Genocide is a crime of such massive proportions that even a century later the destruction is hard to comprehend. Much of that destruction cannot be undone: murdered multitudes, lost generations, uprooted communities, obliterated cultural heritage, expropriated property, and plundered natural resources.
This website is dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Rather than a claim for reparations, it outlines (in broad terms) the loss, in the belief that better understanding the extent of the harm will help find a way forward.
Most of the harm cannot be undone. But certainly the victims and their survivors should not bear the cost alone while the perpetrators enjoy the fruits of the crime in impunity and other countries extract benefits from the delay, degrading all of humanity in the process.
Compensation cannot make the victims whole, but it can help the perpetrators and beneficiaries find the redemption they need: if not for themselves, for humanity’s sake; if not for this generation, for future generations.
Armenian Genocide Losses|
An Estimate of the Damage 100 years later
Genocide is a crime of such massive proportions that even 100 years later the destruction is hard to comprehend. Much of that destruction cannot be undone: murdered multitudes, lost generations, uprooted communities, depredated homeland, obliterated cultural heritage, expropriated property, and plundered natural resources.
This website is dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Rather than a claim for reparations, it outlines in broad terms the loss, in the belief that better understanding the extent of the harm will help find a way forward. Many countries and interests factored into the Armenian Genocide and many more have benefited over the past century from using the Armenian Question and the Armenian Genocide to advance their political and economic aims.
Inaction and indifference reinforce the notion that it pays to commit genocide. This is not an option, for it lowers the bar on barbarity for all humanity. Leaving a crime half-condemned and unredeemed sows seeds of instability and discord. Neighbors need to be able to live side-by-side without being haunted by their past.
The way forward is simple. Reversible harm should be reversed. Irreversible harm should be compensated. This is what the Armenian delegation proposed at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference and it still may point to a way forward.
In 1919 the formula under consideration was a combination of homeland restoration and compensation for the irreversible losses incurred by the Armenian people. The compensation estimates presupposed restoration of the Armenian homeland from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to the Armenians. But as is well known, neither were the irreversible losses compensated, nor the homeland restored.
The charts below provide an up-dated version of the 1919 claim. Although some losses are clearly irreversible, the line between reversible and irreversible is often a matter of political will. Thus, in the charts below various combinations of reversible and irreversible harm are presented along with rough allocations among parties that caused the harm. These estimates do not attempt to account for the lost creativity of the 20 million Armenian lives that might have been but for the Armenian Genocide.
Failing to deal with the Armenian Genocide fully and fairly at that time has cost humanity dearly. Had justice been done then, wars may have been averted, genocides prevented, and the course of history changed. Further delay causes further harm. Armenians individually have partially recovered after a century. But for humanity the unredressed Armenian Genocide is still a stumbling block to a more peaceful and civilized future.
Restitutio ad integrum is the international standard for measuring victims' losses. It means to make the victims' whole or put them in the position they would have been in but for the wrong, which calls for:
- Reversible harm to be reversed.
- Irreversible harm to be compensated.
- deprivation of access to ancestral homeland for 100 years,
- interference with maintenance of cultural heritage, and
- emotional distress associated with delay in justice, denial of the crime, and witnessing the depredation of one’s nation and homeland.
For a benchmark, the US inflation rate since 1919 has been about 20 fold. 20 x $42.5 bn = 850 billion. This does not include opportunity cost, consequential or expectation damages.
- 1919 Paris Claim plus
- the post-1919 destruction of life, real and immovable property,
- injuries, disruption of livelihood, and refugee maintenance costs from 1919-1923,
- destroyed and desecrated cultural heritage,
- lost revenues from natural resources and transit rights,
- stolen property, not included in the 1919 Paris Claim,
- costs of continued discrimination,
- oppression and persecution of Armenians in Turkey, as well as
- projected revenues from known natural resources (minerals, hydrocarbons) and
- continued costs to Armenia of blockade and lack of access to the sea.
These are the damages proximately, foreseeably and intentionally caused to the Armenians post-1919 by the failure to fairly and promptly deal with the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide.
- end of denial, right to truth, apology, Genocide education in Turkey
- restoration of Armenian place and cultural site names
- restoration of Church and private property to rightful owners
- access to the sea
- transport and trade routes
- free ports
- rights of way for rail lines and highways, pipelines, electric and telecom
- preservation ancestral shrines and cultural heritage
- cultural site access and custodianship and tourism rights
- mineral and hydrocarbons (on and off shore) ---------------------- click here to see image map
- water resources (including electric generation and agricultural uses)
- arable lands and temperate growing zones
- biodiversity maintained and developed by Armenians
- demilitarized security zones
+ + + Paris Peace Conference Armenian Homeland (February 1919)
+ + Paris Wilsonian Armenia (November 1920)
+ Republic of Armenia (June 1919)
Republic of Armenia and Artsakh (NKR) (2015)