Kristen Wright, The Florida Holocaust Museum’s Writer and Digital Content Manager
The German parliament has passed a symbolic resolution recognizing the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as a “genocide.” The motion declared the killings a deliberate act of ethnic cleansing.
The motion passed with overwhelming support from all parties in the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament. Only one member of Parliament voted against and another abstained, as parliament approved overwhelmingly by a show of hands the resolution titled “Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in 1915 and 1916.”
According to the Christian Democratic Union’ Albert Weiler, Germany had a “historical duty” to recognize the mass killings of Armenians, “Without this admission there cannot be forgiveness and reconciliation. Suffering does not know temporary boundaries. Genocide will never remain in the past. By recognizing the genocide, it will force the Turkish government to take a brave step and look into its own history.”
As many as 1.5 million Armenians are estimated to have been killed by Ottoman Turks during World War I. Turkey, however, has long denied that the massacres that started in 1915 were genocide, insisting that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest as the Ottoman Empire fell.