, 130.
[10] Public Radio International, July 28, 2008; Voice of America, July 22, 2010.
[11] Semelin, Purify and Destroy, pp. 319-20.
[12] Henry R. Huttenbach “Locating the Holocaust under the Genocide Spectrum: Toward a Methodology of Definition and Categorization,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 3 (1988): 297.
[13] Semelin, Purify and Destroy, pp. 312-3.
[14] Kurt Jonassohn, “What Is Genocide?” in Helen Fein, ed., Genocide Watch (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), p. 21.
[15] Gwynne Dyer, “Turkish ‘Falsifiers’ and Armenian ‘Deceivers’: Historiography and the Armenian Massacres,” Middle Eastern Studies, Jan. 1976, pp. 99-107.
[16] Christopher de Ballaigue, Rebel Land: Among Turkey’s Forgotten Peoples (London: Bloomsbury, 2009), p. 104; M. Hakan Yavuz, “Contours of Scholarship on Armenian-Turkish Relations,” Middle East Critique, Nov. 2011, pp. 231-51.
[17] James Bryce, compiler, “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-16,” Parliamentary Papers Miscellaneous, Great Britain, no. 31 (London: Joseph Cavston, 1916).
[18] Arnold J. Toynbee, The Western Question in Greece and Turkey: A Study in the Contact of Civilizations (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1922), pp. vii-viii.
[19] Arnold J. Toynbee, Acquaintances (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 241.
[20] Laurence Evans, United States Policy and the Partition of Turkey, 1914-1924 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1965), p. 272.
[21] Edward J. Erickson, “The Armenians and Ottoman Military Policy, 1915,” War in History, no. 2, 2008, p. 167.
[22] Taner Akçam, A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2006), p. 187.
[23] Erman Sahin, “Review Essay: A Scrutiny of Akçam’s Version of History and the Armenian Genocide,” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Aug. 2008, p. 316.
[24] Erman Sahin, “Review Essay: The Armenian Question,” Middle East Policy, Spring 2010, p. 157.
[25] Taner Akçam, The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012), pp. 19, 27.
[26] Ibid., p. 203.
[27] Donald Bloxham, The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005); Ronald Grigor Suny, “Truth in Telling: Reconciling Realities in the Genocide of the Ottoman Armenians,” American Historical Review, Oct. 2009, pp. 930-46.
[28] Donald Bloxham, “The Armenian Genocide of 1915-1916: Cumulative Radicalization and the Development of a Destruction Policy,” Past & Present, Nov. 2003, p. 143.
[29] Ibid., pp. 143, 186.
[30] Ibid., p. 232.
[31] Hovhannes Katchaznouni, “The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnagtzoutiun) Has Nothing To Do Anymore,” Arthur A. Derounian, ed., Matthew A. Callender, trans. (New York: Armenian Information Service, 1955), p. 2.
[32] Ibid., pp. 2-3.
[33] Kapriel Serope Papazian, Patriotism Perverted: A Discussion of the Deeds and the Misdeeds of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the So-Called Dashnagtzoutune (Boston: Baikar Press, 1934).
[34] See Christopher Walker, Armenia: The Survival of a Nation (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989), p. 354; Maggie Lewis, “Armenian-Americans,” The Christian Science Monitor (Boston), Nov. 18, 1980.
[35] Papazian, Patriotism Perverted, pp. 7, 13, 15, 21, 38-9.
[36] Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2007.
[37] For examples of Guenter Lewy’s critiques of Dadrian’s writings, see “Revisiting the Armenian Genocide,” Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2005, pp. 3-12; idem, The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus (Providence and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1995); idem, Warrant for Genocide: Key Elements of Turko-Armenian Conflict (New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 1999).
[38] Lewy, The Armenian Massacres, pp. ix, 47, 51, 83-6, 250, 253, 258, 282.
[39] Edward J. Erickson, “Lewy’s ‘The Armenian Massacres,'” Middle East Journal, Spring 2006, p. 377.
[40] Robert Brenton Betts, “The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide/The Armenian Rebellion at Van,” Middle East Policy, Spring 2008, p. 177.
[41] See, for example, Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 356.
[42] The New York Times, May 19, 1985.
[43] Ibid.
[44] Andrew Mango, Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey (Woodstock and New York: The Overlook Press, 1999), p. 161.
[45] See, for example, Louise Nalbandian, The Armenian Revolutionary Movement: The Development of Armenian Political Parties through the Nineteenth Century (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1963); Garegin Pasdermadjian (Armen Garo), Bank Ottoman: Memoirs of Armen Garo (Detroit: Armen Topouzian, 1990); James G. Mandalian, ed. and trans., Armenian Freedom Fighters: The Memoirs of Rouben der Minasian (Boston: Hairenik Association, 1963).
[46] See Justin McCarthy, Muslims and Minorities: The Population of Ottoman Anatolia and the End of the Empire (New York: New York University Press, 1983), p. 115.
[47] M. Hakan Yavuz with Peter Sluglett, eds., War and Diplomacy: The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2011), pp. 1-13.
[48] See Janet Klein, The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011), pp. 50, 131, 183.
[49] Aram Andonian, ed., The Memoirs of Naim Bey: Turkish Official Documents Relating to the Deportations and Massacres of Armenians (London: 1920. Reprinted, Newtown Square, Pa.: Armenian Historical Research Association, 1964). For the case against the authenticity of these documents, see Sinasi Orel and Sureyya Yuca, The Talat Pasha Telegrams: Historical Fact or Armenian Fiction? (Nicosia: K. Rustem and Bros., 1986). For the counterclaim that newly found Ottoman archival source material vindicates the Adonian documents see, Akçam, The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity, p. xviii, fn. 22.



