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‘Ravished Armenia’: A Profile of Aurora Mardiganian

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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:01 AM

Asbarez.com Friday, December 28th, 2012

‘Ravished Armenia’: A Profile of Aurora Mardiganian

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Aurora Mardiganian
Aurora Mardiganian was a wonderful person and a family friend. She was a closer friend of my aunt Serarpi. Aunt Serarpi was like a second mother to me, and I would often pass through my aunt’s apartment on my way into the street, I would stop to see my aunt to say hello. There, I might find Lady Aurora and my aunt sitting, and taking a demitasse together. I was a young man, and immediately recognized the Lady as a very attractive woman who seemed to dress in a younger fashion than her age would reflect. Later on, I would make friends with her son; his name, as I remember it, was not Martin, as was reported in Anthony Slice’s edited text, but Cidal.
Cidal and I began attending Peter and Paul Episcopal Church together, on Westchester Avenue, just south of, but near Westchester Square, in the Bronx. After services, Cidal and I would climb into the bell tower, and watch the bell ringer ring the bells by moving a row of levers down one at a time, playing religious songs of inspiration. Church bells, don’t very much ring much anymore, in fact, I haven’t heard any in years. I don’t believe Cidal married an Armenian girl. I believe he married a Pilipino girl; though, I’m not sure. I also remember hearing that Lady Mardiganian’s husband may have been a Bolshevik, which would have set my father Manoog off, but he loved Armenians, and though he was committed to the Dashnak Party, our home was open to any Armenian who would set aside his politics for a visit. However, I don’t believe he ever visited our home.
Mardiganian was a very unique woman, I was told at the time; she did not answer her door without positive identification of the visitor, even if her visitor was well known to her. Aunt Serarpi had problems when she would decide to visit with her at her apartment. Lady Aurora was afraid of strange people. She felt she was being stalked for some reason. After the experiences of her life’s history, she seemed overly afraid for her security. I was told that every item in her house was tagged with identifying remarks, as if the items were cataloged for posterity. I was sure she must have been left with an exceptionally traumatic past, as many Armenians were. I knew about the movie she had starred in titled: Ravished Armenia. I knew about her relationship with, ‘The League of Nations;’ however, I knew nothing of the details, nor did I realize the great part she had played in exposing the history of that violent era as an eyewitness. Her copy of the book was loaned to my aunt, and it was passed around the family to read. I couldn’t get beyond the forth page. It was very difficult to read through my tears. I’ve read many books on the subject of Armenian history of that tragic time; I’ve toughened up since, and have read her memoirs recently. She had been threatened for her testimony at the League of Nations, and had withdrawn from being a public figure in the Armenian community for years. She seemed always to be looking over her shoulder.
The accounts of her early life during the genocide were horrific. What I learned about this wonderful lady, after reading her life’s story, was that it filled in many of the gaps in my understanding of her importance. I found that Aurora Mardiganian was a young Armenian woman who personally witnessed many of those killed in the tragedy of 1915, which included her father, and other members of her own family. It was a horror story like so many others. She came to the United States in an attempt to find the brother who may, or may not, have also survived. She had made it to Ellis Island in New York City where she met an Armenian couple, who attempted to help her in her search. The couple placed ad’s in newspapers, and even brought her story to attention of filmmakers in Hollywood. The Armenian story of genocide was being played up heavily in the newspapers of the time, and the studios were quick in recognizing the commercial potential of our Lady’s story, which put forward her testimonial of firsthand accounts. A film was made about her experiences in 1918, with Lady Aurora herself actually playing a large role in the film. The film was released under the title, Auction of Souls, and Aurora became an immediate success – she was now a movie star. The film was shown commercially for the public, as well as privately throughout the social classes in the big cities of the U.S., and found monetary support for Armenian Relief. She was always being called on to appear at functions. Donors to Armenian Relief wanted to meet her personally. Aurora was not accustomed to her newfound celebrity. She was not fluent in the English language, and felt out of place. The pressures she found herself under so soon after losing her family only a few years earlier, was too much for her to cope with. It is said that Aurora threatened suicide, and deserted the promotional tour of her filmed memoirs. The studio deep into the advancement of the story, found several Aurora doubles to take her place on those tour. In the absence of eyewitness evidence, the doubles drew heavily on information supported by the text from the 1918 book that the movie was based on. To this day, only ten minutes of the original film has been found, with the entire film itself, lost. And there she was, sitting in my aunt Serarpi’s living room, sipping her Armenian coffee, while having a sweet delight my aunt had made. Who knew?
Oh, there were rumors that she was some sort of Armenian activist, but then again, so was my father. Maybe he had a history, too? Who knows! I certainly didn’t. She he testified before the newly formed, League of Nations, and for her testimony there, it may have made her a person target for assassination, hence her reluctance to offer herself publicly.
You must read the book! Again, it is titled: Ravished Armenia, compiled and edited by Anthony Slide (Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Md., & London, 1997, 217 pp.).
A beautiful woman, and a genuine Armenian Heroine; Aurora!

