The Armenian Genocide
One of the most viscous genocides in human history was the Armenian genocide. Armenian people live in the Middle East, Turkey, Armenia, America, and throughout the world. For thousands of years, ancient Armenia was home to diverse peoples like Indo-Europeans and others. Today, Armenia is still a nation with vibrant culture and diverse human beings culturally and ethnically. It has been over 100 years since the beginning of the Armenian genocide and we we remember this genocide as a crime against humanity. Back then, the Ottoman Empire controlled Armenia and Turkey respectively. World War One was in its peak, which was conflict between the Allied and Central Powers for the imperial control of the world's resources. Also, England and France were fighting the Ottoman Empire for the access to the territories of the Middle East. Both nations allied with Arabic nationalists like Faisal I bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi, etc. in order to fight the Ottomans. Yet, later the Europeans betrayed the Arabic people with the Skyes Picot Agreement in 1916. The Ottoman Empire was a large, monarchical theocratic plus brutal state (especially against ethnic minorities like the Armenians). The Armenian Genocide was a crime against humanity. The more information that I have found about about this genocide in this year alone, the angrier I feel at injustice. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This genocide was carried out by members of the Ottoman Empire against Armenian human beings. For centuries, many authoritarian leaders of the Ottoman Empire have used discrimination, humiliation, and terror against Armenians, Christians, and other religious minorities. The Armenian genocide heavily took place in 1915. Also, the genocide existed in many forms. Many Armenian people were forced to march in the Middle East to their deaths. Some Armenians were placed in concentration camps where they were murdered. The properties of Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire were stolen too. Massacres against Armenians existed before and during the Armenian genocide.
The Committee of Union and Progress was one murderous organization that was one of the perpetrators of the Armenian genocide too. The Grand Vizier (prime minister) and Minister of the Interior, Mehmed Talaat Pasha (1874–1921); the Minister of War, Ismail Enver Pasha (1881–1922); and the Minister of the Navy, Ahmed Djemal Pasha (1872–1922) were of the major males involved in the Armenian Genocide too. They fled Turkey after World War One. The Ottoman Empire was filled with corruption heavily during the 19th and 20th centuries. The independent movements in the Balkans caused the Ottoman Empire to gradually decline in power and influence by the late 19th century. World War I and its conclusion caused the Ottoman Empire to not exist anymore. Western parts of Armenia were under Ottoman rule after the Peace of Amasya in 1555. It continued after the Treaty of Zuhab existed in 1639. The Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were treated as second class citizens under the dhimmi system (which was based on the Pact of Umar largely). In other words, Armenians and non-Muslims could worship and have some rights, but their religious liberty and other human rights were heavily restricted. By the late 19th century, Armenians were regularly discriminated against, assaulted, and murdered by bigots. In addition to other legal limitations, Christians were not considered equals to Muslims and several prohibitions were placed on them. Their testimony against Muslims by Christians and Jews was inadmissible in courts of law wherein a Muslim could be punished; this meant that their testimony could only be considered in commercial cases. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride atop horses and camels. Their houses could not overlook those of Muslims; and their religious practices were severely circumscribed (e.g., the ringing of church bells was strictly forbidden Many people fought for reforms in the 1800’s, but the leadership of the Ottoman Empire either gave lip service or didn’t enforce many reforms.
Prelude to the Genocide
Before the major events of genocide against Armenians, there were many historic developments in Turkey. There was the Young Turk Revolution of 1908. In 1908, elements of the Third Army and the Second Army Corps declared their opposition to the Sultan and threatened to march on the capital and depose him. Hamid was afraid of the wave of resentment, so he stepped down. Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Arabic people, Bulgarians, and Turks alike rejoiced in his dethronement. The Young Turks were nationalists who wanted the Ottoman Empire to end, so Turkey could be modernized in an European model. The coup d’état happened in July 24, 1908 where officers from the Ottoman Third Army (based in Salonika) removed Abdul II from power. The country was now a constitutional monarchy. Armenians were happy about this since they wanted to be free from Ottoman oppression. The Young Turk movement was made up of 2 groups. One was the liberal constitutionalists who were more accepting of Armenians and they were more democratic. The other nationalist group was less tolerant of Armenians and made many requests for European assistance. The Young Turk movement was part of an anti-Hamidian coalition. In 1902, during a congress of the Young Turks held in Paris, the heads of the liberal wing, Sabahaddin and Ahmed Riza Bey, partially persuaded the nationalists to include in their objectives ensuring some rights for all the minorities of the empire. The Committee of Union and Progress or the CUP was one of the major faction of the Young Turk movement. It was a secret, revolutionary organization. The CUP was made up of many disaffected army officers based in Salonika. It was behind the creation of many mutinies against the central government.
