Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Adolph Hitler and the Armenians?  
First Page


Major Players
Links & Misc.



Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems

 An essay by Nick


For contact info and more of the Brit with True Grit: click here.


Much is made of an alleged connection between the “Armenian Genocide” and the Jewish Holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s. The claim made by Armenian lobby groups is that the “Armenian Genocide” was a prototype that the Nazis used to plan and justify their own genocidal  policies against Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and other social or racial undesirables. To this end a quotation of Hitler’s, supposedly made just prior to the invasion of Poland, has been brought into play and has been exhaustively used ever since. The veracity of this particular quotation has been extensively studied since it first made its appearance in its role as a comparator between Armenian and Jewish experiences in the Congressional Records of the US Congress in April 1984. A brief resume is useful here the quotation in its accurate form is: 

 “I have issued the command — I’ll have anybody who utters one word of criticism executed by a firing squad — that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness — for the present only in the East — with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” 

This quotation was supposed to have come from a harangue Hitler gave his generals just prior to the invasion of Poland in August 1939. Hitler ordered that no notes were to be taken at this meetings so all reports or “quotations” are merely jottings made afterwards from memory or surreptitious notes taken at the time. In either event, it is obvious that accuracy is not guaranteed. However, there are three versions of “minutes” for this meeting only one of which mentions Armenians. The version which mentions Armenians was not entered as evidence at the Nuremberg trials as it was considered unreliable. William Shirer, the journalist and author, observes that it was felt that this particular version had been altered by persons unknown and for reasons that were not clear. He did point out that it may have been said, because given our knowledge of Hitler’s tendency to range from subject to subject when excited, it did “ring true.” He was of course talking of tone rather than content as Hitler was prone to lecture on any subject from diet to opera, biology to philosophy or history to economics and even the concept of the Aryan Jesus at the drop of a hat whether he knew something about the subject or not. Clearly then, this quotation, if accurate, refers to the prosecution of a war against the Poles and is an exhortation to the generals to carry the war forward without regard to humanitarian considerations. It does not refer to the Jews or other groups; it does not refer to the Final Solution in either an ideological or planning context; it does not refer to the rationale for the Final Solution or the means of explaining it. This was a part of a speech given to regular army generals not party activists. The best we can say about this quotation is that it is of doubtful provenance. So why then is it utilised by Armenian Lobbyists so vehemently? In what format is it utilised? And what, if anything, does it actually signify?




Clearly the intention of the quote is to make a link between the Armenian and Jewish experiences. In and of itself it has so significance. However, once a connection is made in people’s minds between the Jewish Holocaust and the “Armenian Genocide” the possibility of any rational discussion of the Armenian situation becomes an impossibility without accusations of racism and “Genocide Denial” which have become among the principal shibboleths of modern western society, particularly in the US. The actual context of the quote is irrelevant to the issue of the Armenians therefore a new context must be constructed.  This new context, and its purpose, becomes evident if one looks at the form this quotation is presented and the metamorphosis it has undergone. To pick a number of short examples from the April 1984 Congressional Record that are typical and illustrative: 

Senator Rudy Boschowitz. “When Hitler first proposed his final solution, he was told that the world would never permit such a mass murder. Hitler silenced his advisers by asking: ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’” 

Congressman Les Aspin.  “…When Adolph Hitler was planning the elimination of the Jewish people, he is reported to have said, ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’“ 

Congressman Edward Boland. “The silence with which the community of nations greeted the decimation of the Armenian people may have emboldened those who would later perpetrate similar acts. It certainly had an effect on Hitler who while planning the extermination of millions of Jews was asked how the world would respond to a program of mass murder. In reply Hitler said, “Who remembers the Armenians?” 

Congressman Richard Lehman.  “Questioned by an aide about his policy of Jewish genocide, Hitler said: ‘Who, after all, now remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?’” 