#2 Yervant1


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Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:46 AM


By Contributor // February 19, 2014


ARLINGTON, Mass.--Starving, tortured, and enslaved, she endured
the horrors of the Armenian Genocide. One among tens of thousands,
at only 15 years old she survived to tell the story of her people
and ravished homeland to the civilized world. On March 8 at 3 p.m.,
in an illustrated lecture and presentation (in English), Dr. Hayk
Demoyan, the director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute
(Dzidzernagapert) in Yerevan, in light of newly discovered materials,
will share the story of Arshaluys Aurora Mardgianian.

Arshaluys Mardikian was born to an Armenian financier in 1901in the
ancient Armenian city of Chmshkadzag, named after the famous Byzantine
Emperor John Tzimisces. Scarred both physically and emotionally,
she mustered the courage and strength to persevere against all odds.

Changing her name to Aurora Mardiganian to conceal her real identity
and escape possible persecution by the Turks, she told her story and
gave interviews. American papers wrote articles on her heart-wrenching
odyssey; among them were the Life Magazine, New York American, and
Los Angeles Examiner of the Hearst family newspapers, including 14
chapters from Sun., Aug. 18 to Nov. 24, 1918.

Unlike many survivors of the Armenian Genocide, who suppressed their
memories, Aurora was among the first to tell her story. The Ravished
Armenia: the Christian Girl, Who Survived the Great Massacres, based
on the story of her life, was published in 1918. It served as a script
for the film "Auction of Souls" that was produced in 1919 and first
screened in London. Aurora not only shared her story with the world,
but also courageously took a role in the movie, and even agreed to
help promote the film at the expense of reliving the horrors of the
genocide. This took the toll on Aurora, and consumed her in the last
years of her life.

Hayk Demoyan was born and raised in Gyumri (formerly Leninakan),
Armenia. He studied history at the Yerevan State University (YSU)
from 1993-98, received his master's degree in 2001, and served in the
Caucasian Media Institute as a regional expert from 2003-04. Demoyan
represented the Armenian Ministry of Defense during the trials
(2004-2006) of slain Armenian army officer Gurgen Margarian in
Budapest, Hungary. In November 2006, by presidential decree, he was
appointed the director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute,
a position that he holds to this day. In 2012, he received his
doctoral degree from the Institute of Oriental Studies and Institute
of History of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, with the
topic of "Karabagh Conflict and Turkey: A Historical-Comparative
Analysis." He is a member of the Yerevan City Council and since 2011
has served as secretary of the Armenian Genocide 100th Anniversary
Commemoration Committee. Demoyan is the author of several books and
numerous articles on the Armenian Genocide, Turkish foreign policy,
and Turkish involvement in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.

Aurora Mardiganian is the personification of the horrors of the
Armenian Genocide and what befell thousands of Armenian girls and
women, in particular. She is the symbol of survival, resilience, and
perseverance of a nation, triumphing over death and human evil. Her
story is the story of thousands of orphaned Armenian girls, upon
whose shoulders an entire nation was resurrected from the ashes of
the genocide.

