Category Archives: MEMORY


Modern culture of the khachkars of Artsakh based on the works of sculptor Robert Askaryan


Anush Safaryan
Khachkar is one of the unique symbols of Armenian identity. Khachkars were erected throughout the territory of historical Armenia, including Artsakh and Utik, as well as in Armenian colonies around the world. The figurative relief of the khachkars of Artsakh, which is represented by a combination of plant-geometric composition and human scenes and images, is one of the unique manifestations of the khachkar culture in general. The article is devoted to the modern culture of the khachkars of Artsakh on the example of the works of the artist and sculptor R. Askaryan, in whose works traditional images are clearly presented, but in a peculiar manner and interpretation. This primarily concerns the iconography of angels, which is devoted a separate paragraph in the article.

Based on a thorough analysis, we can conclude that the master in his works widely used the themes and images of classical khachkars, tombstones and carpets of Artsakh. However, if the structure of the composition of classical khachkars, tombstones and carpets is more complete and suggests that organizing the composition: the central image, the scene, “Ornament” or tree – have clear canons for the placement of constituent elements (for example, land animals should be located at the bottom, and birds and stars at the top), then the characters of the master’s works, individual motifs are freely placed throughout the structure of the composition. The master, according to certain logic, fills the space free of intertwined patterns. It is not always possible to find a mutual connection between these characters, which makes Askaryan’s works especially dramatic.

As an artist, R. Askaryan undoubtedly left his mark on the modern art of the khachkars of Artsakh, his “handwriting” is recognizable in all his works, at the same time being a distinctive stamp among other traditional and modern khachkars.


Edgar G. Hovhannisyan

In the early 1920s, about 3500-4000 Armenian refugees from Cilicia and various settlements of Western Armenia settled in Cyprus. This completely changed the pattern of the Armenian community in Cyprus. In the mid-1920s, the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was reorganized, and it finally transferred under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia. From 1920 to 1940 the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was headed by Archbishop Petros Sarajyan. He played a huge role in the life of the Armenians of Cyprus. Through the efforts of Bishop Petros the community life of the Armenians of the island was reorganized, the bodies of the local national authorities were reconstructed, and the new Charter of the diocesan was approved. A new stage began in the life of the Armenian community of Cyprus.

One of the main tasks of the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus became the preservation of the national identity of the Armenian refugees settled in Cyprus, also the organization of their educational, religious and cultural life. One of the main tasks of the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was to preserve the national identity of the Armenian refugees who settled in Cyprus, as well as to organize their educational, religious and cultural life. One of the urgent tasks was to solve the social problems and ensuring the livelihood of orphans and destitute refugees. The solution to these problems was immediately undertaken by the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus and the bodies of national authorities.

Thanks to hard efforts and the purposeful work of the Diocese of Cyprus and the national organizations of the island the Armenian refugees successfully overcame the existing challenges. Some decades later, the Armenian community of Cyprus was a small but well-organized and prosperous community of Armenian Diaspora.


and the reconstruction of the armenian diocese of cyprus in 1920-930s

Edgar G. Hovhannisyan

The first mentions about Armenians in Cyprus date back to the 6th-7th centuries. During the reign of the Armenian Catholicos Gregory IV at the end of the 12th century the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was mentioned for the first time. In the following centuries, Cyprus became one of the most important cultural and spiritual centers of the Armenians.

After the genocide, the image of the Armenians of Cyprus completely changed. The number of Armenians in Cyprus was not large before the Armenian Genocide. Several thousand Armenians displaced from a number of settlements of Cilicia and Western Armenia took refuge on the island of Cyprus. However, many Armenian refugees did not find favorable living conditions on the island and left for other countries. In the 1920s and 1930s, the number of Armenians in Cyprus fluctuated between 3,500-4,000.

The Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was mainly under the jurisdiction of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Church. However, at different times it was also subordinated to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. After the Armenian Genocide, the reconstruction of the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was very important for organizing the community life of the Armenians of Cyprus. It was also very important to clarify the status of the Diocese of Cyprus in terms of subordination. It is worth to mention, that after leaving Cilicia, the Catholicosate of Cilicia lost all its dioceses except the Diocese of Aleppo. A number of obstacles appeared in that process. After a persistent struggle, the problem was finally resolved in the mid-1920s and the Diocese of Cyprus came under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. The Diocese of Cyprus became the first reconstructed diocese of the Catholicosate of Cilicia

After all this, the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus made enormous efforts to organize the community life of the Armenian refugees who settled in Cyprus and to preserve their national identity. The Primate of the Diocese, Archbishop Petros Sarajyan, played a huge role in this issue. He led the Diocese of Cyprus for about twenty years from 1920 until 1940, until he was elected the Catolicos of the Cilician See


On the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary


Vardan G. Devrikyan
A comparative examination of the prose and verse literary works of Ghevond Alishan (1820-1901), editions of the original texts of medieval Armenian literature, as well as of works on historical geography and various historical issues shows that Alishan’s historiographical perceptions and his principles of choosing different topics in Armenian history were formed through the literary publications of “Bazmavep” in 1840-1850, then continued with various scientific and textological works.

The summary of Alishan’s more than half a century of scientific and literary activity became “Hayapatum”, in which Alishan presents the course of Armenian historiography from the pre-Mashtots period to the 18th century within the scientific understandings of the time, especially Movses Khorenatsi’s “Armenian History” defending against the negative hypercriticism of the time.

The worldview which conditioned Alishan’s scientific methodology and historical contemplation was formed in the Mkhitarist environment, where the centuries-old consecrated, sanctified notion that paradise used to be in Armenia and life originated and was restored for the second time after the flood underwent certain systematization.

This theory called “Paradise of Armenia”, which has become a unique national ideology, instilled in several generations of Armenians around the world the idea that the Armenian people have a mission to reclaim their homeland – the newly renovated paradise planted by God, and to rebuild it.

The volumes on the four provinces of Armenia – “Shirak” (1881), “Sisuan” (dedicated to Cilicia, 1885), “Ayrarat” (1890) and “Sisakan” (dedicated to Syunik 1893) were penned by Alishan with the same concept which occupy an intermediate place between geography and history.

The publication of these volumes was dictated by the literary and social issues raised in that period. It was a turning point back to the past and the history, when increasing censorship forced Eastern and Western Armenian intellectuals to express their words, national aspirations and desires in an allegorical way.

Just as the artistry of the narrative is observed in Alishan’s scholarly studies, so in fiction, especially in the third volume entitled “Hayruni” of the five volumes of poetry called “Motifs” (1857-1858), (dedicated to the Homeland) (1858), scholar Alishan poses a number of historical questions, which refer to the historical destiny and historical perspective of the Armenian people. These statements of questions bear in themselves the strong emphasis of the spirit of the Italian Revolution of the 1840’s.

MARCH 16 OR 18? – 2020-1

The signing deadlines of the 1921 Russian-Turkish Treaty of Moscow


Ararat M. Hakobyan-Doctor of Historical Sciences
Considering the issue of the deadlines of signing the 1921 Russian-Turkish “Friendship and Brotherhood” Treaty of Moscow from the distance of about a century, the following may be stated.

1. In the history of international diplomacy such cases are unique that the two internationally unrecognized states – the RSFSR and Kemalist Turkey, discussed and jointly decided on territorial-border issues of Armenia – an independent third state, without its knowledge and involvement. That is to say, the 1921 Treaty of Moscow is illegal and invalid and cannot contain any obligation for the successor modern Republic of Armenia to recognize that treaty.

2. The second political-diplomatic oddity that is the main focus of this publication is that the two negotiating parties – the Russian and the Turkish sides, dictated by their great-power interests, even falsified the exact day of the signature of the Treaty of Moscow. It was actually signed on March 18, 1921, but “March 16” is recorded on the document, and to this day this erroneous historical date continues to be circulated in historical literature.

