359th Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in Berlin
An appeal to the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs: Genocide against the Armenians must become a topic of teaching German schools! (Press Release)
On the occasion of the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs on Thursday and Friday in Berlin, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has sent an appeal to the politicians, asking them to ensure that the genocide against the Armenians will become a topic of teaching in German school textbooks. “Please ensure that the genocide against the Armenians, the Assyrian and Aramaic-Chaldean, and the Greek Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire will become a topic of teaching in German schools, to create awareness for the subject at an early stage and to ensure that it will not be forgotten,” says the letter the human rights organization sent to the President of the KMK, Dr. Susanne Eisenmann. The STP had already addressed the individual ministers with this demand in the summer.
“In Germany, it should not be allowed to deny that the genocide, which began in 1915, ever occurred,” said the STP’s Middle East consultant, Kamal Sido, in Göttingen on Wednesday – referring to how the historic crime is treated in Turkey. “The German school pupils must be informed about the true story! They must be provided ethical orientation regarding the crimes – the worst kind of crime human beings are capable of. At the same time, it would be possible to discuss what role Germany played in the genocide. “Due to the close cooperation with the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, the German Reich was informed about the fact that the Christians were persecuted. The death marches, mass deportations, forced labor, the killing of the men and the enslavement of their wives and children had already been known at that time.
More than 100,000 years ago, up to three million Christian Armenians, Aramaeans/Assyrians/Chaldeans, and Greeks had been murdered systematically on the territory of today’s Turkey. Until today, the descendants of the few survivors can not find peace – as Turkey refuses to recognize the genocide crimes as such, as the Christian minorities are still suppressed, and as journalists who dare to publish critical reports are still harassed.
“Germany could make a clear statement against the oppression and discrimination of Christians and other minorities in Turkey, and also in other countries of the Middle East, by making the genocide in the Ottoman Empire a topic of teaching in German schools,” said Kamal Sido. Members of various Christian churches, from Egypt to Syria or Iran, are being oppressed by both state and non-state actors. Radical Islamist groups such as the Islamic State (IS) are leading a ruthless war against anyone who doesn’t follow the provisions of a radical Islam.
Headerphoto: Asian Development Bank via Flickr