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Новость от: admin | 08.02.2007, 00:15
SULTAN ABDUL HAMID'S COLONIZATION PLAN: TODAY, A BURNING QUESTION
"Today, we commemorate an appalling tragedy of the 20th century, the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire. These horrific killings left wounds that remain painful for the people in Armenia, in Turkey and around the world. I join the Armenian community in America and across the globe in mourning this horrendous loss of life. Today is an occasion to the world to reflect upon and draw lessons from these terrible events." These words were pronounced by US President George W.Bush on April 24, 2002 in The White House, Washington at a ceremony marking the anniversary of Armenian Genocide. In accord with President's call for "painful introspection about the past" contained in the same message, an analyst of Soviet-Armenian background has undertaken a study of the plans the organizers of the Armenian Genocide had for post—Genocide period.
The existing historical literature tends to ignore or bypass that topic. The reportage that follows unfolds some details starting from a remark of German Ambassador Wangenheim, cited in the book of US Ambassador Morgenthau, both met in Turkey at the peak of the Genocide of 1915. The analysis is based on comparison of different sources from widely accessible historical literature, and extends beyond the time bounds of World War I, the period where the Armenian Genocide took place.
One of the important pieces of evidence about the Armenian genocide is "AMBASSADOR MOR-GENTHAU'S STORY" (to be referred below as "STORY") authored by Henry Morgenthau, American Ambassador at Constantinople from 1913 to 1916". The book was written in the wake of the events of 1915 and published by "THE WORLDS WORK" in 1918. The "STORY" contains a number of passages that refer to little known aspects of the political background of the events of 1915. Their citation below follows the text contained in "THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, NEWS ACCOUNTS FROM THE AMERICAN PRESS (1915-1922)" Richard D. Klojan, Editor, published by Anto Printing, Berkeley, Cal., 1988. We refer to the Klojan volume writing (Kl.n), where n is the number of the page.
Speaking about early years of the Young Turk regime, says Morgenthau (K1.244): "Armenian leaders...believed that constitutional Turkey was possible. They were conscious of their own intel¬lectual and industrial superiority to the Turks, and knew that they could prosper in the Ottoman Empire if left alone, whereas, under European control, they would have greater difficulty in meet¬ing the competition of the more rigorous European colonists who might come in." At the time of Morgenthau office in Turkey, the Near East knew (as it does today) only one kind of "Euro¬pean colonists": the Zionists colonizing Palestine. Were there plans to extend that colonization to Western (Turkish) Armenia? The "STORY" contains (K1.279) a hint in this direction in the following words of Wangenheim, the German Ambassador at Constantinople in 1915 directed to
H. Morgenthau: "The Armenians have shown themselves in this war to be enemies of the Turks. It is quite apparent that the two peoples can never live together in the same country. The Americans should move some of them to the United States, and we Germans will send some to Poland and in their place send Jewish Poles to the Armenian provinces - that is, if they will promise to drop their Zionist schemes."
Once discovered, these words of Wangenheim become a source of unrest for an Armenian mind. Have they been in some sense random, perhaps reflecting Wangenheim's own personal vision of the post-Genocide period in Turkish Armenia? The "STORY" removes any such doubts in the following episode.
H.Morgenthau left his office at Constantinople in February 1916. On his return route to New York, US Ambassador James W. Gerard in Berlin arranged for him to meet with Zimmerman (Arthur Zimmermann, German foreign secretary). Writes Morgenthau (K1.286): "Zimmerman...told me how splendidly the Jews had behaved in Germany during the war and how deeply under obligations the Germans felt to them. "After the war" he said, "they are going to be much better treated in Germany than they have been"". That conversation brings Morgenthau to the final conclusion that (K1.286) "Wangenheim had really represented the attitude of official Berlin", this being confirmed by Zimmerman, "the highest German authority". Also, there is (K1.282) an episode with a Dr. Nossig, a "German Jew who came to Turkey evidently to work against the Zionists". According to the "STORY" he tried, speaking in the name of "all Jews", to influence or intimidate Morgenthau in order to prevent him from sending information on Armenian atrocities to USA. Probably, in Germany the planners of immigration to Armenia opposed the spread of information about Armenian atrocities, seeing it an obstacle for putting the immigrants in motion. It is well known that German press cooperated in the hush up, i.e showed "splendid behavior" in the planners' sense.
