24 April 2014 - Bucharest, Romania - Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, traditionally by Armenians, as Medz Yeghern was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland in the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. It took place during and after World War I and was implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million.
It is acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides, as scholars point to the organized manner in which the killings were carried out to eliminate the Armenians, and it is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust. The word genocide was coined in order to describe these events.
The starting date of the genocide is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople.
Bellu Cemetery (1859) in Bucuresti, Romania, is our National Pantheon and sort of a VIP cemetery.
For over 100 years some members of my family were also buried there, so, as I went there today to commemorate 6 weeks since my father passed away, I took a few pictures.
Here’s the true story of one of the monuments (by Italian sculptor Rafaelo Romanelli - 1902).
Constantin Poroineanu, a rich landlord, sent his children to study abroad in Paris. One of his sons fell in love with a Parisian student, whom he married and brought to Romania. In his youth, old Poroineanu, being himself in Paris, also for studies, had an affair with a Parisian of which was born a girl, the same girl that married his son. Not knowing anything, things were going well, the young people were happy, but at the age of 30-35 years an old woman who knew the truth told them.
Long story short, that resulted in both of them committing suicide, followed a few years after by the father, old Poroineanu, after donating all of his great fortune to the city of Caracal…
Ruins of the old “Eisabetheu" synagogue and Jewish nursing facility in Bucuresti, Romania.
A bit of history: Jewish population in Romania declined from 580,000 in 1939 to 9,700 in 2010. It is estimated that hundred of thousands were “sold” by the communist regime. Israel paid between $2,000 and $50,000 per exit visa. Between 1977 and 1989, until the end of the communist regime, as much as 63 synagogues and temples were destroyed…