Tall Armenian Tale

 

The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide

 

  The Huff and Puff of Tessa Hofmann  
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 Tessa Savvidis Hofmann is a big gun of the genocide industry, one that carries a greater than usual animosity for Turks. I suppose the "Savvidis" of her name stems from marriage to a Greek husband, and if that speculation is correct, she might have had help in her prejudices getting better ironed.

Trying to blow it down

She deserves a thorough examination; the pieces of hers that I've read inspire disbelief. In true genocide scholar fashion, she is completely content to take one damning bit of information, and use it in lieu of all other evidence. Yes, she is not alone in displaying such a scholarly lack of ethics, but she does a particularly good job at it.

So I'm just throwing this together, based on a quick look at something I happened to run into; a talk she gave on March 27, 2004 at the University of Tokyo, entitled "Annihilation, Impunity, Denial: The Case Study of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire (1915/ 16) and Genocide Research in Comparison."

 

 
 


1980's "Der Völkermord an den Armenien vor Gericht"

Erich Feigl's caption partly reads: "Vicious
propaganda comes in various forms. One of the
most sinister is the hidden falsification... Casual
observers — and they are... the majority — will
inevitably make a connection between Talaat and the
crania on the cover." (From "A Myth of Terror.")

Tessa Hofmann has been at the "Turk-killing" business for a long time. (Killing, in terms of the German word, "Rufmord," murder of reputation.) At left, all the way back in 1980, she had no compunction in using a painting by the Russian artist, Vassili Vereshchagin (1842-1904) called "The Apotheosis of War," from 1872 (or 1871) created forty-three years before the "genocide." Click Here for Pic "Der Völkermord an den Armeniern vor Gericht" ("The Armenian Genocide on Trial"), was originally called "Der Prozess Talaat Pascha," and offered to the German reader in 1921 [Berlin, Deutsche Verlagsgesallschaft für Politik und Geschichte] by Hofmann's fellow Armenian-championing German with an Orthodox middle name, Armin Theophil Wegner.

In Hofmann's version, the cover photograph is credited as showing "Turkish barbarism" within the book's inner pages. The lady is not above performing her own brand of skullduggery, in her zeal to one-sidedly portray the Armenians as innocent victims and the Turks as sadistic monsters.

She begins her talk with a definition of genocide as provided by Raphael Lemkin. Yet nothing Lemkin has written has been proven in the case of the Armenians' tragedy, such as "aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves." The "intent" for annihilation is the one key genocide advocates lack, as far as providing factual evidence. Hearsay and speculation cannot constitute factual evidence.

The most direct association provided by Lemkin is offered with, "removal of the population and the colonization of the area by the oppressor's own nationals." But the Armenians were allowed to return, not only with a decree in 1918, but with provisions in the Gumru/Alexandropol and Lausanne Treaties. They had already been returning in droves, as documented even by hostile missionaries such as Partridge and Graffam. The Armenian Patriarch recorded up to 644,900 Armenians within what was left of the Ottoman Empire as late as 1921, out of an original population of some 1.5 million. At war's end in 1918, the Patriarch ventured as high as 1,260,000.  Repeat: it was the Patriarch himself providing the information, not "Turkish propaganda." This is not "annihilation."

And as Samuel Weems wrote, "It appears, the Armenians consider every Armenian who was removed to be a victim of genocide. Relocation is not genocide." From Hofmann's own "genocide scholarly" circles, even Prof. Jay Winter agreed (THE GREAT WAR, 1996, Penguin Books, P. 148):

...[D]eportation — a time-honoured strategy in nineteenth-century Turkey — while tantamount to death for the old, the weak and the infirm, was not genocide."

What Hofmann should concentrate on is the genocide exemption relating to those who form political alliances, as followed in 1948's U.N. Convention. The Armenians had allied themselves with the enemy of their nation, fully joining in the war... the moment war broke out. This stipulation itself exempts this chapter as being called a genocide according to the 1948 U.N. Convention on Genocide, but it's not the only one; as mentioned before, the Convention requires proof of "intent."

Hofmann declared that Armenia was a vast territory, which is apparent from ancient maps with the word "Armenia." But this territory was occupied by a range of different tribes. What we know as Armenians today was one of these tribes, having emigrated probably from the Balkans. (They are regarded, after all, as an indo-European people; that means they most likely did not originate from Asia, as Armenians love to say about the "Mongol Turks.") They called themselves "Haiks." Over the centuries, as the Haiks began to inhabit this area called Armenia in greater numbers,  there was most likely an association at work with these common occupants, and they became known as "Armenians." (In other words, if they were the original occupants when the region was called Armenia, the name of this region would have been an offshoot of how the Haiks referred to themselves... something like "Haiknia." Perhaps the word Armenians use among themselves to describe Armenia, "Hayastan," might be following along these lines.) Not unlike when Russia took over what is Armenia today from Persia in 1828, and began to artificially populate the region with Armenians, mostly from the Ottoman Empire. The Erivan province had a Muslim majority before the Russian conquest.