Congressman Henry Waxman. “…This first genocide of our century served as a precedent for the holocaust of World War II when more than 6 million people were destroyed by a government leader who responded: ‘Whoever cared about the Armenians?’ when it was suggested that world opinion would not allow the Nazis to get away with their attempt to eliminate the Jewish people”  

One has to realize that these examples are actually typical of the versions being presented, that they are completely different in form and content from the original and produce an entirely different thrust from the original. These are not simply errors since any half competent Congressional researcher would have — should have — been able to identify and correct them. They have been simply fed into the system in order to make a link that does not exist and can not be demonstrated in order to give an ideological view — that of the “Armenian Genocide”— the aura of sanctity that inclusion in the Congressional Record bestows.   

This process continues to the present day even though the doubtful provenance of the quotation is now clearly known. The California Senate Joint Resolution of April 10, 2003, introduced and, presumably, drafted by Senator Poochigian, continues the theme: 

“WHERAS, Adolph Hitler, in persuading his army commanders on the eve of World War II that the merciless persecution and killing of Poles, Jews, and other peoples would bring no retribution, declared, ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians’.” 

It is clear that this misuse is not simply an error but an active misrepresentation; in other words, it is a lie. 

In spite of the fact that this misrepresentation is exposed it continues to enjoy currency. It may be more useful, therefore, to approach the origins of Nazi genocide from a different angle. Rather than endlessly spin around a discredited quotation from a dubious source it may be useful to take a brief look at the origins of Nazi ideology in terms of race, relative racial value and the flow of history and try to ascertain who and what influenced it. This is not difficult.  

We know that Hitler, though a voracious reader, did not like detail. He left the detail of ideology to others; he was a “broad brush” man. We do not know specifically all the books that he read but we can identify a few and we can certainly tie the growth of his philosophy into its proper context. Hitler, and other Nazis at all levels, wrote millions of words in the form of pamphlets, articles and books; they gave interviews and speeches by the score. Scholars have pored over these words and sifted through them in order to try and determine exactly what made Hitler and the Nazis tick and, while we can never know exactly what lies in men’s hearts, the one thing we can say is that we know what the aetiology of Nazi thinking on race and the flow of history was. We know that, apart from a couple of cryptic references to Armenians nearly a decade apart the Armenians do not appear even as a brief blip on the radar; they are not a part of the calculation; they simply can not be factored in.  

The origins of Nazi ideology are firmly anchored in German myth and folk history and in the Eugenics movement of Western Europe and particularly North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A favourite Nazi saying, first coined by Fritz Lenz was that “ National Socialism is nothing if not applied biology.” It goes without saying that American and European eugenicists did not advocate the wholesale slaughter of Jews and other racially “subnormal” groups. However, the language and tone adopted did not make this transition surprising. In a book called “The Passing of the Great Race” the American eugenicist Madison Grant wrote “Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community.”  Adolph Hitler read this book and was sufficiently inspired by it to write a letter to Grant in which he praised the book saying that it was his “bible.” Hitler also wrote to the American Eugenics Society’s  President Whitney in the early 1930s expressing similar sentiments. Here we have definitive proof of a link between an outside influence and the evolution of Hitler’s ideas on a range of pertinent subjects.  Early Nazi laws on race and the sterilization of the mentally unfit were introduced so rapidly after the Nazi accession to power simply because they were modeled on laws already in practice in the US thus saving time that would have been spent drafting brand new laws. Close ties between American and German eugenicists continued right up to the time the US entered the war. In 1928, Harry H. Laughlin, the Assistant Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories addressed the IFEO in Munich saying laws alone were not adequate and had to be applied along with other supportive instruments including eugenic education, marriage restrictions and other measures. Most importantly he stressed the need for the “prohibition of procreation for certain members of degenerate tribes.“  He closed his address saying that ”The racial hygienist as a biologist regards the development of eugenic sterilization as the effort of the state “organism” to get rid of the burden of its degenerate members.” Nazi race policies were widely accepted in international eugenics circles, and though at the more extreme end, were not considered beyond the pale. Clarence G. Campbell, the senior representative of the American eugenics movement in Berlin said in a lecture (published in 1936) that “It is from a synthesis of the work of all men that the leader of the German nation, ably supported by the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Frick, and guided by the nation’s anthropologists, its eugenicists, and its social philosophers, has been able to construct a comprehensive policy of population development and improvement that promises to be epochal in racial history. It sets the pattern which other nations and other racial groups must follow, if they do not wish to fall behind in their racial accomplishment, and in their prospect for survival.” It was the job of various Nazi controlled institutes and agencies to define those who fell into the category of the “unfit” but a fair idea of who would qualify can be gained from the American eugenicist and journalist who traveled through Nazi Europe in the early days of the war.; he observed that race and race ideology underpinned the whole philosophy of the Nazis- concluding that “We can not intelligently evaluate the Third Reich unless we understand this basic attitude of mind.”

