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Code Name “Haiko” Discovering the Last Unknown Participant in Talaat Pasha’s Liquidation. Lecture by Dr. Vartan Matiossian

Grand Vizir Talaat Pasha was murdered on March 15, 1921 in Berlin by Soghomon Tehlirian as vengeance for his role in the Armenian Genocide.

Grand Vizir Talaat Pasha was assassinated on March 15, 1921 in Berlin by Soghomon Tehlirian as vengeance for his role in the Armenian Genocide.

The Zohrab Center inaugurates its Spring Armenian enrichment series on Thursday, February 5 with a real-life detective story by Dr. Vartan Matiossian.

In 1921 the mastermind of the Armenian Genocide, Talaat Pasha, was killed in a Berlin street by a young avenger, Soghomon Tehlirian. This was the final act of Operation Nemesis, planned and partially carried out between 1919 and 1922 to fulfill the justice to the Armenian people that many believed had been denied them by tribunals.

Soghomon Tehlirian was acquitted by a  German court in the assassination of Talaat Pasha.

Soghomon Tehlirian was acquitted by a German court in the assassination of Talaat Pasha.

In his memoirs, published in Armenian in 1953, Tehlirian unveiled many of the details of his action. For security reasons, he identified his immediate on-the-ground collaborators with pseudonyms: Hazor, Vaza, and a certain Haiko. Three decades later, the identity of the first two were revealed or inferred but the third operative, “Haiko,” has remained unidentified.

While waiting for the day that archival material will yield more information about him, a lucky hunch and a painstaking examination of data from the Armenian press and secondary literature has allowed Dr. Vartan Matiossian to identify by name and to outline the life and activities of “Haiko.”

Dr. Vartan Matiossian has published extensively in the areas of Armenian history and literature.

Dr. Vartan Matiossian has published extensively in the areas of Armenian history and literature.

Dr. Vartan Matiossian was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and lived in Buenos Aires until 2000, when he moved to the United States. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and has a Ph.D. in history from the Academy of Sciences, Armenia, having studied the Armenian community in Argentina from its beginnings until 1950.

A frequent visitor to the Zohrab Center, Dr. Matiossian currently serves as Executive Director of the Armenian National Education Committee of the Armenian Prelacy in New York. He has published extensively in the areas of Armenian history and literature in Armenian, Spanish and English, including 5 books and countless scholarly articles, essays and book reviews. He has also translated 15 Armenian books into Spanish and English.

2015-02 Matiossian.001Dr. Matiossian’s presentation will take place in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 2nd. Avenue, New York on Thursday, February 5 at 7PM. The event, which will be followed by a reception, is free of charge and all are welcome.

CLICK HERE to download a color flyer.

For further information, contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

Learn! Grow! Inspire! 2015 Spring Lecture Series

ZZohrab.001The Zohrab Center presents a rich and varied program of lectures, book presentations, and other stimulating opportunities for enrichment and edification this Winter and Spring. Armenians and anyone interested in Armenian civilization, arts, letters, and faith will find many options to learn, to grow and to inspire others.

A new study on Armenian music, a guide to the Armenian Church’s Holy Week ceremonies, a photographic album of the old Armenian community of Bourj-Hammoud, a Genocide-era novel, and a new travelogue of historic western Armenia will all be showcased by their authors. In addition, noted scholars will hold forth on various facets of Armenian Studies, including Vartan Matossian, Helen Evans and Roberta Ervine. A movie night and other events are also planned.

The Zohrab Center is collaborating with several sister organizations and parishes to co-sponsor some events.

All events are open to the public and most are free of charge. Unless otherwise noted, all presentations take place at the Zohrab Center (Armenian Diocese, New York). Check back frequently for updates and additions. For further information contact ZIC at info@zohrabcenter.org or (212) 686-0710.