The March 8 lecture is organized by the Armenian Cultural Foundation
(ACF) and co-sponsored by the National Armenian Association
for Armenian Research (NAASR) and Armenian International Women's
Association (AIWAI). It is in commemoration of Women's History Month
and International Women's Day. The event will take place at 3 p.m. at
ACF, 441 Mystic St., Arlington, Mass. It is open to the public;
a reception will follow. Newly released copies ofRavished Armenia,
published by the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, will be available
for sale. For more details, call the ACF office at (781) 646-3090.

#3 Yervant1


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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:29 AM


ARTS | MARCH 24, 2014 10:50 AM

ARLINGTON, Mass. -- In the 1920s, the name and face of Aurora
Mardiganian were well known in the United States and beyond. Her
autobiography, Ravished Armenia; the Story of Aurora Mardiganian, was
a bestseller and the movie based on it, "An Auction of Souls," was a
hit too. However, in the ensuing decades, she was forgotten, becoming
another one of the anonymous casualties of the Armenian Genocide.

She is now being reclaimed by the Armenians in an effort led by Dr.

Hayk Demoyan, director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute
in Yerevan.

Demoyan presented an illustrated lecture about Mardiganian on March
8 at the Armenian Cultural Foundation, at a program co-sponsored by
the foundation, the Armenian International Women's Association and
the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research.

Introducing Demoyan was the director of the Armenian Cultural
Foundation, Dr. Ara Ghazarians. He said in his opening remarks, "We
are a nation resurrected on the shoulders of orphaned grandparents."

He said Mardiganian was a "young woman of exceptional courage who
awakened humanity on these shores." Her autobiography, he added,
was one of the first books on the Armenian Genocide.

Mardiganian has become a focal point for Demoyan, who said he feels
that not only is she remarkable on her own, but that she can serve
as a microcosm of the Armenian experience.

Now, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute is home to the largest
collection of Mardiganian materials in the world.

Mardiganian's story, as Demoyan explained, is the stuff of
Greek tragedy. Aurora Mardiganian was born Arshaluys Mardigian in
Chmshgatsak, in 1901. The town has deep Armenian roots, Demoyan said,
going back to the Urartian times. In 1915, her family was slaughtered
by Ottoman forces, as were most other Armenians in the town and
elsewhere in Western Armenia. She and many other young women there
were rounded up for a forced march toward Diyarbakir. According to
her story, the Turkish soldiers decided to nail the 17 girls in the
group to crosses but they miscounted and only constructed 16 crosses;
she was the lucky one who was not crucified.

She endured much, being sold into a harem as a teen, for 85 cents. She
was plucky, however, and managed to escape, eventually meeting up
with Russian soldiers who took her to Armenians in Erzingan. There,
she was pressed for the names of other Armenian girls in captivity.

Eventually, she made her way to Erzurum and met up with General
Antranik and Nikolai Nikolayevich, a cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of
Russia. She made her way to Kars, Gumri and Tbilisi (Tiflis, back
then), where she stayed at Hovhanness Toumanyan's house. From there,
she went to the Russian capital, St. Petersburg, in October 1917,
when the Russian Revolution was underway. As Demoyan said, she feared
for her life. She said, "I survived these killings and now we are in
this big capital where people are killing each other."

She went from Russia to Norway and then to the US, with help in the
latter part of the journey from the Near East Foundation.

While in the US, in 1918, her book, Ravished Armenia; the Story
of Aurora Mardiganian, the Christian Girl, Who Survived the Great
Massacres, was published, with eventual sales of half a million copies.

At the same time, William Selig, a Chicago native, moved to Los
Angeles to make movies, becoming in the process the founder of
modern Hollywood. He became interested in Mardiganian's story, but,
as Demoyan said, "the problem was who would star as Aurora."

Selig decided that the real heroine should star in the movie, based
on the book and titled "Auction of Souls." The film was later called
"Ravished Armenia." Thus, Demoyan explained, "Aurora was the star
and consultant for costumes and story."

Just 19 by this point, she showed evidence of her mental anguish by
screaming in fear when seeing actors in Turkish costumes, forgetting
she was on a movie set. After all, she had gone through so much trauma
not too long ago, and she was forced to reenact going through the
crimes on film.

