Genocide Conference unveils historic relics

Lilit Sedrakyan
Public Radio of Armenia
Los Angeles

Relics from the Armenian genocide were unveiled during a conference focusing on the heroes and survivors of the genocide at the Ararat-Eskijian Museum.  The conference honored those who helped rescue a generation of Armenian survivors between 1915 and 1930.

Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute Hayk Demoyan presented the recently revealed story of Genocide survivor Avrora Mardiganyan, a woman, who settled in the US and told the story of her people through Hollywood films. Little has been preserved from the film “Ravished Armenia,” but even this much is enough for remembering and retelling the story to the world.

Another film titled “Orphans of the Genocide” presents how the Turks tortured the children that survived the Armenian Genocide. While researching the stories of orphans of the Armenian Genocide for his documentary, Bared Maronian discovered information regarding a dress once owned by an orphan in Hadjin, an Armenian town located roughly 125 miles north of Mersin in Turkey. After some time, he located the dress at the Bethel College Library in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Another collection of evidences of Armenian Genocide – documentalist Michael Hakobian’s archive – will also be presented to the public in the near future, director Carla Garapedian said.

“In the course of the past three years we have been working on about 400 testimonies of witnesses to the Armenian Genocide, not only Armenians, but also Arabs and missionaries. It’s our history, our pain. But it’s also the history of the world,” she said.

British journalist Robert Fisk urges Armenians to search for and disseminate new facts about the Armenian Genocide ahead of the 100th anniversary. He presented the recently published memories of a Britain Officer, which include a description of the scene of torturing of Armenians. The revealing of such facts, especially written down by foreigners, is an effective tool for reaching the target, Fisk says. He suggests inviting Turkish government representatives to such events.

“You can do only one thing to make Turkey face its history – to involve them in such events. Another thing you can do is to honor those Turks who tried and saved Armenians. If they come, recognition will be the next step,” he said.

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