"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, September 24, 2010

Eastern Christian Genocides

Eastern Christians have known their share of genocides. In fact, Armenians in 1915, and Ukrainians in the Holodomr or Great Terror Famine of 1932-1933, were among the first to experience this uniquely appalling modern phenomenon, years before the Holocaust, Rwanda, and other horrors.  (The definitive study on the Ukrainian slaughter remains that of Robert Conquest: The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror Famine. But see also, more widely, Conquest's The Great Terror, originally published in 1968 by Oxford University Press, and reissued not long ago in an updated 40th anniversary edition, for which Conquest had a very colourful suggestion of a new title. ) The Armenian Genocide has been much discussed lately, but there were other Ottoman-generated mass killings in Asia Minor in the same time-frame. Within the last decade, more and more scholarly attention has turned to the whole phenomenon of genocide understood not merely in difficult contexts, but via different scholarly methods.

Now we have a new book that has just been published that looks at the killing of not only Armenian Christians but also Aegean Greeks, Assyrians, and others:

Dominik J. Schaller and Jurgen Zimmerer, eds., Late Ottoman Genocides: the Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and Young Turkish Population and Extermination Policies (London: Routledge, 2010), 116pp.

This will be reviewed in Logos next year by Barry Jackish, chair of the history department and a scholar of genocide at the University of Saint Francis.

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