Garegin Nzhdeh also known as (Kakekin Njteh) is one of the heroic figures that we chose to highlight on Aypoupen. As the song tells us “Karekin Nejteh” was born on the bank of River Araz. He suffered in the darkest prisons, a suffering proper to saints.”
And the song continues, “hurrays, may brave Njteh’s sword shine and emit rays”
“The Tsar was scared and sent you to exile, far away from his world, but you came to us, you were welcome, you brought us new ideas.”
“In fields of blood, in the battlefield, may your sword shine, with a cross on your chest, you called out Hurray to the front…”
During times when the future of our nation was not clear, we were stripped of power, and the only choice was gaining back confidence in our identity, learning from our past to dream and create our own future. Garegin Nzhdeh dedicated his life to the continuity of his people.
Garegin Nzhdeh, the Armenian statesman and military figure, real name Garegin Yeghishi Ter-Harutyunyan, was born on January 1, 1886, in the village of Gznut (now Kuznut) in the Nakhichevan Armenian province. He was the fourth child of the family.
He received his elementary education at the Russian school in Nakhichevan, he continued his studies at the Russian Gymnasium in Tbilisi, where he joined the Armenian Liberation Movement. He then went to St. Petersburg, where he studied law for two years then left the university and devoted himself fully to the Armenian Revolution cause.
Joining Revolutionary Movements
Macedonian Liberation Movement leaders and Rostom supported Garegin Nzhdeh to attend Sofia Officers’ School in Bulgaria in 1906. He graduated successfully and returned to the Caucasus in 1909. He joined the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun 1907-1908 and participated in the Persian Revolutionary Movement, against the Tsarists and the Hamidian violence.
He was arrested by the Tsarist authorities in 1912 for transporting weapons and ammunition. Having spent more than three years in prison, he moved to Bulgaria, following the example of Rosdom he joined the military school established by the ARF in Bulgaria, he graduated successfully and returned to Tbilisi. After the first Balkan war began in 1912, the ARF formed a volunteer military unit alongside the Bulgarian army to fight against the Ottomans (for the sake of Macedonia and Thrace liberation), led by Nzhdeh and Andranik Ozanyan.
Years of Glory in war and Mission
After being “pardoned” by the tsarist government, Nzhdeh returned on the condition that she would participate in the war against Turkey in the Caucasus.
Garegin Nzhdeh is especially known for his role in defending Zankezour. In 1920-21 with an order from the Armenian Republic Minister of Defence, Roupen, he proved himself to be a military commander on the battlefield and gained ARF Commander Title.
When Armenia became a part of the soviet republic, he moved to the Balkans, helped in organizing the ARF and setting a guideline for preserving the Armenian identity in America greatly motivated with the thought of Armenian Tribalism. His main goal was uniting the diaspora, teaching them about Armenian values and pride, which are essential in protecting our motherland.
Returning back he had clashes with the local ARF Bureau. His tribalism teachings caused division between supporters and non-supporters of the ideal he was let go from the ARF having cause the divide.
His Capture by The Soviet Republic
During WWII, although he was out of the ARF, and was reviving his own Tribalist organization, and lead the Balkan ARF family. He found himself obliged to cooperate with Nazis to defend the Armenians in the Balkans against Soviet and Turkish aggression. When the Red Army ceased Bulgaria in September 1944, after defeating Nazis, Nzhdeh chose to stay and not run away in order to take care of the Armenians in the Balkans, until suspected of having secret contacts with Germany, he was arrested by the Soviet SMERSH Army General Intelligence Service later in 1944.
He is transferred to Bucharest, from there by plane to Moscow and imprisoned in Lubyanka with fellow ARF activists. In November 1946, Nzhdeh was sent from Moscow to Yerevan, where the trial ended in 1948. Nzhdeh has been sentenced to 25 years in prison since 1944.
1947, Nzhdeh proposes to the Soviet government a bold plan to establish a Diaspora-based military-political organization called Armenian Irredenta in the Diaspora, aimed at liberating Western Armenia and reuniting it with Soviet Armenia.
Although Nzhdeh’s proposal was taken seriously by Soviet leaders and studied in various instances for several years, it was eventually rejected.
Death of Garegin Nzhdeh and Aquittal
1948-1952 Nzhdeh was held in the notorious prison of Vladimir, then in the prison of Yerevan until the summer of 1953. After some time, Nzhdeh was again transferred to Vladimir, where he died on December 21, 1955. Receiving a telegram from the prison administration about Nzhdeh’s death, his brother, Levon Ter-Harutyunyan, leaves from Yerevan immediately to Vladimir.
He is handed over his brother’s clothes and wristwatch, but no manuscripts. The body is also not allowed to move to Armenia. Levon carries out his brother’s funeral, fences in the grave, and on wood writes in Russian: Garegin Yeghishi Ter-Harutyunyan (1886-1955).
Decades after his death on March 30, 1992, Garegin Nzhdeh was acquitted by the RA Prosecutor’s Office, which he never needed.
Quotes by Garegin Nzhdeh
– Never, without Syunik, without this strong geographic backbone of Armenia, our entire Homeland cannot exist.
– Some people notice the sun only in the dark.
– One cannot help the fallen if he or she lacks the will to stand up.
– Two things must fill a person’s soul with admiration and respect, the starry sky above the head and the morals in the heart.
– You are born in chains, live, and die in chains, you are a sinner because you are weak.
– The Concept of Christian love has caused tragedy to our people for centuries.
– Rights are a concept of force, not logic.
– A nation whose sons are not equal before the law and death, will not have a victorious homeland.
– Like religions, Homelands demand that their servants’ hands be warm and clean.
– The last card of people whose future is at stake: is education.
– The duty of every nation towards humanity is first and foremost the preservation of the viability of one’s own nation and the development of one’s own culture.
– To criticize means to suffer spiritually.
– My nationalistic beliefs do not allow me to be hostile to any Armenian individual.
– It is better for an Armenian to be mute than not to be able to speak his own language.
Free Armenian E-book about Nzhdeh
The work is a comprehensive study, dedicated to Karekin Nzhdeh’s works language and style. Based on various contents, as a word of gratitude and appreciation. For the first time, the reader is presented with the eye-catching aspects of the author’s luxurious and exquisite language and style (using elements of grabar and western Armenian, imagery, and rhetoric, solid and available essay modes): It is shown that they are equally present in scientific, public speaking, memoirs, official in letters, letters, military calls, and commands.
Unlike some media and social media outlets, in which they seem to be trying to translate Nzhdeh into a modern language spelling, here is its language preserved or traditional spelling.
The book is intended for philologists in general, for practitioners of neuroscience in particular and, of course, for all Armenians for whom Karekin Njteh’s work is precious.
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