Kim Kardashian, Pope Francis, & the Armenian Genocide


On April 24, 2015 Armenia will recognize the 100 year anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide.  During this genocide, Islamists murdered 1.5 million Christians.

Members of the Kardashian family recently visited the Armenian Genocide memorial.  They laid red tulips at the site.  Kim Kardashian’s great grandfather and great great grandfather both fled Armenia for California right before the genocide began.

The UK’s The Daily Mail has an interesting story about the Kardashian visit and the Armenian genocide.  That article has many more pictures of the Kardashians in Armenia (including the picture used above).  The somber tones of the picture above relate well the topic of tears, murder, and genocide.  The red is a nice accent.  Red can symbolize blood, death, and remembrance.

Kim Kardashian was wearing the red jumpsuit.  She wrote on her Instagram account, “It was an honor to meet the Prime Minister of Armenia, Hovik Abrahamyan who expressed how proud they are that we are proud Armenians and we have not forgotten our roots!  #NeverForget.”

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kin were killed between 1915 and 1917 as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart and have long sought to win international recognition of the massacres as genocide…

The Armenians have found a willing supporter in [Pope] Francis, who as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was particularly close to the Armenian community in Argentina and referred to the ‘genocide’ of Armenians three times in his 2010 book, ‘On Heaven and Earth.’

As pope, Francis provoked Turkish anxiety—and a minor diplomatic incident—when in June 2013 he told a delegation of Armenian Christians that the killing was ‘the first genocide of the 20th century.’…

The Vatican spokesman subsequently said the remarks were in no way a formal or public declaration and therefore didn’t constitute a public assertion by the pope that genocide took place.

But St. John Paul II referred to the ‘genocide’ both before and during his 2001 trip to Armenia, even signing an official document with the Armenian church leader Catholicos Karekin II noting that that the episode ‘is generally referred to as the first genocide of the 20th century.’

Kim Kardashian lays Flowers at Armenian memorial,
The Forgotten Holocaust
, The Daily Mail.

The Forgotten Holocaust

1.5 million Armenian Christians murdered

The killing of 1.5m Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during World War I remains one of the bloodiest and most contentious events of the 20th century, and has been called the first modern genocide.

Chillingly, Adolf Hitler used the episode to justify the Nazi murder of six million Jews, saying in 1939: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

So how exactly did the events of 1915-17 unfold?  Just as Hitler wanted a Nazi-dominated world that would be Judenrein—cleansed of its Jews—so in 1914 the Ottoman Empire wanted to construct a Muslim empire that would stretch from Istanbul to Manchuria.

Armenia, an ancient Christian civilisation spreading out from the eastern end of the Black Sea, stood in its way.

At the turn of the 20th century, there were two million Christian Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire.  Already, 200,000 had been killed in a series of pogroms—most of them brutally between 1894 and 1896.

In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I against the Allies and launched a disastrous military campaign against Russian forces in the Caucasus.  It blamed defeat on the Armenians, claiming they had colluded with the Russians.

A prominent Turkish writer at the time described the war as ‘the awaited day’ when the Turks would exact ‘revenge, the horrors of which have not yet been recorded in history’.

Through the final months of 1914, the Ottoman government put together a number of ‘Special Organisation’ units, armed gangs consisting of thousands of convicts specifically released from prison for the purpose.

These killing squads of murderers and thieves were to perpetrate the greatest crimes in the genocide.  They were the first state bureaucracy to implement mass killings for the purpose of race extermination.  One army commander described them at the time as the ‘butchers of the human species’.

On the night of April 24, 1915—the anniversary of which is marked by Armenians around the world—the Ottoman government moved decisively, arresting 250 Armenian intellectuals.  This was followed by the arrest of a further 2,000.

Some died from torture in custody, while many were executed in public places.  The resistance poet, Daniel Varoujan, was found disembowelled, with his eyes gouged out.  One university professor was made to watch his colleagues have their fingernails and toenails pulled out, before being blinded.  He eventually lost his mind, and was let loose naked into the streets.

There were reports of crucifixions, at which the Turks would torment their victims: ‘Now let your Christ come and help you!’

There were reports of crucifixions, at which the Turks would torment their victims: ‘Now let your Christ come and help you!’

So began a carefully orchestrated campaign to eradicate the Armenians.  Throughout this period, Ottoman leaders deceived the world, orchestrating the slaughter using code words in official telegrams.