A number of clues point to the possibility that Hitler’s “final solution” was inspired by the Turkish massacre of its Armenian population in 1915. His infamous 1939 question, “Who speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?” although hotly debated concerning its authenticity, is only one indication leading to that conclusion.

Did the Armenian Genocide Inspire Hitler?

Turkey, Past and Future

by Hannibal Travis – Middle East Quarterly – Winter 2013, pp. 27-35

It is well known by genocide scholars that in 1939 Adolf Hitler urged his generals to exterminate members of the Polish race.[1] “Who speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?” Hitler asked, just a week before the September 1, 1939 invasion of Poland.[2] However, while it is generally agreed that Hitler was well aware of the Armenian genocide,[3] some genocide scholars and historians of the Ottoman Empire have questioned whether he actually made the above statement or even intended to exterminate portions of the “Polish race.”[4]

Still, there is evidence that the massacre of the Ottoman Armenians helped persuade the Nazis that national minorities posed a threat to empires dominated by an ethnic group such as the Germans or the Turks. Furthermore, these minorities could be exterminated to the benefit of the perpetrator with little risk. Indeed, it was German officials who had smuggled out of the Ottoman Empire the leaders of the Young Turk regime, culpable for the deaths of over a million Armenians and a million or more other Christian minorities such as the Assyrians and Greeks.[5] Diverse historical evidence suggests that Hitler viewed the Armenians and Poles as analogous; in several ways, his statement about the Armenians was consistent with his other beliefs and writings.

The Assassin’s Leak

The historical context of Hitler’s statement and the manner in which it came to Western attention has long been problematic. On November 24, 1945, The Times of London published an article stating that Hitler referred to the extermination of the Armenians during an address to his commanders-in-chief on August 22, 1939, a statement that was read at a hearing of the Nuremberg trial. Hitler’s speech asserted that the

aim of the war is not to attain certain lines, but consists in the physical destruction of the opponent. Thus, for the time being, I have sent to the East only my “Death’s Head units” with the order to kill without pity or mercy all men, women, and children of Polish race or language. Only in such a way, will we win the vital living space that we need. Who still talks nowadays of the extermination of the Armenians?[6]

The anti-Nazi writer Louis Lochner, a former bureau chief of the Associated Press in Berlin, quoted Hitler’s statement from an original Nazi document before the Nuremberg trials had even convened.[7] Lochner had a variety of sources within the Nazi government and had been interned from December 1941 to May 1942 before being exchanged for German diplomats interned in the United States. After his release, he published What about Germany? containing the quote mentioning the Armenians.[8] The quote was used in the November 1945 The Times article, which cited the ongoing proceedings of the Nuremberg trials.

