Professor Erich Feigl (b. Vienna, 1931) began writingwhile still a student but soon switched over to documen-tary filmmaking. This brought him into the world of thereligions and cultures of the Middle and Far East, aswell as Central America. He created television seriessuch as "Journey to the Early Christian World", "TheHeritage of the Early Christian World", "The GreatReligions of the World", "Telegallery", and "Men andMyths". A number of films from these series have wonnational awards. Individual television specials such as"Musil of Arabia", "On the Streams of Paradise" (aboutthe religious communities of Mesopotamia), "Where theTurks Came From" and "Where the Turks Went" (aboutthe origins and the fall of the Ottoman Empire), as wellas the famous TV documentaries about Empress Zita ("Die Kronzeu-gin" and "Kaiserin Zita", first broadcast in1986) repeatedly brought Professor Feigl into theprecincts of the tragic events of 1915 and the historyand context of the Armenian tragedy. The same hap-pened in the course of Erich Feigl’s work as an author.His great biographies, Kaiser Karl and Kaiserin Zita, aswell as his books about Musil of Arabia and Athos
(Athos -Vorhlle zum Paradies)
were all tied to the studyof Ottoman history - especially its final phase. A plangradually took shape for a monograph on the originsand the history of the Armenian tragedy in Anatolia fromthe eyes of a man with profound knowledge of Anatoliaand its Middle Eastern environment. Professor Feiglwas already familiar with all the settings and had knownmany, many witnesses (from both camps) for decades.The preparatory work was already well under way whena shocking event (the murder in Vienna on June 20,1984 of the Turkish labor attach
, Erdoan zen, whowas a personal friend of the author) led Erich Feigl toproduce an extensive film expose of this "myth of ter-ror", which has already claimed so many innocent lives.After more than a year’s work on the films, Professor Feigl wrote this book, which is illustrated exclusivelywith the author’s own photographs. The book exposesthe roots of Armenian terrorism, which mainly harms theoverwhelming majority of Armenians who are unable tocome to terms with the reign of terror of a tiny minority.This may well be due in part to uncertainty about thetrue situation which has led and which continues to leadto Armenian terrorism. This is certainly the case with thepublic at large, who know nothing more than the unend-ing Armenian terrorist attacks, a few code words like"genocide" and "massacre of the Armenians" and per-haps a few (misinterpreted) facts.This book presents the historical and contemporarycontexts plainly and openly. The surprising truth that isrevealed here will hopefully help to expose the true faceof terror and avert further tragedy.
The history of Armenian extremism is a
in the true sense of the word - some-thing from the realm of fiction and imagination, something that has been
made intoa legend
. At the same time, it is something absolutely alive and potent, as we cansee from the acts of terrorism and their horrible consequences. In the early twenties,an Armenian by the name of Aram Andonian published a "collection of documents"(actually they were photographs of "documents"), which he presented as "proof"that the Ottoman government had planned the extermination of the Armenian peo- ple. These documents consisted of "orders" that could certainly be compared to theinsane acts of a Hitler or a Himmler. Franz Werfel based his tremendous novel,
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,
entirely on these "extermination orders" of the Ottomangovernment. He originally did this in good faith, and when he realized that he had been taken in by a forgery, it was too late. Fear of reprisals prevented him from pub-licly acknowledging his error. The photo shows Armenian children on Musa Dagh,the scene of the novel, where a thriving Armenian-Turkish community still livestoday - in spite of the "extermination".
EDITION ZEITGESCHICHTE • FREILASSING – SALZBURG
E RI C HF E I GL
A MYTHOF TERROR
A MY T H O F T E R R O R
Armenian Extremism:Its Causes and Its Historical Context
Dr. Afif Erzen (b. 1913) received a scholarship to studyin Germany after graduating at the top of his class fromsecondary school in Sivas. After completing hispreparatory studies (German at the GymnasiumZöllichau) in 1934, he attended the Universities of Berlin(where he worked with Wilhelm Weber), Jena (wherehe worked with Fritz Schachermeyer on a dissertationon "Metal Extraction and Metal Processing in EasternAnatolia"). Since Schachermeyer's move to Heidelbergprevented Dr. Erzen from completing his work in Jena,he moved on to Leipzig (Helmut Breve:
Das Ale-xander-reich; Griechische Geschichte)
, where he completed hisstudies in 1940 with a doctoral thesis on " Cilicia Untilthe End of Persian Rule".In 1944, Afif Erzen qualified as a lecturer (ancient histo-ry) at the University of Istanbul. In 1955, he became acorresponding member and in 1968 a full member of the German Archeological Institute in Berlin. He serveduntil 1983 as chairman of the Department of AncientHistory at the University of Istanbul. Afif Erzen has beena guest lecturer at the Universities of Bonn, Munich,Erlangen, Mönster, Wurzburg, and Töbingen. His mostrecent lectures have concerned his excavations in×avuøtepe and Ainos. Professor Erzen founded theCenter for Historical and Archeological Research in Vanin 1967 and the Center for Southeastern EuropeanResearch in Edime in 1969. Both institutes have to dowith the history of the origins and the significance of theArmenian people, the Haik, as well as their historicaldevelopment.Professor Erzen's international reputation is based onhis excavations at
, the most significantUrartian site of our times. The numerous scientific pub-lications that came out of his years of work at
have brought Professor Erzen world wide recogni-tion. The most important of his works are:
Ankara in Antiquity.
The Founding of the City of Istanbul and Its Names.
The Settlement Problem of Pamphylia in Antiquity.
Cyprus in Ancient History.
The Sea of Marmara and the Straits of Marmara in AncientHistory.
(Southeastern European Research1,1972)
(Turk Tarihi Kurumu, Ankara, 1978) andfrom the same institute,
Eastern Anatolia and Urartians.
(1979). To these must be added the many essays whichDr. Erzen has published on his excavations in Ainos(Enez, Thrace) and most importantly his excavations inVan (the cita-delle), Toprakkale, and Yukariskale. All of these publications were related to Dr. Erzen's Urartianresearch. Some of them were written in collaborationwith the sumerologist, Dr. Emin Bilgic,, of the Universityof Ankara. In this connection, Dr. Erzen's publications,
The Neo-Urartians in the Van Region (Ankara, 1979)and ×avuøtepe II
(Ankara, 1986), must also be men-tioned. The latter, a synthesis of the results of Dr.Erzen's decades of archeological work in ×avuøtepe,represents the culmination of his career to date.