In a telegram sent on February 24, 1920, from Constantinople to the delegation of Poghos Nubar at the Paris Peace Conference, Armenian writer Zabel Yesayan asks to save the Armenians of Marash from slaughter.
On February 10, 1920, the French garrison was evacuated from Marash, leaving 20 thousand unarmed Armenians to face the Turkish hordes.
Zabel Yesayan (born Hovhannisyan) was born in the Asian district of Constantinople in 1878. A pioneer of her time, she received education abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris where she would meet and then marry Tigran Yesayan.
Fate decided that Yesayan needs to separate from her family for a long time. Her husband and daughter Sophie stayed in France, while she and her son Hrant returned to Constantinople after the Young Turk Revolution in 1908.
The Armenian Genocide organized by the Turkish government forced Zabel Yesayan to flee from Constantinople. Had she not escaped, she would be persecuted and killed as a member of the Armenian intelligentsia.
After returning to Paris and living there for some time, Yesayan decided to take her son and daughter and move to Armenia.
The 1915 Genocide was in the past, but a new oppression of Armenian intelligentsia commenced with the emergence of Stalin’s regime in 1937. It was precisely the enormity of the Stalinist regime that would silence Yesayan forever in 1943.
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