Zatik consiglia:
Iniziativa Culturale:



The title of this section is exactly the title of Daniele DEL GIUDICE’s book (“Lifting the Shadow from the Ground”, Einaudi Editore,Torino [Italy], 1994”). The intention is precise. The expression “Lifting the Shadow from the Ground” is part of the aviators’ language and it is used to indicate the moment the airplane takes off after having taxied on the runway so it can lift itself off the gound and can no longer project its shadow on it.

“You’re there, whatever instinct or pain or unconscious malformation may have led you to believe it was possible for you to be in that situation, you’re there with your feet desperately thrust on the brakes so the plane won’t decide in your place to start taxiing on its own –for its first take-off alone, probably; at this point going back would be much more complicated than going on, so you can once again fool yourself into believing that you have no choice after having prepared your path so it would be like that, and now, at the very last instant, tense and silent, all you want is to see how it’ll end, you want to get to the bottom of it, the bottom of the runway, toward that split second of imbalance with which everything rises, zooms, lifting the shadow from the ground.”

Four draws on this expression to indicate the point in which the site breaks off from the emotions of a single human being inserted in the small dimension of a couple or a family. The moment he breaks off from this individualistic bond, the spirit of the site can rise and see from above the influence of poisonous pedagogy and the evil performed –by a single man who has reached power –to the detriment of not just one or two people, but of hundreds of thousands of human beings as defenceless as children. In a twisted self-vision of an almighty being, lifting from the ground the shadow of evil he carries out, the wicked ruler may scatter his wickedness of bombs, or of torture, or of slaughters, over entire populations. And so even the conscious and helpful witness must lift the shadow of his account in defence of whom has been an innocent and defenceless victim.
And he should no longer speak in terms of psychological emotions and reactions within the personality of one or few individual men, members of the same family. Duty of defence and evidence then becomes speaking in terms of slaughters, real genocides, proved by documents in the light of history.

As Tiziano TERZANI said:
“...This is an aspect of the strange profession of the reporter which never ceases to fascinate me and, at the same time, to alarm me: unrecorded facts do not exist. What a lot of slaughters, what a lot of earthquakes happen in the world, what a lot of ships sink, what a lot of volcanoes explode and what a great number of people is persecuted, tortured and killed. Yet, if there is nobody to gather the evidence, to write about it, to take a picture of it, to leave a trace in a book, it is as if those facts had never even taken place! Suffering with no consequences, with no history. Because history exists only if somebody tells about it.
It’s a sad observation, but it is so and perhaps this idea –the idea that each little description of something witnessed may leave a seed in the ground of memory – to tie me to my profession.”
(Tiziano TERZANI: “A Fortune-Teller Told Me” TEA Libri, Milano [Italy] 2004).

Four –quite a few sections before –quoted at length Jorge SEMPRUN and his psychological analysis (but in literary key) referring to the Holocaust.
He will now quote two accounts referring to genocides committed during the XX century:

1. The genocide of the Armenians, committed between 1915 and 1923
2. The slaughter carried out by Pol Pot and by the Red Khmers.

The reason for these two accounts is quite simple: these two tragedies are practically unknown in the common European culture.
It is therefore duty of defence of human rights, which in them they were brutally denied, talking about it with a certain breadth in this particular cultural historical bight of the site, that is to say a conceptual structure whose general aim is anyhow the defence of every human being, individual citizen or population it might be, with the purpose of assuring them several possibilities (if not all the ones they naturally had a right to), and at least a posteriori (since they were not granted them at the beginning of their story) to receive respect, freedom of life and thought and certainty, that is to say the minimum conditions indispensable to speak of human life.


Does the poisonous pedagogy applied to a single child
have anything to do with the extermination of an entire population?


In order to understand a few aspects of this tragedy it is necessary to firstly talk about geography, history and then international politics.


Geographically, Armenia is a territory situated between the River Euphrate (in the South) and the chain of the Caucasic mountains in the North. It is a country of uplands and valleys and rather high mountains (Mount Aragats is 4.900 metres). Mount Ararat –which, for boundary partitions reasons between powers which have ruled Armenia, is now in Turkish territory, a few kilometres from the Armenian boundary –with its two peaks called Sis [small Ararat] and Massis [Great Ararat] is 5.165 metres). The possibility of riches coming from the cultivation of the land, basic source of independent survival, are therefore those granted by the geografia.
Its boundaries are with Russia in the North, in the West with Georgia (to the West of which there is the Black Sea), in the East there is Azerbaijan (which in the East opens toward the Caspian Sea); in the South Armenia borders in the West on Turkey and in the East on Iran. Ancient Armenia (Great Armenia) extended as far as Cilicia (opposite Cyprus), it included a part of today’s Georgia and Azerbaijan, and it had strong expansions in North Caucas, in Crimea as far as Moscow.
In this land the Armenians started to settle in the VI century before Christ. They came from the fusion between the Hayk tribe (from which their name derived Hayastan, that is Armenia). For centuries Armenia has no longer had outlet to the sea. Once the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia diappeared in 1375, the Armenians no longer had an independent state until 1918.
With its language (of Indo-European origin) it is also an isolated area from a linguistic viewpoint. Armenia has been of Christian religion for over 1.700 years when in 301 A.D. it became religion of the state after Surp Gregor Lusavorich (Saint Gregory the Illuminator) spread this belief brought by two Apostles of Jesus Christ, Bartholomew and Taddeus.
So Armenia is surrounded by countries whose people are of Islamic religion and languages different from Armenian (such as Persian, Georgian, Azero, Russian, Turkish).
Armenia’s relation with these populations was –over the past centuries –often difficult for religious reasons as well as for obvious economical-political reasons, as Armenia had always been a crossroads of the ancient caravaneer routes and now of the communicating roads between the countries it is surrounded by.


