Category Archives: MEMORY

“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.

HOVHANNES TUMANYAN IN THE MAELSTROM OF THE GENOCIDE – 2017-2

Summary

Susanna G. Hovhannisyan

Key words – Hovhannes Tumanyan, Echmiadzin, refugees, orphans, genocide, diaries, drafts, records, children, Nvard, Satenik Ohanjanyan, Western Armenia, Van, Alashkert, Erzrum, Mush, Berkri, Tiramerik, Abaga, Khndzorken, Bitlis, Datvan, Panchi, Manazkert.

The article introduces a few episodes of Tumanyan’s activities in Echmiadzin during the period of the Armenian Genocide, particularly August-September of 1915. Tumanyan’s diaries kept many testimonies about the life of orphans and refugees sheltered in Echmiadzin during that period.

Heroism of a teacher Hakob Jrbashyan and Arpiar Safrastyan to save 300 children of a bording school of Varag is represented, the incidents, which took place while migrating to Igdir from Shatakh, Archesh, Van, Alashkert, Erzrum, Mush and other regions of Western Armenia, as well as description of massacre which took place in Gortsot, Tiramerik, Abagha, Berkri, Khndzorken, Bitlis, Mush, Datavan, Panchi and other places are represented. There are also facts about material losses of the Armenian people in Manazkert and Western villages: statistical data about the refugees who had become victims of epidemic during a month in Echmiadzin, which are expressed in Tumanyan’s telegrams sent to the Armenian National Bureau.

18 out of 100 articles of literary-critical, political-public nature written by the poet during the period from 1914 to 1918 remained unfinished and in draft condition which often remind records. Today these drafts have also value of ratification: they express testimonies and thoughts of the poet as a witness of Genocide. The author emphasized horrors of Genocide and created an image of human-beast.

The poet’s orphan-protecting activities started in Echmiadzin which continued until the end of his life. In February of 1920 by the initiative of Haskel / High Commissioner Colonel of Allies (appointed in summer of 1919) / Armenian Orphans and Refugees Subscription Committee was formed and Tumanyan was elected as chairman.

Tumanyan’s selfless bravery and multi-layer devoted activities carried out during Genocide period are considered to be a striking example of humanity and patriotism in the history of all nations.

“THE PIRMALAK CASE” (1941-1942) – 2017-1

One fragment of Stalinist repressions

Summary

Artavazd G. Darbinyan

Key words – “The case of Pirmalak”, 1937, Stalin’s repressions, arrest, fear, threat, execution, exile, exculpation.

In Soviet historiography, the dominant opinion is that, after the Nazi Germany attack, political violence in the Soviet Union practically ceased, but it is not true. After the attack, the trains continued to deliver tens of thousands of victims of political repressions to labor camps. At the first stage of the war, in 1941, a concrete example of political violence in Armenia was the arrest and exile of 15 people (mostly youth) of the Talin region and the village Pirmalak of the same region. The case was based on the indictment numbered “investigation file 9265”, which we will conditionally call the “Pirmalak Case”. According to the decision taken by the special committee by NKVD on December 23, 1942 (of course, the trial was not conducted), one of the members of the group – Gevorg Mirakyan (according to the indictment, he was the leader of the anti-revolutionary Dashnak organization) was sentenced to maximum punishment – еxecution by firing squad with the confiscation of personal property, and the other members of the group were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

THE LEGAL STATUS OF ARMENIANS IN FRESNO COUNTY (1880-1920) – 2016-4

Summary

Hasmik M. Yesayan

Key words – discrimination, nativism, restrictive covenants, immigration policy, natives, “undesirables”, racial classification, citizenship.

This article makes an attempt to investigate the legal status of the Armenians settled in Fresno, California in the 1880-1920s in the context of national policies of the United States. The Nativism, an Anglo-Saxon influential movement, formed in 19th century was aimed at maintaining racial purity, and the United States government adopted a variety of different laws for that purpose. The most essential of these laws was the law on refugee citizenship, which was accompanied by discussions about the ethnic origins and the refugees deprived of the rights came across serious obstacles in all of the legal and social fields and the immigration restricting laws of 1921-1924s, which resulted in significant reduction of the Armenian immigration to the United States, including California, Fresno.

The article discusses the origin and the reasons of the national discrimination against the Armenians in Fresno County, caused by nativism, as well as the inter-ethnic relations between the Armenians and the natives. It reveals the restrictive covenants, which were aimed at «undesirables», including Armenians. These laws created complications and obstacles for the Armenians in their new homeland, Fresno.

ALEXANDER GRIBOYEDOV AND THE IMMIGRATION OF PERSIAN ARMENIANS IN 1828-1829 – 2016-4

As a subject of Azeri and Russian historical-fictional workouts

Summary 

Vahram R. Simonyan

Keywords – Nikita Mikhalkov, Azerbaijani falsifications, Turkmanchai agreement, A. Griboyedov, Heraclius II, P. Tsitsianov, relocation, Russian Cossacks, Nerses Ashtaraketsi, E. Lazaryan, Immigration Committee, I. Paskevich.

