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ԱԶՆԱՒՈՐ Aznavour

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#1 Arpa



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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:35 AM

AZNAWOR-Aznawour -Nobility
What does it really mean?
A variation of ԱԶԳ- ԱԶՆ-AZG - Nation, Heredity, Dynasty, Descendent. Race. Like in Դիւցազն ԴիտսազնDiutsazn/Ditsazn descended of deities. Դիւցազներգ means Epic as in the Epic of “Սասունցի Դաւիդ-David of Sasoun“.


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When we spell it as ԱԶՆԱՈՒՐ-Aznawour ազնաւուր ազնաւոր it becomes aapparent..

ԱԶՆԱՒՈՐ/AznaWOR , nobility is known in the Georgian language as ԱԶՆԱՎՈՒՐ/AznaWOUR..

See below the Georgian Armenian heritage of his ancestors. His family name is spelled in the Georgian variant. Not the Armenian ԱզնաՒՈրեան/AznaWORi-an, but Ազանաւուրեան/AznaWOUR-ian. -Nobilty.
A Google search of Aznavourian turns out about 62,300 results, many of which are on or about him.


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Background-Aznavour was born as Shahnour Vaghenag Aznavourian in Paris the son of Armenian immigrants Michael Aznavourian (an Armenian[7][8] from Akhaltsikhe in nowadays Georgia) and Knar Baghdasarian (from Turkey).[9] His father spent his youth in Tbilisi, where his family had moved for work (Charles's grandfather was a personal chef to Governor General in Tbilisi).[10] Later, after moving to France, Michael Aznavourian sang in restaurants before establishing his own Caucasian restaurant called Le Caucase. Together with his wife, who was an actress, Michael introduced Charles to the world of theatre at an early age. Charles dropped out of school at the age of nine, already aspiring to the life of an artist. He began to perform at this time, and soon took the stage name "Aznavour". His big break came in 1946 when the singer Édith Piaf heard him sing and arranged to take him with her on tour in France and to the United States.[11]

Note. This item and some others that I have been posting are a preamble to the next- “Historical Armenian Nobility/ Noble Houses”

Edited by Arpa, 06 November 2011 - 09:40 AM.

#2 Yervant1


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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:42 AM

Aznavour Family Risked Their Lives Saving
Jews and Armenians Under Nazi Occupation

