YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)—“In the Land of Blood and Tears,” a book by Swiss missionary Jakob Kunzler, has been selected as the July book of the month at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan. The Museum-Institute is also introducing a new temporary exhibit, “Armenian Sport and Gymnastics in the Ottoman Empire”, set to debut next month.
Based on Jakob Kunzler’s eye-witness accounts of events in Urfa during World War I, the Museum-Institute says that “In the Land of Blood and Tears” is valuable for the study of the Armenian Genocide.
Arriving in Urfa in 1899, Jakob Kuntzler worked at a hospital operated by the German Mission in the East. Kunzler served as an assistant to Swiss doctor Hermann Christi. During World War I, Christi was the only doctor available to provide medical assistance to the people of Urfa and neighboring settlements.
Kunzler and his wife Elizabeth succeeded in saving many Armenians during the Genocide. His book is used by historians, researchers in Oriental Studies, as well as by a wide circle of readers interested in the Armenian Genocide.
After the war, Kunzler left for Switzerland with his family. But after a short time away he returned to Urfa to continue his work. Soon, Kunzler began collaborating with the Near East Relief. When Near East Relief decided to begin moving Armenian orphans from Turkey to other countries in 1922, Kunzler actively participated and supported the mission. By September of 1922, he had helped move over 8000 Armenian orphans to Syria and Lebanon.
Kunzler continued to serve Armenian orphans as the manager of the Near East Relief orphanage in Ghazir, Lebanon. He remained in Lebanon supporting thousands of Armenians in need until his death in 1949.
The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute is also introducing a new temporary exhibit called “Armenian Sport and Gymnastics in the Ottoman Empire”. Hayk Demoyan, director of the Museum-Institute, will give a homonymous presentation at the opening of the exhibit on August 4.
According to the Museum-Institute, the exhibition is an updated version of an exhibit revealed in 2009. For the first time, a historical overview of the development of Armenian sports clubs in Western Armenia will be featured in the exhibit and in an accompanying book.
Guests attending the opening of the exhibit include the descendants of famous athletes, as well as scouts Grigor Chologhyan, Shavarsh Krisyan, and Vahan Cheraz.
The history of Armenian sport in the Ottoman Empire begins in the 19th century, when the first sport clubs were established. Prior to the Word War I, nearly 40 sport clubs operated were active Constantinople alone. Most clubs ceased to operate in the wake of the Armenian Genocide.