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050214 Five Armenian charities received checks for $333,333

First Checks Handed From Armenian Insurance Settlement

(AP) - Five Armenian charities received checks for $333,333 each Wednesday as part of an insurance settlement with descendants of Armenians massacred 90 years ago by the Turks.

The checks are part of a $20 million (¤15.28 million) settlement with New York Life Insurance Co., which issued 2,300 policies to Armenians in Turkey before 1915 that were
never paid, according to plaintiffs' attorney Brian Kabateck.

The agreement set aside at least $11 million for descendants, $3 million for charities and $2 million for administrative costs. Four charities in Los Angeles will receive the rest of the $3 million. Descendants of the policy holders have until March 16 to file claims.

The settlement, approved last year by a federal judge in Los Angeles, is believed to be the first involving the events of the era.

(AP-Photolur photo: Joseph Basralian, far left, representing the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Andrew Torigian, second from left, representing the Armenian Missionary Association of America, Sam Mikaelian, center, representing the Armenian Church of America, Rev. Anoushavan Tanielian, second from right, representing the Armenian Apostolic Church, and Bishop Manuel Batakian, far right, representing the Apostolic Exarchate for Amenian Catholics, each hold checks their organizations received during a news conference in New York on Wednesday.)

Armenian Genocide Returned To German School Curriculum
(dpa, RFE/RL) - Defusing a row after alleged Turkish pressure forced removal of the Armenian genocide from German public school curriculums, a state premier said Tuesday the 1915 killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians would be again be taught in history classes.

Brandenburg's Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck admitted it had been a mistake to remove all mention of the genocide from his state's education ministry website curriculum planner.

The Armenian genocide - which had been used as the only example in history classes other than the Holocaust - will now be returned to high schools along with other cases of 20th century genocide, he said. Platzeck denied media reports that he ordered removal of the Armenian genocide from his schools after strong pressure from a Turkish diplomat. "None of that happened," said Platzeck.

Platzeck made his announcement after a meeting with Armenia's ambassador to Germany, Karine Kazinian, who had expressed deep anger over the move. “I must say that Mr. Platzeck’s reaction to my request was quite rapid and we had a very useful meeting,” Kazinian told RFE/RL from Berlin.

“Mr. Platzeck explicitly promised to keep the genocide reference in the Brandenburg textbooks,” she said. “They will simply mention other genocides as well.”

The row began last month after Turkey's Consul in Berlin, Aydin Durusay, raised the issue of Armenian massacres with regard to Brandenburg which is so far the only one of Germany's 16 federal states, which described the killings as "genocide" in its official public school curriculum.

Most European and U.S. historians say up to 1.5 million Christian Armenians were killed by Moslem Ottoman Turks during World War I and that this was a genocide. Eight European Union parliaments including France and the Netherlands - but not Germany - have passed resolutions declaring the deaths genocide.

Turkey, however, firmly rejects the genocide label and has long insisted far fewer Armenians died or otherwise succumbed during World War I. More recently it has moderated its tone somewhat and said the matter should be cleared up by a historical


With about two million resident ethnic Turks, Germany is cautious about any issue which could disturb ties with its biggest minority. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is a firm supporter of Turkey's bid to join the E.U. Platzeck is a rising star in Chancellor's Social Democratic Party (SPD) and is tipped by some as a possible successor to Schroeder.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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