By Edmond Y. Azadian
While discussing the Armenian Genocide with a close associate of Kirk Kerkorian a few years before the magnate’s death, I was told that he is not a person who deals with the past; instead, he is a man of the future. I was saddened to hear that comment, because I knew that only someone like Kerkorian could deliver our message to the world in a monumental way. It turned out, however, that the storm inherited from his ancestors was fermenting in his brain and eventually he was planning to bring a project to fruition about the subject.
The movie “The Promise” seems to be that message delivered into the future by Kerkorian posthumously.
While there is an overwhelming deluge of documents, films and scholarly books on the Jewish Holocaust, Armenians have to struggle for a sliver of news about the Genocide to catch world attention.
One reason, of course, is the fact that Hitler is not alive to deny the grisly crimes he committed against the Jewish people and the other is that the Jews did due diligence to get the message out to the world. The German state freely acknowledges its sins and has actively atoned for it since its defeat at the end of World War II.
In the Armenian case, Talaat Pasha may be dead, but his legacy is still alive in Turkey. The blow that he dealt to the Armenians was so devastating that they were not able to arise for 50 years after the Genocide to fully put into perspective what had happened to them and to tell their story to the world.