Armenian Genocide Pictures, Photos, Pics
There's a problem with that kind of comparison, however. At , the tattoos were applied by SS authorities to mark prisoners at the concentration camp. During the Genocide, tattoos don't appear to have been a tool used by the Ottoman Turks, who orchestrated the campaign against Armenians, Semerdjian notes. In some instances, those tattoos may have actually helped women escape death. Semerdjian has found instances of that in her research.
rwanda genocide Pictures, Images & Photos | Photobucket
When World War I ended and some of the Armenian women were able to reconnect with their communities, their tattoos remained. Semerdjian notes that some women tried to hide these permanent reminders of life during the Genocide by using makeup or undergoing procedures to try and remove the tattoos. "They weren't excluded from society," says Semerdjian. "They may have felt stigmatized and ostracized because they were wearing those marks, but they had families and there was no separating them from other Armenians. Yet, psychologically, it does a kind of work that was difficult to undo."
The woman is not named, but the caption accompanying the photo gives a piece of her story. She was Armenian and had been able to escape a brothel thanks to the YWCA. The placard notes that during the course of the Armenian Genocide, women who had been captured and made slaves or prostitutes had been tattooed as a means of identification. It's a profoundly disturbing image and snippet of a story that points to an obscure facet of a genocide committed within the Ottoman Empire that is, to this day, denied by Turkey.