Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 June

Romanian activist urges to recognize Armenian Genocide

Romanian activist urges to recognize Armenian Genocide

YEREVAN, APRIL 24, ARMENPRESS. The Former Counselor of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania and Former Head of the Romanian Cultural Institute Vienna, journalist and communication expert Carmen Bendovski has issued an open letter to the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. As reports “Armenpress”, the letter runs as follows:

“In my entire life, it so happened that I had schoolmates and many dear friends from the Armenian community in my homeland Romania. I came to know their lifestyle, too little unfortunately about their culture and almost nothing about the Armenian Genocide.

Until 5 years ago when I read THE BOOK OF WHISPERS, the saga of the Armenian Genocide, a literary masterpiece and in my opinion the best novel of Romanian contemporary literature. THE BOOK OF WHISPERS is also quite an unique performance as - in not even 5 years after first Romanian edition - it has already been translated into 20 languages and published in 17.

What impressed me most in this novel about the Armenian Genocide are those most terrifying, horrible, heartbreaking, unconceivable stories of deportation, starvation, rapes of girls and boys, executions and deaths of millions of Armenians, described in an amazing, somehow soft and very poetic style, as if the author intended to protect me, the reader, from a too great suffering...

There is no shouting out loud, no yelling, no desperate crying over the Genocide, just circling waves whispering in an ocean of unbelievable life and death stories.

It was then, after reading the BOOK OF WHISPERS and doing some research on the Armenian Genocide that I realized that if victims and descendants mostly whisper their story, it is us, the others, the NON ARMENIANS who have to raise the voice and spread the word to the world.

I initiated a petition on the renowned international civic platform AVAAZ which —by the way - means "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages and I am grateful to a couple of thousands NON Armenians and Armenians who already signed this petition. It is addressed to governments worldwide and the UN General Assembly urging it to declare the 24th of April Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Among all the other international days, of missing crew members, of the radio, of migrating birds or jazz — to give only a few examples that make you wonder! there must be some not already taken place to commemorate the first genocide in history! 2015 is a symbolic moment and about high time!

But the reason why I asked for a few minutes of this precious time we all are sharing is mainly another than telling you the story of a humble private initiative:

Here and now I demand that the Parliament of Romania adopts the resolution for the official and full recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Despite any economic or political considerations concerning third parties denying it! I think I am quite realistic when I wonder what other consequences that recognition would have for Romania, other than an ambassador recalled to headquarters for consultations and a couple of statements and articles expressing disappointment and anger in some countries' mainstream media!

But above all, here and now I ask Klaus Iohannis, the president of Romania, he himself a declared member of an ethnic minority and a different religious cult than the majority in Romania, to take immediate steps for consultations with all political parties represented in the Parliament and urge them to adopt the resolution in favor of recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Mr. President Klaus Iohannis, you have to do that for the Armenian community in Romania and for all those Romanians having signed the petition for this recognition. You were not living in Bucharest by that time, Mr. President Klaus Iohannis, but I can tell you this very true story:

In December 1989, in the midst of the Romanian anti - communist revolution, when people were shot to death by the troops of the Army and of the feared Securitate, the Romanian secret police, radio Free Europe send a message urging priests to hold the doors of their churches open and to ring the church bells as a sign of change and hope and solidarity with people fighting on streets.

And I, here and now, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, Sir, I tell you that the only church ringing the bells in a big areal in the city center, was the Armenian Church. And guess what? In the tower, by the bells, the Armenians have not hesitated letting their youngsters do that. I can still see them and I can still hear the bells.

DO YOU?...”

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