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Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Historians continue to debate the extent of German responsibility for the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The Ottoman Empire was an ally of Germany during WWI (1914- 1918). During the war, Germany was blamed for the Armenian Genocide. Historian Arnold Toynbee in his widely read pamphlet Armenian Atrocities published in 1915 “indicted” Germany for what he called a “shameful and terrible page of modern history” in Armenia.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Haig Baronian’s testimony touches on two important and interrelated dimensions of the Armenian Genocide: the gendered nature of forms and patterns of violence, and the Islamization and incorporation of Armenian women and children into Muslim households and society.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Prof. Richard Hovannisian on the life and testimony of Alice Muggerditchian Shipley. This is the third testimony in the Armenian Genocide Testimony series.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Prof. Richard Hovannisian describes the life of Armenian Genocide survivor Ashrag Dickranian. This is the fourth testimony in the Armenian Genocide Testimony clip series.
Friday, April 3, 2015
Over the last several years, I’ve had the distinct privilege to work with the recorded materials collected by the late Dr. J Michael Hagopian. A survivor of the Armenian Genocide himself, Michael had the foresight to capture the voices of those who witnessed the atrocities first hand.  Later this month, the USC Shoah Foundation will make a group of 60 of these interviews available through the Visual History Archive, ensuring that these recollections will be preserved in perpetuity, for future generations.  Michael would have certainly been proud to witness this accomplishment.
Friday, April 3, 2015
After the disastrous Balkan wars of 1912-13, the Turks lost most of their European possessions. To dilute the Armenian presence and create a homogenous Turkish and Muslim population that would unequivocally support the Turkish state, the Young Turks decided on a policy of resettling Muslim refugees from the Balkan wars in Armenian areas and deporting the indigenous population.  These early measures led to the impoverishment and death of thousands; then came the First World War with Turkey taking the side of Germany against Russia and its allies.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
In the spring of 1915, the Young Turk regime of the Ottoman began a genocide against its Armenian population under the cover of World War I. This minute-long excerpt features survivor Haroutune Aivazian.  He describes the horror his mother faced when a town crier in Marash, a city in Cilcia in South West Anatolia, called for the Armenians of the community to gather in a square just outside of the town for deportation. As his mother prepared for the journey, a local Turkish man warned the family that deportation meant death.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
100 Days to Inspire Respect In every genocide, in spite of the horror of human killing and the danger that poses, there are remarkable people that come to the fore.  Armin T. Wegner was in the German Sanitary Corps and was posted to Eastern Turkey during WWI.  There he was witness to the genocide of the Armenian people. Seeing the devastating consequences of the deportations he documented the genocide in photographs, keeping meticulous notes at great personal risk.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Professor Richard Hovannisian provides commentary for the testimony clip of Jirair Suchiasian.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Professor Richard Hovannisian explains the emotion expressed in the eyewitness testimonies to the Armenian Genocide is what sets the Armenian Genocide Testimony Collection at USC Shoah Foundation apart from other written and audio testimony collections.
Friday, April 3, 2015
Prof. Richard Hovannisian describes the life of Armenian Genocide survivor Elsie Hagopian Taft. This is the fifth testimony in the Armenian Genocide Testimony clip series. 
Thursday, April 23, 2015
In 1968, filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian received a phone call as he describes in this clip, from a German, who had apparently been stationed in a medical corps in the Ottoman Empire in 1915/1916 and witnessed what happened to Armenians. Michael had not heard of this person before, but knew right away that this could be an important interview. Why?
Friday, April 10, 2015
When Michael Hagopian made his first classic acclaimed documentary on the Armenian Genocide in 1975, nominated for two Emmys, he titled the film “The Forgotten Genocide.” Since then decades have passed and hundreds of publications in a variety of languages have been written on the subject. The Armenian Genocide has now taken its rightfully important place within the field of genocide studies. It is not a “forgotten genocide” anymore, despite the existence of a denialist State - Turkey, which has developed denialism into an Industry.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Levon Giridlian was born in Ottoman Empire, in Kayseri (Armenian: Kesaria) in the region of Cappadocia. Kayseri had once been a major Christian center, as attested by the numerous chapels hewn into the mountainous terrain. Although not a part of the historic Armenian highlands to the east, the county of Kayseri at the end of the nineteenth century had about 70,000 Armenian inhabitants, active in agriculture, the crafts and trades, and, among them, a significant number of regional and international merchants.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Michael Hagopian conducted almost all of the interviews in the Armenian Genocide Testimony collection.  After he died in December 2010, the Armenian Film Foundation received a request to interview Almas Boghosian, in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. Her granddaughter Taline had interviewed her in 2000, but her family wanted Almas to be interviewed again for this collection. I called a cameraman I knew from my previous work with the BBC and we went to Almas’ house, and met Almas’ grandson Bruce Boghosian and his wife, Laura.  
