1

I never hear that the West is ever talking about Nanjing Massacre.

This is as true as Armenian Genocide.

Why is the international community so vocal about the Armenian genocide?

  • 2
    The key difference here is that Turkey has never admitted that the Armenian genocide ever happened. Also, the Armenian genocide is a lot closer to home (for the West) than the Nanjing massacre. – yannis Apr 22 '15 at 17:29
  • 5
    I for instance heard more about Nanjing massacre from the media than Armenian genocide. So this depends on what sources you are exposed to. – Anixx Apr 22 '15 at 17:44
  • Seems more like a media question than political. – user1530 Apr 22 '15 at 18:29
  • @Anixx Living in the US, I was taught in school about both of them, with more focus on Nanjing (so it's not just a Russia/Western thing). – cpast Apr 26 '15 at 21:14
10

I can't speak for the international community as a whole, but based on the two wiki pages, I can make some guesses.

  1. Targeting & Perpetrators
    • The Armenian Genocide was a targeted campaign by the government of the Ottoman Empire against the subset of its own citizens who happened to be Armenian.
    • The Nanking Massacre was committed by the soldiers of a victorious army against the city they captured, with no regard to who the residents were.
  2. Actions & Duration
    • The Armenian Genocide involved propaganda, confiscation of property, death marches, concentration camps, and mass executions; systematically committed over a number of years.
    • The Nanking Massacre was a six-week span of rape, murder, and pillaging, with no systematic goal.
  3. Scale
    • The Armenian Genocide led to the deaths of (an estimated) 1-1.5 million people.
    • The Nanking Massacre caused the deaths of (an estimated) 40-300 thousand people
  4. Acknowledgement
    • The Armenian Genocide has repeatedly failed to be recognized as a genocide by the Turkish government and other world leaders. There also (as far as I'm aware) has never been an apology or formal reparations for it.
    • The Nanking Massacre led to a war crimes tribunal, and later an apology by the Prime Minister of Japan. There are still politicians who deny it, but that's not the official governmental policy.

So while both are horrific events, from the perspective of history one was a long, slow, systematic prosecution by a country of its own citizens, while the other was a short, intense burst of violence by an uncontrolled army against the enemy. The Nanking Massacre would be far more headline-grabbing as it happened, but the Armenian Genocide was far bigger overall.

  • 4
    #1 can be summarized as "one was a genocide (crime against humanity in modern scale of things), the other was 'merely' a war crime" – user4012 Apr 22 '15 at 20:33
  • "The Armenian Genocide has repeatedly failed to be recognized as a genocide by the Turkish government and other world leaders. There also (as far as I'm aware) has never been an apology or formal reparations for it." --- Why should the Turkish government own a crime that was committed by defunct empire? – user4514 Feb 3 '17 at 7:25
5

One obvious reason why the international community is particularly vocal about the Armenian genocide right now is that it started on April 24th 1915, i.e. one hundred years ago almost to the day. There is almost always heightened media interest in historical events when their centenary or other round-number anniversary comes round.

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