Our knowledge of the Armenian Genocide and of what it meant for the world at the time has been expanding rapidly in recent years. Stefan Ihrig shows that it also provoked intense debates in Germany after World War I – to such an extent that we can clearly identify a larger and true genocide debate taking place there over the course of a few years.
Many Germans came to the wrong conclusions though: for German nationalists and the Nazis the Armenian Genocide presented core lessons on ethnic policies and the international order. By virtue of its reception and the debates it provoked the Armenian Genocide thus was part of the prehistory of the Shoah. What does this mean for our understanding of the twentieth century? In this lecture Ihrig will develop some ideas on how we must rethink some core notions of the history of the last century.
Stefan Ihrig is a Professor of History at the University of Haifa, in the Department of General History and the Haifa Center for German and European Studies. His books include Justifying Genocide—Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler (Harvard University Press, 2016), Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination (Harvard University Press, 2014) and Wer sind die Moldawier? (“Who are the Moldovans?”, Ibidem, 2008).