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Genocide Education

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  • Genocide Education

    Local Armenian activist Edgar Hagopian has taken on the challenge of introducing the Armenian Genocide into local school curriculums with the help of community members
    Kevork Bardakjian, Mae Derdarian (author of Vergeen), Fr. Garabed Kochakian and St. John's Armenian Church, Paul Kulhanjian, Gerard Libaridian, Natalie J. Mosher, Richard Norsigian, Hayg Oshagan, David Terzibashian, Robert Thomasian, and xxxxran Toumajan. The group with the help of Richard Norisigian has established that continuing education units will be offered to educators that attend the planned October 5th workshop.
    The Press Release below (and attached in doc format )will further explain the event and Facing History. This is clearly a breakthrough in the Armenian quest for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

    If you know if any intermediate or high school teachers that would participate in this groundbreaking workshop please have them contact us ASAP. We need your help.

    Thank you all.
    Pam Coultis

    For Immediate Release
    August 31, 2005
    Contact: Pam Coultis

    248-646-7847 or [email protected]

    Facing History and Ourselves to Conduct Educator Workshop on the Armenian Genocide

    Dr. Mary Johnson of the Boston-based educational organization Facing History and Ourselves will conduct a full-day workshop about the Armenian Genocide in Southfield, Michigan at St. John's Armenian Church, 22001 Northwestern Highway on October 5, 2005, using its newest resource book Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians.

    The workshop will provide an introduction to the Armenian Genocide as well as the basis for more in- depth study. Dr. Mary Johnson, the facilitator, will model strategies that will engage students in history as well as encourage critical thinking about the role of individuals, groups, and nations in an increasingly globalized world.

    Peter Balakian of Colgate University noted that Crimes Against Humanity is “an essential and innovative exploration of the Armenian Genocide…Facing History and Ourselves has done an extraordinary job and demonstrates once again that it is at the forefront of education in America.” Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, has said about this book, “Facing History has done with this book what it does best: bring history to life…to ask what we would have done if we had faced such wrenching and moral dilemmas.”

    By concentrating on the choices that individuals, groups, and nations made before, during, and after the genocide, participants will consider the dilemmas confronted by the international community in the face of massive human rights violations and how the decisions made in the past connect to the moral choices we face in our lives today. While focusing on the Armenian Genocide during World War I, the workshopinstitute will consider the many legacies of the Armenian Genocide including Turkish denial and the struggle for the recognition of genocide as a “crime against humanity.” The material from the workshopinstitute can be integrated into courses dealing with 20th century history, human rights, genocide, as well as U.S. international relations..

    The Hagopian Family Foundation in conjunction with St. John’s Armenian Church is providing support for Facing History to bring this important history to educators in the metro-Detroit area. Over the last twelve months, Facing History has conducted some 20 workshops, community events, and presentations about the Armenian Genocide across the country. “The most valuable sessions for me were the sessions dealing with the history of the Armenian Genocide. I had not been exposed to it in my previous history courses, and I feel I have been missing a very important piece of history by not knowing what happened,” said a Cleveland teacher who attended one of the multi-day workshops.

    Ninety years after the Armenian Genocide the world has more legal tools with which to respond to such atrocities, but there is still too little emphasis on prevention. Rigorous, historically-grounded education for coexistence in multi-religious, multi-ethnic societies is vital for our future.

    To learn more about the work of Facing History, to register for the workshop or to make a contribution, please visit their website at or contact the above.

    About Facing History and Ourselves

    Facing History and Ourselves in an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development lessons of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.


    Facing History and Ourselves, presents:

    Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians
    A Full Day Educator Workshop

    Join us for a special full day educator workshop to learn about Facing History and Ourselves’ newest resource book, Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians. The book examines the Armenian Genocide and focuses on various decisions that were made and events that occurred which ultimately led to the genocide of 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians. Key questions raised include:

    :: How do nations construct their universe of obligation?
    :: How are civil rights obtained?
    :: How did people call attention to injustice before the
    development of the language of human rights?

    By concentrating on the choices that individuals, groups, and nations made before, during, and after the genocide, readers have the opportunity to consider the dilemmas faced by the international community in the face of massive human rights violations and how the decisions made in the past connect to the moral choices we face in our lives today.

    Dr. Mary Johnson, Facing History Senior Program Associate will facilitate the workshop. Questions for discussion include:

    What options did individuals have at various moments of history; why did they make the choices they did?
    What opportunities were there to prevent violence?
    In the aftermath of the genocide, who should have been held accountable?
    Is justice for the victims and their descendants possible nearly 90 years after the genocide?
    While studying the denial of the Armenian Genocide, what dangers do we all face when nations do not confront their own history?
    What consequences has the denial of the Armenian Genocide had for individuals, nations, and the international community?

