To the bright memory of Vahagn Dadryan
Suren A. Manukyan
Vahagn Norayr Dadryan is one of those scholars who have become classic already during their lifetime. Being impressed by his works many of us got involved in the field of genocide study: he was cited, and his attitudes created a whole branch of science. And even those who were not sharing Vahagn Dadryan’s theoretical principals admitted his greatness. And for Turkish denial Vahagn Dadryan had become number one rival and target.
Carrying out an extensive collectable work in various archives of the world Vahagn Dadryan transferred on systemized basis the function of collecting and putting into scientific circulation the materials referring to the Armenian Genocide: it was based on four demands, that is, the sources must be: a) reliable, b)explicit, c) incontestable, d) verifiable. For that reason he focused his main work on the documents of Turkish courts, Ottoman parliament chamber of deputies and diplomatic and military papers of Austria-Hungary.
Since the mid-1980’s when Vahagn Dadryan became the author of two famous articles in “Holocaust and Genocide Studies” and “International Journal of Middle East Studies” magazines he began to be perceived as the most important international expert on the Armenian Genocide. Articles by Vahagn Dadryan started to appear in most prestigious academic periodicals and collections and together with another Armenian scholar Richard Hovhannisyan he actually became the pioneer of new study of Armenian Genocide in newly emerging field of scientific branch, i.e. Genocide Study.
In 1995 Vahagn Dadryan’s monumental work “The History of Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from Balkans to Anatolia and Caucasus” was published. Alongside with it Vahagn Dadryan became one of the representatives of the first generation of founders of Genocide studies as a separate branch of science as he did not remain in the framework of studying the Great Genocide but also tried to think over the theoretic provisions of genocide as phenomenon. Besides he became the author of many articles where he compared Armenian Genocide and Jewish Holocaust trying thus clearly “legitimize” the Armenian Genocide in academic frameworks.
Vahagn Dadryan has devoted all his life to the struggle against Turkish denial. His all works were the ones crushing Turkish viewpoints so his every article published in prestigious scholarly magazine became a battlefield against the denialist historians. In 1996 he initiated the publication of an open letter written by 150 specialists of genocide and Holocaust which condemned the Turkish denial and affirmed the fact of the Armenian Genocide, and in 1999 Vahagn Dadryan comprised and published a brochure entitled “The Main Components of Turkish Denial: Distortion and Falsification”.