On the eve of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide Yerevan State University has initiated the establishment of the Alley of Gratitude next to the University Library entrance (Charents street side). The busts of eminent foreign public and state figures, who first voiced one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century - the Armenian Genocide, will be placed in the right and left sides of the alley.
She worked in the city of Mush in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1901, the Missionary Society of Swedish women sent Johansson to Mush (Western Armenia), where she stayed until December, 1915. She worked at a German orphanage for Armenian children. On the outbreak of World War I, the atrocities against the empire's Christian minorities escalated and she became an eyewitness to these crimes against humanity.
In 1923 Johansson moved to Salonika, and established a factory for more than 200 Armenian refugee women. She also founded an Armenian kindergarten and primary school in Charilaos (Greece).
French writer, poet and novelist, a Nobel Prize winner
Anatole Thibault France was born in Paris in 1844. He was a great humanist and progressive, writer, poet and novelist, and a Nobel Prize winner.
His first intervention on the Armenian question dates back to 1897, in the aftermath of the massacres perpetrated by the sultan Abdul Hamid II against Ottoman subjects of Christian Armenian origin.
In 1901 he founded the newspaper "Pro Armenia" with Clemenceau and Jaurès. He is celebrated for his addresses: "A Thought is Already an Action", "A Person that Refuses to Die Will Never Die". He intervened on behalf of the Armenians in Rome, London, Geneva and Paris, making inflammatory speeches against Turkey's despotic and nationalistic tendencies.
On April 9, 1916, in the aftermath of the Armenian genocide, during the great demonstration "Homage à l'Armenie" organised at the Sorbonne, Anatole France shouted to the crowd "Armenia Is Dying but Will Be Born Again!".
German poet, journalist, publicist, civil rights defender and eyewitness to the Armenian Genocide, Doctor of Law
Armin Wegner was born on October 16, 1886 in Elberfeld (Wuppertal) in Germany. At the outbreak of World War I, he enrolled as a volunteer nurse in Poland during the winter of 1914-1915, and was decorated with the Iron Cross for assisting the wounded under fire. In April 1915, following the military alliance of Germany and Turkey, he was sent to the Middle East as a member of the German Sanitary Corps. He used his leave to investigate the rumors about the Armenian massacres that had reached him from several sources. Disobeying orders intended to stifle news of the massacres, he gathered information on the Genocide—collected notes, annotations, documents, letters and took hundreds of photographs in the Armenian deportation camps—visible proof of the first systematic genocide of the twentieth century.
In an open letter, which was submitted to American President Woodrow Wilson at the peace conference of 1919, Wegner protested against atrocities perpetrated by the Turkish army against the Armenian people, and appealed for the creation of an independent Armenian state.
In the 1920s Wegner reached the height of his success as a writer. He became a celebrity with his Russian book, Five Fingers Over You, which foresaw the advent of Stalinism.
In 1921, he was present at the trial of Soghomon Tehleryan as a witness.
In 1927, at the invitation of the Soviet government he visited Moscow, then Armenia and delivered lectures at YSU.
The tragedy of the Armenian people to which he had been eyewitness in Ottoman Turkey haunted him for the rest of his life. In 1972, through the photo exhibitions in various cities of the USA he made reports about the Armenian Genocide.
Danish missionary and social worker
Since 1903 until her death she devoted her life to the refugees-survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Many survivors sheltered in the basement of her house. After World War I she traveled to Aleppo, Syria, taking with her many of these survivors. Starting with 1921, she undertook the mission to return more than 30,000 Armenian women and children kidnapped during the genocide. Yeppe managed to release from captivity about 2,000 Armenian women from Muslim Harems. She died in Aleppo of malaria and was buried in this city.
American diplomats US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1913-1916.
