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November 30, 2007

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Paul

"Dashnaks (pron. dosh - nocks)"
I always hear Dash-naks, pretty much as it's spelled. Then again I'm in the diaspora and technically we say "Tash-nags" (trying to figure out how to emphasize it's a 'short a' sound) anyway so who knows what the Armenia-Armenia pronounciation could be.

"Kanayan, 34, had fought for the Russians, then been one of the commanders at the battle of Bash Abaran"

That explains why Armenia reburied him there from Boston in 2000. His wife was still alive at the time, I remember she died at over 100 years old and was buried as he had been at the esteemed Mount Auburn. I don't think they've moved her or if they plan to, probably not because they would have done it already.

"In WWII he would cooperate with the Nazis, commanding a battalion of ethnic Armenians for the Germans."

Not defending anything or anyone, but it should be noted that he did so because Dashnaks were adamently anti-Communist (even though their organization adopted socialism as a platform..). The main reason likely being because the Communists held Armenia and stood in it's way of being independent, so Dro hoped that helping the Germans to take over the Caucasus could result in a free Armenia (it's also claimed he first convinced Hitler Armenians were Aryans to avoid a possible similar fate for the "Jews of the Caucasus" as Armenians sometimes seem to be called). That didn't work out, but as a thank you to the Armenians who had fought so hard for the Red Army (the diaspora chipped in to help the Armenian war effort as well) the Soviets then did what Dashnaks would have hoped all along and made claims on some of the lost regions like Kars which were so unceremoniously scooped up decades before. This might have actually gone through had not the Cold War broken out and Churchill found it unwise to support the Soviet Union against Turkey, who they of course were afraid might go over to the communist side and instituted the Marshall Plan to avoid. What a complicated history, Armenia always gets shafted- by politics (including in 2007!) or otherwise- doesn't it.

This is intensely interesting, I want more!

Paul

Addition to my section about Dro-
This comes from an Armenian message board (in a section on what's wrong with Dashnak ideology today as he sees it in his native Canada), and so while I don't even know the person who posted it and part of it is opinion, from what I know it sounds valid (note diaspora spelling):

"Most Tashnags know Tro as a heroic general, who played a big role in the resistance against the Turks. That is true. Many sources would say that he was indeed a brilliant and brave tactician. Tro was also a minister in the short-lived First Armenian Republic, and many Tashnags would not know that he wasn't as competent a politician as he was a general. Even fewer will know that once Armenia became part of the USSR, Tro actually became a Bolshevik for a while, then quit, 15-20 years later, to attempt to organize an Armenian legion within the Nazi army who would fight the Soviets (with its hundreds of thousands of Armenian soldiers). Why are these facts not known by so many people? Why are so many people not aware that the great Zoravar Antranig quit the tashnagtsootyoon when he saw the way they were handling things?"

Also one of Dro's grandsons is now a lawyer in Texas. Funny the kind of things you can find with the internets.

King-Walters

This is great.

Tony Zbaraschuk

This is fascinating. More!

R

Christopher J. Walker's "Armenia: The Survival of a Nation" is an excellent overview of Armenian history. Chapter 8 deals with the First Republic. You can read it here on-line:
http://www.armenia-survival.50megs.com/Survival_Ch_8.htm

For those of a scholarly bent, Prof. Richard Hovannisian's four volume "The Republic of Armenia" is considered the authoritative study of the period.

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