German Complicity. Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy
Hitler not Solely Responsible
It would perhaps have been better to formulate the question as,
"Was the Holocaust modeled on the Armenian Genocide? "
It is misleading to attribute the Holocaust solely to Hitler.
Long before Hitler German political groups, German thinkers, academics, and public figures had spoken of exterminating the Jews.
All the rest of what became the Nazi agenda had also been viable contingencies in conventional dialogue.
This includes expansion to the east at the expense of other peoples, autocratic rulership, eugenic elimination of the vulnerable, and ruthless ongoing warfare as a necessary formative redeeming value.
Hitler and his friends came along and put all this into practice. Some of the opposition to Hitler and company was due to their lack of refinement.
In a sense there were those who thought them not sufficiently Germanic. They were considered too low-class and disorganized. Reservations concerning Hitler emanated from a dislike of Nazi style. Military circles disagreed with the timing and methods of applying policies. The validity of the actual policies in principle was not really in doubt. Nevertheless, the Military and elitist elements decided to link their fate with that of the Nazis. It was better than nothing.
The Armenian Genocide and German Complicity
In 1908 a group of Turkish army officers and intellectuals known as the '[˜Young Turks' took control of the Ottoman Empire. A clique of 'Three Pashas' after a struggle managed to seize absolute control. They brought Turkey closer to Germany and in November 1914 entered the war (World War -1) on the side of the Central Powers (Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire). The Turkish armies received German officers, Germans advisers at all levels, German equipment, and squads of Germans and Austrians for specialized tasks.
'The ruling clique in Turkey then carried out the Armenian Genocide. Massacres on Armenians and Christians had previously occurred in the 1890s. They were suspected of siding with the Russians and aiming for the dismemberment of Turkey. Consequently, initial defeats of Turkish forces by the Russians in the Caucasus in 1914 were blamed on Armenian complicity. There followed the Armenian Genocide (1915-1921) in which the Turks massacred 0.8 to 1.5 million Armenians.
' Vahakn N. Dadrian ("German Responsibility in the Armenian Genocide. A Review of the Historical Evidence of German Complicity", USA, 1996) has explained how German Advisors had HELPED formulate the ideological rationale for these actions.
The Turks killed Armenians by inciting the local populations, including the intelligentsia, against them. Women and children were usually separated from the males at an early stage. Methods of killing included mass drowning, burning entire village populations alive, death marches, starvation, thirst, exhaustion, exposure, inoculations with typhoid, experiments with poison gases, repeated gang rape.'
'It has been said that the Armenian Genocide was a dry run for the Jewish Holocaust. German officers were present and even to a degree involved during the Armenian Massacres. The logistics of extermination were similar to those later applied to the Jews during the Holocaust. The man who later prepared the Wehrmacht for war, Hans von Seeckt (1866-1936) had been made Chief of Staff of the Ottoman Army in 1917. He supported the Young Turks and their actions against the Armenians. He also tried to target the Jews as victims.
"Seeckt blamed all of the problems of the Ottoman Empire on the Jews and the Armenians, whom he portrayed as a fifth column working for the Allies".
After Germany's defeat in 1918, Seeckt became the head of the German Army in October 1919.
Seeckt prepared the Wehrmacht for World War-2. Hitler came along and found everything already in place. This included a cadre of very well trained officers and NCOs, detailed contingency plans, the framework of a war-oriented administration, and the necessary thirst for war and death.
The Wehrmacht had adopted Nazi attitudes long before the Nazis came along.
# Seeckt ignored the Constitution of 1919 which prohibited religious discrimination. He ordered that Jews were not to be accepted into the Reichswehr, no matter how qualified they might be. #
Regarding the Armenians:
The Armenian experience did not cause them to be against Germany. In World War-2 many Armenians collaborated with the Nazis. The Armenians considered themselves to be Aryans. Nazi Racial doctrines resonated with the sentiments of Armenian nationalist intellectuals. There was an Armenian Nazi group known as the Dashnaks. These helped to kill Jews in various parts of Europe such as Bucharest, Romania. Within the Waffen SS there was an Armenian battalion. 20,000 Armenians served in the German forces. Armenians killed Jews in the Crimea. Even today within Armenia there are still those who are openly sympathetic towards Nazi doctrines. Attacks against Jews in the Armenian media are officially countenanced, vicious, frequent, and repeated. Armenia today considers itself an ally of Iran. Armenia could well be the most anti-Jewish non-Islamic State in the world at the official level, i.e. where anti-Jewish sentiment is openly tolerated and even encouraged.