WASHINGTON, DC – After extensive research and the gift of a major cache of photographs of Armenian Genocide memorials from around the world, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) website presently displays 327 memorials in 45 countries.
The 2015 centennial commemorations of the Armenian Genocide presented a somber occasion for many communities to install new memorials. The database previously accounted for 200 memorials in 32 countries. The new figures represent a 60% growth in the number of memorials in an additional 13 countries around the world. Also, 74 existing postings have been updated with new information. All these can be viewed in close detail with the 650 images that have been added to the existing database.
The database provides information about each memorial, a description of the type, its location, the year of installation, a transcription of important inscriptions, and additional details if available, such as the artist, sculptor, or architect, sponsors, official visitors, and amenities. The database also has a search function according to the type of memorial or the city in which a memorial is located.
Memorials are documented in as diverse a set of countries as Brazil and Bulgaria, Chile and Cyprus, Estonia and Ethiopia, Ireland and Italy, Singapore and Slovakia, and Ukraine and Uruguay. To the same extent that Armenian churches indicate the existence of diaspora communities, the Armenian Genocide memorials now also mark their location and attest to the depth of the Armenian people’s commitment to honoring the memory of the victims of the 1915 atrocities.
The full list of countries on the ANI site includes: Argentina (7); Armenia (44); Australia (7); Austria (4); Belgium (2); Brazil (3); Bulgaria (6); Canada (9); Chile (2); Cyprus (4); Czechia (1); Denmark (1); Egypt (3); Estonia (1); Ethiopia (1); France (45); Georgia (3); Germany (14); Greece (2); Hungary (3); India (1); Iran (8); Ireland (1); Israel (3); Italy (8); Latvia (1); Lebanon (14); Mexico (1); Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) (3); Netherlands (2); Poland (2); Romania (2); Russia (10); Singapore (1); Slovakia (2); Spain (4); Sweden (2); Switzerland (3); Syria (7); Ukraine (5); United Arab Emirates (1); United Kingdom (4); United States (74); Uruguay (4); Venezuela (1).
Besides Armenia, where 44 memorials have been documented, 29 of which were recently added to the database, countries with a large number of memorials include France, with 45 documented sites, of which 29 were added, Germany with 14, most of which are recent installations, Lebanon with 14, some consisting of significant complexes, and the United States with 74 identified memorials, 25 of which were added.
Many of the memorials are monuments and the khachkar, the cross-stone in traditional Armenian design, and in varying sizes, has been adopted as a commonly-shared feature. This appears to be a more recent development in the installation trend, perhaps reflecting the origin of the community sponsoring the memorial, and its preference to rely upon an art form that references traditional Armenian memorial art.
Other sites have installed sculptures ranging from conventional figural representations all the way to completely abstract forms striving to capture the depth of the pain associated with the genocide experience. On the one hand, the figure of Komitas has become a symbol of the victim, with a noteworthy example in the middle of Paris, France, and another in Detroit, Michigan. On the other hand, there is a detectable change in styles where monuments raised in Armenia in the Soviet period usually resorted to abstraction with minimal direct reference to the Armenian Genocide, and where now memorials take more diverse forms since independence.
Whereas the well-known central memorial in Yerevan at the Tsitsernakaberd complex is the largest of its type, several other memorials in Armenia also involve substantial complexes, especially the Musa Dagh Memorial, located in Armavir, and the memorial in Nor Hadjin in Kotayk. Smaller-scale models resembling the Tsitsernakaberd memorial have been constructed in a number of locations, including a respectable replica in Fresno, California.
Notably impressive memorial complexes have also been created in Lebanon and in the United States. The very large monument in Montebello, California, in the shape of an extended Armenian church cupola, dates from the semi-centennial commemorative activities of 1965. Also located in a public area is the Armenian Heritage Park in central Boston, Massachusetts, with its innovative sculptural installation that is adjustable and sits in a round pool across from a circular labyrinth. On the Mission Hills campus of the Ararat Home, the Los Angeles Armenian community’s retirement facility for the aged, a number of memorials dedicated to specific purposes have emerged as another complex of notable monuments, including a memorial garden dedicated to Aurora Mardiganian, whose story has been recovered as the emblematic experience of the survivor. As for the campus of the seminary of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia located in the town of Bikfaya in the Lebanon mountains, an entire series of monuments recall important aspects of Armenian history at the foot of its colossal bronze statue.
The memorial chapel on the grounds of the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon, which serves as an ossuary, has also become another model, and other similar memorial chapels have been constructed elsewhere. The most elaborate of these constitute the chapel in the town of Der Zor in Syria, the site of the largest death camp during the Armenian Genocide.