As is not a history book, the account of the historical political aspects will be limited to a chronological trace in which the facts which led to the genocide of the Armenians are referred.

Whoever wishes to personally go more thoroughly into a historiographical account, may refer to the extremely rich literature existing on the genocide of the Armenians, of which a few main sources are quoted:

1. Works by Yves TERNON:
• .
• .
• .
• .
• .

2. Works by Vahkan N. DADRIAN (the most distinguished world expert on the subject of the Armenian Genocide)
• .
• .
3. Other important short publications printed by the Institute-Museum of the Armenian Genocide, in Yerevan are:
a) .
b) .
c) .
d) .
e) .
f) .

and finally the BOX of 100 cards (text and pictures) made up of the material for the organisation of the very recent Exhibition.


As already mentioned, given the complexity of the events of the Armenians’, mainly scattered East of the Euphrate (Western Armenia) and in the North-Eastern inlet of the Mediterranean, therefore essentially in the territories of the Ottoman Empire, only significant dates concerning the report of the genocide, actually the genocides, that discriminated the Armenians themselves will be quoted.
Heavily defeated by Russia, the Turkish Sultan Abdul-Hamid (1876-1909) at the Congress of Berlin in 1878 granted England the Island of Cyprus in exchange for a possibility of reformation of which the Armenian minority should benefit.
The reformation promised was not kept, actually the sultan found an agreement with the Kurdish populations who were rebelling internally, and he used them as a military tool for the first Armenian slaughter (1894, in Sassun East of Lake Van). The extermination (80.000) was so savage that it caused a Committee of International inquiry. Since then Abdul-Hamid started a systematic project of total elimination of the Armenians from the Ottoman Empire.
Stirring up the relifious fanatism of the Muslim population, from 1994 to 1896 200.000/300.000 Armenians were killed. Despite several European leading cultural figures took a stand, Europe reacted with tepidness to the slaughters.
As a reaction to the Sultan’s inability to run the Empire, and as a Turkish political internal response, the revolution broke out in 1908, from which (once the Sultan Abdul-Hamid was dethroned) came to life and then to power the ‘Union and Progress Committee’ (the ‘Ittihad’) which –after a start seemingly concessive of formal reforms –it set off a new slaughter. In April 1909, in Cilicia, starting from the city of Adana, in two waves 30.000 were massacred.
Among the ‘Young Turks’, leaders of Ittihad, Djemal Pasha, Enver Pasha and Talat Pasha immediately emerged (they were ministers of the Navy, the Army and the Home Office). These three figures created the cruel ‘Special Organisation’ directed by two doctors (Nazim and Behaeddin Chakir).
In the war against Russia (allied with France and England) Enver was strongly pro-German. There were once again new Turkish defeats against Italy and in Albania (1912) and in the Balkan wars (1912-1913). In the winter of 1914 an insane campaign against Russia in the Caucas ended in total disaster. The landing of the Franco-German Allies in the Dardanellis threatened the capital Constantinoples. They needed a scape-goat: the Armenians.
How was the Armenian population formed at that time? 80% were poor peasants, plus a modest lower middle-class (shop-keepers and craftsman), and a leading class (concentrated in Constantinoples and the most important cities), formed by rich bankers and merchants, a middle-class mainly of civil servants and a lively intellectual élite.

The mumber of the Armenians was, at that time, of 1.5 million in russia (and the youths of this group fought with the Russian army) and of about 2 million in the Ottoman Empire and the youths of this group joined the Turkish army. But for the latter the situation was immediately serious: in January 1915 they were disarmed. Then isolated slaughters started and unjust accusations of revolt. 24 April 1915 all the Armenian intellectuals living in Constatinoples were arrested. In just one month over 1.000 of them were deported to Anatolia and slaughtere along the way.
Deprived of the support of the thought and the protest of the intellectuals, the population was defenceless. The pattern, even later on, was the same: first the intellectuals and the leading figures were killed, then the other adults (between 20 and 40 years old the men were in the army, but disarmed).


