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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Continuity, Escalation, and Local Actors: Hamidian Massacres and the Armenian Genocide

Event details
Calendar   Speaking Engagements
Location Webinar
Date Mon, Apr 13, 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Duration   1h 30m

In the 1890s, Armenians in the Ottoman Empire became the targets of a  wave of massacres, leading to the deaths of more than 100,000 people and the uprooting of many more. This process also brought about a massive process of property transfer from the Armenians to local powerholders and the state. About two decades later, during the Armenian genocide, around one million Armenians were killed by various techniques, including on-site massacres participated by local forces in different regions.

In this talk, Mehmet Polatel (2019-2020 Center Junior Postdoctoral Research Fellow) explores the relationship between these two events by tracing people and groups who were directly involved in both of these episodes as perpetrators and usurpers. Scrutinizing the escalation effect created by the Hamidian massacres in the 1890s and changes in local structures, he underscores the importance of this historical context in shaping the unfolding of the genocide. Drawing on archival documents and video and audio testimonies of survivors from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive he argues that these earlier massacres and the processes that accompanied them led to the emergence of a large interest group whose wealth and power depended on the protection of the post-massacre status-quo, and people from this group played crucial roles in the genocide by directly participating in on-site massacres.

This will be an online lecture. Please join us via Zoom at this link.

Co-sponsored by USC Institute of Armenian Studies.

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