And as you scroll the 'Pellechia' link, this is provided: Sample Letter
I am writing to express my profound disappointment with the exclusion of any mention of the Armenian Genocide from the upcoming Holocaust Memorial Day program on January 27th.
While I fully support this worthwhile commemoration, I am extremely troubled that the Turkish government has been allowed to pressure our government into compromising on this fundamental human rights issue.
The absence of discussion on the Armenian Genocide is particularly troubling given that the Steering Group's Statement of Commitment specifically notes that its mission is to "promote education and research about the Holocaust and other genocide... to make sure that the lessons of such events are fully learnt."
It is my understanding that the reasons cited by the Home Office for excluding mention of the Armenian Genocide were that such mention would somehow detract from the "contemporary relevance" of the commemoration and risk diluting its message by including "too much history." I respectfully disagree. In fact, exactly the opposite is true.
No discussion of genocide can be considered complete without appropriate consideration of the Armenian Genocide. The Holocaust Day memorial programs should include a careful examination of the implications of the Armenian Genocide for the systematic massacres which followed - including the genocide of European Jews, Gypsies, and Poles by Nazi Germany, and those that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, and elsewhere.
The inclusion of Armenian Genocide is all the more important given the Turkish government's ongoing campaign to deny this crime against humanity. It is the responsibility of all of us who share a commitment to human rights to reject this shameful campaign and to resist any politically motivated efforts to deny or cover up genocide, past or present.
In recent weeks, we have seen the European Parliament, French Senate, and Italian Parliament all adopt Armenian Genocide resolutions Pope John Paul II, on November 9th, issued a powerful statement on the Genocide of the Armenians. The consideration of the Armenian Genocide, rather than including "too much history," would help illuminate the patterns and precedents of genocide in the 20th century.
I respectfully call upon you to take immediate steps to formally protest the exclusion of the Armenian Genocide from Holocaust Memorial Day.
Sample Phone Script
(The phone will be answered by a receptionist. Ask to speak directly to the person handling the planning of Holocaust Memorial Day activities. If he/she is not available, leave a written or voice-mail message.)
I am calling to ask you to protest the exclusion of the Armenian
Genocide from the upcoming Holocaust Memorial Day program on
While I fully support this worthwhile commemoration, I am extremely
troubled that the Turkish government has been allowed to pressure
our government into compromising on this fundamental human rights
No discussion of genocide can be complete without appropriate
consideration of the Armenian Genocide. The Holocaust Day memorial
programs should include a careful examination of the implications
of the Armenian Genocide for the systematic massacres which
followed - including the genocide of European Jews, Gypsies, and
Poles by Nazi Germany, and those that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda,
I respectfully ask that you file a formal protest with the
Government and contact me with the result of your actions. I can
be reached at ________________.
Genocide is a crime like no other. It literally means to murder or to try to murder an entire race.
The Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923 was committed by the Turkish government of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. One and a half million innocent people were murdered. At that time, the leaders of the United Kingdom, France and Russia condemned these "crimes against humanity". Newspapers from all over the world provided extensive coverage of the Armenian Genocide.
Correspondents for the Times wrote about entire towns in Turkey where "the whole Armenian population... numbering some 10,000 souls, was thus exterminated" (22 May 1916. Times, London). And where "women and children... were subjected to brutal treatment" (21 December 1915. Times, London).
In 1916 the British Government commissioned Viscount James Bryce to compile evidence in regards to the systematic and deliberate destruction of the Armenian people. He presented over 150 documents, which recounted eyewitness descriptions of the massacres. These documents were published as 'Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-16'. It remains to this day one of the most compelling works on the Armenian Genocide.
Raphael Lemkin, the scholar and historian who invented the word 'genocide,' explained its definition as being what "the Turks did to the Armenians, and the Germans did to the Jews". Since that time, many governments, institutions and parliaments all over the world have recognized and commemorated the Armenian Genocide, including, just this year, the French Senate, the Italian Parliament, and the European Parliament (for the second time), as well as the Swedish Prime Minister and Pope John Paul II.
Despite the overwhelming evidence the Turkish government still claims that the Armenian Genocide never took place.