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Armenian Golgotha

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Grigoris Balakian

On the night of April 24, 1915, Grigoris Balakian, an Armenian priest, and more than two hundred other Armenian politicians and intellectuals were arrested in Constantinople. Soon, Armenians across Turkey were massacred or forced to join a death march … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Grigoris Balakian
Genre: History
Publisher: Knopf
1 review about Armenian Golgotha


  • Sep 21, 2009
This may perhaps be the saddest book that I have ever read. Most folks are unaware of the calculated plan to exterminate the Armenian people initiated by the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. While the rest of the world was concentrating on the fighting, the government of Turkey was busily killing off all of the Armenians possible.

The author is not some historian looking back on a period of history. He is, rather, an eye witness to this tragedy and barely escaped death himself several times. He tells his story with sorrow, but also with hope for the future of the Armenian nation.

Luckily the Ottoman officials were so venal that a well placed bribe could often save a person or an entire family from the ghastly fate awaiting all Armenians. Our author travelled many, many miles as a captive of the Ottomans, yet managed to survive. he felt thst his survival was meant to be so that he could put down in writing what he saw and what he was told about this horrid period of history. At times the book becomes repetitious, but that is because he wrote with emotion and had to retell some things so that they could be impressed into the minds of his readers.

The 20th century is, unfortunately, know for its genocides, the Holocaust being the most well known. There are also others; Cambodia, Darfur, Uganda, etc.. The difference is that in the Armenian situation, not only government officials, but many of the ordinary Turkish citizens actively cooperated in the mass killings. It's unfortunate that even today the government of Turkey denies that these events took place. If you have any doubts on that point, read this interesting but tearful book and you will be convinced!

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