The Germans sat down in the Bundestag this week and had a statement in which they agreed upon (only one member of the group voting against the statement). It acknowledged German involvement in the 1915 Turkish episode where 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered. It got the Turks upset, and they recalled their ambassador. If you sit and view this for a while, you come to six conclusions.
1. It's 101 years since the event. Maybe if this had happened in 1917 (under the Kaiser), 1922 (under the Weimar Repuiblic), 1936 (under Hitler), or under any of the dozen-odd governments since 1949....it might make some difference. But 101 years later?
2. The Turks can't say much....because of trade and tourism....they could really irk some Germans greatly.
3. It does make you ask about how far back one can go for apology episodes. Could Germany go back to 1864 and apologize to Denmark for starting a bogus war?
4. If you walked into a German pub and brought up the 1915 Armenian episode....how many Germans could cite at least three lines of information about the episode and what the thing was about? Maybe two....maybe four.....out of a hundred?
5. Will the German 'push' do anything much for Turkey? No. Armenians might be happy over this and talk about it for a few weeks....but it'll quietly be forgotten (I think) in three weeks.
6. All of this leads me around to the art of an apology and if there is some kind of core college or university program which teaches you how to write fine apologies? Are there PhD thesis productions which discuss the art of apology and how to do this well at the national level?
The end of the Armenian massacre episode? No. It's just lingers there....forever.