Se what was WRONG in 1945-46, and see if those are corrected now. The lies and the deceptions, the clash of cultures, soviet mentality and the Diasporan expectations., i.e. Liberating the Diaspora from abject poverty, misery and oppression. with dreams of the “Promised Land” of “freedom and prosperity”. Mind you, many of those repatriates from Syria, Lebanon, France, America et al were quite comfortably prosperous during those days just as today.
An aside. How long must those devastated ruins in Gumri, Spitak, Vanadzor ,those war torn ruins of Artsakh, and the misery flaunted in the face of the Diaspora to “milk” that “cash cow” as much as one can?
Yes, we know, there is much poverty and misery in Armenia and Artsakh. How long will it last? How long must the Diaspora adopt a family in abject poverty by donating a “one cow” so they can have some milk, and maybe eventually some meat? Is it not time that they learn how to have that cow have a dozen calves, and eventually a whole herd of cows, or must we in the Diaspora keep donating another cow when that cow dies? An old saying. How long must the Diaspora give them a fish after fish when they refuse to learn how to catch FISH.
See? I gave three Apricots.
The following is from here, the Armenian Reporter. I would love to see the details of some of the papers presented on day . To see why Bakunts was made to dig his own grave and shot in it. Why Mahari was exiled to Siberia. Why Charents was remanded to the insane asylum and die there. Why Sevak was killed, purportedly in a “car accident”? Until the truth is tod about these the Diaspora will always “think twice” before making that big move. Remember the still festering story about that loving and lovely “milking cow” Carolann and George Najarian? Who knows how many more such stories there are that we don’t know about?
Many of our members here were born in Yerevan Province. Why are they not returning? Yes, yes, we know they all sing “Trchei Mtkov Toun” and cry. Yes, “mtkov“ bayts voch “votkov“.. And now they want us who were born thousands of miles away in other cultures to “repatriate’?
Ms. Minister Hakobian (Hranush) may have taken over one of the toughest jobs ever. See what she says below in regards to “physical” repatriation as opposed to “spiritual” repatriation. She knows how difficult it is to move from a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 3 car garage mansion (that is my son’s house) to a one room, no kitchen, no bathroom hut. Aside from the huts away from Yerevan, I saw some of the tin houses only a few meters from the Parliament building where all the windows had broken glass, and many were covered with cardboard. I you don’t know what is behind the façade of those magnificent buildings on the Hraparak, the next time you’re in Yerevan take a walk a few hundred meters from the Parliament building and see. This is right in the heart of Yerevan. You can imagine the rest.
Yes, yes. “Mi qich aveli pogh ougharke“! And see where all that “pogh” ends up at.
Why are many still living in steel gasoline tanks/domiks? Of course, when we have another EARTHQUAQE those “domiks” will not crumble and bury entire families in the ruble I meant “rubble”. When did Armenians learn to be such liars and cheats? Was it from the furk or the russki?
Also see the site of the Ministry of Diaspora. , they must have just updated the site.;
Armenia holds first-ever international conference on the disastrous 1946–1948 repatriation drive
Yerevan - The Soviet Union, following the Second World War, had lost millions of its citizens and its republics lay in economic ruin. The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, geographically the smallest republic, had lost 12 percent of its population - some 175,000 people - in the war, and was at the brink of collapse. There were power outages several times a day and food was in short supply.
After having ceded the regions of Kars and Ardahan to Turkey, lands historically belonging to the Armenians and under Russian rule from 1878 till Armenia's independence in 1918, Moscow began developing plans to repopulate the Armenian SSR with the intentions of retrieving that territory from Turkey. These intentions were coupled with the cautious yet growing relationship between the Armenian Church and the Soviet regime. After receiving many requests from the Armenian diaspora and from within the republic itself, Gevorg VI, Catholicos of All Armenians, began a letter campaign urging Joseph Stalin to allow repatriation.
Thereby, with the full support of Moscow, the government of Soviet Armenia embarked upon the ambitious task of repatriation. Organizing committees were established and representatives were sent out to the various Armenian communities in the diaspora.
Between 1946 and 1948 almost 90,000 Armenians, desperate for a new start in the homeland, from 12 different countries, including the United States, repatriated to the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic.
However, what had begun as a pan-national dream to repatriate, involving Armenian organizations and political parties in the diaspora, turned into a nightmare for many families. Soviet Armenia was not prepared to handle tens of thousands of its sons and daughters after decades in exile. It could not provide decent housing nor jobs nor hope for the future. There were socioeconomic differences, cultural differences that could not be reconciled. Stories of poverty, degradation, and unbearable living conditions still haunt repatriates three generations on. During the last decade of the Soviet Union and following Armenia's independence, the 1946-48 repatriates were the first ones to leave the country.
Today, the notion of a large-scale, state-sponsored repatriation effort has never been on the country's agenda, yet it has never been discounted either. With these concerns in mind, the newly established Diaspora Ministry, with the assistance of the National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan State University and the Noravank Foundation, organized an international conference titled "The 1946-1948 Repatriation and its Lessons: The Issue of Repatriation Today," on December 13-14 in the resort town of Tsaghgatsor, not only to look back on those events but to draw lessons from it.
