YEREVAN — The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute has acquired a unique and a rich collection of photos related to the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath. Highlighting the importance of memory preservation and transmission to future generations, the heirs of Khanikyan family from Greece donated around 450 original photos to the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.
The collection contains original photos related to orphans’ life, the orphanages of the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, Greece and Syria, orphan care activities of “American Near East Relief” organization, as well as photographs related to the special episodes of the history of the Armenian Genocide. The majority of the photos have extremely important informative notes on their back side.
The director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan noted that, “on the eve of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide the acquisition of this collection is not only symbolic, but also an exclusive event for our museum, and this photographs will find their special place in the exhibition of the new museum to be open in 2015. Among the photos, the photo of Young Turk leader Ismail Hakki Bey arrested by British soldiers is of unique importance, indeed” .
The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute extends his gratitude to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of RA to Greece Gagik Ghalachyan for the acquisition of this unique collection.
In early September 1915, American Ambassador in the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau appealed to the U.S. State Department by a telegraph, in which he considered it very necessary to set up a special committee in order to organize fundraising and finding resources to support those who survived the massacres.
From 1 October, 1915, the fundraising organizations were carried out by the Armenian Relief Committee. Two similar committees in the Middle East operating before that were then united with the Armenian Relief Committee and formed “American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief”, which on August 6, 1919 was renamed as “Near East Relief” by the decision of the Congress.
Initially established as a temporary Committee, “Near East Relief” turned into a large organization. Originally it aimed at raising about $100,000, but during fifteen years of its activity the organization had more than 110 million dollars of investment in saving refugees and orphans. This humanitarian mission was carried out by American figures and missionaries in the Caucasus, the Middle East and the Balkans.