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The Armenian Genocide
Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915-1916
Compiled and Edited by Wolfgang Gust
Translated from the German
Foreword by Vahakn N. Dadrian
820 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-143-3 $179.00/£132.00 Hb Published (December 2013)
eISBN 978-1-78238-770-1 eBook
“…this massive volume contains the only English-language translation of 240 primary documents found in German Foreign Office files. A very extensive overview section provides superb historical background, especially concerning the German involvement. A much earlier compilation of German-language documents was compiled by German theologian Johannes Lepsius in 1919, but some text was ‘deleted or manipulated by the German Foreign Office.’ Gust and his wife were able to restore some of the original text, and they added many documents not found in the Lepsius volume. This meticulously compiled work will provide historians and students with invaluable information about this lesser-known aspect of the genocide.” · Choice
“[The volume] fills a major gap… Besides its contribution in providing ample documents on the genocide itself from the German archives, the book reaffirms in unprecedented ways the veracity of the historical event, which is still under question by denialist historians… Now that Gust has furnished historians with a plethora of vital documents, it is the task of historians to analyse these documents and interpret the different dimensions of the Armenian Genocide in general and the German policy during the First World War in particular.” · War in History
“The documents collected here illustrate clearly the shared responsibility of the Kaiserreich, the most important ally of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The documents were not intended for public use. They are therefore largely undisguised and so vivid that the reader often shudders when reading them.” · Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Wolfgang Gust documents in this excellent political-historical edition from contemporary German sources and the Foreign Office of the Reich government the murderous events themselves… as well as the political co-responsibility of the German state.” · Forum Wissenschaft
“With the publication of the German diplomatic records on the Armenian Genocide a dark chapter of German history during the First World War, suppressed for a long time, has been revealed to a broad public… But this volume also represents an important contribution to genocide research in general.” · Orient. Journal for Politics and Economics
In 1915, the Armenians were exiled from their land, and in the process of deportation 1.5 million of them were killed. The 1915-1916 annihilation of the Armenians was the archetype of modern genocide, in which a state adopts a specific scheme geared to the destruction of an identifiable group of its own citizens. Official German diplomatic documents are of great importance in understanding the genocide, as only Germany had the right to report day-by-day in secret code about the ongoing genocide. The motives, methods, and after-effects of the Armenian Genocide echoed strongly in subsequent cases of state-sponsored genocide. Studying the factors that went into the Armenian Genocide not only gives us an understanding of historical genocide, but also provides us with crucial information for the anticipation and possible prevention of future genocides.
Wolfgang Gust is an independent scholar based in Germany. For many years he was Foreign News Editor and Correspondent with the highly respected German news magazine Der Spiegel. He is the author of two previous books about the Armenian Genocide and the Ottoman Empire, as well as several articles related to the subject.