Mardiganian's suffering seemed not to have an end. During the making
of the movie she suffered from broken bones and a case of the Spanish
Flu. Still, she soldiered on through the pain and fever, feeling duty
bound to get the story of the Armenians out.

Demoyan showed a one-minute snippet of the movie featuring Ambassador
Henry Morgenthau, the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, playing
himself, who in the scene was arguing with the Sultan. No intact copy
of the one hour and 20 minute film has survived. Only an 18-minute
portion remains, thanks to the foresight of Yervant Setian, who found
the reel in the garbage by chance. He sent it to Armenia, where he
eventually repatriated from the US.

The film, like the book, was a hit from coast to coast. It was shown
in cities big and small, and the story of the film and it's tragic and
beautiful star, covered in all the major papers in the US, as well as
smaller outlets in places as far flung as Honolulu and Alaska. The
film was also a hit in Canada, Cuba, Australia and Europe. Here,
in Boston, the film was shown at Symphony Hall and the opening was
attended by Harvard University President Charles Eliot. In London,
the film was shown at Albert Hall.

The film's producers tried to make Mardiganian into a real Hollywood
star, but she refused to do other films.

In the early 1930s, the book and the film just dropped off the public's
radar. Demoyan said that the sudden and complete silencing of the
film could be in part the result of an agreement between Hollywood
and the Nazis in Germany, which saw that movies were not anti-German
or anti-Nazi. Mardiganian had written about being raped by a roving
gang of German soldiers in Turkey before being sold into a harem.

Mardiganian eventually married and had a son, but happiness eluded
her. She never found her brother who had immigrated to the US before
the Genocide and her own son abandoned her. The waning years of her
life were dominated by paranoia about Turkish soldiers finding her.

The reclusive Mardiganian only allowed one woman to deliver food to
her through her window. When she died in 1994, at age 93, no one
claimed her body and she was buried in a mass grave, forgotten by
all and without even a headstone.

The rapt audience in Arlington was also treated to a few minutes of an
interview of Mardiganian in 1984 by Dr. Rouben Adalian, as part of the
Zoryan Institute's Oral History Project. Neither was apparently aware
that the camera was on. Speaking with clarity and charm, Mardiganian
replied to questions on why she changed her name from Mardigian to
Mardiganian (better pronounced in the US and protecting relatives
in Turkey).

Demoyan explained that many in the Armenian community turned their
backs on her possibly because of the "shameful" part of the story,
namely rape and trafficking, pain that they wanted forgotten and
unmentioned. Another possible explanation was that the hero was in
fact a heroine, a young girl.

Demoyan is currently compiling further new material on Mardiganian in
the US. He plans to publish a book on her as well as put together a
traveling exhibit in time for the Genocide centennial. He also said
that as a member of the Yerevan Council of Elders, he is going to
petition the city to have a street named for her and postage stamps
to commemorate her life.

He noted proudly that this year the Turkish version of the book was
published after he gave the English version to a visiting Turkish

"This is a part of Turkish history," he said.

Copies of her book were sold at the ACF function, with all proceeds
donated to the Syrian-Armenian Relief.

Demoyan, barely able to contain his admiration, said that Mardiganian
would be judged a winner by history. "Her mission was to tell the
story of the Armenian Genocide worldwide. This was a hero, a winner.

This one young lady proved what we can do for our nation."

- See more at:

#4 Yervant1


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Posted 06 February 2015 - 10:43 AM


February 5, 2015 15:12

Aurora Mardiganian

Photo: hammer.ucla.edu

Yerevan/Mediamax/. The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute has unveiled
the first official trailer of the documentary recounting the story
of Aurora Mardiganian and the first Armenian Genocide movie shot in
Hollywood in 1918 based on her memoirs.

"Aurora" movie is about Arshaluys Mardikyan (later Aurora Mardiganian),
an Armenian girl who survived the Armenian Genocide. She was 14 when
in summer of 1915 the wave of massacres and deportation also reached
the province of Kharberd where her birthplace - Chmshkatsag village
- was located. Surviving the massacres and going through all the
horrors of the Armenian Genocide Arshaluys moved to Tiflis, then to
Petrograd. She then moved to Norway and following it, to New York, U.S.

