Genocide | 23.04.12 | 16:31
Horror Revisited: New book contains 700 testimonies of Armenian Genocide
“If any crime is wanted to be revealed then first of all witnesses’ testimonies are taken into account. Here, too, it is necessary to be based on eyewitnesses’ testimonies; each of them has evidential value;” says author of the book 78-year-old Verzhine Svazlyan.
Since 1955, Svazlyan has met eyewitness survivors, who migrated to Soviet Armenia in 1946-1948, and she wrote down their stories. Svazlyan also met eyewitness survivors who resided in different Armenian Diaspora communities in Greece, France, Italy, Germany, the United States, Canada, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey.
There are 700 testimonies written in Armenian and English versions of the book. It was planned to publish the book in Turkish, too, by the Turkish prominent intellectual Ragip Zarakolu’s Belge publication. However, the Turkish government arrested Zarakolu in October; therefore the publication of the book in Turkish was postponed.
“Ragip Zarakolu was released only a week ago, and he told me that he would start publishing the book soon. According to him, it [the book in Turkish] will be a real landmine in Turkey,” Svazlyan says.
The author in the first chapter of the book described the whole process of the Armenian Genocide, from the Hamid massacres to the Karabakh War, being based on eyewitness survivors’ testimonies.
“The Armenian Genocide is unprecedented with all its features. As compared to the Holocaust it is more villainous. [Adolf] Hitler gave Jews three years to leave Germany, those who left survived; the rest were smothered in gas cameras. In the Armenian Genocide the sufferings were more intense – people’s finger nails were torn out, people’s skin was being removed, they were shod like horses and young women were crucified,” Svazlyan says.
The Armenian version of the 880-page ‘The Armenian Genocide: Testimonies of the Eyewitness Survivors’ book is published in 500 copies in Armenian and 1,000 in English.