Henry Morgenthau was United States ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide. He was appointed United States Ambassador to the Sublime Porte in 1913. In Constantinople he established personal contact with the Young Turk leaders of the Ottoman Empire, especially the Minister of the Interior, Talaat, with whom he unsuccessfully intervened to alleviate the plight of the Armenian population when beginning in April, 1915, news of the deportations and massacres began to reach the Embassy.
The US consulates in the interior of the Ottoman Empire relayed a stream of alarming reports detailing the extent of the measures taken against the Armenians. Despite the difficulties of communication during the war, Oscar H. Heizer in Trebizond, Leslie A. Davis in Mamuret-el-Aziz, or Harput and especially Jesse B. Jackson in Aleppo regularly posted the Embassy with their own eyewitness accounts of the treatment of the Armenians. On June 5, 1915, Jackson shared his views about the persecutions with the Ambassador and concluded that they constituted "a carefully planned scheme to thoroughly extinguish the Armenian race."
Morgenthau forwarded all the reports to Washington, D.C. The accumulating evidence also led Morgenthau to cable the Department of State on July 16, 1915, with his own dispatch that "a campaign of race extermination is in progress." Drained by his failure to avert this disaster, Morgenthau returned to the United States in 1916 and for the remainder of the war years he dedicated himself to raising funds for the surviving Armenians. In 1918 he published Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, a memoir of his years in Turkey, in which he stressed the German influence and role in the Ottoman Empire. He titled the chapter on the Armenians, "The Murder of a Nation."
Swiss pharmacist (beginning with 1914 resided in an oriental mission in Urfa)
He was born in Hundwil, Switzerland.
From 1915 to 1917 Künzler became an eyewitness to the Armenian Genocide, the subject of his 1921 book “In the Land of Blood and Tears”. Over the years and despite mortal danger, Künzler and his wife endangered their lives assisting the refugees wandering in the streets of Urfa. Künzler’s wife was among those who conducted many search-and-rescue missions to collect Armenian orphans and hide them under their own roofs.
He was a Swiss pharmacist who had remained in Urfa serving the sick and wounded, in a hospital in Urfa who documented accounts of massacres of various Armenian labor battalion companies.
The armistice of 1918 and the defeat of the Central Powers, of which the Ottoman Empire was a member, did not end the suffering of the Armenians. An enormous challenge was emerging: saving and protecting more than 132,000 orphans, mainly Armenians, scattered throughout Asia Minor and the Near East.
Jakob Künzler died on January 15, 1949, in Ghazir, Lebanon.
German clergyman, public figure, orientalist
Missionary, Orientalist, and humanist with a special interest in trying to prevent the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. During World War I he published his work "Report on the situation of the Armenian People in Turkey" in which he documented and condemned the Armenian Genocide. A second edition entitled "The way to death of the Armenian people" included an interview with Enver Pasha, one of the chief architects of the genocide. Lepsius had to publish the report secretly because Turkey was an ally of the German Empire and the official military censorship soon forbade the publication because it feared that it would affront the strategically important Turkish ally. However Lepsius managed to distribute more than 20,000 copies of the report.
Later, Lepsius also testified for the defense in the trial of Soghomon Tehlirian, the assassin of Turkish Interior Minister Talaat Pasha. Tehlirian was acquitted.
He then continued to show assistance to the Armenian refugees and orphans. He sent to Soviet Armenia medication, provided by the German-Armenian Association.
French poet, playwright, public figure
Pierre Quillar became one of the first people to defend the Armenians persecuted under the Ottoman Empire.
He was the chief editor of the french language biweekly “Pro Armenia”, Secretary General of the League for Human Rights, a great friend of the Armenian people. He has authored a number of works, dedicated to the Armenian question (“Armenian Question and Europe” (1896), “Considerations and documents in support of the Armenians” (1902), etc.).
British state and public figure, jurist, historian
In 1876 he founded the Anglo-Armenian company and became its Chairman. In the autumn of the same year he traveled to Russia, Caucasus and Armenia, then - to the Ottoman Empire. Bryce climbed Mt. Ararat in 1876 and later published a travelogue called Transcaucasia and Ararat (1877).