Elderly people, women and children were deported. The excuse was to get the civilians away from the areas near the war front (the official euphemism to indicate that the deportation was
‘an evacuation militarily necessary from the war areas’ and the deported were called with the periphrasis ‘the people transported elsewhere’). The marches in the desert (along roads accurately programmed) were deadly for hunger, thirst, torture, rape, on the road executions (those whogot left behind, worn out by the effort, were finished the strokes of bayonets).
In three months, at the end of July 1915, there were practically no Armenians left in Eastern Anatolia. Then, with the same system, the Western Armenians were wiped out (particularly in Cilicia), slaughtered in the deserts of Syria or of Mesopotamia. Reading the documents written about those events, one may think that Deir ez Zor (on the banks of the Euphrate) takes on –in
the eyes of the Armenians –the same meaning of a place become sacred because of the slaughters which happened there as Auschwitz is for the Jews. At the end of 1916 only the Armenians living in Constantinoples and Smirne. And the more or less 300.000 soldiers in the russian army.

Above: Armenian orphans survivors of the genocide.
On the left: deported Armenians on the road to deportation, Djarablus, 1915.

The circulation of the news of the slaughters caused a large number of hotbeds of revolt, rarely successful. The most well known is the one in which 4/5.000 Armenians (entire family groups), living in five villages on the Mediterranean coast of Cilicia, who in July 1915 resisted for forty days (exacly fifty-three days) on Mount Mussa Dagh (in Cilicia), the survivors were lucky enough to be rescued by four French ships coming from the Island of Cyprus, who saw their flag on which was written “Help: Christians in danger!”

Mausoleum of Mussa Dagh.
On the frontal the inscription says: “To the glorious battle of Mussa Dagh”

In the period 1920-1922 other salughters take place. The russian army retreats because of the revolution of 1917. Turkey takes advantage of this to launch an offensive against Eastern Armenia, but it is blocked by a popular Armenian revolt in Sadarapat (May 1918): a few days later this territory becomes the first Republic of Armenia.
30 of October 1918, the Ottoman Empire surrenders and signs the armistice of Moudros with the French-Russian Allies. The following Peace Conference of Sèvres, 10 August 1920 identifies (on Turkish territory) an Armenian state and an independent Kurdistan, while the rest of Turkey is under French and English mandate.
But meanwhile Mustafa Kemal, first relying on the Russians then on the English and the French, takes up his again strongly nationalist position and relaunches his programme of total destruction of the Armenian population, totally ignoring the the Treaty of Sèvres, and in September-November 1920 he proceeds to wipe out all the populations of the Republic of Armenia. Particularly, the fall of Kars (at the beginning of November 1920) was followed by a bloodbath.
Then a partition of the territory took place: the Russian Bolsheviks and Turks came to an agreement on the boundaries of a small Soviet Armenia, while the the French-German Alllies did their part in eliminating any Armenian presence in Minor Asia. The survivors who returned to Cilicia while it was under French mandate had to undergo the torment of a new flight when cilicia was handed over to the new Turkish government.
The Turkish military successes over Greece and the fire of Smirne gave the starting to the last stage of the destruction (September 1922). Armenia no longer existed: the Conference of Lausanne of 1923 wrote off the Treaty of Sèvres and no longer mentioned the concepts of Armenians and of Armenia, legitimating the ethnic cleansing of the Turks in Minor Asia.
Tens of thousands of Armenians concentrated in Constantinoples and on the Western coast could no longer be a people or claim the right of a national territory.

That is why today, inside the Mausoleum of the Genocide, built in 1967 on the hill of Tsiternakaberd (Fort of the Swallows), on the hills surrounding Yerevan, an everlasting flame burns in memory of 2 million defenceless and innocent human beings who disappeared into thin air.

Foto del mausoleo

It burns continuously not only to remind the Armenians but also all men of every nation that a genocide must never be forgotten, that a slaughter of innocent victims must be known because each single man, and not only the union among States, may take all the possible licit actions so that a similar tragedy will never again be repeated.

Foto della fiamma

Basically, the layout of the site may stop at this point, as its purpose is the acknowledgement of individual rights (in single cases within the boundaries of a family, or extended to an entire population within the boundaries of a territory), and the incentive to defend these rights and the fundamental concept of freedom of life and of expression.
As the site is not a treatise of history, the previous account is considered more than enough to grasp the tragic reality of the genocide suffered by the Armenians, and sufficiently founded on the historical accounts of three figures who extensively reported the events of the Armenians, at the precise moment they were going on first-hand, therefore with the best of credibility (so much so that they reported to their superiors, and to political foreign States authorities):

• the German Protestant Minister Johannes Lepsius eye witness of the slaughters of 1896 and later present in Constantinoples in 1915 as a diplomat (see the the complex of the German documents, including the pictures of the German officila Armin T. WEGNER)
• the American ambassador Henry Morgenthau (American accounts)
• the English diplomat James Bryce (together with the historian Arnold Toynbee) (see “Blue Book”)
And it is unnecessary to dwell on several facts (what’s more absolutel well-known and ascertained), such as:
• the fictitious ‘trial of the Unionists’ which in 1919, in Constantinoples, formally sentenced (to dissociate the Turkish nation ‘manipulated and therefore innocent’ from the three charges of the Union and Progress Committee, or Ittihad) without however requiring the extradition of the offenders who had fled abroad. Those sentences were later cancelled.
• The extermination nature and type of religious persecution of a minority.
• The historical forms of the moment taken up by the attitude of denial of the Turkish Government (please note that the Turkish historian T. Akçam observes that the Republic of Kemal Ataturk has always had a difficult relation with history, not only as far as the Armenian genocide is concerned. To build a ‘National Turkish identity’ the Turkish Government has always had to deny the continuity of Turkey with the Ottoman Empire and with Islam, and deny the existence of ethnic minorities: not only the Armenians but also the Kurds and the Halauits [the latter are a minority so to speak: it is a Muslim population but not Sunnite (and as such, for the Turkish State, it simply does not exist) whose entity was estimated –in 2005 – between 15 and 20 million people!] T. Akçam: “Is There Any Solution Other Than a Dialogue?”, in: T. Akçam: “Dialogue Across an International Divide: Essays towards a Turkish-Armenian Dialogue”, Toronto, 2001, pages 4-5).
• The present political reasons for the persistence even of today of such an attitude of denial.


