By Demir Delen
A Publication of the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations
The truth behind some well-known and often-repeated forgeries by Armenian activists who are attempting to sway the world opinion regarding the existence of a “genocide” in 1915, are exposed in the following paragraphs.
1. Hitler’s quotation regarding the Armenians – A myth
Every year Armenian activists lobby politicians in Canada and the U.S. to proclaim a “genocide remembrance week” in April recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide. Every politician who speaks in favour of such a motion inevitably refers to the following statement, given to them by the Armenian activists who claim it was made by Hitler; “Who, after all, speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians”.
This so-called Hitler statement is accepted as a “historical fact” and has been quoted by numerous politicians who support the Armenian cause, in parliamentary debates in North America. It also appears routinely in Armenian propaganda publications.
The Armenians want to play on the sentiments of the Jewish Holocaust and purport that Adolf Hitler made this quotation in a speech regarding his planned annihilation of the European Jews. One of the most frequently utilized falsifications by Armenian spokesmen is that Hitler felt justified in going forward with his plan to exterminate European Jewry during the Second World War, because he was encouraged that the world had not reacted to alleged Ottoman mistreatment of its Armenian population during the First World War.
The problem with this linkage is that there is no proof that Hitler ever made such a statement. It is claimed that he referred to the Armenians in the manner cited above, while delivering a secret talk to members of his General Staff, a week prior to his attack on Poland. However, there is no reference to the Armenians in the original texts of the two Hitler speeches delivered on August 22, 1939, published as the official texts in the reliable Nuremberg documents.
It is natural to assume that Hitler spoke to his generals on that day in his and their native tongue, German. The Nuremberg documents are the only authoritative and authentic sources. However, a few English translations that appeared in New York Times and London Times in 1945 carried an additional sentence in Hitler’s speech that does not occur in the authorized German texts.
At the Nuremberg tribunal there were three authentic versions of the records of the Hitler’s meeting with his generals, although no official minutes exist. All three versions are similar in content. William L. Shirer in “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” states as follows:
“At Nuremberg there was some doubt about a fourth account of Hitler’s speech listed as N.D. C-3., and though it was referred to in the proceedings, the prosecution did not submit it in evidence. While it undoubtedly rings true, it may have been embellished a little by persons who were not present at the meeting at the Berghof”
In several publications Armenian activists refer to the fabricated Hitler statement about Armenians and quote it as “exhibit US-28 of the Nuremberg Tribunal” to mislead the unsuspecting public as if it were authentic and credible. They obviously fail to indicate that exhibit US-28 was not introduced as evidence by the prosecution because of lack of proof of its authenticity and was not preserved in the records of the trials. This is the record Shirer refers to as being “embellished by persons who were not present at the meeting at the Berghof”. Neither of the two versions of the records introduced as evidence in Nuremberg nor the notes kept by General Franz Halder who was present at the meeting, contain any reference to Armenians.
This quotation, and indeed an entire text of a Hitler speech purportedly made at Obersalzberg on August 22, 1939, was first published in 1942 in a book entitled “What About Germany?” authored by Louis Lochner.
Lochner cited an unnamed informant as his source for a document called “Contents of Speech to the Supreme Commanders, and Commanding Generals, Obersalzberg, August 22, 1939”. He further stated that he obtained a copy of this speech one week prior to Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland. This “document,” the origin of which has never been disclosed, investigated, and much less established, is the sole source of Hitler’s purported remark regarding the Armenians.
It is interesting to note that, in Lochner’s unnamed informant’s documents, there is not a single direct or implied reference to the Jewish people. The statement referred to Hitler’s impending invasion of Poland and to the fate he envisioned for its citizenry; it had absolutely nothing to do with his plans for the Jews of Europe.
The Nuremberg transcripts, however, clearly demonstrate that the tribunal rejected Lochner’s version of Hitler’s Obersalzberg speech in favor of two more official versions found in confiscated German military records. These two records are, respectively, the detailed notes of the August 22, 1939 meeting taken down by Admiral Hermann Boehm, Chief of the High Seas Fleet, who was in attendance (Document No. 798-PS) and a memorandum in two parts which provides a detailed account of Hitler’s August 22, 1939, remarks at Obersalzberg (Document No. 1014-PS).
