Category Archives: MEMORY

THE PLAN TO ESTABLISH AN ARMENIAN SETTLEMENT IN MADAGASKAR IN 1925-1926 – 2019-2

1940s Madagaskar Plan to Solve the Jewish Issue: A comparative Analysis

Summary

Edita G. Gzoyan

Key words – League of Nations, settlement of Armenian Refugees, Yerevan Project, Armenian Genocide, Madagaskar, French colony, Final Solution, Madagascar Plan, resettlement of the Jews.

The League of Nations played an important role in the resettlement of the Armenian refugees and formation of Armenian Diaspora after the Genocide. One of the initiatives of the League was connected with the saving of the Armenian refugees and their resettlement to other parts of the world. The rather interesting project of the Armenian refugees in Madagaskar was elaborated (1925-1926) as an alternative to the so-called Yerevan Project – the resettlement of Armenian refugees in Soviet Armenia. The project of resettlement of the Armenians in Madagaskar was not implemented due to lack of interest among the Armenian refugees and other concerned circles.

Meanwhile, if in 1925-1926 the League of Nations considered the resettlement of Armenians in Madagaskar as salvage to their refugeehood, then in 1940s the Third Reich viewed the transfer of Jews to Madagaskar as an alternative to Final Solution of the European question.

THE PEACEKEEPING MISSION  OF HOVH. TUMANYAN – 2019-1

At the afterglow of February  Rebellion of 1921

Summary

Ararat M. Hakobyan

The all Armenian poet Hovh. Tumanyan, whose 150th  anniversary was celebrated this year during his short but stormy and saturated life besides creating literary-creative genius monuments has conducted  civic courageous steps even at the cost of  endangering his life. Such is the episode about his courageous step conducted  during February revolt of 1921 that broke out against  Bolsheviks shortly afterwards of the Sovietization of Armenia:he arrived to Yerevan from T iflis and reconciled the two opposing sides, namely, the rebellions and the Bolsheviks.

At the last stage of the revolt in frosty winter conditions  on March 13 the poet leaves for Yerevan due to the wish of the Armenians  living in Tiflis, on behalf of communist leader of Transcaucasia S. Orjonikidze and , certainly, by the call of his own heart, on February 13 arrives to Yerevan on the mission of reconciliation. By overcoming great dangers the Armenian poet reaches Yerevan, perceives the unbreakable will of rebellious people in the front line and in the capital struggling for freedom and national rights. By becoming in touch with the leader of CSH S.Vratsyan and others he makes efforts for ceasing the fighting  and in spite of being ill he corresponds with the Soviet ruling circles and family members and states from the sight of a witness that the February events were not adventures undertaken by a group of people but the speech of masses against the despotic Bolshevik regime. Though due to hostile posture of opposing sides the peacekeeping mission of Hovh. Tumanyan didn’t certainly give immediate results but surely had some moral effect from the perspective of mitigating the intolerant and hostile moods of both sides.

It is necessary to mention that in historical-philological literature of the Soviet period the issue of estimating the peacekeeping mission of the Armenian poet is controversial up to now. The thing is that in the works of historians and literary critics of Soviet period dealing with this problem is party- ideological partiality. Particularly the allegations about Tumanyan’s home arrest when he just arrived to Yerevan  have been encircled too much which was purely persuading a political-propogandistic goal for shaping a viewpoint among the people that dashnaks had arrested even the Armenian poet. The argument for such allegation was the thing that on February 25 Georgia had become a Soviet country, which was kept as possible in secret in Armenia for the sake of providing state security and secrecy so that the society and the rebels wouldn’t learn about the fact of Sovietization of Georgia that could have affected their fighting spirit. And as the poet had arrived from Georgia the authorities of Armenia tried to keep it in secret so that the rebels wouldn’t be disappointed. In fact the reason for Tumanyan’s not leaving his elder daughter Ashkhen’s  house was the severe winter: while crossing the front line in the sector of Akhta(Hrazdan)-Fanta the poet appeared under cross-fighting and, the sick poet  caught cold and when reaching home actually became bed sick and  got up only on April 2 when the 11th Red Army occupied Yerevan. The thing that Hovh. Tumanyan was bed sick is stated by the poet himself. Actually the revolt was oppressed , and on April 18 the Armenian poet returned to Tiflis together with S. Orjonikidze who had arrived to Armenia beforehand

Such was the odyssey  of the given episode from the civil life of all Armenian poet.

HOW TO REMEMBER AND SUMMON THE VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE? – 2018-3

Summary

Tessa A. Hofman

Key words – immigrant communities, Ottoman genocide, Armenians, Syriacs, immigrants, monuments.

