Armenian Genocide Quotes

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World figures

Mustafa "Ataturk" Kemal

Founder of the modern Turkish Republic in 1923 and revered throughout Turkey, in an interview published on August 1, 1926 in The Los Angeles Examiner, talking about former Young Turks in his country...

These left-overs from the former Young Turk Party, who should have been made to account for the millions of our Christian subjects who were ruthlessly driven en masse, from their homes and massacred, have been restive under the Republican rule.

Adolf Hitler

While persuading his associates that a Jewish holocaust would be tolerated by the west stated...

Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

Yossi Beilin

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister. April 27, 1994 on the floor of the Knesset in response to a TV interview of the Turkish Ambassador

It was not war. It was most certainly massacre and genocide, something the world must remember... We will always reject any attempt to erase its record, even for some political advantage.

Gerald Ford

Addressing the US House of Representatives.

Mr. Speaker, with mixed emotions we mark the 50th anniversary of the Turkish genocide of the Armenian people. In taking notice of the shocking events in 1915, we observe this anniversary with sorrow in recalling the massacres of Armenians and with pride in saluting those brave patriots who survived to fight on the side of freedom during World War I. - Congressional Record, pg. 8890

Turkish Quotes

Beginning with multiple quotes from the 3 rulers of wartime Turkey, Cemal Pasha, Enver Pasha and Talat Pasha.

Enver Pasha

One of the triumvirate rulers publicly declared on 19 May 1916...

The Ottoman Empire should be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation.

In reply to US Ambassador Morgenthau who was deploring the massacres against Armenians and attributing them to irresponsible subalterns and underlings in the distant provinces, Enver's reply was...

You are greatly mistaken. We have this country absolutely under our control. I have no desire to shift the blame onto our underlings and I am entirely willing to accept the responsibility myself for everything that has taken place.

Talat Pasha

In a conversation with Dr. Mordtmann of the German Embassy in June 1915...

Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate (grundlich aufzaumen) its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.

After the German Ambassador persistently brought up the Armenian question in 1918, Talat said "with a smile"...

What on earth do you want? The question is settled. There are no more Armenians.

Cemal Pasha

To a German officer upon seeing the deportations in Mamure said...

I am ashamed of my nation (Ich schame mich fur meine Nation)

Minister of the Interior of Turkey publicly declared on March 15 that on the basis of computations undertaken by Ministry Experts...

800,000 Armenian deportees were actually holding the guilty accountable the government is intent on cleansing the bloody past.

Prince Abdul Mecid

Heir-Apparent to the Ottoman Throne, during an interview...

I refer to those awful massacres. They are the greatest stain that has ever disgraced our nation and race. They were entirely the work of Talat and Enver. I heard some days before they began that they were intended. I went to Istanbul and insisted on seeing Enver. I asked him if it was true that they intended to recommence the massacres which had been our shame and disgrace under Abdul Hamid. The only reply I could get from him was: 'It is decided. It is the program.'

Grand Vezir Damad Ferid Pasha

Equivalent rank in the US would be head of the cabinet I think. He described the treatment of the Armenians as...

A crime that drew the revulsion of the entire humankind.

Mustafa Arif

Minister of Interior stated on 13 December 1918...

Surely a few Armenians aided and abetted our enemy, and a few Armenian Deputies committed crimes against the Turkish nation... it is incumbent upon a government to pursue the guilty ones. Unfortunately, our wartime leaders, imbued with a spirit of brigandage, carried out the law of deportation in a manner that could surpass the proclivities of the most bloodthirsty bandits. They decided to exterminate the Armenians, and they did exterminate them.

Orhan Pamuk

Famous Turkish author stated (and was put on trial for making this statement) in February, 2005...

one million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it.

Various Western Quotes

Henry Morgenthau Sr.

U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, 1919

When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact. . . . I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915.

British Viscount James Bryce

October 6, 1915, speech

The massacres are the result of a policy which, as far as can be ascertained, has been entertained for some considerable time by the gang of unscrupulous adventurers who are now in possession of the Government of the Turkish Empire. They hesitated to put it in practice until they thought the favorable moment had come, and that moment seems to have arrived about the month of April.

House of Lords, Hansard (5th series), Vol. XIX, 6 October 1915. Cols?

I am sorry to say that such information has reached me from many quarters goes to show that the figure of 800,000 which the noble earl thought incredible as a possible total for those who have been destroyed since May last is, unfortunately, quite a possilbe number. That is because the proceedings taken have been so absolutely premeditated and systematic, the massacres are the result of a policy which, as far as can be ascertained, has been entertained for some considerable time by the gang who are now in possession of the government of the Turkish Empire.

Count Wolff-Metternich

German Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire July 10, 1916, cable to the German Chancellor

In its attempt to carry out its purpose to resolve the Armenian question by the destruction of the Armenian race, the Turkish government has refused to be deterred neither by our representations, nor by those of the American Embassy, nor by the delegate of the Pope, nor by the threats of the Allied Powers, nor in deference to the public opinion of the West representing one-half of the world.

Theodore Roosevelt

May 11, 1918, letter to Cleveland Hoadley Dodge

...the Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey is to condone it ... the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense.

Herbert Hoover

The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, 1952

The association of Mount Ararat and Noah, the staunch Christians who were massacred periodically by the Mohammedan Turks, and the Sunday School collections over fifty years for alleviating their miseries—all cumulate to impress the name Armenia on the front of the American mind.

Jimmy Carter

May 16, 1978, White House ceremony

It is generally not known in the world that, in the years preceding 1916, there was a concerted effort made to eliminate all the Armenian people, probably one of the greatest tragedies that ever befell any group. And there weren't any Nuremberg trials.

Ronald Reagan

April 22, 1981, proclamation

Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it, ... the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.

George H.W. Bush

April 20, 1990, speech in Orlando, Florida

[We join] Armenians around the world [as we remember] the terrible massacres suffered in 1915–1923 at the hands of the rulers of the Ottoman Empire. The United States responded to this crime against humanity by leading diplomatic and private relief efforts.

John Evans

US ambassador to Armenia said to American Armenians on February 19, 2005

"Today I shall call this Armenian genocide". "I think that we, the US government, owe you, our fellow citizens, a more straightforward and honest discussion of this problem. I can tell you as a person who has studied this problem - I have no doubts about what happened." "I think that it is inappropriate for us, the Americans, to play with words in this case". "I believe that we must call a spade a spade."

Hillary Clinton

While Senator:

Our common morality and our nation’s credibility as a voice or human rights challenge us to ensure that the Armenian Genocide be recognized and remembered by the Congress and the President of the United States.

Barack Obama

Then US Senator Barack Obama was asked by Azeri journalists during his trip to Baku over his signing of a letter to Pres. Bush asking him to recognize the Armenian Genocide. He told the Azeris:

“I believe the letter sent by the Senators to President George Bush to recognize the genocide of Armenians reflects historic facts.” He is quoted by AzerNews as saying that the letter to Bush indicated that a large number of innocent Armenians were killed during the genocide. “By signing the letter, I also defended the interests of the State of Illinois [that] I represent. Killing civilians anywhere in the world should not be allowed, ” Sen. Obama said.

Most of the quotes of Turkish origin are from Vahakn Dadrian's collections which were published in Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, Vol. 2 (Israel Charny, ed.)

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