    Event Details

    Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2005

    Time: 8:00am Registration & Continental Breakfast

    9:00am-5:00pm - Workshop

    Fee: Compliments of Hagopian Family Foundation & St. John’s Armenian Church

    Location: St. John's Armenian Church
    22001 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI

    lunch will be provided

    FHAO Headquarters

    16 Hurd Road

    Brookline, MA 02445


    617-232-0281 (fax)


    Pam Coultis at 248-646-7847

    [email protected]
    [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]

  • #2
    The Genocide Education Project Launches Henry Morgenthau Ambassadorship

    The Genocide Education Project
    51 Commonwealth Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    (415) 264-4203

    Contact: Raffi Momjian ([email protected])


    San Francisco, CA - The Genocide Education Project recently launched the
    Henry Morgenthau Ambassadorship Program, whereby volunteer "Ambassadors"
    are trained and provided with appropriate educational resources to reach
    out to their local teachers, community schools, and school districts, to
    help them fully incorporate the teaching of the Armenian Genocide into
    their curricula. To enhance their efforts and success, Morgenthau
    Ambassadors receive ongoing assistance from The Genocide Education Program.

    "The Henry Morgenthau Ambassadorship Program is designed to broaden our
    outreach effort by preparing volunteers with the tools they need to
    successfully approach educators," stated Sara Cohan, Education Director
    of the Genocide Education Project. "Providing educators with materials
    and support can make all the difference concerning the teaching of the
    Armenian Genocide."

    Dr. Nicole Vartanian, Research Scientist and former U.S. Fulbright
    Scholar based in Washington, DC added, "Teachers may not be teaching
    about the Armenian Genocide due to a lack of knowledge of the history of
    the Armenian Genocide and essential teaching tools needed to do so." She
    concluded, "If we educate teachers about the Armenian Genocide, and
    provide them with adequate instructional resources on the topic, we can
    expect to see progress concerning the inclusion of this important
    subject in mainstream curricula."

    To become a Genocide Education Project "Morgenthau Ambassador,"
    volunteers must complete a questionnaire available at or by contacting The Genocide Education
    Project directly at (415) 264-4203 or [email protected].


    The Genocide Education Project is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3)
    organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and
    genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and
    distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching
    resources and organizing educational workshops.
    [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


    • #3
      Free Speech, Or Freely Rewriting History?

      By Michael Jonas

      Boston Globe
      Dec. 4, 2005

      Steve Tolman is more accustomed to pushing solutions to the rising
      scourge of drug abuse and supporting expanded healthcare coverage
      than he is to defending the content of public school history curricula
      and debating free speech issues.

      But that's exactly where the bread-and-butter-focused Brighton state
      senator finds himself these days. A 1998 law Tolman coauthored that
      mandates the teaching of the history surrounding the deaths of 1
      million Armenians at the hands of Turks in the early 20th century is
      being challenged in federal court by a Turkish-American organization,
      two Massachusetts high school teachers, and a student. They contend
      that the statute stifles academic debate by shutting out the teaching
      of contrary views more sympathetic to the Turks.

      In a recent Globe op-ed column, the plaintiffs' lawyers, well-known
      civil libertarian Harvey Silverglate and criminal defense specialist
      Norman Zalkind, called the lawsuit another chapter in the "culture
      wars," with their clients battling against those seeking to rein in
      "an unrestrained mind, free of censorship and state orthodoxies."

      Tolman, a blunt-speaking former railroad union leader, hardly seems
      the poster boy for political correctness run amok. But his background
      in union activism has made him a scrappy battler for the causes of
      the underdog -- and it is in that vein that Tolman proposed inclusion
      of material on genocide as part of the state-mandated high school
      history curriculum.

      "If people knew of these historical atrocities, maybe if they saw
      something they disagreed with, maybe they'd be quicker to challenge
      people, they wouldn't allow harm to be inflicted," Tolman says of his
      bill, which also mandates teachings on the Holocaust and the British
      role in the Irish famine of the 1840s. "It was under the guise that
      they who do not know history are doomed to repeat it."

      It's an ugly chapter in the history of World War I that Tolman says he
      knows well from his childhood growing up in Watertown, which boasts
      a large Armenian community. "I heard firsthand historical stories
      -- horror stories -- from the grandparents of some of my friends,"
      he says.

      But the lawsuit against the Department of Education maintains that
      the state abridged free-speech rights when it removed material from
      the curriculum that questioned whether the events constituted true
      genocide against Armenians.

      Tolman, who urged the state to remove from the curriculum guide any
      references to Turkish websites that contest the genocide label, says
      he's all for freewheeling debate about matters on which reasonable
      people may disagree. He says this simply is not such a case.

      "You cannot change historical fact by saying it did not happen,"
      he says. "They tried to wipe out everything to make it look like
      Armenians never existed," he says of the Turkish rampage. Tolman points
      to a well-known 1915 telegram to the US secretary of state from the
      American envoy to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, in which he warns of a
      "campaign of race extermination" underway against the Armenians.

      Silverglate and Zalkind cite Bay State native and US Supreme Court
      Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes as providing support for their position
      when he said the principle of free speech means freedom not only for
      "those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought we hate."

      But there is a difference between freedom of thought and speech and
      state-sponsored teaching of thought that is widely viewed as repugnant
      or at odds with the commonly accepted historical record.

