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The Murder of Armenians – Armenocide – Genocide – Genocide Prevention: Aspects of Political and Historical Comparative Genocide Studies

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This article discusses the genocide of Christian Armenians in the late Ottoman times in World War I: the first historical “worldwide festival of death” (Thomas Mann), which has been denied in Turkey, the perpetrating country (Türkiye Cumhuriyetiz), until today. In his analysis of this first state-run “organized and planned genocide of the twentieth century” (Edgar Hilsenrath), the author, who is a social scientist, points out both the historical and conceptual context. Furthermore, he brings up the fundamental issues of remembrance, memory work, genocide, eliminationist racism, genocide policy, and genocide theory in the twentieth century.

Musa Dagh

In 1919, the Prague writer Franz Werfel (1890–1945) wrote the novella Not the Murderer (Nicht der Mörder, der Ermordete ist schuldig), released in 1920 by a publishing house specializing in Expressionist literature.2 The catchphrase the murdered is the guilty one from the title of the original German edition became almost a proverb in the Germany of 1920s. Even today, several generations later, it might appear as if Franz Werfel had developed his artistic vision to anticipate the “trial of Talaat Pascha”3 which took place a while later. A dozen years later it was again Franz Werfel who, in an artistic visionary overview, recognized and stressed the relationship between racism and genocide. After the handover, the takeover, and the exercise of power by National Socialists in Germany, starting on 30 January 1933, the author emphasized the necessity to “rescue the incomprehensible fate of the Armenian people from the depths of history” in the postscript to his novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (1933).4

In his statement the author draws our attention both to the central vanishing point of our memory (to “rescue” something, instead of leaving it in “the depths of history”) and to the specific “case” of “the Armenian people” and their “incomprehensible fate” during World War I, “far away in Turkey.”


Like “genocide” and “Holocaust,” the English word “Armenocide”5 is a coinage, made up from “Armenius cidere” and translated into German as Armenozid. It refers to the genocide of the Armenian religious, ethnic, and political minority in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. This was the first state-run genocide of the twentieth century. The word itself includes a reference both to the victims (Armenians) and to the murder (cidere). Unlike the much more well-known coinage “Holocaust” (holokaustos, lit.: “burned completely”), it does not indicate the form of the murder, even though it was more the Armenians who were burned alive during World War I, for instance in their churches, than the Jews, who were murdered on a massive scale in extermination camps, “factories of death,” in the occupied East during World War II.

Rudolph Rummel, a genocide scholar who applies quantitative analysis of victim statistics in “the Dismal Science of Authorized Terror” (Irving Louis Horowitz),6 gives a total victim count for the Armenian genocide in Turkey, “the first complete ethnic cleansing of this century.” He estimates it at around 1.883 million, i.e. almost 1.9 million people.7

Memory work

The historically-oriented social scientist, involved in theoretical reflection on political and sociological aspects of comparative genocide studies, empirical research, and scientific publications, is less interested in the (certainly relevant) ethical dimension of memory, which may stand for reconciliation, which includes the Christian sense of the word, or dealing with the essential consequences arising from the culture of impunity, which favors genocide and genocide denial. Instead, the focus here is on another memory-related dimension, the possible genocide prevention with regard to the lasting generational and biopolitical consequences of a real genoce event. Public memory here is an essential duty of art in general and narrative art in particular, in the form of novels and novellas, stories and poems, as shown by the example of Werfel’s novel Musa Dagh.

Aryans on paper

The relation between racism and the “genocide which Young Turks have on their conscience,”8 recognized by Franz Werfel, did not escape the notice of German “friends of Armenians” either. As Christians, they tried to draw a lesson from their subjectively perceived co-responsibility for Armenocide: the genocide of the Armenian religious, ethnic, and political minority in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. By a letter of 31 May 1933, the board of the German-Armenian Society, represented by Paul Rohrbach and Ewald Stier, led to the issuing of the decree of 3 July 1933 by the Reich Ministry of the Interior. According to the decree, Armenians in the Third Reich should not be considered, in the light of fascist ideology and its racist implementation, as “Semites,” but as “Aryans.” In an official letter of 31 August 1933 addressed to Stier, the “expert on racial matters in the Reich Ministry of the Interior” wrote: “In accordance with the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, Armenians are to be considered Aryans.”9

Jews of the Orient

The German(-language) literature presented both an ambivalent image of Armenians as well as a stereotypical perception of them as “the Jews of the Orient” (long before the National Socialist eliminationist racism).10

