Category Archives: ARCHIVE


Massacres at Ras al-Ain


Aram A. Andonian
Publication, introduction and notes are prepared by Mihran A. Minassian
The previously unpublished testimony of Aram Andonian, writer, historinan, editor
and national-cultural figure from Constantinople, the survivor of the Armenian genocide, is presented in the first part of the publication. It describes the situation and massacre of the deported Armenians at Ras al-Ain concentration camp. The name list of organizers and implementers of this massacre with specific crime ascribed to each person is given in the second part of the publication.

Ras al-Ain is considered as the second largest slaughterhouse after Deir ez-Zor. According to Aram Andonian, about 70,000 Armenians have been massacred there, not including the number of tens of thousands of people who died as a result of epidemics and famine.



Aghasi P. Azizian

Key words – «Nemesis», Djemal Pasha, ARF Dashnaktsutyun, Stepan Tsaghikyan, Petros Ter-Poghosyan, Artashes Georgyan, ARFD Central Committee in Georgia, avengers, arrests.

In the fall of 1919 in the capital of independent Armenia – Yerevan, the 9th General Assembly of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun adopted a historic and daring decision to punish the Young Turks responsible for the Armenian Genocide and Musavatists who continued their policy in the Eastern Transcaucasus. This operation went down in history under the name «Nemesis».

On July 21, 1922, the Central Committee of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun of Georgia organized the terror of Djemal Pasha. Member of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun Party – Stepan Tsagikyan from Khotorjur (Sırakonak) was the chief responsible for the implementation of the operation. On his initiative, his compatriot, as well as a member of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun party, excellent marksman Petros Ter-Poghosyan and Artashes Gevorgyan joined the operation. Two members of the committee of the Georgian ARF Dashnaktsutyun center – Koryun Ghazazyan and Tigran Avetisyan, were monitored the work, organized meetings with people who knew Djemal and followed his movements and meetings through a whole network of intelligence officers.

The understandable silence of real heroes in the future served as an occasion for opportunists who were aware of some episodes of this heroic operation, to declare themselves assassins of Djemal. The presented documents undoubtedly confirm that the terror against Jemal was initiated and implemented by the Georgian Central Committee of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun – Dashnaks Stepan Tsaghikyan, Petros Ter-Poghosyan and their compatriot, nonpartisan Artashes Gevorgyan.



Margarita M. Khachatryan

Key words – Hamastegh, Hakob Khashmanyan, Aram Haykaz, concerns of Diaspora Armenians, faith in the future, nostalgia for the homeland, special message to the Armenians around the world.

Hamastegh is one of the prominent figures of Armenian literature in the Diaspora. His rich literary heritage after a whole century makes the reader happy with new ideas. Fortunately, the archive and most part of the books in Armenian of the writer’s library are kept in the Yeghishe Charents Museum of Literature and Art,, Thanks to that it is possible to reach a better understanding of the writer’s inner world through his letters, and to see the origin of his nostalgia that is hard to translate into other languages. Aram Haykaz and Hakob Khashmanyan were friends of Hamastegh. Hamastegh and Hakob Khashmanyan were members of ARF Dashnaktsutyun, and Aram Haykaz was an active supporter, but they skilfully avoided party political barriers, and noted with satisfaction the positive changes that took place in the Soviet Union. However, Hamastegh could not fulfill his dream and he never saw his country in the shadow of Mount Ararat, which is part of the homeland of Armenians, but he was always writing and speakng with pride about the efforts of the Armenian people to preserve and enrich their identity and culture.

In the autumn of 1966, the 70th anniversary of Hamastegh and the 70th anniversary of his literary activities were celebrated. Hamastegh participated in three jubilee events. At this time, the writer was concerned about the guests who came from Soviet Armenia to visit him. The letters will help the reader to understand the problems and disappointments of Armenians living in the United States, as well as their faith in the future of the Armenians.


Part two. From Stalin’s repressions until exculpation (documents)


Ararat M. Hakobyan

Key words – H. Kajaznuni, Kh. Mughdusi, criminal case, arrest, execution, Troika, prison, NKVD, KGB, investigation, indictment, verdict, certificate, prosecutor, officer of the criminal investigation department, 1937, decision, exculpation.

As a continuation of the article devoted to O. Kajaznuni’s life and work in the 1920s, we present to the attention of the reader some archival documents relating to the last years of his life – arrest, heavy emotional distress, initiation of a criminal case, decision to execute and after his tragic death, the review of his case and exculpation.

In November, 1937 (the date is not visible) the criminal case of O. Kajaznuni with the indictment and with the approval of Kondakov was sent to the review of the Troika of the NKVD of the USSR. On December 5, 1937, the Troika pronounced a verdict on the execution of the defendant with the confiscation of personal property. However, due to health problems, Kajaznuni was in the prison hospital in Yerevan. According to the order, the death penalty could be carried out only upon the permission of the prison (judicial) doctor. However, O. Kajaznuni’s physical health was in such a critical condition that the prison doctor did not give permission for execution, or at least postponed the implementation of this act until the prisoner could stand up on his own. But due to further deterioration of health (senile weakness, tuberculosis and influenza), the former prime minister died in the prison hospital a few days later, on January 15, 1938, at the age of 70.

The publication of the documents regarding the unjustified and false criminal case of O. Kajaznuni is symbolic in that this year marks the 80th anniversary of the Stalinist repressions of «1937».



Ervand G. Pambukian

Key words – Av. Isahakyan, Ch. Mikaelian, Geneva, poem, Hay-Gusan, “Droshak”, Venice, decade, epic.