This second document originated in the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces files and was captured by American troops at Saalfelden in Austria. This was the chief document introduced by the prosecution at Nuremberg as evidence in the course of the session concerned with the invasion of Poland.
These two versions are in fact preserved in the transcripts of the Nuremberg Tribunal and are internally consistent with each other regarding the wording of Hitler’s Obersalzberg speech. It is important to note that none of these eyewitness versions contain any reference whatsoever to Armenians.
In addition, a third eyewitness account of the Obersalzberg meetings is found in the detailed diary kept by General Franz Halder. His notes, which were not submitted as evidence at the Nuremberg Tribunal, also do not contain any reference to Armenians.
A story in the Times of London on November 24, 1945 based on a “leaked document” on the assumption that it would be introduced as evidence by the time the story broke, made reference to the Armenians in Hitler’s statement. The document which was provided to the prosecution by “an American newspaperman”, is the source of the alleged Hitler statement on Armenians. However, this document was not introduced as evidence, after the original minutes of the Obersalzberg meeting were found.
The results of the erroneous Times of London story were far reaching. The world has been misled by Armenians since then, into thinking that the Nuremberg transcripts contained the quote attributed to Hitler; “Who still speaks nowadays of the extermination of the Armenians”? Armenian spokesmen have been free to argue that Adolf Hitler justified his planned annihilation of the Jews on the world’s failure to react to the alleged Ottoman genocide of the Armenians during the First World War.
In truth, no document containing the purported Hitler statement on the Armenians was introduced or accepted as evidence in the course of the Nuremberg trials. The Nuremberg transcripts through their preservation of Document Numbers 798-PS and 1014-PS and the notes of Admiral Boehm, demonstrate that the alleged statement is conspicuously absent from Hitler’s remarks. The assertion that Hitler made a reference to the Armenians in any context whatsoever is completely without foundation.
Yet Prof. Richard Hovannisian and a host of other Armenian spokesmen have been planting this statement into the minds of Canadian and U.S politicians during the last two decades. A significant portion of Armenian propaganda efforts has been devoted to establishing a linkage between their own historical experiences and those of European Jewry during the Second World War. The cornerstone in their case has long been the spurious Hitler quote, “Who, after all, speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?”
For a detailed analysis of the Nuremberg Trials records regarding this false statement that is attributed to Hitler, please refer to “The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians” by Prof. Heath W. Lowry, Political Communication and Persuasion, Volume 3, Number 2, 1985.
2. Talat Pasha Telegrams – A forgery
The Ottoman Empire fought, in the First World War on the side of the Central Powers against the Entente Powers- England, France, Russia and their allies. During the War, as part of standard war propaganda, Ottomans were being accused of massacres against the Armenians who were assisting the Russians, the same way as their wartime ally the Germans were being accused of atrocities against the Belgians.
After the Treaty of Lauseanne in 1923, the Armenians realized that an independent Armenia promised to them by their allies for their efforts against the Ottomans during the First World War, was now a failed dream. They started a large propaganda campaign against the newly formed Republic of Turkey and after the Second World War they cashed-in on the word “genocide”. The intention was to draw a parallel between the fate of the Armenians in the First World War and Hitler’s extermination policies towards the Jewish people.
The Armenian propaganda claiming genocide, required proof that a decision to exterminate the Armenians was made by the Ottoman Government as a policy. The reason for this was that, the definition of the word “genocide” approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1948, required that there had to be an intent of destroying a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. For this purpose Armenians produced a number of telegrams attributed to Talat Pasha, the Minister of Interior of the Ottoman Government, supposedly found by the British forces under the command of General Allenby, when they captured Aleppo in 1918.
The basis of the accusations against the Ottomans was a book written by an Armenian, Aram Andonian in 1920, “The Memoirs of Naim Bey: Turkish Official Documents Relating to the Deportations and Massacres of Armenians”. Mr. Andonian published his book simultaneously in London, Paris and Boston – in English, French and Armenian. Ever since then, these “documents” have formed the backbone and the basis of all Armenian accusations against the Ottomans and later against the Turks.
