THE CAPITAL OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC
T H E L E G E N D A R Y N A T I O N A L H E R O
C O M M A N D E R G A R E G I N N Z H D E H
Written by Gevork Nazaryan
In 1918, the Turkish death squads were still killing -- whenever and wherever -- they could get their hands on the remaining Armenians. After the heroic victory at Sardarapat on May 22-23, 1918 [few days prior to the May 26 anniversary -- the day of the Avarayr Battle of 451...and... few weeks after May 9 -- the commemorative day of the battle for Liberation of Shushi ] -- Yerevan and a small clutch of remaining ancestral land in the East would be the during that time and place where the Armenians made their last stand -- once again true to the essence of their national character -- rebuilding and creating. The first Russian Revolution in March [February according to the old calendar] of 1917, created a political vacuum in Transcaucasus and other parts of the Russian Empire. The collapse of the Russian Empire, after the arrest of the Emperor Nicholas II and the Royal Family, -- and the coming of power of the Provisional Government -- created conditions for regional independence. From September 20, 1917 to May 28, 1918 the Armenian leadership agreed to include parts of Eastern Armenia into the Transcaucasian Republic, viewing the other two neighboring states of Georgia and Azerbaijan as allies in the fight to preserve the independence of the region from foreign powers, most notably that of Ottoman Turkey and Soviet Russia.
A FIN-DE-SIECLE STREET IN CENTRAL YEREVAN. THE ANCESTRAL
HOME OF MY MOTHER ON P. BUZAND STREET -- ONE BLOCK AWAY RIGHT
IN THE HEART OF THE CAPITAL
A POSTER OF THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR NEAR EAST RELIEF
THAT PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN SAVING HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF SMALL CHILDREN THANKS TO THE KINDNESS AND
THE HERCULEAN EFFORTS OF THE AMERICAN CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES.
THE ARMENIAN EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON, D.C. 1918.
ARAM MANUKIAN THE LEADER OF THE HEROIC 1915 DEFENSE OF VAN
DURING THE GENOCIDE BECAME THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF
THE FIRST REPUBLIC IN 1918...RESTORING ARMENIAN
STATEHOOD AFTER NEARLY 550 YEARS OF FOREIGN TYRANNY.
MME. DIANA ABGAR. THE ARMENIAN AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN.
BOTH WOMEN AND MEN PARTICIPATED IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
Garegin Nzhdeh [1886-1955] -- when many hear this name they are filled with pride and honor of a man who truly lived a life of a noble and chivalrous order. Not only an outstanding organizer and leader, Garegin Nzhdeh was also a prolific thinker, philosopher and writer who wrote numerous philosophical works on Armenian identity and the necessity to preserve and enrich that identity in the face of looming Genocide by the Turkish tyrants and butchers, the enemies of all free peoples. Commander Nzhdeh defended the First Republic against both Turkish and Turkic Azeri incursions from the East and the West. His divisions were highly disciplined and fierce fighters [there was never a time when a squad or a company under his leadership would surrender save for few individual soldiers -- his men were loyal to the end -- choosing to fight to the last drop of blood] -- by far the elite fighting hardcore force of the Republic. After the Reds came to power throughout most of Eastern Armenia by late 1920, Commander Nzhdeh heroically led a last ditch defense of Syunik [Zangezur] against the Turkish killers and for almost a year [holding out until summer of '21] personally led the Free State of Syunik or LernaHayastan [Mountainous Armenia] until the newly established Soviet government in Moscow agreed once and for all that Syunik was and always will be part of Armenia [the Artsakhtsis would have to settle for a semi-autonomous status until the dawn of liberation would come about seven decades later in late 1980s -- although initially the Azeri government in Baku recognized that Artsakh, Syunik and Nakhichevan are integral parts of Soviet Armenia ].
TEMPORARY BUILDING OF THE XORHRDARAN [THE NATIONAL COUNCIL]
NIKOL AŁBALEAN. MINISTER OF EDUCATION WHO HELPED TO ORGANIZE
PLANS FOR THE YEREVAN STATE UNIVERSITY OFFICIALLY OPENNED IN 1919.
AŁBALEAN WAS A DEDICATED DEVOTEE OF ARMENIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE.