Realization of German plans as expressed by Wangenheim, in the part that referred to emigration of Armenians to America necessarily required cooperation of the US Embassy in Turkey. Was H.Morgenthau cooperative in that matter? On October 2, 1915 The Literary Digest wrote citing Chicago Daily News (K1.52): ""Since May" said the Ambassador Morgenthau "350,000 Armenians have been slaughtered or have died of starvation. There are 550.000 Armenians who could now be sent to America, and we need help to save them. Perhaps 5,000,000 will be necessary. I should like to see each of the Western States raise a fund to equip a ship to bring the number of settlers it wants. The Armenians are a moral, hard-working race, and would make good citizens to settle the less thickly populated parts of the Western States..." Enver Pasha, the minister of War, and Talat Bey, Minister of the Interior, accepted the offer, and September 3 the Ambassador asked the Government at Washington to appoint a committee of five Americans, whom he recommended, to take charge of the great undertaking. Mr. Morgenthau declined, however, to give their names."
Contrary to possible expectations, the "STORY" presents the position of H.Morgenthau in a to¬tally different light. In the conversation with Dr. Nossig declares Morgenthau (K1.283): "I, a Jew,
have been exerting all my powers to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Christians". Yet the "STORY" fails to mention any concrete steps by Morgenthau in that direction, other than his support of the campaign in the US press. Describing his last conversation (K1.284) with Wangen-heim (in October 1915, not long before Wangenheim's death that followed on October 24), says Morgenthau: "Wangenheim again suggested that the Armenians be taken to the United States, and once more I gave him the reasons why this would be impracticable". So, in the "STORY" written after the Armenian catastrophe, Morgenthau prefers to forget and even disconnect himself from the September 1915 evacuation plans and their failure.
There is another topic similarly suppressed in the "STORY": Morgenthau's actions on behalf of Palestine Jews. The Outlook, December 8, 1915 wrote (K1.117): "Seven or eight thousand of... Palestine Jews ... were carried from Jaffa to Alexandria by the United States warships. Moses delivered the Jews from Egypt; Uncle Sam delivered them to Egypt." The fact that Egypt was controlled by Britain, who was at war with Turkey controlling Palestine proved no obstacle. Doubtless, Egypt was chosen to ensure easy return to Palestine, so that was an immense diplomatic success of H.Morgenthau.
To say the least, both cases point at a rather strict selection of the episodes for the "STORY", whose author reveals (K1.284): "...An event was approaching in the United States...- the Pres¬idential Campaign. I felt that there was nothing so important in international politics as the reelection of President Wilson. I could imagine no greater calamity , for the United States and the world, than that the American nation should fail to indorse heartily this great statesman. If I could substantially assist in Mr. Wilson's reelection, I concluded that I could better serve my country at home at this juncture." In the concluding section "Farewell interview with Enver and Talaat" goes ahead Morgenthau (K1.285): ""I hear you are going home to spend a lot of money and reelect your President," said Talaat-this being a jocular reference to the fact that I was the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Democratic National Committee."
Probably, explanations for both hide-ups lie in the zigzags of the Washington politics during Wilson's second presidency, where Morgrnyhau was one of the key figures. Wilson was publicly criticised for giving too much weight to Jewish advisors.