It has been proven by scholars for quite some time now that these “documents” were fabricated. The originals of the papers copied by Andonian were never seen. When the British Foreign Office enquired about them at the War Office and with General Allenby himself, it was discovered that they had not been found by the British Army, but rather had been produced by an Armenian Group in Paris. Not a single one of these “important” documents reproduced by Andonian in his book, can be found today.
Andonian made so many mistakes in preparing the papers, however, that it is possible to prove with absolute certainty that they were forgeries, even without the originals. Scholars and historians demonstrated that they did not resemble the Ottoman administrative documents neither in form, reference numbers, script nor phraseology.
The simplest, absolutely irrefutable proof of the forgery involves Andonian’s incorrect use of calendar information. Naturally, for his forgeries Andonian used the Rumi calendar which was in use in the Ottoman Empire at the time. Because this calendar’s starting point is the year 622 A.D. and uses the lunar years, there are some complicated technicalities in converting between the Gregorian and the Rumi calendars. The analysis of the “documents” reveal that the forger simply knew too little about the Ottoman calendar and overlooked the tricky details in converting. As a result, the forger reaches some impossible and humorous conclusions.
In one of his forged documents, Mr. Andonian dates a note and signature attributed to Mustafa Abdulhalik Bey, purported to be the Governor of Aleppo. A comparison with authentic correspondence between the Governor of Aleppo and the Ministry of the Interior in Istanbul, on the date in question, reveals that the Governor of Aleppo on that date was Bekir Sami Bey. In his attempt to prove massacres, Mr. Andonian, due to his lack of knowledge of the tricky technicalities in the conversion between the two calendars, was having Mustafa Abdulhalik Bey signing documents as the Governor of Aleppo while he was still in Istanbul, before he was even appointed to the position.
Erich Feigl, in his book entitled “A Myth of Terror – Armenian Extremism: Its Causes and Its Historical Context”, published in 1986, outlines in great technical detail all the crude forgeries concocted by Mr. Andonian and his associates, on the so-called “Talat Pasha Telegrams”.
For decades, Armenian activists referred to these fabricated “documents” as evidence, in their attempt to persuade the politicians and the public opinion in the west regarding their claim of an Armenian genocide.
After the First World War the Ottoman Capital was under Allied occupation and all State Archives were easily accessible to the British Authorities in Istanbul. If there were any witnesses or any kind of evidence regarding the Ottoman Government’s involvement in any alleged Armenian massacres, they could have been easily found. The British High Commission was unable to forward to London any legal evidence.
The meticulous search conducted by the British for 30 months with an utmost zeal to vindicate the Armenian allegations produced nothing. From a political standpoint, it was highly desirable for the British Government that at least some of the Turkish deportees to Malta should have been brought to trial. The British Foreign Office left no stone unturned in order to prove that the so-called Armenian massacres actually took place. Yet all efforts and zeal in this regard ended with a complete failure. There was no evidence, no reliable witness, no proof and no case!
3. Photographs of Human Skulls – A Distortion
For several decades various Armenian publications have featured a photograph of a pyramid of human skulls which they alleged belonged to Armenian victims of Turkish massacres during the First World War. In most cases the date of 1915 – 1917 was explicitly stated in the legend underneath.
It has been published on the cover of a book with the Ottoman Minister of the Interior Talat Pasha’s photograph inserted on the upper left corner, announcing in the inner pages that the cover photograph shows “Turkish barbarism”. The same photograph was enlarged and shown to the Canadian public in the 1970’s, in the Yerevan Pavillion at the annual Metro International Caravan festivities in Toronto, as proof of “Armenian genocide”.
In reality, this was a photograph of a painting entitled “The Apotheosis of War”, created in 1872 by a Russian master called Vassili Vereshchagin (1842-1904), which hangs in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The canvas, the subject of which has got nothing to do with the Armenians, was painted 43 years before the alleged massacres. It was used fraudulently and freely by the Armenians, as a tool to deceive and convince the public into believing their unfounded allegations about a “so-called genocide”.
