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USF Libraries Exhibits

The Repetition of History

Souren Aprahamian, Armenian Survivor

Teach these people to be human beings, because even now in Turkey, the word "Armenian" is banned. You speak name "Armenian," you go to jail. A newspaperman writes about Armenians, he ends up in jail. Write something about the Kurds, he ends up in jail.

And the tragedy of history is this: During all these massacres, going back a hundred years or so, the Kurds were the tools in the hands of the Turks. It was the Kurds, with the blessing of the Turks, that killed, plundered, destroyed Armenian towns and villages. It's happening to them. They're experiencing the same thing that they practiced.

Several years ago, at an Amnesty International meeting in Ann Arbor, this Kurdish professor-doctor was supposed to talk. People called me; they thought I'd be over there, and finally somebody took me over there. Somebody spoke about the Armenian genocide, and then somebody spoke about the hardship the Kurds were going through at the hands of Iraqis. And then some American woman stands up and says, "That's all lies." She says, "The Kurds and the Turks are very friendly. I just came back from there. And as far as the Armenian genocide is concerned, that's absolutely false."

I couldn't take it, so I let her have it. And then I turned to the Kurdish and I said, "You did to us what they are doing to you!" I said, "If you had been with us instead of against us, your story and my story would be different." It goes like this. History repeats.