      Viewed in that light, this is less a matter of free-speech rights and
      academic liberty than it is a question of deciding which matters fall
      into the category of those to which there simply aren't two sides.

      "There are neo-Nazis who say that the Holocaust didn't take place,"
      says Tolman.

      "Are we going to give them a right to say that when we establish
      a curriculum?"
      [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


      • #4
        Keeping The Holocaust Story Alive For A New Generation


        Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN
        Dec. 7, 2005

        In Maplewood, a teacher is driven by a quest to make sure her students
        remember the genocide.

        Behind Hill-Murray social studies teacher Judith Bartel is a TV
        screen showing the entrance to the Dachau concentration camp near
        Munich. The slogan "Arbeit macht frei" means "work liberates." Ramin
        Rahimian Star Tribune

        Eric Hanson, Star Tribune Last update: December 6, 2005 at 12:05 PM
        Printer friendly E-mail this story North Tough decisions on development

        More students and less space

        This land is our land, not yours, city says

        Group hopes to be a voice for workers in Anoka County

        Keeping the Holocaust story alive for a new generation This year,
        Judith Bartel joked, she will finally have a decent textbook when
        she teaches middle-school students about the Holocaust.

        She ought to know; she wrote it. "Lost Words: The Holocaust" is
        Bartel's first book but comes after more than a decade of teaching
        the subject at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood and elsewhere.

        A regional education coordinator for the United States Holocaust
        Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Bartel also teaches workshops,
        and she credited the museum with doing much for her Holocaust education
        after her first visit in 1994.

        She said she "floundered around" after proposing the semester-long
        course at Hill-Murray but has found her way, incorporating the stories
        of local survivors such as Henry Oertelt, of Little Canada, and Sabina
        Zimering, of Minneapolis.

        We spoke to Bartel about the book, about her philosophy of teaching,
        and about why the Holocaust has proven to be so compelling a subject
        for her.

        Q You teach Holocaust studies at a Catholic school. And the church's
        role in the Holocaust -- whether the church did enough to oppose it
        -- is much debated. Does that come up in your teaching, given your

        A Well, certainly. We deal with bystander issues, and the Catholic
        church certainly falls into that. I encourage the students to --
        that's one of their options for independent research. I had a young
        man last year who did research and read "Hitler's Pope" and talked
        about the Catholic church's responsibility. It's something that we talk
        about very freely in our school. It's not like we're not supposed to
        talk about it. You have to respect the church, certainly, but yeah,
        it does [come up]. There are all sort of issues. I mean, there were
        a lot of people -- it did not just happen. It happened because people
        did nothing.

        Q What do the kids think about the course?

        A I have had numerous students come back and tell me that it was,
        without question, the most valuable course they've ever taken. It's
        going to be interesting this year.

        Q Why so?

        A Because we start out talking about present-day racism and intolerance
        in the United States. Some people don't believe it still exists.

        Q Have you seen a shift in that attitude, from when you began teaching
        the course, to now?

        A Yeah. ... I think that many students in Minnesota are not as aware
        of the existence of prejudice and intolerance in our society.

        Q No doubt that would be different if you were teaching in an urban
        public school rather than a private suburban school.

        A Yeah, I mean, we are definitely a suburban school, there's no
        question about that. And it's whether they are -- you know, the
        awareness is half of it. And if they don't see it, they're certainly
        not aware of it.

        Q Considering that demographic factor, is your class often your
        students' first in-depth exposure to such issues?

        A Mm-hmm, yeah.

        Q So that makes your job interesting, I'll bet.

        A Right. And that's why the Holocaust -- you know, there are other
        genocides that have occurred. And there are genocides -- Darfur [Sudan]
        is going on right now. What makes the Holocaust unique is that the
        perpetrators were cultured, educated people. They were scientists,
        they were doctors, they were leaders of the country. Germany was
        the most cultured country in the world at that time. And if it can
        happen there, it really is just the best historical -- plus we have
        survivors. And we have a wealth of survivors in the Twin Cities area.

        Q You tell some of their stories in the book.

        A The survivors that I met are absolutely my energy source, because
        they are just the most amazing people. I just spent a weekend with a
        survivor from Washington, D.C., who at age 11 survived for about 2½
        years in the Polish woods by herself. And she is going to speak to my
        middle-schoolers when I take them to Washington, D.C., in April. She
        is just an amazing person. ... I very definitely used information
        that I have gathered from survivors. ... And I put these [local]
        people in. ... It's the "ordinary" survivor, they are extraordinary.

        Q It's a very aged population, a resource that won't be around forever.

        A It is. And we talk about this when we get together at the museum. We
        talk about it all the time. There are videos out there, but it's
        just not the same. And those of us who are so passionate about this
        topic feel very, very responsible to continue telling this history. It
        almost becomes a mission. And the more I have contact with survivors,
        I definitely feel that responsibility. And that's what keeps me going,
        doing what I'm doing, and teaching as many children as I can, so
        that they cannot forget. People will say: Well, why is it important
        to study the Holocaust? The answer is not "So that it doesn't happen
        again" -- because it already has. It's so that people remember. Look
        at the Armenian genocide. One of the things that Hitler said was,
        "Nobody remembers it." Nobody did anything about it, and no one
        remembers it.
        And you know, to get people to think, maybe we should
        be involved in helping in Darfur. Genocide is something that is not
        going away, unfortunately.

