Some 100 years later, the black-and-white photo, grainy and archaic as it may be, remains ghastly and gruesome, documentation of grand inhumanity still difficult to digest today.
The remains of a woman and two young children lay lifeless, starved to death and apparent victims of the Armenian genocide that dates back to 1915.
Tragically, other global genocide — whether the Holocaust waged by Nazi Germany against the Jews or barbarity more recent and current —- have produced their own photos documenting systematic, brutal murder, efforts to eliminate a demographic of human beings.
In marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide with a symposium Feb. 8 at Skokie’s Illinois Holocaust Museum, a panelist concluded that every genocide is unique and yet every genocide is the same.
“The magnitude of them could be different, the causes of them could be different, but there tends to be common elements that you see persistently through most of them,” said Shant Mardirossian, chairman of the Near East Foundation.
One of the most basic is dehumanization of a group of people. Eventually targeted for persecution, those people become regarded as less than human beings so attempts to eliminate them take on a warped and skewed sense of morality.
The most publicized difference about the Armenian genocide, though, is the controversial refusal of the Turkish government to recognize a horrific chapter in history as genocide.
Turkey and some aligned with it have admitted atrocities have occurred, but it has been steadfast in maintaining that they were not pre-planned against a designated group, rather the results of the ravages of war.
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