We will now quote the first nine articles (the articles from the X to the XIX contain technical indications of applicatory procedures) of the

Convention for the prevention and the repression of the crime of GENOCIDE

Adopted with Resolution 260 (III) of the General Assembly of the UN, the 9/12/1948. it became effective the 12/1/1951.

The High Contracting Parties

 Considering that the General Assembly of the United Nations, in Resolution 96 (I) of the 11 December 1946, declared that genocide is a crime of international right, contrary to the spirit and the aim of the United Nations, and condemned by the civil world;
 Acknowledging that genocide in all historical periods has inflicted severe losses for humanity
 Convinced that international cooperation is necessary to free humanity from such a hideous scourge, they agree as follows:

Art.1: the contracting parties confirm that genocide, whether it is committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime of international right which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Art.2: in the present Convention, genocide is each of the following actions, committed with the intention to destroy, totally or partly, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, such as:
a) Killing of the members of the group
b) Serious damage of the physical or mental integrity of the group
c) The fact of deliberately subjugating the group to conditions of life aimed at causing its physical, total or partial destruction
d) Measures aimed at preventing birth within the group
e) Forced removal of children from one group to another.


Art.3: the following acts will be punished:
a) Genocide
b) The intention aiming at committing genocide
c) The direct and public incitement to commit genocide
d) The attempt of genocide
e) The accomplicity in genocide.

Art.4: the people who commit genocide or one of the acts listed in Art.3 will be punished whether they hold the quality of governors constitutionally responsible or whether they are public functionaries or private individuals.
Art.5 The Contracting Parties undertake to issue, in compliance with their respective Constitutions, the laws necessary to put into effect the provisions of the present Convention, and in particular to provide effective penalties for the people guilty of genocide or of one of the other acts listed in Art.3.

Art.6: people charged with genocide or any of the other acts listed in Art.3 will be brought to trial by the Courts having jurisdiction in the territory where the act is committed, or by the International Criminal Court having jurisdiction as regards those Contracting Parties who acknowledge the jurisdiction.

Art.7: genocide and the other acts listed in Art.3 will not be considered political acts with the purpose of extradition. The Contracting Parts undertake in such cases to grant extradition in compliance with their laws and the treaties in force.

Art.8: each Contracting Party may invite the competent authorities of the United Nations to take, according to the Bill of the United Nations, any measure they deem appropriate for the prevention and the repression of genocide acts or any of the ones listed in Art.3.

Art.9: the controversies among the Contracting Parties, concerning the interpretation, the application or the execution of the present Convention, including those concerning the responsibility of a State for genocide acts or for one of the other acts listed in Art.3, will be submitted to the International Court of Justice, on request of one of the Parites in the controversy.

The term genocide was coined in 1944 by the jurist Raphael LEMKIN and means extermination of a race [from the Greek genos (race) and the Latin cidio (extermination)]. In the definition given by the above quoted Convention of the United Nations, 2 elements of the crime of genocide result:

1. the mental element, indicating ‘the intention to destroy, totally or partly, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such’ .
‘Intention’ is different from ‘reason’. Whatever the reason might be for the crime (expropriation of territory, national security, territorial integrity, etc.) if the perpetrators commit acts with the purpose of destroying a group, or part of a group, those acts are genocide.
‘Intention’ signifies ‘International’ means for the purpose. The intention may be proved directly by statements or by orders.

2. the physical element, which includes the 5 types of acts listed in Art.2.
more often than from specific orders, the intention must be inferred from a systematic scheme of cordinated acts. A crime must include both the elements to be called genocide.

And now let us see more specifically the internal nature of the process of genocide. It is basic to refer to the study of Gregory H. STANTON, the President of ‘Genocidewatch’, a study originally written in 1996 to the State Depsrtment, and presented at the University of Yale (Center of the International and Zone Studies) in 1998.
For its synthetic lucidity the article deserves, according to Four, a complete quote.
STANTON highlights that genocide is a process which is developed in eight stages, which are predictable, but are not inevitable. At each stage precautionary measures may be taken to stop the process. The final stages must be preceded by the former stages, although the previous stages carry on being active throughout the process.