Two additional copies of the memorandum describing Hitler’s speech were found immediately after the war in the files of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (German High Command, OKW), but neither contained the Armenian quote. Nor was either military document signed as would be expected for an official record of a meeting. These incongruities led Nuremberg prosecutors to conclude that there had been two Hitler speeches on August 22 and that the Lochner version containing the quote was a merger of notes from both. As a result of the disparities, objections were made by lawyers for two Nuremberg defendants, Hermann Göring and Erich Raeder, to the authenticity of the OKW versions and to the inclusion of the Lochner document in evidence. The key issue for the defense was not the Armenian quote per se but rather the term “brutal measures,” which they claimed was never used by Hitler although they conceded that he had used “severe” expressions.[9]

Since the prosecution had other records of the meetings, as well as one introduced by defendant Raeder, the Lochner document was included in the trial record but was not introduced as evidence. In the context of the Nuremberg trials, the overriding issue was not the Armenian quote but Hitler’s call for a brutal war of aggression against Poland. But defenders of the Ottoman Empire regard the court’s decision as key: The military versions of Hitler’s speech without the quote are viewed as more reliable, and the Lochner version as suspect or tainted.[10]

The question of Lochner’s source for the document, and hence the quote, has therefore been the crux of intense historical interest. Lochner himself indicated only that he had obtained it from “Mr. Maass” without saying who the original source was at the August 22, 1939 meeting. But subsequent research had shown that the Lochner and The Times versions have a clear chain of transmission.[11] The original source of Hitler’s speech on the Poles and the Armenians and of its transmission to The Times was Wilhelm Canaris,[12] head of the Abwehr, a German military intelligence organization, and a leading figure in the military opposition to Hitler. Canaris became involved with several conspiracies against the dictator, including a July 20, 1944 assassination plot. Another member of the German resistance, Hans Bernd Gisevius, confirmed that Canaris took notes of the speech even though it was “forbidden to do so.”[13]

Canaris’s notes were passed to three men, all of whom were executed before the Nuremberg trials convened and thus could not be questioned: Hans Oster, Ludwig Beck, and Hermann Maass. Historian Kevork Bardakjian concluded that Canaris likely passed the notes to his deputy, Oster, who then transmitted them to Beck, a conservative general and former chief of the General Staff, who had long opposed Nazi influence on the German military and foreign policy. Beck probably instructed Maass, formerly general manager of the Reich Committee of German Youth Associations, to give the document to Lochner due to Beck’s role as a “leader of the German resistance.” Like Canaris, Beck was involved in a number of conspiracies and was executed after the failure of the July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, in which he had a leading role.[14] Finally, historian Winfried Baumgart has argued that Canaris’s notes also appear to have been the source of the two unsigned documents in the German high command files.[15]

Gisevius and Oster believed that the invasion of Poland gave them a unique chance to get rid of Hitler and ensure peace with Poland.[16] Canaris’s opposition to Hitler was wide-ranging. An official with British intelligence boasted of having “buil[t] … up” Canaris as a potential assassin of Hitler.[17] In 1944, the Gestapo found documents revealing Canaris to be conspiring with Catholics and the West against Hitler. The admiral was executed in a concentration camp on April 9, 1945, for plotting a coup against Hitler, along with Oster.[18]

Turkish Historians on the “Armenian Quote”

Hitler’s citation of the Armenians in his August 22, 1939 meeting has been an important concern for Turkish historians and pro-Ottoman analysts. Türkkaya Ataöv of Ankara University, with the apparent endorsement of the Turkish government, has contended that the Armenian quote does not appear in Nuremberg documents and is a forgery. He goes further to assert that no Armenian genocide took place, that Armenians had collaborated with the Nazis, and that Turks had welcomed Jews.[19]

