Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin referred to the Armenian genocide on numerous occasions.
In a CBS program first broadcast in 1949, he said, “I became interested in genocide because it happened to the Armenians . . . [and the Turkish] criminals were guilty of genocide and were not punished . . . So, you see, as a lawyer, I thought that [such crimes] should be punished by a court, by a national law.”
In an article in the Hairenik Weekly (later the Armenian Weekly) on January 1, 1959, he wrote that the suffering of the Armenians had paved the way to the ratification of the Genocide Convention: “The sufferings of the Armenian men, women, and children thrown into the Euphrates River or massacred on the way to [the Syrian desert of] Der-el-Zor have prepared the way for the adoption for the Genocide Convention by the United Nations . . . This is the reason why the Armenians of the entire world were specifically interested in the Genocide Convention. They filled the galleries of the drafting committee at the third General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris when the Genocide Convention was discussed.”
At the end of the article, Lemkin asserted, “One million Armenians died, but a law against the murder of peoples was written with the ink of their blood and the spirit of their sufferings.”
In his autobiography, Lemkin wrote, “I identified myself more and more with the suffering of the victims, whose numbers grew, and I continued my study of history. I understood that the function of memory is not only to register past events, but to stimulate human conscience. Soon contemporary examples of genocide followed, such as the slaughter of the Armenians.”