Babkenian, Vicken & Peter Stanley: Armenia, Australia and the Great War

Vicken Babkenian & Peter Stanley

Armenia, Australia and the Great War, NewSouth, Sydney, 2016; available electronically

Australian civilians worked for decades supporting the survivors and orphans of the Armenian Genocide. 24 April 1915 marks the beginning of two great epics of the First World War. It was the day the allied invasion forces set out for Gallipoli; and it marked the beginning of what became the Genocide of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenians. For the first time, this book tells the powerful, and until now neglected, story of how Australian humanitarians helped people they had barely heard of and never met, amid one of the twentieth century’s most terrible human calamities. With 50 000 Armenian-Australians sharing direct family links with the Genocide, this has become truly an Australian story. (blurb)

The book is reviewed for Honest History by Gareth Knapman. Vicken Babkenian spoke on ABC Overnights and Late Night Live. Peter Stanley wrote about the book. Other mentions are in Fairfax (note only), the Newtown Review of Books, and on the website of the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance (anonymously). Babkenian and Stanley have responded to the last-named review and look forward to continuing the debate. Their response is here and there is a comments facility.

Peter Stanley is president of Honest History. The Honest History website includes other material on the Armenian genocide and it is accessible here. Most recently, there is this on Turkish threats linked to modern attitudes to the Armenian genocide (more still, with German recognition of the genocide threatening relations with Turkey) and this on a New Zealand link to the genocide.

Robert Fisk in The Independent writes about the book. Romain Fathi in the Australian Journal of Politics and History (paywall) has a review. Fathi says ‘the book presents an engaging narrative of Australians’ reaction to the Armenian genocide accessible beyond the academy’.


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