Similarly, Princeton University professor Heath Lowry suggested in 1985 that the lack of clear evidence that Hitler’s alleged statement about the Armenians was “authentic” should have put an end to attempts to recognize the Armenian genocide in exhibits of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, resolutions of the U.S. Congress, or in the curricula on the Holocaust established by state boards of education. The logical outcome, Lowry argued, was that the Armenian genocide was simply a type of “propaganda” and “vilification against the Republic of Turkey.”[20] Finally, Guenter Lewy, professor emeritus of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has contended that any attempt to link the anti-Armenian massacres and the Holocaust rests “on a shaky factual foundation.” But Lewy has conceded that the document containing Hitler’s statement about the Armenians might “represent an embellishment of points made in the speech” by Hitler to his generals in August 1939.[21]

In contrast, in a notable 1995 article in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Roger W. Smith, Eric Markusen, and Robert Lifton argued that Lowry was being professionally irresponsible in claiming that the Armenian genocide was simply a “ludicrous” Armenian claim. In their view, it was the more recent claim that Hitler did not refer to the Armenian genocide that lacked an evidentiary basis.[22] Moreover, they demonstrate that Lowry, like historian Justin McCarthy, had engaged in a pattern of protesting academic characterizations of the Armenian genocide that was welcomed by the Turkish government.[23] According to Inside Higher Education, McCarthy once called the Armenian genocide a “meaningless” idea and served on the board of a grant-making organization in Washington, D.C., the Institute for Turkish Studies, which has ties to the Turkish government. McCarthy argues that the Armenian case is dissimilar to the Holocaust and resembles the U.S. Civil War.[24]

One of Lewy’s preferred sources for Hitler’s speech were the copies from the OKW, used by Nuremberg prosecutors to demonstrate command responsibility for numerous crimes in Poland. Lewy has argued that Hitler’s statement about the Armenians was not “accepted as evidence by the Nuremberg Tribunal,” citing Lowry to this effect.[25] Ankara University’s Ataöv similarly asserted: “Hundreds of thousands of captured Nazi documents were assembled as evidence in the trial of the major Nazi war criminals. One cannot find the oft-repeated Hitler ‘statement’ among these documents.”[26] The idea that the Hitler quote is a forgery and that it does not appear in the Nuremberg trial documents is frequently repeated on websites dedicated to denial of the Armenian genocide.

While the Lochner document was not used at Nuremberg, even Lowry admits that volume VII of the compilation of evidence against the Nazis, entitled Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, reproduced the statement.[27] That compilation contained in its introduction a description of the document series as the tribunal’s “documentary evidence demonstrating the criminality of the former leaders of the German Reich.”[28] This means that the document was introduced as evidence before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg even if it was not used on a specific day of the trials. The Lochner document with the Armenia quote was also included in the 1961 publication of foreign policy documents by the German Foreign Office.[29]

The Armenian Genocide as Nazi Precedent

As part of a larger effort to deny or downplay the Armenian genocide, some historians have claimed that Hitler did not cite the Armenians as an example of the impunity of perpetrators. They have also denied that the Armenian genocide provided the inspiration or any form of precedent for the design and conduct of Nazi aggression and genocide.

One method has been to suggest that the Nazi program of extermination was a late creation. Thus, for example, Lewy suggested that Hitler did not order exterminations in Poland—or mention the extermination of the Armenians—because “by August 1939, Hitler had not yet decided upon the destruction of the Jews.”[30]

This argument is unpersuasive for several reasons. First, as has been shown, there are compelling reasons to believe that Hitler’s statements about extermination in 1939 indeed cited the Armenians and were aimed at the Poles. Hitler’s intentions toward the Jews had been spelled out across many statements, including in the notorious January 1939 speech in which Hitler “prophesied” that another world war would result in the “annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” Second, Hitler had repeatedly engaged in virulent anti-Polish and anti-Slavic rhetoric prior to August 1939.[31] Third, Hitler’s decision to destroy Poland as a nation, while allowing some Poles to survive, was entirely consistent with his political philosophy that nations played out a chaotic struggle for life in an unforgiving world, as shown by history. Finally, there was the tacit acquiescence of the major powers in the Turkish model of ethnic cleansing and genocide. These may have provided Hitler with reasons to adopt it for Poland and the East.

