Armenian Genocide Museum Commemorates Near East Relief

A photograph of a group of Armenian Genocide orphans taken under the care of Near East Relief, from the collection of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI) has launched a project, dubbed “The Star of the Near East Relief,” dedicated to the mission and legacy of the world’s first large-scale humanitarian effort, Near East Relief, a campaign by the people of the United States during and after the Armenian Genocide.

Director of the AGMI, Dr. Hayk Demoyan, said, “We proudly can say that the collection of the Armenian Genocide Museum comprises hundreds of unique and rare original photos, documents, memorabilia and other items related to the history of the American Near East Relief. Within the last seven years, AGMI’s collection has been enriched with amazing museum quality items. The story of the Near East Relief is another unique episode in world history when hundreds of Americans were working on the territory of the Soviet Union before both countries officially recognized each other. But first of all the story of the Near East Relief is a powerful history of philanthropy and amazing mobilization to help others living thousands [of] miles away from the American continent.”

AGMI has scheduled several commemorative events for the centennial of the Armenian Genocide and the Near East Relief in 2015. First and foremost the core of the project will be a travelling exhibition with original items and multi-language catalogues. In addition to a photo exhibition depicting the sites of former Near East Relief orphanages, there will also be historic memorial postcards and stamps on display. Memorial events dedicated to Henry Morgenthau, the US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time of the Genocide, who inspired American humanitarian involvement in the Near East, are on the schedule as well.

Deputy Director of the AGMI Lusine Abrahamyan who currently is one of the curators of the project said, “The history of the relief during and after the genocide yet is another proof of the scale and consequences of the unprecedented preplanned Genocide the whole world was dealing with. The relief provided by the American people and American government played a crucial role for saving tens of thousands of lives at the beginning of the 20th century. And this is a fact supported by ocean of evidence.”

Currently the collection of the Armenian Genocide Museum has more than 700 items related to the American Near East Relief Committee including posters, postcards, fundraising booklets, stamps, pins and medals, as well as diaries of relief workers, memoires of the orphans, orphanage items and personal belongings. Almost 500 original photos related to Near East Relief activities make the collection of the AGMI one of the world’s largest.

The travelling exhibition on the American Near East Relief is one of twenty travelling exhibits the AGMI plans to launch for worldwide display within in 2015 and 2016, covering all episodes of the Armenian Genocide

AGMI Publishes First Peer-Reviewed Journal
The AGMI also announced the publication of the first issue of the International Journal of Armenian Genocide Studies (IJAGS), its first peer-reviewed, academic journal in English.

Demoyan, who is also Chief Editor of the Journal, said, “At the threshold of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the publication of this journal can be conceived as a long term initiative enabling the next generation of genocide scholars to develop new insights and research approaches in the study of all genocides and their consequences. IJAGS aims to secure a firm place in the global fight against the crime of genocide and the scourge and grave danger of denial. IJAGS will fight against denial of any genocide. We envision this endeavor as part of the challenge of establishing early warnings and working towards prevention for the sake of global security.”

According to deputy Director of the AGMI Suren Manukian, the publication of this journal is to promote the academic study of the Armenian Genocide. It is a double anonymous peer-reviewed journal; each article has passed the examination of two prominent experts in the field and fits all the requirements for an international academic journal.

IJAGS will publish articles and reviews related to the Armenian Genocide and other genocides in general. The preference is given to articles related to history, political science, anthropology, sociology, literature and law. Articles of other themes will also be included in the journal, if they are somehow related to genocide studies.

AGMI Releases Russian Translation of Sarkis Torosian’s Memoires
The AGMI has also published a Russian translation of “From Dardanelles to Palestine,” the memories of Sarkis Torosian, an Armenian officer in the Ottoman Army.

The memories narrate the odyssey of the Armenian officer in the Ottoman Army who endured the horrors of WWI and the Armenian Genocide. Presenting the history of the Armenian Genocide from an unexplored point makes the narration of Sarkis Torosian more interesting and exciting, which leaves an indelible impression on readers.

The story of Sarkis Torosian is not just memories, but a unique monument and a living testimony of the Armenian Genocide. Being a participant in Battle of Dardanelle, one of the bloodiest sessions of the war, Sarkis Torosian was awarded by the Ottoman Government. Nevertheless, his family and relatives were exiled and brutally murdered by the same government.

The story of the author is about the ever-developing events that took place in European and Middle Eastern military and political fields, mixed with the drama of his personal journey and experiences.

The hero survived the Genocide, but remained a victim of one of the greatest crimes of the twentieth century.


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