Bryce strongly condemned the Armenian Genocide that took place in the Ottoman Empire mainly in the year 1915. Bryce was the first to speak on that subject in The House of Lords, in July 1915, and later, with the assistance of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, he produced a documentary record of the massacres, published by the British government in 1916 as the Blue Book. In 1921, Lord Bryce wrote that the Armenian genocide had also claimed half of the population of Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire, as similar cruelties were perpetrated upon them.
Polish lawyer of Jewish origin
He is best known for his work against genocide, a word he coined in 1943. He first used the word in print in Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress (1944), and defined it as "the destruction of a nation or an ethnic group."
Austrian novelist, playwright, poet and humanist
He is known as the author of The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (1933, English tr. 1934, 2012), a novel based on events that took place during the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
He has written the novel using eyewitness stories, news reports. The author has also studied the history, religion and culture of Armenians. The novel had a great success among readers. In 1934 he was awarded the international prize for best novel of the year. It has been translated into more than 20 languages, including Armenian.
Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat and a prominent humanist, lawyer, historian, Nobel Prize Laureate
F. Nansen strongly condemned Abdul Hamid II and Young Turks for carrying out the Armenian Genocide and stressed that the Turkish atrocities and cruelty could not be compared with anything in history.
In 1922 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for humanitarian works.
In 1925 the League of Nations appointed Nansen to organize the settling of the Armenian refugees. He went to Armenia to investigate the possibilities of organizing irrigation in Armenia which would allow the creation of conditions for resettling Armenian refugees from Turkey to Eastern Armenia. Nansen worked in close cooperation with the Soviet committee for the improvement of the land, which was situated in Yerevan. He reported the results of his trip to the League of Nations. “At this time the only place where it is possible to settle Armenian refugees is Soviet Armenia. Several years ago devastation, poverty and famine were prevailed here, yet now peace and order are established and the population even became prosperous to some degree”. Although the League failed to implement its plan in general, he still managed to resettle 10,000 people in Armenia and about 40,000 in Syria and Lebanon.
His trip to Armenia was also described in the book “Gjennern Armenia” (“Across Armenia”), published in 1927. Two years later he also referred to the trip of 1925 in another book: “Gjennern Kaukasus til Volga” (“Through Caucasus to Volga”). Nansen continued helping Armenians until the end of his life. In 1928 he went to America with a series of lectures to raise money for Armenians.
The initiative belongs to YSU Division on Student Affairs.
Throughout the year university students will visit the Matenadaran, Komitas Museum, Museum of History of Armenia, Yeghishe Charents Museum of Literature and Art, Military Museum, "Sardarapat" State Museum of Ethnography.
The scientific session is organized by YSU Faculty of Armenian Philology.
A number of issues will be discussed.
The literary international competition is organized by YSU Cultural Centre and WUA.
The selected works will be published in a book in English and Armenian.
The conference is organized by YSU faculties of History, International Relations and Law.
The reports will focus on the historical, international and legal aspects of the Armenian Genocide.
The lectures with the focus on the Armenian Genocide, will be delivered in 2015.
The initiative belongs to the faculties of Armenian Philology, Oriental Studies and Roman and Germanic Philology.
The next volume of the journal, published by YSU Faculty of Journalism, is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Yerevan State University, in 2013-2014 academic year, launched the master program "Genocide Studies", organized by the Armenian Studies Institute.
International Summer School "Armenian Genocide and the international community" will also be organized.
The first special issue of the journal "Issues of Armenian Studies" of YSU Institute for Armenian Studies is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
The memoirs of the eyewitness of Hachen massacre in 1909 Rose Lambert will be republished. The book is in English language.
American eyewitness memories republication became possible owing to YSU Institute for Armenian Studies.
Division on Student Affairs undertook the task of organizing student trips.
Students will visit historic and cultural sites of Armenia.