New work on contemporary Jewish responses to the Armenian Genocide published
Published: Sunday August 19, 2012
Los Angeles - The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War saw the wholesale clearance of an entire people from their ancestral homeland and the shattering of their society and culture.
Massacred, uprooted from their homes, and expelled to the deserts of Syria, the Armenians found little shelter or comfort during the course of the deportations. But though isolated from the world and the very powers they had once looked to as the guarantors of their security, the Armenians were not left completely forlorn. For, despite the wartime conditions, there remained in the Ottoman Empire a small number of individuals still capable of giving voice to the suffering of the Armenians. They differed in background, ranging from businessmen, diplomats from foreign missions, to missionaries and educational instructors.
To their number is to be added Jewish men and women living in Ottoman-controlled Palestine who took a stand against the atrocities being committed against the Armenians. Author and attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan has assembled a diverse array of little-known works by this small band of Jewish men and women in Ottoman Turkey, who surreptitiously wrote about and gathered evidence on the genocide.
Included is the testimony of the American ambassador Henry Morgenthau, a tireless champion of the Armenian cause, and members of the NILI, the Jewish guerilla unit that worked alongside the Allied Powers and took part in daring spy operations against the Ottomans during the world war.
Pro Armenia is the first published collection of the first-hand testimony of these heroic Jews, preserved in memoirs, memoranda, and secret military reports. As we seek to make sense of the tragedy, it will serve as an important contribution to the expanding anthology of witness literature of the Armenian Genocide and those that followed.
The book "Pro Armenia: We are our brother's keeper" prepared by Vartkes Yeghiayan with a foreword by Antonina Arslan is available for purchase online through our website. For more information visit the Center for Armenian Remembrance at www.centerar.org.