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Speaker: Stefan Ihrig (Professor Of History At The University Of Haifa).
For Germany, the Armenian Genocide did not take place “far away in Turkey.” It was something very close to home. Relations between the German empire and the Ottoman Empire had been close since the 1890s. Since then Germany had become accustomed to excuse violence against the Armenians, mostly in distorted racial discourses. After World War I, a great genocide debate took place in Germany, centered on the Armenian Genocide. German nationalists first denied and then justified genocide in sweeping terms. The Nazis, too, came to see genocide as justifiable: In their version of history, the Armenian Genocide had made possible the astonishing rise of the New Turkey. This also means that the Armenian Genocide and the Nazi Holocaust were not separate by great distances in time and space as is so often assumed. But what does this mean for our understanding of the bloody 20th century?