By early 1909, there has been the countercoup. It resulted in the Adana massacre of 1909. The massacre about extremists (made up of Ottoman Empire military reactionaries, Islamic theological students, etc.) who wanted to control the control. They wanted to re-institute the Sultan and cause Islamic law to dominate society. The reactionary forces and the CUP forces fought each other in fighting and riots. The CUP put down the uprising and court martialed the opposition leaders. The reactionaries at first targeted the Young Turk government. Later, these reactionaries used pogroms against Armenians (as viewed as supporting the restoration of the constitution). Many Ottoman Army troops took part in pillaging Armenian enclaves in Adana province. The number of Armenians killed in the course of the Adana massacre ranged between 15,000 and 30,000.
The First Balkans War in 1912 was about then the Ottoman Empire using about 85% of its European territory. Many in the empire saw their defeat as "Allah's divine punishment for a society that did not know how to pull itself together.“ The Turkish nationalist movement in the country gradually came to view Anatolia as their last refuge. That the Armenian population formed a significant minority in this region later figured prominently in the calculations of the Three Pashas, who carried out the Armenian Genocide. After the Balkans Wars, there was a mass expulsion of Muslims (or muhacirs) form the Balkans. Many of them came into Turkey. Even in the mid-19th century, hundreds of thousands of Muslims (like Turks, Circassians, and Chechens) were expelled or forced to flee from the Caucasus and the Balkans (Rumelia) as a result of the Russo-Turkish wars and the conflicts in the Balkans. Muslim society in the empire was incensed by this flood of refugees. A journal published in Constantinople expressed the mood of the times: "Let this be a warning ... O Muslims, don't get comfortable! Do not let your blood cool before taking revenge.” As many as 850,000 of these refugees were settled in areas where the Armenians were resident from the period of 1878–1904. The muhacirs resented the status of their relatively well-off neighbors and, as historian Taner Akçam and others have noted, the refugees came to play a pivotal role in the killings of the Armenians and the properties of the Armenians being taken during the genocide.
World War I
By November 2, 1914, the Ottoman Empire opened the Middle East theater of World War I. On that day, they entered hostilities on the side of the Central Powers and against the Allies. There were the battles of the Caucasus Campaign, the Persian Campaign, and the Gallipoli Campaign affected several populous Armenian centers. The Ottoman Empire, before entering the war, had send representatives to the Armenian congress at Erzurum to persuade the Ottoman Armenians to facilitate its conquest of Transcaucasia by inciting an insurrection of Russian Armenians against the Russian army in the event a Caucasus front was opened. Then came the Battle of Sarikamish. On December 24, 1914, the Minister of War Enver Pasha implemented a plan to encircle and destroy the Russian Caucasus Army at Sarikamish in order for them to regain territories lost to Russia after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Enver Pasha's forces were routed in the battle, and almost completely destroyed. Returning to Constantinople, Enver Pasha publicly blamed his defeat on Armenians in the region having actively sided with the Russians. This caused more tensions. On February 25, 1915, the Ottoman General Staff released the War Minister Enver Pasha's Directive 8682 on "Increased security and precautions" to all military units calling for the removal of all ethnic Armenians serving in the Ottoman forces from their posts and for their demobilization. They were assigned to the unarmed Labour battalions (Turkish: amele taburlari). The directive accused the Armenian Patriarchate of releasing State secrets to the Russians. Enver Pasha explained this decision as "out of fear that they would collaborate with the Russians.” Traditionally, the Ottoman Army only drafted non-Muslim males between the ages of 20 and 45 into the regular army. The younger (15–20) and older (45–60) non-Muslim soldiers had always been used as logistical support through the labour battalions. Before February, some of the Armenian recruits were utilized as labourers (hamals), though they would ultimately be executed. Transferring Armenian conscripts from active combat to passive, unarmed logistic sections was an important precursor to the subsequent genocide. As reported in The Memoirs of Naim Bey, the execution of the Armenians in these battalions was part of a premeditated strategy of the CUP. Many of these Armenian recruits were executed by local Turkish gangs.