In the exceptionally rich archive of Simon Vratsyan, among other things, Avetik Isahakian’s handwritten texts have also been preserved. The text below (folder 150 / 12-15) is probably taken from the folder of the official newspaper of ARF Dashnaktsutyun – “Droshak” of those days when Vratsyan was the editor of the newspaper (1925-1933).


Concerning the capture of the Ottoman Bank and its consequences


Hovik B. Grigoryan

Key words – liberation struggle, unpublished documents, capture of the Ottoman Bank, Western Armenian writer, Reorganized Hnchakyan party, Western Armenian intellectual, the Armenian issue, Young Turk figures, Paris.

The operation of Ottoman Bank’s capture became the most significant event among offensive tactics of ARF Dashnaktsutyun in 1896-1898, which received a wide response in the international arena, and in inner circles. By publishing three letters of Arshak Chopanyana addressed to Arpiar Arpiaryan, which he wrote under fresh impressions, and without any political intention, we want to present the immediate impact that this operation has made on the international community and some Western Armenian intellectuals who were settled in France at that time. As the whole three letters by A. Chopanyan were written under the immediate impression of capture of Ottoman Bank, they are three parts of a whole in terms of content and continue each other. They are significant also because they reflect the optimism of A. Chopanyan concerning the capture of the Ottoman Bank, who at the time was also in Europe and was close to the reorganized Hnchakyan party.


Combined martyrology


Avag A. Harutyunyan

Key words – First Republic of Armenia, Ryazan concentration camp, sovietisation, expulsion, prisoner, Armenian army, Armenian officer, Tovmas Nazarbekyan, Movses Silikyan, justification.

After the Sovietization of the First Republic of Armenia, the Bolshevik government carried out mass arrests of Armenian officers – up to the generals, sending them to the concentration camp of Ryazan.

Here are published some registration cards, forms, lists, protocols of imprisoned Armenian officers, documents concerning their release from the concentration camp and the rehabilitation lists.

There are many memoirs of contemporaries and research documents regarding the number and the further fate of the exiled Armenian officers. But the full story of Ryazan epopee is not properly investigated due to the lack of some necessary documents.

Studying the history of the Armenian officers odyssey is important also in terms of a comprehensive understanding of the history of the First Republic and its armed forces.

We are confident that this publication will be very useful for a full study of the history of Armenian officers’ Ryazan martyrology.


Part one. The early years of working in ARF Dashnaktsutyun


Prepared by Ruben H. Gasparian and Ruben O. Sahakyan

Key words -Mar, ARF Dashnaktsutyun, Simon Zavaryan, Yerevan, Gandzak, dynamite, Jalal-ogli, Cyprus, Armen Garo, Hnchaks, Constantinople, Onnik Derdzakyan, Babken Syuni.

Memoirs of a famous activist of ARF Dashnaktsutyun Michael Ter-Martirosyan (Mar), which will be published in this and subsequent issues of the magazine VEM, begin with a description of the Armenian revival of 1880 and are terminated in 1913, by the events of the First Balkan War. The first part presents the membership of Mar to the party, who was then a teacher in Ganzak and his first steps on the instructions of Simon Zavaryan – acquisition of dynamite from mines of Getabek, then teachers’ and party activities in Jalaloglu. He describes pretty in details the events of the Council and the decisions taken during the meeting in Tbilisi at the beginning of 1896, for the execution of which Michael Ter-Martirosyan visited Geneva. After that, having received an additional assignment from the editor of the magazine “Droshak” – Hovnan Davtyan, he left for Egypt, then – to Cyprus, where he met Armen Garo (Garegin Pastrmadzhyan). After spending some time in Larnaca and visiting the Monastery of St. Makar whose surrounding forests and mountains were regarded by party members as a suitable place to hide weapons and people, Mar sailed to Constantinople, where, after many adventures, he found his party fellows – Onnik Derdzakyan (Vramyan) and Babken Syuni, who were already preparing the operation Bank Ottoman.


A remarkable document on the revolutionary activity of Avetis Gharibyan (Padvali Vagho)


Gevorg S. Khudinyan

Key words – Padvali Vagho, underground, Alexandropol, Police Department, Ministry of Justice, military weapons, ammunition, shells, search, sack, investigation.

The publication provides a detailed report on the unsuccessful attempt of investigation by imperial police department and the Ministry of Justice toward a resident of Alexandropol (Gyumri) – Avetis Gharibyan in 1891-1892, we’ve also attached data taken from the Russian State Archive, with interpretations of the notes and explanations.

At the beginning of February 1891 as a result of denunciation by his own neighbor – Greek Alexander Abramov, Avetis Gharibyan faced a prosecution, as his booth (basement) was searched and some evidences of guilt were found (combat arms and ammunition), so it seemed there was no way to avoid punishment. But with the ingenuity that is inherent to the inhabitants of Gyumri, Avetis could take all the necessary steps that changed the course of the investigation. First he appeared before the court as a victim, who was slandered, and the prosecutor was presented as offender, whose statements were false. The fact that the witnesses were directed against the informer himself and the strong evidences were presented as a result of his machinations, and finally, notes that were stored at the informer’s and the testimony of the authors were again turned against the Greek, say that behind the legendary the figure was standing not only the organization of the ARF in Alexandropol, but also the aspiring citizens of Gyumri, who were always ready to defend their fellow countryman who was persecuted for “Sacred Cause”.

Though “The Report” compiled by the Ministry of Justice on September 5, 1892 has passed through all the punitive jurisdictions of tsarist Russia it states that under the pressure of the arguments and evidences of his friends the administrative authorities have been forced to discontinue the investigation.