The Der Zor complex was subjected to extensive damage and rendered to ruin at the hands of Islamic State terrorists who overran eastern Syria in 2014. The ISIS militants, who committed genocide against the Yazidi people of northern Iraq and persecuted the local Kurdish populations, were very likely to have inflicted damage to the memorial in service to their sponsors in Turkey.
In 1995, the Tsitsernakaberd memorial site was expanded with the construction of the first museum dedicated to the Armenian Genocide. The museum and associated research institute (AGMI) were once again sizably expanded for the 2015 centennial events. AGMI is now joined by other institutions providing physical exhibits such as the Armenian Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts, and the recently opened Armenian Museum in Moscow. Online exhibits and museums include Houshamadyan, which is dedicated to recovering and reconstructing the memory of Armenian life in the pre-genocide era, Land and Culture, which hosts a database of monuments destroyed or confiscated during the Armenian Genocide, and the Armenian Genocide Museum of America’s interactive website. ANI also notes Research on Armenian Architecture, which is dedicated to the photographic recovery of Armenia’s heritage subjected to destruction.
With the exception of many memorial sites in Syria, which have become difficult to access under conditions of civil strife in the country, very few memorials are actually placed at locations directly associated with the Armenian Genocide. There are none to speak of in Turkey, of course, where so many atrocities were committed all across Armenia and Anatolia, even though the first memorial service on April 24, 1919, was held in Istanbul. The only memorials in that part of the world are the unmarked and crumbling remains of ancient churches and abandoned homes.
A unique museum exists at an actual orphanage site in the town of Jbeil (also known as Byblos) in Lebanon. The orphanage structure is still intact and has been converted into the Armenian Genocide Orphans Museum that contains moving exhibits on the experience of child survivors who were housed in the facility. The plaza facing the building has also been converted into a memorial complex dedicated to the orphans, with a monument to the guiding light of the institution, Maria Jacobsen. Another orphanage building still intact is located in the small Swiss town of Begnins. It is marked by two modest plaques dedicated by the offspring of Armenian orphans who were housed and educated in that facility, and in recognition of the Swiss pastor Antony Krafft-Bonnard, who established the orphanage.
Other humanitarians have been extended recognition through plaques and monuments dedicated in their memory. The Wall of Honor at the Tsiternakaberd Memorial recalls the most prominent, including Alma Johansson, Anatole France, Armin T. Wegner, Karen Jeppe, Henry Morgenthau Sr., Jakob Künzler, Johannes Lepsius, Pierre Quillard, James Bryce, Raphael Lemkin, Franz Werfel, and Fridtjof Nansen. Others are recognized with busts or memorials placed in their respective countries, including Franz Werfel in Austria, Karen Jeppe in Denmark, Anna Hedvig Büll in Estonia, and Johannes Lepsius in Germany.
The Armenian Genocide Memorials Database was first created as part of a memorials database project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, with assistance from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Robert Arzoumanian, Assistant to the ANI Director, conducted further research under the guidance of ANI Director Dr. Rouben Adalian to bring the database up-to-date to reflect and record the considerable efforts made by Armenian communities worldwide to honor the centennial of the Armenian Genocide by installing new memorials. These sites serve as gathering places for the annual commemorations that are held every year on the 24th of April, and have become tributes to the survivors who founded the communities of the Armenian Diaspora.
ANI extends its appreciation to its friends who have supported this ongoing effort to document Armenian Genocide memorials. ANI also acknowledges the public’s input for the background information on many of the identified monuments. ANI continues to welcome public assistance with this undertaking, especially with any help it can receive concerning undocumented memorials, or the current condition of existing memorials.
For more information on ANI, please refer to the preceding announcements of “Armenian National Institute Website Now Includes 795 Official Records Affirming Armenian Genocide,” and “Armenian National Institute Posts Database on Media Coverage of President Biden’s Recognition of the Armenian Genocide and its Implications.”
Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)(3) educational charity based in Washington, DC, and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. The ANI website can be consulted in English, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic. ANI also maintains the online Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA).
The Luisa Hairabedian Foundation of Argentina Joins ANI in Launching Website
WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Institute (ANI) announced the launch of the Spanish version of its widely-consulted website on the Armenian Genocide. The creation of the Spanish ANI site follows upon the earlier successful launch of the Turkish language version of the site.
The ANI website contains extensive records on the history and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide when 1.5 million Armenian Christians fell victim to the Young Turk government policy of mass deportation and annihilation. The Spanish version reproduces ANI’s catalog of official documents from around the world. These records are posted in their original languages, many in PDF format, and can now be accessed in English, Turkish, and Spanish. The leading institutional website on the Armenian Genocide since its inception 23 years ago, the ANI website annually registers more than 7 million hits. Widely consulted by educators and students, the site is also a major source of information in preparation of April 24 commemorative activities utilized by journalists, government officials, and the public.
