Why is it important to acknowledge an act of genocide?

Genocide scholars have labeled genocide denial the final stage of genocide.

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel has called genocide denial a “double killing.”

In “The Eight Stages of Genocide,” Holocaust scholar Gregory H. Stanton writes, “The black hole of forgetting is the negative force that results in future genocides.”

Leading comparative genocide studies expert Israel Charny describes denial as “first the physical deed, followed by the destruction of remembrance of the deed.”

Dr. Charny explains that the harm of denial is profound. It is a renewed attack on the victim group, mocking its suffering. It celebrates the success of the genocide, emphasizing perpetrators’ impunity and victims’ powerlessness even to tell what happened. It is a veiled threat, that deniers in the perpetrator group see nothing wrong with the past genocide and are ready to commit genocide again.

Noted documentary filmmaker Andrew Goldberg has stated: “What happened to the Armenians is one of the most inhumane acts in the history of the human race. The victims of that event and their children have never been acknowledged and affirmed, and it is important that we, as non-Armenians and Armenians, affirm and acknowledge this tragedy, and send a clear message to those attempting to deny this tragedy that we will not allow their position to make progress into this international conversation.”

Reacting to Mr. Foxman’s statement that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide should be left to historians not politicians, Liora Harari, a member of the Needham, Massachusetts Human Rights Commission, said: “I come from a family of Holocaust survivors and I know that for them, the recognition of the Holocaust by the world and the recognition of Germany as being responsible for it was very important for them in the process of healing and moving forward.”

Please refer to Appendix 4 for more statements by human rights advocates and town officials supporting the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and criticizing the ADL’s opposition to it.