To what extent was the Armenian genocide understood as a model by Hitler? In a 1931 interview, he told a German newspaper editor that when deciding Germany’s future, one should “[t]hink of the biblical deportations and the massacres of the Middle Ages (Rosenberg refers to them) and remember the extermination of the Armenians.”[32] Hitler and other contemporary European leaders admired Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as a national leader who won for the Turkish people the living space it needed from the Slavs and the British. Speaking in 1925, Hitler “dwelt at length on patriotism and national pride and quoted approvingly the role of Kemal Atatürk of Turkey and the example of Mussolini, who had marched on Rome” a few weeks prior.[33]

The parallels between Hitler and Atatürk were also noted at the time. The influential Foreign Affairs journal published an article in the 1930s stating, “Just as in Italy since 1922, and as in Germany since early in the present year, the conduct of political affairs in Turkey rests today on the personality of a leader. … By means of a clever scheme … the President, while constitutionally without undue influence, becomes the real autocrat.'” It argued that with the end of foreign “influence,” Turkey “had become an almost homogeneous state” in “national and religious” terms, so that its “Christian minorities hardly existed any longer.”[34] In early 1939, the German socialists had also pointed out the similarity between the Nazis and past leaders of Turkey.[35] Three days after the speech reported by Canaris, Hitler wrote to Mussolini that he hoped that the Turks could be persuaded to join Italy, Japan, and Russia in an anti-British coalition.[36] He planned to hand over parts of the southern Soviet Union to Turkey in due time.[37]

The fate of the Armenians was also understood within Nazi ideology. A key influence on Hitler was the Prussian-educated British writer Houston Stewart Chamberlain. His work Foundations of the Nineteenth Century sold 250,000 copies by 1938 and secured his fame in Germany.[38] Volume 1 of this work offered a model for Germany, arguing that Turkey was “the last little corner of Europe in which a whole people lives in undisturbed prosperity and happiness,” and blaming non-German world powers (Britain and France) for encouraging an Armenian rebellion, in response to which “the otherwise humane Moslem rises and destroys the disturber of the peace.”[39]

In 1927, leading Nazi theorist Alfred Rosenberg had published a booklet calling Chamberlain the “apostle and founder of a German future.”[40] In 1938, Rosenberg published a collection of speeches in which he commented that in 1921, after the Turkish minister Talat Pasha was murdered in Berlin by an Armenian, a campaign was waged in the “international press” to release the killer due to the history of struggle between Armenians and Turks.[41] Rosenberg endorsed the Turks’ resistance to Armenian claims for autonomy (“den armenischen Staat im Staat“), comparing the Armenians to the Jews, because he claimed the Armenians engaged in espionage against Turkey as the Jews did against Germany.[42] He “praised Talat Pasha … [and] minimized the [Ottoman Christian] genocide.”[43]

Rosenberg also introduced Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter to Hitler. Scheubner-Richter had been the German vice-consul in Erzerum and documented the planning and implementation of the murder of Armenians by the Young Turks in the name of Islam and pan-Turkic ideology. Scheubner-Richter’s relationship to Hitler was so close that he was killed standing next to Hitler and Rosenberg during the failed Munich “Beer Hall” putsch of 1923. Hitler then dedicated the first part of Mein Kampf to his “irreplaceable” fallen comrade.[44] Armenian-American historian Vahkan Dadrian has argued that Scheubner-Richter had a “direct” influence on Hitler that may have included introducing him to the example of how the Ottoman Armenians (then called the “Jews of the Orient”) were deported from their villages, worked to death, starved, and frozen to death during exposure to harsh winter conditions.[45] Mike Joseph has called Scheubner-Richter the “personal link from [the Armenian] genocide to Hitler.”[46] Scheubner-Richter’s reports regarding the genocidal solution to the Armenian question foreshadow and may have inspired Hitler’s later ideas and rhetoric regarding the Jews as did his descriptions of Turkish methods, including provocations and allegations of terrorism and revolution. Prior to his death, Scheubner-Richter urged that Germany be “cleansed” of alien peoples by “ruthless” measures.[47]

