University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • A Traditional Solution

    A Traditional Solution

    an irrational solution

    One of the paradoxical characteristics of all genocides is the great harm done to the society of the perpetrators. The destruction of the Armenians deprived Turkey of the skilled manpower that dominated trade, industry, banking and the professions. The depopulation of vital farmland and the elimination of the professional and artisan classes caused immeasurable harm to the war effort of the Central Powers. German officers grumbled that the munitions provided to fight the Entente were being wasted on the Armenians, and that the Turks showed more enthusiasm for fighting their internal "enemies" than their external ones.

    The remaining Turkish and Kurdish populations lacked the developed skills and drive of the Armenian farmers, and Eastern Turkey was reduced to the wasteland that it is today. The field of unburied Armenian bodies caused outbreaks of cholera and typhus that killed thousands of Turks and Kurds in the area and Arabs in Syria. The economic disaster resulting from the Armenian deaths created problems that persist to this date.

    These consequences were acceptable to the Young Turks, who viewed them as short┬ąterm problems that would eventually be resolved. Even defeat in the war was acceptable as the price for permanently ending the Armenian Question. Great Turan could never be created if the Armenians existed.

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