The director of the National Archive of Armenia Amatuni Virabyan recently announced the upcoming publication of a book featuring rare documents on the officers and military commanders of the 1918 – 20 First Republic of Armenia who had been repressed in 1937.
The book is to be published at the centennial of the First Republic of Armenia, which declared its independence on May 28, 1918. The book will be published in Russian as the majority of the documents presented in it have been written in Russian.
The agreement on the establishment of the Soviet regime in Armenia signed in November 1920 proclaimed that Armenian officers wouldn’t be prosecuted. However, they were sent to the Ryazan provincial concentration camp to be held there for several months. The officers would be released shortly thereafter.
In the 1930s, the Soviet government initiated new arrests. In 1937, it was decided to eliminate all Armenian officers. Very few have survived the persecutions. “They then decided to eliminate everyone who was considered as a part of the fifth column. However, with the beginning of WWII, life demonstrated that even flawless soldiers switched sides,” remarked Virabyan.
According to different estimations, about 2.5 – 5 thousand Armenian officers served in the Armenian army by the time the First Republic of Armenia fell.