The Armenian Genocide occurred in the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) during World War I between the years 1915 and 1923. 1.5 million Armenians were massacred—approximately half of the Armenian population living in their historic homeland—and those who survived were forced out of those lands forever. The perpetrators of the genocide were led by the Committee of Union and Progress, the political party with control over the Ottoman government at the time. News about this “crime against civilization” was reported in major newspapers and journals around the world. The Near East Relief and other humanitarian groups were formed to provide aid for the Armenians and many politicians also lobbied to protect the Armenians. The great tragedy prompted the American Red Cross to make its first international assistance program that of providing aid and services to the surviving, destitute Armenians.

As political alliances shifted, that chapter of history was closed, and Armenians were forgotten. The hope held by the major powers that Turkey would become oriented towards the West, overtook the responsibility to punish the perpetrators of the crimes against the Armenians and seek restitution. To this day, the Turkish government denies that a genocide against the Armenians was carried out. Its efforts to continue this denial includes a multifaceted international campaign and the severely enforced suppression of freedom of speech about the issue for Turkish citizens.

Nicole’s Journey provides a background to the history of Armenian Genocide and the effects of the denial of the Genocide on subsequent generations. Nicole’s real life journey illustrates the continued pain that genocide brings and the fortitude of those searching for truth.

This tutorial was developed by The Genocide Education Project. The Genocide Education Project is a nonprofit organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching resources and organizing educational workshops.

For more information about teaching the Armenian Genocide, please visit our cyber resource library at An array of free downloadable material is available on the site including lesson plans, survivor accounts, photographs, and other primary source documents.

Copyright 2006