HOUSTON, TX (March 17, 2005) - In commemoration of
the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Holocaust Museum Houston
in collaboration with the Armenian National Committee of Texas will
present an exhibit examining this horrific time in history recognized
as the first European genocide of the 20th century.
The exhibition will open for display at Holocaust Museum Houston's
Morgan Family Center Central Gallery on the evening of March 29, 2005.
Although the Armenian Genocide is one of the earliest genocides of
the 20th century, as time passes, it receives less and less attention.
Said Vatche Hovsepian, a member of the Houston Armenian community,
"We are pleased to be working with Holocaust Museum Houston to bring
attention to this terrible period in the history of man and to honor
the memory of those who died during it."
Holocaust Museum Houston Associate Director of Education Richard
Grisham added, "The Armenian genocide is a foreshadow to what occurred
during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. This exhibit explores
yet another example of the suffering caused by the inhumanity of man
Since the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, which was created
by Ottoman Turks after seizing Constantinople in 1453, the relationship
between the Armenians and Ottomans wavered between relative quiet and
conflict. But the end of the nineteenth century brought a much higher
level of nationalism to the Armenians, which was resented by the
Ottomans and began to spur discrimination, violence and, ultimately, a
major government pogrom from 1894-1896.
As the early twentieth century gave rise to new political activity
in Turkey, the Committee of Union and Progress, known as The Young
Turks, began to form. This group became increasingly agitated by the
demands of the Armenians, and resentment increased of American and
European support of Armenians in Turkish affairs.
In 1915, using the cover of World War I, the new Turkish government
began its massacre of the Armenian population of Turkey. One and a
half million Armenians lost their lives as a result of this targeted
and intentional campaign of violence and cruelty.
Armenia was eventually divided between Turkey and the Soviet
Union in the early 1920's. Armenia now exists free of Russian rule but
as a small remnant of an ancient place.
The current government of Turkey continues to deny that any genocide occurred.