The Burning Tigris: A History of the Armenian Genocide by Peter Balakian - review by Hazhir Teimourian

Hazhir Teimourian

No Two Sides to Genocide

The Burning Tigris: A History of the Armenian Genocide


William Heinemann 473pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

WHO, AFTER ALL, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?' Hitler's infamous words are emblazoned on the cover of this timely book and cause the reader to ask another question: Surely, in the 1940s, there were still millions of people alive who remembered that great crime? But then, of course, Hitler was not concerned with the feelings of ordinary people. He thought only of his fellow leaders in Europe, who seemed constantly to have put their own narrow interests before the lives of the Armenians and other peoples suffering at the hands of Turkish despots and Muslim fanatics in the Ottoman Empire.

One thing that immediately strikes the reader in this book is how long a gestation genocide often has. In the case of the Armenians, it had been building up in the mind of the hateful caliph Sultan Abdul Hamid II since the 1870s. He was the man who banned the

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