Eugenie’s father Varderes Atanesyan was a friend of Komitas and was arrested with him in Istanbul on April 24, 1915.
Atanesyan was also the author of a unique exhibit stored in the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute since 1965. This exhibit is beads with the engraved names of Armenians exiled to the village of Chankiri in 1915.
The first, largest bead features the words: “Chankiri, April 11, 1915. Memory.” The other beads have the names of 99 intellectuals. The first name is the name of Komitas. On the 5th bead is the name of poet, prose writer, and translator Ruben Sevak; on the 40th is the name of the great Daniel Varuzhan; and on the 99th is the name of vardapet Grigor Palakyan.
Eugenie Atanesyan-Gyulbolyan presented the unique beads to the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in 1965.
In 1946, Eugenie returned to Paris with her husband and daughter. She would recall that the blacklist of Armenians had been composed in February 1915. And on April 24, these people were sent to exile.
Members of national parties that were perceived as the most dangerous were sent to prison near the village of Ayash, while the rest were sent to Chankiri.
In April 1915, Komitas along with a number of prominent representatives of the Armenian intelligentsia was arrested and later exiled deep into Anatolia where he would witness the brutal massacre of the bright minds of the nation. The surviving nightmare left an indelible imprint on his soul. Komitas would fence himself off from the outside world and take refuge in his gloomy and heavy thoughts, broken and mournful.