Ideas & their consequences: Genocide & International Justice after 1919

This conference aims to examine the growth of two opposing movement of ideas which emerged after the signature of the Treaty of Versailles in the summer 1919. One movement that gathered momentum advocated for international justice and for the rescue of the victims, especially those of the Armenian Genocide, as the allies established tribunals to try the perpetrators of atrocities and created the first High Commission for Refugees. On the other hand, a contrasting moment set the ideological foundations of the worst atrocities the century was yet to experience.

The conference will bring together key academics in two burgeoning fields of historical inquiry: the history of humanitarianism and international justice, on the one hand, and the history of political violence and radical political ideology in the interwar period, on the other. 

Day One

17/4

7:45pm

Welcoming Dinner

Venue - European Academy Berlin

Day Two

28/08

Chair: Rolf Hosfeld (Lepsiushaus Potsdam)

11.00 - 13.00

Stefan Ihrig (University of Haifa): Learning from the Turks - Interwar Germany, the Nazis and the Quest for Violent Solutions

Momme Schwarz (Saxonian Academy of Sciences, Leipzig): Jewish Minority Protection during the Interwar Period - The Comité des délégations juives and the Schwarzbard Trial

Panel 2: Remembrance, Trauma & Denialism

Chair: Roy Knocke (Lepsiushaus Potsdam)

14.00 - 16.30

Fatma Müge Göçek (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor): The Complexity of Denialism in Turkey during the Interwar Period

Gerd Hankel (Hamburg Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Culture, HSFWK): The Relationship between International Criminal Justice and Remembrance

Michael B. Elm (Tel Aviv University/Free University of Berlin): Remembering

the Great War in the Middle East. Constructing Cultural Trauma in Aljazeera (English) Documentaries

Day Three

29/08

Chair: Meinolf Arens (Internationales Institut für Nationalitätenrecht und Regionalismus, Munich)

11.00 - 13.00

Hülya Adak (Sabanci University/Free University of Berlin): Andrei N. Mandelstam and the History of Human Rights between the World Wars

Edita Gzoyan (Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Yerevan):

Violence against Women and Children

in the Context of the Development

of International Law

14.00 - 16.30

Panel 4: Atrocities Against Civilians and the Rise of Humanitarian Movements

Chair: Ronald G. Suny (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

NB: this panel will take place online

Melanie Tanielian (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor): Violence, Aid and Non-State Actors: Humanitarian Intervention in Nineteenth-Century Anatolia

Charlie Laderman (King's College London): The Anglo-American Struggle to Save the Armenians and Remake Global Order

Hilmar Kaiser (Yerevan State University): The Armenian Origins of the Near East Relief

Concluding Panel

16.30 - 18.00

Genocide, Mass Violence & International Justice after 1919

The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. That summer marked the beginning of two contrasting historical developments. One movement that gathered
momentum advocated for peaceful international solutions and justice and for the rescue of the victims, especially those of the Armenian Genocide and other mass atrocities. First steps of international justice were debated, the first High Commission for Refugees was created by the League of Nations. On the other hand, a contrasting moment set the ideological foundations of the worst atrocities the century was yet to experience.

 

In this regard, the conference sits at the intersection of two burgeoning fields of historical inquiry: the history of humanitarianism and international justice, on the one hand, and the history of political violence and radical political ideology in the interwar period, on the other. It aims to explore how these contrasting movements were affected by the atrocities of World War I and by the Treaties that ended the war (from Versailles to Lausanne), and what part they eventually played in political thinking in Europe.

Day One

27/08

19.00 - 20.30

Welcome Remarks

Keynote

Nadia Gortzounian - AGBU Europe

Mila Stojanović - EUJS

Atanas Stoyanov - Phiren Amenca

Rolf Hosfeld - Lepsiushaus Potsdam

"No peace to end all violence": Nationalism, Imperialism and Internationalism after 1919"

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this conference has been postponed to August 27-29 2021.