ZIC Schedule of Events Spring 2015

Thursday, February 5 (7PM)
“Code Name Haiko: Discovering the Last Unknown Participant in Talaat Pasha’s Liquidation” Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Armenian National Education Committee

Thursday, February 12
Commemoration of St. Vartan and His Companions. Divine Liturgy and Dinner followed by Lecture. Co-sponsored with St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral
“An Anthropologist Considers St. Vartan: Faith, Nation and Memory” Lecture by Christopher Sheklian, University of Chicago

Thursday, February 19 (7PM)
St. Leon Armenian Church, Fair Lawn, NJ

The Life and Work of 19th-Century Armenian Composer Kristapor Gara-Murza. Book Presentation by Krikor Pidejian with Şahan Arzruni.

Thursday, March 5 (7PM)
Co-sponsored with Eastern Diocese Department of Armenian Studies
Portraits of Survival: The Armenians of Bourj Hammoud. Book Presentation by Ariane Ateshian Delacampagne.

Thursday, March 12 (7PM)
A.G.B.U. Center, New York

Historic Armenia after 100 Years. Book Presentation by Matthew Karamian

Thursday, March 19 (7PM)
“A Guided Tour of Holy Week in the Armenian Church” Lecture and Book Presentation by Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Zohrab Information Center/St. Nersess Armenian Seminary

Wednesday, April 8 (7PM)
“Picking Up the Pieces: Three Bishops and Their Vision for the Armenian Church circa 1920″ Lecture by Dr. Roberta Ervine, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary

Thursday, April 30 (7PM)
“Armenian Art: Voice of a People” Dr. Helen Evans, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, June 2 (7PM)
The Survivor. Book Presentation: Rosemary Hartounian Cohen.

Video

An Eyewitness Account of the Persecution and Explulsion of the Armenian Community of Baku

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte is the author of Nowhere: A Story of Exile. She spoke last week at ZIC.

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte is the author of Nowhere: A Story of Exile. She spoke last week at ZIC.

Last week Anna Astvatsaturian Tucrotte presented her memoir, Nowhere: A Story of Exile, at the Zohrab Information Center. View her poignant presentation here.

 

Nowhere: A Story of Exile. ZIC Book Presentation November 13, 2014

TurcotteNowhereAnna Astvatsaturian Turcotte lost her childhood to the ethnic cleansing in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1988.

Her life was swept away at the tender age of 10 when Muslim Azeris drove the Armenian community out of the country using terror and violence. Fleeing to Armenia, which was still reeling from the earthquake of 1988, she found herself an outsider; a nationless girl surviving in an unheated basement and facing discrimination again, this time by her own people.

Nowhere: A Story of Exile is a riveting story of organized terror, refugee life, and the desperate search for one’s home told through the diary entries of a young girl. Anna gives voice to a horrific tragedy little reported in the West, to the Armenian community of Azerbaijan and to the child victims of ethnic cleansing everywhere.

TurcottePhotoAnna Astvatsaturian Turcotte will speak of her experiences at the Zohrab Information Center on Thursday, November 13 at 7:00PM. Her presentation will be held in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 2nd Avenue, New York. It is being co-sponsored by the Zohrab Center and the Armenian Network of America Greater NY Chapter.

Ms. Astvatsaturian Turcotte came to the United States as an Armenian refugee in 1992 and became a US citizen in 1997. She holds a law degree and was one of the first Americans to clerk for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands after observing its creation at the United Nations. Anna is currently living in the United States and working in the financial industry. She is married and has two children.

“Anna’s diary, written from the wide-eyed perspective of an 11-year old girl, is nevertheless remarkably incisive and haunting in its portrayal of the cruelties inflicted on the Armenian people of Baku,” said V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Director of the Zohrab Center. He added, “Anna is the Armenian Anne Frank of our times.”

AnnaTurcotteFlyer.001The book presentation is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER.

For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

#NowhereExile

ZICVID. Prof. Maxwell Johnson Speaks on Martyrdom in the Early Churches and the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide

On Thursday, October 9, Prof. Maxwell Johnson of the University of Notre Dame spoke at the Zohrab Center about the phenomenon of Christian martyrdom in the early church in light of the anticipated canonization by the Armenian Church of the countless martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 who surrendered their lives for the name of Jesus Christ.

