WATERTOWN — The Armenian Museum of America (ALMA) and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) present “The Story Behind ‘The Smoking Gun’: A Presentation of Never-Before-Seen Documents” by Dr. Taner Akçam on Thursday, May 11 at 7 p.m., at the third-floor gallery of the museum at 7 p.m.
On April 23, the New York Times published an article about Akçam’s recent work. The article focused on an Ottoman document Akçam states is “the smoking gun,” which demonstrates the Ottoman government’s awareness of, and involvement in, the elimination of the Armenian population.
The document, acknowledged as authentic by the post-World War I Ottoman government, helped convict its author, Behaeddin Shakir, one of the founders of the Committee of Union and Progress, as one of the masterminds of the Armenian Genocide.
However, this key piece of evidence, along with other damning documents used during the post-war Constantinople trials of the perpetrators, vanished. Or so it seemed. In the course of examining the archive of the late Fr. Krikor Guerguerian, Akçam discovered that the Armenian Catholic priest had made photographic copies of Shakir’s telegram and other crucial documents.
This presentation will be the first time this and other documents have ever been discussed in public.
Akçam is the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.