By Prof. Yair Auron

`When World War II escalated, my father volunteered in the French
army. He wanted to thank the country that had sheltered him and his
family. A group of foreigners and apatrides - people without
citizenship, such as my father, joined the French army as
volunteers. Many of them were Jews. They did not really have time to
fight -- France surrendered very quickly. It was a strange war
(`drôle de guerre'). My father, Mish, went to war with his `tar'
(Armenian string instrument). The Jews - later my father told me
laughingly - came with their pajamas.'
`But,' continues his son, `when my father came back from the war, his
courage was revealed. During the whole period Paris was occupied by
the Nazi Army, my father gave shelter to some Russian-Armenian and
Jewish immigrants.' The Nazi army occupied Paris for more than four
years; from July 1940 to August 1944. Anyone who sheltered a Jew
risked his life, the life of his family, and that of others around
The person who wrote these two paragraphs is no other than Charles
Aznavour -- the great singer, actor, writer and composer -- probably
the last `chansonnier' of the French `les chansons époque' `from
around WWII to 1980s; the Ambassador of All Armenians.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent two wonderful days with Aznavour at his
house in a little village located in Southern France. Two wonderful
and unique days. I had the chance to meet this great artist and great
human being - a great humanist.
Charles Aznavour was born in Paris 91 years ago in 1924. His sister,
Aida Aznavour-Garvarentz, who is a little older, was born in Salonica,
during the exile resulting from the Armenian Genocide of 1915. His
parents, Mish and Knar, risked their lives and the lives of Aida and
Charles continuously, for three years, day and night. Charles and
Aida, two young adults 16 to 20 years of age at that time, actively
took part in the heroic actions.
I asked Charles why he wrote only these two short paragraphs about the
heroic actions of his family in his autobiography `As Long as My Heart
will Beat' published in 2013, his answer was: `I do not know exactly,
sometimes I am shy.'
Aznavour is a very courageous man, who freely expresses his opinion
and positions to the people, media, presidents and often to his
`Actions are important, not words," he told me, even though poems and
novels are such a significant part of his success. `I am a poet who
has the ability to sing his poems' he said.
Why did the Aznavours risk their own lives to save others? Why did
Charles speak so little about the unique story of his family? These
questions remain unanswered.
`You should be proud of yourself and your parents. They were rescuers,
righteous. In my opinion, risking your life for the sake of others is
the greatest action any human being can do.'
`Yes, he told me, but ¦. '
His sister Aida tells more about the `unusual' behavior of their
family. In her book `Petit Frère' (Little brother) published in
French in 1986, she states: `In the beginning of the war, we
understood that the war was here to stay and the Jews would be victims
of cruelty. We looked with sadness and sorrow at the Jews. We knew
what Genocide was. We, Armenians, were not afraid, as the Nazis
considered us Armenians as Aryans.'
The Aznavour family started hiding Jews as early as the 1940's by
giving shelter to a Romanian Jew, who had escaped from Germany. He had
deserted the German army in 1940. He had escaped to France with a
German soldier's uniform. The Gestapo looked for him. At the last
moment he was brought to the Aznavours' small apartment by his
brother, who was a friend of Mish, Charles' father. `I can only trust
you," he told Mish. `It was extremely dangerous for our family,' Aida
wrote. `If the Nazis found us, we would disappear in a second. We knew
it and we were conscious of this fact. However, my father did not
hesitate even for a minute. `Our house is your house,' my father told
the deserter, `and we treated him as a close and good friend of ours.'
For several days he slept in the same bed with Charles. The Aznavours
do not know his name, or what happened to him after he left their
`I was young at the time,' said Aida. `I did not know that we would
continuously be sheltering foreigners.' The children, Charles and
Aida, tried to move on. Both were young artists, who wanted to hit the
stage and went from audition to audition. They had some success,
especially Charles. Aida and Charles were part of a family of
survivors, who had lost the majority of their relatives during the
genocide. They did not have French citizenship, except Charles, who
was born in France. When the French government distributed gas masks
to the population in Paris, they gave one mask to every man and woman
of all ages. Charles got one because he was French. All the other
three got only one gas mask for the three of them. `We were refugees,
we were survivors, we were apatrides. We could be killed by gas¦..'
One day a madam named Carmen (her real name was Aida), an Armenian
woman, came to their house. She needed to hide with her husband Simon,
a Jew, who had escaped from the Drancy concentration camp near Paris
(the Jews of Paris were sent to Drancy and then to Auschwitz). She did
not know where to hide her husband Simon. `She was right to come to
us. This was practically only the beginning.' (Simon's last name also
remained unknown; therefore we do now know what happened to him
The family gave shelter to Armenians who were taken forcedly into the
German army, but later deserted.. Mish and Knar gave them a place to
hide. Charles and Aida were actively involved. They burned the uniform
of the soldiers who had escaped. Sometimes Charles liked their boots
and hid them in the ground floor. He did not realize he risked the
lives of his entire family.
Charles and Aida stopped going to school at the age of 10. At the
time, even primary education was not free. The Aznavours, refugees
with poor French, struggled for their survival doing different
temporary jobs. They had no money to send their children to
school. The children also looked for opportunities to earn some money.
Paris was in severe austerity partly because thousands of German
soldiers used up all the supplies. Many suffered from hunger during
that time, and everything was extremely expensive. The black market
was thriving, but everything was very expensive¦. However, the
Aznavour parents were very optimistic. They found ways to give food
even to the strangers hiding in their house, sleeping in their small
apartment. In the morning they had to be hidden in different corners
of the house in case somebody knocked on the door. Friends used to
come. But not only friends¦. A German neighbor named Liza came
several times. It was very dangerous.
The German woman was very proud to explicitly announce that she was a
Nazi herself. Most of the refugees slept in the living room on the
