Category Archives: MEMORY

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.



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.



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.



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.



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).