Germany's parliamentary speaker says killings of Armenians were genocide


Germany's parliamentary speaker said this morning that the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks 100 years ago was genocide, adding that Germany's own past makes it important to speak out.

Norbert Lammert told parliament on Friday that "we Germans cannot lecture anyone about dealing with their past, but we can through our own experiences encourage others to confront their history, even when it hurts."

The comments came as parliament began to debate a non-binding motion saying the Armenians' fate is "exemplary for the history of mass destruction, ethnic cleansing, expulsions and genocides by which the twentieth century is marked." It stresses Germany's awareness of the "uniqueness" of the Nazi Holocaust.

On Thursday, German President Joachim Gauck called the killings genocide, marking a shift in his country's stance after officials previously avoided the term.  (AP)

For more information on the German Empire's role in the Armenian genocide, click here.