Internment and Destruction: Concentration Camps During the Armenian Genocide

Fri 5/7 • 11AM - 1PM PDT

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The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA presents “Internment and Destruction: Concentration Camps During the Armenian Genocide” by Dr. Khatchig Mouradian. This lecture is co-sponsored by the UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum.

Many Armenian Genocide survivors wrote about their concentration camp experience in newspaper articles and memoirs published in the decades after World War I, yet it took almost a century for the first scholarly examinations of their internment to appear. Focusing on the Meskeneh concentration camp on the lower bend of the Euphrates, this lecture situates the internment and destruction of Armenians in Ottoman Syria within the global history of concentration camps. Providing an overview of the structure, administration, life, and resistance in concentration camps based on Armenian accounts, Ottoman archives, and western diplomatic records, Mouradian argues that this glaring manifestation of total war – one directed towards the empire’s very own Armenian subjects – constitutes an important moment of transition in the use internment as a weapon of annihilation.

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