Berlin scientists Vahe Tachjian and Elke Hartmann set off to collect information about all the items and documents belonging to Armenians that have been preserved since the time of the Armenian Genocide. To do this, they staged workshops around the world to allow others to come and bring their family heirlooms and documents.
The spouses’ important mission got in the spotlight of Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Times begins the article with a symbolic story about a soldier who has fled from the Ottoman Empire during the Genocide. As the soldier left, he knelt down in the courtyard of his home and took a handful of the land of his homeland to which he would never return.
Since then, the handkerchief in which he kept this handful of earth has been passed on by three generations. This is just one of the hundreds of items that have been included in the collection from the times of the Armenian Genocide.
Los Angeles Times recalls that the Armenian Genocide took the lives of about 1.5 million Armenians and forced many to leave their homes and scatter around the world, including to Syria, Lebanon, France, and the United States.
Los Angeles Times also writes that Turkey insists that the death toll was lower and describes these events not as genocide but as a consequence of the civil war.
“A Christian ethnic minority, Armenians lived throughout the Ottoman Empire among Muslim Turks and Kurds but were primarily concentrated in what is now eastern Turkey and western Armenia,” writes Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Times talked about the people, items, and documents that were presented at the workshops. For example, one woman, Vicki Khachaturian, brought silver utensils and a rug that her grandmother had brought from Constantinople (now Istanbul) to the Greek island of Cephalonia as a gift for her wedding.
Read more: Los Angeles Times