By Grigoris Balakian, Peter Balakian
By no means ahead of in English, Armenian Golgotha is the main dramatic and complete eyewitness account of the 1st sleek genocide.
On April 24, 1915, the priest Grigoris Balakian used to be arrested besides a few 250 different intellectuals and leaders of Constantinople’s Armenian neighborhood. It used to be the start of the Ottoman Turkish government’s systematic try and get rid of the Armenian humans from Turkey; it used to be a crusade that persevered via international conflict I and the autumn of the Ottoman Empire, wherein time greater than 1000000 Armenians were annihilated and expunged from their old fatherland. For Grigoris Balakian, himself condemned, it used to be additionally the start of a four-year ordeal within which he may undergo witness to a possible never-ending caravan of blood.
Balakian sees his countrymen despatched in carts, on donkeys, or walking to stand yes loss of life within the barren region of northern Syria. Many wouldn't even continue to exist the adventure, anguish hunger, affliction, mutilation, and rape, between different tortures, ahead of being slaughtered en direction. In those pages, he brings to existence the phrases and deeds of survivors, overseas witnesses, and Turkish officers desirous about the bloodbath approach, 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 wooded area 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 wise insights into the political, ancient, and cultural context of the Armenian genocide—the template for the following 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 1933, embittered by church politics, he resigned from this post. He lived in seclusion in Marseilles until he died in 1934 from a heart attack, which he suffered after lifting a foundation stone at the construction site of a new church. His death seemed inseparable from his love of building. He appears to have been as intensely engaged with the Armenian scene as any intellectual of his generation, and given the numerous national and civic responsibilities he took on beyond his work as a clergyman, his productivity as a writer is impressive.
Thus the perspective of witness here is more multifarious and broad than in most survivor memoirs. We see, in process, the “government planned, systematic, race extermination,” as The New York Times referred to it in 1915, from conception to execution; from its impact on the victims—women, children, and men of all ages—to its impact on the perpetrators and bystanders. Structure of Genocide It will be clear to any reader that Armenian Golgotha is more than a personal story, for Balakian brings together a survivor account, eyewitness testimony, historical background and context, and political analysis.
Some editorializing and sermonizing passages were deleted—moments of patriotic sentiment, clerical blessings of the dead, rage at Turkey, and the like—because, while they revealed the intensity of Balakian's emotions, they digressed from and interfered with the organic flow of the narrative. We left enough of these passages intact so that the reader will have an ample sense of these moments. Never did we interfere with fact or sentiment, voice or style. Balakian's vivid and detailed account of his experience is rendered faithfully, as are his ideas and analyses.