The ANI Spanish site reproduces many of the most popular sections of the main site: maps, photographs, FAQs, chronology, list of countries, and international affirmation records, including the milestone resolutions adopted by the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in October and December 2019 respectively.
Countries in the Spanish-speaking world were among some of the first to reaffirm the Armenian Genocide, with Uruguay leading the process as far back as 1965. Most South American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Brazil recognize the Armenian Genocide. Portuguese-speaking Brazil was joined by Portugal itself whose parliament recognized the Armenian Genocide in April 2019.
“We feel privileged to bring the widely used ANI resource to the attention of the Spanish-speaking world, which has produced some of the greatest champions of human rights around the world” said ANI Board Chairman Van Z. Krikorian. “Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term ‘genocide’ in 1944, cited the Armenian experience as a definitional example. In supporting the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention, the United States in 1951 did the same. In addition, the Armenian Genocide was cited as a precedent in the post-WWII Nuremberg trials. Campaigns to deny and rewrite the history of genocide and human rights violations have led to worse crimes and continue, even today.”
“The lessons those who remember the Armenian and other genocides try to teach relate directly to universal issues of basic human dignity. Genocides start with thoughts and words, build step by step, and culminate with mass scale violence, forced conversions, and similar atrocities. We stand with every person of good conscience to work against such man-made disasters and hope that instructional resources available through ANI can become additional tools for educating about this fundamental area of knowledge,” added Krikorian.
“The ANI Spanish site was created with the support and encouragement of several individuals,” added ANI Director Dr. Rouben Adalian. “I want to thank them for pulling together another chapter in the Institute’s ongoing efforts to educate the public about the Armenian Genocide. Our summer intern Serena Hajjar skillfully embarked on the project. Sonia Arakelian extended editorial support from Mexico City. Federico Gaitan Hairabedian, who heads the Buenos Aires, Argentina-based The Luisa Hairabedian Foundation, an organization dedicated to the cause of historical justice, and the team that he assembled, especially Garine Morcecian and Vilén Ter Gazarian, steered this phase of the project to completion,” added Dr. Adalian.
“Our longtime webmaster Mark Malkasian continues to guide ANI’s digital presence,” continued Dr. Adalian. “Above and beyond managing our Internet presence and seeing to it that the sites’ design makes the difficult subject of the Armenian Genocide easily accessible to the general public, especially to students and teachers, Malkasian continues to oversee making the site presentable in all platforms. As of late, he has overseen the upgrading of the ANI site and has made it even more mobile-friendly. Whichever their preferred platform, ANI visitors will be viewing a more streamlined website with easier access to content,” stated Dr. Adalian.
ANI maintains a broad range of online resources about the Armenian Genocide. The online museum is an interactive site allowing visitors to proceed at their own pace, and includes a very popular introductory video. Several digital exhibits released by ANI since the centennial of the Armenian Genocide cover many aspects of the experience of the Armenian people starting in 1915. The ANI digital exhibits are based on photographic collections from U.S. archival repositories and document the extensive humanitarian intervention of American volunteers, who arrived in Armenia and across the Middle East in the immediate aftermath of the genocide.
“I also want to thank The Luisa Hairabedian Foundation for collaborating with ANI, as well as recognize their many contributions for raising awareness about human rights and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Argentina. We appreciate their partnership, welcome their participation in bringing ANI resources to the attention of the Latin American public, and look forward to continuing our collaboration,” concluded Krikorian.
Sitio Web Del Instituto Nacional Armenio Disponible En Espanol
La Fundacion Luisa Hairabedian de Argentina se une a ANI en Lanzamiento del Sitio
WASHINGTON, DC – El Instituto Nacional de Armenia (ANI) anunció el lanzamiento de la versión en español de su sitio web ampliamente consultado sobre el Genocidio Armenio. La creación del sitio ANI en español sigue al lanzamiento exitoso anterior de la versión turca del sitio.
El sitio web de ANI contiene extensos registros sobre la historia y la afirmación del Genocidio Armenio cuando 1.5 millones de cristianos armenios fueron víctimas de la política de deportación y aniquilación masiva del gobierno de los Jóvenes Turcos. La versión en español reproduce este catálogo de documentos oficiales de todo el mundo. Estos registros se publican en sus idiomas originales, muchos en formato PDF, y ahora se puede acceder en inglés, turco y español. El sitio web institucional líder sobre el Genocidio Armenio desde su creación hace 23 años, registra anualmente más de 7 millones de visitas. Ampliamente consultado por educadores y estudiantes, el sitio también es una fuente importante de información en preparación de las actividades conmemorativas del 24 de abril utilizadas por periodistas, funcionarios gubernamentales y el público.
