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04-30-02 Letter to the New York Times

                                                                                                                                                   April 30, 2002

Ms. Gail Collins
Editorial Page Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Dear Ms. Collins:

Stephen Kinzer's article, "Plans for Museum Buoy Armenians and Dismay Turks" (April 24, 2001; p. B1), draws attention to an important historical archive-in-progress -- the Armenian Genocide Museum. As Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendents have appealed to the world to "never forget," the Armenian American community has been on a similar mission to obtain worldwide recognition of the brutal genocide that was perpetrated against their forebears at the hands of Turkey beginning in 1915.

Unfortunately, the word "genocide" is not so easily uttered in certain corners of the world with respect to the Armenian tragedy. Fearful of offending Turkey, successive U.S. Administrations and Congresses have evaded officially terming this a genocide. Mr. Kinzer's article, by suggesting that there is any real debate among knowledgeable and objective historians as to the veracity and magnitude of the Armenian genocide, also casts a troubling degree of denial on this tragic chapter in world history.

In a twisted justification for his massive genocidal campaign against Jews, Gypsies and other minority groups, Hitler once asked: Who now talks about the Armenians? The Armenian genocide, like the Holocaust, should also never be forgotten and the perpetrators should come to terms with their history. After all, lessons we have learned from the past can be used to maintain public awareness and, ultimately, prevent such abominable episodes from afflicting any part of humanity ever again. This is the hope that may one day become a reality.


Chrysoula Economopoulos