Hofmann goes off historical track by declaring after the Seljuk Turks conquered the Byzantine Empire in 1071 (which was one in a long line of nations having already conquered Armenia), "hundred of thousands Armenians flew their homeland." Where did they fly to? Did they go off into the far corners of the world, which is what we associate with the Armenian Diaspora today? (Hofmann ignorantly indicates this Armenian Diaspora significantly began in 1071.)  The reality is, Armenian historians of the period were delighted that the Turks treated them kindly, as opposed to the oppression granted by their co-religionist former rulers; their population grew within the region as never before in history.

"The Armenians of Byzantium have welcomed the Seljuk conquest with lengthy celebrations in the streets and thanksgiving to God for having rescued them from long years of Byzantine oppression," is what Armenian historian Stephanos Taronetsi Asoghik recorded, adding that the Turks rescued the Armenians from oppressive taxation, and left the Armenians free to conduct their own internal affairs. Armenian historian Mathias of Edessa added, "Turkish Sultan) Meliksah's heart is full of affection and goodwill for Christians, he has treated the sons of Jesus Christ very well, and he has given the Armenian people peace, affluence and happiness" 

Note how the Turcophobic Hofmann tried to give the impression the Turks had persecuted the Armenians, the very opposite of what happened. She puts forth the number of Armenians today as eight or nine million, and it's not the first time she will rely exclusively on Armenian-provided information. The correct number is closer to seven million; propagandists like to inflate these numbers by adding a million or more "hidden" Armenians from Turkey, for example.

Hofmann only concedes the Armenians were allowed to practice their religion, and implies their lives must have been hell otherwise. The truth is, the Armenians prospered as never before in their history, under Turkish rule. They were free to participate in practically all aspects of society, most especially key economic roles, and the Armenians were even regarded as the Faithful Nation. (Millet-i-sadika.) ("For the Armenians, this was the beginning of a golden age... the domain for their activities as traders and craftsmen grew until it was a hundred times the size of their original district in eastern Anatolia" Feigl, "The Myth of Terror," p. 44. An Armenian priest fully concurred with this view.) In contrast, Hofmann claims the reverse: "Their loyalty was questioned." Their loyalty was questioned only as the Ottoman Empire weakened, and certain Armenians began ruining their people's lot by beginning to side with their nation's enemies. They kept getting granted more freedoms regardless (out of the idealistic notion that perhaps the Armenians would calm down, in addition to European imperialist pressure), as the years went on... a good number going into national service, in direct contrast to Hofmann's claim that "they were excluded from national service."

 

AN OTTOMAN SULTAN AGREED WITH HOFMANN THAT  RELIGION WAS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE:

"i can only differentiate the Muslims of my subjects at mosque; the Christians at church; and the Jewish at synagogue. Apart from that, they are all my sons and daughters."

Sultan Mahmut II


 Hofmann tells us the Ottoman Empire only agreed to reforms reluctantly, thanks to military defeats... as though the European powers were genuinely concerned with the rights of Ottoman Christians; it was a handy pretext to meddle in the Empire's internal affairs. (Later in her talk, she does point to this insincerity of the powers.) Regardless, The Ottoman Empire wanted to prove that the Reform Edict of 1856 was prepared with the nation's own initiative, by publishing it before the Paris Conference (that was agreed upon to end the latest war of that time). This edict's freedoms didn't please everyone; as Kamuran Gurun wrote in "The Armenian File":

Muslims as well as non-Muslims were against the Reform Edict. The ones who were afflicted the most were the priests, who after having plundered for centuries, to use Engelhardt's term, now had their income reduced with the abolition of the favours and revenues demanded from the congregations. As for the common folk, who were now freed from being robbed, they were displeased by the military service obligation. For, from the beginning of Ottoman history, it had been the Muslims, and especially the Turks, who had shed their blood, while non-Muslims lived comfortably by themselves.

How ironic that Tessa Hofmann converted that last pro into a con, by stating how terrible it was for the Christians to have been "excluded from national service. They had to pay additional taxes." In order not to participate in wars, this additional tax was happily paid.

Tessa Hofmann shows truer propagandist stripes as we get into the later, massacring years:

"During 1894-1896, up to 300,000 Armenians were killed."


.

Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities, 1896

An illustration from the book "Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities, published in the United States in 1896. Caption: "Slaughter of Armenians in Sasun. This is a true picture of the slaughter of innocent people which was inflicted on the innocent Armenians by the bloody Kurds and enraged soldiers. The carnage ended in the massacre of 50,000 people or more. Hundreds of thousands were left without food or shelter after the plundering and burning." (Erich Feigl, The Myth of Terror)

Reality: Sassun was a mountainous region which had been able to keep a semi-independence, like that other Armenian trouble spot, Zeitun*. There were two major rebellions in Sassun, the first rebellion lasting from 1891-1894, led by Damadian and the notorious Murad, who had incited 3,000 Armenians to rebel. This rebellion gave rise to fierce anti-Turkish propaganda in Europe, those such as Williams and Bliss having a field day accepting the word of Armenians. At least these two settled on a wildly exaggerated death toll of some 6,000, more than half the Armenian population. This is the kind of vicious propaganda that was commonplace. These men (along with Pastermadjian) figured there  were 12,000 Armenians in Sassun, and in the American book above, 50,000 or more casualties were arrived at, with an additional 100s of thousands suffering. Is it any wonder why dense or immoral people repeat wild claims like 300,000 dying in this period? (Compare: As unfair as Bliss was, his figure for the same period was around 42,000. The British Blue Book of the period itself even didn't go beyond 63,000.)

How many actually died? Cuinet figured there were not 12,000 but 8,369 Armenians in the entire Sassun region. A consular report felt no more than 10,000, putting the number of dead at only 265. A British representative wrote separately  that the number could not have surpassed 900. (Source: Foreign archives from "The Armenian File")

Flash forward, Sassun mountains, WWI: France's Soleil du Midi reported on February 9, 1916 that there were 30,000 Armenian revolutionaries "fighting hopelessly" for nine months, waiting for the arrival of the Russian enemy.

(* Zeitun: "...[T]he spirit of the Zeitun mountaineers remained alert. The [Ottoman] government launched a number of expeditions against the town, but these were unsuccessful. The warrior spirit of its armed inhabitants, and its fortress-like setting, made Zeitun a natural focus for the attention of a nationalist or revolutionary, who had seen the success of the revolts in Greece and Serbia. Perhaps a similar success could be gained in Cilicia..." Christopher J. Walker, Armenia, The Survival of a Nation, 1980, pp. 100-101).


300,000 is the high end of Armenian fairy tale figures, and while it's not surprising that this hostile "genocide scholar" would choose to go with the worst inaccuracy, as an indication for her deceptive intentions, it's still a troublesome sign.

Armenian riots in Istanbul, 1896

(Armenian riots in Istanbul, 1896. Text by Erich Feigl, The Myth of Terror)

 It's been well documented that these casualty figures for the mid-1890s were highly exaggerated; European witnesses like Russian General Mayewski and British Captain Norman explained the reasons well enough, that by creating the "Armenian Question," European imperialists formed a wonderful pretext to further weaken "The Sick Man," with an eye on the ailing empire's tasty geography. The real Armenian mortality was closer to 20,000, and 5,000 Muslims that we never hear about. It was these Muslims who were the true victims; Armenian terror groups would massacre them, with the hopes of inviting the imperialists in, once counter-massacres would be incited. Hofmann makes no mention of the rebellious acts of the Armenians, and the fact that any nation has the right to put down rebellions without being accused of "massacres."

She also chooses to go "with a victim toll of 30,000" in the 1909 Adana incidents, even when Armenians of the period had gone with around 10,000 less. if she's trying to step into Ambassador Morgenthau's shoes by trying to "make the Turks the worst being on earth" (in George Schreiner's words, as he criticized Morgenthau for his "Story" book), she's already doing a very good job.

"Genocide starts in the mind of the perpetrator," she tells us, trying to assume a scholarly pose. "It starts the moment when a human being or even a fellow citizen is traditionally despised or belittled and eventually reduced to be a traitor, an internal enemy or worse." No mention that the Armenians were internal enemies. They were armed to the teeth in preparation for war, and when war broke out, there were rebellions all across the land. This was a highly dangerous threat, as the Ottoman Empire was attacked on all fronts by superior enemies.

She doesn't lose the opportunity to go gaga over the random quotes made by officials who were infuriated at this traitorous action, during the moment of life or death for the desperate nation; Armenians were called words like "microbe" or "cancer" by a couple of people, and this "scholar" is doing her best to make it seem like such terminology was used across the board... with the hopeful connotation that these Armenians were in the role of Nazi-victimized Jews, about to be systematically murdered because of racial hatred.  For example, an official wrote, "The Armenian bandits were a load of harmful microbes that had afflicted the body of the fatherland (actually, the Turkish word would be "motherland," but it sounds much more Nazi-like to say "fatherland"; these translations are most likely by Vahakn Dadrian)... Was it not the duty of the doctor to kill the microbes?" That sounds like an appropriate analogy, as the Armenians were doing their best to destroy their nation, and any nation under the same circumstances would have been thinking along the same lines. Note that this criticism is directed toward not all Armenians, but the "bandits" who were inflicting the damage. (A very different matter than when Nazi Germany used words like "vermin" to refer to all Jews.)

"Others compared the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire to weeds and the perpetrator's task with a gardener, who has to weed his garden. It is no surprise that the expression of 'cleansing' goes back to the Young Turks." Hofmann is stretching so much, her figure ought to be model-thin. Yes, no doubt whomever came up with the term, "ethnic cleansing," looked at this weed-gardener story and thanked the Turks for coming up with the idea... especially since history was so devoid of such ethnic cleansing examples, until the Turks thought of it.

