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HOLOCAUST EDUCATION AND GENOCIDE PREVENTION

Armenia

Armenia

ARMENIA is a former Soviet Republic . The people in the Soviet Union were  provided with the official Soviet view of the Nazis as, above all, enemies of communism and with the war as less about the Holocaust and more about the heroism of the Russian people.

ARMENIAN national identity is very much tied to the nation’s collective memory of the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1918. The events were instrumental in leading to the very coining of the term “genocide” by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. Further, not only does the genocide figure prominently in Armenian memory, but since the independent Armenia, which emerged briefly after World War I, included only a fraction of the traditional Armenian lands, there are geopolitical reasons for putting the genocide at the center of national identity. Read more here.

Though the Holocaust might be useful for conversations about Armenian national trauma, this analogy has not undergone much public discussion. According to anthropologist Harutyun Marutyan, Armenians view the Holocaust strictly as a part of “Jewish history” and not relevant to Armenian history. Additionally, many Armenians regard the politically controversial status of the Armenian genocide as evidence that the world does not view it with the same legitimacy as the Holocaust. The fact that Israel has not yet officially acknowledged the Armenian genocide, Marutyan argues, is especially important because of the particular role the Holocaust plays in Israeli national identity. Thus, students in Armenian schools only indirectly acquire knowledge of the Holocaust through the study of World War II in world history or through the study of human rights.

 

RESOURCES

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON HOLOCAUST EDUCATION: Trends, Patterns, and Practices,  a publication of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Salzburg Global Seminar, 2013
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GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON HOLOCAUST EDUCATION: Country update 2014, published ahead of the Salzburg Global Seminar session Holocaust and Genocide Education: Sharing Experience Across Borders

fileadmin/user_upload/subsites/holocaust/HEGP_Country_Update_-_Armenia.pdfDownload PDF

LINKS

UNESCO:  Why Teach About the Holocaust?, 2013

BOOKS

Akçam, Taner. A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility. New 

York: Holt Paperbacks, 2006. 

Peroomian, Rubina. History of the Armenian Question. For Grade 9-10. Yerevan: Yerevan Press Club,

 2002.

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FELLOW UPDATE

Following the 2014 program, Holocaust and Genocide Education: Sharing Experience Across Borders, Asya Darbinyan, a PhD candidate at Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, lectured at Lowell High School on the Armenian genocide, and the importance of genocide and Holocaust education in combating denial of genocide, and preventing future human rights abuses. 

Harutyun Marutyan, who attended Learning from the Past: Global Perspectives on Holocaust Education in 2012, has been elected director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation. Marutyan said, "The knowledge I gained during the [program] was quite helpful, and I would like to have a possibility to continue the collaboration between our Museum-Institute and Salzburg Global Seminar."