GLENDALE—On September 30 at 4p.m. the documentary film “Orphans of the Genocide” will be screened at Woodbury University, Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium, at 7500 Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, California. Four-time regional Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Bared Maronian will present the broadcast version of the film to the public (see www.armenoidteam.com). The event is organized by Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills Calif.
The stories of these genocide orphans are told by the orphans themselves, backed by expert opinion from such scholars as Deborah Dwork and Keith Watenpaugh.
“’Orphans of the Genocide” tells the story of hundreds of thousands of Armenian Genocide orphans. It is a posthumous tribute to the memory of those Armenian children victimized by the horrors of a systematic, concerted process of annihilation, and a celebration of their survival against all odds.”
Maronian has made use of archival photos and documents from the Rockefeller Archive Center, Das Bundesarchiv (German National Archives), Statens Arkiver (Danish National Archives), the Library of Congress, U.S. National Archives, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, AGBU Archives, Noubarian Library, Houshamadyan Archives, ARS Archives, and other private archival collections. In an exclusive on-camera interview, 105-year-old Almas Boghossian of Whitensville, Mass., tells how she became a Genocide orphan, walked from Husseinig to Der Zor on foot, and how she was adopted by an Arab family, admitted to an Armenian orphanage in Aleppo, and eventually claimed by a relative in the United States.
Almas’s grandson, Bruce Boghossian, is the current president of the American University of Armenia. Besides personal accounts, the documentary also examines one of the largest orphan relief efforts of mankind that was spearheaded by the American Near East Relief Sociey (NER). Robert Wirt, a U.S. Special Forces Green Beret, based on his great grandfather Loyal Lincoln Wirt’s memoirs, describes how Loyal witnessed NER’s herculean task of establishing 212 orphanages for 200,000 orphans scattered from Constantinople to Aleppo.”
A special segment is dedicated to Alexandrapole, currently Gyumri, Armenia, where an orphanage once stood that housed 22,000 Genocide orphans. Another special segment of the documentary deals with the Antoura Orphanage in Lebanon, where 1,000 Armenian orphans were stripped of their identity and Turkified. Independent researcher Missak Kelechian and world-renowned journalist Robert Fisk delve into the details of this operation masterminded by Jemal Pasha.
This event is a fundraiser to complete the full version documentary. For more information contact the Ararat-Eskijian Museum at 818-838-4862; Maggie Mangassarian-Goschin (818) 357-1606; or ararat-eskijan museum.netzero.net.