Eugene Fischer

Eugene Fischer, feeling superior

The last word on this matter can be left to Eugene Fischer, a key Nazi eugenicist and ideologist who had close academic and financial connections to the mainstream of the US eugenics movement —  “When a people wants, somehow or other, to preserve its own nature, it must reject alien racial elements…..The Jew is such an alien and, therefore, when he wants to insinuate himself, he must be warded off. This is self-defense. In saying this, I do not characterize every Jew as inferior, as Negroes are, and I do not underestimate the greatest enemy with whom we have to fight. But I do reject Jewry with every means in my power, and without reserve, in order to preserve the hereditary endowment of my people.”  

Through all of this ideological and policy development, the Armenians simply do not figure. After a brief period where their status was somewhat ambiguous they were accepted as Aryans, through the insistence of another major Nazi theoretician Alfred Rosenberg, to the degree that they were permitted to enroll Armenian units in the German armed forces which saw action particularly on the eastern front where mass murder was carried out at its most intense and brutal level.        




Vahakn Dadrian

 Vahakn Dadrian

Race, and relative racial value, was therefore the key to Nazi thought. For any comparison between the Armenian experience in the Ottoman Empire and the Jewish Holocaust in Nazi Europe to be valid then race must obviously be a common factor. No less a luminary than Vahakn Dadrian himself, an Armenian academic who has made a career promoting an “Armenian Genocide”, admits that race simply was not a factor in the thinking of the Ottoman government when deciding how to manage the problems with Armenians. Quite the reverse in fact — he says that “not only was there a marked absence of racism, but a pronounced effort to mingle Armenian blood with the gene pool of the new homogenised Turkish nation.” In this he echoes a similar sentiment expressed by Ambassador Morgenthau who said “ The most beautiful and healthy Armenian girls could be taken, forcibly converted to Mohammedanism, and made the wives or concubines of devout followers of the Prophet. Their children would automatically become Moslems and so strengthen the empire, as the Janissaries had strengthened it formerly. These Armenian girls represent a high type of womanhood and the Young Turks, in their crude and intuitive way, recognized that the mingling of their blood with the Turkish population would exert a eugenic influence on the whole.” These are extraordinary statements — Dadrian’s delivered in measured academic tone, Morgenthau’s in the tone of a propaganda polemic but both expressing the same bizarre sentiments that nurtured the roots of Armenian nationalism and later of Nazism. It was Armenians and their European and American supporters, not Turks, who harboured thoughts of nationalism based on race. This should not be surprising since nationalism of the type that broke up the Ottoman Empire was nurtured in Western Europe and America from where so many young Armenians received education, information, support and encouragement. It is ironic that another major casualty of this brand of nationalism was a great Christian, European power — the Austro-Hungarian Empire which, like the Ottoman Empire, was pre-nationalist and multi-ethnic in nature. 

Much is made of the ideology of Pan Turanism promoted by the likes of Ziya Gokalp and supported by, among others, Enver Pasha. The effect of Pan Turanism, especially as a rationalization for “genocide” is, like many things, grossly over-exaggerated while racial definitions for nationalism amongst Armenians are simply ignored. Critics of the Ottoman Empire constantly say that the empire was backward and outside the orbit of western intellectual achievement. Those few Turks who argued for a Pan Turanist policy, and this is the irony, tended to be amongst those who had been educated abroad or heavily influenced by foreign political philosophy. In spite of this, Pan Turanism was cultural and linguistic rather than racial. However, even amongst mainstream Armenian nationalists the racial component is clearly evident. 

