Denial or dignity in the fight for recognition of the Armenian genocide

“April is the cruelest month.”

When T.S. Elliot penned that line in his 1922 poem “The Waste Land,” he certainly reflected feelings of death and despair. However, he couldn’t have known just how poignant those themes would be throughout the remainder of the 20th century.

Referred to by some academics as “the century of genocide,” the 1900s saw mass atrocities in places like Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur and Eastern Europe—all with significant dates in April to mark either the beginning or height of mass killing. However, a long-time alliance with Turkey has restrained U.S. recognition of the genocide of more than 1 million Armenians in 1915 by Ottoman Turks who continue to deny such accusations.

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