“Level-headed” new Armenian genocide documentary – NYT

The New York Times has praised a new documentary on the Armenian genocide entitled Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction as “level-headed”.

“There are explorations of crowd psychology, revisionism and German cooperation with the Ottoman Turks,” literary critic and playwright Ken Jaworoski wrote of the film, which includes footage of survivors and mass graves from the traumatic period.

“It’s no stretch to see how the massacre of Armenians helped lay groundwork for the Holocaust.”

The Armenian genocide originated with a 1915 order to move the Armenian population en masse to Syria at a time when the Ottomans believed that Armenian militants might sabotage the Ottoman effort during World War One.

Effective death-marches through harsh terrain dotted with vicious bandits were often the result. The Armenian population of the majority of Anatolia, the Asian part of modern-day Turkey, was ethnically cleansed through methods of exile, death and forced conversions.

This almost certainly represented the largest death sentence given to an ethnic group in the Ottoman Empire’s neighbourhood in the late 19th century, though it was hardly without peer.

Mass killings of Armenian, Assyrian, Greek and Maronite Christians on the territory of the Ottoman Empire were matched by mass killings of Circassians and Tatar Muslims within Russia and the ethnic cleansing of Muslim minorities including Turks from large swathes of the Balkans. 

“What should be an accepted fact remains a provocative topic, as the Turkish government continues to ignore or deny the events,” Jaworoski said.