April is Genocide Awareness Month

April 19, 2012

April is Genocide Awareness Month.

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) is widely viewed by historians as a major pogrom at the beginning of the Holocaust. The coordinated attacks were carried out on November 9 and 10 1938 in Nazi Germany and parts of Austria. Six million Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust

The Rwandan Genocide began on April 6, 1994. Over a 100-day period, over 800,000 Rwandans (mostly Tutsis) were murdered.

April 24th is the day Armenians commemorate the Armenian Genocide because the Ottoman Turkish Government rounded up  and imprisoned Armenian intellectuals and leaders on this day in 1915. Most of these men were eventually murdered. One and a half million Armenian people lost their lives during the mass deportations and pogroms conducted as part of the Genocide.

April genocide remembrance and avoidance

April 20, 2011

April has the unfortunate distinction of being the month in which both the Armenian Genocide and Rwandan Genocide were initiated. I wonder how many Armenians and Rwandans are aware of the striking similarities between the Armenian Genocide and the Rwandan Genocide.

20th Century Mass Killings Remembered
Voice of America | April 18, 2011

April is also the month in which US Presidents seem to dissassociate from their moral convictions concerning the Armenian Genocide:

Obama’s lack of moral clarity on Armenian genocide issue
LA Times | April 20, 2011

April and Genocide commemorations for Jews, Armenians, and Rwandans

April 30, 2010

In New York City, the public television network WNET ran genocide-themed programming during the month of April. I saw a program about a man seeking (and finding) ‘righteous’ Moslems who helped Jews survive during World War II. Thanks to WNET, I also finally mustered up the strength to watch the feature film, Hotel Rwanda, based on a the true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. I highly recommend the film.

And, as an Armenian, I wanted to attend the excellent programs commemorating the Armenian Genocide here in New York, including a reading of literature written by several of the Armenian intellectuals arrested by the Turkish Government on April 24, 1915. Most of the Armenian leaders and intellectuals were subsequently murdered and their voices silenced. In fact, this organized act of brutality has been described as ‘decapitating’ the Armenian nation. But, we owe a debt of gratitude to the dedicated staff of the Zohrab Center, who made it possible for the audience to hear the words of our poets, writers, and representatives in parliament come to life again, in the sanctuary of St. Vartan’s Cathedral.

I encourage you to learn about the histories of all three genocides and make it your business to know about the genocide being committed in Darfur. Of course, no one wants to look at the dark side of life, but it is important to know about man’s inhumanity to man, so we can recognize the signs and break the cycle of genocide. And, please make your voice heard for all those who can’t speak out.

Please read this excellent article written by Governor-General Michaëlle Jean of Rwanda:

April and Genocide
The Globe and Mail | April 30, 2010

Tufts University Confronts Genocide April 21st

April 12, 2010

Click image to enlarge

Roughly equivalent to Kristallnacht, April 24th marks the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Many events are planned to commemorate this important date for Armenians all over the world.

On Wednesday, April 21, 2010, at 7:00 PM, Tufts University is hosting:

An Examination of Genocide
Across Generations, Continents and Cultures

Lenna Garibian, the granddaughter of an Armenian Genocide survivor, will join individuals who survived the Holocaust, Cambodian and Rwandan genocides at Tufts University’s upcoming program. Ms. Garibian will share her grandmother’s story at the event. The program also includes a panel discussion among genocide experts.

To RSVP for the event or for more information, please contact Laura Tashjian:  laura.tashjian@tufts.edu

Tufts University
Cabot Auditorium
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

160 Packard Avenue
Medford, Massachusetts

(Street parking is available on Packard Avenue and Boston Avenue.)

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