JOHANNES LEPSIUS [1858-1926]. DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY WHO DEDICATED HIS
WHOLE LIFE IN DEFENSE OF THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE. FOUNDER OF
THE DEUTSCHE-ARMENISCHE GESSELSCHAFT [THE GERMAN-ARMENIAN SOCIETY]
THAT PUBLISHED MONUMENTAL WORKS INCLUDING AMONG OTHERS DEUTSCHLAND
UND ARMENIEN [GERMANY AND ARMENIA] AND ARMENIEN UND EUROPA
[ARMENIA AND EUROPE]. LEPSIUS PERSONALLY DEFENDED IN THE BERLIN
COURT THE GREAT AVENGER AND NATIONAL HERO SOŁOMON TEHLIRIAN
WHO HUNTED DOWN AND EXECUTED TALAAT PASHA ONE OF THE THREE KEY
RING LEADERS OF THE CRIMINAL YOUNG TURK REGIME. THE COURT FOUND
TEHLIRIAN NOT GUILTY FOR THE EXECUTION OF THE VERDICT GIVEN IN
ABSENTIA IN CONSTANTINOPLE TO THE YOUNG TURK LEADERS WHO HAD FLED
TO VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD.
THE MONUMENTAL EXPOSÉ PUBLISHED
BY LEPSIUS IN 1919 WHEN THE GENOCIDE WAS
The Azeri Turks were still eager to 'finish the job' of their cousins who had just finished the systematic implementation of a horrific Genocide throughout Western Armenia. The Turks living in Azerbaijan [who adopted the ancient name of the region], soon found out that the Syunik highlanders would go down fighting rather see their own extinction at the hands of the inhuman butchers of innocents. My Grandmother Arshaluys was five years old [b. in 1916] and she was an eyewitness and still remembered vividly some of the most fiercest battles that took place in and around her native Goris, in the highlands of Syunik. Her father and elder brother Hrachik [which literally means fiery eyes] both joined Nzhdeh as volunteers. By this time they were already veterans in fighting the almost constant raids by local Turks [although she recounted that there were many friendly Turks who were in very cordial even close terms with their kinsmen -- the situation varied from every village and town -- depending on the position adopted by the Turks of the given place and time...]. Her family was from a long line of warriors -- Hrachik was a gusan -- a bard or poet troubadour who in his songs praised the glory and might of their ancestors. According to the local tradition, he always carried the dashuyn [long dagger] and a revolver -- part and parcel of the outfit of the mountaineer.
A R A M M A N U K I A N [1879-1919] -- THE DEDICATED AND TRULY
HEROIC SYUNETSI [BORN IN KAPAN THE OLD ONCE GLORIOUS SYUNIK CAPITAL]
LEADER OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC HE BECAME INFECTED
WITH TYPHUS WHILE PERSONALLY TENDING TO THE NEEDS OF THE STARVING
GENOCIDE SURVIVORS AS THE GRAIN TRAINS
WERE HELD UP AND DIED AMONGST HIS PEOPLE IN 1919...
SOME OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ARMENIAN DELEGATION IN PARIS 
SEATED -- AVETIS AHARONIAN, ARMENAK BARSEGHIAN, HAKOB NEVRUZ
STANDING -- HAMAZASP OHANDJANIAN, MANUK HAMBARDZUMIAN,
GAREGIN PASDERMADJIAN, ZATIK MATIKIAN
THE ARMENIAN DELEGATION IN THE UNITED STATES 
HEADED BY -- THE NATIONAL HERO --
MAJ. GEN. ANDRANIK OZANIAN [FRONT ROW -- LEFT] AND
GEN. BAGRATUNI [FRONT ROW -- CENTER].
RECEIPT [DATED APRIL 25, 1920] FOR $100 DONATION MADE
TO THE FUND FOR THE DEFENSE FORCES OF THE ARMENIAN REPUBLIC.
' THE MAN WHO IS SWIMMING
AGAINST THE STREAM
KNOWS THE STRENGTH OF IT. '
-- WOODROW WILSON
A POSTER ON THE TREATY OF SÈVRES [AMONG OTHER COUNTRIES SIGNED BY ARMENIA,
THE UNITED STATES AND TURKEY ON AUGUST 10, 1920]. ACCORDING TO THE TREATY,
THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA'S BOUNDARIES WOULD BE MAPPED OUT
BY PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON. THE TERRITORY AS A RESTITUTION FOR THE
HORRIFIC LOSS OF ARMENIAN LIFE, PROPERTY AND LAND DURING THE GENOCIDE --
MASTERMINDED AND PUT IN ACTION BY THE CRIMINAL TURKISH GOVERNMENT --
WAS MAPPED BY THE WILSON ADMINISTRATION.
