January 27th is a special day, fortunately. I grew up reading Anna Frank a little before I become an adolescent. In 2011 I was in Poland and I went to Auschwitz. I was there for the first time, but I said to a passenger by me I was going there for the second time: the first time I was there was when I read Primo Levi. I was a teenager. I cannot imagine myself as a man, as citizen, as an adult, without those two books.
Fortunately, the words by Primo Levi and the witness of Anna Frank arrive to us any year. The list of the righteous is a very prestigious one, even though an International awarding institution would work better than a national one, in my opinion. But this is not the point.
If really Historia vero testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, if really this cult is relevant and not celebrative, we must deduce that to don’t remember everybody’s pains is unjust. Let’s imagine a twin population of the Jewish. People who run seriously the risk to be totally canceled from earth and history with the same planned cruelty. We know a lot of things about Shoah: documentaries, movies, museums, books. All oblige us to keep this memory alive. Let’s imagine a different destiny for their twins: the second, the not-Jewish, are not even known, nor remembered. When considered, the term genocide is contested.
Who would you consider unhappier and needier of our attention? The second, I’d say.
For this reason my memory this year, more than last year, is for those who are not remembered. This post if for those whose denied memory fueled somehow the Shoah itself: the Armenian Genocide. If the Armenian genocide would have been remembered and at least considered as what it was (because hitherto this history is still not well widely known), the same idea to cancel a whole population (the Jewish) hadn’t taken place. At least, more difficultly the Nazis would have done that.
It is said that Hitler in person used to say that none was remembering the Armenia’s genocide happened only few years before (1915), which gave him “hopes” to achieve his plans. It is, moreover, hard to believe that still now the Ottoman Empire is defended by modern Turkey as a matter of psychological suppression of those tragic events.
This year Armenian commemorate their 100th anniversary of their Shoah. It is on April 24th. I hope the world will pay attention to this. I do have hopes anyway, as people like Kemal Yalçın (a Turkish poet of Muslim faith) gave us works like You Rejoice My Heart: a simple and sincere attempt to resew the ancient bonds between Armenian and Turkish people.