 One of the inherent problems of Armenian nationalism from the very start was the simple fact that Armenians constituted a minority in every province of the Ottoman Empire — nowhere were they in a majority in spite of the fact that they laid claim to almost half of Anatolia on the basis of ancestral and racial right.  How then does one rationalize the establishment of a state that is defined by ethnicity (race) if that ethnic group is a minority? There are only two ways of realizing this aim; either governance through a system of apartheid or by social engineering through forced demographic changes. Armenians used both of these approaches. They claimed that Turks had proved themselves incapable of fair and civilized governance while taking the opportunity at the beginning of World War I (and in previous conflicts) to execute pogroms against and expulsions of Muslims during a series of defections to Russia and in the activities of Armenian rebel groups which made the Armenians ungovernable. They also explained away the acknowledged shortfall in population by saying that, according to Boghos Nubar Pasha for example, Armenians had the “necessary qualities” to live as an autonomous nation (which would not be in doubt) but that they also constituted “the most active and hardworking element of the population.” He goes on to refer to statistics as being merely “numerical” in nature but that what should be evaluated was the fact that “The proportions devised from these figures would certainly favour Armenians if these different peoples were counted according to their level of culture and economy………Consequently, the Armenians will always constitute the essential element in that country, from  the intellectual, economic and historical points of view.”  This is simply a claim made on the basis of racial superiority and ancestral right and can not be disguised as anything else. 

Lord James Bryce

 Lord James Bryce, circa 1905

In discussions with Lord Bryce, in July 1915, in preparing a strategy to promote Armenian nationalist aspirations to the British parliament it was agreed that talk of relative values of the different races should be postponed to a later date and that emphasis should be given to massacres — for obvious reasons. But they did discuss the fact that all foreign observers who had studied the issue agreed that Armenians “were bestowed with an extraordinary strength to rebuild and were superior to the rest.” It was also noted by Bryce that after the establishment of Armenia the Armenian population would double in twenty years — presumably because of the fecundity and industry of a superior race, while the Turks and other Moslems would remain static because of their race and due to their cultural practices such as polygamy (!). During this period Armenia would be governed as a protectorate of a “civilized“ power (preferably America) in what is clearly an outline for demographic engineering. One has to ask who is kidding whom here.




Armenians make fairly frequent reference to the “fact” that because so many Germans served in the Ottoman Empire during the war and then subsequently in the Nazi administration or German army that there must have been a causal link between the “Armenian Genocide” and the Jewish Holocaust. But they have never been able to demonstrate that any of those who served in the Near East or the Caucusus in World War I had any influence whatsoever on the formulation of Nazi philosophy or the aetiology of Nazi thinking on race — as has been clearly demonstrated above. In fact, American social, eugenics and medical thinkers had the major impact on the development on Nazi thought in its initial stages but no one refers to it and no one would seriously suggest that the US was the inspiration for the Jewish Holocaust. The American philosophies of “Manifest Destiny” was a major inspiration behind the practical possibilities of Lebensraum and Hitler admired the British ability to control India with so few British administrators. No one would blame the Americans or British for planting the seeds of the invasion of Poland and the Soviet Union in Hitler’s mind.  Yet this is precisely the logic being applied to the Turks on the basis of the most fleeting and flimsy pieces of “evidence.” Armenian lobbyists have tried hard to insinuate themselves into the Holocaust framework by implying mechanical similarities between the “Armenian Genocide” and the Nazis by referring to the fact that some Turks, for example, who were involved in atrocities against Armenians, were also medical doctors and have suggested that medical experiments were conducted — presumably the precursor of Mengele. Others have referred to concentration camps knowing that this has become a loaded term with very specific meaning. There has even been allusion to the use of gas chambers in converted steam rooms in bath houses or the use of caves as natural gas chambers in the Syrian desert. None of this has stood up to scrutiny in any real sense which is precisely the reason that Armenian groups keep coming back to this one doubtful reference by Hitler. 

