April 24th, 2012 marks 97 years since the beginning of the Armenian genocide. The only living survivors of the genocide are all over 100 years old. Although it has been 97 years, and there are thousands of official documents accounting for the first genocide of the 20th century, many states are reluctant to officially recognize the genocide and some deny that it happened at all.
The 24th of April is a national day of mourning in Armenia, commemorating the Armenian genocide and the displacement of an entire nation. This day is also recognized in many places around the world as a day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide.
On the eve of this day of memory, the Brandt School, in an initiative of one of its students, Lilit Grigoryan from Armenia, hosted a public film screening and discussion “Remembrance and History: The Case of the Armenian Genocide.”
The film that was shown is called “Aghet”, which is an Armenian word for catastrophe. The film raises the issue of the overall lack of recognition and, in some cases, outright denial of the Armenian genocide. It presents the tough political questions that arise in regards to the genocide, as well as giving multiple perspectives and a thorough account of the historical context and situation of the genocide.
The film was followed by a discussion about the political complications, memory, and mourning of a nation affected by an unreconciled genocide. Only a handful of states recognize the systematic mass murder and deportation of 1,500,000 Armenians during the First World War.
The event was in cooperation with Förderkreis Topf & Söhne, and was hosted on location at the Topf & Söhne, a place of remembrance at Sorbenweg 7 in Erfurt.