The negative stereotype of Armenians was promoted by a German mass entertainer who remains popular to this day. In 1897 Karl May published his short story Der Kys-Kaptschiji, in which he presented the anti-Armenian stereotype as follows:

“One Jew outwits ten Christians; one Yankee outwits fifteen Jews; one Armenian is, however, worth one hundred Yankees; that is what some say, and I have found out that, even though this is an exaggeration, it is based on the truth. Those who travel to the Orient with their eyes open will agree with me. Wherever malice or treachery is planned, a hooked Armenian nose must be involved. Where even the unscrupulous Greek refuses to commit a villainy, there will certainly be an Armenian ready to earn the ignoble payment.”11

Anti-Armenian stereotypes were promoted in the 1920s in the form of the violent Armenophobia, with reference to the economic dominance in the Orient, by Halíde Edíb Adivar (1884–1964), a Young Turk ideologist and a popular author, known also in Germany for her 1916 novella Yeni Turan (translated into German as Das neue Turan – ein Frauenschicksal) and her 1924 novel Ateşten Gömlek (translated into German as Das Flammenhemd, and into English as The Daughter of Smyrna or The Shirt of Flame). What seems to be just a manifestation of the early Kemal12 was – and still is – nothing but an anti-human and life-threatening fascism-related ideology.

Eliminationist racism

Hitler’s conception of the world, shaped by the bitter hostility towards Jews, the panic fear of Bolsheviks, as well as his contemporary pseudo-scientific and pseudo-Darwinian racism, was neither original nor intellectually developed. It was essentially a convenient recapitulation of the right and far-right zeitgeist in the spirit of German power.

After the decision had been made about “who should live in this world and access its resources” and “which peoples should be annihilated because they were considered inferior or a hindrance to the winners”13 (Gerhard Weinberg 1995), Hitler, as a representative of the supposed master race, rehashed the eugenic racist stereotype of Armenians and Armenia in his so-called “Weltanschauung.”14 This has also been reflected in a few recorded anti-Armenian remarks made by Hitler in his table talks and conversations, according to which he talked several times about the “non-Aryan blood” of Armenians and the resulting distrust of them in the military policy.15

No elaborate, in-depth hermeneutical interpretation is needed to recognize that the last Reich Chancellor (and, at the same time, the first one “with a migration background”) had also internalized the stereotype of a sly and unreliable Armenian, “Jews of the Orient,” which was so widespread in Germany.

In the two volumes of Hitler’s political manifesto Mein Kampf,16 first published in 1925/26, no references to “the Armenian question,” “Armenians,” or Armenia can be found. Nevertheless, there are records of Hitler’s anti‑Armenian prejudice more than twenty years apart. Without a “solution to the Jewish question” the German people would be “a people like the Armenians”, remarked Hitler, a German völkisch racist, in 1922.17 As a fascist eliminationist racist in 1943, he is said to have emphasized in his “paranoid insanity”18 that peoples, if they “did not deliver themselves from the Jews,” would hit the bottom just “like the Persians, once a proud people, who now lived their miserable lives as Armenians.”19

The anti-human contempt of Armenians and the murderous hatred towards Jews, on the one hand, paired with an admiration for historical authority figures like Genghis Khan and the cruelty of his Mongolian army, and the approval of the twentieth-century Turkish proponents of power politics such as Enver and Kemal, on the other hand, constitute Hitler’s racist power-political ideology and the resulting powerful ideological policy of the National Socialist eliminationist racism.

The Terrible truth

Foreign observers of those times were aware of the “terrible truth” (furchtbare Wahrheit, Georg Glaser) of the relation between the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey in World War I and the persecution of the Jews, which started as early as in the spring of 1933 and was formalized and legalized in 1935 by the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws, one of the steps leading to the genocide of European Jews in World War II. The German racial laws of 1935 reminded Eric Mills, the British Commissioner for Migration and Statistics in Palestine, of “the elimination of the Armenians from the Turkish Empire,”20 as he wrote in a letter to his superior.

