Lest We Forget: “Friends of Martyred Writers”
Translated by: Vahe H. Apelian
Recently I read a book that was published in Paris in 1931 and was marked as the second volume of a sequel by an association that went by the name of “Friends of Martyred Writers” (FMW). The volume I read was by Hrant (Melkon Gourjian) and is marked as his complete works. The attached is my summary translation of the association that appeared as an appendix in the said volume. Many of the names mentioned had an initial only. The names depicted in parenthesis are my addition for clarity.
“Many talented Western Armenian writers were martyred during the war depriving them of begetting their literary legacy in a book. Others have died even before the war leaving behind their literary works scattered in many journals and periodicals.
A decade after the ending of the war, there still has not been a serious attempt to collect and publish the scattered literary works of these dedicated servants of the Armenian pen. Relatively speaking calmer days prevail nowadays and it is high time such an endeavor is accomplished.
Towards this goal in September 1929 we formed a publication committee named “Friends of Martyred Writers”, that aims to collect and publish the literary works of martyred and dead writers accompanied by a scholarly study of their lives and literary works.
For a start the “Friends of Martyred Writers” has decided to publish 12 volumes from the literary works of the following martyred or dead writes:
Melkon Gurjian (Hrant), Մելքոն Կիւրճեան (Հրանդ)
Kegham Der Garabedian (Mlo Kegham), Գեղամ Տէր Կարապէտեան (Մլոյ Գեղամ)
Kegham Parseghian, Գեղամ Բարսեղեան
D. (Dikran) Cheogurian, Տ. (Տիգրան) Չէօկիւրեան
A. (Ardashes) Haroutiunian, Ա. (ԱրտաշէսՕ. Յարութիւնեան
K. (Krikor) Zohrab, Գ. (Գրիգոր). Զօհրապ)
A. (Arpiar) Arpriarian, Ա. (Արբիար) Արբիարեան
Y. (Yervant) Odian, Ե. (Երուանդ) Օտեան
Y. (Yervant) Srmakeshkhanlian (Yeroukhan), Ե. (Երուանդ) Սրմաքէշխանլեան (Երուխան)
Roupen Sevag, Ռուբէն Սեւակ
D. (Diran) Chrakian, Տ. (Տիրան) Չրաքեան
The first two volumes have already seen light of day. Kegham Der Garabedian’s and Kegham Parseghian works are being published. The assembly of the literary works of the others is in process.
The founding members of the “Friends of Martyred Writers” (FMW) are:
S. (Simon) Vratsian, Ս. (Սիմոն) Վրացեան
Megerdich Barsamian, Մկրտիչ Պարսամեան
Doctor L. Krikorian, Տոքթ. Լ. Գրիգորեան
Levon Mozian, Լեւոն Մօզեան
Vazken Shoushanian, Վազգէն Շուշանեան
Garo Sassouni, Կարօ Սասունի
Sh. (Shavarsh) Nartouni, Շ. (Շաւարշ) Նարդունի
Megerdich Yeretsiants, Մկրտիչ Երեցեանց
Ohan Garo, Օհան Կարօ
Doctor Hovh. K. Erganian, Տոքթ. Յովհ. Գ. Էրկանեան
Yetvart Sahagian, Եդուարդ Սահակեան
Ghazar E. Boyajian, Ղազար Ե. Պոյաճեան
Doctor Levon Ajemian, Տոքթ. Լեւոն Աճէմեան
Hagop Andonian, Յակոբ Անտոնեան
Hagop Khashmanian, Յակոբ Խաշմանեան
Asadour Khderian, Ասատուր Խտրեան
Hovnan Gh. Garabedian, Յովնան Ղ. Կարապետեան
Bed A. Geoljek, Պետ. Ա. Կէօլճիկ
H. Baruyrian, Յ. Պարոյրեան
Pastor A. A. Bedigian, Պատ. Ա. Ա. Պետիկեան
Hovsep Poushman. Յովսէբ Փուշման
The accomplishment of this endeavor resonates in the hearts of every Armenian. We look forward for the moral and financial support of every Armenian and anticipate having many interested readers who will subscribe to receive the publications by the “Friends of Martyred Writers”. By supporting our cause the readers will not only have a collection of the meticulously printed books by these writers but will also render much service for the preservation of Armenian culture. All the income will be used towards the publication and a detailed annual report will be issued.
We would like to thank the following for their donations:
Doctor Hovh(annes) Erganian (Տոքթ. Յովհ. Էրկանեան), New York, towards publishing Hrant’s volume, $100.
B. Gh. E. Boyajian (Պ. Ղ. Ե. Պոյաճեան), New York, towards publishing Zohrab’s volume, $100.
B. H. Baruyrian (Պ. Յ. Պարոյրեան), New York, towards pubishing A. Arpiarian’s volume, $100.
Dikran Khan Kelegian (Տիգրան Խան Քէլէկեան), Paris, towards publishing D. Chrakian’s volume, $100.”
Note: Attached to this presentation is a page long report detailing the income and expenditure covering September 1929 to December 1930, presumably the association’s first year of operation.