The Righteous and People of Conscience of the Armenian Genocide
Shines long-overdue light on the heroic individuals who took action in the face of the Armenian genocide.
This book tells the stories of the Muslims, Christians, Jews and others who made a courageous stand against the mass slaughter of Ottoman Armenians in 1915, the first modern genocide. Foreigners and Ottomans alike ran considerable risks to bear witness and rescue victims, sometimes sacrificing their lives.
Diplomats, humanitarians, missionaries, lawyers and other visitors to the Empire stood up, including Tolstoy’s daughter, Alexandra; Raphael Lemkin, the jurist who first established genocide as an international crime; and the polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who recognised and relieved the plight of stateless Armenian refugees. Ottoman subjects—from officials and officers to ordinary townspeople and villagers—faced near-certain death for their entire family by resisting orders and helping Armenians.
Unlike the Righteous of the Holocaust, these heroes have been systematically ignored and erased—a major injustice. Based on fresh research, and hoping to repay a moral debt to Ottoman Muslims who braved everything to rescue the authors’ forebears, this book is an important, moving testament to a grievously overlooked aspect of the Armenian tragedy.
Gérard Dédéyan is Professor of Medieval History at the University Paul-Valéry Montpellier III. His many publications include Histoire des Arméniens, which was awarded the Biguet Prize by the Académie française.
Ago Demirdjian is an entrepreneur–philanthropist, born in Lebanon to Armenian parents who escaped the genocide only through the altruism of the Righteous. He is a patron of Tate, The Guggenheim and the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris.
Nabil Saleh was a novelist and international lawyer, born in Lebanon to an Armenian mother whose parents survived the genocide. His published works include Unlawful Gain and Legitimate Profit in Islamic Law. He died in London in November 2022.