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Armenian Genocide: A story of survival

Gita Elibekyan
Public Radio of Armenia

Armenian Genocide survivor Harutyun Masumyan is 101, but healthy and vigorous. He has one dream – to see Erzrum, his homeland.

Speaking to Public Radio of Armenia, Masumyan told the story of his survival.

Harutyun Masumyan was just one-year-old, when he was sent to death together with his father. Aware of what could happen, the father left him in the bushes.

“Turks killed my father. A relative of mine found me and returned to my mother,” he tells, while leafing through the family album.

Harutyun’s mother Satenik manages to survive on the grueling path of exile thanks to a few pieces of gold she had hidden under her youngest daughter’s dress.

“My mother was a heroic woman. It took her a year to pass the road of exile and reach Aleppo with her son and four daughters,” he says and shows the mother’s photo.

In Aleppo Satenik keeps Harutyun and the youngest daughter and takes the three other children to an orphanage.

“We spent five years in Aleppo. Then the refugees were given the freedom to leave. My mother chose Krasnodar, as she had relatives there, who had left Erzrum before 1915.

Harutyun then settled in Tbilisi. He participated in the World War Second and received a number of awards and medals.

He has been living in Russia for the past ten years, but has decided to move to Georgia again.

Speaking about the secret of his longevity, Harutyun, who says has never been ill, advises everyone not to smoke.

The 101-year-old survivor has one dream – to see Erzrum one day.

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