And it took place nearly thirty years before the Nazis implement their "final solution". But it was not a Germany frenzied by the mad ravings of a failed artist, or any other European nation. It was instead the Ottoman Empire. The time was World War I. And the target for extermination was Armenian Christians as well as many other minorities that did not fit the criteria of existence by the Muslim government.
It was one hundred years ago today, on April 24th, 1915, that the Armenian Genocide began, starting with the arrest and eventual murder of nearly three hundred ethnic Armenian leaders and intellectuals. Very soon after, the government widened its scope to include all of the predominantly Christian minorities: peoples who had enjoyed some measure of toleration since the days of the fall of Constantinople. But no more.
By the end of the war, one and a half million Christians, Jews, and racial minorities had been killed by the Ottomans.
|Armenians being evicted by Ottoman soldiers|
|Naked Christian girls, crucified during the Armenian Genocide|
The Armenian Genocide Museum has a vast amount of material about the genocide, including much photo documentation of the atrocities. It is well worth reading, if for no other reason that because it is a vivid chronicle of the situation and events that led up to the slaughter.
May we learn from it. May such a thing as this never happen again.