Armenian genocide topic of Lichtman-Behm program
The annual Lichtman-Behm Genocide Lecture Series was held Tuesday, March 23, via Zoom and Facebook Live. This new coalition between Heidelberg and Together We Remember was joined by Dr. Khatchig Mouradian, a professor at Columbia University and author of The Resistance Network, a book about the Armenian genocide. Representing Heidelberg was Dr. Josh Bowman, assistant professor of political science, and David Estrin, the founder of Together We Remember.
David established Together We Remember when he was 20 years old following the death of his after his grandfather, Jimmy Lichtman, one of the namesakes of the series and a Holocaust survivor. While a student at Duke University, he worked to create the #TogetherWeRemember campaign where names of genocide victims are read aloud for 24 hours. This campaign is now an annual tradition at Duke University as well as other colleges and universities across the globe.
Josh began the presentation with a statement on behalf of the Heidelberg University community, “Heidelberg is a community of learning, leading to a life of purpose with distinction. One of our purposes is to make sure we educate ourselves about genocide and make sure it comes to an end. We cannot let it continue and are so glad we have the opportunity to learn about this and make sure something like this never happens again.”
Keynote speaker Dr. Mouradian discussed the circumstances of the Armenian Genocide, which led to the massacre of 200,000 Armenians. “Often times, when we think about genocide, we think about what the perpretator is doing to the victim. We do not talk about how victims themselves are doing anything they can to push back, to survive and exist,” he said.
Dr. Mouradian explained the importance of awareness and acceptance of the Armenian genocide and the Armenian people as survivors who are scattered across the world. April 24 has been designated as Armenian Genocide Rememberance Day. He announced the possible acknowledgement of the day by President Biden. This would mark the first time a sitting U.S. president acknowledges the Armenian genocide by using the actual word “genocide.”
Dr. Mouradian closed the session out with this assertion: “This is a struggle that is far from over. It is a struggle for acknowledgement.”