jeudi 8 novembre 2012

Un bref commentaire sur le fascicule (excellemment didactique) de l'association Alliance Démocrate à propos des manuels scolaires de 3eème2.pdf

"Le nombre de victimes est estimé selon les éditions HATIER et HACHETTE à 1,2 million de morts. Les éditions HACHETTE reposent même leur estimation sur des chiffres de l’historien britannique Arnold J. TOYNBEE alors que ce dernier lui-même n’a jamais parlé 1,2 millions mais avançait le nombre de 600 000 morts (toutes causes confondues : massacres, morts dans les combats, épidémies, faim), 600 000 déportés survivants et 600 000 personnes non déportées." (p. 11 du fascicule)

L'évaluation de Toynbee a en effet été reprise sous sa forme déformée par Hachette (1,2 million au lieu de 600.000 morts). On peut ajouter en complément que Toynbee a de toute façon reconnu le caractère sélectif et partial du Blue Book (1916) dans The Western question in Greece and Turkey (1922) :

"During the European War, I edited, under the direction of Lord Bryce, the Blue Book published by the British Government on the 'Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire : 1915' (Miscellaneous No. 31, 1916), and incidentally learnt, I believe, nearly all that there is to be learnt to the discredit of the Turkish nation and of their rule over other peoples." (p. VIII-IX)

"Russia's intentions in regard to it [Eastern Anatolia] may be judged, not only from the general record of the Tsardom towards subject nationalities, but from the fact that during the period in 1916 and 1917 when this territory was temporarily under Russian military occupation. General Yudenich began to plant Cossack colonies on lands belonging to local Ottoman Armenians who had previously been deported and massacred by the Turks on account of their supposed sympathy with the Allies. The colonies were meant to be permanent, and natives of Transcaucasia (i.e. practically all Russian Armenians) were declared ineligible ! The intention was clear, and the terms of the agreement debarred our Government from protesting against it. Yet at the very time when the agreement was being made, I was being employed by His Majesty's Government to compile all available documents on the recent treatment of the Armenians by the Turkish Government in a 'Blue Book,' which was duly published and distributed as war-propaganda !" (p. 50)

"Various consequences of this [Greek] landing occupy most of the remaining chapters in this book. The diplomatic con-sequences may conveniently be narrated here in anticipation. Within the first few weeks, so much bloodshed and destruction occurred that the Allied and Associated Governments sent a commission of senior officers, under the presidency of Admiral Bristol, United States High Commissioner at Constantinople, to put a stop to the fighting and establish the responsibility for the atrocities already committed. But the mischief could not be undone so easily. The Commissioners arranged an armistice line ; they could not demobilise the forces already opposing one another in this new war. They reported on the crimes committed, but their report has never been published by their Governments. Possibly they were tactless. It may have been difficult to indict Greeks and Turks who had killed, burnt, robbed, and violated in the vilayet of Aidin without reflecting upon statesmen who had made decisions at Paris. There is no doubt that the 'Big Three' were morally as well as technically responsible for the consequences of this particular decision, for they cannot plead that they were badly informed. The suggestion of a Greek landing at Smyrna had been aired in official circles for some weeks before it was carried into effect, and had evoked emphatic comments and forecasts from the local representatives of the several Powers who were controling the execution of the armistice on the spot. These representatives cannot be blamed for having reported, as they were in duty bound to do, the danger of an Italian coup de main upon Smyrna. They could not know the diplomatic situation at Paris, or foresee that a Greek occupation would be the safeguard selected by their Governments. The 'Big Three' were responsible, and if any of them demur to this, they can be challenged to publish, or to invite their successors in office to publish, the official information on which they acted, as well as the Bristol Report. Their unwillingness to publish the report is not incomprehensible, and besides, Mr. Venizelos threw all his personal influence into the scale. He objected to the publication of evidence which had been taken by the Commission without the presence of a Greek assessor, and in which the names of the witnesses were withheld. There was, of course, a good reason for this, which reflected on the local Greek authorities and not on the Western Commissioners. The individuals giving damaging evidence against the Greeks were living under a Greek military occupation and could not safely be exposed to reprisals. There were the same legal flaws in the Bryce Reports on Alleged German Atrocities in Belgium and on The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Did the Allied Governments hesitate to publish these documents on that account ?" (p. 78-80)

Dans ce même livre de 1922, il juge l'existence d'une "provocation" arménienne comme possible (ce qu'il niait absolument en 1916) :

"The Greeks, for their part, declared that the Turkish villages which they had destroyed had harboured Turkish bands, which had penetrated the Greek lines and had been raiding their railway communications. Probably there was truth in both statements, for guerilla bands are always likely to be at work in such conditions as those created in Anatolia after the 15th May 1919. This used to be the excuse of the Turkish troops in Macedonia before the Balkan War for the 'shooting up' and pillaging and burning of villages, and it is quite possible that (as the Turks allege) there was similar provocation for the atrocities against the Armenians in 1915." (p. 276)

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