This essay explains the specifics of German history and memory policies with regard to immigrant communities in Germany. Although already in the 1960 spost-war Germany has become a country of massive foreign immigration, it is only currently that the country officially admits its essence as a popular destination for immigrants of foreign origin, of which Turkey born residents and their descendants are still the largest immigrant community, including the descendants of those who survived the Ottoman genocide against indigenous Christians during the last decade of Ottoman rule (1912-1922): Armenians, Syriacs (self-identifying themselves as Armenians or Assyrians) and Greek-Orthodox Christians (Eastern Thrace, Pontos, Asia Minor)with a victim intotal of more than three million. As a rule, it is the dominant majority of a country that determines which of the historic experiences of immigrants are remembered, and how these are remembered. In Germany the authorities of municipal districts decide where and how commemorative plaques, monuments and memorials of genocide remembrance are erected. There is a clear hierarchy in the commemoration of those who were victimized under Germany’s responsibility, and those victimized by third sides, such as the Unionist or Kemalist regimes. The average German tendency in the case of the Ottoman genocide is to allow only peripheral locations or locations on semi-public grounds (cemeteries, church.-grounds). So far, Armenian cross-stones have been erected in 11 German cities and towns beginning from city cemetery in Stuttgart (1987). As a rule, Armenian, Syriac and Pontos Greek Diasporic communities dedicate their monuments only to the commemoration of their own community. A prominent exception of integrated or inclusive commemoration is the Ecumenical Memorial for Genocide Victims in the Ottoman Empire, which has been erected in Berlin in 2012.

THE DEPORTATION OF GREEKS FROM ISTANBUL IN 1964 – 2018-2

Summary 

Ruben H. Melkonyan

Key words – Young Turks; Kemalists; non-Muslim minorities; Lausanne; Greek citizens living in Istanbul; discriminative policy; monoethnic Turkey; Ecumenical Patriarchate of Costantinople; Cyprus; deportation.

It՛s widely known that the history of Ottoman Empire is full of examples of state persecutions, discrimination, massacres and genocides against Christians. The aspirations to create monoethnic, that is Turko-Islamic state became more obvious during the government of the Young Turks. The same policy was adopted by the authorities of the Republic of Turkey established in 1923. This fact can be explained by following circumstances. First of all, Turkish state had already become instiutionally hostile against all non-Turkish nations. Besides, the majority of the founders of Turkey were former Young Turks, the bearers of nationalist ideology. However, there are specialists, including the Turks, who bring the period of governmenr of Young Turks even up to 1960 and ascribe some elements of young Turkizm to the Democratic Party which was in power in 1950-60s. Main periods of the policy of discrimination against non-Muslim minorities in the history of Turkish Republic were: 1. Exchange but in reality exile of Greeks in 1923 2. The “20 classes” draft in 1941 3. “Tax of Wealth” in 1942 4. Pogroms of 6-7 September 1955. However, the comparison of facts shows that the last and one of the most important links of this chain was the exile of the Greeks from Istanbul in 1964 which is not sufficiently examined yet. On March 16,1964 the government of Turkey officially stated that it unilaterally considered invalid the agreement signed between Turkey and Greece in 1930. This meant the emergence of legal basis for exile of the Greek citizens living in Turkey. At that time nearly 12.500 Greek citizens were living in Turkey. All of them were condemmed to exile. However deportation of these 12500 people meant inclusion of much more wide masses as they were connected by marital and family ties with the Greeks, citizens of Turkey. Exile of the Greeks in 1964 became the important stage of consecutive politics of ethnic purges in Turkey.

RECONNAISANCE AND INSTIGATOR – CONSPIRATORIAL ACTIVITIES OF TURKISH SPECIAL SERVICES IN ARMENIA IN 1920-1922 – 2018-2

Summary

Vanik H. Virabyan

Key words – Turkey; Armenia; special services; Georgia; military representative; attaché; council; spy; Transcaucasia; Yerevan; Emergency committee.

