Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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The enemy of the genocides truth

One of the recurring characteristics in genocidary phenomena is the persecutors’ attempt to conceal the massacres proofs and deny the purpose of the slaughters, bestowing the responsibility to the victims theirselves with a planned operation of mystification of reality. Bending the language to the needs in order to lessen this plan is fundamental. Nazis paid an obsessive attention, between them and abroad, to the use of “neutral” terms to describe the anti-Semitic policy: “final solution” instead of “extermination”, “transportation” instead of “deportation”; the same linguistic gimmicks were used by the authors of the first genocide of the XX century, pretending to legitimize the Armenians’ persecution as the necessary safeguard of turkish government against a population considered to be close to the Russian enemy; as well as in the Gulag system in URSS, defined by the Party-State as a way to “re-educate” the “enemies of the people” - actually condemned to hard labour in inhuman conditions till death, because they were political rivals (or thought to be), but frequently innocent victims.

In the following years, historians’ researches focused on the documentary sources that testified the reality of the extermination and the will to put it into effect, supported by well-defined plans - as it is reminded by the declaration signed by UN in December 1948, in which the meaning of the term “genocide” is defined. This labour was punctually contested by a few scholars who brought into question the authenticity of the sources and the resulting historical analysis, with the attempt - sometimes clever, sometimes awkward - to attribute to the facts a different interpretation, if not to deny them entirely, rejecting anyway the purpose behind the extermination.

The revisionist theories are punctually rejected by the scientific community with no great consequences on the side of research and historical truth affirmation. On a political, social and cultural prospective, though, it is much more dangerous to affirm - as in a game of mirrors - the paradox that transforms the victims in guilty and absolves the persecutors. Therefore, German people had the strength to deal with their past, led by some heads of state able to face the bonds of a moral purification of the nation, after Nazism and the post-Communist unification, whereas the turkish government - after almost a century - still denies the Armenian genocide and persecutes the ones who dare mention it. In Russia it is better to exalt the role played by the Soviet Union against Hitler during World War Second and recognize as a leader an ex-KGB man, heavily compromised with the most repressive part of the old Communist regime; in Iran the head of the government Ahmadinejad comes back to talk about “Jewish conspiracy”, hitting off the old fake of Sion protocols and accusing Israel of having invented Shoah to dominate the world with the Western complicity.

With the passage of time, when survivals and testimonies are no longer able to describe the facts, as documents get lost, proofs deteriorate, disdain tempers in the memory of fact not lived by person, it becomes the more important to impose the historical truth of a genocide. Young people risk not to know, overlooking important parts of history that affect them closely, as citizens of the world, as human beings. To defend the memory of crimes against humanity represents a duty towards the victims, who deserve the world respect, and the survivors, the relatives and the heirs, who have the right of their sorrow to be recognized together with the responsibility of their oppressors. Without a shared memory of the persecution lived by the people, a vital part of their identity is lost and restores an infinite and already lived ordeal, the torment of injustice, the emptiness of solitude.

Revisionism renews the sorrow of the victims and deprives of the possibility to ponder the human capability to hurting and finding an antidote to prevent it - revisionism therefore impedes the young people to equip their selves for their future.