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September 09, 1983 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-09-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

16 Friday, September 9, 1983

SOUTHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Brace/Lederle Community Education Center
offers ENGLISH FOR IMMIGRANTS

(beginning, intermediate, advanced)
and

HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION / GED CLASSES

— Free for Adults without a Diploma
— Day and Evening classes available
at various locations
— Free Child Care
— Classes begin September 6, 1983

Register at our main location: Brace/Lederle Community Education Center
18575 West Nine Mile Road (between Southfield and Evergreen)
beginning August 23, 9:00 A.M.-7:30 P.M.

Immigrants please bring your alien card to register.

For further information call: 354-7456 or 354-8469

Nazis, Turks, Jews, Armenians and Terrorism

By VICTOR BIENSTOCK

The widening campaign
by anti-Semites here and
abroad to convince the
world that the Holocaust
never really happened
makes it easier for Jews to
understand the utter frus-
tration of those Armenians
who have been goaded into
senseless violence by the
Turkish government's
adamant refusal to admit
that its predecessors waged
genocidal warfare against
Turkey's Armenian popula-
tion. More than a million
men, women and children
were killed.

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To this day, 68 years after
the event, the Turkish gov-
ernment persists in denying
the massacres ever took
place, arguing that, despite
all the evidence of their
massive action, all the
Turks had attempted to do
as the Russian armies ad-
vanced was to "relocate
Turkish Armenians away
from the war zones." The
Turkish ambassador in
Washington gave this ex-
planation earlier this year.
Historians have con-
vincingly established, how-
ever, that on the pretext
that the Armenian popula-
tion was assisting the Rus-
sian armies, the Turks
drove them out of their
homes in eastern Anatolia
abutting the Black Sea and
the Russo-Turkish frontier
into the Mesopotamian des-
ert to die of hunger and
thirst.
There are elements of
comparison between this
display of inhumanity
and the Nazi army's ac-
tion 23 years later when
Jews living in the Aust-
rian province of Burgen-
land were stranded on is-
lands in the Danube
River and left to die. The
Turkish action involved a
million or more souls; this
one Nazi action only a
few hundred.
Had it not been for the
Armenian massacres, Adolf
Hitler might never have
had the courage to go

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through with his ambition
to make Europe Judenrein,
not by deportation to some
isolated corner of the world
(he once thought of dump-
ing all the Jews on the is-
land of Madagascar) but by
extermination.
Students of the Nazi era
say that during his formula-
tion of the Final Solution
Hitler argued that if the
civilized world would not
prevent the Turks from
massacring the Armenians,
it would not intervene to
prevent his extermination
of the Jews. History, tragi-
cally, proved him to be cor-
rect.
A memorial to the mar-
tyred Armenians will be lo-
cated in the Holocaust
memorial being established
in Washington. It is fitting
because there is a direct
link between the Armenian
genocide and the Holocaust.
Franz Werfel, the late
German-Jewish writer,
suggested this linkage
and foresaw the
Holocaust in his precient
novel, "The Forty Days of
Musa Dagh" which was
published in 1933 when
Hitler was just beginning
to implement discrimina-
tions against the Jews in
Germany.
His novel has a scene in
which a visiting German
pastor tries to convince
Enver Pasha, the Turkish
Minister of Defense and the
director of the campaign
against the Armenians, to
halt the persecutions.
Enver challenged him, dec-
laring that if Germany were
to find itself in critical times
"with traitors in her midst
— Alsace-Lorrainers, shall
we say, or Poles, or Social
Democrats or Jews . . .
would you consider it cruel
if, for the sake of victory, all
dangerous elements were
simply herded together and
sent to a distant, uninha-
bited territory?"
With memories of the_ap-
palling treatment the Tur-
kish overlords gave the
Jews who came to live in
Palestine — the Orthodox
who lived and prayed in
Jerusalem and the settlers
who came determined to re-
build the Jewish homeland,
particularly during the
World War I years — it is
not easy to disregard the
past.
The Jews never had and
do not now have any special
reason to like the Turks. As
a persecuted people, the
Jews could and do have
strong sympathies for the
Armenians, the Kurds and
other oppressed peoples and
also a strong desire to help
them.
There has long been a
homology between the
Armenian and Jewish
peoples. Both have been
uprooted and repressed;
both races have gone
through centuries of op-
pression. The parallels in
their histories are
numerous and they share
so many attributes as to
create an intangible bond
between them.
The yearnings of the
Armenians to see an Arme-

nian nation around Mt.
Ararat is akin to the yearn-
ings of the Jews in the years
when Jewish nationhood
was only a distant dream to
restore the Promised Land.
The Jews now have their
home to which all Jews
everywhere but in the
Soviet Union have the right
to go. Most of the Arme-
nians are still in exile or liv-
ing under Soviet rule. Like
American Jews, the Arme-
nians here have become
part of the American fabric
and, in the same way that
relatively few American
Jews want to settle in Is-
rael, few Armenian Ameri-
cans would probably want
to pull up roots.
But there are thousands
and thousands of Arme-
nians in the Middle East
who have never been per-
manently settled, who have
always suffered the abuses
and indignities every
minority suffers in that part
of the world, to whom a free
and independent Armenia
is a cherished vision.
It is mainly from among
these people that the
Armenian
terrorist
have
organizations
drawn their membership.
A younger generation
which has never seen or
known its homeland
wants the world to rec-
ognize the crimes corn-
mitted against its race
and the demands that the
Turkish nation confess
its guilt.
It could only attract at-
tention by violence. Its
largest organization was
encouraged by the Palestine
Liberation Organization,
its guerrillas trained by the
PLO. The Armenian Secret
Army for the Liberation of
Armenia, with its PLO con-
nections, is now based in
Syria and is financed
primarily by the Soviet
Union and the Syrians. Its
politics are far to the left.
The second largest of the
terrorist groups is the Jus-
tice Commandos which is
held responsible for attacks
on Turkish diplomats in
this country. It is described
as a right-wing organiza-
tion which has received fi-
nancial support from
Greece and other countries:-
Another group, the Arme-
nian Revolutionary Army,
is also active in Europe.
French intelligence
sources believe that Arme-
nian Secret Ariny guerril-
las, trained by the PLO, col-
laborated with it in the ter-
rorist attacks on Jewish in-
stitutions in France.
Most Jews feel an obli-
gation to support the
Armenian attempts to
reunite their nation on
their native land, but like
most of the Armenian
leadership, lay and cleri-
cal, they draw the line at
terrorism.
Michael J. Arlen, the
writer and author of the
moving "Passage to
Ararat," has publicly de-
plored the fact that a tiny
number of Armenians have
surrendered "to the mur-
derous and dehumanizing
sickness of terrorism."

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