The forgotten crimes of the past can revive in the present, Polish journalist of Jewish descent, Konstanty Gebert , also known as David Warszawski, told Armenian News – correspondent.

Mr Warszawski regularly publishes articles about the position of modern Turkey (including the Armenian Cause) in leading Polish newspapers (including Gazeta Wyborcza).

Warszawski visited Turkey as early as in his childhood. He has kind acquaintances among Turks and Turkish Armenians, and overall he has very warm memories about Turkey. 

According to him, the Armenians’ slaughter in the Ottoman Empire over a century ago was one of the first genocides of the 20th century. The Turkish government still doesn’t want to acknowledge it, deeply insulting the memory of the victims and harming the interests of the Turkish nation itself. The protection of the historical lie is considered as protection of the honor of the nation and state, but actually everything is the other way round: the conscience of modern Turks doesn’t ache from the Turks’ crime in 1915. However by defending these crimes, they lose respect from outside and encourage national hysteria, which impedes solving the other problems of the Turkish society, starting from the Kurdish issue, the journalist said.   

“But the memory on the Armenian Genocide is not only a Turkish-Armenian problem. This is the issue of the entire humanity, since knowing how the society got to the genocide and what its repercussions were will help prevent new crimes. The absence of the public attention to the Armenian Genocide untied the hands of Nazi Germany in deciding on the Genocide of the Jews, during which the significant part of my family died. That’s why I feel pain and anger about the fact that Israel, which grew in flames of Shoah, still refuses to acknowledge the slaughter of Armenians as Genocide. 

I understand certain motives of the Turkish authorities: it’s clear that they don’t want the Ottoman Empire to be compared with the Third Reich. I also understand certain motives of the Israeli authorities: they still count on good relations with a strong Middle East neighbor. At the same time I understand what the international community thinks: how long can they deal with the history of the killed, regardless of whether they are herero, Armenians, Jews, Roma, Tutsi or others, annihilated or persecuted nations?  People of good will think that we can no longer deal with the past.   

But if we stop, the past of others can become our present.  The memory about the victims stems from not only a fundamental moral duty – although this is enough – but also one's own well-realized interest. By forgetting a crime, we open doors to it,” David Warszawski said.