Armenian Golgotha

The book Armenian Golgotha was published in March 2010, and I’ve been waiting all this time so I could order it through inter-library loan. The library just called and a copy is in for me.

“Golgotha” is the name of the hill that Jesus was crucified on, which we often call Calvary. Golgotha is an Aramaic word that means “the skull” and is used in the title of this book to signify genocide and murder. I came across this book last year while browsing new stuff online; I often try to keep up with new books even though I no longer work in a library and do collection development.

This episode has gone fairly unnoticed in the West, perhaps because of the time period and people being weary of war, plus the resulting political change and disillusionment from World War I. There is quite a detailed account of it at Wikipedia, and interestingly, there are people who deny this particular holocaust, much like people do the Jewish holocaust of World War II. As a historical event for which the word “genocide” was created, and the second most-studied genocide in human history next to the genocide perpetuated by the Nazis, it seems strange that we rarely hear of it.

I find history fascinating, but this seems very compelling to me, perhaps because it was shrugged off. Today we are so self-righteous about stopping various genocides, it is important to remember that this wasn’t always the case. Ethics come and go in politics and civilization.

Here is a review of the book from a Canadian newspaper

Citizens in the West complain about the emphasis on multiculturalism that our current governments uphold, but the Armenian case history is a perfect example of why that is important, as are the continuing ethnic civil wars around the world. To have knowledge of this case, and the response and denial of it, might give us a glimmer of why this sort of thing continues.

Or not. Homo sapiens, the species that reasons, often has no reason for doing terrible things except that they can.

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