The Quest for a Culture of Remembrance

Armenians in Germany Commemorate Armenian Genocide

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BERLIN — Among the many nations where people gather on April 24th every year to commemorate the victims of the 1915 genocide, Germany holds a special place for three reasons: first, because it was here that the Holocaust occurred, a case of mass murder that was modeled on the Armenian genocide; secondly, because the post-war German political world faced up to what the Nazis had perpetrated. It was not only the fact that many of the criminals were brought to justice at the Nuremburg trials, and that Germany acknowledged it as genocide, but also that in the years and decades that followed, the reality of what had been committed was subjected to historical scrutiny, so that broader layers of the population and members of the successor generations became aware of this past. Germans refer to this process and what it has produced in civil society as “a culture of remembrance” (Erinnerungskultur). The third reason is that Germany’s Turkish population is the largest outside of Turkey, a fact which has a political, social and cultural impact in both countries.Read Further...