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An article by Hovik's friend Robert Kachadourian

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  • An article by Hovik's friend Robert Kachadourian

    Armenian genocide offered a lesson still to be learned
    By Robert Kachadourian

    Birmingham-Bloomfield Hills Eccentric (Birmingham, Michigan)
    Sunday, May 15, 2005

    The popular and award-winning movie Schindler's List that was produced
    several years ago was a stark reminder of man's capability to wreak
    havoc on other humans with all the fury at his disposal.

    In this case it displays the means, methods and motives of such
    heinous crimes. Holocaust, genocide and a more modern but no less
    devastating term, ethnic cleansing, are all the same manifestation
    of destructive forces when unleashed.

    The 20th century has been called the bloodiest in the history of
    mankind. The Armenian Genocide was the beginning of these events of
    the last century and was a precursor to those devastating occurrences
    that followed. The recent 90th commemoration of the Armenian Genocide
    marked the carnage that lasted from 1915-23, eventually claiming
    between 1 million and 1.5 million citizens of Armenian descent.

    The Armenian Genocide took place because of man's inhumanity to man,
    indifference and the world's very short collective memory. Most of
    us read history in a vacuum and really think we aren't affected by
    events that take place thousands of miles away. We also feel that
    events that occurred years ago are far removed from us.

    As we are already midway in the first decade of the 21st century,
    the events that affect us aren't "over there." The world has come
    into our living rooms through the communications explosion that has
    jettisoned us into the age of super telecommunications. Cyberspace
    has turned outer space into an obtainable dimension.

    Indeed, that is the case. Yet it depends on the use of all of this
    technology. Will it be used to inform mankind about events that need to
    have us as individuals and governments involved to prevent holocausts,
    genocides and ethnic cleansing? Or will it be used to sanitize us
    from such occurrences? We can become desensitized and almost insular.

    Of course, we can give the appropriate response: "never again." All
    of us have to answer these questions as individuals.

    The Armenian Genocide was a wakeup call that no one woke up to. The
    Jewish Holocaust wouldn't have occurred if the Armenian Genocide had
    been recognized as an event that needed world attention.

    When Hitler in 1939 was commenting about the carnage he was to lead
    the world to as he prepared for World War II, he was asked about his
    policies of extermination. His answer was, "Who today remembers what
    happened to the Armenians?" The die was cast.

    In fact, the Armenian Genocide is an "alleged event" even in some
    circles today.

    The answer can be found in the continuum of genocide, holocaust
    and ethnic cleansing. These are all the same words for individuals
    representing movements that justify their solutions in dealing with
    "other" groups. It is a dangerous mindset most of us don't comprehend.
    Somewhere, someone must declare "never again."

    Schindler's List was an epic story. Its screenplay was written by
    Steve Zaillian. He stated he drew upon the experience of his own
    Armenian background to compose such an outstanding drama depiction
    of the Holocaust.

    There is a message there. If one man can make a difference under such
    circumstances, can we do no less? Again, each one of us will have
    to answer that question, not only as individuals, but collectively
    as governments.

    In the meantime, remember not to forget. That's a beginning.

    Robert Kachadourian is a retired educator and operates a consulting
    firm. He is active in the Armenian community.
    [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]