        [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


        • #5
          Mass Killing And Genocide In The Twentieth Century


          H-Net (East Lansing)
          Dec 14 2005

          BOOK REVIEW
          Paul B. Miller

          Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century
          By Benjamin A. Valentino

          Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004. 253 pp. Index. $29.95
          (cloth), ISBN 0-8014-3965-5.

          Reviewed by: Paul B. Miller, Department of History, McDaniel College
          and the International University of Sarajevo.

          Published by: H-Genocide (August, 2005)

          The End of Genocide: A Hopeful Approach to a Seemingly Hopeless
          Human Phenomenon.

          There is something strangely heartening about Benjamin Valentino's
          book, Final Solutions, on the plainly disheartening topic of genocide
          and mass killing in the twentieth century. For if the author is right
          about the critical role of a relatively narrow political or military
          elite in the most heinous crimes of our time, then genocide/mass
          killing may not be quite the mystery it would seem. And if its origins
          can be understood in clear terms that apply to a wide range of case
          studies, then perhaps something can be done to prevent it.

          This is, after all, the real goal of all genocide scholars, who
          are concerned as much, if not more, with the pragmatic consequences
          of their work in stopping the killing as they are with its purely
          scientific value.

          Generalizing about any human phenomenon--especially genocide throughout
          the entire world and previous century--seems like a formula for
          disappointment. Yet in an ironic twist, Valentino has avoided this in
          part by stretching his subject to include what he calls "mass killing,"
          or "the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants"
          (p. 10). How massive? Here Valentino is uncomfortably explicit in
          suggesting the figure of "at least fifty thousand intentional deaths
          over the course of five or fewer years," though if his theory works,
          he argues, it should hold for lower numbers as well (pp. 11-12). The
          point is not so much the specific number (and one of the beauties
          of the UN's Genocide Convention is that it does not put a numerical
          requirement on a genocide finding), but understanding how the mass
          murder of innocent, unarmed civilians becomes the policy of states.

          Valentino is certainly not the first scholar to theorize about the
          origins of genocide/mass killing. His broad perspective, however,
          allows him to make some rather pointed and compelling critiques of
          earlier explanations such as social cleavage, scapegoating, and raw
          governmental power. In undermining the "plural society theory" that
          Leo Kuper and others have proposed to explain genocide, for example,
          he reminds us that in Cambodia perpetrators and victims came from
          the same social and ethnic groups, and that many victims, in fact,
          belonged to dominant ethnic groups (see Chapter 1). Similarly, if less
          predictably, the author draws on such incidents as French behavior in
          Algeria to undercut the notion that genocide/mass killing takes place
          in a proportional relationship to political power and that democracy
          provides a check on this type of violence. He is equally dubious of
          scapegoating as the principal motivation, citing Michael Mann's recent
          study of Holocaust perpetrators as proof that personal grievances were
          rarely necessary to shape behavior. While these theories, Valentino
          concludes, have "strong intuitive appeal .. they are simply too common
          to serve as accurate indicators of.

          this relatively rare kind of violence" (p. 28).

          The author next challenges another implicit assumption concerning the
          cause of genocide/mass killing: that it is popular with and supported
          by the larger society. Most scholars, I imagine, will find little
          to disagree with in the chapter "The Perpetrators and the Public,"
          which reviews such classic literature in the field as Christopher
          Browning's Ordinary Men (contrasted very favorably with Daniel
          Goldhagen's drastically different conclusions for the same group
          of men); the authoritarian personality experiments of psychologists
          Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo; and studies of what makes soldiers
          willingly risk their lives for causes that have little direct impact on
          them personally. Valentino argues that the motivation for mass killing
          lies in situational factors and the initiative of a relatively small
          but powerful cohort rather than in broad public support and deeply
          ingrained ideological hatred. This is well supported by the chapter's
          diverse range of evidence. Indeed, this chapter could stand alone as
          an overview of the growing scholarly consensus concerning what makes
          people kill. The larger issue, however, is why.

          To answer this, the remaining nearly three-quarters of Final Solutions
          is a meticulous examination of the "specific situations, goals, and
          conditions" that lead political and/or military leaders to embark upon
          a policy of genocide/mass killing (p. 66). In chapter 3, the author,
          who has a social scientist's penchant for lists and categorization,
          identifies six primary motives: communist, ethnic, territorial,
          counterguerrilla, terrorist, and imperialist. Citing communist, ethnic,
          and counterguerrilla mass killing as the most prevalent and deadly,
          his work then devotes a chapter to each. Thus, in addition to the
          usual case studies of ethnic genocide such as Armenia, the Holocaust,
          and Rwanda, Valentino's work includes a lengthy chapter on the Soviet
          Union, China, and Cambodia, as well as the counterguerrilla mass
          killings in Guatemala and Afghanistan.