“All cultures have categories to distinguish people in ‘us and them’, according to ethnic group, race, religion or nationality: Germans and Jews, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies who lack mixed categories, like in Rwanda and Burundi, are the most prone to genocides.
The main precautionary measure to this precocious stage is to develop universalistic institutions which go beyond ethnic or racial divisions, which actively promote tolerance and understanding, and encourage classifications which go beyond the divisions.
The Catholic Church could have performed this role in Rwanda if it hadn’t been rent by the same ethnic splits of the Rwandese society.
The promotion of a common language in countries such as Tanzania or Cote d’Ivoire has also promoted a transcendent national identity. This research of a common growth is vital for the precocious prevention of genocide.”

“All of us ascribe names or other symbols to classifications. We call people ‘Jews’ or ‘Gypsies’ or we discriminate them for the colour of their clotes. And we refer to them as members of groups. The classification and symbolization are universally human phenomena, and they do not necessarily end up in genocide, unless they go to the next stage, dehumanisation.
When they are combined with hatred, the symbols may be applied with abuse to rebellious people of rejected groups: the yellow star for the Jews under the Nazi Regime, the blue scarf for the people who came from the Eastern territories in the Cambodia of the Red Khmers.
To fight symbolization, the symbols of hatred must be forbidden (swasticas) as they potentially speak of hatred.
unlawful should be declared the signs of belonging to groups such as gangs, or ritual tribal scars. The problem is though that the limits imposed by the law fail if they are not supported by a popular cultural growth. Although ‘Hutu’ and ‘Tutsi’ were forbidden words in Burundi until 1980, they were replaced with words in code.
On the other hand, if powerfully supported the refusal of symbolization has effective results, just like what happened in Bulgaria, when many non-Jews chose to wear the yellow star depriving it of its meaning as a Nazi symbol to brand the Jews. According to what is told in Denmark, the Nazis did not introduce the yellow star into this country because they knew that even the King would have worn it.”

“A group denies the humanity of another group. The members of the latter are compared to animals, worms, insects or diseases. Dehumanisation makes men overcome the normal human aversion for murder.
At this stage, the propaganda of hatred by means of the press and the radio, is used to vilify the victim group. The societies who reach genocide have no constitutional protection which obliges balanced talk. Radio stations which sow seeds of hatred should be shut down, and the propaganda of hatred banned. Crimes of hatred and atrocity should be readily punished.”

“Genocide is always organised, usually by the state, although at times in an informal way (the Hindu riots organised by the local RSS militants) or by terrorist groups. Special army or militiamen units are often trained and armed. Plans for genocide slaughters are made.
To fight this stage, the belonging to these armies should be declared unlawful. Their chiefs should be denied visas to go abroad. The United Nations should lay an embargo on the weapons both on the govermnments and the citizens of countries involved in genocide slaughters.
Committees should be created to look into the transgressions, like they did in Rwanda after the genocide.”

“Extremists form troops with the groups of people by now separated from the others. Groups of hatred convey polarizing propaganda. Laws can forbid marriage between different groups or social interaction. Extremist terrorism labels and brands the moderates, intimidating and reducing to silence the people who have a balanced, central position.
Prevention may mean protection of security for moderate leaders, or assistance for the human rights of the groups. The property of the extremists should be confiscated, and they should be denied visas to work abroad. Coups d’état on behalf of the extremists should be blocked by international sanctions.”

“The victims are identified and separated because of their ethnic or religious identity. Lists of killing are made out. Members of the victim groups are obliged to wear identifying symbols. They are often isolated in ghettos, interned in concentration camps, or confined in places where there is nothing to eat and so they are starved to death.
At this stage a Genocide Alarm should be issued. If the United Nations, NATO and the Security Council of the United Nations’ political will can be mobilised, international armed interventions should be prepared, or strong assistance to the group to prepare their own direct defence. However, at least humanitarian assistance should be organised by the United Nations or by private rescue groups for the inevitable crowd of refugees.”

“The extermination starts, and rapidly it becomes that form of mass murder called ‘genocide’. It is ‘extermination’ for the murderers, as they don’t believe their victims are completely human.
When it is supported by the state, very often the army works with the militiamen to carry out the extermination. Sometimes genocide originates from killer feuds of one group against another, creating the conditions for the fall towards a whirl of bilateral genocide (like in Burundi).
At this stage only rapid and crushing armed interventions may block the genocide. Effective safe areas or escape routes should be created for the refugees, with the protection of heavily armed international forces. The United Nations need a Permanent Brigade of Emergency Assistance, or of a force group of rapid reaction to intervene fast when the Security Council of the United Nations requires it. For larger interventions an international force should be authorised by the United Nations, under the guidance of NATO or a local regional power. If the United Nations didn’t intervene directly, States endowed with military potential should provide air transport, the equipment and the financial means necessary so that the regional states may intervene with the authorisation of the United Nations.
It is high time we acknowledged that the law of humanitarian intervention goes beyond the interests of the national states.”

“Denial is the eigth stage, which always follows genocide. Denial is among the most certain indicators of further genocide slaughters.
The perpetrators of genocide dig common graves, burn the bodies, try to hide evidence, and frighten the witnesses. They deny ever having committed any crimes, and they carry on ruling until they are removed with force , when they flee to exile.
And here they remain unpunished, like POL POT or IDI AMIN, until they are captured and a trial is organised to judge them.
The best response to denial is condemnation on behalf of an international court or national courts. In these places, the evidence of the facts may be listened to, and the perpetrators punished. They must create Courts like the ones in Yugoslavia, Rwanda or Sierra Leone, an International Court to bring to trial the Red Khmers in Cambodia, and more recently the International Criminal Court. They cannot have a deterrent effect on the worst genocide murderers. But with the political will to arrest them and to prosecute them, some mass murderers may ensure justice.”