THE 'WILSONIAN ARMENIA', AS IT BECAME WIDELY KNOWN,
INCLUDED ALMOST HALF OF HISTORIC ARMENIA. THE TREATY OF SÈVRES
CONTRARY TO INTERNATIONAL LAW WAS NEVER ENFORCED UPON DEFEATED TURKEY.
A R M E N I A: T H E B E T R A Y E D . . .
THE MAP OF WILSONIAN ARMENIA AUTHENTICATED WITH THE GREAT SEAL OF
U.S. AND THE PRESIDENTIAL SIGNATURE. THE BOUNDARIES WERE
ACCEPTED BY THE DEFEATED CRIMINAL TURKISH GOVERNMENT BY
THE TREATY OF SÈVRES.
"...What makes us to be liked by others? Is it not but empty flattery that
tickles their fancies and caresses their over inflated egos. Spurious praise of
their 'virtues' that are often all but non existent. Flattery will get you
everywhere they tell me...I have heard this from a young age...Even
the genuine and the genius' amongst us are not prone to falling
victim to the sweet words of vanity... yet, like my Father,
who was an honest Man -- respected and feared at the same time
for his outspokenness -- a Man who loved Truth and defended it often at the
expense of his own well-being and social standing -- I too have 'suffered' socially
if we can call it as such, because I have stood up for those that were
often voiceless because of their "economic status" and
were persecuted by the money-hungry connivers, deceivers
and the manipulators who dwell amongst,
who feed off of the ignorance of the common man.
Deep within me...I have known all along that speaking out for the Bitter TRUTH
and standing up for the forsaken and the downtrodden, instead of
singing the song of Sweet LIES for the corrupt, fat and ugly manipulators,
is the only just Cause that is genuinely worth the fight...
and all the persecution that I have endured even sometimes
at the hands of my close friends has been worth it... a million times over..."
-- ALEXANDER SHIRVANZADE.
'...TO SERVE ARMENIA IS...TO SERVE CIVILIZATION...'
-- WILLIAM E. GLADSTONE [1809-1898]
THE RENOWNED ARMENOPHILE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER WHO
IN 1882 FOUNDED THE ANGLO-ARMENIAN SOCIETY FOR
EMANCIPATION OF THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE FROM FOREIGN TYRANNY.
M A Y R I K [MOTHER] THREADING A VEIL OUT OF FIBER.
THIS SYMBOLISM WAS DEPICTED ON THE BANKNOTES [SEE BELOW]
AND STAMPS OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC ALLEGORICALLY
REFERRING TO THE MATRIX [MATER-MATTER-MOTHER]
OR THE NET OF THE UNIVERSE. NOTE THE OUROBOROS RING BELOW
WITH THE TIED IN DOUBLE [DNA -- 8 -- INFINITI] STRANDS.
THE GREAT MOTHER [M-A Y A-GAIA] SPINS THE WHEEL OF LIFE
GIVING BIRTH TO THE NEW CREATION THAT WILL SERVE AS A VEIL.
DECORATIVE PLATE BY ARTSRUN BERBERIAN BASED ON MAYRIK'S ICONIC IMAGE.
NATIONAL PRIMORDIAL MITHRAIC SACRED SYMBOLS THROUGHOUT THE 250 BILL.
TWO VISHAPS FACING EAST AND WEST WITH HH IN THE CENTER.
HORIZONTAL MERIDIAN LINE RUNS ACROSS THE CENTER OF THE CIRCLE.
THE WINGED [GUARDIAN OF TIME] LION ABOVE.
MILITARY MAPS OF THE BATTLE OF SARDARAPAT MADE BY RA HIGH COMMAND
IMMEDIATELY AFTER MAY 27-28, 1918. THE FIRST REPUBLIC WAS BORNE OUT OF
THE EPIC VICTORIES IN SARDARAPAT, APARAN AND VANADZOR
AGAINST OVERWHELMING ODDS IN THE HEROIC LIFE AND DEATH BATTLE.