Other high-ranking Nazis were also well-placed to learn how the Armenian genocide occurred and to inform Hitler. Franz von Papen became Hitler’s vice chancellor after serving as chief of staff of the Fourth Turkish Army during World War I and was responsible for managing German-Austrian and German-Turkish relations under the Nazis. Rudolf Hess, deputy inspector of concentration camps under Himmler, had served in the Ottoman-German forces fighting the Russians during World War I. Hans von Seeckt was chief of the Ottoman General Staff in 1917 and 1918 and “laid the groundwork for the later emergence of the Third Reich’s Wehrmacht” and “embraced Hitler and his ideology.”[48]

The similarity of the genocidal methods employed by the Nazis and the Ottomans is also inescapable. Parallels between Ottoman and Nazi theory and practice include the central place of race in the self-conception of the fascist elites and the notion of relocating ethnic minorities to reservations. Hitler often expressed his belief that race was the dominant independent variable in history and that it had to be dealt with directly by any ethnonationalist leader who wanted to be successful.[49] “When the race is in danger of being oppressed,” he wrote, “the question of legality plays only a secondary role.”[50]

Both the Ottomans and the Nazis also used the concept of ethnic “cleaning” or “cleansing.” While the Young Turks implemented a “clean sweep of internal enemies—the indigenous Christians,” according to the then-German ambassador in Constantinople,[51] the Nazis implemented a “housecleaning of Jews, intelligentsia, clergy, and the nobility.”[52] The official who announced the ethnic cleansing plan for Poland may have been aware of similar policies of the internal security officials of the Ottoman Empire, which resulted in “hundreds of thousands of the Ottoman Empire’s Muslims, Christian Armenians, and Orthodox Greeks [being] expelled or murdered.”[53] Hitler himself used “cleaning” or “cleansing” as a euphemism for extermination[54] and described his rule as being characterized by an “unheard of cleansing process.”[55] On December 12, 1941, Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary that “with respect of the Jewish question, the Führer has decided to make a clean sweep.”[56] Finally, the impunity with which the Armenians had been slaughtered—the essence of Hitler’s August 22, 1939 remark—was reinforced by the international community’s failure to prevent the massacre of other peoples, including later massacres by the Italians using poison-gas and machine-guns in Ethiopia.[57]


Numerous ideological and political influences led from the Armenian genocide to the rape of Poland and the Holocaust. Chamberlain, Hess, Rosenberg, Seeckt, Scheubner-Richter, and von Papen all likely played a role in prompting Hitler to use Turkey’s example as a model for Poland. Hitler compared the two cases in his 1939 speech, which, like most evidence that the Holocaust took place, was not relied upon in the tribunal’s judgment.[58] Subsequent efforts to discredit the speech by defenders of the Ottoman Empire should not, however, blind us to the manifold connections between the Armenian genocide and that perpetrated by the Nazis.

Hannibal Travis is the author of Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq and Sudan (Carolina Academic Press, 2010) and “The Assyrian Genocide: A Tale of Oblivion and Denial,” in Rene Lemarchand, ed., Forgotten Genocides: Denial, Oblivion, and Memory (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011).

