University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Genesis of the Genocide

The Dark Side of Humanity

A settled agricultural people, the Armenians, first contact with Turkic-speaking pastoral nomads set the stage for a conflict-ridden relationship that was to persist for centuries. Hostility between Armenians (farmers) and Turks (livestock raisers) is a theme repeated the world over from pre-historic times to the present.

Antagonisms based on economic conflicts persist as bigotry, even after the economic rationale no longer exists. The ethnic, racial and religious identification becomes a symbolic cause to hate.

"The cowman and the farmer should be friends"
Lyric from "Oklahoma"
Rogers & Hammerstein, 1946

The Genocide Beast: Government Sanctioned Genocides

Peqout Indians, 1637 by English Government Settlers
Minniconjou Sioux, 1890 by United States Government
Armenians, 1915-23 by Ottoman Turkish Government
European Jews,1939 by Nazi German Government
Cambodians,1975 by Cambodian Khmer Rouge Government
Tutsis, 1990 by Rwandan Hutu Government
Bosnian Serbs, 1990 by Croatian and Serbian Governments

Chronology of Turkish Massacres, 1822-1996

1822 Chios ...Greeks          50,000 1892 Mosul...Yezidis 3,500
1823 Missolonghi ...Greeks 8,750 1894 Sassoun...Armenians 12,500
1826  Constantinople... Greeks 25,000 1895-96 Armenia...Armenians 150,000
1850  Mosul...Assyrians (Nestorians) 10,000 1896 Constantinople... Armenians 9,570
1864  Lebanon...Maronites 12,000 1896 Van ...Armenians 8,000
1867  Crete...Greeks  1903-04 Macedonia... Macedonians 14,667
1876  Bulgaria...Bulgarians 14,700 1904 Sassoun...Armenians 5,640
1877  Bayazid...Armenians 1,400 1909 Adana...Armenians 30,000
1879  Alashguerd...Armenians 1,250 1915-23 Turkey, Syria...Armenians 1,500,00 0
1881  Alexandria...  Christians 2,000 1996 Turkey ...Turkish Kurds  

Political Cartoon

Left: 1895 political cartoon depicts how the British government, in favor of Turkish trade revenues, ignored the pleas of Armenians being slaughtered by Turkish troops.