This is the trouble with such unethical people as Tessa Hofmann. She tried hard to make it sound like the Armenians were persecuted by the Turks throughout the centuries, when in reality it was the Armenians who were the comparative prosperous ones. She wanted to tie in the reason why the "Christian subjects" would be regarded as "weeds"; the reality is, there was a brotherly and sisterly feeling between the Armenians and the Turks (at least on the part of the Turks). Why would the Armenians be regarded as weeds all of a sudden? The real answer to this question is the one Tessa Hofmann is making sure to avoid.

She is going out of her way to distort the realities to such an unbelievable level, it's stupefying. Look at this:

 She refers to the awful terror groups like the Hunchaks and the Dashnaks as innocent "socialist parties."

She whitewashes them completely by stating these terrorists behaved themselves after the Young Turk revolution of 1908. How long did that good behavior last... maybe ten minutes?


POST 1908 DASHNAK LOYALTY TO THEIR OTTOMAN NATION

“…We possess a public organization in Turkish Armenia. Until 1908, all peasants had gathered under our flag in two large Armenian provinces — Van and Bitlis — and organized as political groups. These groups were being trained for assault and defence. In every village, the party was selecting 5-8 trustworthy people for control and management. These were charged with the responsibility of supplicating the needs of, providing hideouts for and assisting in the escape of roving bands of Armenian volunteers (Fedai) while they were especially struggling with Kurdish bands. Besides these mobile bands, there were other groups in every village:

1- Offensive militia group composed of 30-50 men,

2- Aider or financer group, who supplied the material resources

3- Military group, who supplied arms and munition,

4- Women’s group, who carried news and communique."

Secret report by the Dashnak party to “Socialist International” in 1910


She writes the leader of "the more radical Hunchaks" was arrested on July 14, 1914. As if the Hunchaks were completely innocent since 1908!

And along with 19 other party members, this leader (Paramaz) was executed "nearly a year later." Wasn't that during wartime, when the treacherous activities of these groups were in full swing? It's remarkable these traitors were not executed sooner.

She describes the Dashnaks as the "less radical" party, when compared with the Hunchaks. They were both bad, but as time went on, the deadly Dashnaks actually made even the Hunchaks look like teetotalers. Hofmann is really confused.

"Until early April 1915, most Dashnaks were imprisoned." What a ridiculous statement. The Dashnaks were the dominant force by this time, and there were more Dashnaks than could be counted. What's more, as professional terrorists, it was not always easy to catch up with them:

"The Dashnacks were in continual open rebellion against the Turkish Government. The Turks took severe measures to stamp out this society but without achieving any great success because they had nothing tangible against which to direct their rage. It was as though they were battling with the air." (Ohanus Appressian, Men Are Like That, 1926.)

"Young Turks had introduced national service for all Ottoman citizens , regardless of their religion." Before, Hofmann seemed to be complaining when she wrote "they were excluded from national service." Now it seems this "equality" has become a fault... when Armenians were recruited for national service, in their nation's defense forces.

"As early as 1914, Christian conscripts were rounded up for compulsory labour, starting with Greeks aged 18 to 45 or older, and in September 1914 with the Armenians, who were conscripted from the age of 16 until 60."  She's really out of control, utilizing these propagandistic "facts." The Christian men were conscripted (and not for "compulsory labor," but as regular, armed soldiers... until [at least in the case of the Armenians] they could no longer be trusted; see below) only when the entire nation was mobilized for war... which happened to be "as early as 1914."

On August 2, 1914, three days before World War I broke out, the Ottoman authorities declared general mobilization, as a result of which all Armenians, citizens of Turkey, in the age category of 20 to 45, were conscripted into the Ottoman army." — Vahakn Dadrian's April 24, 2001 lecture at Harvard University


ADDENDUM: I have since come across another Dadrian source where Dadrian has written there was an additional conscription phase later on, drafting those from 18 (not 16) to 60. But there was not a "special rule" for the Armenians; almost certainly, all Ottoman men would have been subjected to the same requirement. Note the deception, making it seem like only the Armenians were affected. And even if it were only the Armenians getting drafted (in what these immoral "scholars" are attempting to present as a diabolical plan to gather the men so as to rub them all out), it couldn't have been as bad as forcing every Armenian over 13, based on confessions by Armenians, to enroll in Armenian committees as functionaries or soldiers... in the most important cities of the Empire.

ADDENDUM, 8-07: An internal Ottoman report provides the notion that men over 40 were exempt from conscription until April 1915, at least in the province of Sivas..



The reason why labor units were composed largely of Armenians is because once the Armenian soldiers in the Army acted treacherously or deserted to the enemy with their weapons, their weapons were logically taken away. And they had to do something. Better to do labor than to get shot at on the front.

