Karekin Njdeh’s Remains to be Reburied

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Give my remains and my journals to my people," exclaimed famed Armenian hero Gen. Karekin Njdeh in his memoirs.

"I want to adhere to his requests and carry them out to the end," said Pavel Ananian in a discussion with Noyan Tapan.

Ananian claims that 15 years ago he identified Njdeh’s remains and brought them to Armenia. The reburial of Njdeh’s remains has been an issue Ananian began to deal with a long time ago–after he married famed Armenian actress and Njdeh’s granddaughter Gohar Drdatian.

According to Ananian–he was first introduced to Njdeh through former Armenian political prisoner Gourgen Aghamalian–who was affiliated with underground Armenian national-patriotic groups during the Soviet Era.

Aghamalian gave Ananian photographs depicting a grave in the city of Vladimir at a prison facility for the "criminally dangerous" with sign reading Karkein Der-Harutunian (Njdeh’s real name).

While Ananian was visiting Vladimir in 1982–he found the gravesite. While the signs on the graves were gone–the only tombstone which resembled the one in the photograph remained unchanged.

One year later–members of the underground organization ask for the return of Njdeh’s remains and pay for all the expenses.

Ananian secretly dug the grave–taking the remains in a suitcase back to Armenia and presented them to the underground group–which several weeks later–contacted Ananian and confirmed that following the necessary scientific tests–the remains were of Karekin Njdeh.

Much later–Ananian is told that Njdeh’s remains were buried in the back yard of one of the group’s members and later the remains were reburied in a nearby monastery.

Ananian vowed to tell this story and attain the necessary scientific reexamination to determine the identity of the remains.

He stressed that following the official pathological examination–the remains should be reburied at St. Gayaneh monastery in Etchmiadzin–which–according to Ananian was a request by the later Catholicos Vazgen I.

Ananian said that following the reburial–Njdeh’s second request must be fulfilled and return the Armenian hero’s journals to the national library. Currently–those journals are being kept in the archives of the National Security Ministry.

Incidentally–the Yerkir newspaper reported Thursday–that a bust of Njdeh erected at a hill-top city was vandalized recently by unknown individuals.

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