On the eve of World War II, in February 1939, the exile executive committee of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SoPaDe) referred to the historical events while expressing their opinion about the persecution of the Jews in the Third Reich:

“In Germany, a minority is being inexorably exterminated, by the brutal means of murder, torturing to insanity, plundering, aggression, and starvation. What happened to Armenians in Turkey during the war is being exercised on the Jews in the Third Reich, more slowly and more systematically.”21


In 1944, Polish-American international law expert Raphael Lemkin (1900– 1959) defined a new word, genocide, referring to what for decades had been described as a “murder of a nation” (Völkermord):

“By ‘genocide’ we mean the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group [...]. Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation [...]. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups. Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group.”22

In this context, not only the short-term goal of mass murders (“annihilating the groups themselves”) and the respective destruction plan are of relevance. It is the long-term strategic, biopolitical and intergenerational effects which are characteristic of genocide. This opinion, concerned with present actions which determine future developments, was phrased by Lemkin (1944) in the form of a definition:

“[...] genocide is a new technique of occupation aimed at winning the peace even though the war itself is lost.”23

This means that whoever loses a war may also be the winner, at a biopolitical level, of the postwar time (or, as Lemkin puts it, “peace”) for many generations. This is one of the dimensions of genocide, the relevance of which for the international law (ius gentium) was recognized by Lemkin as early as the 1930s. After World War II, in December 1948, Lemkin’s observations were also incorporated into the definition of the criminal act of international law, included in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Convention pour la prévention et la répression du crime de genocide; Konvention zur Verhinderung und Bestrafung des Verbrechens Völkermord).

The Holocaust before the Holocaust

In the preface to the French edition of The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (1986) by Franz Werfel, Elie Wiesel – a Jewish intellectual, an American author and a Nobel Peace Prize winner – wrote of the “Holocaust before the Holocaust.”24 This, however, was recognized in America much earlier, right after the end of World War II, when the publicist Joseph Guttmann wrote an article (1948, first published in Yiddish in 1946) that not only sought to recall the Young Turk genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I, but also compared both genocides with regard to their main methods. He came to the main analytical conclusion that – prototypically – “the Armenian genocide” showed traditional features of a primitive mass slaughter, whereas “the Jewish genocide” was rather an implementation of a highly-organized industrial “scientifically”-founded mass murder plan in which gas chambers were used.25

Furthermore, as early as in 1946, Joseph Guttmann pointed out the destructive ways of developing forces of production. He considered the mass murders in genocidal factories in the militarily occupied East during World War II as a qualitatively new aspect of Nazi extermination camps. The massive destruction was in no way unorganized. On the contrary, it was a process, a series of carefully planned state-run murder actions against “Gypsies” (nowadays called Sinti and Roma) and other supposedly “antisocial” people, “burdensome, unproductive eaters” (1939–41). The extermination of millions of people, which started in the fall of 1941 and focused on the social group of European Jews, defined as “objective opponents,” went beyond the imagination of contemporaries, including many Germans. Today as well, there are many German contemporary historians who have considerable difficulty in the scientific understanding of the real genocidal event known as the Holocaust.


Hannah Arendt (1906–1975), the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), whose German-language version Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft was published in multiple copies and editions,26 made a pertinent point about the nature of genocide. In her book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963, German-language edition in 1964), Arendt considered genocide as a crimen magnum which leads to further massive genocidal crimes:

“[...] once a specific crime has first appeared, its reappearance is more likely than its initial emergence could ever have been.”27

This observation, so important to genocide prevention, was made by a political philosopher and intellectual of great importance and argumentative effectiveness. Despite these qualities, Hanna Arendt showed long-lasting ignorance as to the first planned and state-run genocide of the twentieth century. The “genocide of Armenians” was recognized and judged by contemporaries as the “Murder of a Nation”28 and the “destruction of the Armenian nation.”29 To this day, the Armenocide, also referred to as “Turkish Genocide”30 and “türkischer Völkermord”31 of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I, has been condemned by countries all over the world (but not by the present Republic of Turkey, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, and its insular appendix Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti). Uruguay was the first country to recognize the events as “genocide” (by decision of the Senate and the House of Representatives, 20.04.1965), followed by the United States (the House of Representatives, 09.04.1975), Argentina (the Senate, 05.05.1993), Canada (the House of Commons, 23.04.1996), and other countries. In the Federal Republic of Germany a unanimous decision was made by the Bundestag on 16.06.2005.32