          Moreover, and crucial to his argument, he ends each chapter by
          examining regimes that were considerably less violent and never
          became genocidal--such as Cuba, South Africa, and the Philippines
          during its counterinsurgency against the Huk rebellion of 1947-1953.

          The upshot of all these case studies, several of which could constitute
          worthy summaries for undergraduate teaching, is that, with the
          exception of Cambodia, genocide/mass killing is "rarely a policy
          of first resort" (p. 240). Rather it is a conscious and rational
          strategy chosen to achieve a certain aim. The Nazis tried several
          means to remove Jews from their expanding territories, including
          forced emigration and expulsion, before turning to extermination.

          Even Stalin only unleashed the Ukrainian famine once more restrained
          methods of agricultural collectivization failed. And the author
          outlines a similar process with regard to the Guatemalan regime's
          escalating violence against its peasantry in view of the rural
          population's growing support for the insurgency. While this reviewer
          is unfamiliar enough with the Guatemalan case that he would have
          appreciated some background on this 1970s insurgency, the author's
          points were clear and well-taken: What matters is what the leaders
          want to do and how they decide that genocide/mass killing is the
          best way to do it. In other words, killing innocent people in large
          numbers is explained as a tactical decision based on a clear vision of
          the end result. In effect, Valentino moves us beyond what motivates
          people to kill directly, to the larger issue of what motivates their
          leaders to order them to do so.

          It is a compelling, well-conceived and, certainly, important
          argument, though like most broad-based arguments it leaves some
          instances to slip through the cracks of the author's six motivational
          typologies. Consider, for example, the often lethal behavior of the men
          under the command of Bosnian Muslim Naser Oric in the Serb villages
          surrounding Srebrenica. Now on trial in The Hague for war crimes,
          Oric was operating without the authority of the Bosnian leadership in
          Sarajevo and very much in response to the aggression of the Bosnian
          Serb army (which was receiving aid and directives not only from their
          civilian leadership in Pale, but from Belgrade itself). Valentino
          may argue that Oric's actions, as those of similar rebels acting
          on their own fears and authority, never reached the proportions of
          mass killings in which he is interested. They did, however, terrorize
          the Bosnian Serb population around Srebrenica as much as Guatemalan
          peasants were terrorized by their own government.

          And though the Bosnian Serbs certainly did not need any additional
          motivation for their clearly conceived program of ethnic cleansing
          and genocide, Oric's actions were, we know now, on their minds when
          they entered Srebrenica in July 2005.

          This criticism may strike some as unfair since it perhaps overextends
          Valentino's carefully conceived definition of mass killing. It does,
          however, indicate that deeper (or different) motives such as revenge
          or simply fear, can also provoke episodes of genocide/mass killing,
          particularly when a formal governing authority is absent or limited.

          I mention this because Valentino's arguments can at times seem overly
          optimistic in light of his effort to outline policies that predict
          and prevent genocide/mass killing, the main theme of his conclusion.

          A good example of this occurs at the end of the chapter on communist
          mass killings when, with a tip of the hat to Francis Fukuyama,
          Valentino postulates that if there is an "end of ideology," or at
          least to this particularly deadly one, and "if no similarly radical
          ideas gain the widespread applicability and acceptance of communism,
          [then] humanity may be able to look forward to considerably less mass
          killing in the coming century than it experienced in the last" (p.

          151). That's a pretty big "if," and perhaps Rwanda and Darfur have
          already disabused the author of such thinking. Yet when a young
          scholar expresses this kind of optimism, it's difficult to be too
          critical. And in terms of sheer numbers and barring nuclear threat,
          he may, we can only hope, be right.

          When first asked to review this work, my response was that as a
          historian rather than a political scientist like the author, perhaps I
          was not the right person for the job. While Final Solutions certainly
          demands to be read by scholars from a wide array of disciplines, I was
          reluctant to critique something that required specialized disciplinary
          or theoretical knowledge. I must admit too that I struggled in the
          beginning to understand Valentino's methodology of "process tracing,"
          (defined awkwardly in the introduction as "identifying the causal
          processes which link the factors and conditions implicated by the
          strategic perspective to the outcome of mass killing" [p. 7]). But as I
          got further into the work, I realized that this term almost elegantly
          captures the author's patient efforts to understand genocide not as
          a foregone conclusion, but rather as the carefully chosen means to
          achieve any number of state policies or ideologies. Hence the apt
          title of this work is even more literal than it may originally seem.

          I offer this information on my academic background not as an excuse
          for any shortcomings in my understanding of Valentino's important
          work and/or my conveyance of his methodology and conclusions to
          H-Genocide readers, but rather because it inevitably shades some
          additional criticisms that I have, despite my overall admiration for
          the author's breadth of learning and the conclusions he has drawn.

          First, readers should be aware that, despite Valentino's frequent
          references to "my research" (see, for example, pp. 2, 4, 23, 71, 227),
          this book is actually based on the research of others. Granted this
          is not so much a criticism of the book's contents and contentions, but
          rather the way in which they are presented by the author (and viewed by
          an, admittedly biased, archive-oriented historian). While his sources
          are acknowledged and his book is amply footnoted (though there is no
          bibliography), its conclusions rest upon an impressive synthesis of
          research over the past half century or so rather than on any original
          surveys, interviews, primary source work, or other research program.

