Genocide Education to 2012 Commemoration Events
Executive Director, Raffi Momjian,
at Mt. Davidson Cross in San
San Francisco, CA—On the occasion
of the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, The Genocide
Education Project (GenEd) reached out to teachers and community
members, reminding them of the importance of expanding
instruction about the first genocide of the 20th century into
more school classrooms. GenEd’s commemorative initiatives
culminated in hosting the April 30th presentation by Prof. Uğur
Üngör on Turkey’s seizure of Armenian property during and after
the Armenian Genocide (see below for online link to video.)
GenEd contacted thousands of
teachers, offering lesson plans and a variety of teaching
resources, noting the opportunity to tie the coursework to the
anniversary of the beginning of the Genocide.
Shant Hogopian, representing
GenEd, spoke to students at UC Riverside, and GenEd Southern
California Regional Director, Suzanne Douzmanian, spoke to
members of the Pasadena Armenia Relief Society and members of
the Nights of Vartan, about the scope of GenEd’s work, making
Armenian Genocide education part of school curriculums.
GenEd Executive Director, Raffi
Momjian, was keynote speaker at the Bay Area Armenian Genocide
Commemoration at Mt. Davidson Cross in San Francisco.
"By bringing the lessons of the
Armenian Genocide into America’s classrooms, we feel we
commemorate the Armenian Genocide in a practical and lasting way
every day of the year," said Momjian. "With every high school
teacher that teaches the Armenian Genocide, we reach at least
100 students each year. We work towards the day when every
student in the country will graduate from high school with an
understanding of the Armenian Genocide and the pattern of
genocides that followed."
Quoting former United States
president James Garfield, Momjian said, "Next in importance to
freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither
freedom nor justice can be maintained."
GenEd hosted a presentation in San
Francisco by Prof. Uğur Üngör about the Turkish government’s
confiscation of properties during and after the Armenian
Üngör’s lecture was based on his
two recent books, The Making of Modern Turkey, which
addresses how Western Armenia became part of the Turkish state,
and Confiscation and Destruction, about Turkey’s seizure
of Armenian Property.
Based on a decade of research on a
range of unexamined records, Üngör argued that the Armenian
Genocide was not one process of deportations and massacres, but
that it encompassed a range of at least eight destruction
policies. He offered insights into the economic ramifications of
the genocide and how the plunder was organized and carried out.
He also showed how this systematic destruction of the Armenian
nation on its historic homeland also paved the way for the
modern Turkish nation state.
VIDEO: Prof. Uğur Üngör
Presentation on Turkey’s Seizure
of Armenian Property During and
After the Armenian Genocide
(April 30, 2012)
Üngör described how the Turkish
government carried out very elaborate and labor intensive
methods to confiscate Armenian properties and businesses,
enriching members of the Turkish government and military elite.
He said properties were also given to Muslim refugees brought to
resettle Armenian lands. The properties also served to finance
the government’s needs, including the costs of the deportations
of Armenians during the Genocide.
Üngör spoke about particular
families, like the Pirincczade family of Diyarbekir, who
benefited enormously from confiscations of Armenian properties,
especially those of previously Armenian-owned successful copper
factories. He pointed out how the list of the members of the
Diyarbekir chamber of commerce in 1935 there was a "complete overlap
with genocide perpetrators." He said, "So, this really is the
Turkish national economy in a way. This was the project that
Talaat Pasha had in mind, and he succeeded."
Prof. Üngör is assistant professor
of history at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He is also
a researcher at the university’s Center for Holocaust and
Genocide Studies and is a regular contributor to the Armenian
Weekly newspaper. Üngör received his PhD in Holocaust and
Genocide Studies in 2009 from the University of Amsterdam. He is
of Turkish descent, born in Turkey and raised in Europe.
The Genocide Education
Project is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that
assists educators in teaching about human rights and genocide,
particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and
distributing instructional materials, providing access to
teaching resources and organizing educational workshops.