After the declaration of cease fire between the Armenian republic and Turkey in November,1920, the representation of the Command of Eastern Front of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly that had political functions was formed in Yerevan.It continued to operate also after the establishment of Soviet system until September 1923 when the consulate was reorganized. Turkish consulate service also existed in Alexandrapol which started to operate after the compulsory withdrawal of Turkish army. Here, too, Turkish consulate was conducting spy- corrosive activity. RSFRS’s Soviet reconnaissance bodies in Transcaucasia were interested in revealing Turkey’s operations. It’s important to state that the representation of Turkish consulate operated especially more indecently during anti-Soviet rebellion in February 1921 headed by ARF. During that period Soviet-Turkish talks were underway where Armenia had great part in issues under discussion: there was also the issue of ASSR’s participation in the conference. The comparison of the facts shows that the creation of chaotic and messy situation in Armenia was beneficial for Turkey and its special services. Thus, Kemal’s Turkey by taking advantage of its representation in Armenia’s territory conducted spy- corrosive activity through his consulate service and spy-agent network swarming around it , that’s why both Soviet Armenian and Russian reconnaissance bodies during 1920-1922 took some countermeasures. Namely, Russia created its agent network in Armenia with which perhaps the Armenian Soviet reconnaissance services coordinated their actions. Turkish consulate representation that acted in Soviet Armenia often violated the rules, its officials assaulted Armenia’s security which made the Armenian government undertake tough measures against Turkish representation. All these factors made Soviet Armenia and Expert’s Committee of Foreign Affairs declare the representative of Turkish government in Yerevan Bahhadin as persona non grata (a person who doesn’t enjoy grace) and on this basis the latter was dismissed from the council’s office. Thus, reconnaissance data obtained by ASSR’s special services states that Turkish-Azerbaijani plottings continued after Armenia’s Sovietization. They elucidate Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s objectives to undermine the security of Soviet Armenia through spy- corrosive activity.

KAREN JEPPE’S MISSION OF SALVATION. A COMPREHENSIVE VIEW – 2018-1

Summary

Ashot N. Hayruni

Key words – Karen Jeppe; Urha; Aleppo; Genocide (Mets Yeghern) ; League of Nations; Johannes Lepsius; German Eastern Mission; liberation of the kidnapped Armenians

For the first time the present article fully covers the pro-Armenian activity of the great humanist, a Danish missionary Karen Jeppe. The activity started in 1903 and was spread in various directions: solicitude for orphans and widows, support to deported Armenians during the Genocide, liberation of Armenian children and women captivated in Muslim homes and harems, provision of material and moral support to thousands of Armenian refugees gathered in Aleppo, as well as a creation of new settlements in Syria for refugees and liberated Armenians and so on. Jeppe dedicated her entire life to the rescue efforts, which had invaluable significance for the salvation of thousands of Armenians. The salvation included an entire range of work including medical care, education, and upbringing. Jeppe gave great importance to the fact that liberated Armenians could live independently and at the same time have a worthy place in the Armenian national-collective life. Therefore, she created all possible conditions for them to receive not only targeted education and upbringing but also to obtain some specialization. The article, which for the first time puts into scientific circulation many valuable sources simultaneously provides important information about other people and organizations that contributed to rescue activities undertaken by Jeppe.

ON THE QUESTION OF THE ASSESSMENT OF A. MIKOYAN AS A PARTY-STATE ACTOR – 2017-4

Summary

Ararat M. Hakobyan

Key words – A. Mikoyan, post, nostalgia for 1937, Bolshevik, facts, decree, Communist Party, episode, Karabakh, self-determination, independence.

Recently, the issue of renaming streets, monuments, memorial plaques or other neighborhoods named in memory of several party and state figures of the Soviet era has become the subject of discussions at the social and even governmental levels in Armenia. One of the publicly discussed topics is the issue of placing a statue of Soviet and state figure Anastas Mikoyan in the center of Yerevan. Among the party and state figures of the Soviet era there were people whom the Armenian people valued and respected. However, for decades, the Armenian society as a whole has negatively treated A. Mikoyan because of the indifference of the latter toward the national interests of the Armenian people. Separate documents and materials presented in a number of episodes in this publication indicate the non-Armenian activities of Mikoyan. Thus, only the Armenian Bolsheviks, along with A. Mikoyan, who was the secretary of the Committee in Tbilisi at that time, boycotted and did not participate in the East Armenian Congress considering it a “nationalistic enterprise”. Then, in December 1919, while addressing his pro-Turkish theses to V. Lenin, Mikoyan considered a mistake the Declaration on Turkish-Armenia, adopted by the Soviet government of Russia: according to this declaration, Western Armenians were given the right to free self-determination. In his opinion, it was playing into hands of “Armenian nationalists”. A. Mikoyan believed that the Armenian bourgeoisie cherished insane hopes to “seize a part of Turkey”, and its sponsor – the Entente’s imperialists wanted to rob Turkey and make it a new colony.

Similarly, Mikoyan’s attitude was negative in the issue of the annexation of Karabakh and Zangezur to Armenia.

In addition, he was against the Armenian delegation led by L. Shant to hold talks and sign a peace treaty with Soviet Russia.

And finally, in 1937, A. Mikoyan, already a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of CPSU, who arrived in Armenia at the height of political repression that fell to the share of the Soviet state, has a certain responsibility for expanding the lists of innocent Armenians executed and expelled by hundreds.

