Editorial: The annihilation of Armenia Continues Undisturbed
Published in ZENIT,, on October 31, 2006

By Pierre Karatzian

1.5 million Armenians were murdered by Kurds and Turks during the first of the 20th century’s many genocide. Turkey denies that it ever happened. Pierre Karatzian depicts here a historical retrospect. He will visit the ZENIT in Malmö on November 16.

The headline of the New York Times on September 10, 1895, read: “Another Armenian Holocaust”. The article described the first Armenian massacres during 1894-96 in the Ottoman Armenia (present Eastern Turkey), which was then a part of the misgoverned and decaying Ottoman Empire.

April 24, 1915, in the shade of the First World War, became the beginning of what has to be called “the Year of the Sword” and was the starting signal for the systematic annihilation which would proceed in rounds until 1922.

The intention was to annihilate the Armenian civilization. It affected also the Assyrians/Syrians, Chaldeans and Greeks to an extent which is still unknown to us. In 1914 one could read in Dagens Nyheter how the Turkish army “commits cruelties against the defenceless inhabitants and massacres of what seems to be entire villages.”

Already from the massacres from the 1880s there are several Swedish testimonies, as those from the representative of the Swedish Missionary Society, John Larsson, who gives an account for these atrocities in the book “Förföljelserna och blodbaden i Armenien” (The Persecutions and the Bloodbaths in Armenia), 1897.

Even from the genocide itself, between 1915 and 1922, there are more than 250 letters as well as several letters and reports preserved from Swedes who witnessed the massacres and atrocities. Probably the most known among these is the script “Ett folk I landsflykt” (A People in Exile), 1930, which was written by the Swedish missionary, Alma Johanson.

Another witness testimony comes from the Swedish Military Attaché, Einar af Wirsén, who was active in the region between 1915 and 1920, and who in his “Minnen från fred och krig” (Memories of Peace and War), describe how the Turkish authorities intended to “exterminate the Armenians.”

Turkey has since its establishment in 1923 continued to destroy the memory of any Armenian presence and lets until our days Armenian churches and monuments decay. In December, 2005, the Armenian Genocide escalated once more when Azerbaijani militaries in the autonomous republic of Nakhichevan destroyed an Armenian cemetary. Despite the fact that the news was broadcasted in the international media, it has been very quite regarding this issue in Sweden, which witness about the fact that the annihilation of the historian Armenia is on its way to completion.