From our 2015 clips: When Henry Morgenthau, Sr. resigned in 1916 as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, his reasons included his “failure to stop the destruction of the Armenians.” Ambassador Morgenthau’s story is available to read online here. It was not until the Second World War when we had a term for the intentional destruction of an entire people.
In 1943 Raphael Lemkin coined the word “genocide” to characterize the intentional mass murder of a whole people, basing the concept on the Nazi extermination of Jews and the Ottoman massacres of Armenians. He worked tirelessly to achieve the United Nations Convention against Genocide and was among the representatives of four states who ratified the Genocide Convention. Raphael Lemkin is cited by the Oxford English Dictionary for coining the term “genocide” by combining Greek genos(γένος), “race, people” and Latin cīdere “to kill” in his work Axis Rule in Occupied Europe (1944) (via).
On October 29, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 405-11 agreeing to H.Res. 296 “Affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide”. October 29 is also Turkey’s Republic Day, the 96th anniversary commemorating the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.
H.Res. 296 includes the following:
Whereas the Honorable Henry Morgenthau, United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, organized and led protests by officials of many countries against what he described as the empire’s “campaign of race extermination”, and was instructed on July 16, 1915, by United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing that the “Department approves your procedure … to stop Armenian persecution”;
Also see 1915 Armenian Genocide — The “G” Word as a Huge Landmine, and Diplomatic Equities April 24, 2015
John M. Evans: The diplomat who called the “Events of 1915” a genocide, and was canned for it April 24, 2015
U.S. House 405-11 agreed to resolution recognizing 1915-1923 Armenian genocide
D 226-0 (with 2 voting "present")
R 178-11 (with 1 voting "present")
I 1-0 pic.twitter.com/NcbuR6p9LQ
— Greg Giroux (@greggiroux) October 29, 2019
I grew up understanding April 24, 1915 to be one of the darkest in history. As a child, my mother spoke of it w/pain & fear. Her pain lives on in me & millions of Armenians, but was lessened today w/Congress's historic recognition of the #ArmenianGenocide. https://t.co/dFO1Jvy2P7
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) October 29, 2019
I salute the US Congress historic vote recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Resolution 296 is a bold step towards serving truth and historical #justice that also offers comfort to millions of descendants of the Armenian Genocide survivors.
— Nikol Pashinyan (@NikolPashinyan) October 29, 2019
Ruined big game
w/#OperationPeaceSpring. Those whose projects were frustrated turn to antiquated resolutions.Circles believing that they will take revenge this way are mistaken.This shameful decision of those exploiting history in politics is null&void for our Government&people.
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) October 29, 2019