Monday, April 6, 2015
The noted Armenian hero General Antranig Ozanian, was born on February 25, 1865, and died on August 31, 1927. He spent the final years of his life living quietly with his wife in Fresno, California.General Antranig was the most well-known of Armenian freedom fighters in the twentieth century, and his exploits are remembered by Armenians throughout the world. General Antranig is buried today at the Yerablur cemetery in Yerevan, Armenia.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Sam Kadorian was born in 1907 in Hussenig, a small village in the province of Kharpert, in the eastern plains of Anatolia. He survived the Genocide in 1915 at the age of 8 when the Turkish gendarmes grabbed all the young boys of the village ages 5 to 10 and threw them into a pile on the sandy beach of the shores of the Euphrates River and starting jabbing them with their swords and bayonets. Fortunately, they only nipped his cheek and his grandmother later found him and nursed him back to health.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Alice Muggerditchian Shipley was 11 years old when in autumn of 1914 Turkey entered the war alongside Germany against the Allied Powers, and the atrocities against Armenians began. The Ottoman government took advantage of the war years to realize its premeditated and systematically implemented annihilation of the Armenian population. In this short clip, Alice describes the horrors of the first few months before her family was forced to take the route of deportation out of Harpout (Kharbert).
Friday, April 10, 2015
Vahram Morookian describes an experience that in some ways was typical and in at least one way unusual for the Armenian Genocide.  He was from Everek, a town in central Turkey near the well-known center of Kayseri.  The Armenian population of his town was deported, which was the common form the genocide took in the months and years after the early 1915 extermination of the 250,000 Armenian men in the Ottoman army and the national Armenian political, cultural, and religious leadership beginning April 24, 1915.  With most potential defenders and organizers removed, the deportations meant to d
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The murder of extended families, the targeting of community leaders, the critical role of eyewitnesses--each of these factors surfaces in Haigas Bonapart’s interview. These tactics are all too familiar to those of us who study the crime of genocide and the strategies employed by its perpetrators. By destroying communal ties and eliminating those individuals who might rally a group in self-defense, civilians under systematic assault are made much more vulnerable to isolation and mass violence.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Dirouhi Haigas was a young Turkish-Armenian girl of 7 when she and her family were abruptly uprooted from their home and deported on foot to the southern desert. A native of Konya, Turkey, she had lived an idyllic life up to that time with her parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncles. Her father was in the family business as a leather merchant, and her uncles were amateur musicians who loved nothing more than to get together with friends and relatives to enjoy folk music and dancing.  This life came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of World War I.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Wolf Dieter Bihl is a famous Austrian historian, with a number of published works on Austria-Hungary and the First World War. In this clip, he is touching upon two important issues pertaining to the history of the Armenian Genocide. The first is his assertion that representatives of the allies of the Ottoman Empire during the war, i.e. that other Central Powers, and Germany and Austria-Hungary in particular, reported extensively in their internal, confidential correspondence that what the Young Turk government was up to was actually a determined attempt to exterminate the Armenian race.
Friday, April 17, 2015
This brief clip reveals a number of significant points about the early stage of the Armenian Genocide (spring-summer 1915) in many areas. The first is that although one reads in memoirs and accounts of Armenians who were expecting “something bad to happen,” many, if not most, Armenian villagers believed that they were going to be relocated in a peaceful manner.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Mihran Andonian is describing an experience that was common during the Armenian Genocide.  Some Armenian mothers, certain that they would not survive the death marches into the desert, let their children be taken by Muslims (Turks, Arabs, Kurds), hoping to guarantee survival. Other Armenian mothers on the caravans died while still with their children leaving these orphans to fend for themselves. Indeed, thousands of Armenian children were left homeless by the end of World War I and were either taken in by locals or rounded up by missionaries and brought to orphanages.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
“Get angry about it”, the conclusion of this clip, presents one of Israel Charny’s most important messages.
Friday, April 24, 2015
In this brief clip Father Krikor Guerguerian is faced with a theological question that has challenged many survivors of the Armenian Genocide. The perpetrator confesses to him that he killed his father, three brothers and confiscated their house and garden and asks Guerguerian for forgiveness.
Friday, April 24, 2015
In this short clip Harry Kurkjian recalls Armenians who were about to be killed crying out in despair, “Where are you God?”  “Why are you punishing us?”  As the first nation to convert to Christianity in 301 AD, the events of 1915 raised a fundamental theological problem for Armenians.  If God is good and all-powerful, why was he not intervening on their behalf?  The problem of theodicy, as theologians refer to it, is an issue that surfaces in nearly every genocide, driving some people to completely abandon faith in God.  Indeed, the “God is Dead” movement arose after the Holocaust as Jewis
Friday, April 24, 2015
In some ways, the one minute we spend with Elsie Hagopian Taft – 56 seconds, to be precise – is a wrenching primer on the Armenian Genocide. It is a poignant and powerful evocation of an innermost ring of Dante’s inferno, and a courageous explanation of why the Armenian Genocide matters today.
Friday, April 10, 2015
Aurora Mardiganian speaks here as a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. But from 1918-1920, she was also the face of the Genocide to literally millions of Americans and to others throughout the world. Her tragic, horrific story was told through a 1918 semi-autobiographical book, Ravished Armenia, and a 1919 screen adaptation, also known as Auction of Souls. With the immediacy of a newsreel, the human side to the Genocide was brought to the screen.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Born into an affluent German Jewish family, Henry Morgenthau, Sr. was raised in New York, where he attended school and received his training as an attorney at Columbia. An early supporter of Woodrow Wilson, Morgenthau was tapped by the then newly-elected president to become the United States Ambassador for the Ottoman Empire.

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