Last year Armenia Liberty published a few articles regarding the desecration of the Holocaust memorial in Yerevan, capital of Armenia.

This year one did not hear similar news, but it turns out, as Emil Danielyan writes on 2 February 2006 in an Armenian weekly, the memorial was vandalized on 26 January 2006, just a day before Jews throughout the world commemorated their greatest tragedy.

Who would do such a thing in a country like Armenia, where almost every person’s family has been affected by the Armenian genocide? Well, there are idiots everywhere; also Russian anti-Semitism seems to have influence on certain Armenians. Another reason, not justifiable indeed, is Israeli government’s official denial of the Armenian genocide, which is not, however, backed by most Jews.

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Archival photo: On September 17, 2004-the last day of the Jewish New Year celebration, anonymous criminals painted a white cross and the “Satan” 666 number on Yerevan's Holocaust memorial (from

Danielyan writes, “The majority of people passing by the ‘Paplavok’ cafe’s round park [in downtown Yerevan] don’t even notice the small monument. Some people who actually see the monument are amazed that David’s star is a little faded. They can see many holes and scratches on the monument. About two months ago, someone had tried to erase the Jewish symbol with a hammer and a sharp metal. But after he saw that it was useless, he left. Now the damage is pretty serious.”

One should also note the response of ordinary Armenians to this horrific vandalism. The workers of the mentioned café, for instance, clean the monument every time whenever it is being vandalized. The head of the Jewish community of Armenia, Rima Feller-Varzhapetyan, says the vandalism “has nothing to do with Armenian politics or the Armenian people.” Ms. Varzhapetyan finds that those who vandalize Armenia’s Holocaust memorial have an agenda “to make everyone believe that there is Anti-Semitism in Armenia. But that doesn’t exist here.”

Even if there is not Anti-Semitism in Armenia, as the Jewish community head says, there is apparently a problem in Armenia. Indeed, there will always be found people who deny the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide, but this does not justify the vandalism.

One will argue that Israel has almost officially denied the Armenian genocide, so why should Armenians act otherwise? Well, shouldn’t the first official Christian nation follow Jesus’ command to “Do unto others as you would have them do to you”?

The Jewish community has decided to replace the raped Holocaust memorial with a larger one, which “will be dedicated to the victims of all the genocides committed in the past century, including the Holocaust…”

I personally think the Holocaust memorial should be placed in Tsitsernakaberd, next to the Armenian Genocide Memorial, because both of these tragedies have many commonalities. I know that Israeli government would never do the same in Tel-Aviv, but I prefer to go with “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

According to Ms. Varzhapetyan, “the [Jewish] community has started to make donations for the construction of the [new] monument. Currently, only the Jews have made contributions.”

I have already contacted some Armenian organizations in the U.S. to see whether they would like to sponsor the replacement of the Holocaust memorial with a larger one. Blogian readers, who would like to contribute to the construction of the monument, can contact the Jewish Community of Yerevan at Address: Nar-Dosa str. 23
Yerevan, 375018 Armenia Phone: (37410) 57-16-77 Fax: (37410) 55-41-32 Web: