Today, when Armenians speak of their genocide’s awareness they make frequent comparisons with the Holocaust. Turkish deniers attack the comparison as a “propagandistic technique of advancing the Armenian cause.”

But there is one thing Turkish deniers will never tell you. Starting the 1930s and for the next couple decades to come, Jews themselves would compare their tragedy to the Armenian Genocide to let the world know about the Holocaust.

Raphael Lemkin, a Jew who coined the term “genocide,” would generally start talking about genocide with “Armenians.” For example, in the 1949 CBS Interview with Lemkin, he said, “I became interested in genocide because it happened to the Armenians.”

A few days ago, when I wrote about my visit to the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C., I mentioned that Frantz Werfel, the author of the best-selling “Forty Days of Musa Dagh,” was the first in the list of Jewish authors whose works had been destroyed by the Nazis as part of the plan to eliminate every trait of Germany’s Jewish influence.

I also mentioned Prof. Herbert Hirsch’s lecture in which he said “Forty Days of Musa Dagh” was the most-read book in the Nazi concentration camps.

Werfel’s book about the Armenian genocide and the heroic self-defense of the Armenians of Musa Dagh area was already popular among world’s Jewish community in the 1930s.

In 1935 Leon Fram, a Jewish Rabbi in Detroit, talked to a 1000-people-audience about Werfel’s book and Hiterl’s treatment of Germany’s Jews. He said what was happening to the Jews was what had happened to the Armenians.

Rabbi Fram observed, “Hitler is achieving what the Turks hoped to accomplish and failed. They hoped the annihilation of the Armenians would take place so quietly that no one would notice it … In broad daylight, Nazi Germany is carrying out the annihilation of a people and no one does anything about it.”

The entire article (from Hairenik Weekly’s Friday, March 8, 1935 issue) is posted below. Click on it for enlargement in JPEG format.

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Thank you to Marc A. Mamigonian, Director of Programs and Publications at National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), for scanning the article and sharing it.