Friends of ISIS Unmasked
– First in Riyadh, Now in Ankara?

Following a series of detailed exposés of Saudi Arabia’s complicity with the so-called Islamic State, German government leaders have broken diplomatic protocol, and openly issued warnings that Riyadh must cut its ties to terrorists. ... The Turkish connection is perhaps even more insidious, given it is a member of NATO and an aspirant to membership in the European Union.Read Further...

Germans Celebrate Paruyr Sevak

The saying goes that “there is no more beautiful woman than the Armenian language.” If that is the case, German author Jochen Mangelsen writes, then the two women who have just published a new German translation of poems by Paruyr Sevak “have tackled a really audacious task.”

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Wielding the Weapon of Truth

As politicians in Berlin debate the relative merits and dangers of Germany’s possible active military engagement in the war theatre against so-called Islamic State (IS), a number of public figures have taken up a precious weapon to wage in this conflict. This is the weapon of truth. Instead of calculating the numbers of ground troops that might be required, and who might provide them – considerations made in cheerful amnesia regarding the catastrophes wrought by similar conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq – several journalists and political figures have preferred to expose the forces behind the IS menace, in hopes of paralyzing the continuing financial, logistical, military and ideological support that has made IS a formidable agency.Read Further...

Recognition, Realpolitik and the Ravages of War

BERLIN — No one engaged in efforts to have the Armenian Genocide officially recognized — at whatever level and in whatever venue — can suffer under the illusion that it is simply a matter of acknowledging historical facts as truth. It has been, and remains a political football, which is tossed, carried or kicked according to the game plans drafted by the coaches of the opposing teams. Or, as in the case of Germany, it is punted. Instead of following through on the courageous initiatives taken by President Joachim Gauck and the Bundestag (Parliament) last April, to finally formulate and pass a unified resolution acknowledging the Genocide, the political leadership has preferred to put the entire issue on hold.Read Further...

 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair: New Studies on Armenia

FRANKFURT, Germany — Among the hundreds of thousands of new titles exhibited at the Frankfurt book fair, the largest such fair in the world, are numerous studies on Armenia published this year, the centenary of the genocide. The Fachbuchjournal, a bi-monthly publication that reviews non-fiction works, issued its book fair edition with a special focus on this theme, referencing 20 works, twelve of them with extensive reviews. In an in-depth interview which opens the section, Wolfgang Gust, who published the relevant documents from the Foreign Ministry archives of Ottoman Turkey’s wartime ally Imperial Germany, comments on the status of genocide studies and the significance of centenary events.Read Further...

Armenia and Germany Renew a Thousand-Year-Old Friendship

For centuries Germany and Armenia have maintained friendly relations, but there are probably only a handful of individuals, whether in Berlin or Yerevan, who have any inkling of this fact. For broader layers of the two populations, it is virtually unknown. But thanks to the initiative of Armenians and their German friends in the city of Bochum, the exciting history of this close relationship is being brought to light. Read Further...

Of Summer Doldrums, Scoops and Spoofs

One hot day in late July I received emails from two friends — one is Armenian and the other Italian — both alerting me to a curious letter circulating widely on the Internet. It had to do with the protests against electricity price hikes in Armenia, and coverage hinted that these might signal the start of a “colored revolution” in the country, aimed at toppling the government. Read Further...

German-Armenian Forum Launched in Berlin

BERLIN – MAY 28, 2015— Ten years ago the Bundestag (Parliament) passed a resolution on the Armenian issue, but that focused on facilitating an Armenian-Turkish dialogue. The recent events in Berlin marking the centenary of the genocide constituted a breakthrough in the same direction, as reported in the Mirror-Spectator.Read Further...