Thus, the facts cited above give grounds to conclude that any attempt to perpetuate the name of A. Mikoyan in Armenia is simply immoral (unacceptable).

KAREN JEPPE’S MISSION OF SALVATION. A COMPREHENSIVE VIEW – 2017-4

Summary

Ashot N. Hayruni

Key words – Karen Jeppe, Urha, Genocide (Mets Yeghern), Johannes Lepsius, German Eastern Mission, Humanism, children, religious propaganda, ateliers.

This article is a new attempt to fully cover the work of Karen Jeppe, a woman who, unlike many other friends of the Armenian people and humanists, not only raised her voice of protest against the Turkish genocidal policy and informed the civilized world about it, but also undertook a specific mission of salvation and dedicated her whole life to that mission.

The activity of Jeppe in the Armenian children’s home of Urfa before the First World War is described in the first part of the article. In 1902, thanks to the publications and presentations of Aga Meier Benedictsen, the friend of the Armenian people, Agе Meyer Benediktsson, the founder and the head of the Danish Committee for Assistance to Armenia, young Karen Jeppe learned about the terrible situation of Armenians who survived the massacres in the 1890s and, against the will of their parents, she decided to go to Armenia and devote herself to the needs of the Armenian people. Jeppe informed Benediktsson of her decision and when she learned that J. Lepsius was looking for a teacher for an orphanage in Urfa, she addressed to the latter and received his consent. On October 4, 1903, she left for Urfa, where she soon became the de-facto head of this institution.

In 1915, when the mass eviction of Armenians began, Karen Jeppe temporarily sent most of the children from the orphanage to their relatives to spend the summer holidays. The staff of the orphanage tried to do their best to save local Armenians from persecution. After the first arrests in Urfa, Jeppe regularly provided information to the American and German consuls in Aleppo about the continuing illegality, urging them to use their influence in support of the Armenians. At the same time, Jeppe harbored many innocent Armenians in her home who were threatened with death.

In the fall of 1917, when the government no longer pursued the surviving Armenians as before, Jeppe sent the Armenians hiding in her house to the south of Urfa to Arabs where they could be safe. She also temporarily sent her two foster children to a Kurdish leader and left for Europe in December … to return soon.

KAREN JEPPE AND ALEPPO RESCUE HOME – 2017-3

Summary

Edita G. Gzoyan

Key words – Armenian Genocide, forced transfer of children, League of Nations, Aleppo Rescue Home, Karen Jeppe, humanitarian assistance, Armenian women and genocide, eyewitness testimonies.

Forcible child transfer is one of the five genocidal acts listed in Article II of the Genocide Convention listed co-equally with acts of killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, and measures to prevent births. Forcible child transfer was part of the Armenian Genocide administered by the Turkish authorities.

This article deals with the issue of forced transfer of children and women during the Armenian Genocide. It presents the humanitarian efforts of the League of Nations to save the Armenians from Muslim captivity. To this end the League of Nations established a Commission of Enquiry with its headquarters in Aleppo and Constantinople.

The Aleppo Rescue Home was administered by the League of Nation Commissioner Karen Jeppe who saved Islamized Armenians from the French zone of occupation. In the League of Nations Archives 1464 individual surveys of the rescued Armenians are kept, from which 573 were girls and women. These are eyewitness testimonies that represent the policy of forced child transfer during the Armenian Genocide. The testimonies of these female inmates also represent and affirm the organizational pattern of the Armenian Genocide.

“THE CASE OF DASHNAK TERRORISTS” – 2017-2

Summary

Ararat M. Hakobyan

Key words – ARF Dashnaktsutyun, CCK (b)PA, N. Aghdjagala, Manuk Khushoyan, secretary of the village council, murder, Supreme Court of the ASSR, trial, F. Ashrafyan, P. Sinoyan, S. Stepanosyan, defendant, expulsion, political persecution.

After Armenia became a Soviet republic, the Communist Party began to pursue dissident political parties and, above all, the most influential Armenian party – ARF Dashnaktsutyun. One of the ways to achieve the dissolution of the party were the trials where the party was accused of organizing terrorism. For these purposes, a high-profile trial was organized and conducted at the highest level in connection with the murder of a small official, the secretary of the council of one of the villages of Armenia – M. Khushoyan. In fact, the murder was committed on the basis of domestic problems and personal enmity, but it was given a political character, attributing it to the ARF Dashnaktsutyun governing members, in order to discredit the party and accelerate its disintegration. But a study of the materials of the case and the trial shows that the political color of the case is artificial and unjustified.