COMMANDER NZHDEH IN TRADITIONAL CAUCASIAN
WARRIOR'S UNIFORM AS HE HEROICALLY LED THE DEFENSE
OF FREE SYUNIK - LERNAHAYATSAN
LIBERATION OF MIND AND BODY
OLIVER BALDWIN IN ARMENIAN OFFICER'S UNIFORM
[NOTE MIRRORED HH ON RIGHT AND LEFT SHOULDER PATCHES]
FIRST EARL DAVID LLOYD GEORGE 1868-1945]. THE DISTINGUISHED ARMENOPHILE
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DURING THE YEARS OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC.
IN NUMEROUS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES AFTER WORLD WAR I
LLOYD GEORGE AS EARLY AS 1895 PASSIONATELY SPOKE OUT IN DEFENSE OF THE
ARMENIAN PEOPLE [AFTER THE FIRST ARMENIAN MASSACRES OF 1894-96
BY SULTAN ABDUL HAMID [HAMIDYE DEATH SQUADS] THAT WOULD SERVE AS THE
PRELUDE FOR THE LATER 1909 MASSACRES...CULMINATING WITH THE ARMENIAN
GENOCIDE OF 1915-23 DESIGNED FOR COMPLETE ERADICATION OF
THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE...PRIME MINISTER LLOYD GEORGE VEHEMENTLY FOUGHT FOR
THE DIRE NEED TO SEE JUSTICE PREVAIL AND IMMEDIATE RETRIBUTION
TO THE ARMENIAN SURVIVORS AFTER THE UNIMAGINABLE HORROR
OF THE GENOCIDE...THE CRUEL REALPOLITIK AND IMPERIALISM
WAS THE ALTAR UPON WHICH A WHOLE PEOPLE WERE TO BE SACRIFICED...
THE GREAT FRIEND OF THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE
WORLD RENOWNED NORWEGIAN SCIENTIST AND
EXPLORER FRIDTJOF NANSEN [1861-1930].
THE INITIAL BUILDING OF THE YEREVAN STATE UNIVERSITY [YSU, EST. 1919].
THE NEW EXTENSIVE YSU COMPLEX. WAS ERECTED IN 1950s.
On -- May 28, 1918 -- after, the Turks of Azerbaijan [known as Tatars], headed by the Pan-Turkist Musavat party, advocated a Turkish incursion into Caucasus -- and the Georgians made separate agreements of "protection" from Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany against occupation from the Turks or the Soviets -- the Armenian leadership followed the natural course of self reliance [since there was really never a true effort by the other two republics of making a "united" stand against Turkish invasion -- the Tatars or Turks of Azerbaijan more than welcomed such occupation which would first and foremost spell the doom of what had remained of historic Armenia and the Armenian people...] and proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Armenia. The First Republic -- as it would later be known, was born out of the ashes of Genocide. By far the most gifted and dedicated member of the newly formed government was the first leader of the First Republic -- Aram Manukian -- who tried to create order out of the chaos that was Yerevan in 1918.
M A N U K A B E Ł E A N [1865 - 1944]. THE OUTSTANDING LINGUIST SCHOLAR WHO
PUBLISHED QUINTESSENTIAL WORKS DEVOTED TO THE
STUDY OF THE ARMENIAN MOTHER LANGUAGE
THE HEROIC VICTORY IN SARDARAPAT DURING THE EPIC LIFE AND DEATH BATTLE.
HISTORIC PAINTING BY SARKIS MURADEAN.
COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE ON THE HOME OF GENERAL MOVSES SILIKYAN -
THE VICTORIOUS HERO OF THE BATTLE OF SARDARAPAT.
Prior to the formation of the new government, the Republic was administered by the Armenian National Council made up of prominent leaders. The Turkish threat was a clear and present danger. The new developments in Russia were also to play a key role in the chain of events that effected the course of Armenian history. After the March Revolution of 1917, the Provisional Government came to power comprised of a coalition of parties. But the October 1917 Revolution, the multi-party government was replaced by the Bolshevik [Communist] Party, previously known as the Social-Workers Party, headed by its charismatic and ingenious organizer-leader V.I. Lenin. Some Armenians saw the first revolution as an opportunity to fight for liberal democracy, other more far leftist leaning revolutionaries, led by the Armenian Communists wanted a Revolution -- a radical step, that in their opinion would bring about a socialist society -- sooner than later. Armenian liberals and especially libertarians were against Revolution -- arguing that the new society should not sacrifice the individual for the collective, and changes as such should run their natural course, especially in the case of Armenia. However, these matters became secondary when it came to the issue of national security that still hanged in the air. Turkish killers amassed their troops on the borders of the Republic -- ready for the final blow in order to usher in their antihuman, racist dream that they called "Turan."