It's where she started to put down the story of her life which drew the
public attention in the U.S. Later "Ravished Armenia" book presenting
the memoirs of Aurora Mardiganian was published. The book prompted a
huge response among Americans and an idea to shoot a Hollywood movie
recounting this story occurred.

Aurora Mardiganian herself played the main role in "Ravished Armenia"
movie (also known as "Auction of Souls").



#5 Yervant1


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Posted 15 June 2022 - 07:56 AM

Public Radio of Armenia
Armenia - June 14 2022
Aurora’s Sunrise: Armenian Genoicde documentary to premiere at Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France
June 14, 2022, 13:05

Aurora’s Sunrise – a historical animated documentary film about the life of Aurora Mardiganian – will premiere in France this week.

At only 14, in 1915, Aurora faced the horrors of the Armenian Genocide. Within a year, witnessing the deaths of everyone in her family, Aurora had lost everything, and was sold into a Turkish harem. But with extraordinary courage and luck, she escaped to America, where her story became a sensation. The Zoryan Institute’s objective with this film is to bring to life the ZI’s Oral History Testimonies onto the big screen, through animated documentary films, to relay the stories of the Genocide survivors to the younger generations, especially of girls and to empower them, and to represent their communities in the face of great adversity and violence. 

In 2015, on 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Zoryan Institute, signed a partnership agreement with Bars Media of Armenia to produce the animated documentary based on the testimony of A. Mardiganian. Aurora’s Sunrise was made possible with the academic contribution of the Zoryan Institute Armenia, based on its oral history archives (filmed by the Zoryan Institute on January 29, 1984). 

The film is directed by Inna Sahakyan. It is produced by Bars Media, led by Vardan Hovhannisyan, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion & Artbox Laisvalaikio Klubas, with the financial partnership of Eurimages, the Zoryan Institute Armenia & the National Cinema Center of Armenia, and with the contributions of the Lithuanian Film Center, ZDF/ARTE, Public TV Armenia, and LRT. 

The Zoryan Institute is thrilled that 40 years after the launch of the Armenian Genocide Oral History Project, which collected testimonies of survivors of the 1915 Genocide across 4 continents, the great-grandchildren of those who experienced the genocide are experiencing life before, during, and after the genocide through a film that seamlessly blends a mix of footage from the Zoryan Institute’s original live interview with Aurora and the brilliant animation of Bars Media and their German and Lithuanian co-producers, along with scenes from the 1919 silent film “Auction of Souls” (film starring Aurora Mardiganian prepared by Near East Relief). 



“Great credit goes to the Zoryan Institute’s founders and staff at the time (early1980’s), who contextualized and carried out the Armenian Genocide Oral History Project, collecting over 3000 hours of oral history testimony from over 780 survivors in their 70s to 90s. The project was a significant financial undertaking, with the audiovisual equipment alone costing the equivalent to nearly half a million USD in today’s dollars employing a work force to conduct interviews, in cities across Europe, the Middle East, and North America,” the Institute says.

Over 100 standardized questionnaires were utilized, developed by a multidisciplinary ZI team of experts, that allowed the Institute to extract information on social, economic, political, and cultural practices before, during, and after the genocide to capture commonalities and patterns. Since launching its Armenian Genocide Oral History Project, the Institute has worked continuously and systematically to protect, digitize, and index its archival collection of over 780 oral history testimonies, to ensure the quality of the footage is maintained and usable for films like Aurora Sunrise.

The world premiere of Aurora’s Sunrise, is taking place at the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France this week. Annecy is a week-long global festival that brings together the biggest names in animation to celebrate creative and diverse animation styles and techniques.

Now, 40 years later, the Institute’s dream of utilizing the enormous power of film to connect future generations with their universal history and raise awareness about the phenomenon of genocide has become a reality. With the generous support of the Friends of the Zoryan Institute, this dream has become a reality. In addition to initial cost of the Oral History testimonies, Aurora’s Sunrise film had a budget of over USD $1,000,000.00, and is only the beginning of these invaluable stories of Armenian Genocide survivors.