At later war crimes trials, several military officers testified that the word ‘deportation’ was used to mean ‘massacre’ or ‘annihilation’.

Between May and August 1915, the Armenian population of the eastern provinces was deported and murdered en masse.

In urban areas, a town crier was used to deliver the deportation order, and the entire male population would be taken outside the city limits and killed—’slaughtered like sheep’.  Women and children would then be executed, deported to concentration camps or simply turned out into the deserts and left to starve to death.

Walking skeletons begged for food, and women threw their babies into lakes rather than hand them over to the Turks.  There was mass looting and pillaging of Armenian goods.  It is reported that civilians burned bodies to find the gold coins the Armenians swallowed for safekeeping.

Conditions in the concentration camps were appalling.  The majority were located near the modern Iraqi and Syrian frontiers, in the desert between Jerablus and Deir ez-Zor—described as ‘the epicentre of death’.  Up to 70,000 Armenians were herded into each camp, where dysentery and typhus were rife.

There, they were left to starve or die of thirst in the burning sun, with no shelter.  In some cases, the living were forced to eat the dead.  Few survived.

In four days alone, from 10-14 June 1915, the gangs ‘eliminated’ some 25,000 people in the Kemah Erzincan area alone.

In September 1915, the American consul in Kharput, Leslie A. Davis, reported discovering the bodies of nearly 10,000 Armenians dumped into several ravines near beautiful Lake Goeljuk, calling it the ‘slaughterhouse province’.

Tales of atrocity abound.  Historians report that the killing squads dashed infants on rocks in front of their mothers.

One young boy remembered his grandfather, the village priest, kneeling down to pray for mercy before the Turks.  Soldiers beheaded him, and played football with the old man’s decapitated head before his devastated family.

At the horrific Ras-ul-Ain camp near Urfa, two German railway engineers reported seeing three to four hundred women arrive in one day, completely naked.  One witness told how Sergeant Nuri, the overseer of the camp, bragged about raping children.

In the desert regions, the Turks set up primitive gas chambers, stuffing Armenians into caves and asphyxiating them with brush fires.

Everywhere, there were Armenian corpses: in lakes and rivers, in empty desert cisterns and village wells.  Travellers reported that the stench of death pervaded the landscape.

By 1917, the Armenian ‘problem’, as it was described by Ottoman leaders, had been thoroughly ‘resolved’.  Muslim families were brought in to occupy empty villages…

Kim Kardashian lays Flowers at Armenian memorial,
The Forgotten Holocaust
The Daily Mail.

For over a thousand years all of Anatolia was Christian.  Then repeated invasions and pograms committed by Islamists and Mohammadans purged the Christians from the land.  Constantinople is now “Istanbul” and Anatolia is now “Turkey.”

The Islamic Turks claim that the Armenians all died in a civil war.  However, there are pictures of lines of crosses with naked Armenian Christian women nailed to them.  Crucified.  The systemic murder of Christians in the Middle East continues to this day.

The Islamic Turks deny their behavior was a genocide, and lobbied Pope Francis to not use the term “genocide” at an April 12 meeting with a delegation of Armenian Christians.

 Pope Francis

On Sunday, April 12, 2015, Pope Francis did use the term “genocide.”

The Pope made the comments at a Mass in the Armenian Catholic rite at St. Peter’s Basilica, attended by the Armenian president and church leaders.

He said that humanity had lived through “three massive and unprecedented tragedies” in the last century.

“The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th Century’, struck your own Armenian people,” he said, in a form of words used by a declaration by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

Pope Francis also referred to the crimes “perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism” and said other genocides had followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia.

He said it was his duty to honour the memories of those who were killed.

“Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.”

“Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” the Pope added.

Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan welcomed his comments, saying they sent a powerful message to the international community.

But Turkey immediately summoned the Vatican’s ambassador to Ankara for an explanation, and then later recalled its ambassador from Rome.

The foreign ministry said it felt “great disappointment and sadness” at the Pope’s remarks, which it said would cause a “problem of trust” between them.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted: “The Pope’s statement, which is far from the legal and historical reality, cannot be accepted.

“Religious authorities are not the places to incite resentment and hatred with baseless allegations,” he added.

Turkey anger at Pope Francis Armenian ‘genocide’ claim,
BBC News.

When will the slaughter of the truth and of human beings cease?  When will we start to deal with these moral problems in an open, honest, and straightforward manner?  Pope Francis is to be commended for speaking frankly about this moral issue.