10.21.20

Reps. Schiff, Pallone, Bilirakis, Speier and Titus Announce Library of Congress Will Recognize the Armenian Genocide

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Dina Titus (D-NV) announced that the Library of Congress will recognize the Armenian Genocide by amending the catalog entry which previously referred to the Armenian “massacre.”

This decision from Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress was announced after bipartisan letters to the Library and a formal request for a subject heading change initiated by the University of California-Los Angeles library. This change comes after both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation recognizing the facts of the Armenian Genocide in 2019. Dr. Hayden informed the Members in a phone call. 

“It is welcome news that the Library Congress, at our urging, will now use the historically accurate term ‘Armenian Genocide.’ This is one further step in overcoming the decades long campaign of denial that has silenced too many about the murder of 1.5 million Armenians,” said Rep. Schiff. “This recognition is particularly meaningful at a time when the genocide of a century ago seems all too immediate, as Azerbaijan and Turkey are committing atrocities right now in Artsakh.”

“I am glad that the Library of Congress has chosen to honor the Armenian Caucus’s request to change the subject heading to match the historical fact that the Ottoman Turks perpetrated a genocidal campaign in the early 20th century that systemically and ruthlessly targeted Armenians,” said Rep. Pallone. “This change establishes the categorization that the Armenian Genocide deserves to match the historical record and helps set an example for scholars worldwide. The Library’s change follows the important precedent set by Congress last year when both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed resolutions commemorating the Armenian Genocide.”

“I am glad to see the Library of Congress will finally recognize the Armenian Genocide for what it was; a genocide,” said Rep. Bilirakis. “For decades there has been a campaign of denial that silenced any attempt at recognizing the 1.5 million Armenian lives that were lost. While our work is not done, this is an incredible step as we work towards international recognition of the atrocities that were committed by Turkey only a century ago.”

“Last year I was proud to co-lead the historic House resolution to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide, along with the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Armenian Caucus,” Rep. Speier said. “As an institution founded on the principles of scholarship and learning, it is imperative that the Library not shy away from the truth. I am encouraged to see the Library correct its research headings to adhere to historical accuracy – and to properly acknowledge the murder of 1.5 million Armenians at the hand of the Ottoman Empire.”

“The use of the term ‘Armenian Genocide’ is necessary to paint an accurate picture of history and rightly honor the victims of this atrocity,” said Rep. Titus. “I am grateful that the Library of Congress will no longer conceal the truth about these horrific crimes. The Trump Administration should do the same.” 

“This long-overdue correction by the Library of Congress – a principled, fact-based stand for the integrity of American institutions against malign foreign influence – comes at a particularly meaningful moment for Americans of Armenian heritage,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We see today the painful, real-world results of American leaders having allowed Turkey to bully our country into a century of silence on the Armenian Genocide. As Ankara and Baku openly seek to complete the destruction of the Armenian homeland with the ongoing brutal onslaught on Artsakh and Armenia – our government remains all too fearful of truth-telling to Erdogan and Aliyev. That has to end.”

“We commend the bipartisan and bicameral effort to effectuate this change following the historic and overwhelming passage of the Armenian Genocide resolutions in the House and Senate last year. The decision by the Library of Congress represents another blow to decades-old and well-financed Turkish campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide and whitewash America’s proud record of humanitarian intervention to save countless lives,” said Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “Sadly, we are witness to another attempted genocide today by Turkey and Azerbaijan in their relentless attacks against the Armenian people.”

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