By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BERLIN — When the results of the vote were announced — all in favor, with only one nay and one abstention – the German Bundestag burst into applause. In the visitors’ gallery, rows of Armenians pulled out signs with the message “#Recognition Now says Thank you!” This was clearly a breach of parliamentary rules of conduct, but no one seemed to care. Then an Armenian flag was unfurled, another, more grave breach of conduct. Its bearer was discreetly escorted out of the hall. No matter.
Armenian women wept for joy.
“Finally!” — as Gregor Gysi of the Left Party had lamented during the debate, finally, at long last, the German parliament was declaring its recognition of the Armenian genocide, after years of hemming and hawing and hand-wringing. The news was cause for celebration, and not only for Armenians. Did the text have shortcomings? Yes, to be sure. And yet, the vote was a landmark decision.
The day will be remembered as marking the beginning of a new phase.