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Rivlin tells UN: Don't falsely accuse Israel of genocide, fight the real thing

'President implicitly recognizes Armenian Genocide during General Assembly Holocaust memorial; says clashes on northern border represent Israel's fight against 'global challenge of terrorism.'


President Reuven Rivlin told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that "cynical" accusations against Israel of genocide and war crimes harm the world body's ability to fight the real thing. Speaking at the assembly's ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Rivlin mentioned the 1915 Armenian Genocide – the killing of more than one million Armenian nationals by Turkey – which is not recognized as genocide by Israel.  
Rivlin called on the United Nations to set red lines beyond which it would intervene to stop acts of genocide. He then said:"At the same time we must remember that the setting of red lines requires us to stop diluting and cynically exploiting them in the name of pseudo objectivity, as is done in the rhetoric of human rights with the use of terms such as 'genocide' for political purposes."

Pope to celebrate Mass marking 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide

Pope to celebrate Mass marking 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide

 By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

 VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will celebrate a special liturgy in April with Armenian Catholics, who are marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Vatican announced.

 Publishing the list of papal liturgies for February, March and April, the Vatican did not mention where the pope would celebrate the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper April 2, Holy Thursday.

The Vatican press office said Jan. 27 that the pope would decide later where to celebrate the Mass, which includes the washing of feet. The first year of his pontificate, Pope Francis celebrated the Mass at a juvenile detention facility; last year he presided over the Mass at a rehabilitation center.

“Raoul de Budapest”. A tango for Wallenberg

The Raoul Wallenberg Foundation commissioned the composition of a tango dedicated to Raoul Wallenberg.

A victory for the Righteous Among the Nations


The International Wallenberg Foundation opposes honoring officials who most certainly did not go above the call of duty in WWII

In reference to the report, Wallenberg Foundation off the hook in Argentina libel case, published on 21 August, we would like to stress that the ruling by the Supreme Court of Argentina overturned a judgment in favor of a relative of Luis H. Irigoyen, a diplomat stationed at the Argentine Embassy in Berlin during WWII. The relative sued the Wallenberg Foundation after it transmitted scholarly and journalistic works about Irigoyen and the role he played vis a vis Argentinean Jews persecuted by the Nazis.

This affair has its roots in two previous developments in which the Wallenberg Foundation was involved.

One of them was the “Directive 11”, an “strictly confidential” order issued in 1938 by the then Foreign Minister of Argentina, Jose Maria Cantilo, whereby all the Argentinian embassies and consulates around the world were instructed to deny visas to “undesirables or to individuals who were expelled from their countries”, a clear reference to the Jews, among other persecuted. The Directive 11, an equivalent of a death warrant, was revoked in an official ceremony that took place at the Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, on 9 June 2005. The ceremony was presided by President Nestor Kirchner and his Foreign Minister, Rafael Bielsa.

Past and present of Armenia in her whole wonderful dimension


April 2015 will mark a hundred years since the Armenian Genocide, this unfathomable loss has created a huge void in the collective conscience of the Armenian people. The genocide is a deep scar that throughout the history, the past and present of the Armenian People. It is impossible to approach the history of the Armenian people without mentioning the Genocide. Nevertheless, the Genocide alone is not sufficient to promote Armenian values and education, dwelling with the past without a clear vision of the future is pointless.  For this we need vivid examples and references to understand Armenian history’s dimension without demeaning efforts to build a future of progress and prosperity for Armenians of today and tomorrow. It is imperative to save Armenia from oblivion.

A few months away from the Genocide centennial, a great opportunity lies ahead to preserve Armenian ancient for the future. Different approaches to Armenian factors allow us to make contact with this exciting and yet disconcerting reality. On one hand it’s exciting, because that’s how Armenian culture is, but on the other hand puzzling because it is difficult to understand how such a rich and intense legacy remains not sufficiently widespread. Therefore, we must undertake a well-organized project of global diffusion that would allow us to preserve everything that Armenia means to the world; its history, its culture; in short, its legacy as a guide to action and education for future generations.

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Story of a Saved Life
Written by Artiom Chernamorian 16.03.14
Khachatur_Aznavuryan_in_the_middle_with_his_granddaughter_Karine_HunanyanIn the photo: Khachatur Aznavuryan in the middle with his granddaughter Karine Hunanyan, Susanna Ananikyan from the left, Khachatur’s mother Babayants Susanna from the right, first from the left above Aram Aznavuryan, Susanna and Amalia Aznavuryan and Khachik Hunanyan. City Stalino (Donetsk, Ukraine), 1953

September last year, during the meeting with the head of the Jewish community in Armenia Rima Varjapetyan we were informed about an article published in their newspaper “Magen David” which tells about a heroic and never highlighted episode of a famous family. We could not help starting research activities.
The story is about the relatives of world famous singer Charles Aznavour. This story began when the part of famous Aznavuryan dynasty moved from Tbilisi to Ukraine and settled in city Yuzovka that was renamed to Stalino in 1924. Khachatur Aznavuryan was living in this city where local Ukrainians called him Christopher Aznaurov. 
He was born in Tbilisi in 1890. His father Sedrak was a baker and mother Susanna Babayants was a housewife. The family had four children, eldest son Hayk, Khachatur (Christopher) and daughters Araksya and Arpenik. All children had a wonderful voice and were singing at the local Armenian Church on Sundays.
Christopher (Khachatur) was the first to move to Ukraine; afterwards his brother Hayk and sisters Arpenik and Araksya also moved to Stalino. They all lived in one yard. Like all other soviet citizens the Aznavurovs lived modest typical for the period of Stalin repressions.