The article examines the policy of the Russian government, regarding the relocation of Persian Armenians due to Turkmenchay agreement and the involvement of the Russian writer Alexander Griboyedov. The author shows that the relocation of the Persian Armenians is their return to their historic homeland from which they were deported during the reign of Shah Abbas in the early 17th century.

During the Russian­Persian war of 1826­1828, after the failure of the policy of resettlement of 80,000 Little­Russian Cossacks, the Russian government accepts the proposals of the Armenian figures (Lazarevs) and organizes the resettlement of the Persian Armenians.

We’ve presented the efforts and huge practical and advocacy contribution in this process of Georgian Armenians eparch ­ Nerses Ashtaraketsi, colonel E. Lazaryan, M. Argutyan­Dolgorukiy and others. The efforts of the above­mentioned figures have not received a proper assessment by the commander of the Caucasian Corps I. Paskevich, because of the machinations of which Alexander Griboyedov was among the officials carrying out thorough inspection of E. Lazaryan, the head of the Committee for the resettlement of the Persian Armenians.

As it is well­known, in the Soviet historiography in the research process of Persian Armenians’ migration a great importance was attached to the role of Alexander Griboyedov. But historical facts show that A. Griboyedov was only the executor of the will of central government and had little sympathy for the Armenians. Meanwhile Soviet mythmaking made Griboyedov the savior of longsuffering people. Modern Azerbaijani historiography, which is based on the ridiculous concept of Armenians «being newcomers» in Eastern Armenia, seeks to use Soviet mythmaking about Griboyedov­armenofile for their own purposes. Another manifestation of it is the attempt to win over to his side the famous Russian director N. Mikhalkov and remove the serial film about Griboyedov. The aim of this venture is the justification of the invented concept of «Western Azerbaijan», whose demographic face was contorted by the resettlement of Armenians from Persia and the Ottoman Empire.

PHILOSOPHY OF WAR – 2016-3

Thoughts on the “Four-Day War”

Summary

David R. Mosinyan

Key words – war, memory, oblivion, hero, heroic, trauma, unconsciousness, philosophy, identity.

Nowadays more substantial intellectual efforts are needed, not only to orientate in every time suddenly reorganized geopolitical picture, but also to determine the extent of your own participation in the certain war. It means that there is a problem to think about the war in the philosophical context. Peace and safety have become the normative criteria for social life especially after World War II. But what we call “peace” is a relative phenomenon in both military and philosophical sense. To approach the war with good-bad terms is to make you a laughingstock from the world history point of view.

BATTLE OF SURMALU – 2016-1

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of death of Commander Drastamat Kanayan

Summary

Hamlet M. Gevorgyan, Arthur S. Ghazaryan

Keywords – Drastamat Kanayan, battle of Surmalu, Republic of Armenia, front of Kars, Ararat valley, Karo of Sasun, Kurd, Koghb, Kazim Karabekir Pasha, Caracalla, Yerevan, Vahe Artsruni, A. Aharonyan, Igdir, Kuro Tarkhanyan, Martiros Abrahamyan.

The battle of Surmalu led by Drastamat Kanayan was the last battle of the Armenian-Turkish war of 1920, when the Armenian army won a decisive victory. But this fact did not receive due attention among Armenian historiography and society. Although the Government of Armenia and the army’s high command believed that the main front was the one of Kars, but Surmalu was not at all inferior to Kars due to its geographical position and tactical importance. The front of Surmalu was closer to Yerevan and to the most densely populated region – the Ararat valley, besides, compared to Kars front there were no sufficient troops and weapons. The victory of the Armenian armed forces in the battle of Surmalu saved Armenians of Ararat valley from being slaughtered.

Thus, the victory of the Armenian troops in the battle of Surmalu during the Turkish-Armenian War of 1920 was crucial to the future survival of Armenia, and Dro has once again proved that he deserved the name of the invincible commander.

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE RIGHT OF NATIONS TO SELF-DETERMINATION – 2015-4

Against european solidarity of the great powers

Summary

Tigran R. Yepremyan

Key words – Napoleon Bonaparte, European System, nation, self-determination, sovereignty, liberty, equality, Armenians, the Congress of Vienna, legitimacy, equilibrium.

The article comparatively examines the new paradigm in international relations based on the French revolutionary ideas and sifted by Napoleon Bonapart. The armies of the Revolutionary France were transforming Europe in accordance with the republican values and the universal principles of Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité. In this context the goal of Napoleon’s policy of exporting the French Revolution was the creation of commonwealth of European sovereign nations, which was to supersede ancien régime and sovereign monarchs, based on the European equilibrium. His policy marked an important step towards the formation of the right of self-determination of nations. The Napoleonic structural and institutional reforms promoted the rise of the national ideologies and the modernization of European societies and states into modern nation-states. Thus, the Napoleonic period marked the transition from the ancien régime to the modern era.

The French Revolution was the first great pan-European social upheaval, which had a secular logic, thus affecting also the neighbouring Islamic world.

