The Impact of The Armenian Genocide on World History


Two German historians, Rolf Hosfeld and Stefan Ilhrig, talked about the ramifications that the Armenian genocide had on 20th century history. They held 2 online events to discuss these impacts. In his presentation, Rolf Hosfeld talked about Soghomon Tehlirian – the Armenian who killed Talaat Pasha, and was acquitted for his actions – and how his trial was a turning point in the history of international justice. It made apparent the deficiency of international law and by doing so it served as a reference to renowned figures such as political thinker Hannah Arendt, who cited the trial in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem, and Robert M. W. Kemper, who was one of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg trial against the Nazis after WWII.Stefan Ilhrig’s lecture was about the dark history of the 20th century and placing the denial of the Armenian genocide at the heart of this narrative. In his presentation, he emphasised that the world knew very well about what was happening in Armenia when it was happening, referencing Winston Churchill’s arguments for the use of poison by citing what was happening in Armenia as an indication that the Turks had surrendered the right to civilized warfare. The Nazis also knew very well of the atrocities the Turks had comitted, including genocide, and gotten away with them, even enjoying the material benefits of its crimes. Ilhrig insisted that the Armenian genocide needs to be recognized and taught in classrooms around the world because it is necessary to fight for a radically new interpretation of 20th century.These 2 lectures were hosted by AGBU, in which 200 people attended.


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