For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel. (202) 775-1918
Members of Congress Commend Germany’s Genocide Recognition
Urge Congress to Follow Suit
WASHINGTON, DC – Members of Congress on Thursday welcomed the German Bundestag’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a leading sponsor of the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution in Congress, as well as the co-chairmen of the Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus, representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Robert Dold (R-IL) released a statements Thursday following the German Bundestag’s historic vote to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Also applauding the Bundestag decision were California’s Central Valley Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA) and David Valadao (R-CA).
“Germany’s vote to recognize the Armenian Genocide is a major event. Acknowledging this dark moment in history is a victory for human rights. The annihilation of millions of Armenians was genocide. Period. And the 1.5 million innocent men, women, and children whose lives were taken deserve recognition,” said Chairman Royce.
“I commend the overwhelming vote by the German Bundestag to recognize the Armenian Genocide. With this acknowledgement of the facts of the genocide, Germany joins a host of other European countries in recognizing and condemning the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923. The German vote is particularly courageous as it comes in the midst of negotiations with Turkey regarding the flow of refugees and migrants into Europe. It sends a clear message that the truth of genocide cannot be silenced and that temporary expediency can never justify complicity in genocide denial,” Schiff said.
“Our own Congress should demonstrate the same willingness to defy Turkish threats, and the same moral integrity and commitment to principle by following Germany’s example,” asserted the Congressman.
“We applaud the German parliament for acknowledging the atrocities committed against the Armenian people for exactly what they were – genocide. The German people have had their own internal struggle in dealing with crimes against humanity in their history, and it is a powerful statement that they are now honoring the countless victims of the Armenian Genocide,” said Pallone and Dold.
“Now, it is time for the U.S. government to properly recognize historical fact and pass our bipartisan resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide. By recognizing these horrific crimes as genocide, we can once again renew our commitment to prevent such atrocities from occurring again. The United States must push Turkey to come to terms with its own history and remove their shrouded policy of denial from covering up one of the most horrific tragedies in world history,” added the Armenian Issues Caucus co-chairmen.
“Critics always say it is never the right time to recognize the Armenian Genocide; however, the German Parliament reaffirms now is the time. Yet the United States continues to fail to stand up and do the right thing” said Rep. Costa. “I applaud the German Parliament for condemning the horrific genocide that took place over 100 years ago by the Ottoman Empire. I urge the President and Congress to follow the lead of Germany and other brave countries to once and for all adopt a clear policy recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” said Rep. Costa.
“This week, in an act of solidarity, the German Government has formally acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and I commend them on their efforts to make amends,” said Rep. Valadao. “It is past time the United States government does the same and formally recognize the Armenian Genocide for the horrific event it was. The Armenian people deserve justice, and while a Turkish acknowledgement of the genocide will never bring back the innocent men, women, and children who died, it might give their souls some peace at last.”