Armenian Genocide Quotes
- 1 World figures
- 2 Turkish Quotes
- 3 Various Western Quotes
- 4 Other Quotes
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.
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?
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.
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
Beginning with multiple quotes from the 3 rulers of wartime Turkey, Cemal Pasha, Enver Pasha and Talat 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.
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.
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 killed...by 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Lord Robert Cecil
Under-secretary of state for foreign affairs (House of Commons, Hansard (5th series), Vol. LXXV, 16 November 1915, Cols. 1770-1776.)
- I think it may be said, without the least fear of exaggeration, that no more horrible crime has been committed in the history of the world... This is a premeditative crime determined on long ago... It was a long-considered, deliberate policy to destroy and wipe out of existence the Armenians in Turkey. It was systematically carried out. It was ordered from above...
S. D. Sazonov
From speech of S. D. Sazonov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the State Duma
- ...I had to refer to the unprecedented sufferings of this unfortunate nation before. Under the favourable control of the allied Germany, the Turks evidently intend to fulfil their long-standing dream to exterminate the Armenians, which do not submit to the influence of the Muslims and hinder the plans of Germany to subdue the Turkish Empire in economy and politics...
Dispatch of Smirnov, the Russian envoy to Cairo, to S. Sazonov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs. (June 25, 1915)
- Cruelties committed against the Armenians in Syria and neighboring vilayets, violations, massacres and very often mass slaughter of the population of the Armenian villages are constantly repeated; families are cruelly separated, wives are separated from husbands, children are separated from parents, and all of them are exiled in various directions. Especially the Armenian clergy are pursued cruelly; the priests are haunted, tortured, their nails are pulled out.
- 12,000 Turkish troops lately occupied Zeitoun which was a stronghold for the Armenians and didn't let the Turkish forces come near. Threatening, lying and giving promises the Turks made the Armenians surrender and occupying the city they settled accounts with the inhabitants and the defenders of the city. Thousands of people were slaughtered in spite of the promises of security...
(1873-1924) Russian writer, literary critic, translator.
- "Turks continued their previous policy. They would not stop to commit massive and most awful massacres that even Leng Timur would not dare to do". -1916
Report of Wangenheim, German ambassador in the Ottoman Empire to the Reichskanzler Behtmann-Hollweg on June 17, 1915:
- Deportation of the Armenians from their homes in the vilayets of Eastern Anatolia, and their resettlement in other regions is implemented cruelly...
- ...it becomes obvious that deportation of the Armenians arises not only from military necessity, the internal minister Talaat Bey told about it honestly to Doctor Mortsman, who is employed at the Empire Embassy now. Talaat said: "The Sublime Porte intends to make use of the world war for cleaning the whole country from internal enemies, the local Christians, so that foreign countries won't hinder doing it by their diplomatic interference. This measure will serve to the interests of all allies of Turkey, especially the Germans and so the latters will be able to consolidate"...
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.)