YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Soil from the grave of a prominent Swiss missionary who helped Armenia’s during the Genocide was placed in the Memorial Wall of the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial Complex in Yerevan on Tuesday.
Born in 1871, Kunzler was a Swiss pharmacist stationed in Urfa during the Armenian Genocide. He stayed during the massacres to help the sick and wounded, muslim and non-muslim alike. He wrote about his eye-witness experience of the Armenian Genocide in his 1921 book, "In the Country of the Blood and the Tears," where among other things, he documented accounts of massacres of various Armenian labor battalions.
In 1922 he helped 8,000 Armenian orphans to move from Turkey to Syria and Lebanon. In the same year he founded an orphanage in Ghazir for 1,400 Armenian underage girls. In Beirut he founded a hospital for Armenian orphans and a resort house for Armenian children ill with tuberculosis.
Fourteen of Kunzler’s descendants arrived in Armenia this week to take part in the ceremony. They planted a tree in the nearby alley.
The name of Jakob Kunzler deserves to be written in gold letters in the annals of human history, Director of the Genocide Museum Hayk Demoyan said during Tuesday’s ceremony.
Kunzler’s descendants are scheduled to visit His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II on Wednesday.