Spring-Autumn 2015, Issues 1-2

Ts՚eghaspanagitakan handes (“Journal of Genocide Studies”)

The Caucasian Frontline of the First World War: Genocide, Refugees and Humanitarian Assistance Proceedings of the International Conference The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Yerevan, April 21-22, 2014


Hayk Demoyan
Pages 9-10

Received on July 22, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Victor Nadein-Raevski
Pages 11-24

About hundred years have passed since the first genocide of the twentieth century – the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. However, although it is believed that the origin of the crime dates back to 1915, the very situation in the Empire, the new trends in the ideological currents of the Empire, primarily Pan-Turkism, appeared long before the First World War. The ideology of the ruling circles of the Ottoman Empire aimed at the creation of a «Great Turan,» of a state, which was to unite all Turkic peoples under the auspices of the Ottomans, led to the genocide of the Armenians and other Christian peoples of the Empire. The essentially messianic ideas of Turkish superiority over other nations have survived to this day, and crimes against Armenians and other peoples are still denied by descendants of organizers and perpetrators.

Keywords: Armenian genocide, pan-Turkism, the First World War, «The Great Turan.»

Received on June 30, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Arsen Avagyan
Pages 25-32

The Branch of Eastern vilayets of the Special organization was established in August of 1914. The Branch was leaded by member of the Central Committee of the CUP, doctor Behaeddin Sakir. The Branch pursued the following objectives:
a. creation of gangs (cete) those with cooperation of armed forces will fight against Russian troops.
b. organizations of insurrection (rebelions) in the rear of the Russian army,
c. creating a spy network in the Caucasus,
d. destruction of the Armenian population.
2 November of 1914 on Caucasian front the units of the Branch of Eastern vilayets occupied the cities Murgul and Borchka, but in the subsequent battle with the Russian army units abandoned their positions and deserters, which led to tension in the relationship between the leadership of the Ottoman army and the “Special Organization”. In the history the Branch of Eastern vilayets of the Special organization is known for his role in the organization of eviction and the destruction of the Armenian population of Trabzon and six Armenian vilayets.

Keywords: Branch of «Special organization» in Eastern vilayets, Behaeddin Shakir, Arif Jemil, gangs, rebellion, buffer states, looting, Armenian genocide.

Received on June 11, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Meline Anumyan
Pages 33-41

In the case of the Armenian Genocide, the start of the Politicide was given on April 24, 1915, when the Armenian political, public, and cultural figures’ mass annihilation had begun.
Armenian scholars and cultural figures have greatly contributed to science and culture in Turkey. Before their death, many of the influential figures who died during the Armenian Genocide expressed regret for having served the Turks.
The Politicide toward the Istanbul Armenians is noticeable in modern-day Turkey, too. The murder of Hrant Dink, the chief editor of Agos, who was killed on January 19, 2007, as well as Armenian linguist Sevan Nisanyan’s arrest should be observed as particular cases of political killing.
The primary consequence of the Turkish leadership’s politicide (political killing) at the time of the Armenian Genocide was the depolitization of the Armenian citizens of Turkey.

Keywords: politicide, Armenian intelligentsia, Armenian genocide.

Received on July 2, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Suren Manukyan
Pages 42-56

On the eve of the First World War an image of Armenians as internal enemies was constructed, which allowed to incite the Muslim population of the Ottoman Empire and involve them in the process of extermination of Armenians. Based on the old prejudices, such as Armenians as “infidels”, “subordinate” and “potential victims” new images such as “exploiters”, “competitors” and “Russian and European allies “ were introduced to the process of social-indoctrination. In addition, the concept of killing to “save the Homeland” was developed accompanied by the process of dehumanization of Armenian population of the Empire. All these processes constructed the necessary environment for the implementation of genocide.

Keywords։ Armenian Genocide, mass participation, creation of genocidal environment, social-psychology, indoctrination, creation the image of enemy.

Received on June 13, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Rubina Peroomian (Minasian)
Pages 57-75

In the chaotic atmosphere, after the Bolshevik revolution, conflicting factors went into play and fractions entered into open war against each other for the territorial and demographic redistribution of the former Tsarist Russia’s provinces in Transcaucasia. The Musavatists, the Armenian Bolsheviks and the long arm of Moscow’s central government, the Baku Sovnarkom, the Germans and the British presence, the secret agreements of Bolsheviks with the Germans and the Young Turks, the sporadic attacks and massacres of Armenians by fanatically religious Tatars, all worked to foil the Armenian quest for survival and paved the way for the Ottoman army to advance toward Baku to realize the last genocidal act against Armenians just before the end of WWI.