Among almost one hundred articles contained (along with the "STORY") in the Klojan volume only two touch the topic of colonization. Citing the London Times, The New York Times wrote on October 8, 1915 (K1.63): "Attempts of the American Ambassador to procure some alleviation of the lot of the Armenians has thus far proved unsuccessful. Mr. Morgenthau, in the opinion of good observers, has vested too much diplomatic energy on behalf*of the Zionists of Palestine, who were in no danger of massacre, to have any force to spare. ... German and Austro-Hungarian residents in Turkey at first approved of the punishment of Armenian traitors, but the methods of the Turkish extremists have sickened even Prussian stomachs. True the Jewish Baron von Oppenheim, now in Syria, has been preaching massacre, and German consular officials have followed suit perhaps with the idea of planting German colonists in the void left by the disappearance of Armenians
when the war was over, but the German government has grown nervous...". From the testimony of the Rev. A.N.Andrus, senior missionary at Mardin, Mesopotamia (published by The Literary Digest for October 27, 1917), (K1.214): "At first the Turkish Government objected to the German suggestions of the removal of the Armenians on the grounds that they were valuable as artisans and business men and necessary for the economic life of the country, but the Germans promised to supply men to take their places. Having persuaded the Turks, the Germans then left it to them to put the plan into effect." So, the colonists are identified essentially less concrete, then in the words Wangenheim addressed to Morgenthau. Perhaps at that moment, for an observer based at Syria or Mesopotamia the national identity of the colonists (Germans or "Jewish Poles") was secondary. However, both passages confirm the presence of colonization component in the Germano-Turkish plans.
Scarcity of lines about the post-deportation plans in Klojan volume as a whole extends the sit¬uation observed in the "STORY". Armenians of the older age are all too well aware of the total taboo in the former Soviet Union as regards the events of 1915 in Turkish Armenia. Of course, it was an element of a well developed system of taboos that acted in USSR. One of the pillars supporting that taboo system was a "law" (i.e. a political directive to Soviet repression organs) disclosed by Stalin in 1931 to the American Jewish Telegraph Agency. According to that "law" antisemitism in USSR could be punished by death ("About Antisemitism", Answer to a question of American Jewish Telegraph Agency, Stalin's works, volume 13. In many cases the so-called class struggle in the USSR can be interpreted as persecution of alleged antisemits.) In 1931 the ideology of Comintern supported by the old Leninist-Trotskyist guard was at its peak (in 1929, release of 7 000 Trotskyists from Jail, many of them regaining high positions, Trotsky himself was sent from his internal Soviet exile to Ataturk's Turkey to start a new political career). The existence of the death-to-antisemites practice officially remained an internal Soviet State secret until late 1936 when Stalin's Answer was first published in PRAVDA. Liquidation of the old guard in 1937 amounted to practical inversion of the "law", but there was no guarantee against its reinversion. Clearly, to avoid a possible accusation of antisemitism, it was better to keep a distance from suspicious matters. The total taboo on 1915 events in Turkey was lifted in 1965 (re¬moval of Khrushchev, who denounced 1937 after Stalin's death), but in certain special directions there were no changes. Even in the book by the well known historian J.S Kirakosian "YOUNG TURKS: THE JUDGMENT OF HISTORY" (in Russian, Yerevan, Aiastan, 1989) published at the peak of GLASNOST, the section "Young Turks and Zionism" was deleted (by a malfunction of the censors, the book keeps references to that missing section). Possibly as a precautionary measure against censorship, in his book Kirakosian applied the Turkish term DONME = a Jew converted to Islam. This tactics proved to be successful, and so we learn that Kemal Ataturk who entered politics as Young Turk, was "donme" along with many other leading members of that party. However, J.S Kirakosian's book reflects the advent of GLASNOST in many passages about the close ties between Young Turks and Bolsheviks.^ The most striking is one telling that
К. Radek (a Comintern dignitary in charge of Germany, purged in 1937 as a Trotskyist) in 1918 shared an apartment in Berlin with Talaat (Young Turk minister of interior until 1918, killed in 1921 in Berlin by an Armenian youth).
It seems that taboos survive in modern writings on Zionism intended for a broader public, where they discuss the period when Palestine belonged to Turkey. We take several rare cases, where at least brief comments can be found.
