Traces Leading to Pontus and the Bosporus: The Ottoman Genocide in German Language (Post) Migrant Prose

Authors

  • Tessa Hofmann Freie Universität Berlin

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51442/ijags.0029

Keywords:

Ottoman Genocide, Post-migrant prose, Post-genocidal prose, intergenerational experience, family novel, travel prose

Abstract

This literary analysis examines the representation of the Ottoman genocide against Armenians and Greeks in contemporary German prose using four examples of family narratives and travel texts, respectively. Two of the authors analyzed – Katerina Poladyan and Laura Cwiertnia – represent fictional prose, while Mirko Heinemann and Michael Asderis represent factual prose. Written three to four generations after the Ottoman genocide, all four authors ask themselves what the events of that time mean for the descendants of survivors: a burden or a legacy obligatory to preserve or remember?
At the same time, genre hybridity as a characteristic of post-genocidal or post-migrant German prose is analyzed.

Author Biography

Tessa Hofmann, Freie Universität Berlin

Dr. phil., Magistra Artium, Prof. h.c., studied philology (Slavic literatures and languages, Armenian Studies) and Sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB); 1983-2015 research associate at the Institute for Eastern European Studies of the FU Berlin; research associate in international research projects (e.g. “Out-Migration from Armenia and Georgia”, 2008-2012); since 2015 independent scholar; author of numerous publications on the history, culture and present situation of Armenia and its diaspora, on genocide research with a focus on Ottoman genocide, on minorities in Turkey and the South Caucasus (https://independent.academia.edu/TessaHofmann).
Since 1979 volunteer human rights work, e.g. as Chair of the non-profit Working Group Recognition - Against Genocide, for International Understanding; spokeswoman of the Board of the Association for the Promotion of an Ecumenical Memorial for Genocide Victims in the Ottoman Empire.

References

Tessa Hofmann, “Zwischen Coming-Out, Identitätsstiftung und (An)Klage: Der Völkermord an den Armeniern in der Erinnerungsprosa der US-armenischen Diaspora und in der Türkei,” Armenological Issues 1 (2014): 76-91

Jara Schmidt, “Postmigrantische Literatur und Germanistik,” Multicultural Germany Project, 3 November 2020, https://mgp.berkeley.edu/2020/11/03/schmidt-postmigrantische-literatur-german/, accessed 27.04.2022

L. Cwiertnia, “The Forgotten,” Zeit-Magazin, no. 18/2022, 27 April 2022

Laura Cwiertnia, “Zeigst du mir die Heimat, in der du noch nie warst, von der du aber ständig träumst, Papa?” Die Zeit, 19 January 2019, https://www.zeit.de/2017/04/armenien-tuerkei-reise-familie-vater-geschichte, accessed 02.03.2022

Carmen Sippl, Reisetexte der russischen Moderne: Andrej Belyj und Osip Mandel’stam im Kaukasus (München: Verlag Otto Sagner, 1997) https://www.academia.edu/36257239/Reisetexte_der_russischen_Moderne?email_work_card=reading-history

Andrej Bitow, Armenische Lektionen: Eine Reise aus Russland (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2002)

Katerina Poladyan, Hier sind Löwen; Roman (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2019)

Laura Cwiertnia, Auf der Straßen heißen wir anders (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2022)

Konstantinos Emm. Fotiadis, The Genocide of the Pontian Greeks (Monee, Il., 2020)

Raymond Kévorkian, The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History (London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2011)

Raphael Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation; Analysis of Government Proposals for Redress Concord (Carnegie Endowment for Peace, 1944; new ed.: Clark, New Jersey: The Lawbook Exchange, 2005)

Michael Asderis, Das Tor zur Glückseligkeit: Migration, Heimat, Vertreibung – die Geschichte einer Istanbuler Familie (Berlin: Binooki, 2018)

Johannes Lepsius (ed.), Deutschland und Armenien 1914-1918: Sammlung diplomatischer Aktenstücke (Potsdam: Tempelverlag, 1919)

Ecumenical Patriarchate, Persecution of the Greeks in Turkey 1914-1918 (Constantinople: The Hesperia Press, 1919)

Ecumenical Patriarchate, Black Book: The Expulsion and Martyrdom of the Greeks of Turkey, 1914-1918 (Constantinople 1919)

Carroll N. Brown and Theodore P. Ion, Persecution of the Greeks in Turkey since the beginning of the European War (Oxford University Press, 1918)

Alexander Papadopoulos, Persecutions of the Greeks in Turkey before the European War: On the Basis of Official Documents (New York: Oxford University Press, 1919)

Faik Ökte, The Tragedy of the Turkish Capital Tax (London, Sydney, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire: Croom Helm, 1987)

Mirko Heinemann, Die letzten Byzantiner: Die Vertreibung der Griechen vom Schwarzen Meer; eine Spurensuche (Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag, 2019)

http://www.genocide-museum.am/eng/2007-december.php

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Published

2022-05-17

How to Cite

Hofmann, T. (2022). Traces Leading to Pontus and the Bosporus: The Ottoman Genocide in German Language (Post) Migrant Prose. International Journal of Armenian Genocide Studies, 7(1), 50–71. https://doi.org/10.51442/ijags.0029