May 21, 1998

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian National Institute (ANI) announces a significant addition to its collection of archival materials attesting to the Armenian Genocide. An important donation in the form of Haigazn K. Kazarian’s papers was made to ANI by Dr. Kirk Kazarian of Ossining, New York, son of the late Haigazn. “Entrusting my father’s manuscripts and papers to the Armenian National Institute in many ways fulfills my father’s dream. As far as I can remember, my father had a sense of duty and compassion toward the Armenian people. He understood their suffering and frustration, for he lived those days firsthand. He only sought the truth, the whole truth. His life’s work was to prove in an international court of law that the Armenian Genocide was a premeditated crime,” stated Dr. Kazarian.

Chairman of the ANI Board of Governors, Robert A. Kaloosdian, thanked Dr. Kazarian for placing this unique collection at the Institute. “We are honored that Dr. Kazarian has chosen ANI, as it was founded exactly for the purpose of continuing the serious work of research and documentation started by his father and those of his generation who first preserved the record of the Armenian Genocide.”

The senior Kazarian, a Sebastia-born (1892) genocide survivor, was known as a pioneer researcher on the subject of the Armenian Genocide. He was among a small handful of people who started the documentation of the genocide based on official records. Having studied law and languages at the University of Constantinople, Kazarian graduated and moved right into the Reserve Officers Military school in Constantinople at the start of World War I, and was sent to Adrianople with the 5th Division of the 2nd Army Corps. The division suffered many casualties— especially as its Armenian conscripts were killed by the Turkish soldiers under orders. There were only 350 survivors. Kazarian was saved by a devoted friend and they hid underground for the remainder of the war. After the 1918 Armistice, he served in the British Army of the Black Sea, in the Intelligence section of General Headquarters. In March 1920, the team of British officers along with Kazarian were ordered to Constantinople, where he was reassigned to the Naval Center of the Turkish Ministry of Marine. It was there that Kazarian served as an interpreter and was used as a translator for many of the documents being reviewed by the occupation forces. Through his work, he became fully aware of the abundance of incriminating evidence, primarily in the form of inter-ministerial documents concerning the Annihilation of the Armenians. He embarked upon collecting as many pieces of evidence as possible—using this information as a base for further study and publications.

A recently completed inventory of the donated materials reveals the painstaking efforts taken by Kazarian in collecting and documenting a vast amount of evidence confirming that the genocide was planned long before Turkey was engulfed in World War I. The collection donated to ANI is comprised of: texts in Ottoman Turkish of telegrams, directives, indictments, and resolutions; minutes of secret meetings; photo negatives of archival documents; regional and district maps illustrating deportation routes and mass killings; hand-drawn maps and charts; notes, letters, and clippings from the press; summaries of the Turkish press in Armenian; extensive files on the war criminals province by province; court martial transcripts; and photographs. One of the highlights of the collection is a manuscript of The Collected Works of Haigazn Kazarian. As part of a biographical sketch of Kazarian, Simon Vratzian, the last Prime Minister of the independent Armenian Republic (1920) is quoted: “Mr. Kazarian proves that the murder of a nation was not the consequence of the 1914-1918 War, which was only a pretext, an occasion, it was the result of a previously decided resolution of Genocide, long before the War”.

Another important document found in the collection and produced by Kazarian, is a chronology of the Armenian Genocide spanning from 1913 through 1922. Dr. Rouben Adalian, director of ANI states, “It is an exceptional privilege for ANI to be the recipient of Haigazn Kazarian’s personal papers. They are replete with data on every aspect of the Genocide. The collection represents his personal and lifelong effort to document the Armenian Genocide and to uncover the evidence on the premeditation of this crime by the Young Turk regime. As one closely familiar with the Ottoman establishment, he brought the vantage point of a person with a knowledge of the system and a mentality that fostered the plans for the extermination of the Armenian people in Turkey. I want to thank Dr. Kirk Kazarian for making this valuable material available for scholarly examination. It strengthens our knowledge of the basic facts and provides direction for new research to continue to affirm the Armenian Genocide.”

Kazarian was a long-time resident of the United States, having emigrated in October 1921 after being decommissioned from the British army three months earlier—never returning to his home in Sebastia. In the U.S. he continued his historical writings and work as a journalist. He held various editorial positions at The Hairenik Press in Boston for 35 years until his death in 1972. Kazarian prepared a number of publications on the Genocide, bringing early attention to the Official Gazette of the Ottoman government, whose records were especially important as source material on the post-war trials of the Young Turk conspirators.

“There were a handful of pioneer researchers of the Armenian Genocide whose works are not widely known because they wrote in Armenian,” said Dr. Richard Hovannisian. “Only now in retrospect has a new appreciation of their labors slowly emerged as new generations of researchers find a wealth of information in their books. The availability of Haigazn Kazarian’s papers makes it possible to trace the years of effort he put into developing the information on the Armenian Genocide. This is an important addition to the growing bank of knowledge on the subject.”