Keywords: Armenian Genocide, Bolshevik Revolution, Transcaucasia, First World War.

Received on July 10, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Harutyun Marutyan
Pages 76-80

The Genocide Centennial is also a milestone and a starting point for addressing of national issues as well. As a rule, every year references to the Armenian Genocide tend to focus on the “genocide victims” and sometimes by extension on the Armenian fedayis and self-defense battles. Yet no official mention of them is made, which perpetuates the victim mentality on a scale of the whole nation. Meanwhile soldiers of Armenian descent actively participated in the hostility of the WW1, and during the Genocide several selfdefense battles of Armenian people took place in the Ottoman Empire. It is suggested to review and reformulate the meaning of the April 24 Remembrance Day and rephrase the commonly accepted wording into “The Armenian Genocide Victims and Self-Defense Battles’ Heroes Remembrance Day.”

Keywords: Armenian Genocide, self-defense, heroes, memory day.

Received on July 17, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Taline Papazian
Pages 81-91

Article will focus on the study of the volunteer movement as providing a ground work for the ideological formulation of Armenian national goals in the period of World War I. For the Armenians, physical violence was manifold during WWI: they experienced the most dramatic physical destruction of their history due to the genocide; they also took an active part on the Caucasian and Ottoman frontlines, along with the Russian armies and, after the Bolshevik revolution, on their own; finally, they were also entangled in a series of armed conflicts with their neighbors over the territorial delimitation of the Armenian Republic from 1918 onto 1920, particularly with the Turkish army on the western front and the Tatar forces in the south-eastern regions -mainly in Karabakh, an issue which legacy is still an open conflict today. At the same time, the political context is one of unprecedented upheaval with the Bolshevik revolution, the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the gathering of the Transcaucasian regions into a Federation and, sometime after, their break up into 3 independent Republics. The question is to ask whether the massively violent situation of WWI might have been an unanticipated but efficient input to a transformation of political ideologies that were out there since the second third of the 19th century.

Keywords: Armenian Genocide, Armenian volunteers, Caucasian frontline, First World War, First Republic of Armenia.

Received on June 3, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Verjiné Svazlian
Pages 92-116

The 700 units of popular materials I have written down, tape- and video-recorded in the course of 55 years from the survivors of the Armenian Genocide in Armenia and the Diaspora describe the public-political events of the time, the life and the lifestyle of the Armenians originally from 150 localities of Western Armenia (including Cilicia) and their sorrowful moral-psychological experiences.
In these memoir-testimonies and song-testimonies, the eyewitness survivors have referred also to the events occurred at the Caucasian front during World War I, which had taken place before their eyes. They have narrated their impressions concerning the arm-collection and the mobilization, organized by the Turkish government, the battle of Sarighamish, the grave condition of the Western Armenians, their righteous and noble struggles (their rebellions and self-defensive battles) and their emigration to Eastern Armenia with the Russian soldiers and the volunteers.

Keywords: Armenian Genocide, Ottoman Empire, Young Turks, testimonies of the eyewitness survivors, Russian soldiers, Caucasian Front, First World War.

Received on June 19, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Joceline Chabot, Richard Godin, Sylvia Kasparian
Pages 117-139

During the Spring of 1916 Henry Barby, correspondent for the French daily paper Le Journal, arrived in Erzeroum. He was one of the few French journalists to accompany the Russian troops on the Caucasus Front and was therefore a witness of the devastation and crimes that the Armenian civilian population had suffered during the previous year. During the months following his arrival in the region, with the help of his translator the author Zabel Essayan, Barby collected the stories of victims and witnesses of the massacres in Armenia. He wrote several articles for Le Journal, which were then picked up by newspapers in France elsewhere. In 1917 he published Au pays de l’épouvante. L’Arménie martyre, which was subsequently translated into Armenian and Russian in 1919.
In our paper we will analyse the form and content of Henry Barby’s first-person account in order to understand its role in the construction of an understanding of the Armenian massacre in the context of the Great War. Our analysis seeks to answer the following questions: how is Barby’s account constructed? What types of narrative forms did he use (journalistic account, fieldwork, travel literature, testimonial)? As a primary source, what does his account contribute to our knowledge of the events on the Caucasus Front? To answer this question our multi-disciplinary approach (combining history, linguistics and media studies) calls for a critical analysis of representation and the transmission of knowledge concerning the events that took place on the “forgotten” front of the Caucasus.

Keywords: Barby, journalism, Caucasian frontline, Armenian genocide, Armenian refugees, multi-disciplinary approach.

