1.5 Million Died in
know that 6 million Jews were among the millions killed by the German Nazis
during World War II. We soberly remember the Holocaust, as it was known, as
probably the darkest hour of human history.
But did you know there were other
massive genocides in the Twentieth Century? One of them happened on April 24,
1915, when the Turks slaughtered 1.5 million people in Armenia.
Most of them were Christians. The
Turks were Muslims. The two groups got along all right for many decades, except
that the Christians had to live under Islamic "dhimmi," which gave them fewer
Then the Russians started defeating
the Turks and taking the land that had been held by the Ottoman Empire.
Apparently, the Muslim Turks scapegoated the Armenian Christians for their
defeats -- they took it out on them, in other words.
With chilling foreshadowing of the
Nazi Holocaust, there were mass deportations in which many died of starvation
and exposure. Then Armenian Christians were herded into 25 concentration camps
from Constantinople to the Iraqi and Syrian border, and from the Black Sea to
the Mediterranean Sea. There were mass murders, mass poisonings, mass
drownings, mass fires, rape, forced marches, and plenty more. Victims were not
only men, but included women, children, the sick and the elderly.
Many Turks contend today that it is
exaggeration to call what happened "genocide." They say there were many fewer
deaths, and they were from inter-ethnic strife, disease and famine. However,
most European countries, and most states in the United States, agree with the
Armenian people that it was a holocaust, and should have been investigated and
punished like the Nazi holocaust was.
For more on this distressing page in
world history, see:
By Susan Darst Williams • www.GoBigEd.com • Heart Lessons
020 • © 2006