Armenian Physician Honored by Israel for Saving Jews during Holocaust

YEREVAN — Haroutyoun Khachatryan, a military physician during World War II, has been posthumously awarded the “Righteous among the Nations Award” by the Jewish Yad Vashem institute-museum.

During the event on February 4, Israel’s Ambassador to Armenia Shmuel Meirom and Honorary Consul of Israel in Armenia Ashot Shakhmuradyan handed the medal to Haroutyoun Khachatryan’s granddaughter, Armenian singer Anna Khachatryan.

According to the Meirom, the story of Haroutyoun Khachatryan was revealed due to The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, which awarded the Khachatryan family last year in the presence of Armenian President Serge Sargisian.

The event was also attended by Director of Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan, who mentioned in his speech, that this event is not only dedicated to the salvation of one person by another, but it is Armenian and Jewish genocide victims’ commemoration ceremony as well: “The organizers of the Armenian Genocide remained unpunished as a result of the indifference of powerful countries. This was followed by the Munich deal, toleration of fascism, then unleash of World War II and the Holocaust — the black stain and shame of human History.”

He added, “During the last month while editing, I have had the opportunity to reread this dialogue many times. This dialogue was between US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau and Interior Minister of the Empire, one of the ringleaders of Young Turks — organizers of the Armenian Genocide — Talaat Pasha. Ambassador Morgenthau was not obliged to protect the rights of Western Armenians, but he did it, seriously spoiling his relationship with Young Turk criminals. In the years of Armenian Genocide, Henry Morgenthau was not the only Jew who raised his voice in the favor of the Armenians.

Today’s event has really important meaning. Here we are for a unique commemoration ceremony, which has deeper meaning and content than rescuing one person’s life by another. Today we pay tribute to all the Armenians and the Jews, who became victims of the Genocide. We also remember those, who gave their lives to eradicate the evil of fascism. Next year, on 2015, various events will be organized all over the world in commemoration and remind of the Armenian Genocide and its consequences. At the same year, by celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, we are obliged to remember and commemorate all those who gave their lives fighting against evil.”

He praised Khachatryan for his actions. “Venerating Dr. Khachatryan and his family members, we affirm our collective struggle against Genocide evil, from which, unfortunately, humanity, even in the 21st century is not secured. It is a great honor to be present at this ceremony today. Let us remember and commemorate Haroutyoun Khachatryan and Josef Mezes Kogan, those who fought against evil of fascism, and by their example, they left the feelings of humanity and moral as a precept.”

During the event, the head of the Jewish community Rima Varjapetyan delivered a speech. The film “The Heavens Will Open for You — The story of Malka Rozental,” about the people who survived the Holocaust, was also screened.

In 1963, the Yad Vashem Jewish organization established a global program, named “Righteous Among the Nations Award” to honor all the non-Jews who saved Jews by risking their lives during the Holocaust. As of May 2013, 24,811 individuals have been recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations”, from whom the 22 are from Armenia.