[ARMENIAN GOLGOTHA: THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAVEL ACCOUNT IN THE MODERN ARMENIAN LITERATURE] Hay goghgot'an: Druagner Hay martirosagrut'enên, Berlinên dêpi Têr-Zôr, 1914-1920

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GRIGORIS PALAKEAN, (Bishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church), (1875-1934).


Mkhit'arean Tparan, Vienna (Wien), 1922.


Original fine red cloth bdg. with decorative gilt on board. Spine is repaired masterfully. Large roy. 8vo. (25 x 18 cm). In Armenian. [24], 429 p., 1 folded Armenian map of Turkey (map size: 24x33 cm), 29 unnumbered full-page b/w plates (one is folded).

Armenian Golgotha is a memoir written by Grigoris Balakian about his eyewitness account of the Armenian Events. The memoir was released in two volumes. Volume 1, about his life prior to and during the Armenian Deportation, was released in 1922. Volume 2, about his life as a fugitive after the Deportation, was released in 1959. Originally published in Armenian, the memoir was later published in various languages including an English translation by Peter Balakian, Balakian's great-nephew, with Aris Sevag.

Grigoris Balakian [or, Palakean, Palakian, Balakean], was a bishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church, in addition to being a survivor and memoirist of the Armenian Events in the Ottoman Empire. Grigoris Balakian was born in Tokat in the Ottoman Empire and graduated from the Sanasarian College in Erzurum. He had been studying architecture in Germany for two years and got a degree in civil engineering. He became a celibate priest ordained under the monastic name Grigoris Balakian. On 24 April 1915, he was among the group of 250 leading Armenian figures of Constantinople who were arrested and deported. One group was deported to Ayas. Balakian was deported to Çankiri, north-east of Ankara with the rest of the 190 other deportees from the capital. Only 16 of them would survive. He marched with 48 deportees from Çankiri in the direction of Deir Al-Zor in the Syrian desert.

On the way, Balakian won the confidence of captain of constabulary Shukri Bey and learned about the Ottoman government's plan to exterminate the whole Armenian population. Balakian was able to flee toward Islahie. He joined a group of workers on the Bagdad-railway where Turkish deserters did forced labor alongside Armenian refugees. While Armenian workers between Marash and Bartche were being slain, Balakian fled to another construction site on the Bagdad railway. He was helped by German engineers and finally succeeded - disguised as Herr Bernstein - in escaping from Constantinople to Paris. At the 1921 trial in Berlin against Soghomon Tehlirian, the murderer of Talât Pasha, Balakian appeared as a witness for the defendant together with Johannes Lepsius. Soghomon Tehlirian was ultimately acquitted. Balakian became prelate of Manchester, London, and finally bishop of Marseille. Two churches were built under his guidance in Marseille and Nice (St. Mary, 1928) as well as a number of chapels and schools. He died in Marseille. Balakian is the granduncle of Anna Balakian, an expert on symbolism and surrealism who chaired New York University's Department of Comparative Literature, and the great-granduncle of Peter Balakian, an Armenian-American writer and winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Balakian's memoirs in Armenian Golgotha are an important eyewitness account of the Armenian Events. He describes his experiences during the deportation. Balakian was one of the few surviving leaders of the Armenian community who gave an account of the deportation. Komitas (Gomitas) Vartapet belonged to the same group of detainees as Balakian. His information about the traumatization of the famous composer and founder of modern Armenian classical music is of eminent importance.

OCLC: 1137218025. First Armenian Edition. Rare.