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The History of the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial

Hayk Demoyan

Dr. Hayk Demoyan reveals the political context in which the Genocide memorial came to be realized in Soviet Armenia.

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November 2019


The History of the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial

For over fifty years, the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 has served as a place of solemn gathering and memory for Armenians around the world. Here, Dr. Hayk Demoyan reveals the political context in which this unique project came to fruition in the Soviet Republic of Armenia—an unprecedented endeavor in Soviet history in which memories of national suffering or triumph were stifled in favor of a more unifying Soviet narrative. Approved on the heels of peaceful demonstrations in Yerevan on the 50th anniversary of the Genocide, the Memorial was also an attempt by Soviet authorities to appease and strengthen relations with the worldwide Armenian diaspora. Tsitsernakabersd was built in less than two years and since its inauguration in 1967 has stood tall in the capital as a place of mourning, memory and rebirth for Armenians across the globe.


Dr. Hayk Demoyan is the former director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. He received his doctorate degree from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and is a graduate of Yerevan State University, where he was a lecturer in the History Department from 2002-2005. Dr. Demoyan is the author of twelve books, including The Armenian Genocide: Front Page Coverage in the World Media, Armenian Sports and Gymnastics in the Ottoman Empire, and Western Media Coverage of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in 1988-1990, as well as a large number of academic articles on such topics as the Armenian Genocide, Turkish foreign policy and Turkey’s involvement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 1991-1994.