By Grigoris Balakian, Peter Balakian
By no means sooner than in English, Armenian Golgotha is the main dramatic and entire eyewitness account of the 1st glossy genocide.
On April 24, 1915, the priest Grigoris Balakian was once arrested in addition to a few 250 different intellectuals and leaders of Constantinople’s Armenian neighborhood. It was once the start of the Ottoman Turkish government’s systematic try to put off the Armenian humans from Turkey; it used to be a crusade that persevered via international conflict I and the autumn of the Ottoman Empire, in which time greater than 1000000 Armenians have been annihilated and expunged from their historical place of origin. For Grigoris Balakian, himself condemned, it used to be additionally the start of a four-year ordeal within which he could undergo witness to a likely never-ending caravan of blood.
Balakian sees his countrymen despatched in carts, on donkeys, or walking to stand convinced loss of life within the wilderness of northern Syria. Many wouldn't even live to tell the tale the adventure, soreness hunger, affliction, mutilation, and rape, between different tortures, ahead of being slaughtered en course. In those pages, he brings to lifestyles the phrases and deeds of survivors, international witnesses, and Turkish officers thinking about the bloodbath procedure, and in addition of these few courageous, righteous Turks, who, with a few of their German allies operating for the Baghdad Railway, resisted orders calling for the dying of the Armenians. Miraculously, Balakian manages to flee, and his flight—through woodland and over mountain, in cover as a railroad employee after which as a German soldier—is a suspenseful, harrowing odyssey that makes attainable his singular testimony.
Full of clever insights into the political, old, and cultural context of the Armenian genocide—the template for the next mass killings that experience forged a shadow around the 20th century and beyond—this memoir is destined to develop into a vintage of survivor literature. Armenian Golgotha is bound to deepen our figuring out of a catastrophic crime that the Turkish executive, the Ottomans’ successor, denies to this present day.
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Additional info for Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918
In many ways his assessments anticipate the post-Holocaust era: “There was a time when the Armenian nation had one collective history. ” Balakian was fiercely patriotic and dreamed of a new Armenia that he hoped would emerge after the war, a vision that sustained him in the worst of times. But he does not refrain from critical scrutiny of his own culture. Although he extols Armenia's past and present achievements, there is no sentimentality in his evaluation of the failures of Armenian leadership during this crucial period.
Grigoris Balakian's mother, Varvara, from the well-known Huesisian family of Shabin Karahisar and Tokat, was unusually well educated for a woman of her time and place, and she often wrote for Armenian publications and encouraged him to pursue his clerical and intellectual career. After his graduation from Sanassarian Academy of Erzerum in 1894, which he attended on scholarship, Grigoris went to Mittweida University in Saxony, Germany, to study engineering. After a year there, feeling called by God, he returned to Turkey and entered the Armash Seminary to study for the priesthood; he was ordained in 1901.
MAY 28 Georgia and Azerbaijan, Armenia's partners in the short-lived Transcaucasian Federation, declare their independence from the federation. Armenia is left with no choice but to do the same. In Tiflis, the Democratic Republic of Armenia is declared. SEPTEMBER 25 Disguised as a German soldier, Balakian returns to Constantinople, where he begins to write Armenian Golgotha. OCTOBER The Allies capture Damascus, Beirut, and Aleppo. The surviving Armenians are rescued. NOVEMBER 2 The ruling triumvirate—Talaat, Enver, and Jemal—flees the country.
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