Some people object when the term "Holocaust" is used to describe catastrophes other than "the final solution" planned and in large measure executed by the mass madmen of Nazi Germany. Whether such catastrophes are called "genocide", "holocausts" or some other name, this site is designed to preserve the memory of those instances in recent human history at least, in which a very large number of people of a particular race, religion or nationality was killed by a rival group or groups, whether directly because extermination was their goal, or indirectly because death and/or mayhem were the inevitable consequences of some other goal, like exploitation or greed. You will notice that it is much easier to talk about crimes with which we have no connection, than those where we do. Feel free to call these tragedies whatever name you choose:
- The " ? ? ? ? ? ? " (from 1492 thru ?) of Native Americans, ( North, Central and South ) by European Christian conquistadores.
- The " ? ? ? ? ? ? " (from thru ) of Chinese of Nanking by the Japanese army.
- The " ? ? ? ? ? ? " (from 1500's thru 1900's ) of Africans by Christian Europeans and Euro-Americans slavers.
- The "6,000,000" (from 1930's thru 1945) of Jews of Europe by the Nazis.
- The " ? ? ? ? ? ? " (from thru ) of Serbian Orthodox by the Croatian Catholic Ustashi.
- The " ? ? ? ? ? ? " (from thru ) of ? by atheist Communist Stalin.
- The " ? ? ? ? ? ? " (from thru ) of the Cambodians by Pol Pot
We "Liberals Like Christ" have not studied ALL of the above. Most of our efforts have gone to the study of the Jewish Holocaust, which is reflected in the many links we offer on that subject. But we would like to offer at least ONE – hopefully the best link available – on each of the other tragedies. We hope our readers will be able to direct us to these best sites.
- See LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/a_Religious_Issue/
BushFamily for the crucial role of this family in financing Hitler's rise to power.
RC_scandal for the indispensable role of the Catholic (and Lutheran) churches in the Jewish holocaust.
AmericanHolocaust for the role of the Catholic Rulers of Europe, the Pope and their agents played in the extermination of perhaps as many as 100 million Native Americans.
- See the attempt by church and state in Canada to exterminate the native Amerian population.
a_Secular_Issue/IBMholocaust.html for the indispensable role that automatization played in the Jewish holocaust.
Regarding the tragic deaths of 1.5 million Christian Armenians by the Turks (in 1915).
To Dave Rowan, Associate Director
the following important letter was sent to the Toronto District School Board when it was considering including the "Armenian holocaust" in a study of holocausts:
Nadine Segal, Superintendent
Toronto District School Board
"I write to you as the author of several well-known books on the role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and the fate of the Gypsies and American Indians. My study of the mass killing of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey, published by the University of Utah Press in 2005 as The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide, began as part of a comparative study of genocide. The fact that I left Nazi Germany as a Jewish boy of fifteen is probably one of the reasons why I have been drawn to the study of genocide, a phenomenon of modern times that unfortunately is not limited to the Holocaust.
Two sites about the Armenian Holocaust &
I commend the Toronto District School Board for its decision to organize a course on "Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications, " however it is my considered judgment that the inclusion of the tragic fate of the Armenian community during World War I is a mistake.
According to the Genocide Convention of 1948, intent is a necessary condition of genocide, and most other definitions of this crime of crimes similarly insist upon the centrality of malicious intent. Hence the crucial question in this controversy is not the huge loss of life in and by itself but rather whether the Young Turk regime intentionally sought the deaths that we know to have occurred. Both sides agree that several hundred thousand men, women and children were forced from their homes, and during a harrowing trek over mountains and through deserts uncounted multitudes died of starvation and disease or were murdered. To the victims it makes no difference whether they met their death as a result of a carefully planned scheme of annihilation, in consequence of a panicky reaction to a misjudged threat, or for any other reason. It does make a difference for the accuracy of the historical record, not to mention the future of Turkish-Armenian relations.