In her report on Eichmann’s trial (1964), Hannah Arendt reminded of the “Armenian Tindelian” [in the (online) English book edition I used it is “the Armenian Tehlirian” – trans] in the context of a political assassination. She must have meant Սողոմոն Թեհլիրյան (1897–1960; Soghomon Tehlirian, also: Soromon Tehlerjan), “who, in 1921, in the middle of Berlin, shot to death Talaat Bey, the great killer in the Armenian pogroms of 1915, in which it is estimated that one third (six hundred thousand people) of the Armenian population in Turkey was massacred”33 The author also pointed out that the assassin was acquitted only a few weeks later, during a highlypublicized public trial. The total victim count for “the first complete ethnic cleansing of this century” (around 1.883 million Armenians murdered in the “genocidal cleansing of Turkey”34) was reduced in Arendt’s book by approximately two-thirds, which – along with the references to the assassin – is an example of a shocking lack of knowledge and ignorance. What is more, these indications emphasize the underlying fact which is relevant regardless of the specific situation with all the respective details: if there is no historical confirmation, we always face the risk of selective remembrance in the form of an “ideological memory” (una memoria ideológica), as opposed to the memory of witnesses to history (una memoria histórica, testimonial) as defined by Jorgé Semprun (1977).35 In his post-doctoral speech on 1 February 1989, the author of this article discussed the intergenerational and biopolitical effects of genocide policy:

“Contrary to the popular singularity claim for the genocide of European Jews in World War II, it is only the industrial form of the mass murder with the use of gas which that be considered unique. What is comparable, on the other hand, are the effects of genocide policy for generations of victims, as observed by Raphael Lemkin, and the fact that the genocide policy along with the irrevocable consequences of mass murders made it possible for the inferior firepower of the party of perpetrators to ensure a biopolitical victory, both in the First and the Second World War. [This biopolitical victory] being decisive for the destructive efficiency of genocide policy, the effects of which can still be seen several generations later.”36

Criticism of unique uniqueness

In the light of the uniqueness thesis, the Holocaust was a historical event with unique characteristics. For years, the thesis of its “unique uniqueness” or singularity had an impact also on the relationship between the genocide of the Armenians and that of the Jews, Armenocide and Holocaust, as the two historical genocides in the first half of the past century. In 1977, the historian, political advisor and publicist Klaus Hildebrand recapitulated this theory in a concise way. Not only did he focus more on the form of the genocidal murder than on its content, but he also revealed an ideological variety of the thesis: Theoriefeindlichkeit (the antipathy to theorizing), which builds on anti-Marxist ressentiments and is remarkably widespread in Germany, both among economists and contemporary historians:

“The far-reaching ‘measures’ – if we stick to the language of the regime – of genocide, ‘breeding trials’ and euthanasia programs which go beyond all functionality – that is the essential, singular feature of the Nazi racial policy. No general theory of ‘fascism’ can be expected to provide an accurate description of these measures or to allow us to understand them, if that is at all possible.”37

In Germany, the Holocaust-uniqueness theory was influential to such an extent that it resulted in the temporary tabooization of analytical comparisons and, consequently, impeded comparative (genocide) research. Furthermore, it led to the creation of victim classifications where Holocaust victims would belong to the first category, whereas Armenocide victims would be considered part of the second category.

The theory of the uniqueness of Holocaust is nonsensical on a linguistic level and unacceptable in historical research. Like its English equivalent, the German word Genozid is not a singulare tantum (the term for a noun which appears only in the singular form). On the contrary, it is a central category, a generic term for various “modern” historical genocides in the twentieth century. Hence, it cannot be considered as the unique characteristic of the Holocaust. Furthermore, the ideology of singularity is non-scientific and impedes research progress. Those who focus on the dialectics of the general and the particular, in the spirit of the principle of definitio per genus proximum et differentiam specificam, who do not shrink from arduous work and want to contribute to scientific knowledge, need to introduce preconditions and prerequisites for the purpose of scientific understanding, in order to make it possible to compare state crimes as forms of historical reality. The genocide of the European Jews, known as the Holocaust or Shoah (more rarely: Judeocide), which took place in the occupied East during World War II, was neither deprived of preconditions and unorganized, nor unique. On the contrary, the massive destruction of “lives not worth living” was a process, a series of carefully planned state-run murder actions:

“Forced sterilization, killing (genuinely or allegedly) sick children in hospitals, killing adult inmates of institutions with gas in medical killing centers (euthanasia), killing (genuinely or allegedly) sick inmates of concentration camps, and finally, the mass murders of Jews.”38

The “state-organized genocide”39 of 1941–1945 was not unique as such. It was rather the destructive forms of actual working forces’ development and the bureaucratic organization of the large-scale industrial mass murders in the “factories of death” in the occupied East during World War II that could be considered singular – as qualitatively new moments of the Nazi mass murder and genocide policy.