An armed opposition started immediately, notably in Zeytoun. At the oriental border, the Armenians began to desert to pass in the Russian armies and the government of Enver, doubtful of the loyalty of those that stayed, separated them from the fighting forces to allocate them to battalions of engineers...

Clair Price, "The rebirth of Turkey", New York, 1923

Note how she's not reporting the fate of the Muslim conscripts, as if only the Christians were subjected to this "persecution." What an utterly dishonest woman.

Of the Armenian soldiers, she says: "Working conditions were horrible. They were malnourished, not provided proper uniforms, boots or lodging."

By contrast, were the Turkish soldiers having a picnic? Not according to these pro-Armenian sources.

"(Armenian soldiers) surviving were finished off with bayonets, once they had completed their task."

Somebody should slap her, at this point. Where is she getting this information from? Does it even matter, given her level of "scholarship"?

Hostile missionary Mary Graffam reported, for example, that the Armenian soldiers were transported to her region of Sivas, and they appeared to be free to visit her, at least for a while. She got to know every man of the regiment, and there's no mention of bayonet-murders. (Although she refers to murders too. With a tainted source as this, one must read between the lines.) On what became the highly biased "The Slaughterhouse Province," hostile consul Leslie Davis noted "quite a number of Armenian soldiers have been brought back (to Harput) in groups of two or three hundred from Erzurum." Was that before or after they had been bayoneted?

"After the massacres of 1909, the Ottoman government not only allowed Christians to possess firearms for defence.. ."

WRONG. The reason why the violence at 1909 Adana took place was because the Armenians were already allowed to possess firearms, and nearly every Armenian did... for reasons of offense. As the British Embassy reported:

Under the constitution all men might bear arms. From the delightful novelty of the thing, many thousands of revolvers were purchased. Even schoolboys had them and, boy-like, flourished them about. But worse followed. The swagger of the arm-bearing Armenian and his ready tongue irritated the ignorant Turks. Threats and insults passed on both sides. Certain Armenian leaders, delegates from Constantinople, and priests (an Armenian priest is in his way an autocrat) urged their congregations to buy arms. It was done openly, indiscreetly, and, in some cases, it might be said wickedly. What can be thought of a preacher, a Russian Armenian, who in a church in this city where there had never been a massacre, preached revenge for the martyrs of 1895? Constitution or none, it was all the same to him. `Revenge,' he said, `murder for murder. Buy arms. A Turk for every Armenian of 1895.'

Hofmann goes off her rocker by stating the Ottoman Empire encouraged the Armenians to buy arms, just so there could be a pretext to raid Armenian homes under confiscation sweeps... which were:

"...accompanied by torture and humiliation of male inhabitants, often priests, and by the rape of women. Terrorised as they were, the raided Armenians agreed to deliver allegedly hidden weapons, even if they had to buy them for this purpose, usually at tremendous expense. The confiscated weapons were then photographed, and the photographs served as a concocted proof of an Armenian uprising and treason."

Does this woman have any sort of a conscience? I am familiar  enough with these types of concoctions, but she is unusually over-the-top.

The fact is, of course, that the Armenians' idea to stockpile arms was nobody's but their own.


"The killing of 1.4 million Christian Armenians, ordered by the Turkish government..."

 There's much more, but I don't think it's necessary to continue. Tessa Hofmann is ethically challenged to the point of making the most vicious statements, without care of whether there is verifiable proof of any kind. Take a look at the above statement. She is asking us to believe nearly the entire Ottoman-Armenian pre-war population of some 1.5 million was wiped out, even though Armenians themselves concede one million survived. As inexcusable as her prevarication is, she then adds that these deaths were "ordered" by the Turkish government. I hope she's not referring to the Aram Andonian forgeries, but I suppose she must be, since there are no other orders serving as evidence. (The genuine orders indicate the safekeeping of the Armenians and their property.) And if there were a genuine execution plan that did away with 1.4 million people, given that there needed to be a huge network of people involved to carry out the dirty deed, at least one order had to have survived.

Hofmann appears to be glorifying Soghoman Tehlirian by referring to his murder of Talat Pasha as the most "spectacular" of the series of assassinations committed by Armenians. (What was so spectacular about sneaking up on an unsuspecting victim and shooting him in the back of the head?) "Failing justice on international and national levels caused the revenge by Armenian survivors" was the preceding statement. Is that what she calls Tehlirian, an innocent "survivor"? Tehlirian traitorously joined the Russian enemy at age 17, in 1914, and no doubt took part in the slaughters conducted by Armenian forces, as they took control over Ottoman lands. Hofmann makes not one mention of the hundreds of thousands that these murderous Armenians killed in the most savage manner. These victims must not qualify as human beings, on her bigoted scale.