On April 19, 1915, Jevdet Bey demanded that the city immediately furnish him 4,000 soldiers under the pretext of conscription. However, it was clear to the Armenian population that his goal was to massacre the able-bodied men of Van so that there would be no defenders. Jevdet Bey had already used his official writ in nearby villages, ostensibly to search for arms, but in fact to initiate wholesale massacres. The Armenians offered five hundred soldiers and exemption money for the rest in order to buy time, but Jevdet Bey accused the Armenians of "rebellion" and asserted his determination to "crush" it at any cost. "If the rebels fire a single shot", he declared, "I shall kill every Christian man, woman, and" (pointing to his knee) "every child, up to here.” The next day, 20 April 1915, the siege of Van began when an Armenian woman was harassed, and the two Armenian men who came to her aid were killed by Ottoman soldiers. The Armenian defenders protected the 30,000 residents and 15,000 refugees living in an area of roughly one square kilometer of the Armenian Quarter and suburb of Aigestan with 1,500 able-bodied riflemen who were supplied with 300 rifles and 1,000 pistols and antique weapons. The conflict lasted until General Yudenich of Russia came to their rescue. Reports of the conflict reached then United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau, Sr. from Aleppo and Van, prompting him to raise the issue in person with Talaat and Enver. As he quoted to them the testimonies of his consulate officials, they justified the deportations as necessary to the conduct of the war, suggesting that complicity of the Armenians of Van with the Russian forces that had taken the city justified the persecution of all ethnic Armenians. The brutal treatment and murder of the Armenians were completely unjustified.
Concentration Camps and Murder
By 1914, Ottoman authorities had started a propaganda drive to present Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire as a threat to the empire’s security, which is ludicrous. An Ottoman naval officer in the War Office admitted that the Armenians were scapegoated as the enemies of society. There was the April 23-25, 1915 tragic even called Red Sunday (or what Armenian people call Կարմիր ԿիրակիGarmir Giragi). On that date, the Ottoman government rounded up and imprisoned an estimated 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders of the Ottoman capital Constantinople. They rounded up other people in other centers and they were moved into two holding centers near Ankara. Interior Minister Talaat Pasha ordered the arrests. This date coincide with the Allied troop landings at Gallipoli after unsuccessful Allied naval attempts to break through the Dardanelles to Constantinople in February and March 1915. After the passage of the Techir Law on May 29, 1915 (it was supported by the CUP Central Committee), the Armenian leaders, except for the few who were able to return to Constantinople, were gradually deported and assassinated. The Tehcir Law gave the Ottoman government and military authorization to deport anyone it “sensed” as a threat to national security. The date of April of 24 is commemorated as Genocide Remembrance Day by Armenians around the world. In May 1915, Mehmet Talaat Pasha requested that the cabinet and Grand Vizier Said Halim Pasha legalize a measure for the deportation of Armenians to other places due what Talaat Pasha called “the Armenian riots and massacres, which had arisen in a number of places in the country." However, Talaat Pasha was referring specifically to events in Van and extending the implementation to the regions in which alleged "riots and massacres" would affect the security of the war zone of the Caucasus Campaign. Later, the scope of the deportation was widened in order to include the Armenians in the other provinces. The Tehcir Law caused the confiscation of Armenian property. Also, the slaughter of Armenian continued after the enactment of that unjust law. It outraged much of the western world. While the Ottoman Empire's wartime allies offered little protest, a wealth of German and Austrian historical documents has since come to attest to the witnesses' horror at the killings and mass starvation of Armenians. In the United States, Times reported almost daily on the mass murder of the Armenian people, describing the process as "systematic", "authorized" and "organized by the government." Theodore Roosevelt would later characterize this as "the greatest crime of the war.” Historian Hans-Lukas Kieser states that, from the statements of Talaat Pasha it is clear that the officials were aware that the deportation order was genocidal. Another historian Taner Akçam states that the telegrams show that the overall coordination of the genocide was taken over by Talaat Pasha.
