Skip to content
Chronological Reasoning and Causation

Armenian Genocide

  1. Load Destruction at Adana, Armenia, 1918 in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Adana, Armenia, 1909 in Main Image Viewer
  3. Load Appeal from the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, 1918 in Main Image Viewer
  4. Load Armenian Orphans, Jerusalem, Palestine, 1918 in Main Image Viewer
  5. Load Armenian Relief Pamphlet and Adoption Agreement, July 1918 in Main Image Viewer
  6. Load Armenian Relief Pamphlet and Adoption Agreement, July 1918 in Main Image Viewer
  7. Load Armenian Refugee Children, Valley of Sorek, 1918 in Main Image Viewer
  8. Load Armenian Refugees, Jerusalem, Palestine, March 18, 1919 in Main Image Viewer
  9. Load Photograph of Dr. John H. Finley of the Armenian Relief Effort with Armenian children, 1918 in Main Image Viewer
  10. Load Tarsus Destruction, Armenian Genocide, 1918 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Interviews with members of the Armenian community in Niagara Falls can be found here.
Learning Standards and Practices
10.5 UNRESOLVED GLOBAL CONFLICT (1914–1945): World War I and World War II led to geopolitical changes, human and environmental devastation, and attempts to bring stability and peace. (Standards: 2, 3, 4, 5; Themes: TCC, GEO, GOV, CIV, TECH, EXCH)
10.5e Human atrocities and mass murders occurred in this time period. Ø Students will examine the atrocities against the Armenians; examine the Ukrainian Holodomor, and examine the Holocaust.
Setting the Stage
What was the Armenian Genocide and why is it so controversial? Introduce this short video discussing the events and causes of the genocide. Discuss as a class. 
What was Armenian Genocide?
Compelling Question: What is the cost of war?
Supporting Question 1: What was the human impact of the Armenian Genocide?
Supporting Question 2: What was the environmental impact of the Armenian Genocide?
Supporting Question 3: How did individuals try to ease the suffering of the Armenian people?


Argument: Discuss the cost of war in terms of human losses and environmental impact based on the evidence from the Armenian Genocide. (essay, Socratic Seminar, debate, etc.)
Extension: Research the work of Dr. Finley. How did he contribute to the Armenian Relief Effort?
Taking Informed Action: Write an article for online publishing discussing the importance of remembering the Armenian Genocide and the human costs of World War I. 

Historical Context
Between 1915 and 1919, conditions in the Ottoman Empire resulted in a vast humanitarian crisis for Armenians. Among the deportations and mass killings, tens of thousands of children found themselves without parents, shelter, and food and water.

Almost immediately after reports of violence hit American and international news agencies, a broad movement to raise funds and bring relief to the war torn area began. The American Red Cross and later the International Red Cross were the first to bring relief efforts to parts of Armenia. The American government responded by forming the Near East Relief organization and the American Committee on Armenian Atrocities.

Wealthy and connected philanthropists secured millions of dollars to ensure help to displaced Armenians. Additionally, the Near East Relief organized orphanages all across the region. Among the important priorities were reclaiming females from Turk families that either adopted or enslaved them, training the children for self support, setting up schools and demonstration centers to train them for occupations, and relocating administrations to help find permanent communities in the area and abroad. All told, these groups and efforts of individuals are credited with saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of Armenian orphans.