Introduction


   The first 20th century genocide was the Armenian genocide of 1915. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were murdered or sent on death marches into the Syrian Desert by Turkish nationalist forces. The victims include people killed in local massacres that began in spring 1915 and others who died during deportations, under conditions of starvation, dehydration, exposure, and disease. Today, people are still persecuted for even mentioning these atrocities. The Turkish government has vigorously attempted to cover up this event since it happened.

    In the 1980’s, Beverly Malejan Ramsay traveled around the United States, photographed survivors and recorded their oral histories on audio tape. She was not able to publish or present her work as she had planned because of an illness. Her other work as a mother, teacher and social benefit work continued. In the 1990’s, she moved to Armenia and joined forces with the organization “Ajakits” of Gyumri and opened the first shelter for battered women in Armenia.

    After many years, Beverly’s niece, Jennifer Schlauder Lin and Beverly’s son, Sean Ramsay have teamed up to further develop the Armenian Genocide Oral History Project. The project will focus on the survivors’ personal stories. Their stories provide rst hand evidence the genocide occurred. The goal of this project is to educate people about the genocide and challenge those who deny it. Education is an extremely important part of this project. Once the content is developed into a book, website or film, we want to share it with educational institutions and museums. We want to join with other people and organizations to prevent the reoccurrence of genocide of any group. We want the world community to become structured so that those who commit genocide are punished and then vigorously and consistently act in ways that discourage this practice.

Soldiers standing over skulls of victims from the Armenian village of Sheyxalan in 1915, believed to be victims of the Armenian Holocaust.