As far as that "failing justice" remark, it wasn't for lack of trying. The British tried desperately to convict the accused Turks detained for over two years at Malta. Now this is the British, who were looking to wipe out the "human cancer" (as their leader, Lloyd George, referred to the Turks) of the Turkish nation off the earth. But... there... just... was... no... evidence. The courtroom phase of the Malta Tribunal could not even begin, because there was no evidence. One of the up to 144 accused Ottoman Turks was the Prime Minister. Even the British couldn't convict him, so he was innocent. (Because... we are supposed to think of people as innocent, unless proven guilty. Remember? And the British looked under every rock to try to prove him and the others guilty.) So what happened? One month after his release, this Ottoman (Said Halim Pasha) was murdered by an Armenian, through the assassination network called "Nemesis" set up by the terrorist Dashnaks. So what was "revenge" in the eyes of these fanatical killers (and their apologists, like Tessa Hofmann) was nothing less than outright murder.

(By the way, what's worse: designating an entire people as a cancer, or the select bandits of a people as microbes? Microbes are on their way to forming the disease. Cancer is the disease, already formed.)

It's only fitting that she would include the fictional work of "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh" in her bibliography, as if that were an actual historical account.

Tessa Savvidis Hofmann

Tessa Savvidis Hofmann

She goes on to make outrageous statements, such as Cemal Pasha being behind the deaths of 55,000 Ottoman Jews! (Also indicating the other Palestinian Jews' necks were saved thanks to the arrival of the British Army.)

Let's dwell on this for a moment. The source is Adolph Boehm, "History of the Zionist Movement." Even though Ottoman Jews were loyal, naturally there were some who couldn't care about the Ottoman Empire's  being probably the greatest defender of Judaism throughout history, before the USA took that role for less pure-hearted reasons. These were Zionists who were hoping for the quickest path for a Jewish homeland, their own Ottoman nation be damned. (This served as a motivation for Ambassador Henry Morgenthau,  as well.) So to an ardent Zionist like Adolph Boehm, these Palestinian Zionists were the greatest heroes (similar to how Armenians love their terrorists)... but working with the British enemy quite rightly made them traitors from the Ottoman, or any other logical, perspective. So is it right to rely only upon one source to get at the truth? (Hofmann refers to her damning information as provided by "a Jewish source," as if that should make the information legitimate. Just like Henry Morgenthau's being a Jewish source must have made his "Story" book a beacon of accuracy.)

Here is the passage making the rounds, this one from an Islamophobic site called jihadwatch.org: "Boehm... depicts in detail the way the Young Turkish leader and Army Commander, Ahmet Cemal (Djemal), reduced the Jewish population of Ottoman Palestine by deportation and massacres, wiping out entire families of Jewish nationalist leaders. Boehm concludes: 'If Palestine had not been freed by the English at the end of 1917, the Jewish Yishuv (settlement) would have been exterminated by Djemal. By the war's end, it was reduced to 55,000 souls, that is, half of the pre-war population'."

Scandalous. The fact of the matter is, there never was an Ottoman massacre of Jews. What is referred to here is during World War I, when the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem informed the Ottoman governor of Syria, Cemal Pasha, that a Jewish spy organization (Nili) was spying on the Ottoman army and sending information to the British, Cemal began deporting Jews from Palestine to Egypt. This went on for a few months until the Grand Rabbi in Istanbul, Haim Nahum Efendi, got Enver to stop the deportations. The members of Nili were captured and executed. There is a 1959 book by Anita Engle on the subject ["The Nili Spies"; also, a journal article by Eliezer Tauber, "The Capture of the NILI Spies: The Turkish Version," Intelligence and National Security, 6:4 (October 1991), pp. 701-710] and it was mentioned in Stanford J. Shaw, Turkey and the Holocaust.

In 1924, when there was no longer an Ottoman Empire (and thus no reason to sugarcoat the Ottomans' behavior), Haim Nahum, the last Grand Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire, said: "It is actually an understatement that there was no anti-Semitism in Turkey. In fact, there was a pro-Semitism. Ottoman governments treated their Jewish subjects with a special consideration and compassion as one of their own, as one of the most loyal and devoted subjects of the empire."

Does anyone think if the Ottomans were involved in an "extermination" plot against the Jews as Alfred Boehm viciously contended, the above words could have been uttered by the Grand Rabbi himself? 

  BACKGROUND ON NILI

Aaron Aaronsohn (1876-1919) was the leader of the Jewish spy organization, with sister Sarah playing a key role. Aaronshohn's was the minority view among Palestinian Jews. The yishuv leadership were happy to be part of the Ottoman Empire. "The local view was expressed by two of its leaders, David Ben-Gurion and Yitzchak Ben-Zvi, who had pledged themselves to the Turks. They fully supported the linkage to Turkey, and they had, in fact, written to the Turkish commander of the military in Palestine, Djemal Pasha, to express the strength of their ties with the Ottoman Empire 'which has given our people shelter for. hundreds of years.' They asked for permission to organize a Jewish military unit for local defense." (As related in Cecil Bloom's "Zionist bitography" of Aaronsohn, published by Hagshama Department, of the World Zionist Organization.)

