In 1915, the Turkish government launched a premeditated organized campaign to eliminate the millennia-old Armenian people from their traditional homeland in what is now southeastern Turkey. The Turkish officials responsible for the genocide were never brought to account. This was not lost on Adolf Hitler. Just days before launching World War Two he told his generals, “Who today, after all, speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?” What makes this genocide unique is that Turkey refuses to acknowledge it ever happened. And that denial is the final stage of genocide: closure and justice is denied to the victims and their descendants.
Araxie Barsamian, mother of AR’s David, survived the Turkish genocide of the Armenians. Her parents, brothers, and other members of her extended family were not so fortunate. In 1986, just a few months before her death, she spoke about her experiences to a history class at the University of Colorado at Denver.
Robert Fisk, based in Beirut, is the Middle East correspondent for The Independent. He is winner of the Amnesty International UK Press Award and the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom. The Financial Times calls him “one of the outstanding reporters of his generation. As a war correspondent he is unrivalled.” He is the author of Pity the Nation, The Great War for Civilization and The Age of the Warrior.