Howhannes Kachasnuni

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Howhannes Kachasnuni

Howhannes Katschasnuni , also Hovhannes Kachaznouni ( Armenian Յովհաննէս Քաջազնունի , reformed Հովհաննես Քաջազնունի, born February 1, 1867 in Akhaltsikhe , Georgia ; †  1938 in Yerevan , Armenian SSR ) was the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Armenia , the first Armenian state, who in May Founded in 1918, but not recognized internationally.


Katschasnuni studied architecture and mining sciences at universities in the German Empire and Russia and then settled in Baku , where he joined the Armenian Revolutionary Federation ( Daschnakzutjun ). After the beginning of the First World War , he criticized the establishment of Armenian volunteer associations. In 1917 after the February Revolution he became a member of the newly formed Armenian National Council and was elected to the short-lived constituent assembly after the October Revolution . In the following months he acted as a delegate of the Transcaucasian Federation at the conference in Trabzon and as a deputy and minister of social affairs in this short-lived state. After Armenia gained independence, he was Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Armenia from May 1918 to August 1919 , and in the spring made an extended state visit to Europe to solicit support for Armenia. During this period he was criticized by parts of his own party for his moderate line aimed at understanding. Attempts on his part to form a new government under his leadership in the autumn of 1920 were unsuccessful.

After the Armenian Bolsheviks came to power and the Armenian Soviet Republic was founded at the end of 1920, Kachasnuni fled to the West. At the party conference of 1923 Daschnakzuzjun in Bucharest he demanded the dissolution of his party and the support of the Armenian Soviet Republic, in which he moved later. Kachasnuni was killed in the 1938 Great Terror .

Reception of the party congress report from 1923

Original Russian publication of the book "There is nothing more to be done for the Daschnakzutjun", translated from Armenian, [OV. КАЧАЗНУНИ, "ДАШНАКЦУТЮН: БОЛШЕ НЕЧЕГО ДЕЛАТЬ!" - С предисловием С. ХАНОЯНА. ТИФЛИС, ЗАККНИГА, 1927.]. The book is in the Russian State Library in Moscow . The report itself was translated into Russian as early as 1923.

Kachasnuni gained a certain prominence in the current debate about the Armenian genocide through his republished "Report on the Party Conference 1923" (poor. Original title Daschnakzutiune anelik Tschuni uilews ) of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation ( Daschnakzutjun ). In it, Kachasnuni deals self-critically with the alliances and ties entered into by him, his party and his government during the past war. In short, in retrospect he sees it as a strategic mistake to have made pacts and fought first with the Russians and then with the Entente against Turkey . The powers with whom alliances against the Turks had been entered into did not seek the independence of Armenia, but pursued their own goals. Ultimately, the allies would have dropped Armenia. The consequences of these wrong strategic decisions were the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Armenians from their homeland as well as the genocide committed in the course of this and the eventual division of Armenia between Turkey and Russia. Kachasnuni is very frankly responsible for this policy of the alliance, with his Dashnakzutjun party and his government.

The party congress report is cited by circles that deny the genocide of the Armenians as evidence that the Armenian victims were not genocide, but legitimate measures in the context of a military conflict, such as the one that has been official so far Position of Turkey corresponds. The currently (2007) only available German edition of the report is provided with an almost equally extensive foreword by Mehmet Perinçek, Turkish historian, political scientist and professor. In Perinçek's foreword, Kachasnuni's self-criticism is interpreted to the effect that mass expulsion and murder were not only causal consequences of strategically unwise alliance policies, but that Turkey also bore no moral responsibility, and Kachasnuni or the Armenians, any moral responsibility for the suffering and injustice inflicted on them. From this it is finally concluded that Armenian documents can be used to prove that talk of the genocide against the Armenians is a “lie”.

Since April 1923, Kachasnuni's party congress report has been kept under lock and key in Armenia. Printing, selling or publishing the literary version of the report is currently prohibited in Armenia; the translated from Armenian Russian original version of the book " ДАШНАКЦУТЮН: БОЛШЕ НЕЧЕГО ДЕЛАТЬ ." (via the " For the Dashnaktsutiun there is nothing more to do "), whereupon the Turkish translation is based, is located in the former Lenin Library in Moscow and was published in Tbilisi in 1927 . The book (10th edition) was published in four different languages: German, English, Turkish and Russian. In Europe the work is in the literature index, but is not available because previous printed editions were collected by the Daschnakzutjun. The English-language expression The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Has Nothing To Do Any More: The Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni was published in New York in 1955 by the Armenian Information Service, but does not contain the "complete" explanations of Kachasnuni's party conference report. A Turkish translation of the report had not been published until 2005 and was actually subject to a publication suppression, with the result that no Turkish investigations had taken place to date. It was first published in Turkish on October 2, 2005 by the daily Aydınlık . The following key conclusions from the Kachasnunis report are particularly emphasized:

  1. "It was a mistake to form volunteer forces."
  2. "You were unconditionally bound to Russia."
  3. "The pro-Turkish power structure was not taken into account."
  4. "The resettlement order was logical."
  5. "Turkey followed the defense instinct."
  6. "The British occupation after 1918 gave new impetus to the Dashnaks' hopes."
  7. "A Dashnak dictatorship was established in Armenia."
  8. "You have succumbed to an imperialist project (like the demand 'one Armenia from one sea to another') and have been incited in this sense."
  9. "They slaughtered the Muslim population."
  10. "The Armenian terrorist attacks were aimed at winning over the Western public."
  11. "One shouldn't have looked for culprits outside of the Dashnaken leadership."
  12. "There was nothing left for the Dashnakzutyun to do, they should have committed suicide."