This was the first time ever in Armenia's history that the 1946-1948 repatriation plan was publicly discussed, especially in a large-scale conference such as this one. There were 29 papers presented by academics from Armenia and abroad, researchers, journalists, and members representing organizations and political parties involved in the repatriation effort 60 years ago.
An opening ceremony of the conference took place on December 12 in Yerevan at the Diaspora Ministry with the participation of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan, Education Minister Spartak Seyranian, president of the National Academy of Sciences Radik Martirosian, and other high-ranking officials. A short film prepared by Yerkir Media on the 1946-48 repatration was shown to participants.
During her opening remarks, Ms. Hakobyan spoke at length about the great repatriation of the 1940s and the horrendous condition that those dreaming of living in the homeland had suffered through. Tens of thousands of Armenians after arriving in Soviet Armenia were left in dire circumstances, some eventually being exiled by Stalin in June of 1949 along with thousands of others. Ms. Hakobyan then publicly apologized to all those repatriates and their families for what was a botched attempt by the Soviet Union at repatriating Armenians. It was an emotional statement and the minister was visibly shaken. It was also the first time that the suffering of the repatriates was acknowledged.
The conference continued for the next two days at the Writers' Union summer residence in Tsaghgatsor.
The first session of the conference concentrated on the reasons for repatriation, specifically Stalin's intentions and aspirations for allowing Armenians dispersed primarily throughout the Middle East, to repatriate to Soviet Armenia. Although the majority of the presenters maintained that Stalin's reason for allowing repatriation was to be able to expand Armenia's borders by bringing Kars and Ardahan into Soviet Armenia, there were some who believed his intentions went beyond expansion and included weakening diasporan structures, with the aim of crippling the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, which he viewed as a threat.
The second session looked into the role played by various Armenian organizations and political parties at the time. Papers discussed the role of the AGBU in the repatriation process, including the role of the Social Democratic Party (Hnchakyan), the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (Ramkavar) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). When the plan for repatriation was finalized and the decision became known to the diaspora at the end of 1945, Armenian communities were thrilled by the notion of returning to their homeland. Soviet authorities had informed community leaders that they would not be able to finance the cost of transporting repatriates to Soviet Armenia. Thus began a huge fundraising campaign in the diaspora to raise money to ensure the travel costs of the repatriates. Armenian organizations from the Middle East, the United States and Europe, rallying behind the call for repatriation, embarked upon the largest fundraising effort in their history. At the helm was the AGBU who raised millions of dollars at the time. The Hunchakian and Ramkavar parties were also fully supportive of the repatriation effort. In time however, it became clear that Kars and Ardahan would not be ceded to the Soviet Union
Repatriates boarding the ship that would take them to Batumi, Georgia, and from there to Soviet Armenia, 1946. Photolure.
Already the rumblings of a negative undercurrent had begun amidst some Armenian political circles. There were warnings of a clampdown on freedoms once on Soviet soil. The ARF, which had initially been cautiously supportive of repatriation, pulled back when it became clear that Soviet authorities were barring all those who had affiliations with the ARF and its sister organizations from the repatriation lists. All those belonging to these organizations were required to go on the record by publicly denouncing their affiliation to these groups if they wanted to be enlisted. They had to place announcements in newspapers stating that the ARF was undermining Armenian patriotism, the Soviet Union, and the repatriation process.
The other sessions included repatriation in the memories of witnesses, repression and exile of repatriates by Stalin in 1949, problems with integration including difficulties surrounding language and culture. The conference also heard papers by diaspora-Armenians who discussed repatriation trends in the contemporary diaspora, from the context of communities to individual-emotional factors for repatriation. The fact that the Armenian government passed a law on dual citizenship after the prohibition in the constitution was lifted was seen as a promising step to encouraging diaspora Armenians to begin developing closer ties with the homeland.The development of Armenia-diaspora relations and the issues of repatriation, the state's role in immigration and emigration, the experience of Israel in repatriation were also among those papers presented.
Ms. Hakobyan during one of her interventions at the conference, made it clear that repatriation, in her estimation, does not necessarily mean physical repatriation. It also means developing spiritual and psychological ties with the homeland, which she considers just as important. "If we cannot have those kinds of ties, then to expect people to physically move to Armenia will remain a dream," she said.
Armenia's Diaspora Ministry intends to publish all the papers next year. The sheer volume of presentations in the course of two days, while overwhelming, was also extremely informative. A country such as Armenia who has more than two-thirds of its population living outside its borders, with falling birth rates and continuing migration must begin developing plans to encourage future repatriation for the sustainability and security of the country.
The Armenian diaspora is multi-faceted and dynamic and the Diaspora Ministry must find ways to address the different needs of this very plural entity. Above all else, the country needs to move toward real democracy where there is social justice, respect for rights, sound economic development, and the protection of human rights. Armenians living in Armenia and Armenians living in the diaspora deserve to have a country that protects them, that nourishes them and promises them a better future. The traditional diaspora, that portion of our people who were forced to live outside the homeland because of the Genocide, have lived almost a century in foreign lands. The newly created Armenian communities in the diaspora, primarily in Russia and other CIS states, are struggling to define themselves. How to deal with their different needs is going to be a challenge for the ministry that is responsible for almost 7 million Armenians living abroad.
Is it possible to have a large scale repatriation program today? This is one of the questions that conferences such as this can help to answer. Hopefully this is the first step in that direction
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