          This bears mentioning because it sometimes leads the author to
          overstate the obvious, perhaps in an overzealous effort to derive
          maximal meaning from what is basically a synthetic work. Thus, for
          example, in chapter 3 he previews some rather intuitive factors that
          make genocide/mass killing more likely, including: "the higher the
          priority that communist leaders assign to the radical transformation
          of society"; "the more rapidly ethnic cleansing is carried out"; and
          "the greater the physical capabilities for mass killing possessed by
          the perpetrators" (pp. 74-90). Equally self-evident is the author's
          claim that "the Holocaust was unique because each of the millions of
          lives it extinguished was unique, never to lived again [sic]" (p.

          177). Certainly less obvious and more in need of a gentle corrective
          is the assertion that in Nazi ideology the Jews occupied the lowest
          rung of the human racial hierarchy (p. 168). In fact the Hitlerian
          worldview conceived of Jews less as the ultimate sub-race than
          the preeminent anti-race, admired, as Valentino acknowledges, for
          preserving their "racial" distinctiveness for thousands of years,
          yet feared for their inimitable capacity to contaminate Aryan blood.

          A work of this scope is bound to make a few missteps, and it is
          certainly not this reviewer's intention to belabor them. Final
          Solutions succeeds in providing us not only with a workable explanation
          for genocide/mass killing, but also with many important suggestions
          for what we might do to stop it. And for such a difficult and pressing
          topic as this, the sense of hope that Valentino's scholarship delivers
          is perhaps its most lasting and welcome attribute.

          Citation: Paul B. Miller. "Review of Benjamin A. Valentino,
          Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth
          Century," H-Genocide, H-Net Reviews, August, 2005. URL:

          Copyright © 2005 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the
          redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational
          purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author,
          web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net:
          Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use,
          contact the Reviews editorial staff at [email protected].
          [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


          • #6
            Armenian Genocide Studies At Ottawa-carleton Catholic Schools


            The Armenian Church Canadian Diocese successfully organized an Ecumenical and Interfaith Martyrs' Prayer Service to mark the observance of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, on April 15, 2005, at Notre Dame Basilica, the Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Cathedral of Ottawa. At this time, upon the conclusion of this most memorable year of observance of the Armenian Genocide, the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Canada has been informed that the Ottawa Carelton Catholic School Board, will be including the study of Genocide, in their school curriculum.

            Mr. John Podgorski, Director of Religion, at OCCDSB, is working on the development of this initiative, and states: "Genocide remains a very important educational topic for Catholic schools. The Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board is developing an educational resource that would give students and teachers a deeper understanding of genocide as a profound social justice issue. Documentation related to the Armenian genocide will be incorporated as a basis for independent learning and seminar presentations in grade 12 Religious Education.

            Besides, the unprecedented success that the ecumenical and interfaith Martyrs' Prayer service represented for the Armenian Community in Ottawa, this initiative is a positive and major advancement that will help to raise awareness and understanding of this important issue. Deacon Hagop Arslanian, Assistant to the Primate and Mrs. Ani Mardian of Ottawa, will provide further support for this program.



            • #7
              Education As A Tool For Combating Armenian Genocide And Holocaust Denial

              PRESS RELEASE

              The Genocide Education Project
              51 Commonwealth Avenue
              San Francisco, CA 94118
              (415) 264-4203
              [email protected]

              Contact: Raffi Momjian - [email protected]


              SAN FRANCISCO - The Holocaust Center of Northern California and The
              Genocide Education Project hosted lecturer Dr. Paul Bartrop, a prominent
              Holocaust and Genocide Studies Fellow at Deakin University in Melbourne,
              Australia, on Sunday, December 18 at the Holocaust Center in San
              Francisco. Dr. Bartrop addressed members of the Armenian community and
              Holocaust Center community about the role and importance of education to
              thwart genocide denial.

              In his lecture, Dr. Bartrop pointed out some recent examples of denial,
              noting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust,
              writer Orhan Pamuk's trial in Turkey for insulting the country with
              mention of the Armenian Genocide, and the lawsuit against the
              Massachusetts Board of Education for removing denial literature on the
              Armenian Genocide. Bartrop contended that if we study genocide, we must
              study attempts to deny it as well, since denial is the final phase of
              genocide and its use completes the process of annihilation.

              Bartrop discussed some of the challenges of dealing with denial in the
              classroom ~V to what extent should students be exposed to deniers, how
              teachers can help students understand and question the motives of
              genocide deniers, and how to combat denial. At a minimum, he asserted,
              students should know that deniers exists, recognize their motives and be
              prepared to answer questions of opposition. These are lessons in social

              Bartrop went on to discuss the various forms and processes of denial,
              including either rationalizing or trivializing genocide, how deniers
              falsify research findings, misquote or dismiss the veracity of the
              evidence to the contrary. "Teaching about genocide is a matter of
              self-interest if we wish to live in a civilized society which elevates
              humanity and denigrates barbarism of the kind the perpetrators of
              genocide have practiced," concluded Dr. Bartrop.

