On Reconciliation and Compensation

By C.K. Garabed, New Jersey, 4 July 2018

A handful of descendants of Genocidists have come forward confessing the sins of their forebears and asking forgiveness.

Who are we to grant absolution to the progeny of arch-criminals?
The only ones who can forgive are the victims and they are beyond that.

By C.K. Garabed, New Jersey, 4 July 2018

A handful of descendants of Genocidists have come forward confessing the sins of their forebears and asking forgiveness.

Who are we to grant absolution to the progeny of arch-criminals?
The only ones who can forgive are the victims and they are beyond that.

Perhaps these contrite individuals advocate compensation in order to achieve “reconciliation.”
What is meant by compensation? Property? Money? Certainly that is called for.  
But what about the more critical compensation – for 1.5 million human beings destroyed?
And that greater irremediable loss – the destruction of a high culture?

There is no way to compensate for these precious things, and so there is no adequate compensation –
and without compensation there can be no reconciliation.  
Let them live with their guilt. And let them die with it.

My last word on this subject is contained in the following poem that I previously composed and published:
 

ANATHEMA

Hey Turk!
Did you think you disposed of me?
That your conscience was clear because you erased your memory?
That you could wash your mind of its historic bloody stains?
Did you think you could eradicate my name as you did the inscriptions on the old stone churches in your midst?
Did you think you could teach your children lies and then have them repeat your words and make them sound like truths because they came out of the mouths of babes?
Did you think Time would heal your self-inflicted wounds?
That your sins would not be visited upon your sons?
Did you really think that by ignoring me you could stop me from gnawing away at your vitals?
Did you really believe that you could sleep the sleep of the just?
Ha!
I creep into your dreams at night.
I make you shudder in the dark.
I inflame your guilt by magnitudes.
I send a shiver down your spine.
I show you pictures of your deeds:
BUTCHERY AND MORTIFICATION.

You called me "Kardash;" therefore I trusted you.
We lived together, side by side.
I shared my ancient and historic homeland with you.
I tilled the soil for both of us.
I fashioned handicrafts for our mutual use.
I infused your language and song with grace and finesse.
I told myself that Christian love would bridge the gap between our worlds.
I upheld the laws of the land.
I fought in your army as a trustworthy subject.
Too late did I discover your treachery.

History required that I play Abel to your Cain.
But Abel's story can be read and acknowledged.
Not so with me.
I must live with a truth that goes untrusted, unbelieved.
Only I can be found telling the story and therefore am vilified for being self-serving.

"They say" I hate you.
But my role is to point the accusing finger at your hatred of me.
And your hatred is like a sickness that grows with self-awareness.
As you strive to be equal with the civilized world, you repress more and more that which you cannot face.
And the sickness continues to grow.
Your aberrations will not cease.
They will haunt you to spiritual death.
And my curse will be upon you and your children. Never to be released!
Damnation of the spirit is your rightful inheritance.
And then will my revenge be complete.
THE ARMENIAN

 

2 comments
  1. Yes, Some Things Are Not for Sale

    Compliments for the well penned article. 

    Clearly, some things in life may not be forgiven, forgotten, bartered nor sold, specialy the aninhilation of a nation. 

    "Reconciling the Genocide" would be the ultimate insult over injury.

    Someone should look at the definition of the word – Reconcile.

    Are some people suggesting that Armenians and Turks "Kiss & Makeup" the murder of 1,500,000 Armenians? (in 2018 demographics, that would be greater than the population of Armenia today….).

    How can anyone with any consious fathom a reconciliation? 

    Even the Pharaohs in Egypt did not do in the Exodus of the Jews as the Ottomans did to the Armenians. Nor did Queen Isabella do to the Muslims or Jews of Iberia in the Inquisition.

    In Armenia's 4,500+ year recoded history, many "Empires" have come and gone, yet Armenians have held our ground and prevailed,  as we have never "Reconciled",  with the Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantians, Mongols, Arabs.

    Why reconcile with the Turks?

  2. “Reconcile” is the wrong word

    Reconcile carries the ideas of forgiving and perhaps even forgetting. In the unlikely instance Armenians "reconcile" with the Turks, we have to forgive Turkey. But what do the Turks forgive? I guess they will have to forgive themselves for killing1.5 million of us and for continuing to occupy most of our homeland while providing diplomatic support and military training to the Azeris.
    "Con" nests in the center of "Reconcile".

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