A Poetry Evening at ZIC. Thursday, October 23

The Zohrab Information Center will host an evening of original poetry on Thursday, October 23 at 7:00PM.

Nancy Agabian

Nancy Agabian

Featured will be three American-Armenian poets: Nancy Agabian, Lola Koundakjian, and Alan Semerdjian. They have chosen to read works that have been inspired by the Zohrab Center’s rich book collection.

Award-winning author Nancy Agabian is a part-time faculty member of the NYU Gallatin School. She was a Fulbright scholar to Armenia in 2006-7.

Alan Semerdjian

Alan Semerdjian

Alan Semerdjian is a poet, teacher, musician and artist, whose acclaimed collection of poems, In the Architecture of Bone, explorees issues of Genocide and survival.

Lola Koundakjian

Lola Koundakjian

Making her second visit to the Zohrab Center to read her work, Lola Koundakjian is an internationally acclaimed and published poet whose work has been translated into Spanish and Ukrainian. She is curator of the online Armenian Poetry Project.

The Evening of Poetry will place at the Zohrab Center of the Armenian Diocese, 630 Second Avenue, New York.

2014-10 PoetryEvening.001CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER.

All are welcome to attend. Suggested donation is $5. Students with ID will be admitted free. A reception and refreshments will follow.

For further information, contact us at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710. #ZICPoetry

 

From the ZIC Photograph Archives. Do You Recognize These Faces?

One of the treasures of the Zohrab Center is its rich collection of historical photographs, some of them from 19th century Armenian communities in western Armenia and the Middle East, many of them documenting the early history of the Armenian community in the United States.

The collection, numbering hundreds of photographs, has grown gradually thanks to the donations of American Armenians going back to the establishment of the Diocese of the Armenian Church over a century ago.

One person working with the ZIC collection is Dr. Joseph Malikian, an expert in 19th and early 20th century Armenian photography and photographers, who has his own vast and precious personal collection of historical photographs, and who published the recent album, The Armenians in the Ottoman Empire: An Anthology and a Photo History (Antelias, Lebanon, 2011). (Read about a recent exhibit from his personal collection of Ottoman-era photographs).

Dr. Malikian recently brought to our attention one of the rare photographs that contains identifying information.

IMG_1346The print, measuring approximately 5 x 7 inches, depicts 8 well-dressed young men standing behind two distinguished gentlemen and an Armenian clergyman, all seated. On the reverse we read the following caption:

Ագ-Շէհիրի դպրոցի բարձրագոյն կարգի աշակերտները իրենց տնօրէնը Լեւոն Աղապապեան, Գարեգին Սրբազանը՝ ներկայիս Պօլսոյ պատրիարք Խաչատուրեանը, Արմենակ Օրմանեան։ 1913-1955.

The students of the senior class of the Ak-Shehir school [with] their principal, Levon Aghababian, Bishop Karekin Khachadourian—currently the Patriarch of Constantinople, [and] Armenak Ormanian. 1913-1955.

Relatively few of the ZIC photographs include identifying captions such as this one.

Relatively few of the ZIC photographs include identifying captions such as this one.

The fascinating photo and caption provide a glimpse into a long-forgotten page in the story of the Armenian people. Ak-Shehir is a city in west-central Turkey that had a small, but vibrant Armenian community far from the larger pre-Genocide Armenian centers hundreds of miles farther east.

Patriarch Karekin Khachadourian, a native of Trabizon, served as Patriarch of Constantinople from 1951-1961. The years “1913-1955″ that conclude the caption probably indicate the date of the photograph (1913) and the date that the caption was written (1955).

But who is Levon Aghababian, the principal? And who is Armenak Ormanian? Is the latter a relative of Maghakia Ormanian, the great intellectual and prolific scholar who converted from the Armenian Catholic Church eventually to become Patriarch of Constantinople in 1896?

If you can provide any additional information about these individuals, the photograph, or the Armenian community of Ak-Shehir, please post a note on this blog.

Read more…

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