              Raffi Momjian, Executive Director of The Genocide Education Project
              stated, "Both our communities are being dehumanized to this day, the
              Jewish community continues to face anti-Semitic forces, while the
              Armenians must deal with denial of their genocide." He concluded, "We
              are convinced that the most effective way to combat anti-Semitism and
              denial is through education."

              Morgan Blum, Head Educator of the Holocaust Center of Northern
              California, commented, "We were very pleased to have an opportunity to
              host an event of common interest for both the Armenian and Holocaust
              Center community. We can gain great perspective by studying the unique
              aspects of the Holocaust and Armenian Genocide, as well as understanding
              the common elements which adds to the richness of Comparative Genocide


              The Genocide Education Project is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3)
              organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and
              genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and
              distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching
              resources and organizing educational workshops. For more information,
              call (415) 264-4203 or visit or

              Founded in 1977, the Holocaust Center of Northern California is the
              region's most important resource for Holocaust education, research and
              remembrance. The Center strives to educate people of all ages about
              the consequences of racism, hatred and indifference. For more
              information, call (415) 777-9060, or visit the website at
              "All truth passes through three stages:
              First, it is ridiculed;
              Second, it is violently opposed; and
              Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

              Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


              • #8

                AZG Armenian Daily #003

                New York, NY (January, 2006) -- The Armenian Genocide is the complete
                story of the first Genocide of the 20th century - when over a million
                Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during World War I.

                This unprecedented and powerful one-hour documentary, scheduled to air
                April 17th at 10pm on PBS, (check local listings for possible changes)
                was written, directed and produced by Emmy Award-winning producer
                Andrew Goldberg of Two Cats Productions, in association with Oregon
                Public Broadcasting.

                Featuring interviews with the leading experts in the field such
                as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power and New York
                Times best-selling author, Peter Balakian, this film features
                never-before-seen historical footage of the events and key players of
                one of the greatest untold stories of the 20th century. The Armenian
                Genocide is narrated by Juliana Margulies and includes historical
                narrations by Ed Harris, Natalie Portman, Laura Linney and Orlando
                Bloom, among others. "What the word 'Genocide' connotes is a systematic
                campaign of destruction. If you simply call the horrors of 1915
                'crimes against humanity' or 'atrocities,' it doesn't fully convey
                just how methodical this campaign of slaughter and deportation really
                was, and I think that's why historians look at the record and they
                really can come to no other conclusion but that this word, Genocide,
                applies to this methodical campaign of destruction," says Samantha
                Power. Filmed in the US, France, Germany, Belgium, Turkey and Syria,
                the program features discussions with Kurdish and Turkish citizens
                in modern-day Turkey who speak openly about the stories told to them
                by their parents and grandparents. To this day, Turkey denies the
                Genocide occurred and maintains this position steadfastly. The film
                includes testimony by former Turkish Diplomat Gunduz Aktan to US
                lawmakers in the year 2000, where he explains the official Turkish
                position on the issue. "The Turkish people firmly believe that what
                happened to the Armenian people was not Genocide," Aktan says. "As
                Turkey seeks to join the European Union, 90 years later, this film
                can give people a much better understanding of why this issue is such
                an important and current part of the international conversation about
                Turkey's role in the world today," said Goldberg.
                [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


                • #9
                  Armenian Assembly Refutes Denialist Position
                  Files Motion To Dismiss In Federal Cour

                  Armenian Assembly of America
                  1140 19th Street, NW, Suite 600
                  Washington, DC 20036
                  Phone: 202-393-3434
                  Fax: 202-638-4904
                  Email: [email protected]

                  PRESS RELEASE
                  January 13, 2006
                  CONTACT: Christine Kojoian
                  E-mail: [email protected]


                  Washington, DC - The Armenian Assembly, having filed a motion in
                  December to intervene in the pending Massachusetts lawsuit brought by
                  the Assembly of American Turkish Associations (ATAA), firmly responded
                  to those seeking to deny and rewrite history in Massachusetts
                  classrooms, by filing a motion to dismiss in the matter of Griswold v.
                  Driscoll ("the Armenian Genocide case").

                  "The Armenian Assembly has put together an outstanding legal team to
                  confront the challenge in this case, as well as any others that may be
                  brought in the future," stated Assembly Board of Trustees Vice President
                  and Counselor Robert A. Kaloosdian, who along with Board of Trustees
                  President Carolyn Mugar, are co-chairing the Assembly committee managing
                  this legal initiative. "We have dedicated ourselves to the study,
                  research and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, not only in
                  Massachusetts, but across the country, as evidenced by the creation of
                  the Armenian National Institute (ANI). The Assembly helped publish a
                  comprehensive guide on the Armenian Genocide in the U.S. Archives
                  thoroughly documenting with official testimony the 1915 atrocities.
                  Together with ANI, the Assembly continues to actively promote Genocide
                  education and curriculum, including most recently, the new Genocide
                  curriculum adopted in New Jersey," Kaloosdian continued.

