New TV documentary chronicles refugee crisis during Armenian Genocide

From the United States comes news of a television documentary, They Shall not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief. The documentary describes the humanitarian efforts of Americans who saved a generation of orphans and refugees after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I. Executive producer Shant Mardirossian says the film is ‘not just to remember those we lost in the genocide, but to shed light on an important chapter of American history when ordinary citizens stood together against a great injustice and saved the lives of 132,000 orphans’.

The premiere is on 1 April on US public TV. Australian efforts in the same humanitarian cause a century ago are described in Armenia, Australia and the Great War, by Vicken Babkenian and Peter Stanley, and in Vicken Babkenian and Judith Crispin’s chapter in The Honest History Book (published next month). Babkenian and Crispin say this in their chapter:

Australians saw the attempted genocide of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenians and fought to liberate them; Australians were active in a massive humanitarian effort – the first in Australia’s history – and later welcomed descendants of genocide survivors and victims.

10 March 2017

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