In Matthew A. Callender's "incomplete" English translation (1955), which comes from the original Armenian text, Kachasnuni describes the Armenian-Turkish relationship in 1915 as follows:

“The deportations, mass expulsions and massacres that took place in the summer and autumn of 1915 were fatal blows against the Armenian cause. Half of historical Armenia ... was bared by Armenians: the Armenian provinces of Turkey were now without Armenians. The Turks knew what they were doing and today have no reason to regret it. It was the most decisive method to remove the Armenian question from Turkey. "

Kachasnuni also states in his report:

“When military operations began on our borders, the Turks offered to meet with us to start negotiations. We rejected your proposal. It was a big mistake. This did not mean that the negotiations would certainly have been successful, but there was an opportunity to agree on a peaceful outcome in these negotiations. [...] Our party is to blame for this crime. [...] The government could not have accepted these conditions; since all political parties and groups, all diplomats, officers and voluntary homeland liberation units ... clenching their fists would have excommunicated this government and accused it of treason. The Treaty of Sèvres had blinded everyone. [...] A fact; an unforgivable fact is that we did nothing to avoid war. On the contrary, we created the reasons for it. The unforgivable thing about it is that we were not informed about the actual effectiveness of the Turkish army, and neither was that of our army. "

There has hardly been any scholarly discussion of Katschasnuni's party conference report from a neutral side, so in 2007 there was neither a text-critical nor an annotated edition. The text is occasionally referred to as a pamphlet , although no distinction is made between Kachasnuni's report and Perinçek's interpretive foreword. It is controversial to note that while in the "incomplete" English-language translation based on Armenian Information Service documents the word "Holocaust" appears to have been mentioned twice by Kachasnuni, this term (Turkish: 'soykırım') appears in the Turkish translations from Russian not in connection with Kachasnuni's reported text content. Instead, the Turkish translation on pages 35 and 91 uses the term "kıyım" ('blood bath').


  • Daschnakzutiune anelik tschuni uilews . Vienna 1923


  • Ruben Darbinian: Mer Pataschane H. Kachaznunii . Boston 1923. [= Our answer to H. Kachaznouni , a text that critically examines Katschasnuni's report]
  • Howhannes Kachasnuni; John R. Carlson (ed.): The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnagtzoutiun) Has Nothing to Do Anymore. New York 1955. [= There is nothing more to do for the Daschnakzutjun (1923)] Text online

Web links

Commons : Hovhannes Katchaznouni  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Howhannes Katschasnuni: There is nothing more to do for the Daschnakzutjun . ( Online [PDF; 2.0 MB ; accessed on April 24, 2019] New edition 2008 in Turkish).
  2. a b c d e f Howhannes Katschasnuni: There is nothing more to do for the Daschnakzutjun . S. 3, 7, 9–10, 27 ( Online [PDF; 2.0 MB ; accessed on April 24, 2019] New edition 2008 in Turkish).
  3. a b c d Ramazan Demir. "Ermeni isyanı ve Harput Ermenileri: Ararat-Gakgoş diyaloğu" . Palm Yayıncılık (2009), 181.
  4. Türk Dünyası Araştırmaları Vakfı. "Tarih: Türk thinyası tarih ve kältür dergisi," Issues 229–234, 2006, page 8.
  5. ^ Doğu Perinçek. "Ermeni sorununda strateji ve siyaset". Kaynak Yayınları, 2006, page 133. ( New edition by Prof. AA Lalayan )
  6. Aysel Ekşi. "Belgeler ve tanıklarla Türk-Ermeni ilişkilerinde tarihi gerçekler". Alfa Basım Yayım Dağıtım (2006), p. 34.
  7. ^ " The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Has Nothing To Do Any More: The Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni "
  8. Howhannes Katschasnuni: There is nothing more to do for the Daschnakzutjun . S. 10–11 ( online [PDF; 2.0 MB ; accessed on April 24, 2019] New edition 2008 in Turkish).
  9. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Has Nothing To Do Any More: The Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni (page 6, paragraph 5)
  10. Howhannes Katschasnuni: There is nothing more to do for the Daschnakzutjun . S. 62–63 ( online [PDF; 2.0 MB ; accessed on April 24, 2019] New edition 2008 in Turkish).
  11. z. B. Yves Ternon 1983 in La cause arménienne , p. 123