In "GESCHICHTE DES ZIONIZMUS" authored by Michael Brenner and published by Beck, Muenchen, 2002, the topic of Turkey (as well as of the Kaiser) is completely exhausted by the following passage referring to Theodor Herzl, the Father of Zionism: "Seine diplomathishen Ak-tivitaeten begann er mit einer Audienz beim badishen Grossherzog, der allerdings... nicht die erwuensten Pforten zu seinem Neffen, dem Kaiser, oder zum russishen Zaren oeffnete. Eine reise nach Istanbul brachte ihn nicht, wie er hofft, in die Naehe des Sultans. Immerhin kehrte er mit einem Orden dritter Klasse zurueck, den er als Erfolg reklamieren konnte." In the time of Herzl, the Sultan was Abdul Hamid who, as Morgenthau writes (K1.246) "attempted to exterminate Armenians in 1895 and 1896". To measure the effect of the taboo on Brenner's "GESCHICHTE" helps the Zeittafel in the book "THEODOR HERZL ODER DER MOSES DES FIN DE SIECLE" by Klaus Dethloff, Hermann Boehlaus, 1986. It reveals the following facts from Herzl's life: 1898, 18 October: Audienz bei Kaiser Wilhelm II. in Konstantinopel
1898, 2 November: Empfang einer Zionistishen Delegation mit Herzl an der Spitze bei Kaiser Wilhelm II, in Jerusalem
1901, 18 Mai: Audienz bei Abd ul-Hamid II, dem sultan der Osmanen
1902, Februar: Verhandlungen in Konstantinopel: Angebot eines Charters, jedoch nicht fuer
On the latter two events the latter book comments: "Herzls Hoffnungen konzentrierten sich nun ganz auf die verhandlungen mit der Tuerkei. Als er am 18 Mai von Sultan empfangen worden war, waehnte er sich beinahe schon "am Vorabend der Charta". Bei der zweiten Audienz im Februar 1902 bietet der Sultan eine Loesung ohne Palaestina an, die Herzl ablehnt." So, the book fails to indicate to which part of Turkey outside Palestine Sultans proposal referred. At the same time, nothing like this geographical taboo is observed as regards the plans to resettle Jews in Argentina or Uganda. The book by K.Dethloff even repeats a joke about the "Viceroy of Uganda". The silence about geographical bounds of the Sultan's February 1902 plan is shared by "THE JEWS, STORY OF A PEOPLE" by Howard Fast (Dell, New York, 1988), where that episode is presented as follows: Herzl "saw many people in Turkey, among them the Sutan's grand vizier, but then and later, the Sultan refused any grant of land in Palestine, although he told Herzl that he would not be opposed to mass immigration of the Jews into Turkey itself, where he would grant them a self-governing area". Again, the intended location of the "self-governing area" is kept secret. What was the reason for the refusal of the Sultan to support mass immigration of the Jews into Palestine? Most probably it was to avoid disbalancing the Arabic subjects, who
opposed Zionists from the beginning. Some forty years later the Arabic factor forced Britain to limit Jewish emigration into Palestine. The result was Jewish extremists terror against British forces in that area.
