Armenian quote

Armenian quote

The Armenian quote is a paragraph allegedly included in a speech by Adolf Hitler to Wehrmacht commanders at his Obersalzberg home on August 22, 1939, a week before the German invasion of Poland. [cite book | last = Dadrian | first = Vahakn | title = The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus | publisher = Berghahn Books |year= 2003 | pages = p. 408 | id = ISBN 1571816666]

The authenticity of the quote has been disputed. The key area of contention regarding the "Armenian quote" is a reference to the Armenian genocide, an episode during World War I in the Ottoman Empire, during which, according to many estimates, approximately 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed. [cite book | last = Lewy | first = Gunter | title = The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide | publisher = University of Utah Press |year= 2005 | pages = p. 264-265 | id = ISBN 0874808499] The authenticity of the quote has become hotly contested between Turkish and Armenian political activists. The quote is now inscribed on one of the walls of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C..

Origin of the document

According to the American journalist Louis P. Lochner, while stationed in Berlin he received a copy of a speech by Hitler from his "informant", which he published (in English translation) in his book "What About Germany?" (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1942) as being indicative of Hitler's desire to conquer the world. In 1945, Lochner handed over a transcript of the German document he had received to the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials, where it was labeled "L-3". Hence it is known as the "L-3 document".

The Times of London quoted from Lochner's version in an unsigned article titled "The War Route of the Nazi Germany" on November 24, 1945. The article stated that it had been brought forward by the prosecutor on November 23, 1945, (i.e. the previous day), as evidence. However, according to the "Akten zur deutschen auswärtigen Politik" (ser. D, vol. 7, 1961), the document was not introduced as evidence before the International Military Tribunal and is not included in the official publication of the documents in evidence. Two other documents containing minutes of Hitler's Obersalzberg speech(es) had been found among the seized German documents and were introduced as evidence; neither, however, contains the Armenian quote.

German and English wording

The third paragraph of the so-called "L-3 document" is as follows:

The above is a verbatim rendering of that , as included in a footnote in the "Akten zur deutschen auswärtigen Politik" (ser. D, vol. 7, 1961, p. 193).

In his book "What about Germany?", Lochner offered the following English translation of the document then in his possession:

A variety of different wordings have been published since World War II, mostly retaining linguistic accuracy nevertheless. The following tries to be closer to the original:

Contesting interpretations

A Turkish commentary says:

Quote|This so-called Hitler statement is accepted as a "historical fact" and has been quoted by numerous politicians who support the Armenian cause, in parliamentary debates in North America. It also appears routinely in Armenian propaganda publications.

The Armenians want to play on the sentiments of the Jewish Holocaust and purport that Adolf Hitler made this quotation in a speech regarding his planned annihilation of the European Jews... The problem with this linkage is that there is no proof that Hitler ever made such a statement. It is claimed that he referred to the Armenians in the manner cited above, while delivering a secret talk to members of his General Staff, a week prior to his attack on Poland. However, there is no reference to the Armenians in the original texts of the two Hitler speeches delivered on August 22, 1939, published as the official texts in the reliable Nuremberg documents. [ [ Armenian Forgeries and Falsifications] ]

Contradicting this argument is the Armenian-American Zoryan Institute, which has promoted a refutation of the Turkish claims, Dr Kevork B. Bardakjian's "Hitler and the Armenian Genocide". The Institute says:

Quote|Through meticulous research, Dr Bardakjian has traced the likely source of the document and the circumstances of its publication. The author has compared the three extant versions of the document and explored the reasons why the prosecution at the Nuremberg Tribunal did not enter this particular version as evidence, thus giving rise to the renewed doubts.

The scope of the research includes a little known antecedent as well as other evidence which indicates that Hitler was aware of the Armenian genocide and used this knowledge to his advantage before and during the Second World War. The appendices contain copies of the relevant documents, allowing the reader to make his/her judgment on the authenticity of this intriguing piece of historical evidence. [ [ Hitler and the Armenian Genocide] ]


The source of this problem appears to be that the quote allegedly comes from a speech made by Hitler, not from any written or published text. Its authenticity or otherwise thus depends on the recollections of those who were present at the time, the validity of which may be doubted, and has been doubted, by later commentators. Versions of Hitler's speech found in minutes among the German documents seized by the Allies do not contain the Armenian quote.

In the absence of any means of either confirming or refuting the authenticity of the quote, and in light of the intense partisan passions surrounding both the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust, it is unlikely that this issue can ever be satisfactorily resolved.


ee also

* Armenian Genocide
* Occupation of Poland (1939-1945)
* Expulsion of Poles by Germany
* Anti-Armenianism

External links

* [ The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians] - Heath W. Lowry, Institute of Turkish Studies
* [ Nuremberg Trials, 26 November 1945 session]

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