Archive for the 'WWI' Category

Armenians Scream CNN Murder of their Genocide

Too short for Armenians and too long for the Turkish government, a two-hour CNN documentary by Christiane Amanpour on genocide includes a 45-second mention of the WWI extermination of Ottoman Empire’s indigenous Armenian population. Premiered on December 4, 2008, Scream Bloody Murder has made many Armenian bloggers angry, leading them to recall Hitler’s rhetoric for impunity, “Who, after all, remembers the Armenians?”

Armenia-based blogger, photographer and designer Arsineh had concerns even before watching the documentary. Writing on Ars Eye View, she says:


I’m preparing to watch the program for myself, but given this much prior information, I have to ask. If you are going to cover the epidemic of genocide, starting with the campaign to criminalize genocide, continue to show the struggle so many have endured to (as you titled your program) “SCREAM BLOODY MURDER” while the world turned a deaf ear only to allow genocide to continue around the world, shouldn’t you be talking about the biggest cover up of genocide, the very one which inspired Lemkin to coin the word, the very one which also inspired Adolf Hitler to follow through with the Holocaust? Afterall, it’s this denial that scares CNN from ever using the word “Genocide” in their reporting on related matters.


She also posts a video question to CNN.

Writing in detail, West of Igdir says a previous CNN press release suggested the coverage of the Armenian Genocide was going to be more intense.


The release specifically mentioned Armenia as one of the cases of genocide it would be examining. This naturally created some excitement that finally a major news organization would be dedicating a program partly to the so often overlooked Armenian Genocide of 1915 and inform a nationwide audience about it.


I had been feeling hopeful about the documentary and might have given it more of a pass on this omition until I saw this interactive map on the section of Scream Bloody Murder section of CNN’s website about the world’s killing fields. It appears that despite the fact when it had first been announced Armenia was prominently mentioned as one of the examples of genocide that would be covered, it was overlooked as being pinpointed on the interactive map as an example of genocide.


Clearly the documentary did not go unnoticed in Turkey, despite the fact it says almost nothing about the Armenian Genocide, as the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet yesterday declared “Genocide feature worrisome.”


Sevana at Life in the Armenian Diaspora is also unhappy.

When will this second class genocide victim status end? I guess CNN is afraid that CNN-Turk will be cut off the air if they include the Armenians… how very, very sad.

Another diasporan voice, Seta’s Armenian Blog posts an action alert by the Armenian National Committee of America to protest CNN’s almost exclusion of the Armenian Genocide.

The full post is available at Global Voices Online.

Pioneering Plastic Surgery in WWI

Plastic surgery was apparently not created to fix breasts but to get wounded soldiers look the way they used to before fighting in World War I.

A book by H.M. Deranian tells the story of “Varaztad H. Kazanjian, who helped invent modern plastic surgery by finding creative ways to restore the faces of soldiers injured on the battlefields of World War I.”

An e-mail from NAASR has more:

Kazanjian was smuggled out of Ottoman Armenia in the 1890s and found his way to Worcester, Massachusetts, then one of the most ethnically diverse cities of its size in the United States. For several years, he worked at the Washburn & Moen wire mill that employed nearly one-third of the city’s Armenian community.

By the time World War I broke out, Kazanjian was chief of Harvard’s Prosthetic Dentistry Department, and had built both a thriving practice and a reputation for treating the most difficult cases. In 1915, Kazanjian accepted a three-month assignment with the Harvard Medical Unit to treat the wounded on the battlefields of France. Drawing on the dexterity with wire he had acquired as a teenager, his prosthetic work in Harvard’s dental lab, and his penchant for innovation, he devised new ways to reconstruct the faces of soldiers with horrendous facial injuries.

The publication of this book marks the 60th anniversary of the occasion when Martin Deranian, then a young dental student, introduced himself to Kazanjian. No matter how busy Deranian was-with his family, dental practice, teaching assignments, and community activities-he never stopped collecting stories, information, and artifacts about the life and career of the “miracle man.”

The author will talk about his book at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, 2007 at the NAASR Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA.