Schiff to Read Names of Genocide Victims on House Floor

Rep. Adam Schiff

Requests Submissions from Armenian Community Online
WASHINGTON—Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced on Wednesday that on April 22nd, for an entire hour on the House Floor, he will read the names of a small fraction of the 1.5 million people killed during the Armenian Genocide. Congressman Schiff invites the descendants of Genocide victims — in his district and around the nation — to submit the names of family members who were killed for inclusion in his speech and in the Congressional Record.

“In a single hour, I will only be able to read the names of a mere fraction of those who were killed in the Armenian Genocide. To read all of the names of the more than 1.5 million people murdered at the time, would take many weeks and weeks, and I hope that the recitation of the victims will help call attention to the magnitude of the crime. A name, unlike a number, is no abstraction — each was a son or daughter, a mother or father, a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle; each was a precious life.

“If your family lost loved ones in the Armenian Genocide, please send me their names and I will read as many as I possibly can on the House Floor. All names will be entered into the Congressional Record.”

Schiff is encouraging the submission of names by using this online form.

This past month, Schiff joined 40 congressional colleagues to introduce the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution This bipartisan resolution calls upon the President to work toward equitable, constructive, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations based upon the Republic of Turkey’s full acknowledgement of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide. The resolution will also establish a fair, just, and comprehensive international record of this crime against humanity.

This year, 2015, marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide – a systematic and deliberate annihilation campaign launched by the government of the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian population which left 1.5 million Armenians dead and millions more displaced. While the Armenian Genocide has been recognized by more than twenty nations including Canada, Italy, Sweden, France, Argentina and Russia, as well as the European Parliament, it has not been formally recognized by the U.S. Congress in decades and has not been recognized by President Barack Obama.

In past years, Schiff has taken to the House floor in April to recognize the genocide. Two years ago, he spoke on the House Floor in Armenian to recognize and pay tribute to those lost – the first time that language had been spoken in the well of Congress. And last year, he delivered an open letter to the Turkish people urging them to examine their ancestor’s role in the first genocide of the 20th century.


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  1. GeorgeMardig said:

    All Armenians should wear pins saying: I’M DESCENDANT OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, not only on April 24, but all year round, so when people ask what that means, we can grab the opportunity to explain and educate people on the Genocide.

  2. Medea Kalognomos said:

    Thank you Congressman Schiff for your unwavering support for the fight to have Congress recognize the Armenian Genocide. Armenian people are indebted to you for ever!

  3. Medea Kalognomos said:

    Thank you Congressman Schiff for your unwavering support for the fight to have Congress recognize the Armenian Genocide. Armenian people are indebted to you for ever!

  4. GeorgeMardig said:

    Thank you Representative Adam Schiff, you are a brave Congressman

  5. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Thank you Adam Schiff
    You are a Human …
    A sample of story of every Armenian
    I am poeting after I reached 60…
    Remembering our genocide
    And how it destroyed our happy childhoodness
    Leaving unbearable scars…
    If you have time read my verse …written from injured heart cells (cardiocytes)
    Born from Mother,
    Escaped Genocide

    I was born from Mother
    Escaping known Genocide.
    Astonishingly by great luck,
    That was miraculous crack.

    My mother always prayed and said,
    “Some are born to live
    No one can take souls to sharks,
    Even to a devilish devil flying in the dark.”

    Grandfather Mihran,
    The director of customs department in town,
    In a government job—Empire of Ottoman,
    A graduate of college and a respectful man,
    Walked to work at dawn never came back to mourn,
    Has been taken from there, slaughtered unsown.

    When my grandma Zaruhi,
    Twenty-four spring years, then
    Heard that her husband vanished,
    With most of relatives, kin keen,

    Started thinking how
    To protect her four kids
    Within her heartbroken domain.
    Grandmother—innocent, confused,
    How to secure an elder daughter’s life.

    She took my mother, Victoria, to her great uncle’s hive
    (Garabed Dabaghian*, famous lawyer in town),
    In high-ranked area, thinking the child will survive.
    My mother started crying, obsessed to return home . . . dive.

    As she was only four years,
    Attached to Mother’s park,
    Tiny blond girl had fear
    Of nightmares and the dark.

    She said I had real luck.
    My obsession kept me alive to lark.
    (My grandfather named her Victoria
    As she was born in the Victorian era.)

    After she returned home
    From her uncle’s family dome*,
    Old women, brides, children, toddlers
    Vanished the next-day at the “earliest crack at dawn.”

    Gendarme came at night and stood on the door
    After counting all households, one by one in core.
    More than thirty-humans, living in a large house.

    So no one can leave, no one can escape roar, rouse.
    They took them in carts, nobody knows where,
    Disappearing from Diyarbakir’s century-home mare.
    Who were the gendarmes? Not government men?
    Was he not Turkish? Probably a spaceman!

    He was a police officer sent from police headquarters
    To the influential families to kill and confiscate
    As much as their hands can reach, catch,
    Hence, from small pin to a largest ranch.

    Written to be halal** in their fatwa*** known the Hamidian****.
    Killing, beheading, raping, searing, even hanging, torturing,
    Using belongings of massacred Armenians,
    Adding literary books, burning treasure words down.

    Grandma was terrified and started escaping,
    From hand to hand, from roof to roof,
    Bribing endlessly the Turks aloof,
    To keep their lives hidden even in a groove.

    Prayers were not to reach ‘genocidal carts’—
    Deported to be thrown in Der Zor desert to starve, die!
    They constantly suffered, till arriving Aleppo, a safe Arab land.
    All her jewels were gone, with Ottoman liras in gold,

    Started working in a factory weaving clothes
    To look after four kids—diseased, hungry, shocked
    With her, old Mother Manoosh, lamenting
    Sons, daughters, relatives, neighbors . . . she lost.

    My uncle Haig was only a few months old;
    Grandma used to cover his mouth with a cloth
    To stop the baby’s crying sound, loud and odd,
    So the gendarme cannot hear, find and slay his throat;

    As he was hungry, breast milk dried alone;
    He remained small, short with starved bones.
    Another child, Eugene, she was two years old;
    She vomited continuously until dehydrated to rot!
    Perished on reaching Syria, may be from cholera!

    This is my childhood stories; hearing them every night;
    We never heard stories of a happy fairy-tale land.
    But was replaced by murderers, the way that they killed,
    The ways they raped innocent girls, angels, sweet,

    Incised the throats of young lads’: clever, angel, dear.
    For sure every gendarme was one by one paid,
    Bribed by well-known Ottoman government,
    Killing every Christian, swiftly head after head.

    How we can forget the dishearten childhood stories*****!
    Our brains impregnated with endless fears, stays since!
    Dreaming, the devils like in excess greed
    After hearing tales that impedes the heart beats—

    From Granny, Zaruhi, so kind and cherished,
    More accurate yet horrible than recent movies.
    At that era, there was no TV to watch, near to cheer,
    Other than a large radio on a high table to hear.

    Sylva Portoian, MD, MSc, FRCP.CH, MFCM (U.K)
    From the poetry Collection “Bring Out Our Genocided Skulls & Artful Hands” (2015)

  6. Phyllis K Boyajian said:

    My grandfather, Khachadoor Boyajian was killed by the Turks in 1918, He was trying to escape to Russia with a group. The others got to Russia but since he was the leader, he was shot.

  7. Anahita Grigorian Marquetant said:

    my grandma, Artemiss Khaloogian was 27 years old in 1915 from Erzrum, highly educated, married with 3 kids, she lost her husband, father, and all 3 children during the deportation, she made it to Ukraine, with her mother, 2 sisters and one brother, she married my grandfather, Galoust there, who was from Khod u Jur, )I have picture, of his village and my grandparents picture), he had lost his wife and family, after they burned down the village, they married in Kiev and my mom was the only child they had, this is how we all survived, the story of many Armenians, I grew up with first hand stories of family members, friends, telling us their horror and nightmare, hiding under dead bodies for days, eating grass, chewing on grass, even eating cats and dogs, until they survived, they also told me stories of Turks and kurds hiding and helping them across the way.
    I would have loved to see my godfather, Jovaness Tatmanian be alive today, he always said he wanted to live until he was 121, to see what the world did to recognize our genocide, he was 21 years old, on a business trip to Tiblisi, upon his return to khod u jur, the village was burn to ashes and along were his young wife and infant daughter, he cried every time telling me the story, I grew up with him, his tender love and care I will never forget, he passed away in 1983, I was 20 ,and I’m glad I’m alive today and to see that maybe his suffering along with the rest was not in vain.
    We all have lost so many and so much, and it is only justice that it will be recognized for the sake of humanity, and for the future generations, and make sure the world once and for all recognizes the first genocide of the 20th century and make sure the evil idea of ethnic cleansing never takes place anywhere in the world. I’m a child of a survivor, we all have lost so much and for us there is a deep sense of loss, constant mourning, which never goes away, I’m living with the ghosts and the horror of the past,wonder what they life would have been if they didn’t have to move all over the world, if they didn’t lose their homeland and become world wide refugees, just because they were Christian.

  8. Nelly said:

    Thank you very much for all your efforts. WE are doing this for the sake of the whole humanity and peace in the whole world.
    Please name my ancestors in your list:
    a) My husband’s family, the Kirakosyans from Kars – my husband’s great grandfather Kirakos survived and came to Eastern Armenia and settled down in Mastara.
    His mother’s family in Moush was murdered and only his grandmother survived.

    b) my mother’s father’s whole family was murdered in Kesariya and only Hayrapet Grigoryan escaped from the Genocide.

    c) my mother’s uncle’s wife prefered to throw herself into the waters of the river Arax with her baby in her arms than to be captured by the Turks persecuting them.

  9. Maggie Papelian said:

    Please include my great grandfathers who were both killed.
    Garabed Tahmizian and Magaros Dabanian