There is no question that Armenians suffered a terrible tragedy in Anatolia during the Great War. There can be no question that Armenians were the victims of massacre and atrocity. But one must also acknowledge that many “Armenian” regions were in open revolt and were supporting the enemy — some even before the Ottoman Empire was involved in hostilities. An interesting case in point here is the fact that the province of Sivas — never invaded by outside forces during the war — still experienced a net loss in the Muslim population of 180,000 (15%). This is a significant number and can not be accounted for by migration since all adjacent areas also experienced a net loss.  This is clearly the effects of major social upheaval, conflict and disease. The net losses of Muslims in Van and Bitlis, where the Russians did penetrate and where the proportion of Armenians in the population was highest, was  62% and 42% respectively — staggering numbers. The simple chronological fact that the major city of the east, Van, fell to Armenian insurgents before being handed over to the Russians and before the order to relocate the Armenians was issued can not be denied. That these revolts were undoubtedly a major problem for the government, even if one restricts oneself to Armenian accounts, is clear. That atrocities were committed by Armenian rebels on Muslim populations is also clear. Even reports by pro Armenian missionaries mention the cleansing of Muslims from their homes and the high levels of mortality. It has to be said that these references are almost incidental or even accidental — they certainly do not seem to be important to those who are reporting them. An account by an American missionary, a Mrs. Knapp, from the Bryce report ( May, 1915 from Van) observes that the missionaries had “thrust upon them” the care of Turkish refugees from areas where Russo-Armenian volunteers were ”cleaning out.”  She observed that while the missionaries tried to help, their Armenian assistants found the task “distasteful” and only two of them, “who had no employment” were available for this onerous task. The missionaries’ prejudices are also clear in the following observation: “The effect on its followers of the religion of Islam was never more strongly contrasted with Christianity. While the Armenian refugees had been mutually helpful and self-sacrificing, these Moslems showed themselves absolutely selfish, callous and indifferent to each other’s suffering. Where the Armenians had been cheery and hopeful, and had clung to life with wonderful vitality, the Moslems, with no faith in God and no hope of a future life, bereft now of hope in this life, died like flies of the prevailing dysentery from lack of stamina and the will to live.” Efforts were made to get the Russian commander to provide some flocks of sheep so that the Turkish refugees could be sent away — which is eventually what happened, after which, there is no further reference to them.  In spite of the descriptions of Turkish depredations and atrocities against Armenians mentioned by Mrs. Knapp in the rest of her account, a telegram from a Mikael Varandian in Tiflis to Boghos Nubar in Paris dated June the 3rd, 1915 says that “Van was conquered by the insurgents, after battles lasting one month. The victorious Russian army is in Van. In spite of the continuous bombing, the Armenian districts have suffered little damage.“ There are two interesting observations to be made from this telegram: Firstly the use of the word “insurgent”  — an admission that there was a revolt — and secondly the comment on the lack of damage to the Armenian quarters which would seem to contradict the observations made by other outsiders who talk of the dreadful conditions Armenians suffered during the fighting. What is being described here is not genocide but an inter-communal war and a foreign invasion.  What is also demonstrated by the missionary references is the severe bias of the reporting.   

To compare the handling, or in many instances the mishandling, of the Armenian revolts and collaboration with Russia with the clear progression of thought over several decades that was the prelude to genocide in Europe under the Nazis and the cold, cynical and mechanistic way that genocide was carried out to the bitter end is simply ridiculous. The continued use, in the absence of any actual evidence, of a quote by Adolph Hitler that is of doubtful provenance in a form that has been changed in order to make its impact greater is fundamentally dishonest.  





The "Hitler Quote" 



"West" Accounts


Armenian Views
Geno. Scholars


Turks in Movies
Turks in TV


This Site