Hoping For The Mountains Of Armenia – Garegin Nzhdeh

Without support from the outside, relying only on the Armenian mountains and on the power of their own spirit, the Armenians of Syunik led by Nzhdeh waged their victorious struggle like ancient heroes. The government of the Republic of Armenia would not react to the requests of the highlanders for help other than with occasional statements of praise or sympathy.

Nzhdeh was sometimes forced to disobey the orders of the high command. In particular, when the Khatisyan government ordered him to organize the resettlement of the Armenians besieged by the Turks of Gokhtan, Nzhdeh refused to obey and instead ravaged the Turkish settlements of the county and forced the newly arrived Turkish population to flee.

May 1918 was approaching, and the Armenian fate was being decided. Having entered battle with the Turkish troops in Alexandropol, Nzhdeh with his group retreated to Karakilisa. Armenian refugees had already accumulated here.

The mass of thousands was in a panic. The local population was also anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Turks. At that fateful moment, when despair took over the people, Nzhdeh’s belligerent, saving voice was heard.

His speech in the courtyard of the Dilijan church breathed power and determination into the desperate people, sparking hope in their souls and inspiring them to a holy battle. “Everyone to the battlefield, our salvation is there!” the powerful, decisive, and confident voice of Nzhdeh sounded, as one of those present would recall.

With the three-day heroic battle at Karakilisa, the Armenians affirmed their will to live, and the role of Garegin Nzhdeh is undoubtedly indisputable in the awakening of this collective will. For participating in the battle of Karakilisa (where he was wounded), Nzhdeh was awarded the Order for Bravery of the highest degree.

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