1937_AznavuryannerIn the photo: below right Khachatur Aznavuryan (Christopher Aznaurov), Amalia Aznavuryan, from the left Susanna Ananikyan, above right Aram and Susanna Aznavuryanner. City Stalino (Donetsk, Ukraine), 1937

But Christopher managed to open a small restaurant-cafe during those years and it coincided with the Second World War and the occupation of the city Stalino by fascists.
The Germans entered the city in October 21, 1941 and immediately started the persecution and murders of the Jewish population. Aznavuryans were first living on Larinka Street and later moved to Desyati Linia Street. The granddaughter of the Armenian hero Karine Hunanyan told us the following story of a saved Jewish girl during our meeting. 
She did not remember whether it was Larinka Street or Desyati Linia but a Jewish family was living beside the house of Aznaurov’s. And when the so-called “Black Crow” cars appeared and collected Jews from the sanctuaries and the ruins of the bombed city, the Armenians could not save them from the clutches of death, as they would be sentenced to death at once without any trials.

Karine_Hunanyan_ev_Asya_AznavuryanIn the photo: from the right Asya Aznavuryan (Asya Aznaurova) and Karine Hunanyan Kislovodsk (Russian Federation), 2008

Fascists formed a ghetto in March 1942 and started the massacres of Jews in Stalino from April till May. The Jewish ghetto was completely abolished at the night of April 30; people were thrown to the coalmine 4-4 Bis.   
During those days the “Black Crow” again appeared in the street where the Aznaurovs lived. The Jews living in front where the close neighbors of the Armenians and their youngest daughter Ninochka was the friend of Christopher’s daughter Asya. That day the girls were playing together at the yard of Aznaurovs.

Christopher noticed that the Nazis are taking away their Jewish neighbors and hid Ninochka at his basement. At that time the German soldiers were living in the apartments of the citizens who had to feed them. Two Germans were living in the family of Armenians.

Aznaurov saved the life of the Jewish girl by risking not only his but the life of the whole family. His wife was feeding the child by stealth for 10 days. One of the German soldiers living in their apartment called Walter, told Aznaurov that he is aware that they keep a “Yehuda” in their basement and must get rid of her at once as the Nazi soldiers and the famous SS troops are looking for Jews.

Surprised by the fact that this German soldier did not punish them for hiding the Jewish girl, the Armenian hero took the girl at night to his sister’s house in Gorlovka, again risking his own life. Ninochka stayed there a month and later was hidden at Aznaurov’s relatives’ till the liberation of Stalino in September 7, 1943.

Khachatur_AznavuryanIn the photo: Khachatur Aznavuryan (Christopher Aznaurov)
Stalino, 1942

fter the war Christopher Aznaurov was arrested by the Soviet authorities being accused in betrayal and for feeding the Nazis and Ukrainian Police in his canteen. One of the witnesses, a policeman said during the trial that he could not understand the guilt of Aznaurov as food was always tasty and the canteen was very clean. An unknown person suddenly appears at the trial, shows his certificate of a guerilla and tells the judge that Christopher was keeping the secret messages of guerillas in his shoes. Thus, he was released after a half year of severe interrogations and torture.

One of the most respected members of Aznavuryan’s family and a real hero Khachatur Aznavuryan passed away on December 31, 1961 at the age of 71. His grave is located in the municipal cemetery of Donetsk. His wife Susanna Ananikyan died 14 years later, in 1975 and is buried next to her husband. 
The meeting of Karine Hunanyan, her mother Amalia Aznavuryan and Ninochka took place in Donetsk (Stalino) in 1970. Unexpectedly, a woman approached them, started to hug and kiss them. Then Amalia and Nina had recalled the past and cried. Mother told Karine that this woman was Nina, hidden in her grandfather’s basement.

“Karinochka, if not your grandpa and grandma, I would die like my parents. I would also be thrown to the coalmine by the Germans. I’m so grateful to them. They granted a new life to me, risking their own. I am grateful… them”.
Aunt of Karine Hunanyan, Asya Aznaurova lives in city Kislovodsk. She has some health and unfortunately also memory problems.
Now, we are actively looking for Nina in city Donetsk. We have established a contact with the head of the Jewish community in Donetsk Mrs. Tamara Natanovna and the whole archive at our disposal has been sent to them.

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