Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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James Bryce 1838 - 1922

the Irish statesman who documented the Armenian Genocide

James Bryce

James Bryce

Lord James Bryce was born in Belfast, in Ireland, in 1838. Statesman, scholar, advisor to the British liberal party, he started taking an interest in the Armenians during his stay in the Caucasus in 1876.

In 1904 he took part in the International Pro Armenia Movement, holding conferences and meetings in favour of the Armenians persecuted within the Ottoman empire. In 1907 he was appointed ambassador to the United States and in 1914 was made a member of the Hague Tribunal. In 1915 His British Majesty's government gave him a mandate to prepare a file on the persecution and massacres of Armenians in Turkey.

In 1916 he published his Blue Book, with extensive documentary evidence of the massacre of Armenians. The documents in the Blue Book contained reliable eye-witness accounts collected by the historian Arnold Toynbee, and concerned the deportation and systematic extermination of the Armenian nation in the Ottoman empire while the genocide was in progress. Lord Bryce sent the Blue Book to Viscount Grey of Fallodon, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

As from 1917 Lord James Bryce dedicated the rest of his life to pursuing the possibility of setting up the League of Nations.

He died in Sidmouth, England, in 1922.

Righteous for the Armenians

remembered in the Wall of Remembrance of Yerevan

Every year on 24 April, the anniversary of the outbreak of Metz Yeghérn (the "Great Evil", that is to say the genocide against the Armenian people in 1915-1916) Armenians remember their rescuers with a procession to Dzidzernagapert, the “Hill of Swallows”, where the Mausoleum in memory of the victims of extermination was erected.
Since 1996 the ashes or the grave earth of the Righteous and rescuers or witnesses who tried to stop the massacres or risked their lives to denounce the Young Turks' genocidal plan and its execution are interred in the Remembrance Wall.
Pietro Kuciukian, founder of the International Committee of the Righteous for the Armenians,has been researching the Righteous figures into the survivors' pieces of testimony, the tales of their children, the writings by the eyewitnesses, the diplomatic documents and the broad literature that accompanies the events related to this genocide. He retraces their walks of life, he revives their memory by visiting the places where they are buried, he meets with the relatives and descendants who keep family memories of great intensity and then he transports their ashes or handfuls of their burial earth on the "Hill of Swallows" of Yerevan. The stones with the names of the "RIghteous for the Armenians", gathered in the Wall of Remembrance, are the tangible sign of the gratitude of the Armenian people and take on a universal kind of exemplary value.

Tales and testimony

Metz Yeghern stories

other exemplary stories featured by Gariwo