Day 15 of 30 Days of Testimony: Taner Akcam on the testimony Nium Sukkar

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. Even though the Armenian Genocide is now studied by scholars, researchers and students around the world there are still challenges and problems that must be confronted head on including the lack of recognition within the international community. The Armenian Genocide Testimony Collection at USC Shoah Foundation is an important milestone in the long journey and will help to close the circle that Michael Hapogian started in 1975. The hundreds of video testimonies including Nium Sukkar’s, an Arab eyewitness to the atrocities at Deir ez-Zor, will continue to inform the world on what happened 100 years ago.

In addition to the eyewitness testimonies they are many informative web-sites, valuable books and other documentation on this subject, which all play a vital role in curtailing denial. Any reference to the topic should start with publications by Vahakn Dadrian, who deserved to be called the founder of our research field, and Richard Hovannisian, a leading expert on the Armenian Genocide. Their contributions must be respected especially. For more information on the history of the Armenian Genocide, I suggest starting with Raymond Kevorkian’s The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History and my two books A Shameful Act and The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity.

Author: Taner Akçam, Kaloosdian/Mugar Professor, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University

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Language: English