floor. They used one toilet, not really a bathroom. In the mornings
there was not a single sign of the foreigners sleeping there at
nights. When the German neighbor visited, all the sheltered people had
to stop breathing. However, in the evening after the very modest
dinner, they sang quite often. Mish even found ways to bring wine!
Aida sang in Yiddish (a Jewish language used by Jews from Eastern and
Central Europe) with the Jewish refugees. They knew that the people
around them understood that they were giving shelter. `We didn't speak
with anybody about it. Some of them knew, but they kept silent," she
When the French police came to interrogate them, the concierge and his
wife said that they had not seen any foreigners coming to visit the
Aznavour family.
Mish became the manager of a restaurant called `Raffi," which became a
place where young Armenians who deserted the Nazi armed forces came to
ask for a shelter. Besides the three Jews who hid in the house and
left, quite many Armenians came to them. `We could not shelter all of
them at the same time. After a while they had to leave, because new
people came. But we could not send them without any papers that could
protect them from to French police and the German authorities. They
looked for a solution and it was through forged documents, the
falsification of papers. The Aznavours fabricated them in very simple
ways, in their apartment. `Only after did I begin to realize how
dangerous it was. How could we risk doing so?' Only then, I began to
understand how difficult it was for my father. He knew at that time
that by saving Jews and Armenians he put the very lives of his beloved
family in danger -- his children and his wife -- and continued
consciously to risk again
and again¦."
The last adventure of the family is related to the story of Missak
Manouchian, the leader of the underground military group known as
`L'Affiche Rouge' (The Red Poster) or the `Manouchian Group" which was
related to the communist Franc-Tireurs et Partisans de Main
d'Å`uvre Immigrée (FTP-MOI). It was the first underground
resistance group that took action against the German forces in Paris,
including the killing of two very high ranking German officers. The
underground network of about 100 members engaged armed resistance in
the metropolitan region of Paris between March and November
1943. Among the leaders were Poles, Hungarians, one Italian, one
Spaniard, two Armenians -- one of them was Manouchian; and only three
Frenchmen. The group consisted of 11 members - seven Polish-Jews,
three Hungarian-Jews, and a Jewish Romanian woman. Among the photos of
the 10 `criminals' posted on the `L'Affiche Rouge' were seven
Jews. After being tortured and interrogated
for three months (and not telling anything), 23 of them were
sentenced by a German court. Twenty two were executed on February 21,
1944. The Jewish Romanian woman, Golda (Olya) Barcic was taken to
Stuttgart, where she was beheaded with an axe on May 10, 1944.
In the spring of 1944, the French authorities launched a propaganda
campaign designed to discredit the group. The German and French
authorities distributed about 15,000 copies of posters including the
photos, surnames, and nationalities of the members. They characterized
them as the foreigners' conspiracy against France and the French
Charles and Aida expressed a lot of love, esteem and admiration for
their parents, who were a wonderful mother and a father, and wonderful
human beings. `Everything that we have, we got it from our parents,'
said Charles.
The young Armenian poet Missak Manouchian and his wife Meline were
close friends of Mish and Knar Aznavour. On November 16, 1943, the
Gestapo arrested Missak, while his wife Meline succeeded to
escape. She stayed with the Aznavour family till the group was
executed. They tried to hide his execution from Meline for a while,
but she found out. She continued staying at their house and had a
close relationship with Aida. Many of the deserters who passed through
the Aznavour house joined the partisans. New deserters came replacing
the ones who left and the situation of the family became more and more
dangerous. Mish and Knar decided to send Aida and Charles to
Normandy. After a while, Knar joined the children and Mish stayed
alone in Paris: the photos of his children and wife were always with
The Aznavours saved the lives of Jews and Armenians alike. They were
Armenians but they did not hesitate to save Jews. They did not save
them because they were Jews, but because they were human beings who
were in a life threatening situation. The Aznavours were `Justes' --
Righteous, they acted to save the lives of people they did not know!
In every humanitarian disaster, instance of ethnic cleansing or
genocide, there are perpetrators and there are victims. And then there
is the `third Party," people who are neither perpetrators, nor
victims. These are the absolute majority of humanity. Many among the
third party support the perpetrators, a small minority supports the
victims, and then there is the majority who remains silent --
practically almost all of us. Very few choose to support and save
people. In every genocide, there are a few righteous souls, who,
despite the great risk, take action to save lives. Sometimes their
deeds become known later, sometimes not.
The history of the Aznavour family was not known till now. Their
unique story of rescuers, Mish, Knar, Aida and Charles is a source of
pride for Armenians, and a significant story for Jews to know that
there were people who supported them not succumbing to the dominant
culture of that period. It is an important and significant story for
humanity -- to know that there are people who choose to save
others. It has an enormous moral educational value. It is crucial to
acknowledge these positive deeds, the highest level of human behavior,
meaningful and superior to all actions of mankind.
In Jewish sources (the Mishna), as in Muslim sources (the Koran), as
well as in other religions, there is this universal sentence: `Thus
was created a single man, to teach us that every person who sustains a
single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has sustained the
entire world." It shall be written about the Aznavour family as if
they sustained the entire world.
I live in the only Palestinian-Jewish village in Israel,
Wahat-al-Salam ` Neve Shalom (`Oasis of Peace'). Early this year, we
inaugurated the Garden of the Righteous -- rescuers, in our village. I
invited Charles and Aida to come and plant a tree in the memory of
their Righteous parents. Hopefully, they will come with their children
and grandchildren.
I am an Israeli Jew and a scholar of genocide studies. I am studying
the stories of rescuers -- `Righteous,' during different
genocides. For the last 30 years, I have struggled for recognition of
the Armenian Genocide by my country, Israel, and the world.

