Library of Congress urged to accurately characterize the Armenian Genocide

The Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) have sent a letter to the Library of Congress urging historically accurate characterization of the Armenian Genocide.

“The Library of Congress’s role is not to conduct foreign policy or diplomacy. It is to serve as a center of research and knowledge for Congress, America, and the world. And in that capacity, the Library must be guided by principles of scholarship and truth, not by the haphazard application of geopolitical concerns,” the Members wrote in their letter.

“On that account, there is no serious historical debate about whether the extermination of the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire beginning in 1915 meets the criteria for genocide. The scholarly consensus around the Armenian Genocide is clear. And holdings of the Library of Congress itself are a clear testament to the overwhelming evidence of genocide, including many scholarly works on the subject as well as collections of contemporaneous witness and survivor accounts,” the letter reads.

“Given that, it should not have taken the overwhelming, bipartisan passage by both the House and Senate, of resolutions clearly recognizing the genocide for the Library to use the correct term,” the Congressmen added.

“The resolutions leave no doubt about Congress’s intention and views about the fact of the genocide. There is no possible basis for the Library of Congress, as an institution that exists within the legislative branch, not to follow suit. It is both the proper thing to do and, more importantly, the historically and morally right thing to do. The Congress, at long last, has made clear we will not be party to genocide denial, and the Library must do the same,” they continued.

The Co-Chairs requested a discussion on this topic in the near future and voiced hope that the Library would “reconsider the Library’s unfortunate and unjustifiable position.”

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