Fifty years later, David Ben-Gurion was still dismissive of NILI, writing that its work provoked the Turks to take severe measures against the yishuv and that conditions then became desperate there.

OF COURSE. Just like with the Armenians... if there is rebellion or treachery, especially in the midst of a desperate war where merciless and superior enemies are looking to sign your nation's death sentence, the whole community is going to be affected. (We got a good taste of the reaction in the United States after 9/11, even though the perpetrators came from outside the country, and the USA was nowhere near extinction.) But this is a far cry from Adolph Boehm's making unfounded and ugly "extermination" charges, and for the unethical Hofmanns of the world to accept such claims as the truth.

Aaronsohn was instrumental in the allowing for Allenby's conquest, as the spy's network allowed the British commander to  plan and execute his offensive in full knowledge of Turkish plans. The British were unwilling to devote much energy to the campaign, wary after the Gallipoli disaster, but Aaronsohn convinced the British to take a shot, with his intimate knowledge of how disordered and chaotic Ottoman Palestine had become. Thanks to the Zionist's exceptional knowledge of the country (for example, he showed the British troops where water could be located underground, helping British strategy significantly, saving them from transporting water by rail from Egypt). Allenby spent little time before  Beersheba was captured in October 1917, followed two months later by Jerusalem.

One senior soldier, Brigadier Walter Gribbon, is on record as saying that Aaronsohn was responsible for saving 30,000 British lives. (So it wasn't as much that the British saved the Jews, as Boehm contended... but that this one Jew had saved the British!) Aaronsohn was killed in an airplane crash; his sister was captured and committed suicide, and the NILI network was crushed. Aaronsohn might have been a devoted Zionist to his own cause, but stabbing the nation that had protected his people for so long, especially when the nation was in its death throes, was as low as a man could get. Particularly since his efforts were so instrumental in the success of the enemy.

Regardless, he was one in a handful of Jewish traitors. That had nothing to do with the whole of the Ottoman-Jewish community, whom Ataturk praised as being the one minority of the defunct empire to have remained loyal.


Tessa Hofmann hopes to get much mileage out of this Boehm Bovine Secretion, as she repeats it every chance she gets. When she sent a hysterical letter to the Times Literary Supplement, outraged over Andrew Mango's critical review of Peter Balakian's "The Burning Tigris," she made sure to squeeze off this Boehm claim. If I may borrow Vahakn Dadrian's words to make my point, "The attempt to play on Jewish sensitivities already exacerbated by the impact of memories of the Holocaust and thereby to coopt the Jews in the ongoing game of the (Armenians' genocide) is as transparent as it is lurid."

This is a serious accusation, "extermination." A real scholar does not rely upon one exclusive biased source before cozying up to such an inflammatory conclusion.  A real scholar would attempt to scratch very hard beneath the surface, especially with such a grim charge. Tessa Hofmann does the opposite. One could almost hear how she must have cackled with glee as she came across this little bomb that she could use in her arsenal. Tessa Hofmann has an agenda. She turns a complete blind eye to the real history (in keeping with her "genocide scholar" status; only she appears to do it even more recklessly than your typical genocide scholar), and attempts to portray the Turks as monsters at every turn.

Who knows what has driven  this poor woman to such a nasty and hateful state. Even if Tessa Savvidis Hofmann has a Greek husband (again, that is only speculation; just trying to make sense of her Greek middle name. And don't think I'm not aware of the usual rule that when a woman gets married, her maiden name traditionally goes in the middle, as with "Marjorie Housepian Dobkin." I may be exploring less traditional avenues because it's not easy to accept Hofmann as a fair maiden) who passed on his possible anti-Turkish prejudices, Hofmann's bigotry comes across as much too severe. Regardless of whatever mentally ails her, the fact that she ignores even the most obvious facts and portrays the Turks in the most racist manner should present strong clues to those "neutrals" who listen to her... as the Japanese audience of this particular symposium.

How could such a person be taken seriously? Isn't it obvious that she is trying much too hard, in the slinging of her mud? How utterly amazing that this person could get away with operating at such a defamatory level, for so many years. This state of affairs is less a commentary on her, than on those around her. Sad.

ADDENDUM 6-2006: FURTHER HOFMANN INSIGHT

A few odds and ends regarding Tessa Savvidis Hofmann; she earned her Ph.D at the Free University  of Berlin. Her areas were Philology, pertaining to the scientific study of (in her case) the Slavic and Armenian languages, along with Sociology. She chairs the Armenian Coordination Group of the Association for the Threatened People since 1979 on an honorary basis. (It appears she is of the notion that Armenians are a "threatened people." What an interestingly wacky plane of reality.)

Hofmann has worked as writer or publisher of ten books regarding Armenian history and culture as well as an official expert for issues related to Armenia in administrative courts in Germany and Austria. It is troubling these nations would turn to such a subjective partisan in the hopes of seeking factual information.

