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Dutch Government Gazette on Armenian Genocide

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  • Dutch Government Gazette on Armenian Genocide

    Dutch Government Gazette on Armenian Genocide

    From: Abovian Cultural Center <[email protected]>
    Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 21:52:48 +0400 (AMT)



    Tuesday 25 January 2005

    Armenian Auschwitz

    'This God, to whom you want pray, does not exist. Where was he when the Jews
    in Poland had dig their own graves? Where was he when the Nazi's played with
    the skulls of Jewish children? If he exists and he has been silent, he is a
    murderer just like Hitler.' These are the words of Joseph Shapiro, main
    character from the novel The Penitent of Isaac Bashevis Singer. They are in
    fact also the words of Richard Rubinstein in his book entitled After
    Auschwitz: 'Auschwitz killed God'.

    This week, it is 60 years ago that the concentration camp Auschwitz was
    liberated. Was Auschwitz indeed that turning point in the mental history of
    humanity, about which Joseph Shapiro and Richard Rubinstein speak? The
    moment when the belief in God, and therewith the existence of God, was no
    longer justifiable? No matter how strange it may sound, I would like for
    this to be true. I would like that no earlier horrors of the same level as
    Auschwitz had taken place, by which God or a another human unifying
    universal faith would lose its credibility once and for all. But this is not
    so simple.

    This year is also the 'jubilee year' of another horror. This one took place
    not only almost 30 years before Auschwitz, but therefore also served as a
    model for Auschwitz. It was Hitler himself who in 1939, briefly before the
    bloody attack on Poland, made clear to his army commanders that Germany
    should not be afraid of world opinion. Because, he said, 'Wer redet heute
    noch von der Vernichtung der Armenier?' (Who, after all, speaks today of the
    annihilation of the Armenians?). How it is possible that, different from
    Auschwitz, the massacres of the Armenians, which were committed under
    command and responsibility of the Turkish government in the period of
    1915*17, can still be denied by the perpetrator who continues to get away
    with it internationally? On 24 April 1915, thousands of Armenian
    politicians, priests and intellectuals were arrested in some large Turkish
    cities and were in part directly assassinated and in part deported. It was
    the start signal for the deportation and then eradication of the largest
    part of the Armenian population in the Turkish Empire. Of the two million
    Armenians living there, according to prominent historians certainly
    1,200,000 died in concentration camps, by massacre or by starvation. In that
    process German diplomats and consultants were * Turkey had chosen the side
    of Germany in the first World War I * actively involved.

    The Turkish minister directly responsible for the Armenian Auschwitz, Talaat
    Pasha, did not make a particular secret out of it. As such he asked the
    American ambassador at that time, Henry Morgenthau, the following: 'I wish
    that you would get the American Life Insurance companies to send us a
    complete list of Armenian policy holders. They are practically all dead now
    and have left no heirs to collect the money. It of course all escheats to
    the state. The government is beneficiary now. Will you do so?' The request
    has not been granted. But the fact remains that numerous streets and squares
    of modern Turkish cities are named after Talaat Pasha. The fact is also that
    the EU talks with Turkey about accession without having required the
    recognition of her Auschwitz in advancee. I am deeply ashamed as an

    René F.W. Diekstra


    Wednesday, 2 February 2005

    Members of Parliament condemn Armenian genocide

    By André Rouvoet

    In the Dutch Government Gazette of 25 January René Diekstra, under the title
    'Armenian Auschwitz', wrote about the horrors of the Armenian Genocide. He
    rightly concludes that the EU will talk with Turkey about accession without
    requiring the recognition of her Auschwitz in advance. For that Diekstra is
    deeply ashamed as a European.

    I can imagine his feeling of shame well. Like Diekstra many factions in the
    House of Representatives were very disappointed about the lack of the
    requirement for the recognition of this Genocide by Turkey in the
    conclusions of the European Council of December 2004. Preceding that summit,
    many factions had expressly called for such a requirement.

    In the debate on the conclusions of the European summit, where much
    attention was given to the reached agreement with respect to the start of
    the negotiations with Turkey, I therefore introduced a motion in which the
    government is requested, within the framework of the intensive political and
    cultural dialogue, which will be conducted parallel to the accession
    negotiations with Turkey, to continuously and expressly raise the
    recognition of the Armenian genocide. Nevertheless, a (new) European Member
    State must be required to deal with its own history honestly. Minister Bot
    welcomed this motion, which was unanimously accepted by the House of

    Unfortunately it is true that the House of Representatives cannot add the
    requirement of recognition to the conclusions of the European Council
    through a motion. Meanwhile, however, this parliamentary pronouncement is of
    great and fundamental significance. It is namely the first time that the
    Dutch House of Representatives explicitly speaks of 'the Armenian genocide'.
    Whereas the European Parliament has already done this, the term 'genocide'
    was so far always avoided in the Dutch parliament. The fact that the
    parliament has now unanimously sided with a motion in which the events of
    1915 to 1917 are actually labelled as genocide and the fact that the Dutch
    government has also welcomed this motion is of great significance for the
    Armenian community world wide.

    Moreover, in the debate several spokesmen also referred to the massacres of
    the Assyrian people. Although the motion does not mention this issue, when
    asked, the Minister of Foreign Affairs insured me that he will interpret the
    motion in such a way that in this also the Assyrians are included. Therefore
    both horrors will be raised in the negotiations with Turkey.

    I am of the same opinion as Diekstra that justice must be done to the entire
    history. The acceptance of my motion has the chance that this will
    effectively happen in the coming time. Either way, it has been brought a
    little closer.

    The author is Chairman of the Christian Union faction in the House of



    [CENTER][I][COLOR="Red"][B]"We must remind the Turkish Government that when they had Sultan Abdul Hamid, we had Andranik Pasha, Serob Aghbyur, and Gevorg Chaush. When they had Taleat pasha, we had Soghomon Tehleryan. New Hrants will be born, and our struggle will go on.” [/B][/COLOR][/I][/CENTER]

    [COLOR="Black"][CENTER][B]"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government - through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago."[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]