Much related to the history and the fate of the Armenian people, the 1921 March 16 or 18 calendar games around the Moscow treaty date in diplomacy can be characterized as a peculiar historical falsification (fake) that shows once again that Armenia’s distant and close, sometimes friendly and allied states often resorted to violating the legitimate interests of the Armenian people, through seizing, dividing between each other and appropriating the vital territories of their historic homeland. The abovementioned episode is an instructive experience and lesson in the millennia-old Armenian history, from which one must learn, draw appropriate conclusions, gain historical and political experience on the way to the consolidation of our modern-day independent statehood.


And its role in the educational life of Armenian communities of Syria-Lebanon


Edgar G. Hovhannisyan-Candidate of Sciences in History
After leaving Cilicia, in 1930 the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia was established in Antelias, Lebanon, which further gradually transformed not only as of the seat of the Catholicosate of Cilicia but also to the important spiritual center for the Armenian Diaspora. It is well-known that the formerly located orphanages under the auspices of the American Committee for Relief in the Near East were located in those buildings in Antelias. Following the demolition of those orphanages, the Near East Relief decides that these constructions are handed over for free to the Catholicosate of Cilicia, with an American $1 symbolic lease. The Catholicosate of Cilicia should use the estate as a school for the preparation of clergy and teachers. The newly opened Drepevank of Antelias would be a unique educational institution in the Armenian Diaspora. The role of school and education is crucial for the preservation of the Armenian identity in Diaspora.

The opening of Dprevank took place on October 12, 1930. As a result of important efforts, Dprevank has become one of the pivotal Diaspora educational institutions, which, in its turn, contributed to the strengthening and raising the role of the Catholicosate. In the course of time, Dprevank acquires Pan-Diaspora character.



A Comparative Examination of the Activities of Armenian and Persian Pioneers in Ethnography and Philology


Anahit I. Yahyamasihi
Ethnography and folkloristics as science formed in Armenia in the early 19th century and relatively late in the early 20th century in Iran and found their place in the cultural and art system. Garegin Srvandztiants and Sadegh Hedayat have their permanent place in Armenian and Persian literature.

Along with folklore studies, they traveled and focused on their native land, people’s lifestyle, beliefs, customs and traditions, spoken language, behavior and habits.

The Srvandztiants-Hedayat parallels show that literary critics of two different nations and faiths shared the same ideas, style, thinking, and taste in the field of collection of folklore.

Their literary talents had been revealed since their years of adolescence as they struggled vigorously against their own and foreign oppressors.

Srvandztiants’ and Hedayat’s greatest service was the organization of the collection of folklore – the popular word, and the effort to put it on a scientific basis. They were so profound in folklore and ethnography that they introduced them to the field of their artistic compositions. Their prose was just overflowed with people’s folklore.

G. Srvandztiants, with his collections “Written and Oral Compositions” (“GrotsBrots”), “The Door of David of Sasoon and Mher”, “About the Old and New” (“Hnots and Norots”), “Manana”, “With Taste and Smell” (“Hamov-Hotov”), presented himself as a profound researcher thus establishing the Armenian ethnographicscholarly teaching. And after the publication of Hedayat’s works of “Osane” (“Fairy Tale”) and “Neyrangestan” (“The Land of Wonders”), studies of ethnography and folklore gained new momentum in Iran.

Not only were the folklorists diligently involved in the study of folklore, they also encourag ed their close ones to be supportive and to cooperate. By their exhortation, many materials were saved from loss, and many researchers began to engage in folkloristic work. It should be emphasized that with their services, G. Srvandztiants and S. Hedayat, became the teachers of many in the field of respectively the Armenian and Iranian ethnography and folkloristics.


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


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.


At the afterglow of February  Rebellion of 1921


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.



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.