Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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Armenia to start a Day of Remembrance

dedicated to the Righteous and witnesses to genocide

Between 1915 and 1923 in the area of the Ottoman Empire the government of the Young Turks exterminated 1,500,000 Armenians. Many children were forced to become Muslim and women were sent to harems. The Armenian genocide was the first one of the Twentieth century. Every year on 24 April the Armenian people commemorates this massacre with a procession at the Yerevan Memorial.

The Armenian genocide 

A law to fight oblivion

Armenia's consul and co-founder of the Gardens of the Righteous Committee Pietro Kuciukian met the President of the Armenian Parliament Mr.Hovik Abrahamian in Yerevan and introduced him to the activities of the International committee fo the Righteous for Armenians Memory is the future, which he founded in 1996.

The goal is to turn this project into a Parliament law remembering the non Armenian Righteous and witnesses to truth who reacted prior, during and after the genocide with deeds of generousity, help, testimony and exposure of the truth, to establish in Armenia a Remembrance Day dedicated to these exemplary figures and promoting educational projects in the schools of all types and grades.

The President of the Parliament agreed to Kuciukian's demand. To draft the text of the law the consul asked for the help of the director of Yerevan's Genocide Museum, Mr. Hayk Demoyan, and the supervision of the President of Armenia's Constitutional Court Mr. Gaghik Harutunyan, already a member of the Committee together with the late President of the Italian Constitutional Court Giuliano Vassalli.

Pietro Kuciukian said: "The centennial commemoration of the Armenian genocide is approaching year after year. The very few survivors, the children and grand children of survivors do not forget. Maybe one day they will be able to pardon. The evil time revealed the face of the villains, but also those of the Righteous, the witnesses to truth who have not forgotten. As witnesses to horror, they have written, documented, cried to the world what had happened in the waste lands of Anatolia, becoming "memory activists'. Their lives devoted to the commitment of testimony prevent the Armenians from feeling lonely and support them in their struggle for the recognition of truth against any kind of genocide denial. Writing history with them makes it possible to hope in a future of dialogue and reconciliation".

The Armenian Genocide and the Scandinavian response, international conference in Yerevan
Armenian Genocide feature on Facing history and ourselves

21 April 2011

Witnesses to truth

trying to stop the villains for a better future

Witnesses play a key role as a genocide case unfolds because they allow for reporting the ongoing crimes and calling for the world powers to stop it.This was made by Armin Wegner back at the beginning of the past centurym during the genocide against the Armenians in Anatolia. He remained unheeded, as was Jan Karski, the courier of the Polish resistance to London and Washington, who did never succeed in forgiving himself for not being able to persuade the "great men of earth" about the need to step in to stop the Shoah.Nonetheless, they both not only advocated international intervention, but also felt the duty to document persecution. They became witnesses beyond the present time, to advocate a better future. Running major personal risks, Wegner shot hundreds pictures, which remain the only exhaustive documentation up to the present day enabling us to counter all attempts to deny the Armenian genocide and to bring justice to the victims.Karski wanted risked his life for he wanted to check personally what was happening in the Warsaw Ghetto and in the Nazi camps to which the Jews where deported, so that he could bear indisputable testimony against the attempt to conceal the evidence of extermination.The writers, poets, intellectuals who dared report the Soviet tyranny depriving people of their freedom and dignity in the USRR were interned in the gulags, where many ot them died of hunger and hardship.

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Hassan Amdja

the Circassian officer who denounced the massacres he had witnessed during the genocide of the Armenians