Genocide theory

In 2004, Micha Brumlik, the director of the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt am Main, tried to define the place of “the Young Turk mass murder of Armenians” in history more precisely in the light of the theory of genocide. According to Brumlik, what

“at first was only considered to be one of the many massacres of Armenian subjects, committed by Ottoman rulers, is seen until today as the paradigm of a ‘genocide’. That is why it is so crucial for both the European and the global development of a historically-aware culture of remembrance that the Kemalist Turkey [...] has not recognized the events as a genocide until today and, above all, sanctions all those who dare to think differently, at home or abroad. In the debate about the Young Turk genocide of Armenians, we can identify a number of problems and conflict areas relating to the notion [of genocide]. We could ask whether a planned crime of this kind is demonstrable in its full extent and its genocidal intentionality.”40

Furthermore, Brumlik observed that the war plays “a causal role in regard to the genocides of all kind” but, on the other hand, the term “genocide” denotes a specific form of a mass murder which is different from mass slaughter and wartime atrocities in general. Brumlik also noted that underlying each genocide is a racist ideology which provides a new “inclusion/ exclusion model” and is supposed to exonerate the perpetrators. He made the observation that each sociological theory of genocide also contributed to the “systematics of genocide prevention”. At the same time the author recognized that the events described as “the genocide of the Jews” (the Holocaust), which belonged to the historical German Sonderweg in the form of “totalitarian anti-Semitism,”41 had been presented as unique and singular for decades in German writing on postwar history.

From this perspective, Brumlik seems to offer a late recognition of the 1980 thesis developed by Irving Horowitz which considered totalitarian anti-Semitism as state-run eliminationist racism.

“Genocide is a national policy with adherents throughout the world, whereas the Holocaust was a specific practice of the Nazis which entailed the total murder of an entire population.”42

Future perspectives

The large-scale industrial extermination of millions of people, which started in 1941–42 and focused on the major social group of European Jews, defined as “objective opponents,” might have gone beyond the imagination of contemporaries, including many Germans. Today as well, there might still be many German contemporary historians who have considerable moral and intellectual difficulty in the scientific understanding of the real genocidal event known as the Holocaust.

The ideology of singularity or uniqueness was, and still is, not good – quite the contrary. Moreover, it rejects the tentative results of a relatively new research perspective: comparative genocidal research (internationale vergleichende Völkermordforschung).43 The proponents of such an approach want, in part, to overcome the problem of the miserable status of competing groups of genocide victims. This is possible, and the problem is being overcome increasingly, which is definitely a positive development. Following Hannah Arendt, past experiences may be perceived as a task for the future – one of genocide prevention, or as a “saving-lives” policy44 which applies to universal and indivisible human rights, as argued by the American genocide researcher Irving Louis Horowitz (1976). If that is the case, then there is only “one human right” in the end: Hannah Arendt’s (1949) inalienable “right to have rights,”45 or the Right to Life and the Physical Integrity (Grundrecht auf Leben und körperliche Unversehrtheit),46 accepted in the Federal Republic of Germany. According to Hannah Arendt, the right to life is the core of the human right to have rights. Or, as Heinrich Heine wrote while discussing diverse conceptions of history (1832/34), life as such is a right,47 also a right to revolutionary processes: “Life is neither means nor end. Life is a right.”


Richard Albrecht. Social scientist (graduated in 1971, PhD. in 1976, post-doctoral in 1988). First an outside lecturer (until 1989), now he works as an independent research journalist, editor and author in Bad Münstereifel, where he lives. In 1991 he published THE UTOPIAN PARADIGM. 2002/07; editor of the online magazine rechtskultur. de. 2011. His latest book is HELDENTOD. Kurze Texte aus Langen Jahren. Bio-bibliography:


1 The first publication of a speech delivered by the author on the “Remembrance Day for the Victims of the Armenian Genocide,” 24 April 2009, Armenian Community in Cologne. The printed version was slightly expanded and supplemented with footnotes.

2 Franz Werfel (1920), Nicht der Mörder, der Ermordete ist schuldig. Eine Novelle (Munich: Kurt Wolff, p. 269).

3 Der Prozess Talaat Pascha (1921). Stenographischer Bericht [...], m.e.Vorwort von Armin T. Wegner und einem Anhang (Berlin: Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft für Politik und Geschichte, 136 p.); new edition, m.e.Vorwort von Tessa Hofmann (1985), Göttingen: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, XI/136 p. (= progrom [typo? – trans.] series); Rolf Hosfeld (2005), Operation Nemesis. Die Türkei, Deutschland und der Völkermord an den Armeniern (Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 351), pp. 13–31.

4 Franz Werfel ([1933]; 21959; 31985), Die vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh. Roman (Frankfurt/Main: S. Fischer, 808 p. [= Gesammelte Werke]); regarding the novel and ist impact: George Schulz-Berend, Sources and Background of Werfel’s Novel [...]; in: Germanic Review, 26 [1951] 2: pp. 111–123; Artem Ohandjanian, ‘Diese Sucht, zu erniedrigen...’ Über Franz Werfel und seinen Roman [...]; in: die horen, 35 (1990) 160: pp. 158–163.

5 Richard Albrecht, “Murder(ing) People. Genocidal Policy Within the 20th Century – Description, Analysis, and Prevention: Armenocide, Serbocide, Holocaust As Basic Genocidal Events During the World Wars,” in Brukenthalia, 2 (2012): 168–185; idem, «nous voulons une Arménie sans Arméniens» Drei Jahrzehnte Armenierbilder in kolonial-imperialistischen und totalitär-faschistischen Diskursen in Deutschland, 1913–1943; in Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Religions – und Kulturgeschichte, 106 (2012): pp. 625–661.

6 Irving Louis Horowitz, “Counting Bodies: the Dismal Science of Authorized Terror,” in Patterns of Prejudice, 23 (1989) 2: pp. 4–15.

7 Rudolph J. Rummel (2003), “DEMOZID” der befohlene Tod. Massenmorde im 20. Jahrhundert. Prefaces by Yehuda Bauer [and] Irving Louis Horowitz (Münster-Hamburg- London: LIT, xxiii/p. 383 [= Macht und Gesellschaft 1]), pp. 177–202; ibid. (1998), Statistics of Genocide. Genocide and Mass Murder since 1900 (Münster: LIT, ix/527 [= Macht und Gesellschaft 2]), pp. 78–101.

8 Johannes Lepsius, “Mein Besuch in Konstantinopel Juli/Aug. 1915,” in Johannes Lepsius (ed.) Orient. Monatsschrift für die Wiedergeburt des Ostens, 1 (1919) 1–3: 21–33.

9 Quoted after the bulletin of the German-Armenian Association e.V. (Berlin), 2.1938: 32; similar observations in subsequent issues; in his articles “Der Orient in Bewegung” (10.1940: 129–132) and “Armenier und Armenien” (15/16.1943: 193–197) Rohrbach later recalled the “radical elimination of Armenians” which started in 1915 in Constantinople and caused “one and a half million” casualties in World War I.

10 Hans-Lukas Kieser, “Die Juden des Orients. Die Armenier waren Träger von Fortschritt und Bürgerlichkeit. Die jungtürkischen Nationalisten verfolgten und töteten sie in blindem Haß”, in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (24.04.2005: p. 15); also earlier idem (2000), “Der verpasste Friede. Mission, Ethnie und Staat in den Ostprovinzen der Türkei 1839–1938” (Zurich: Chronos): pp. 504–508; online: html; cf. also [and]

11 Quoted after Dominik J. Schaller (2002), “Genozid, Historisierung & Rezeption. Was kann die Analyse der Rezeption des Völkermordes an den Armeniern 1915 in Deutschland während der Jahre 1915–1945 zum Verständnis der Shoah beitragen?,” in Hans-Lukas Kieser/Dominik J. Schaller (eds.), Der Völkermord an den Armeniern und die Shoah (Zurich: Chronos); online version:

12 Halidé Edíb, Memoirs (1926); (reprint 1972: New York: Arno Press, vii/472 p. [= World Affairs]); eadem (1928), The Turkish Ordeal(London: John Murray, ix/407).

13 Gerhard L. Weinberg (1995), Eine Welt in Waffen. Die globale Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieg (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1174 p.), quoted from page 16; for the information about the author, born in 1928 in Hannover, cf. the researcher‘s portrait of Hans-Heinrich Nolte, “Weltkrieg als Weltgeschichte: Gerhard Weinberg,” in Zeitschrift für Weltgeschichte, 2 (2001) 2: pp. 137–144.

14 Christian Geulen (2007), Geschichte des Rassismus (München: C. H. Beck [= wissen/ sr 2424], 128), 97/98; briefly about Hitler’s “Weltanschauung“: Marlis Steinert (1991), Hitler (Paris: Libraire Artheme Fayard, 710), pp. 166–211.

15 Henry Picker (1976), Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier: mit bisher unbekannten Selbstzeugnissen Adolf Hitlers, Abbildungen, Augenzeugenberichten und Erläuterungen des Autors [...] (Stuttgart: Seewald [new edition], 548 [5.7.1942]); Werner Jochmann (1980, ed.), Adolf Hitler. Monologe im Führerhauptquartier 1941–1944. Die Aufzeichnungen von Heinrich Heims (Hamburg: Albrecht Knaus, 496), 136/137 [12.11.1941] and 370 [28.8.1942]; Helmut Heiber (ed. 1962), Hitlers Lagebesprechungen. Die Protokollfragmente seiner militärischen Konferenzen 1942–1945 (Stuttgart: DVA, p. 971 [= Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte 10]): 12.12.1942.

16 Adolf Hitler (1939), Mein Kampf. Jubilee edition (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP Fr. Eher Nachf., 705/XXIX p.); idem (1941), Mein Kampf. One-volume edition (München: Eher, 641.-645. edition, p. 782).

17 Eberhard Jäckel; Axel Kuhn (1980, eds.), Hitler. Sämtliche Aufzeichnungen 1905–1924 (Stuttgart: DVA, 1315 [= Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte 21]), 557 [December 1922].

18 Sebastian Haffner, Anmerkungen zu Hitler ([1978] 1993) (Frankfurt/Main: S. Fischer, 158), 94; for further details about Hitler’s “career” see also Richard Albrecht (2007), ‘Wer redet heute noch von der Vernichtung der Armenier? Adolf Hitlers Geheimrede am 22. August 1939’ (Aachen: Shaker, 104 p. [= Genozidpolitik im 20. Jahrhundert 3], p. 104), pp. 5–8; 93–94 [preface and postface].

19 Der Prozeß gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen Militärgerichtshof, Nuremberg, 14. November 1945 bis 1. Oktober 1946; Volume 2: p. 428.

20 Martin Gilbert (1986), The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe during the Second World War (New York: Holt, Reinehart & Winston, 959), pp. 48/49.

21 Deutschland-Berichte der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands, 6. Jg. 1939, No. 2 [February 1939], A 78: Die Judenverfolgungen; zum historischen Gesamtzusammenhang Mark Levene, “Why Is the Twentieth Century the Century of Genocide?,” in Journal of World History, 11 (2000) 2: 305–336; German-language version in: Zeitschrift für Weltgeschichte, 11 (2004) 2: pp. 9–37.

22 Raphael Lemkin (1944), Axis Rule in Occupied Europe; foreword George A. Finch (Washington [D. C.]: Carnegy Endowment for International Peace Division of International Law, xxxviii/674 p.), ix: Genocide, 79–95, p. 79.

23 Ibid., p. 81.

24 Franz Werfel (1986), Les Quarante jours de Musa Dagh; traduit de l’allemand par Paul Hofer-Bury; préface de Pierre Benoît et Elie Wiesel (Paris: Ed. Albin Michel [=Collection Les Grandes Traductions], p. 701).

25 Joseph Guttmann (1948), “The Beginning of Genocide. A Brief Account on the Armenian Massacres in the World War I” (New York, 19); first published in: Yivobleter [New York], 28 (1946) 2: 239–253; later a similar remark was made by Dr. Helmut Kohl (1987) when he was the federal chancellor: “This crime of genocide, with its cold inhuman planning and fatal efficiency is unique in the human history” (Tischrede [zu Ehren des Präsidenten des Staates Israel, 7.4.1987]; in: Presse – und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, press report 111/97, 7.4.1987).

26 Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarism [1951]; the latest revised Germanlanguage new edition (1986): Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft (Munich/Zurich: Piper, p. 758).

27 Hannah Arendt (1986), Eichmann in Jerusalem. Ein Bericht von der Banalität des Bösen. Aus dem Amerikanischen von Brigitte Gransow [...] (Munich/Zurich: Piper, new edition, 358), p. 322.

28 Arnold J. Toynbee (1917), Armenian Atrocities. The Murder of a Nation [...]; revised reprint edition, New York: Tankian, 1975, p. 127.

29 Johannes Lepsius “Mein Besuch in Konstantinopel Juli/Aug. 1915,” in Johannes Lepsius (ed.) Orient. Monatsschrift für die Wiedergeburt des Ostens, 1 (1919) 1–3: pp. 21–33.

30 Irving Louis Horowitz “Government Responsibilities to Jews and Armenians: Nazi Holocaust and Turkish Genocide Reconsidered,” in Armenian Review, 39 (1986) 1: pp. 1–9.

31 Martin Sabrow “Der Kampf der Erinnerungskulturen – Völkermorde als historiografische Herausforderung,” in: ibid. et al. (2005), Völkermorde und staatliche Gewaltverbrechen im 20. Jahrhundert als Thema schulischen Unterrichts (Ludwigsfelder-Struveshof: LISUM Bbg, 103), pp. 81–88.

32 A regularly updated list of the countries which have formally recognized the Armenian genocide is available on Wikipedia:

33 Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, 314/315 [the quote in the translated article is taken directly from the English edition of the book:; no pagination available – trans.].

34 Rummel, “DEMOZID”: 177–202; Statistics of Genocide: pp. 78–101.

35 Jorgé Semprún (1977) Autobiografía de Federico Sánchez. Novela (Barcelona: Ed.Planeta, 347), pp. 240–241.

36 Richard Albrecht, “Die politische Ideologie des objektiven Gegners und die ideologische Politik des Völkermords im 20. Jahrhundert. Prolegomena zu einer politischen Soziologie des Genozid nach Hannah Arendt,” in Sociologia Internationalis, 27 (1989) I: pp. 57–88.

37 Klaus Hildebrand (1977), in Manfred Bosch (ed.), Persönlichkeit und Struktur in der Geschichte. Historische Bestandsaufnahme und didaktische Implikationen (Düsseldorf: Schwann, 175 p. [= Geschichtsdidaktik 1]): pp. 55–61.

38 Bernd Jürgen Wendt (2006), “Moderner Machbarkeitswahn. Zum Menschenbild des Nationalsozialismus, seinen Wurzeln und Konsequenzen,” in Burghart Schmidt (ed.), Menschenrechte und Menschenbilder von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (Hamburg: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Dokumentation & Buch [= Geistes – und Kulturwissenschaftliche Studien 1]): pp. 157–176.

39 Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, 321/322.

40 Micha Brumlik “Zu einer Theorie des Völkermords,” in Zu einer Theorie des Völkermords, in Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, 49 (2004) 8: pp. 923–932; henceforth quoted after this.

41 Max Horkheimer; Theodor W. Adorno (1959), Preface, in Paul W. Massing, Vorgeschichte des politischen Antisemitismus [...] (Frankfurt/Main: EVA [= Frankfurter Beiträge zur Soziologie 8]): V–VIII.

42 Irving L. Horowitz (1980), Taking Lives. Genocide and State Power (New Brunswick [N. J.]-London: Transaction Books, xvi/199), p. 16.

43 For further reflections on the topic, see Richard Albrecht “Lebenskultur und Frühwarnsystem: Theoretische Aspekte des Völkermord(en)s,” in Sozialwissenschaftliche Literatur Rundschau, 28 (2005) 51: pp. 63–73; idem, ‘Völkermord. Zur Begriffsbestimmung eines Schlagworts’, in Zeitschrift für Weltgeschichte, 13 (2012) 1: pp. 73–76.

44 Irving Louis Horowitz (1976), Taking Lives. Genocide. State Power & Mass Murder (Transaction Books, 80 p.); Genocide and State Power (2002; Transaction Books, 5th, revised ed., foreword Anselm L. Strauss, ivx/447 p.); “Genocide and the Reconstruction of Social Theory: Observations on the Exclusivity of Collective Death,” in Armenian Review, p. 37 (1984) 1: pp. 1–21; “Government Responsibilities to Jews and Armenians: Nazi Holocaust and Turkish Genocide Reconsidered,” in: Armenian Review, 39 (1986) 1: pp. 1–9; ‘Counting Bodies: the Dismal Science of Authorized Terror’, in: Patterns of Prejudice, 23 (1989) 2: pp. 4–15; cf. the researcher’s portrait of Richard Albrecht, “‘Leben retten’: Irving Louis Horowitz’ Politische Soziologie des Genozid. Bio-bibliographisches Porträt eines Sozialwissenschaftlers,” in: Aufklärung und Kritik, 14 (2007) 1: pp. 139–141.

45 Hannah Arendt ‘Es gibt nur ein einziges Menschenrecht’, in Die Wandlung, 4 (1949): 754–770, 761; eadem, Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft, 462.

46 Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany [List of fundamental rights], Article 2 (p. 2).

47 Heinrich Heine (1832/34), Verschiedenartige Geschichtsauffassung [Textfragment]; quoted after: Werke, Digitale Bibliothek 7, Berlin 2004 (CD-Rom) [translated by Frederic Ewen, Heinrich Heine The Romantic School and other essays, eds. Jost Hermand and Robert C. Holub 1985, p. 260 – translator’s remark].


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