The purpose of this deceitful manipulation was to create a false impression in the minds of those who observe the photo arrangements. It was designed to insult the Turkish people while serving the political objectives of Armenian activists.
4. H. Morgenthau and Admiral Mark L. Bristol
Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol served as the Commander of the U.S. Naval Detachment in Turkish waters and as the U.S. High Commissioner to Turkey during the years 1919-1927. In this capacity he witnessed first hand; the Turkish War of Independence, the formation of the First Turkish Republic and the early years of its existence.
His papers, which are housed in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, reveal in great detail the character of political, military, social, and economic conditions in Anatolia during the turbulent period of post World War I.
The following is an excerpt from Bristol’s letter dated March 28, 1921 to Dr. James L. Barton, the Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions:
“I see that reports are being freely circulated in the United States that the Turks massacred thousands of Armenians in the Caucasus. Such reports are repeated so many times it makes my blood boil.
The Near East Relief have the reports from Yarrow and our own American people which show that such Armenian reports are absolutely false. The circulation of such false reports in the United States, without refutation, is an outrage and is certainly doing the Armenians more harm than good. I feel that we should discourage the Armenians in this kind of work, not only because it is wrong, but because they are injuring themselves.
In addition to the reports from our own American Relief workers that were in Kars and Alexandrople, and reports from such men as Yarrow, I have reports from my own Intelligence Officer and know that the Armenian reports are not true. Is there not something that you and the Near East Relief Committee can do to stop the circulation of such false reports?
I was surprised to see Dr. McCallum send through a report along this line from Constantinople. When I called attention to the report, it was stated that it came from the Armenians, but the telegram did not state this, nor did it state that the Armenian reports were not confirmed by our own reports. I may be all wrong; but I can’t help feeling that I am not, because so many people out here who know the conditions agree with me that the Armenians and ourselves who lend ourselves to such exaggerated reports are doing the worst thing we possibly can for the Armenians.”
The letter continues:
“While the Dashnaks were in power they did everything in the world to keep the pot boiling by attacking Kurds, Turks and Tartars; by committing outrages against the Moslems; by giving no representation whatever to the Molokans which are a large factor in the population of the Caucasus Armenia; by massacring the Moslems; and robbing and destroying their homes; and finally by starting an attack against the Turks which resulted in a counter attack by the Turks…The acts of the Armenian army at Kars absolutely disgusted our Americans, including Yarrow”.
Because of his objective observations and remarks, Admiral Mark Bristol was frequently attacked and discredited by Armenian and Greek spokesman as “anti-Armenian”, “anti-Greek,” and “pro-Turkish”. For this reason, it is very rare to find any mention of Admiral Bristol in any Armenian publication. Instead they are full of quotations by Mr. Henry Morgenthau who was his predecessor in Istanbul.
Prof. Heath W. Lowry, in his article entitled “American Observers in Anatolia CA. 1920: The Bristol Papers” states as follows:
“Morgenthau was a confirmed ‘Turcophobe’ whose hatred for the Turks was matched only by his unabashed support for the Christian minorities under Ottoman rule. To anyone sharing Morgenthau’s prejudices (including the minorities themselves), Bristol’s evenhanded objectivity could only be interpreted as ‘pro-Turkish’…Bristol’s insistence on the equality of Christian and Moslem alike, marked a drastic change from Morgenthau’s championing of the Christian element. It is this fact which accounts for his being incorrectly labeled as ‘pro-Turkish’ and ‘anti-minority’.”
Armenian spokesmen consistently refer to H. Morgenthau’s statements as proof, in their pursuit to convince the politicians that a so-called genocide occurred. In his tenure, Mr Morgenthau has never left Istanbul and his only source of information was the Armenian Patriarchate.
Peter Michael Buzanski is the author of a full-length study on Bristol’s tenure in Turkey, entitled: “Admiral Mark L. Bristol and Turkish-American Relations, 1919-1922”. He presents an analysis of Bristol devoid of rhetoric and argues convincingly that Bristol should not be judged from the “standpoint of the American Committee for Armenian Independence”. Buzanski concludes that Bristol must be evaluated in terms of the manner in which he represented the interests of the nation which he served. On this account he gives Bristol high marks.