At the beginning we placed a frame to connect poisonous pedagogy and genocide

Does the poisonous pedagogy applied to a single child
have anything to do with the extermination of an entire population?

We will let the reader make the connection between the two situations. The site simply puts at his disposal a reference of a few pieces which have already been presented in a place (the reviews of Alice MILLER’s books) which is above any possible current doubt of polemic intention against anyone, since they are merely bibliographic cards of book reviews of a distinguished figure of the psychological world, who has written at length in defence of oppressed children.

It is not that the stage of the site does not want to be the place of polemics against something or someone. This because the intention of the site is just to send the reader many various suggestions so that he can build his own self-help tools and the road map to follow to reach the destination of relief from his suffering.

This brief analysis of ‘The Untouched Key’ cannot be concluded without making at least a quote of the brief study that Miller (after Hitler and Ceausescu) makes of another dictator: Stalin.
Stalin, methodically beaten in a cruel and inhuman way from childhood by his father, was disfigured by smallpox when he was 7; at 10 he had a bone disease in his left arm which remianed 8 cm shorter than his right arm, with the impossibility to open his left hand completely. The two deformations caused him serious psychological trouble during his entire life.
It must added that Stalin had an inflexible mother, although she was very close to her son, religious to the extent of bigotry, withdrawn and totally incapable of protecting her son from her his father’s abuse.
As a means of instinctive defence against his father’s beatings, Stalin turned into an unfeeling, hard and cruel being, full of hatred towards all the other human beings, easily inclined to ideas of persecution, capable –with total emotional human unconcern- to kill anyone to impose his point of view.
The psychological picture of the Soviet dictator explains the political purges that caused his opponents great damage sheds light on the extermination of millions of Kulaki peasants, it sheds a light of understanding on the universe of the Siberian gulags.

But what, Miller wonders, may save us from social catastrophe, from the multiplication and spreading of wars, of the ultimate danger of nuclear military insanity?
The capacity of sensitivity, of feeling human emotions.
Before the terrifying projects of violence that the mind of those who have the power are able to conceive and to put into practice, we need to be able to horrified, and above all be able to ‘feel’ the indignation without repressing or empty this sentiment. React, fight in actual fact, in any form, is then the following step, which is borne as an obvious consequence. This experience (to ‘feel’ indignation) will give the man who allows himself to live it, the awareness that others will be denied for the rest of their lives.
It is the experience of these intense feelings (such as indignation, anger, protest) that allow us to establish the right correlations, Miller says, to realise what is going on around us. And that –opening our eyes through pain- it turns us from passive victims into people capable of taking action.
On the other hand, those who during childhood were not allowed to have feelings are unable to learn from experience. All they can do is repeat throughout their life what they were taught by their parents and teachers (teachings of yesterday, older and older and unuseful because obsolete, and therefore mostly wrong in today’s conditions).
They will remain, for their entire life, obedient children, even though they are old with grey hair. They will spend their whole life evading fundamental experiences because they must defend themselves form tension, from fear, from suffering. In the end they will defend themselves, essentially, from the truth.
Four believes that these words of Alice Miller’s may be a teaching to give to all the eaders of the site, as a conclusion of this review card of the book “The Untouched Key”.
We will leave the reader to explore by himself the possibilities to draw a few useful suggestions for his personal research from the reading of the two studies by Alice Miller:

1) “Adolf Hitler: from the killing of the soul of the child to the extermination of entire populations.”
This final study of Alice Miller’s comes after an indepth analysis made (‘For Your Own Good’) on the figure of Adolf Hitler and the psychological essence of National Socialism. After this shorter inserts were made in ‘Banished Knowledge’ and “The Untouched Key”.
Let us go through, in extreme synthesis, the structure of the study, summarising them into five quotes of Alice Miller’s thought:

 “Every mistreated child must totally remove the violence, the states of neglect, and the bewilderment suffered: he must do it no to die, because a child’s organism is unable to put up with the whole range of suffering.
Only the adult person has the possibility to compare himself with his own feelings. If he doesn’t take advantage of this possibility, the function of removal (which saved his life in the past) can turn into a dangerous tool, destructive and self-destructive...”

 “ consciously suffer illiberality, it is important to know what are liberty and the respect for life. Anyone who has never learned about it, anyone who during childhood knew and was exposed to extreme abuse, cruelty and hypocrisy, without ever meeting one helpful witness, does not go about demonstrating for freedom. They instead expect that order be imposed with violence, exactly the way they learned when they were children: order and cleanliness are necessary, at all costs, above all at the cost of life. The vicitms of such education are anxious to practice on others what has been inflicted on them. And if they have no chhildren, or if these children flee from their revenge, they start marching in favour of Fascism. Essentially, Fascism always has the same objective: destroy truth and freedom.”