Armenians and their supporters concede the absence of Turkish documentary evidence to prove the responsibility of the Ottoman government for the massacres, but cite the reports of foreign diplomats and missionaries on the scene. Given the large number of deaths and the observed complicity of local officials in the murders, it is not surprising that not a few of these witnesses concluded that the high death toll was an intended outcome of the deportation process. Still, well-informed as many foreign observers were about the events unfolding before their eyes, their insight into the mindset and the real intentions of the government in Istanbul was necessarily limited. Indeed, to this day the inner workings of the Young Turk regime, and especially the role of the triumvirate of Enver, Talaat, and Djemal, are understood only very inadequately.
Many Turks, too, misread the historical record. Quasi-official historians speak of "so-called massacres" or blame the deaths on starvation and disease that are said to have afflicted a far larger numbers of Turks. And yet there exists an important difference between deaths lost as a result of natural causes such as famine and epidemics, blows of fortune that afflicted Muslims and Christians alike, and deaths due to deliberate killing. It is undeniable that thousands of Armenians died at the hands of their corrupt escorts and the Kurdish tribesmen who occupied their route southward to Ottoman Syria.
I spent many months studying this sad episode in the archives of the German Foreign Ministry, the Public Record Office in London , and the National Archives in Washington , and I immersed myself in the published recollections of survivors and other eye-witnesses. It was and remains my conclusion that the relocation of the Armenian community of Anatolia to the interior of the Ottoman Empire involved a badly mismanaged war-time security measure, aimed at denying support to Armenian guerilla bands and to remove the Armenians from the war zones. This relocation took place at a time of serious military setbacks for the Ottoman regime while well-armed Armenian guerillas were cutting roads and lines of communication in the rear of the Turkish army. Henry Morgenthau, the American ambassador in Constantinople , reported to Washington on May 25, 1915 that nobody put the Armenian guerillas "at less than 10,000, and 25,000 is probably closer to the truth." After World War I had ended, Boghos Nubar, the head of the Armenian delegation, proudly told the Paris Peace Conference that his people had played a crucial role in the war and that the Turks had devastated the Armenians "in retaliation for our unflagging devotion to the cause of the Allies." Hence callous and brutal as was the expulsion policy of the Ottoman government, it can hardly be called unprovoked.
Many aspects of the relocation process contradict the idea of a premeditated program of extermination and hence genocide:
The large Armenian communities of Constantinople , Smyrna and Aleppo were not relocated and survived the war largely intact. These exemptions are analogous to Hitler failing to include the Jews of Berlin, Cologne and Munich in the Final Solution.
The relocation experienced much variation that depended on geography and the attitude of local officials. In many places Protestant and Catholic Armenians as well as needed artisans were exempted. The same goes for the large number of Armenians who often were allowed, or even forced, to convert. In the absence of a large Kurdish population, no massacres took place in Cilicia , and a substantial part of the exiles sent to Southern Syria and Palestine survived.
While some respected historians call these events the first genocide of the twentieth century, other historians, including distinguished scholars of Ottoman history such as Bernard Lewis, Roderic Davison, and Andrew Mango, while not questioning the horrible events that transpired, have raised doubts about the appropriateness of the genocide label for the occurrences of 1915/16. It is thus simply wrong to assert that the Armenian genocide is an "incontestable historical fact."
Since we are dealing here with a genuine historical controversy, in my view the Armenian massacres do not belong in a high school teaching unit on genocide. Apart from the Holocaust, the 20th century provides other well-established instances of genocide, and it therefore should not be difficult to substitute another calamity such as, for example, the Cambodian genocide. If you do decide to reaffirm the inclusion of the Armenian massacres as a case of genocide, the unit, at the very least, should include references to the many scholarly works that challenge the genocide thesis."
Very sincerely yours,
Guenter Lewy, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Massachusetts/ Amherst
The following is a good response to those who would deny the extent of the Nazi Holocaust: