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Thursday, February 03, 2005

I just thought I’d do my bit by flagging this story up:


(dpa) - Pressure from Turkey has resulted in the removal of a reference to the Armenian genocide from a German school curriculum, reports said Wednesday.

The eastern German state of Brandenburg has eliminated half a sentence on the Armenians included in ninth and tenth grade history classes after a Turkish diplomat complained to state Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck, the newspaper Die Welt reported.

In a chapter entitled "War, Technology and Civilian Populations" the school book text said "for example, the genocide of the Armenians population of Anatolia." That passage has now been removed from school textbooks, the newspaper said.

I first found this via blogrel. An excellent repository of the full details and more can be found at this new blog Yessem. I urge you to go and read it all. I have to say I find this particularly vile that this happened in the week commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz. Standing up for the victims of genocide? What of those lessons learnt? A bitterly ironic question really coming to think of it given that the Armenian genocide took place two decades before the Holocaust. Learning lessons? Not very quickly it seems. Well, I suppose Hitler learnt the lesson.
But there’s quite a contrast here, which is why I am flagging this up. There is no reason to blame modern Turks for what happened as little as it makes sense to blame modern day Germans for the Shoa. That is not what this is about.
What this is about is something very dark indeed. In the scientific study of genocide several stages of the process are identified. The final stage is not, as one might initially assume, the extermination; the final stage is the denial of the extermination. This is what the current Turkish government is doing right now. It is in effect completing the genocidal work of the Young Turks regime.

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