The citations from the three latter books suggest that at present, the taboo about a "self-governing area" in Turkey has become stronger than some 20-25 years ago. This impression is supported by the chapter on Zionism in the recent study of Russo-Jewish relations by Aleksandr Solzhen-itsyn "TWO CENTURIES TOGETHER, 1795-1995" (in Russian, Moscow, Russki Put', 2001). That chapter contains exactly two remarks about Turkey. The first: for some years after 1890 "Turkey prohibited landing of Russian Jews in the ports of Palestine" and the second: by 1903 "Turkey remained firmly oriented against Zionism". However, Solzhenitsyn mentions, that after Herzl's death in 1904, a "Territorialist" faction came into being within the Jewish movement. That faction removed the postulate of Palestine and put forward the purpose of massive Jewish immigration to any suitable territory. As Solzhenitsyn puts it, the Territorialists had considered "a dozen" candidate countries (Russia among them, under condition of Jewish self-government), and mentions that Angola was rejected for distrust of Portugal. Turkey is not singled out among the "dozen", although as we saw above, Territorialists already had Abdul Hamid's suggestion on their credit side, and after 1904 the contacts with the Sultan had been going on (citing the ar¬ticle "Zionism" from THE COLUMBIA ENCYCLOPEDIA, Fifth edition, "after Herzl's death... Weizman obtained few concessions from the Turkish Sultan"). In BRITAIN AND THE ARME¬NIAN QUESTION by Akaby Nassibian (Croom Helm, London & Sydney, 1984) on page 13 the author tells about certain documents of British Foreign Office. We read about "absurd scheme put forward by Foreign Office in 1908, aimed at...emigration and settlement of Armenian agricul¬turists in the British African Protectorates on a large scale." Viewed in the perspective of the two proposals, for Jewish resettlement mentioned above (one by England for Uganda and another by Abdul Hamid for "Turkey") that scheme does not at all seem absurd. It can be easily explained by lobbying of the Territorialists, who have been influential in England at that period (I.Zangwill Ch.Weizmann). For the Adana massacre of 1909 (30,000 Armenians killed) could well stir up a flight of the Armenians to Africa (Uganda or elsewhere). The degree of determination of the Territorialists can be judged from the fact, that somewhat later their plans were implemented in Soviet Russia (1929, Birobidgan Jewish autonomous region). Another period of Jewish influence in the USSR came with the war 1941-1945 (from Litvinov, a narrow survivor of 1937 becom¬ing ambassador in USA, to Yalta Conference) and lasted until 1947 (pro-Israel vote in UN). As described by Khrushchev in "KHRUSHCHEV REMEMBERS", in its later phase, that period was marked by plans of creation of still another Jewish autonomy, now in Soviet Crimea (where Yalta belongs). The driving force behind that plans was "Soviet Informburo" otherwise known as "Antifascist Jewish Committee", headed by another 1937 survivor A. Lozovski, former head of Red Profintern. During 1941-1945 that body was in charge of anti-German war propaganda and pro-Soviet propaganda in the USA. (Stories about efficiency of their work in the USA are told even today. According to one, R.Oppenheimer, the head of US atom bomb project, declared he would
join the Communists the moment he heard about plans for Jewish Crimea.) The whole body was arrested in 1948 and later totally (except for Molotov's wife) executed, meaning a disaster for the whole plan (the Crimean Affair). However the Tatars (as well as Armenians and Greeks) were already in 1944 expelled from Crimea. We mark certain similarities between the two expulsions -of Armenians from Turkish Armenia in 1915 and of Tatars from Crimea in 1944. Both Armenians in 1915 and Crimea Tatars in 1944 were officially branded as "traitors". The visit of Roosvelt and Churchill to the Yalta Conference in 1945 was tantamount to an approval of the 1944 expulsion; similar position as regards Armenians was held by the Kaiser in 1915. At Yalta, Roosvelt and Churchill were in the same state of military euphoria as the Kaiser was in 1915, after destruction of the Russian front at Gorlitze and the Anglo-French disaster at Gallipoli. Lastly, a kind of taboo appears to be present around the Crimean Affair as well (rather scarce representation in most books on Soviet repressive system).
Young Turks who (K1.246) "had adopted so many of the Abdul Hamid's ideas, also made his Armenian policy their own... In 1898 ... Kaiser Wilhelm the Second had gone to Constantinople, visited Abdul Hamid, pinned his finest decorations on that bloody tyrant's breast and kissed him on both cheeks. The same Kaiser who had done this in 1898 was still sitting on the throne in 1915, and was now Turkey's ally". These somewhat pathetic, often quoted lines written by H. Morgenthau in 1918 ("STORY") skip over the period of 17 years, in particular over the Sultan's Colonization Plan and the essential question about the Territorialists' involvement. However, that question arises again in retrospective view of the Territorialists' attempts in the USSR and other political circumstances outlined above. In 2002 Atmenians demand recognition of the Genocide of 1915, while Turkey and Israel are allies in its denial. Thetaboo about the Sultan's Pl over this dispute, so disclosure of the complete truth is the command of the day.
Analystian Yerevan, Armenia