El sitio ANI en español reproduce muchas de las secciones más populares del sitio principal: mapas, fotografías, preguntas frecuentes, cronología, lista de países y los registros de afirmación internacional, incluidas las resoluciones históricas adoptadas por la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos y el Senado de los Estados Unidos. en octubre y diciembre de 2019, respectivamente.
Los países del mundo de habla hispana fueron algunos de los primeros en reafirmar el Genocidio Armenio, con Uruguay liberando el proceso desde 1965.
La mayoría de los países sudamericanos, incluidos Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela y Brasil, hoy reconocen el Genocidio Armenio. El Brasil de habla portuguesa se unió al propio Portugal, cuyo parlamento reconoció el Genocidio Armenio en abril de 2019.
“Nos sentimos privilegiados de llevar el recurso ANI ampliamente utilizado a la atención del mundo de habla hispana, que ha producido algunos de los mayores defensores de los derechos humanos en todo el mundo”, dijo el presidente de la junta de ANI, Van Z. Krikorian. “Raphael Lemkin, quien acuñó el término” genocidio “en 1944, citó la experiencia armenia como un ejemplo definitorio. Al apoyar la Convención de Genocidio de las Naciones Unidas de 1948, los Estados Unidos en 1951 hicieron lo mismo. El genocidio armenio también fue citado como precedente en los juicios de Nuremberg posteriores a la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Las campañas para negar y reescribir el historial de violaciones de los derechos humanos y el genocidio han llevado a crímenes peores y continúan, incluso hoy en día “.
“Las lecciones que los que recuerdan los armenios y otros genocidios que intentan enseñar se relacionan directamente con cuestiones universales de dignidad humana básica. Los genocidios comienzan con pensamientos y palabras, se desarrollan paso a paso y culminan con violencia a gran escala, conversiones forzadas y atrocidades similares. Apoyamos a todas las personas de buena conciencia para trabajar contra tales desastres provocados por el hombre y esperamos que los recursos de instrucción disponibles a través de ANI puedan convertirse en herramientas adicionales para educar sobre esta área fundamental de conocimiento “, agregó Krikorian.
“El sitio ANI en español fue creado con el apoyo y el aliento de varias personas”, agregó el director de ANI, Dr. Rouben Adalian. “Quiero agradecerles por reunir otro capítulo en los esfuerzos continuos del Instituto para educar al público sobre el Genocidio Armenio. Nuestra pasante de verano, Serena Hajjar, se embarcó hábilmente en el proyecto. Sonia Arakelian extendió el apoyo editorial de la Ciudad de México. Federico Gaitan Hairabedian, quien dirige la Fundación Luisa Hairabedian en Buenos Aires, Argentina, una organización dedicada a la causa de la justicia histórica, y el equipo que reunió dirigió esta fase del proyecto a terminación junto con los voluntarios Garine Morcecian y Vilén Ter Gazarian.
“Nuestro antiguo webmaster Mark Malkasian continúa guiando la presencia digital ANI”, continuó Adalian. “Más allá de administrar nuestra presencia en Internet y velar por que el diseño de los sitios haga que el tema difícil del Genocidio Armenio sea más fácilmente accesible para el público en general, especialmente estudiantes y maestros, continúa supervisando hacer que el sitio sea presentable en todas las plataformas”. Últimamente, ha supervisado la actualización del sitio ANI y lo ha hecho aún más amigable para dispositivos móviles. Cualquiera que sea su plataforma preferida, los visitantes de ANI verán un sitio web más ágil con sus contenidos aún más fácilmente accesibles “.
ANI mantiene una amplia gama de recursos en línea sobre el Genocidio Armenio. El museo en línea es un sitio interactivo que permite a los visitantes continuar a su propio ritmo e incluye un video introductorio muy popular. Las diversas exhibiciones digitales lanzadas por ANI desde el centenario del Genocidio Armenio cubren muchos aspectos de la experiencia del pueblo armenio a partir de 1915. Las exhibiciones digitales de ANI son basado en colecciones fotográficas de repositorios de archivos de EE. UU. y documentar la amplia intervención humanitaria de los voluntarios estadounidenses que llegaron a Armenia y a través del Medio Oriente inmediatamente después.
“También quiero agradecer a la Fundación Luisa Hairabedian por colaborar con ANI, así como reconocer sus muchas contribuciones para crear conciencia sobre los derechos humanos y el reconocimiento del Genocidio Armenio en Argentina. Agradecemos su asociación, agradecemos su participación en llevar los recursos de ANI a la atención del público latinoamericano y esperamos continuar nuestra colaboración “, concluyó Krikorian.
Fundado en 1997, el Instituto Nacional de Armenia (ANI) es una organización benéfica educativa 501 (c) (3) con sede en Washington, D.C., y se dedica al estudio, investigación y afirmación del Genocidio Armenio.