V A H A N T ‛Ē K‛ Ē E A N. THE GREAT WRITER AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST
WHO PERSONALLY TOOK CARE IN THE WELL BEING OF
THE MIRACULOUS SURVIVORS OF THE GENOCIDE
By early 1920, the Red Army, or the Bolshevik Red Guards, after putting down the Menshevik resistance, after a bloody civil war in Russia itself, rapidly moved into the former domains of the Russian Empire. The Republic of Armenia, which was officially recognized by the Allies in the Treaty of Sèvres on August 10, 1920, according to the treaty was promised assistance both military and diplomatic in defending itself from any and all outside forces that threatened its existence and the survival of its people that were still on the edge of the Abyss. The threat of course was first and foremost from the Turkish aggression -- from both -- the East and West. The Musavatist pan-Turkists wanted to join their kit and kin in the west by the means of the final solution of the Armenian Question -- thus bringing to completion their long awaited dream of forever annihilating the Armenian people and thus realizing their vision of the "Turan." In early June of 1918, after the Armenians in heroic victories at Sardarapat, Vanadzor and Aparan, had showed the Turks that they ready to fight to the death rather then see their women and children be killed in front of their eyes. Jemal Pasha, one of the top trio of the criminal Young Turk leaders in June of 1918 -- after crushing defeats at the hands of the Armenian defenders -- said "We have to expand to the East...towards Baku, towards Dagestan...Turkestan and Azerbaijan...We need to open the way [sic] towards those lands..."
OBVERSE OF THE 100 RUBLE BANKNOTE  ISSUED BY RA'S CENTRAL BANK
THE HOLY MOUNT ARARAT WITH A SUNBURST OF
THE NEW DAWN OF THE RISING SUN BETWEEN THE TWIN PEAKS OF
MASIS IN THE CENTER OF THE CURRENCY
The Treaty of Sèvres, signed by the defeated Turkish government after World War I, guaranteed the return of most of Western Armenia [mapped out by president Woodrow Wilson -- a map known as 'Wilsonian Armenia'] -- a just retribution for the great loss of countless Armenian lives and the loss of the native homeland. Yet, the Armenian people, were once again sacrificed on the altar of realpolitik. The Treaty Sèvres -- signed both by the Allies [and the Armenian Government] -- the winning side -- and the Central Powers [that included Turkey] -- the defeated side -- was never put into action. The treaty -- politically in terms of international laws, norms and conventions is still valid and there is no reason not to implemented even today, since the signatories -- Armenia - Allied governments - Turkey -- have all agreed to the Treaty, later approved and mapped out by the U.S. President as the Wilsonian Armenia. Unfortunately, to the shame of human decency, the overstepping of the implementation of the Treaty to this day is still considered by many to be a clear manifestation of the lack of any justice and morality [promising something even signing it in an international treaty and then simply not doing anything about it becomes an acceptable way -- this is not the right way to build a just and fair international community -- and as such will always be unresolved leaving room for later conflicts borne out of injustice] in the political game that is realpolitik.
ONE OF THE STAMPS ISSUED BY THE FIRST REPUBLIC.
THE GOVERNMENT TRIED DESPERATELY TO MAKE ORDER OUT OF CHAOS
The circle that began with words and promises of bringing "justice for the suffering Armenian nation" - beginning with the Conference of Berlin in 1878, ended with the Treaty of Sèvres, never implemented by Allies, in apparently total indifference and a real desire of seeing justice prevail -- punishing the criminal Turkish government and making the Armenian Genocide a case an point -- thus greatly preventing the chances for later genocides -- the methodology [and the total lack of brining to justice the government that has been responsible for the genocide] will be studied, copied and repeated by the following similar totalitarian regimes -- after the first genocide of the twentieth century.