A chilling history of the first genocide in the twentieth century Though the Turkish government continues to deny it ever took place, over one million Armenian men and women were brutally slaughtered in an attempt to eliminate the Armenian population from Turkey early in World War I. Based on newly available sources, including authenticated telegrams, author G. S. Graber proves that the Armenian slaughter was centrally organized and directed by a Turkish government seeking to systematically exterminate the Armenians. Caravans to Oblivion also reveals how Western allies, principally the British and the French, failed to honor their pledge to bring Turkish officials to trial. * Includes compelling evidence that the Turkish government organized the massacres * Recounts the roles played by many of the political giants of the period, including Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, and Henry Morganthau G. S. GRABER (Los Angeles, California) is a historian and a writer whose books include The History of the SS and The Life and Times of Reinhard Heydrich.
CARAVANS TO OBLIVION
"It is absolutely necessary to eliminate the Armenian people in its entirety, so that there is no further Armenian on this earth and the very concept of Armenia is extinguished."--From a speech presented to the Turkish Committee of Union and Progress, February, 1915
Acclaimed author and historian G. S. Graber has crafted a searing narrative of "the forgotten genocide." Using newly available sources, Graber offers definitive proof--denied even today by the Turkish government--that there was nothing less than a centrally organized government attempt to systematically eliminate the Armenian population in 1915.
Placing the events of this effort within a broader historical context, the author brings insight and perspective to the political, economic, and cultural upheaval that led to the murder of over one million Armenian men, women, and children. Firsthand accounts recall the climate that ignited the flames of anti-Armenian sentiment as the Ottoman Empire collapsed and a new leadership emerged. The political party of the Young Turks, Ittihad ve Teraki (the Turkish Committee of Union and Progress), espoused the notion of Turanism, a mythic glorification of Turkish ethnic identity, and was devoted to restoring Turkey's shattered national pride. And even though Armenians had distinguished themselves as productive and loyal citizens in times of peace and able-bodied soldiers in times of war, they were now branded as traitorous enemies, destroying Turkey from within.
The tragic fate of the Armenian people would be sealed by the political maneuvering of foreign powers eager to capitalize on the fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Graber examines how and why the West--principally France and Great Britain--was eager to look the other way. Following a pattern that the engineers of modern genocide would repeat time and time again, the Turks systematically gathered Armenian men and used them as slave labor before executing them en masse. The women and children were then packed into caravans for "relocation." Most would die along the way from disease and exposure. Those who survived would be shot on some arid plain, which would become their final destination.
The slaughter of the Armenians, and the diplomatic backsliding that precipitated it, would serve as an all-too-efficient blueprint. In the twentieth century, genocides decimated over 119 million people worldwide--84 million more than the number who died in both world wars and all the revolutions and civil wars fought in this century combined. More than a compelling chronicle, Caravans to Oblivion offers chilling insight into how genocide happens.