Copyright 2021 © by Gillisann Harootunian
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data
Haroian, Bedros, 1894-1967. author. |
Harootunian, Gillisann, 1957- editor. |
Göçek, Fatma Müge, writer of afterword.
Memoirs of a soldier about the days of tragedy / by Bedros Haroian; editor, Gillisann Harootunian; afterword by Fatma Müge Göçek.
Zeenvoree muh hoosheruh arhavirkey oreren. English
Fresno, California: Tadem Press,  | "Original publication (Armenian)--1963" (Boston). | Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN: 978-1-7375558-0-3 (hardcover) |
978-1-7375558-1-0 (e-book) |
LCSH: Haroian, Bedros, 1894-1967. | Christians--Turkey--20th century--Biography. | Armenians--Turkey--20th century--Biography. | Armenians--United States--20th century-- Biography. | World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, Armenian. | World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns--Turkey--Personal narratives. | Sarikamish, Battle of, Sarikamiş¸, Kars İli, Turkey, 1914-1915--Personal narratives. | World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns-- Georgia (Republic)--Personal narratives. | World War, 1914-1918--Atrocities--Personal narratives. | Armenians--Turkey--History. | Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923--Personal narratives. | France. Armée. Légion étrangère--History--World War, 1914-1918--Biography. | Turkey. Ordu--History--World War, 1914-1918--Biography. | Russia. Armii͡a--History--World War, 1914-1918--Biography. | Great Britain. Army--History--World War, 1914-1918-- Biography. | BISAC: HISTORY / Military / World War I. | HISTORY / Middle East / Turkey & Ottoman Empire. | POLITICAL SCIENCE / Genocide & War Crimes.
LCC: DR435.A7 H37 2021 | DDC: 956.7/03092--dc23
Genocide witnesses usually tell stories of cruelty and survival, but Bedros Haroian was there to witness every twist and turn of the tragedy as soldier, victim, rebel, and spectator. Orphaned from the Hamidian massacres of the 1890s, he was drafted into the Ottoman army on the eve of World War I, fought valiantly at the battle of Sarikamish against the Russians, and was then disarmed and sent to a labor battalion where he witnessed the horrors of the great genocide and buried its dead. Realizing he would soon lose his own life, he escaped to join the Armenian revolutionary forces across the border, then returned to his native land and joined the Armenian Legion assisting the French forces in Cilicia. After the war, as Christian families were still hunted, expelled, and murdered by the newly formed Turkish nationalist forces, he realized that there would be no future for Armenians in the nascent Turkish state and boarded a ship bound for America. Bedros Haroian’s memoirs are a rare treasure trove for historians as well as for Armenian collective memory.
Dror Zeevi and Benny Morris, professors and authors:
The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of its Christian Minorities: 1894-1924
Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Year after year, the thousands of testimonies left by the survivors of 1915 come out of the places where they have been long kept and safeguarded and are made public, often translated into the language of the country of adoption. Their memory weighs on the present and reminds us that in these places from which the Armenians have been eradicated, their eternal shadow survives that nothing can erase. The struggle led by Bedros Haroian, to which his story testifies, reminds us that it was his generation that succeeded, under extreme circumstances, to make an Armenian homeland that survives today. In the nation of Armenia, some of that generation’s descendants are gathered, who do not forget the supreme crime committed by our Turkish neighbors.
Raymond Kévorkian, professor and author:
The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History
University of Paris-VIII-Sant-Denis
In his memoir, Haroian tells the story of an Armenian youth in the Ottoman Army and provides an eyewitness account of the fateful battle of Sarikamish. This decisive engagement with Russian forces was a humiliating defeat for Enver Pasha, the Ottoman Minister of War, and is often considered the triggering event of the Armenian Genocide. Through Haroian’s eyes, we see how the Empire moved against its Armenian citizens and soldiers; we share the perplexity of Ottoman officers who do not understand why loyal and brave soldiers of the Ottoman Army are being moved to work battalions; and we feel the pain of those who realize that they have been betrayed by the country they are fighting for. But Haroian then became involved in two other important moments of Armenian history: the fight for the first Republic of Armenia and the failed attempt to salvage Cilicia for the Armenians. He gives personal insight into the challenges facing both endeavors, the disagreements that beset the different Armenian parties, and the heroism of individual soldiers. Haroian’s recollection throughout is remarkable and his memoir should serve as a significant primary source for historians of the Armenian Genocide, the first world war, and the formation of the modern Middle East in its aftermath.
Dr. Sergio La Porta, Haig and Isabel Berberian Professor of Armenian Studies
Co-author, The Armenian Apocalyptic Tradition: A Comparative Perspective comprises an unprecedented collection of essays on apocalyptic literature in the Armenian tradition.
California State University, Fresno
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