Ongoing transcription and translation efforts currently underway in partnership with the American University of Armenia, will make these stories more accessible to scholars, filmmakers, authors, institutions, and schools around the globe who wish to use these stories, as source materials for education in edifying the tolerance and understanding needed in today’s world, more than ever.



#6 Yervant1


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Posted 04 November 2022 - 10:21 AM

Get to Know the Inspiring Story of Survival of a Heroic Teenage Girl, Aurora: Now Playing on the Big Screen

November 3, 2022: The Zoryan Institute is elated to announce that Aurora’s Sunrise is coming to theaters in Armenia between November 3-17th, 2022. With the release of the film, one can not help but reflect on the visionary efforts of the founding members of the Zoryan Institute some 40 years ago, when they initiated the Armenian Genocide Oral History Project. Thanks to their vision, and the tireless and emotionally taxing efforts of those who worked around the clock to collect approximately 3,000 hours of harrowing testimonies from Armenian Genocide Survivors in cities including Boston, Toronto, and Los Angeles, among others, filmmakers have been able to produce two films for the big screen, bringing the traumatic experiences of heroic women who lived through the Armenian Genocide to light. 

In 1988, An Armenian Journey aired across the US on PBS. The film followed the journey Mariam Davis, the very first Armenian Genocide survivor that the Zoryan Institute had the pleasure of interviewing for its Armenian Genocide Oral History Program, as she made the clandestine trip back to her homeland in Eastern Turkey for the first time since she was 10 years old. 

Now, almost 40 years later, another survivor’s inspiring story from the Institute’s Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection is coming to the big screen through the animated film, Aurora’s Sunrise. Losing everything at just 14 years old during the Genocide, Aurora escaped to the US, where she demonstrated immense bravery in sharing her story with the world through a memoir of sorts titled Ravished Armenia, and a Hollywood film titled Auction of Souls, to help raise millions of dollars for the Near East Relief Foundation’s efforts in assisting survivors of the Genocide. Over 100 years after the Genocide, bringing Aurora’s story to light through film would not have been possible without the Zoryan Institute’s efforts to collect testimonies, and the generous contributions of its supporters to undertake the project and preserve the collection.

New York poster of Auction of Souls
Press clips on screening of Ravished Armenia

The significance of the Zoryan Institute’s Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection, and the importance of sharing Aurora’s story through film is reflected in the following statement from Dr. Rouben Adalian, who conducted Zoryan Institute’s interview with Aurora, 

"I think it is Aurora’s spirit, energy, ability to share her story… that now [led to this film] that future generations can analyze and find inspiration in the history that previous generations may not have noticed. This is Aurora's legacy. This is the value of this interview. This is the unprecedented and important contribution that the Zoryan Institute made when I sat down with this survivor, as with many other survivors, but in this one case, with a woman whose name meant the very dawn that sheds light on the fact of how important it was to talk to the survivors and save their stories.”

Aurora’s Sunrise has received numerous accolades in the festival circuit, including the ‘Silver Apricot’ at the 19th Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan, and the ‘Audience Award’ at the Animation is Film Festival in Los Angeles. In September, it was selected as Armenia’s official selection for the “Best International Feature Film” category at the 95th Academy Awards. Screenings will take place over the next two weeks. 

Click on the button below to purchase your tickets today!

#7 MosJan


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Posted 04 November 2022 - 01:13 PM

you know she is berried in unmarked grave in S/Los Angelos.
stepan Partamyan told me he will take me one day. place is closed in the weekends. only one of the employees know the site.. 

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#8 MosJan


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Posted 04 November 2022 - 01:20 PM

“No son, no friends, no members of the Armenian community for whom she had helped to raise so much money” were with her at the end and that “Her body was cremated. Her ashes unclaimed, and four
years later, as required by California law, she was buried in an
unmarked grave with 2,099 others
.” Why could the Armenian great and good not decide that Aurora was a “symbol of survival, resilience, and perseverance of a nation, triumphing over death and human evil” before her sad and forgotten death? "




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#9 MosJan


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Posted 04 November 2022 - 01:25 PM





#10 MosJan


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Posted 04 November 2022 - 01:30 PM


By 1920 Aurora was worn out. Physically and emotionally drained, she refused to make further public appearances.

