I woke up in a different Germany on June 3rd

We were all giving a standing ovation, congratulating each other, an old Western Armenian woman was crying out loud, and men were hardly holding back their tears…

The titles in the June 3 editions of German newspapers read as follows: “Bundestag Recognizes Armenian Genocide…”, “Resolution Recognizing Armenian Genocide Adopted By The Bundestag…” I would follow all the presses and try not to miss any news or commentary about the resolution that had been adopted. Even my younger son, 11-year-old Alexander had recorded the news broadcast on the German ZDF channel at 22:00 when I wasn’t home, even though he should have been asleep way before that hour.

I must proudly state that I was attending the session of the Bundestag with my husband, German-Armenian lawyer Stefan Tashchyan, who has always actively dealt with recognition of genocide in different fields and potential reparation arising from even recognition. Along with the other Armenians of Germany, I witnessed the adoption of the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

…It all started when my husband surprised me and told me that the office of the president of the Bundestag had sent an invitation and that we could be present at the session. The night before, I had seen a bad dream in which we were sitting in the sessions hall of the Bundestag, but there were no deputies. When we were sent to the part of the hall for us Armenians, the first thing I looked at was the hall. There were deputies, but not too many at that moment. It was a joy to see more and more deputies coming in.

President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert stated that there had even been death threats made to the deputies of the Bundestag, particularly deputies of Turkish descent. The representatives of all the factions called on Turkey to confront its past since only through recognition of the Armenian Genocide will it be possible for the Armenians and Turks to reconcile.

Member of the Lefts Party Gregor Gizi criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union), her deputy Zigmar Gabriel (Social Democratic Union) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeyer (Social Democratic Union) for being absent.

The responsibility of Germany and the German Reich’s complicity in the perpetration of the Armenian Genocide were stressed several times during the speeches. Leader of ALLIANCE 90/GREENS Cem Ozdemir, who is of Turkish descent and is one of the active supporters of the resolution, made interesting citations. He cited the response that Chancellor of Imperial Germany Batman Holweg gave in response to Austria’s position.

“Our sole purpose is to keep Turkey on our side during the entire war, regardless of whether or not the Armenians are destroyed.”

Cem Ozdemir also recalled the words of his murdered Armenian friend, Hrant Dink:

“If the Armenians were alive today, then the city of Van of Eastern Turkey would be the Paris of the East.”

The speech by the last speaker, German-Armenian Deputy Martin Pezold (Christian Democratic Union) was also impressive. In fact, Pezold’s mother was born in Armenia and was sitting near us. Pezold was the only deputy who spoke without a text in front of him.

“I am very grateful for the fact that Germany will bear its share of responsibility for this major moral issue and that an inter-faction resolution will be adopted. This will show how different nations can co-exist. I am a German, whose mother was born in Armenia. I grew up learning Armenian and with the awareness that recognizing the genocide doesn’t mean scolding someone or throwing the blame on somebody, but reconciling,” he said.

The voting ended. Not only all the deputies, but also the Armenians and representatives of other minorities and employees of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in three to four balconies were applauding. I must stress the fact that the people in the balconies usually don’t applaud during sessions, but we Armenians were so excited that we were giving a standing ovation and congratulating each other. The old Western Armenian woman sitting in the front row had gotten emotional and was crying out loud. Some men could barely hold back their tears from falling. Others were waving the Armenian flag…The administrators of the Bundestag understood the joy of the Armenians, and none of them said anything to us.

Afterwards, we headed towards the chapel in the Reichstag, formed a circle and prayed under the leadership of Father Serovbe Isakhanian.

After the voting, leader of ALLIANCE 90/GREEN Party Cem Ozdemir met with us, as well as the Assyrians and Greeks. The Armenians and the Assyrians expressed their words of gratitude to the German-Turkish MP for his notable contribution to the adoption of a resolution affirming the term ��?genocide’.

On June 3, I woke up in a different Germany, the Germany that finally showed determination and didn’t let the Turks “get involved” in the political decisions of the country.

Lusine Tashchyan


Special for “Hye Zinvor”

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