Review of new important work about the Armenian Genocide
Copies available for loan at CHGS
Chigago Tribune Book Review
Special to the Tribune
"Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-18"
By Grigoris Balakian
Translated by Peter Balakian with Aris Sevag
Alfred A. Knopf. 509 pp. $35
Armenian Golgotha is the astonishing memoir of Father Grigoris Balakian (1876-1934), a work from the 1920s shepherded into English by his great nephew Peter Balakian, the leading American expert on the ARMENIAN genocide. Grigoris Balakian witnessed the genocide from many angles and swore to document it if he survived. According to his great-nephew, Grigoris Balakian at times "lived like an animal" in order to do so.
With the approach of Armenian Remembrance Day, a commemoration held worldwide on April 24, Americans would be well-advised to read this memoir, which recognizes the Ottoman Empire's targeted killing of its Armenian citizens from 1915 to 1918 as genocide. Turkish soldiers, government-organized death squads and ordinary Turks, acting under orders and incitements from Ottoman Minister of the Interior Mehmet Talaat, massacred -- indeed, sometimes literally hacked to pieces -- up to 1.5 million Armenians.