[1] Adam Jones, Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge, 2010), p. 149.
[2] Akten zur deutschen auswärtigen Politik 1918-1945, Federal Republic of Germany, Federal Foreign Office, ser. D, vol. 7, 1961, p. 193, fn. 1; Louis P. Lochner, What about Germany? (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1943), p. 12.
[3] Jones, Genocide, p. 173.
[4] Heath W. Lowry, “The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians,” Political Communication and Persuasion, 3, 1985, pp. 111-39.
[5] Vahakn Dadrian, “The Armenian Genocide in German and Austrian Sources,” in Israel Charny, ed., The Widening Circle of Genocide, vol. 3 (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1994), pp. 122-4.
[6] Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, vol. 7, U.S. Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality (Washington, D.C.: Govt. Printing Office, 1946), p. 753.
[7] Lowry, “The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians,” pp. 113-4, 121.
[8] Lochner, What About Germany? pp. 11-2.
[9] Kevork B. Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide (Toronto: Zoryan Institute, 1985), pp. 14-5, 18.
[10] Lowry, “The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians,” p. 116.
[11] Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide, pp. 20-3; idem, “Hitler’s ‘Armenian Extermination’ Remark, True or False?” The New York Times, July 6, 1985.
[12] Vahakn Dadrian, “The Historical and Legal Interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust: From Impunity to Retributive Justice,” The Yale Journal of International Law, 23 (1998): 539-40; Allan Bullock, Walter Schellenberg, The Labyrinth: Memoirs of Walter Schellenberg, Hitler’s Chief of Counterintelligence (New York: Harper and Bros., 2000), pp. x-xi, 353, 359-60; Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler’s Death: The Story of German Resistance, Bruce Little, trans. (New York: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt, 1997), p. 5.
[13] Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide, pp. 20-1.
[14] Ibid., pp. 20-3; Bardakjian, “Hitler’s ‘Armenian Extermination’ Remark, True or False?”; Helen Fein, “Political Functions of Genocide Comparisons,” in Yehuda Bauer, Alice Eckardt, and Franklin H. Littell, eds., Remembering for the Future: Working Papers and Addenda, vol. 3 (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1989), p. 2432.
[15] Winfried Baumgart, “Zur Ansprache Hitler’s vor den Führern der Wehrmacht am 22. August 1939. Eine quellenkritische Untersuchung,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Apr. 1968, pp. 120-49.
[16] Fest, Plotting Hitler’s Death, p. 110.
John H. Waller, The Unseen War in Europe: Espionage and Conspiracy in the Second World War (London: I.B. Tauris, 1996), pp. 237, 357.
[18] Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide, p. 22; Michael Mueller and Geoffrey Brooks, Canaris: The Life and Death of Hitler’s Spymaster (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2007), pp. 208, 245-57.
[19] Türkkaya Ataöv, “The ‘Armenian Question’: Conflict, Trauma and Objectivity,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Center for Strategic Research, Republic of Turkey, SAM Papers, no. 3 / 97 (1999), accessed Jan. 5, 2012.
[20] Lowry, “The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians,” pp. 123-4.
[21] Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005), p. 265.
[22] Roger W. Smith, Eric Markusen, and Robert Jay Lifton, “Professional Ethics and the Denial of Armenian Genocide,Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Spring 1995, pp. 9, 12.
[23] Ibid., pp. 9-10.
[24] Scott Jaschik, “Genocide Deniers,” Inside Higher Education, Oct. 16, 2007.
[25] Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, p. 265; Lowry, “The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians,” p. 120.
[26] Ataöv, “The ‘Armenian Question,'” accessed Jan. 5, 2012.
[27] Lowry, “The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians,” Appendix II.
[28] Roger W. Barrett and William E. Jackson, “Preface,” in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, vol. 1, Nuremberg Commission, Jan. 20, 1946.
[29] Akten zur deutschen auswärtigen Politik, p. 193, fn. 1.
[30] Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, p. 265.
Richard Veatch, “Minorities and the League of Nations,” in United Nations Library, ed., The League of Nations in Retrospect (Boston-New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1983), p. 380; Otto Tolischus, “German Army Attacks Poland,” in Douglas Brinkley, ed., The New York Times Living History: World War II, 1939-1942: The Axis Assault (New York: Macmillan, 2003), p. 82; Henrik Eberle and Matthias Uhl, eds., The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin from the Interrogations of Hitler’s Personal Aides (Jackson, Tenn.: Public Affairs, 2006), pp. 47-8; William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), pp. 872, 875.
[32] Richard Breiting, Secret Conversations with Hitler: The Two Newly-discovered 1931 Interviews, Édouard Calic, ed. (New York: John Day, 1971), p. 81; Édouard Calic, Unmasked: Two Confidential Interviews with Hitler in 1931, Richard Barry, trans. (London: John Day, 1971), p. 81; Dadrian, “The Historical and Legal Interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust,” p. 540.
[33] Martyn Housden, Hitler: Study of a Revolutionary‎ (New York: Psychology Press, 2000), p. 47.
[34] Hans Kohn, “Ten Years of the Turkish Republic,Foreign Affairs, Oct. 1933, pp. 143, 145.
[35] Robert Gellately, Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 129.
[36] Hitler to Mussolini, Aug. 25, 1939, in Max Domarus, ed., Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations 1932-1945: The Chronicle of a Dictatorship, vol. 3 (London: I.B. Tauris, 1996), p. 1689.
[37] Robert Gellately, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (New York: Random House, 2009), p. 422.
[38] Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, pp. 152, 156.
[39] Houston Stewart Chamberlain, The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, vol. 1, John Lees, trans. (London: J. Lane, 1911), pp. 6-7.
[40] Fritz Nova, Alfred Rosenberg: Nazi Theorist of the Holocaust (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1986), p. 12.
[41] Alfred Rosenberg, Kampf um die Macht: Aufsätze von 1921-1932, Thilo von Trotha, ed. (Munich: F. Eher nachf., 1943), p. 435.
[42] Ibid., p. 436.
[43] Tessa Hofmann, “An Eye for an Eye: The Assassination of Talaat Pasha on the Hardenbergstrasse in Berlin,” in Huberta von Voss, ed., Portraits of Hope: Armenians in the Contemporary World, Alasdair Lean, trans. (New York: Berghahn Books, 2007), p. 295.
[44] Jay W. Baird, To Die for Germany: Heroes in the Nazi Pantheon (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), p. 46.
[45] Dadrian, “The Historical and Legal Interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust,” pp. 534-7.
[46] Mike Joseph, “Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter: The Personal Link from Genocide to Hitler,” in Hans-Lukas Kieser and Elmar Plozza, eds., Der Völkermord an Den Armeniern, Die Türkei und Europa (Zurich: Chronos, 2006), pp. 147, 198.
Dadrian, “The Historical and Legal Interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust,” pp. 535-6.
[48] Dadrian, “Documentation of the Armenian Genocide,” p. 107; idem, “The Historical and Legal Interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust,” pp. 533-6.
[49] Domarus, Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations 1932-1945, vol. 3, pp. 2618, 2748-9, 2593, 2717-8, 2764, 2774, 3130, 3260; Adolf Hitler, My Struggle (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1938), pp. 152-85.
[50] Albert Camus, “State Terrorism and Irrational Terror,” in Roger Griffin and Matthew Feldman, eds., Fascism: Critical Concepts in Political Science (London: Routledge, 2004), p. 16.
[51] German Ambassador in Constantinople, Wangenheim, to the German Imperial Chancellor, Bethmann Hollweg, DE/PA-AA/R14086, DuA Dok. 081 (gk.), June 16, 1915, in Wolfgang and Sigrid Gust, eds., A Documentation of the Armenian Genocide in World War I (n.p., 1995-2012); Richard Hovannisian, “Introduction: History, Politics, Ethics,” in Richard Hovannisian, ed., The Armenian Genocide: History, Politics, Ethics (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992), pp. xi-xii.
[52] Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 874.
[53] Robert Gerwarth, Hitler’s Hangman: The Life of Heydrich (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), p. 151.
[54] M. Cherif Bassiouni, “From Versailles to Rwanda in Seventy-Five Years: The Need to Establish a Permanent International Criminal Court,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, Spring 1997, p. 21.
[55] Norman Hepburn Baynes, ed., The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, vol. 1 (New York: H. Fertig, 1969), pp. 1115-6.
[56] Die Zeit (Hamburg), Jan. 9, 1998; Richard Weikart, Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), p. 193.
[57] George Baer, Test Case: Italy, Ethiopia, and the League of Nations (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1976), pp. 66, 92-3, 170, 183, 199-214, 274, 281, 290-6; A.J. Barker, The Rape of Ethiopia, 2nd ed. (New York: Ballantine Books, 1971), pp. 106-29; Angelo Del Boca, The Ethiopian War, 1935-1941, P.D. Cummins, trans. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 78-84, 109, 120; John W. Turner, “Mussolini’s Invasion and the Italian Occupation,” in A Country Study: Ethiopia (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1991), call no. DT373 .E83 1993.
[58] Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, p. 265.