The Bloody Nights – February 27, 1921 – Eyewitness Evidence

The Bloody Nights – February 27, 1921The orders in the central prison were strict, but since February 16, they have also become cruel. On this day, an unusual movement was observed in the prison corridors, in the courtyard, and in front of the main building. From 5 in the morning, the prison governor, the prison commissioner, and the director have been handing out orders.

Often was heard the terrible rumble of the iron doors of the prison. It was clear that people were entering and leaving the prison. Something ominous was underway.

This feeling strengthened after the Armenian guards were replaced by Turkish “communists” and Red Army soldiers. Then, everyone was terrified. At half past 8, the door of our cell opened, and the prison governor, commissioner, director, and the key keeper with a candle in hand came in.

The prison warden had a long list in his hand. He started to read:

“Korganov Nikolai, here?”

“He’s not here,” one of the prisoners replied.

“Yengibaryan Levon.”

“Ground floor,” said the other.

“Bogdanov Nikolay.”

“It’s me”

“Take your stuff and follow us.”

And thus, twenty-one names and surnames were read. From our cell, there was only Bogdanov, the commandant of the supreme tribunal. He took the pillow that he had from another prisoner and followed the prison authorities. He didn’t say goodbye to us.

In the corridor, the footsteps of leaving people were heard again. None of us slept. Someone was lying on the wet floor, someone was on the bunk, but everyone, silently, with bated breath, suffered along with the people being shot, living with them the fear of death.

We heard voices that persuaded the prisoners not to resist and surrender.

“Take us in the morning, try, and then shoot. You declared that you will not punish anyone without trial, why you are not keeping your word?” the prisoners protested loudly.

Shouts, moans, and screams mingled with the sounds of gunfire.

There was a feeling that the prisoners were being shot cell after cell.

The soldiers were divided into two groups. One group was shooting from our side, while the other went over to the back side of the main building and was shooting there.

It was already about 6 o’clock in the morning when the gunshots finally ceased. The car with the Russian soldiers in it drove away from prison with a victorious rumble.

On this night we, although alive, were shot along with 21 of our comrades. And not only us but the whole prison together with more than 800 prisoners.

by A. Petrosyan provided by Aida Nersisyan

In the photo the hackeds khmbapet Amazasp (Hamazasp Srvantdzyan), General Nikolai Korganov (Korganian), Yeranos Tarverdyan (junior commander). Խմբապետ Համազասպ (Համազասպ Սրվանձտյան), Գնապետ, դերակալ գեներալ.

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