The Armenian Genocide is widely viewed as the first "modern" genocide because of the way strategic plans were implemented with the intention of wiping out an entire race. Adolf Hitler addressed these atrocities that took place during World War I as proper foundations for his plan to carry out genocide against Jews in Europe. In a speech he gave before the invasion of Poland in 1939, Hitler announced proudly that he intended to mercilessly exterminate this race of people, and supported his goals by saying "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" To this day, little to no punishments or consequences have been enforced upon those who committed the violent acts. Thus, the victims of the tragic events have seen no restitution.
It provides a good feeling then when a century later efforts are being made to provide some form of compensation. Although no amount of mass recognition will ever change the tragedies of the past, efforts to accurately remember and solemnly honor those who suffered is a necessary act of respect. The Genocide Education Project is a resource library published for educators which aims to spread awareness of the genocide that took place in the early 1900's.
The Genocide Education Project will be hosting a workshop for high school educators on June 10th in Watertown, Massachusetts. The intent of the seminar is to train teachers how to delicately yet accurately present the subject of the Armenian Genocide, and how best to teach it to students in the classroom. These kinds of guidance conventions are invaluable, especially in places like America, which are geographically isolated from ground zero. Consequentially, topics like the Armenian genocide receive very little coverage these countries' school curricula, while the majority of teachers and students have little direct connection to the past events. (Currently only 11 states in America require their students to learn about the Armenian Genocide.)
The workshop will last from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and features special guest Asdghig "Starrie" Alemian, a survivor of the genocide. It will be held at the Armenian Library and Museum of America, located at 65 Main St. in Watertown Square. The museum is easily accessible using public transportation, particularly the MBTA bus lines.
"Understanding the Armenian Genocide from Primary Sources" if the name of this daylong training assembly which will feature six different speakers, including Dikran Kaligian, Ph.D., professor of history at Worchester State University. Kaligian will speak specifically about "Genocide and the History of the Armenian Genocide." Another speaker, Sara Cohan of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, plans to focus her time on "Testimony: The educational power of Armenian Genocide survivor interviews."
Hosts and sponsors of the event include The Genocide Education Project, Watertown Public Schools, Boston Public Schools, the National Association for Armenian Studies, and The Armenian Library and Museum of America. The USC Shoah Foundation is also a notable participant. "Understanding the Armenian Genocide from Primary Sources" will help shed light on a relatively unknown topic that needs to receive more attention from schools and the general public.