60th General Assembly November 1989 New Orleans, Louisiana
THE 1915 GENOCIDE OF OVER ONE MILLION ARMENIANS
BACKGROUND The massacre of over 1.5 million Armenians beginning in 1915 by the Ottoman Turks and the subsequent exile of an additional 500,000 Armenians is one of the most shameful chapters of modern history.
Elie Wiesel, a past U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council Chairman, said (April 30, 1981), "Before the planning of the final solution, Hitler asked, 'who remembers the Armenians?' He was right. No one remembered them; as no one remembered the Jews. Rejected by everyone, they felt expelled from history." The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Executive Council has unanimously agreed to include reference to the Armenian and other genocides to help illuminate or relate to the story of the Holocaust.
We recognize that the Turkey of today is vastly different from the Ottoman Empire of 1915. Our respect for modern Turkey's traditions of pluralism should not deter us from learning the lessons of past mistakes.
This genocide is one of those instances of mass destruction which has both preceded and followed the Holocaust to which the UAHC has drawn notice over the years, that their lessons might not be forgotten (among them Biafra and Cambodia).
THEREFORE, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolves to:
Commend the Executive Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for its announced decision to include reference to the Armenian and other genocides to the extend that they help illuminate or relate to the story of the Holocaust.
Instruct the Religious Action Center in Washington to encourage passage of SJ 212, a joint resolution now before the U.S. Congress designating April 24, 1990 as National Day of Remembrance of the 75th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.
Educate our congregants as to the facts and the lessons of these tragic chapters of modern history.