Received on May 29, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Valery Tunyan
Pages 140-161

The article examines and rejects several historical myths connected with the self-defense of Van Armenians in 1915, introduced in the scientific circulation by the Armenian Genocide deniers. These are: 1) Armenian terrorism and genocide against the Muslim population from the beginning of the First World War; 2) the image of the Armenians as rebels; 3) the synchronization of the uprisings of Ottoman Armenians with the successes of the Russian army; 4) the Armenian uprising in Van was aimed to eliminate Turkey; 5) Van uprising forced the Young Turks to resort to genocide; 6) Armenians carried out a genocide of Muslims in Van; 7) Russia was a protector of the Armenians; 8) non-correct use of sources to justify their approaches; 9) the establishment of the Armenian state in Van. Insolvency of the approach of myth-makers, the nature and methods of fraud are shown.

Keywords: Armenian Genocide denial, First World War, self-defense of Van Armenians, falsification of history.

Received on June 26, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Dominika Maria Macios
Pages 162-190

Armenian Genocide, called “Armenian issue” at the time, was quite well known to the Poles who lived in the Polish lands under the control of the Russian Empire. A lot of articles about Armenian and their situation in Ottoman Empire was published in press since the Congress of Berlin in 1878. The main factor which caused the presence of the Armenian Issue in Polish public opinion were the existence of Armenians themselves who had lived in Poland for many generations.
Another factor that popularized the subject was political situation. The fact that Poland did not exist on the political map of Europe had profound meanings. The extermination of the Armenians took place in period of the partitions and during the continuous struggle for Polish independence. Thus, Poles’ interpretation of what took place in the Ottoman Empire resulted in many analogies and as a result Poles often began to compare the two nations. At the same time, the Poles closely observed the relationship between Czarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire, waiting for a possible war to break-up which could at the end help the Poles regain their homeland.
Poles were aware of the “Armenian Issue” from many sources. On the one hand there were the Polish newspaper correspondents residing in the Caucasus. On the other hand, articles reprinted from Russian, Armenian and western magazines were featured in Polish press.
The Armenian Genocide in polish press was described with expressions like: “massacres of Armenians”, “extermination of the population”, “mass displacements” and “methodical campaign of destruction” Poles were informed about the methods of extermination: arrests, selections based on gender and age made by Turks, executions by hanging or shooting, deportation, drowning and rapes, tortures, selling children to Muslim families, and forcing to convert.

Keywords: Armenian question, Armenian Genocide, Poles, Tsarist Russia, periodical press.

Received on June 11, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Suzan Meryem Rosita Kalayci
Pages 191-203

National identity in Turkey both coheres and fragments in the everyday practices that represent citizenhood, and it is enforced through the mnemonic practices, institutionalized or not, which are both present in (e.g. Atatürk cult) and absent from (genocide un-recognition) official narratives. These mnemonic practices stem from a culture of silence that has developed in the climate of post-genocidal Turkey. While in the Turkish case the absence of the Ottoman ancestry was immediately filled with a rampant version of Turkishness and the new father/ancestor figure of Atatürk, the Armenians’ survival bears witness to a different type of self-fashioning that lacks even the slightest attempt to bestow an autochthonous presence to their territorial self-identity or to develop a politicized agency in their everyday interaction with the Turkish state or fellow Turkish citizens.

Keywords: Silence, Post-Genocide, Armenian Genocide, Turkey, Everyday, Nationalism(s), Cultural Heritage.

Received on June 10, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Péter Pál Kránitz
Pages 204-217

The article sheds some light on the history of those survivors of the Armenian Genocide who sought refuge in Eastern European states – from Greece to Czechoslovakia –, and these states’ policies towards their attendance. It evidences that in some cases, deportation – or as it was referred to, “evacuation” – of refugees was carried out, resettlement policies and practices of “repatriation” were commonly implemented. The article further demonstrates in detail how Hungarian governments in power participated in the League of Nations’ actions towards legal and humanitarian support of Armenian refugees, and analyses the social and economic characteristics of interwar Armenian community in Hungary. It concludes that approaching refugee affairs in Eastern Europe, humanitarian concerns were marginalized as tremendous flows of refugees – ethnic Bulgarians, Greeks, Hungarians, etc. – and other consequences of the Great War exploited these exhausted economics.

Keywords: Armenian refugees, humanitarianism, repatriation, League of Nations, Eastern Europe, Hungary.

