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May 18, 2023

108th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Today, the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) marks the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. On this day, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, we commemorate the date of which a large-scale program of imprisonment marked a major escalation in the Ottoman Empire's violent persecution of its Armenian population, which would later be recognized as the Armenian Genocide. This event is widely recognized as one of the first "modern genocides" due to the scale, duration, and character of the atrocities committed.

Starting on April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities detained and interned leaders and intellectuals from Constantinople's Armenian community. This was followed by a series of arrests that resulted in the imprisonment, relocation, and/or murder of notable Armenians across the Ottoman Empire over several months. Soon thereafter, Ottoman authorities commenced internment, displacement, and deportation actions against the general Armenian population, primarily targeting Armenians for forced labor camps and arbitrary execution. Women, children, and elderly members of the Armenian community were made to participate in “death marches” through what is now the Syrian desert, with many subjected to torture and rape in addition to death by attrition.

The number of Armenians who lost their lives as a result of the genocide is estimated to be between 1,000,000 and 1,800,000, according to various historians. This figure represents around 70% of the Armenian community in the region. The magnitude and brutality of these killings served as one of the primary motivations behind the creation of the term "genocide" by Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin, which ultimately led to the establishment of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

On April 24, 2021, President Biden recognized the Armenian Genocide, making him the first US President to do so formally. This proclamation set a global example and provided a measure of justice to the families of the victims. It also represented a crucial step towards ending the spread of denialist and revisionist agendas that can enable and inspire future mass atrocities. Last year President Biden issued a statement in memory of the victims that stated:

As we reflect on the Armenian genocide, we renew our pledge to remain vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms. We recommit ourselves to speaking out and stopping atrocities that leave lasting scars on the world.

The Auschwitz Institute stands with the Armenian community and others worldwide in remembering these atrocities. Universal recognition is crucial to inhibit the spread of dangerous revisionist and denialist agendas, in addition to bolstering essential processes for truth, justice, and memorialization that contribute to resilient societies. The Auschwitz Institute supports those fighting for full and universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide as part of our shared historical record, not only for historical accuracy but also as a vital component of post-conflict atrocity prevention.

Sheri P. Rosenberg

Documentos de orientación y notas informativas sobre prevención

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Informes de investigación y libros blancos

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SNCF Papers

Llenar el silencio: Un estudio sobre la historia corporativa del Holocausto y la naturaleza de la memoria corporativa
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Instituto Auschwitz Informes anuales

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Recursos de formación

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Folleto sobre los mecanismos nacionales de prevención del genocidio y otros crímenes atroces (2015-2018)

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Informes anuales de la Red Latinoamericana para la Prevención del Genocidio y Atrocidades Masivas

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Historias de impacto

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