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From Silence to Re-remembrance: The Response of German Media to Massacres and Genocide against the Ottoman Armenians

  • Tessa Hofmann
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Genocide book series (PSHG)

Abstract

In the introductory quotation from a classic of modern German literature, J.W. Goethe conveyed the average worldview of the complacent German middle class of the late 18th century. It viewed Armenia, partitioned and ruled since the 17th century by iran and the Ottoman Empire, as an irrelevant, remote country in a region of the Near East where Germany did not pursue any economic or political interests. For most of the 19th century this situation remained unchanged, even after the emergence in 1871 of a unified German Empire, the Deutsches Reich. Alluding to Germany’s impartiality, Otto von Bismarck, who became the first Chancellor or head of government of the Reich, offered his services at the peace negotiations in Berlin of 1878 as an impartial “honest mediator”(ehrlicher Makler), after Great Britain had succeeded in internationalizing the Oriental Question, challenging Russia’s earlier victory over the Ottoman Empire. The conflicting self-interests of France, Austria, Britain and Russia in the Near East did not concern Germany. For Wilhelm van Kampen,

More important than the unlimited rule of the Sultan over the Bosporus was… [the desire] to divert Russian interests away from Austria and to preserve the English-Russian conflict, which should neither be obscured nor forgotten by any German or Austrian intervention at the Straits. Germany did not pursue any interest in the Orient. Its interest was the maintenance of peace (Kampen, 1968: 17).

Keywords

State Archive German Medium Armenian Genocide German Press Remote Country 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Tessa Hofmann 2016

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  • Tessa Hofmann

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