Except for a short period after the end of the First World War and the ensuing armistice, Turkey has consistently denied that it ever employed a policy of international destruction of Armenians. The 1913-1914 census put the number of Armenians living in Turkey at close to two million. Today only a few thousand Armenians remain in the city Istanbul and none elsewhere in Turkey. Armenian sites in Turkey, including churches, have been neglected, desecrated, looted, destroyed, or requisitioned for other uses, while Armenian place names have been erased or changed. As with the Jewish Holocaust, Armenian properties that were seized or stolen have not been restored. Sixty and ninety years after these terrible events, Jewish and Armenian victims and their heirs continue to struggle to get their properties back. There has been only partial restitution in the Jewish case and virtually no restitution at all in the Armenian case. No adequate reparation for the deeds committed against the Armenians can ever be made. But resolving claims with respect to stolen property is a symbolic gesture toward victims and their heirs.
This is unfinished business for Jewish heirs and survivor of the Holocaust, as it is for Armenians. "A Perfect Injustice" is an essential contribution to understanding why the issue of stolen Armenian wealth remains unresolved after all these years - a topic addressed for the first time in this volume.
Hrayr S. Karagueuzian is professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles. His work has appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation and Circulation Research, and American Journal of Physiology. Yair Auron is professor at The Open University of Israel and the Kibbutzim College of Education. He is the author of numerous articles and books on genocide and on contemporary Judaism.
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