She was honored with the Garbis Papazian Prize by the Armenian Charity Union (in New York) for her "scientific and human contributions" in 1988 and was awarded with the academic title of a “professor” by the Hrachia Ajarian-Universität (Yerevan, Armenia) in 2002. Mind you, it is very difficult to attain a professorial title in German academia. Just getting a Ph.D does not qualify one as a "professor" in Germany. I can't say with certainty whether her Free University doctorate has enabled Hofmann with genuine professorship, any more than whether fellow sociologist Taner Akcam's Ph.D (also earned in Germany) has made him a real professor, but the odds would be against genuine professorship in both cases. This is why when Akcam first entered the USA on the propagandistic graces of Dennis Papazian, Akcam was known simply as a "visiting scholar." Along the way, the title magically changed to "visiting professor," because that certainly sounds a lot more impressive. Could the reason behind Akcam's so-called professorship have been the bestowal of such a title by a sympathetic institution, as with Hofmann's case?

Dr. Tessa Hofmann is the head of the Recognition Working Group, which belongs to the Central Council of Armenians in Germany. She is the spokesperson of the Armenian Community in Germany concerning the recognition of the Armenian Genocide claim. (She is also a member of the PDS party, which is the former governing party of the German Democratic Republic, a leftist party.) If she has cast her lot with genocide advocates so blatantly, truly, how can anyone take this woman seriously? Her qualifications as an objective scholar would be seriously jeopardized, once she elected to become so political about the matter.

THE SAVVIDIS CONNECTION

Looks like Hofmann's marriage to a Greek was on the right track. In greece.org/genocide/genocide.html, Hofmann has signed a "Hellenic Genocide" petition, objecting to "the Greek government, under threats by an ever-belligerent Turkish regime bent on expansionism and regional hegemony, has surrendered its sovereignty to the Turkish state by refusing to acknowledge that Greek genocides ever took place in Asia Minor."

NOT one of Armin Wegner's photos; a frame capture from archival footage

This boy in wretched state often pointed to on
Armenian genocide sites only proves that famine
hit Armenians as it did most of the 2.5 million
other Ottomans we never hear about. It's one of
the few "really bad" images around. Here, they
borrowed another shot of the same boy to
"prove" a "genocide" of the Greeks!

Amazing! Are they out of their minds? Do they actually believe the government in Greece would be cowed by Turkey, and has "surrendered its sovereignty"? Yes, folks, the "scholar" Tessa Savvidis Hofmann, the one that Germany and Austria turns to as an "expert" in Armenian matters, actually signed her name to this incredibly stupid petition. (A petition that further claims, "There are undisputable data demonstrating that millions of Greeks were exterminated." Once again, the "scholar" Tessa Savvidis Hofmann lent her academic reputation to this nonsense. By the way, one of the ways in which the petition attempts to "prove" that "millions of Greeks were exterminated" is by pointing to the familiar shot of one of the "Armenian genocide poster boys" that you see above. Can you believe it? (The site tries to cover itself by first stating, "The pictures on this web page are but a few of hundreds demonstrating atrocities committed at the turn of the last century by planned, calculated and well-orchestrated Turkish genocides of Greeks in Asia Minor," and then by adding that there was also a "systematic eradication and genocide of millions of other Christians like the Armenians and the Assyrians." In fact, the caption with the boy in question reads, "Survivors of the Genocides." [!] Note also the word "millions." We can't repeat this enough: Tessa Savvidis Hofmann actually signed her name to these shameful claims. (She is Number 7700.)

Looks like her other family members got into the act, with Numbers 8283-8287: Christos, Georgios, Lambros and what sounds to be Hofmann's husband, Konstantinos. (By the way, the petition requests: "Submit the petition only once per name. Submitting the petition more than once with the same name compromises the entire petition effort." Konstantinos was so passionately gung-ho, however, he had to sign twice, first as "Mr." [No. 8285] and then as "Dr." [8286].)

What is the connection of these Savvidises to Tessa Savvidis Hofmann? They all signed their location as "Berlin , Germany."

Tessa Hofmann

Tessa Savvidis Hofmann went over-the-
top in a 2006 PBS genocide TV show

That still does not prove beyond a doubt that Konstantinos is Tessa's ever-lovin' hubby, but if such is the case, we can gain a little more insight as to why Hofmann has emerged as such a terrible, Turk-hating racist, willing to stake her reputation on the ugliest and most defamatory anti-Turkish claims. Just as with too many Armenians, a "religion" is made of hating Turks with too many Greeks. As a brave Greek-Cypriot put it, Since our childhood we were taught that the Turks were barbaric dogs. Given the zeal with which Konstantinos Savvidis signed this hateful and dishonest "Greek Pontus Genocide" petition, it's not hard to imagine he must have also been reared with hatred. Not to say Hofmann did not carry antipathy toward Turks to begin with (especially as a left-winger), but we can only imagine how her hatred must have grown with all the "pillow talk" Konstantinos laid upon her.




Thanks to reader O. Saguner



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