It was the nadir, the lowest point in the history of the Armenian existence. In a fiendish pre-plot, the triumvirate (Interior Minister Talaat, War Minister Enver, and Minister of the Marine Jemal - leaders of the Ittihad ve Terraki party who overthrew Sultan Hamid) executed a plan to remove influential leaders of the Armenian people within the Ottoman Empire in order to carry out their main objective more effectively - the annihilation of the Armenian race.
So it was that the movements of designated Armenian leaders, mostly writers and community leaders, were being monitored by the police, and on the fateful night of April 23, 1915, in a coordinated operation, the leaders were taken into custody.
Together, they numbered in the hundreds. Their luminous, but tragic, biographies would all show the year of death as 1915.
Here is a sampling of them:
HRAND (Hovhannes Giurjian): born 1859 in Balahovid. Writer, public speaker, teacher.
TELGADENTSI (Hovhannes Harutiunian): born 1860 in the region of Kharberd.
Writer, teacher, community leader.
AGNUNI (Khachatur Malumian): born 1860 in Meghri. Public speaker, community leader, reporter.
ZOHRAB (Krikor Zohrab): born 1861 in Constantinople. Attorney, educator, writer.
Member of Turkey's Chamber of Deputies.
DAGHAVARIAN, Nazareth: born 1862 in Sebastia. Physician, naturalist, community leader.
VAROUJAN (Daniel Chubukyarian): born 1884 in Sebastia. (See separate text)
YEROUKHAN (Yervand Sermakeshkhanlian): born 1870 in Constantinople. Writer,
public speaker, translator, pedagog.
ARDASHES HARUTIUNIAN: born 1873 in Mulgara. Public speaker, community leader, reporter.
ROUBEN ZARTARIAN: born 1874 in Kharberd. Writer, editor, public speaker.
SIAMANTO (Adom Yarjanian): born 1878 in Kharberd. (See separate text)
GEGHAM BARSEGHIAN: born 1883 in Constantinople. Writer, editor, public speaker.
ROUBEN SEVAK (Chilingirian): born 1885 in Constantinople. Poet, physician
(University of Lausanne).
The fate that befell many of the above-named.
Among those taken on that fateful evening was Komitas Vardapet. Miraculously, he was spared through the intervention of a Turkish Poet, working through American Ambassador Morgenthau. But sadly, the sufferings endured by his people caused Komitas to lose his reason, becoming a victim of dementia (see separate text).
In commemorating April 24 annually as Martyrs' Day, Armenians worldwide want the peoples and nations of the world not to forget the attempted genocide of the Armenians, so that other peoples will not be subjected to the same crime against humanity.
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