Mushegh – The Eldest Son of Hovhannes Tumanyan

Mushegh – The Eldest Son of Hovhannes Tumanyan

In 2017, in the house-museum of the great Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan, the open-air exhibition “Khavarum” (“Eclipse”) was held. At the exhibition, the innocent victims of the Bolshevik terror were represented, including three of Tumanyan’s four sons.

Today, a lot is said about the concept of “nation-army”. Hovhannes Tumanyan followed this concept with a personal example a hundred years ago.

In December 1917, when Armenia was endangered and when many people sought to stay away from the battlefield, Tumanyan presented his children to the sacred deed of national defense.

In his famous message to commander Andranik Ozanyan, Tumanyan wrote: “I have four sons, and all four are now at the disposal of the government of the country, the National Council, and of you. And my four daughters are ready to do work in the rear which they are suitable for.”

Mushegh, the eldest son of Tumanyan, was born in 1889. He first entered the Tiflis gymnasium and after graduating studied natural sciences at the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of St. Petersburg University.

After the outbreak of WWI, Mushegh entered a sapper school. Having graduated from the school, he proceeded to military service in Alexandropol (now Gyumri).

In 1916, as part of volunteer detachments, he was sent first to Iğdır and then to Jiadin (near Bayazet). During this time, he did a huge amount of work, sending thousands of Western Armenian orphans to Yerevan Province.

After the end of the war, Mushegh remained in Tiflis. He became a teacher and wrote scientific works on gardening. His wife was Maria Sokalskaya, who was of Polish descent. They had three children: Anahit, Nadezhda, and Vigen.

In November 1937, Musegh was arrested on groundless charges and sentenced to exile in Siberia, where he died a year later.

The son of Mushegh Vigen, who factually was the only continuer of the great poet’s family, died in the battles near Moscow in late 1941.

Ruben Shukhyan

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