Armenian Trees Planted in Germany to Bear Fruits of Friendship and Reconciliation

BOCHUM, Germany — Exactly one year ago, as Germans celebrated Pentacost, a massive storm “Ela,” swept through the industrial heartland of the Ruhr, destroying thousands of trees. As Azat Ordukhanyan, Chairman of the Armenian Academic Society 1860, witnessed the devastation in Bochum, he was reminded of the 1988 earthquake that struck his native land in his student days in Yerevan. Germany — both east and west — had at the time joined many other nations worldwide to provide relief, and in a spirit of gratitude and compassion, he decided to organize a donation of 155 trees from Armenia to plant in Bochum. It was to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the founding (in Leipzig) of his Armenian Academic Society that he chose that number.
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Beyond Recognition

In times of grave crisis, when it seems that the world has gone insane, when violence reigns, taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocents, and more often than not, the ideologically crazed perpetrators claim to be killing in the name of religion, then conventional political discourse seems to ring hollow. Crisis management at urgently convoked special summits yields well-meaning declarations and peace plans, but the bloody conflicts spread. In such critical junctures it may be that institutional actors from a loftier stance enter the stage and speak out, to assert a moral authority capable of emboldening political forces to think and act on a higher level. This is what has occurred on the occasion of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. Read Further...

ACF Releases Second Edition of Armenian Orphan Rug Book

On May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Winchester Public Library, the Armenian Cultural Foundation (ACF) will present an illustrated talk on President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian. The first edition, released in October 2013, coincided with an exhibition planned under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. However, the exhibition was cancelled because the White House refused to lend the rug to the Smithsonian.Read Further...

Historic Genocide Remembrance in Berlin

BERLIN — Much has been made of the fact that German leaders, both spiritual and political, broke the taboo and acknowledged the Armenian genocide by name. More importantly, in their April commemorations they used Germany’s moral authority to shape an approach that Turkey could embrace.Read Further...

‘If Winter Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?’

With these words Percy Bysshe Shelley concluded his “Ode to the West Wind,” and they serve as well to characterize the mood pervading the commemorations in Germany of the 100th anniversary of the Genocide. On the one hand, it is the grim facts of that murderous process that are being presented in a variety of forms; on the other, it is the triumph of life over death which is being celebrated. True, the Armenians were massacred, their lands, homes and possessions confiscated, the traces of their very presence erased in clumsy attempts to write them and their culture out of the history of what is current-day Turkey. But the experiment has failed. Armenians and Armenian culture are alive and well, and that is cause for celebration.Read Further...

Germans Say It Was Genocide Germans Say It Was Genocide

BERLIN — On Friday, April 24, when this issue of the Mirror-Spectator appears, the German parliament will be holding a session to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. And, according to late news reports on April 20, they will name it by its proper name. As Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert announced, the final text that party leaders had presented their parliamentarians for the Bundestag debate would say that a hundred years ago the Turkish regime in Ottoman Constantinople began the planned expulsion and mass murder of over one million Armenians.Read Further...

Pope Francis Issues Challenge to Turkey – and Germany

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach APRIL 16, 2015 – Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BERLIN — The news from Rome hit Germany like a thunderbolt. As soon as the Armenian rite mass on April 12 had ended, news media flashed headlines across their websites and radio waves. The evening news programs opened with the announcement that Pope Francis had commemorated the victims of the Armenian genocide, and in those words. Pinar Atalay, the Turkish-German anchorwoman on national TV, spoke against a backdrop photo of Istanbul, a city, she said, where Armenians and Turks had lived together for centuries until the First World War...Read Further...

Germany and the Genocide
Witness, Accomplice or Perpetrator?

While in Turkey institutions a good hundred years after the fact are still inventing ways to deny that their predecessors in the Ottoman Empire perpetrated a genocide against the Armenians, in Germany efforts are afoot to explore its role, as Turkey’s wartime ally, in the extermination campaign.
Among the numerous events organized throughout the country to commemorate the centenary was an international conference March 1-3, focusing on the role of the German empire. Read Further...

Genocide Centenary: Where Does Germany Stand?

As the New Year opened, several German cities hosted events commemorating the centenary of the genocide, many of them scheduled to coincide with the eighth anniversary on January 19 of the assassination of Hrant Dink. Those in Berlin and Frankfurt attracted large crowds of Germans and Armenians, as well as Turks, Kurds and many other minorities.
At a memorial convened in Cologne on January 25, one central issue discussed was the need for official recognition of the genocide, not only on the part of the authorities in Turkey but also in Germany.Read Further...