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No covering up history

October 20, 2008

Re "Forget 'memory laws,' " Opinion, Oct. 16

How magnanimous of Timothy Garton Ash to dispense with appropriate legal avenues to protect other people's calamities from the desecration of revision and denial.

Despite his disclaimer solemnly professing to support recognition of wrongdoing by its perpetrators, he is making a coverup argument for denialists. How many years of "academic freedom" does it take to establish a historical fact? By Garton Ash's logic, the 93-plus years since the commencement of Turkey's annihilation of its Armenian population are insufficient.

How depraved and despicable it is that right-wing pundits bandy about freedom in the cause of their fundamentally anti-liberty inclinations and agenda.

Garen Yegparian


I support Garton Ash's point that historical events can be uncovered only by mustering all the available evidence, in free and open debate. In fact, that is exactly what the Turkish-American community has been saying all along in the face of relentless and biased arguments leveled by those who blindly support the alleged Armenian genocide.

"Memory laws" in Europe are signs of double standards and disrespect for freedom of expression. I hope that the same mistake regarding memory laws will not be repeated in the United States.

Ergun Kirlikovali


Although criminalizing those who dispute accepted historical fact clearly goes too far, governments do have other options. Canada voted to officially recognize the Armenian genocide, and adding such an event to textbooks taught in school is another way to declare it part of the historical record.

Private citizens can also make a difference. Steven Spielberg's Shoah Education Project documents the stories of Holocaust survivors as a bulwark against conspiracy theorists who claim that it never happened.

John Wolfenden

Sherman Oaks

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