9240 - The genocide of the Armenians as a spearhead

N. Lygeros

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The genocide of the Armenians already constitutes the spearhead of the genocides which have not yet been recognized by the perpetrator himself. Thanks to this struggle recognizing the genocide of the Armenians other victims too, survivors and Justs entered the process of reparation, which is so significant. For, the recognition by other states is not everything, but merely the first stage of the struggle. Penalizing the non recognition is indispensable to pass to the second stage. Of course, the people in some countries may not be yet ready to pass to this stage and sometimes this is due to the emphasis put on free expression. However, they have to be informed on how important for the whole struggle this stage is. A genocide is not simply a crime, but a crime against Humanity. States as Switzerland and Slovakia have established this and they have a penalizing legislation, Belgium is in a good path and in France the struggle is still waged. By the time, however, states through their peoples realize that they cannot remain neutral before this type of issues; they otherwise join perpetrators’ part. The genocide of the Armenians was not a single one but the initial one. Consequently, it was the initial inaction which gave room to other perpetrators to commit their own crime. Kemal had Hitler against the Jews and Stalin against the Ukrainians as successors. Even after recognitions, the perpetrators can easily continue their work. It is for this reason that the struggle for penalizing the non recognition has to be given as well. Cyprus was one of the first states to recognize the genocide of the Armenians in 1982; that was even before the 1987 European Parliament’s resolution. Greece recognized it in 1996, after recognizing in 1994 the genocide of the Pontians. The whole framework is positive for Hellenism; we simply should not remain at our positions, because Turkey harder and harder continues the genocide of memory, by ignoring all states which have simply recognized the genocide. It is, thus, high time we took action on the issue of penalization in Greece as well. A conference in Kilkis devoted to the idea of penalizing the negation of crimes against Humanity, which have been recognized on 16th April 2011 by the European Union, has already taken place. But these efforts should be continued and their official advocacy by politicians should be demanded. It is only in this way that a change of phase in the area of the Rights of Humanity will occur.