                  The motion to dismiss clearly states that the ATAA and its revisionist
                  associates failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted -
                  pointing out that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue, and that there is
                  not any "conceivable violation of the First Amendment." The motion to
                  dismiss further states that "Turkey has long denied responsibility for
                  the Armenian Genocide, despite incontrovertible evidence not only that
                  the Armenian Genocide occurred but that the Ottoman Turkish government
                  was responsible."

                  "The ATAA's lawsuit represents the latest chapter in a well-funded, but
                  doomed campaign by Turkey and its paid lobbyists to deny the Armenian
                  Genocide - the first genocide of the 20th Century," said Chairman of the
                  Assembly Board of Trustees Hirair Hovnanian. "The suit even runs
                  counter to the growing trend in Turkish society toward acknowledging its
                  history. In defiance of this current trend, the Turkish government
                  continues to persecute those who refer to the genocide within its
                  borders. A Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk, among others, has been
                  prosecuted simply for speaking the truth. Apparently, the Turkish
                  government also seeks to dictate what Americans can and cannot say in
                  this country as well," Hovnanian continued.

                  In 1998, the Massachusetts State Legislature unanimously passed
                  legislation requiring the Board of Education to formulate guidelines for
                  a curriculum designed to provide instruction on several well-documented
                  human rights abuses, including the Armenian Genocide. In compliance
                  with this requirement, the Department of Education prepared a draft
                  guide and released it for public comment. Everyone in Massachusetts,
                  including the plaintiffs, was accorded many opportunities to present
                  their materials to the Department of Education. Proposed revisions to
                  the draft guide were considered, in some cases adopted, and in some
                  cases rejected, and a final guide was then prepared.

                  Having failed to insert their denialist materials into the guide, the
                  ATAA brought suit in Federal Court arguing a tired and discredited
                  practice that the "other side" of the story should be taught. Last
                  week, the ATAA filed another document opposing the Motion to Intervene,
                  and can be expected to oppose the Motion to Dismiss as well.

                  "It is more than ironic and even hypocritical that an organization
                  basing its argument on 'free speech' would seek to deny the Armenian
                  Assembly of America, speaking on behalf of the Armenian-American
                  community of Massachusetts, the opportunity to express its views on this
                  critical matter," said Kaloosdian.

                  The Armenian Assembly is the largest Washington-based nationwide
                  organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian
                  issue. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


                  [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


                  • #10
                    International Institute For Genocide And Human Rights Studies

                    (A Division of the Zoryan Institute)
                    255 Duncan Mill Rd., Suite 310
                    Toronto, ON, Canada M3B 3H9
                    Tel: 416-250-9807 Fax: 416-512-1736 E-mail: [email protected]

                    PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: George

                    DATE: January 13, 2006 Tel:

                    UNIVERSITY PROGRAM

                    Toronto, Canada - The International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights
                    Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) is pleased to announce the
                    fifth year of the Genocide and Human Rights University Program (GHRUP), to
                    be held in Toronto, July 31-August 11, 2006.

                    "While the GHRUP is a mature program, now in its fifth year, we are
                    continually looking for ways to improve it, and there are some important
                    innovations for 2006," commented Prof. Roger W. Smith, Director of the
                    IIGHRS. "For example," he continued, "we have added a unit on theories of
                    genocide and another on international law and genocide. This has given us
                    the opportunity to invite some new and very talented scholars to the
                    faculty, which now numbers twelve. It is interesting how the program has
                    evolved to run the gamut of subjects, from the theoretical to the practical,
                    from theories of genocide to genocide as a crime in international law," he

                    This 2-week, fully accredited course features world-renowned genocide
                    scholars and provides a structured forum for analyzing universal questions
                    related to genocide, such as:
                    What is genocide and why does it take place?
                    What is the relation between genocide and human rights?
                    Why does genocide denial occur?
                    How does geo-politics impact human rights and can even lead to genocide?
                    Why should you study human rights and the prevention of genocide?

                    The mission of the Genocide and Human Rights University Program is to help
                    develop a new generation of scholars to engage in research and publication
                    in the field of genocide and human rights studies. This goal is achieved
                    through a comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of such cases of
                    genocide as the Jewish Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide, and the Rwandan
                    Genocide, among others, using the Armenian Genocide, the archetypal genocide
                    of the 20th Century, as a point of reference.

                    The program also seeks to help develop an academic-level educational support
                    system for those who wish to work toward the prevention of genocide.

                    The program strives to show, through the study and sharing of the genocidal
                    traumas of many peoples, that genocide and the gross violation of human
                    rights is a universal human experience and that, as such, it must be the
                    concern of all individuals and institutions.

                    The program will appeal to a wide variety of students interested in various
                    cases of genocide and the broader issues of human rights. Applicants must be
                    current university students with three years or more of undergraduate

                    Scholarships are available for qualified students. Please inquire.

                    Details and registration information are available on the program's web

                    For more information, contact the International Institute for Genocide and
                    Human Rights Studies, 416-250-9807, [email protected].
                    [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]