She married in 1929 after overcoming her long-time aversion to the company of men. She tried to live a normal life away from the limelight. The couple had a son, Martin Hovanian.
On January 3, 1994, Aurora moved to the Ararat Nursing Facility in Mission Hills. She became ill on February 5 and was taken to the Saint Cross Hospital where she had passed away.
It was later revealed that Aurora Mardigian’s ashes were buried in an unmarked grave after having remained unclaimed for four years. The four years were a grace period the county gives to claim the cremated remains of a deceased.

#11 MosJan


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Posted 04 November 2022 - 01:31 PM


her son was still alive in 1995 , 

Martin Hovanian Jr.

12 Aug 1930
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
17 Jan 2016 (aged 85)
Los Angeles County, California, USA
Glen Haven Memorial Park
Sylmar, Los Angeles County, California, USA  Show Map
160964012 · View Source



#12 MosJan


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Posted 04 November 2022 - 01:42 PM




Los Angeles County Crematorium Cemetery
Also known as Los Angeles County Crematory

Boyle Heights, Los Angeles County, California, USA



Plat #1994

3301 E. 1st Street
Boyle Heights, California, 90063 USA
Coordinates: 34.03760, -118.19570
Phone: (323) 268-5111
Cemetery ID: 2162011



#13 Yervant1


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Posted 05 November 2022 - 08:23 AM

Thanks Movses, for all this info! Such is life in the Armenian community. :(

#14 MosJan


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Posted 11 November 2022 - 11:48 AM

in many cases " Gna Meri Ari Sirem "

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#15 Yervant1


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Posted 15 November 2022 - 09:04 AM


Aurora’s Sunrise wins Best Animated Film category at Asia Pacific Screen Awards


1097199.jpg 15:57, 14 November 2022

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 14, ARMENPRESS. Aurora’s Sunrise, a film about Armenian Genocide survivor Aurora Mardiganian won the Best Animated Film award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.


Aurora’s Sunrise is directed by Inna Sahakyan.

The odyssey of Aurora Mardiganian from Armenian genocide survivor to silent movie star is close to unreal. Having lost her family, escaped slavery and now enduring trauma, she journeys far to tell the world of the Armenian Genocide as it happened. Once in Hollywood, as a star of the silent screen, her story becomes the biggest blockbuster of the time. 30 million dollars is raised, which will save 160 000 orphans, whose descendants number in the millions today. Her courage long forgotten, “Aurora’s Sunrise” revives Aurora’s story through unique testimony, archive footage, and the magic of animation.




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#16 Yervant1


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Posted 27 December 2022 - 09:13 AM

Dec 26 2022
Armenian film tells the inspiring story of genocide survivor, Aurora Mardiganian
By Frédéric Ponsard  •  Updated: 26/12/2022 - 17:52

Aurora’s Sunrise is Armenia’s submission for the “Best International Feature Film'' category at the next Academy Awards.

It tells the true and inspiring story of Aurora Mardiganian, an Armenian genocide survivor whose harrowing ordeal became the subject of a film in the 1920s. 

It was one of the great successes of the early 1920s in the United States.


This year's film mixes animation and archive documents to tell this personal story which is also the story of a people.

"‘When I became familiar with the story of Aurora Mardiganian and her testimony, I understood it is the unique way to talk about the pain of my nation, but through universal and very personal story of a young girl who survive genocide, but never gave up and never lost her humanity, and at the same time try to help our people," says director Inna Sahakyan to Euronews Culture. 

After her escape to New York, her 1918 book was adapted for the screen as, Auction of Souls. She played herself in the film which described the violence she and her family experienced.

‘Despite talking about heavy topics, about genocide, I always try to show the beauty of the land and the connection that my character, and we all Armenians do have with our land, with our memories and our bright part of our past," shares Sahakyan. 

"And that's why I think animation and illustrations were the greatest tool to capture that beauty and memories of my main character."

The film is the first animated documentary of its kind to be made in Armenia, with significant participation from European co-producers (Lithuania and Germany).

The film is one of great aesthetic mastery, as well as being an act of remembrance for Armenia.


View trailer at the link below:





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