Mary Stylidi

Lost in Commemoration: The Emblematic Cases of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Genocides.

By exploring how the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian genocides came to be forgotten and neglected in official history and collective memory, this paper takes a step towards redress for years of inadvertent ignorance and deliberate concealment. In addressing the roles played by scholars and nations, and the effect of international law and government policy, it notes the inaccessibility of evidence, combined with a narrow application of definitions of victim groups, and a focus on written proof of perpetrator intent. The factors contributing to the hiddenness of a particular genocide are often made up of an interrelated web of political, economic, religious and geostrategic interests; and are the result of a combination of actions by various parties. Continuing persecution of survivors in the aftermath of the genocides, and government actions to erase the genocides from history, are common to both cases. This paper also notes the influence of issues internal to the victim communities, such as a cultural disinclination to record events in writing, resulting in a lack of survivor testimony. The dimension of a comparative analysis between these three emblematic “hidden” genocides shows that there are many similarities in the process of forgetting that occurred in their respective aftermaths. Developing an understanding of how these genocides came to be ignored and forgotten may provide a foundation for genuine acknowledgment and redress.