The Armenian genocide involved death marches too. The Armenians were marched out to the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor including the surrounding desert. There is no evidence that the Ottoman government gave extensive facilities and supplies to sustain the lives of hundreds and thousands of Armenian deportees during their forced march to the Syrian Desert and after. By August 1915, the New York repeated an unattributed report that "the roads and the Euphrates are strewn with corpses of exiles, and those who survive are doomed to certain death. It is a plan to exterminate the whole Armenian people.” Talaat Pasha and Djemal Pasha were completely aware that by abandoning the Armenian deportees in the desert they were condemning them to certain death. A dispatch from a "high diplomatic source in Turkey, not American, reporting the testimony of trustworthy witnesses" about the plight of Armenian deportees in northern Arabia and the Lower Euphrates valley was extensively quoted by The New York Times in August 1916. The article from the NY Times mentioned that witnesses saw thousands of deported Armenians under tents in the open and they were in hunger begging for food and water. They were starved to death. Similarly, Major General Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein noted that "The Turkish policy of causing starvation is an all too obvious proof, if proof was still needed as to who is responsible for the massacre, for the Turkish resolve to destroy the Armenians.” There were German engineers and laborers involved in building the railway. They also saw Armenians being crammed into cattle cars and shipped along the railroad line. Franz Gunther, a representative for Deutsche Bank which was funding the construction of the Baghdad Railway, forwarded photographs to his directors and expressed his frustration at having to remain silent amid such "bestial cruelty.” Major General Otto von Lossow, acting military attaché and head of the German Military Plenipotentiary in the Ottoman Empire, spoke to Ottoman intentions in a conference held in Batum in 1918.
He said that the Turkish authorities wanted to exterminate the Armenians in Transcaucasia. Many military leaders from Turkey raped Armenian women. Many deportees were sold as sex slaves in some areas in Mosul and Damascus according to the report of the German consul there. Many Armenian girls and women were left behind dying. The Ottoman government created a network of 25 concentration camps to murder Armenians who had survived the deportations to their ultimate point. This network, situation in the region of Turkey’s present day borders with Iraq and Syria, was directed by Şükrü Kaya, one of Talaat Pasha's right-hand men. Some of the camps were only temporary transit points. Others, such as Radjo, Katma, and Azaz, were briefly used for mass graves and then vacated by autumn 1915. Camps such as Lale, Tefridje, Dipsi, Del-El, and Ra's al-'Ayn were built specifically for those whose life expectancy was just a few days. According to Hilmar Kaiser, the Ottoman authorities refused to provide food and water to the victims, increasing the mortality rate, and Muslim men obtained Armenian women through recorded marriages, while the deaths of their husbands were not recorded. Bernau, an American citizen of German descent, traveled to the areas where Armenians were incarcerated and wrote a report that was deemed factual by Rössler, the German Consul at Aleppo. He reports mass graves containing over 60,000 people in Meskene and large numbers of mounds of corpses, as the Armenians died due to hunger and disease. He reported seeing 450 orphans, who received at most 150 grams of bread per day, in a tent of 5–6 square meters. Dysentery swept through the camp and days passed between the instances of distribution of bread to some. In "Abu Herrera", near Meskene, he described how the guards let 240 Armenians starve.