Received on July 8, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Khoren Grigoryan
Pages 218-230

The late XIX century and early XX century’s excavations in the medieval city of Ani organized by Nicholas Marr coincided Armenian deportations and massacres of disaster taken by the Ottoman Empire conducted by the New Turkey. During this excavation a number of photographs were made by Aram Vruyr (father of Artashes Vruyr who was in Marr’s expedition) can not be bypassed displacement and destruction of an entire nation and cultural heritage during World War I. During this excavation legendary monasteries and monuments of Ani that it is impossible to find today are photographed by Aram Vruyr. These monuments are largely considered to be lost some of them are barely keeping their architectural appearance most are destroyed. These photos are also important because that allow us to understand Genocide is not only the loss of human, but also all the destruction, which was created by a nation.

Keywords: photos, museum, Vruyr, church, collective memory.

Received on June 4, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Knarik Avakian
Pages 231-257

During the years of the First World War, which were disastrous for the Armenian people, the Armenian community of the US, assembling its entire intra-communal intellectual, financial, public and political resources, has assisted the Motherland and its people by all the possible diplomatic, political, military and human means and has taken part in the enterprises aiming at the defense of the Armenian Case in the USA.
Armenian-Americans of all national parties (Armenian Revolutionary Federation – ARF, Social-Democratic Hnchakian Party – SDHP, Armenian Constitutional Democratic Party – ACDP), as well as non-partisan people, in great numbers have participated to the Caucasian Front voluntary movement, contributing to the victories of the Russian Army.
At least 3.000 Armenians from the US and Europe had participated to the voluntary movement in the Caucasus.

Keywords: Armenians of the USA, voluntary movement in the Caucasus, Caucasian Front, First World War, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Social-Democratic Hnchakian Party, Armenian Constitutional Democratic Party.

Received on May 14, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Gohar Khanumyan
Pages 258-269

Public organization of Pan-Russian Union of Cities (PRUC) greatly assisted Armenian refugees during the Armenian Genocide both in the territory of Russian Empire and Western Armenian territories occupied by Russian troops. PRUC organized feeding centeres, orphanages and hospitals. During the years of 1916-1917 the members of PRUC Caucasus Committee, which incorporates many Armenians, gathered hundreds of homeless orphans in Van (S. Gorodetsky), Erzidjan (S. Tehlirian, A. Poghosian), Bitlis (T. Zorian) and Trebizond (H. Ohanjanian).

Keywords: Armenian Genocide, Pan- Russian Union of Cities, refugees, orphans, orphanages, Western Armenia, WWI.

Received on June 17, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Robert Tatoyan
Pages 270-283

An attempt is made on the basis of archival materials, information obtained from press, contemporary to events, and memories of witnesses, to present relief work for survivors of the Armenian genocide and refugees in Yerznka (Erzincan district of Erzerum province of the Ottoman Empire) and the surrounding area from July 1916 to end of 1917, when this territory was under the control of the Russian army, and then the Armenian armed forces.
Humanitarian organizations and structures functioning in Yerznka operated in three main directions:
1. Rescue of Armenian genocide survivors: search and liberation of refugees who found shelter among the Kurds in Dersim mountains, and also women and orphans who were held captive in Turkish houses;
2. Organization of care and assistance for refugees and survivors, in particular providing them with food and medical care;
3. Providing assistance to the Armenian refugees to return to their homes and to restore their household economies.
Owing to the Armenian organizations and, in particular, the activities of the Moscow Armenian Committee, as well as Sebastatsi Murad, the Armenian National Liberation Movement prominent figure, thousands of the Armenian Genocide survivors were rescued in Yerznka.

Keywords: Armenian genocide, Yerznka (Erzincan), refugees, humanitarian organizations.

Received on May 26, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Benedetta Guerzoni
Pages 284-299

The Van evacuation was widely represented in pictures, and also vehiculated in the US through the publication of illustrated articles in the press. In the same years, 1916-1918, in the Caucasus area some illustrated albums were published on the atrocities and deportations, giving space to the idea that a whole independent production of images was carried on. In 1916, during the retreat of the czarist army from the eastern regions of the Ottoman Empire, the American missionaries that followed the Armenian refugees referred to the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, and it is quite certain that they got to let some pictures arrive in the US at the Department of State, through the missionaries that went back home.

Keywords: Armenian genocide, photos, missionaries, American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief.

Received on July 24, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

Narek Poghosyan
Pages 300-306

The article is considering Raphael Lemkin’s “Short Manuscript on the Turkish Massacre of Armenians”. The study is presented to the Armenian Genocide on a number of sources, Raphael Lemkin based on a set of facts and evidence carried out by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians forcibly converting to Islam and other genocidal acts, then perform analyzes appreciating the Armenians struggle of resistance.

Keywords: Raphael Lemkin, manuscript, massacres of the Armenians, genocide, apostasy, Armenian church, resistance struggle, eyewitness testimonies.

Received on July 8, 2015
Published on September 23, 2015

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