 “...Hitler did not invent Fascism: it already existed –as it did for so many of his contemporaries- in the totalitarian regime of his family. The National Socialism features in which Hitler’s Fascism found its expression, bear the unmistakable signs of his childhood.”

 “...Hitler managed to turn Europe and the whole world into the battleground of his childhood, because in the Germany of that time there were millions of individuals who had had experiences similar to his own during their childhood. The pedagogical principles I will now list were for them natural and expected, although they were not necessarily aware:

1. Supreme values are order and obedience, not life.
2. Order can be created and preserved only through violence.
3. Creativity (innate in the child) is a danger for the adult, and must be repressed.
4. The first law is to obey the father.
5. Disobedience and criticism are phenomena that disappear when they are repressed with punishment or pain of death.
6. A lively and vital child must be educated as soon as possible so that he becomes a obedient robot, a slave.
7. It is necessary consequently to repress in the child, in the most resolute way, undesired feelings and those which are his instinctive needs.
8. The mother must never protect the child from the punitive actions of the father, and must instead lecture the chhild –after the punishment he has been inflicted- on the respect and love for his parents.”

 “...if however there has never been a helpful witness, the child has no other possibility (in the dreadful scenario he is in) but to deny himself any natural reaction –such as anger or laughter –and to give in to the ritual of continuous, blind and total obedience. It is the only way he was able to keep within tolerable limits the threat established by his father. Later, Hitler exploited for his purposes this precocious and cruel formation of the character. He developed his National Socialist ideology adapting it almost in every detail to the pedagogical practice he had experienced, and the concrete consequences of these elaborations were the following:
1. The Fuhrer’s will is the supreme law.
2. The Fuhrer will create order with violence, and will make Germany the paradise of the Aryans, of the Chosen Race.
3. Anyone who submits to his orders like a robot, will be rewarded.
4. Anyone who dares raise criticism will end up in the concentration camps.
5. Jews and Gypsies must be wiped out: whether they be men, women or children.
6. Russians and Poles must be turned into useful slaves.
7. The disabled and mentally ill people must be eliminated.
8. Freedom of art is dangerous, ‘degenerate’, and so must be persecuted like every other form of free creativity.”

The comparison between the two lists of principles deserves attentive study, and a precise personal commitment to prevent the realisation of this catastrophe of education and of freedom.

“Nicolae Ceausescu: monstrous consequences of a miserable denied childhood.”
Luckily, it is quite unlikely for most of the readers of the site to come from a childhood like the one of the crazy paranoid dictator of Romania: son of a poor man, who in a bestial way had 10 children from his wife, whom he then systematically beat –when drunk- saying he did it for their own good, moreover like the mother who very rigid in her educative strictness beat them, although both of them made the children live in the miserable and dreary promiscuity of a single room.
And it is also difficult that the reader of the site was beaten, punished, put in harsh and punitive boarding schools, incarcerated and even tortured.
This explains why nobody became a crazy dictator supporter of redemption through violence or made women give birth against their will, often at the risk of their lives, to be able to rule over a population of terrified adults and starving children neglected by their parents.
But who can rule out that a spark of illumination of one’s personal historical truth may even derive from this insane darkness of human wickedness?
After this immersion in a globally distressing vision under the political, social, cultural and family perspective, is there some hope of at least an individual salvation, of a personal liberation from the psychological suffering that might have concerned us?
There is no doubt whatsoever. And Miller’s own words give us this certainty of redemption from pain. It is definitely certain, as they are founded on two unassailable pillars:
a) The Author’s personal account of the advantages deriving from it is the best guarantee.
b) A precise method is indicated, which anyone can apply on their own.

Gregory H. STANTON authoritatively teaches to fight against all-engaging violence which leads to the slaughter of defenceless victims, since –he claims –at each stage precautionary measures may block the process of genocide.
Since the last stage is denial of its reality and its existence, even from a historical viewpoint, then we should commit ourselves to remembering. And here is the picture of THE MAUSOLEUM OF THE GENOCIDE in Yerevan.


Mausoleum put up in memory of the victims of the Armenian genocide, hill of Tsiternakaberd, Yerevan

To avoid creating the suspect of emphatic polemic because of the words which illustrate the meaning of it, the caption is taken from a source above suspicion of polemic and of partisanship, a tour guide:

Richard PLUNKETT – Tom MASTERS: “Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan”
LONELY PLANET 2004 edition

“From the Museum, a wide avenue flanked by a 100 metre long wall, on which are engraved the names of the communities slaughtered, leads to the memorial, which is a 40 metre tall spire next to an everlasting flame protected by 12 leaning slabs of basalt arranged in a circle
the 12 slabs represent the lost provinces of western Armenia, while the spire is non-symmetrically divided into two needls, the smaller one representing Western Armenia...”

