“‘Aghet: A Genocide’ is a powerful, comprehensive documentary that explores, in detail, the murder of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire,” Rep. Schiff told Paula Kerger in a letter. “This is the type of programming for which PBS was created. The network would be fulfilling a great educational and public service by showing this film and bringing the story of the Armenian Genocide to the American people; it is a film that every American should see.”
Rep. Schiff hosted the Capitol Hill premiere of the documentary on July 21, 2010. The film debuted on German public television (NDR) in April 2010, depicting the annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-1923 and the effects of the Turkish Government’s international campaign of genocide denial on international policy.
The documentary is the work of award-winning director Eric Friedler, who assembled an impeccable cast that bring to life the original texts of German and U.S. diplomatic dispatches and eyewitness accounts, interspersed with never-before-seen footage of the Genocide and its political aftermath. The film, applauded by Nobel Prize laureate Gunter Grass, has sparked debate throughout Europe.
An extensive review of the film by Der Spiegel Magazine can be read here.
The full text of the letter Rep. Schiff sent to PBS is below:
President & Chief Executive Officer
Public Broadcasting Service
Dear Ms. Kerger:
I recently hosted a screening of a remarkable German-produced documentary on the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 and urge you to consider showing it on PBS stations nationwide.
“Aghet: A Genocide” is a powerful, comprehensive documentary that explores in detail the murder of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. I think that this is the type of programming for which PBS was created; it is a film that every American should see.
As the Representative of the 29th District of California, I have been proud to represent the largest Armenian-American community in the country. While they and their families live with the wound of the Genocide every day, tens of millions of our fellow citizens have no knowledge of one of the greatest crimes of the 20th Century – the event which gave rise to the word “genocide.”
Sadly, despite the vows of “never again,” genocide is still with us. PBS would be fulfilling a great educational and public service by showing this film and bringing the story of the Armenian Genocide to the American people.
ADAM B. SCHIFF
Member of Congress