#3 Yervant1


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Posted 30 October 2016 - 10:36 AM

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
Oct 28 2016
Turkey has ‘lost something,’ says French singing legend Charles Aznavour




French singing legend Charles Aznavour, one of the 20th century’s most prolific songwriters who remains active at 92, was honored on Oct. 27 with a Hollywood star presented by California’s Armenians.

Aznavour, often dubbed “France’s Frank Sinatra,” said he was “deeply moved” by the recognition.

The star is not on Hollywood Boulevard’s main Walk of Fame but was dedicated by the Armenian community on a nearby stretch of sidewalk.

“I’ve been coming to Hollywood for years and I’ve worked a lot in the United States,” Aznavour said. “America is the land of show business.” 

Aznavour was born in France to Armenian parents. Up to 1.5 million Armenians died in 1915-17 in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire in what Armenia, several foreign parliaments and many historians describe as genocide.

Turkey strongly opposes the characterization of genocide, calling the episode a collective tragedy in which both Turks and Armenians were killed by either side.

“What I find very funny is that Turkey lost something. They don’t have a single great singer and I could have been a Turkish singer, while today I’m a French singer,” Aznavour said.

“Which goes to show that there’s no purpose to genocide as there are always survivors,” he said.

Aznavour has written hundreds of songs in a career that spans more than 80 years, with more than 100 million records sold worldwide.

He remains energetic and said he still feels excitement before crowds. Earlier in October he played Madison Square Garden in New York.

“I feel like I’m meeting my family, whether they’re Italian or Spanish or from elsewhere. The audience is part of my family. The stage is where I’m happiest.” And he says he is not finished: “I always have 40 songs ahead of me. I write every day.”




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