As conclusion of all the previous observations on the genocide of the Armenians, it might be interesting to quote a few final notes of Maria CAROTENUTO’s article ‘NO TO TURKEY IN EUROPE’ published in the magazine ‘ITALICUM’ (January/February 2005) edited by the Cultural Center ITALICUM:


“ The genocide of the Armenians was carried out by the government of the ‘Young Turks’ of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916 (with other episodes in 1922-23). In all, about 1.5 million Armenians were killed of the 2.5 million who lived in the Ottoman Empire. 24 April for all the Armenians in the world it is Akhtamar day, in memory of the place in Instanbul where 300 Armenian intellectuals and professionals were abduted and then killed in 1915. that same day 5.000 of the poorer Armenians were slaughtered in the streets of the city and in their homes. The Armenian genocide committed by the Turks was acknowledged as such by a large number of institutions which include the UN, the Vatican, the Senate of the US and even the European Parliament, in three declarations in 1987, 2000, 2002. the turkish government instead, despite it is continually pressed, TODAY denies that there ever was a genocide, and claims that the Armenians were merely ‘removed’ from the eastern war zone. There are anti-Armenian laws enacted by the present Turkish Republic, who officially legitimate the confiscation of all the possessions of the deported and murdered Armenians. Furhtermore, anyone who talks about the Armenian genocide today in Turkey, runs the risk of going to prison and exposes himself to torture. After all, a government decision of 2002 renders official the denial of the genocide and barrs the teaching of it in primary and secondary schools.


As we have seen, despite the ‘cooperative’ tones and the conclusions in favour of Turkey, even the documents of the Committee cannot avoid making out how Turkey has so little to do with the European standards of civil freedom andof the state of right. 17 December the European Council, considering instead that Turkey meets the standards of Copenhagen, started the adhesion procedure. ”

A modern Turkish historian, TAHSIN CELAL, (quoted by Sergio De Santis, ‘ARMENIA, Forgotten Genocide’ mentioned above) observed:

“Imposed or spontaneous,
Oblivion may at times be
The most merciless of tormentors”

Representation of the Earth in front of the Mausoleum

It eludes

the man in the street
• the ordinary man who tries to think with his own head and to live according to principles of decent righteousness of his own and respect for freedom of others,
• the average man who ignores the subtleties of the dynamics of political power but tries to teach his children to behave well and –in the case of a mistake that has caused harm to another person – aplogise to these other human beings and repair for the damage done,
• it eludes this averagely intelligent man, reserved and by nature inclined to be involved in his small family reality.

the comprehensibility of the discordant bond between the fact that the Turkey of today
• is member of the Organisation of the United Nations since 24 October 1945, that is right from its beginning
• and that therefore took part in the debate of the General Assembly of the United Nations, a debate that led to the formulation of Resolution 96 (I) of 11 December 1946 (in which the UN decalred that genocide is a crime of International right, contrary to the spirit and the aim of the UN and condemned by the civil world)
• so it undersigned the consequent ‘Convention for the prevention and the condemnation of the crime of genocide’ adopted by the United Nations in Resolution 260 (III) of 9 December 1948 and became effective 12 January 1951
• and later it took part –among many other sessions on similar arguments –in the discussions which led to Resolutions 489 (V) of 12 December 150 and 687 (VII) of 5 December 1952 on the ‘International Jurisdiction of Crime’

asks to enter the European Union

(and that the many declarations of the United Nations defending the rights of man, children and women, and declares itself against the crimes against humanity acknowledging the Permanent Court for the defence of peoples’ rights)

but is not willing to acknowledge that the Turkish soldiers
-before and after 1915, and during that year-
• committed a genocide of 2 million defenceless Armenian civilians,
• breaking human rights and obliging the oppressed populations to mass flights

camp of deported Armenians, 1915

• and doesn’t feel obliged to apply [certainly on crimes committed thirty years earlier, but anyhow to commit itself to rehabilitate –even if ‘a posteriori’ – the honour of the Turkish State] first and foremost the principles of the clause “RESTITUTION” (articles 8-9-10-11) of the “Declaration of the Basic Principles for the Victims of Crimes or Abuse of Power”, issued by the 96th plenary session of the General Assembly of the United Nations the 29 November 1985, and to whose proclamation Turkey took part officially as a member.

Such duties involve (even for governments whose public officers or other members acting officially or almost officially who have broken laws which concern international crimes):
• the obligation to give back property
• or the payment for the damage or the loss suffered
• restoration of the environment
• reconstruction of the infrastructures
• to set equipment and public services running
• reimbursement of the expenses of reinstatement if the damage has caused the displacement of the community.

N.B. Article 11 ends with the precept:
“In the case that the Government under whose authority the acts of victimising or omission have been committed is no longer existing, the State of the Government which succeeds it in title, should provide the vicitms with restitution”

the following paragraph, bearing the title “COMPENSATION” provides instructions so that the State obliged by the previous recommendation, provide financial compensation to the families of the dead victims because of such crimes.

But this man in the street, this ordinary man, has no doubt whatsoever:
• to educate his children in the respect of their freedom and the freedom of others,
• and to teach them to defend their own rights even if they have to fight for them,
• like they have to fight to defend the violated and oppressed rights of weak and defenceless individuals, whether they be single children, women, men or even entire populations.

Because this simple and ordinary average man, is sure that only if one takes part fully, actively and openly to life and the difficulties and suffering of every other single man or population, one can be sure to actually be part of humanity.


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