“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

–Adolf Hitler, 1938.

While persuading his associates that a Jewish holocaust would be tolerated by the west, Adolf Hitler famously referenced the Armenian genocide, which was largely ignored by the international community. In 1915, the Ottoman Empire carried out a systematic and widespread campaign of extermination of the Armenian people, killing the male members of the community and driving the women and children to the Syrian dessert under military escort. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 800,000 and 1.5 million.

This is considered to be one of the first known examples of a holocaust in modern history, and despite happening around the same time period as the World Wars, is rarely remembered compared to the Jewish Holocaust. Today, Turkey – the modern successor of the Ottoman Empire, continues to deny the classification of the campaign as genocide, despite the fact that it is the only recognized instance of the crime of genocide under international law. The country’s problems with religious and ethnic minorities continue in the shape of the conflict with the Kurds in the east.