Schiff submits Armenian Genocide Survival Stories into Congressional Record
PanArmenian.net | May 26, 2010
Schiff submits Armenian Genocide Survival Stories into Congressional Record
Today I met with a woman who is the daughter of an Armenian Genocide survivor. I asked her if she wanted to share her mother’s story in a book I’m writing. She looked down and told me that every time she begins to read the letters her mother wrote about being marched (to the desert to die) she would cry. I don’t blame this wonderful lady for not wanting to live through this painful time in her mother’s history. But, I hope that she and all of us will remember to leave clear instructions for making sure these personal testimonies are preserved after we are gone.
If you (or anyone you know) possesses such letters, documents, pictures or any other information related to a relative who was a victim of the Armenian Genocide, please make time to identify what you have and make arrangements for these possessions to be entrusted to a library, museum, archive or church that can properly ensure these historical records will be recorded and kept safe.
Thank you to all the readers who are sending your Armenian Genocide family histories. Emails and letters are welcome in all languages.
(Translators fluent in reading and writing Armenian, French and Spanish are currently needed to assist with translations of the responses received to date. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and write ‘translation help’ in the subject line. Please note that this project is a volunteer effort. Thank you.)
Please read the testimony of Shogher Abraham Tonoyan (from 1915armeniangenocide.blogspot.com)
Shogher Abraham Tonoyan’s Armenian Genocide History
The 1915armeniangenocide.blogspot.com is dedicated to remembrance of the victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Empire. For more testimonials, be sure to visit that blog and share it with others.
If you know about other Armenian Genocide-related websites and blogs, please share their addresses via a comment or email. (Beware of the many false sites sponsored by parties spreading disinformation and propaganda.)
From Hrag Vartanian’s blogpage, his family’s Armenian Genocide history:
My Armenian Genocide Story
President Obama is meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on December 7, 2009.
This is a copy of my letter to President Obama:
November 12, 2009
Dear President Obama,
Thank you for your leadership and the vision you are putting forth for America. I actually cried with tears of happiness when I voted for you.
My late father always celebrated the anniversary of the day he arrived in America and saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time. He called May 15th, “God Bless America Day.” It was more important to him to celebrate that day, than it was to celebrate his own birthday.
President Obama, I am an Armenian-American. I am writing to you today because I understand you will be meeting with the Prime Minister of Turkey, again, before the end of this year. I am speaking up now on behalf of the memory of my mother’s parents and grandparents, who suffered unthinkable personal tragedies at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide. I still believe you intend to keep your campaign promise to call the systematic mass murder and deportation of Armenians, Greeks and other non-Muslims a “Genocide.”
I truly believe you are the right person to find a way to work through this issue because the world respects you. If a man of your principles and moral courage does not speak up to the Turkish Government, who will? Allowing Turkey to perpetuate a denial campaign, so as not to disturb our national interests, is no different than befriending the playground bully and then not speaking up to his assertions that he never abused anyone. In this comparison, the bully would actually make claims that it was he who was assaulted, and he was merely defending himself.
My grandfather’s family did not assault the Turkish government. In fact, my great great grandfather, Dr. Aboujhon Kuzujian, was a prominent medical doctor from Aintab who migrated to Marash. The family name was officially changed from Kuzujian to Kalpakleoglou or Karnoug (in Armenian) when my great great grandfather received a Kalpak (Persian lamb hat) as an honor from the Sultan of Turkey. Dr. Kuzujian was recognized as a hero for saving the lives of children during an epidemic in Marash that took the lives of many children.
My grandfather was Karnig Kalpakian (Dr. John Karnig) and his father was Dr. Janik Kalpakian. In 1920, they escaped the killings in Marash, Turkey, that claimed the lives of my great grandmother Mary Mesrobian, as well as the lives of my great aunts Anais and Armenouhi. During the Ottoman Turks’ mass deportation of the Armenians, Mary Mesrobian’s entire family, with the exception of her brother Kevork, were deported “to the deserts of Arabia” (this is what my grandfather wrote in his letter to our family, but it was most likely Der Zor).
My grandfather and great grandfather were among the ‘lucky’ victims of the Ottoman Turks. Leaving everything behind, they survived. Starting off in a horse-drawn carriage to Aintab, Janik and Karnig set out on their journey to safer shores in America. From Aintab they traveled to Aleppo (Syria); then to Beirut (Lebanon), then on to Jerusalem, and finally to Alexandria, Egypt, where they waited to immigrate to America. In 1923, Karnig, together with his father, new stepmother and a new baby brother, finally arrived at Ellis Island in New York.
Mr. President, in my heart I believe this issue has broader importance than simply serving as a domestic political gesture to a small constituency. The world community is watching and waiting for our leadership regarding genocide. My mother asked why would I want to get involved in documenting the Armenian Genocide as a response to the recent Armenian-Turkish Protocols, when my efforts won’t change anything. But as Henri Frederic Amiel said, “Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence.”
Please take my letter under your personal consideration. It would be an honor to share more of my grandfather’s family history, as well as his achievements in, and contributions to, our great country.
Sheri Sona Jordan
My blog address is, https://armeniangenocideblog.wordpress.com
This is a very important time. Whether you volunteer as a translator, contributor of your family’s history, refer this website to people who can help this effort–your time and involvement is greatly appreciated.
Please keep passing the word —
Yesterday, I met with a young woman who works with Armenian Genocide survivors. She told me that just since this past April 24 (Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day), 3 more survivors have passed on at the nursing home she visits.
We are in a race against time to preserve the remaining survivor stories and memories of all those loved ones our survivors (and we) lost during the Armenian Genocide, conducted by the Ottoman Turks.
Please send a message using this blog — Enter your message as a comment (click Leave a Comment – see the link below this post). I will keep your information confidential unless you give me permission to share it.)
Let every Armenian who lost family in the Armenian Genocide hear this call. The moment is now. The Protocol was signed. Turkey has pledged to establish a commission to “investigate the Armenian Issue.”
We need your family histories. Please pass this message on to every Armenian you know and ask for their help. Don’t let Turkey escape responsibility for the actions of the Ottoman Turks and the crimes they committed upon our grandparents, great-grandparents and innocent children during the Armenian Genocide.
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