Germany's Responsibility for Armenian Genocide: First Step Toward Holocaust?

© AP Photo / Michael SohnGerman flags wave in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. (File)
German flags wave in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. (File) - Sputnik International
A recent report published by Global Net - Stop the Arms Trade (GN-STAT) found that Berlin can be viewed as an accomplice in the Armenian genocide, as many weapons used by the Ottoman Empire came from Germany. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with French researcher Georges Estievenart.

Not only did Germany supply weapons to the Ottoman Empire that were used against Armenians, but it also laid "ideological foundations" for the genocide, political analyst Georges Estievenart told Sputnik.

"Even if Germany did not think about genocide, in particular against Armenians, at that time, its assistance to the Ottoman Empire, however, was not limited to a successful trade deal on the supply of weapons," the researcher noted.

According to the analyst, Germany was striving "to teach the Ottomans their concept of conducting military operations" during a conflict.

READ MORE: Israeli Parliament Votes Against Bill Recognizing Genocide of Armenians

The idea was that "it is not enough to win military battles, sometimes you need to go further and completely destroy the 'enemy.' The totalitarian military theories that already existed in Germany were later applied by Hitler," Estievenart said.

In his opinion, the report can't be considered sensational, as in the resolution adopted by the Bundestag on May 31, 2016, Germany recognized its historical responsibility for the genocide.

Still, the report is quite useful as it presents several testimonies from the time, in particular those of the Prussian military, who were involved in the preparation and commissioning of war crimes, the expert said.

"This once again confirms that there was a very strong alliance between Germany and the Ottoman Empire […]. Thanks to the report, we've also learned that Germany exerted strong pressure in order to derive from this political alliance benefits for the German economy via arms supplies," the analyst concluded.

READ MORE: Dutch Lawmakers Recognize Armenian Genocide, Foreign Ministry to Await Debate

In 2016 the German parliament, the Bundestag, formally recognized the Armenian genocide, sparking an angry reaction from Turkey, whose Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus called it a "historic mistake."

Around 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed between 1915 and 1917, something Turkey has consistently denied being a genocide, saying those who perished were simply collateral damage and not part of any deliberate effort to annihilate them.

The views and opinions expressed by Georges Estievenart are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

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