The Tehcir Law brought some measures regarding the property of the deportees. Yet, in September, a new law was proposed. It was the “Abandoned Properties” Law (Law Concerning Property, Dept's and Assets Left Behind Deported Persons, also referred as the "Temporary Law on Expropriation and Confiscation"), the Ottoman government took possession of all "abandoned" Armenian goods and properties. Ottoman parliamentary representative Ahmed Riza protested this legislation. Ahmed Riza said the following words: “…It is unlawful to designate the Armenian assets as "abandoned goods" for the Armenians, the proprietors, did not abandon their properties voluntarily; they were forcibly, compulsorily removed from their domiciles and exiled. Now the government through its efforts is selling their goods ... If we are a constitutional regime functioning in accordance with constitutional law we can't do this. This is atrocious. Grab my arm, eject me from my village, then sell my goods and properties, such a thing can never be permissible. Neither the conscience of the Ottomans nor the law can allow it…” On September 13, 1915, the Ottoman parliament passed the “Temporary Law of Expropriation and Confiscation,” stating that all property, including land, livestock, and homes belonging to Armenians, was to be confiscated by the authorities. International Aid came to help the Armenian victims of abuse, murder, and genocide. The American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief (ACASR, also known as "Near East Relief"), established in 1915 just after the deportations began, was a charitable organization established to relieve the suffering of the peoples of the Near East. The organization was championed by Henry Morgenthau, Sr., American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Morgenthau's dispatches on the mass slaughter of Armenians galvanized much support for the organization. In its first year, the ACRNE cared for 132,000 Armenian orphans from Tiflis,Yerevan, Constantinople, Sivas, Beirut, Damascus, and Jerusalem. A relief organization for refugees in the Middle East helped donate over $102 million (budget $117,000,000) [1930 value of dollar] to Armenians both during and after the war. Between 1915 and 1930, ACRNE distributed humanitarian relief to locations across a wide geographical range, eventually spending over ten times its original estimate and helping around 2,000,000 refugees.
The Committee of Union and Progress founded the "Special Organization" (Turkish: Teşkilat-i Mahsusa) that participated in the destruction of the Ottoman Armenian community. This organization adopted its name in 1913 and functioned like a Special Forces outfit, and it has been compared by some scholars to the Nazi Einsatzgruppen. By 1914, the Ottoman government influenced the declaration that the Special Organization was to take by releasing criminals from central prisons to be the central elements of this newly formed Special Organization. According to the Mazhar, commissions attached to the tribunal as soon as November 1914, 124 criminals were released from Pimian prison. Little by little from the end of 1914 to the beginning of 1915, hundreds then thousands of prisoners were freed to form the members of this organization. Later, they were charged to escort the convoys of Armenians deportees. Vehib Pasha, commander of the Ottoman Third Army, called those members of the Special Organization, the “butchers of the human species.” Eitan Belkind was a Nili member who infiltrated the Ottoman army as an official. He was assigned to the headquarters of Kamal Pasha. He claims to have witnessed the burning of 5,000 Armenians. Lt. Hasan Maruf of the Ottoman army described how a population of a village were taken all together and then burned. The Commander of the Third Army Vehib’s 12 page affidavit, which was dated on December 5, 1918. It was presented in the Trabzon trial series (29 March 1919) included in the Key Indictment, reporting such a mass burning of the population of an entire village near Muş: "The shortest method for disposing of the women and children concentrated in the various camps was to burn them." Further, it was reported that "Turkish prisoners who had apparently witnessed some of these scenes were horrified and maddened at remembering the sight. They told the Russians that the stench of the burning human flesh permeated the air for many days after.” Vahakn Dadrian wrote that 80,000 Armenians in 90 villages across the Muş plain were burned in "stables and haylofts." Many Armenians were drowned too. Trabzon was the main city in the Trabzon province. Oscar S. Heizer, the American consul at Trabzon, reported: "This plan did not suit Nail Bey ... Many of the children were loaded into boats and taken out to sea and thrown overboard." Hafiz Mehmet, a Turkish deputy serving Trabzon, testified during a 21 December 1918 parliamentary session of the Chamber of Deputies that "the district's governor loaded the Armenians into barges and had them thrown overboard." The Italian consul of Trabzon in 1915,Giacomo Gorrini, writes: "I saw thousands of innocent women and children placed on boats which were capsized in the Black Sea” Vahakn Dadrian places the number of Armenians killed in the Trabzon province by drowning at 50,000. The Trabzon trials reported Armenians having been drowned in the Black Sea; according to a testimony, women and children were loaded on boats in "Değirmendere" to be drowned in the sea. Hoffman Philip, the American chargé d'affaires at Constantinople, wrote: "Boat loads sent from Zor down the river arrived at Ana, one thirty miles away, with three fifths of passengers missing.” According to Robert Fisk, 900 Armenian women were drowned in Bitlis, while in Erzincan, the corpses in the Euphrates resulted in a change of course of the river for a few hundred meters. Dadrian also wrote that "countless" Armenians were drowned in the Euphrates and its tributaries. Innocent Armenians experienced toxic gas, typhoid inoculation involuntarily and children were involuntarily injected with morphine.