Moreover, its ideas caused a great schism between Christianity and states affecting the very basis of group cohesion and creating new patterns of loyalty and new paradigms of identity formation. Thus, the ideas of French Revolution found their reflections also among the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire. Particularly, the Greek and the Armenian elite of Constantinople, who were familiar with the Western culture, were linguistically and intellectually prepared to accept the revolutionary ideas. The idea of liberty in the Ottoman context acquired a new political content becoming the war-cry of the national liberation struggles of the oppressed people against the Ottoman despotism. The idea of equality due to the corporative structure of the Ottoman society found itself in a different context having little effect when appealing to the individuals, but getting profound response while appealing to the ethnic or religious groups. Thus, the idea of equality was raised from individualistic level to the interethnic level and found its expression as equality between nations, which was later raised to the right of self-determination of nations.

The Napoleonic “Grand Empire,” which was stretching from Holland to Poland and from Spain to Balkans, represented a conglomeration of three groups of territories: annexed lands, conquered countries, and allied countries. Conditionally we call this as the Napoleonic System of International Relations, where the ideas of national sovereignty, liberty and fraternal equality were recognized at least in the ideological sense. Remarkably, Napoleon’s European policy had a profound influence on both ideological and structural unification of Europe. The creation of administrative and legal uniformity, economic unity, and the territorial reorganization in various parts of Europe helped to stimulate national aspirations.

In contrast to the Napoleonic system the victorious conservative powers gathered in Vienna for the refoundation of Europe made their decisions based on the principles of équilibre, légitimité and compensation trying to stop the general transformation. Thus, Napoleon’s concept of the integration of European nations was replaced with the great powers’ Concert of Europe. However, Napoleon’s victories and the French hegemony over Europe proved the supremacy of the French nation-state and sent a clear signal to the European rulers that modernization of state apparatus based on the French model was indispensable if they wanted to survive and to continue playing a decisive role in the international arena.

DEVELOPMENTS IN CENTRAL PRISON OF YEREVAN FROM 14 TO 18 FEBRUARY 1921 – 2015-3

New details concerning the crimes committed by Armenian revolutionary committee

Summary

Gevorg S. Stepanyan

Key words – Armenian Revolutionary Committee, ARF Dashnaktsutyun, the Cheka, arrest, Bandus, Vardan Tellalyan (V. Bakur), deprivation of liberty, Mushegh Aghayan, Hamazasp, Oliver Baldwin, hacked to death.

On December 2, 1920, at 13:00 the representatives of the government of Armenia Drastamat Kanayan (Dro) and Hambartsum Terteryan and the authorized representative of Soviet Russia – Boris Legrand signed an agreement consisted of an 8-points in Yerevan, by which the government of the country peacefully passed into the hands of Armenian Revolutionary Committee. According to the fourth and fifth points of the agreement, Russia and the Revolutionary Committee undertook not to use violence against the military structure, the former members of the government and the leaders of ARF Dashnaktsutyun. But the Bolsheviks did not fulfill any of the points of agreement, their aim was to carry out regime change by civil war, bloodshed and the class struggle. As a result of the ongoing violence and arrests, in February 1921, the Cheka prison, as well as a the military prison and the central prison of Yerevan were full of political prisoners. On February 14, the Cheka began secret extrajudicial executions at the prison of Yerevan, thus many Armenian intellectuals and prominent figures of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun fell victim to it. February 16-18 were the worst days in the central prison in Yerevan. Cheka decided to begin executions and massacres in the night from 16 to 17 February. Bloody holiday was personally headed by Avis Nurijanyan, Suleyman Nuri – Turk by nationality, S. Amirkhanyan and Tatar butcher of Hantari market in Yerevan, whose name was Tahir. At night from 17 to 18 February the central prison turned into a slaughterhouse, executions and murders with an ax were recommenced. Among the victims were such priceless Armenian heroes of the national liberation struggle and prominent military figures as Hamazasp (Srvandztyants), Nick. Ghorghanyan, Makedon Hakobjanyan, Vardan Tellalyan – officer from Sebastia and others. Regarding the number of dead prisoners some clarifying information is provided by Martiros of Bashgarni: According to the data of Chief Bureau of Kanaker district, 75 people were shot and hacked to death.

ORIGINS OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN MAMLUK SULTANATE AND CILICIAN ARMENIA – 2015-1

Summary

Gagik G. Danielyan

Key words – Mamluk Sultanate, Mongols, Il-khanate, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Ketbugha, Hetum I, Bohemond VI, Qutuz, Baybars, Armenian-Mamluk relations.

In the middle of the XIII century important events occurred in Egypt that changed drastically the political situation not only in Egypt, but in the Middle East as a whole. In 1250, as a result of the overthrow of the Ayyūbid dynasty, the Mamlūks seized the power in Cairo and established the Mamlūk Sultanate (1250-1517). A few years later, another great political power came into existence in the region – the Mongol Il-khanate of Persia (1256-1335). The Cilician Armenian Kingdom, which had already submitted to Mongol suzerainty, was also involved into a constant struggle between the two states. In 1260 king Het’um tооk an active part in the Mongol invasion of Syria led by Hulegu. However, after the Mongol defeat at ’Ayn Ğālūt, the Mongol-Armenian alliance became the main reason for strained relations between Cilician Armenia and the Mamlūk Sultanate, that soon developed into a direct military confrontation.