There were many events during the aftermath of the Armenian genocide. On the night of November 2-3, 1918, with the aid of Ahmed Izzet Pasha, the Three Pashas (which include Mehmed Talaat Pasha and Ismail Enver, the main perpetrators of the Genocide) fled the Ottoman Empire. In 1919, after the Murdros Armistice, Sultan Mehmed VI was ordered to organize courts-martial by the Allied administration in charge of Constantinople to try members of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) (Turkish: "Ittihat Terakki") for taking the Ottoman Empire into World War I. By January 1919, a report to Sultan Mehmed VI accused over 130 suspects, most of whom were high officials. Sultan Mehmet VI and Grand Vizier Damat Ferid Pasha, as representatives of government of the Ottoman Empire during the Second Constitutional Era, were summoned to the Paris Peace Conference by the U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing. On July 11, 1919, Damat Ferid Pasha officially confessed to massacres against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was a key figure and initiator of the war crime trials held directly after World War I to condemn to death the chief perpetrators of the Genocide. The military court found that it was the will of the CUP to eliminate Armenians physically via its Special Organization. That is evil. After the pronouncement, the three Pashas were sentenced to death in absentia at the trials in Constantinople. The courts-martial officially disbanded the CUP and confiscated its assets and the assets of those found guilty. The courts-martial were dismissed in August 1920 for their lack of transparency, according to then High Commissioner and Admiral Sir John de Robeck, and some of the accused were transported to Malta for further interrogation, only to be released afterwards in an exchange of POWs. Two of the three Pashas were later assassinated by Armenian vigilantes during Operation Nemesis.
The Armenian Genocide killed tons of people and ruined lives forever. Many members of the Ottoman Empire were complicit in it. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire would soon end. Many people spoke out against the genocide like Alice Stone Blackwell, Rabbi Stephen Wise, and even former President Theodore Roosevelt. In memoirs that he completed during 1918, Morgenthau wrote, "When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact ..." The memoirs and reports vividly described the methods used by Ottoman forces and documented numerous instances of atrocities committed against the Christian minority. Germany was an ally of the Ottoman Empire using WWI. Many people have accused some Germans of witnessing Armenians being exterminated and doing nothing about it. According to Bat Ye'or, an Israeli historian, the Germans also witnessed Armenians being burned to death. She writes: "The Germans, allies of the Turks in the First World War ... saw how civil populations were shut up in churches and burned, or gathered en masse in camps, tortured to death, and reduced to ashes.” Other Germans openly supported the Ottoman policy against the Armenians. In a genocide conference held in 2001, Professor Wolfgang Wipperman of the Free University of Berlin introduced documents evidencing that the German High Command was aware of the mass killings at the time but chose not to interfere or speak out. In his reports to Berlin in 1917, General Hans von Seeckt supported the reforming efforts of the Young Turks, writing that "the inner weakness of Turkey in their entirety, call for the history and custom of the new Turkish empire to be written." Seeckt added that "Only a few moments of the destruction are still mentioned. The upper levels of society had become unwarlike, the main reason being the increasing mixing with foreign elements of a long standing unculture." Seeckt blamed all of the problems of the Ottoman Empire on the Jewish people and the Armenians, whom he portrayed as a fifth column working for the Allies. The evil of anti-Semitism is still in existence today during the early 21st century. In July 1918, Seeckt sent a message to Berlin stating that "It is an impossible state of affairs to be allied with the Turks and to stand up for the Armenians. In my view any consideration, Christian, sentimental, and political should be eclipsed by a hard, but clear necessity for war." One photograph shows two unidentified German army officers, in company of three Turkish soldiers and a Kurdish man, standing amidst human remains. Most Germans weren’t involved in the Armenian Genocide, but some of the German witnesses to the Armenian holocaust would play a later role in the Nazi regime. For example, Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath, who was attached to the Turkish 4th Army in 1915 with instructions to monitor "operations" against the Armenians, later became Hitler's foreign minister and "Protector of Bohemia and Moravia" during Reinhard Heydrich's terror in Czechoslovakia. What happened to the Armenians consists of genocide. Twenty-nine countries and forty-three U.S. states have adopted resolutions acknowledging the Armenian Genocide as a bona fide historical event.