Nazism, antisemitism, racism in Dashnags’ ideology: May 1945 evidence

Nazism, antisemitism, racism in Dashnags’ ideology:  May 1945 evidence

The leaders of the Armenian nationalist party Dashnaktsutyun supported Hitler, approved the Holocaust and racism. This is evidenced by a document discovered by historians in the archives of the US Congress, presented on May 4, 1945, by Rep. Frank E. Hook at the Congress meeting. The reason for Hook's speech was an article published in the Washington Times-Herald by John R. Flynn, a former member of the America First isolationist group, who considered Dashnaktsutyun to be "patriots" of Armenia and justified their actions.

Hook released information on terrorist attacks carried out by the Dashnags on the territory of the Russian Empire, on how members of the ARF killed people in the United States. One of their victims became Archbishop Tourian who refused to read the sermon until the Dashnags removed their flag from the scene.

Vestnik Kavkaza publishes a translation of a part of the printed appendix to Frank Hook’s speech, in which he talks about the attitude of the Dashnags to Nazism, the Holocaust, and racism.

Dashnags as Pro-Nazis

Following the murder [of Archbishop Leon Tourian], the Dashnag press showed marked Nazi leanings. Here are sample excerpts from the September 17, 1936, issue: 

“The former Germany, defeated in the Great War, lacking popular unity, conducted an uncertain, confused, day-by-day policy which got her nowhere. And came Adolf Hitler, after Herculean struggles. He spoke to the racial heart string of the Ger man, opened the fountain of his national genius, struck down the spirit of defeatism.

“Now, there is a Germany, strong, united, aggressive, proud, and self-reliant. She has torn and given to the winds the principal restrictions of the Versailles Treaty, and is now a national power, equal to, if not higher, than the great at the green tables of Europe and the world. Internally organized, externally impressive, the German people have come to occupy the place which was theirs before the War. 

“At no period since the World War had Berlin conducted so realistic, well-organized, and planned policy as now, since Hitler's assumption of power. At no time the German thought had been so explicit, clear, and rich as now. And whatever outsiders may think concerning Hitlerism and fascism, as a system of government, it is proved that they have revitalized and regenerated the two states, Germany and Italy.”

Dashnags and antisemites

Flynn's “patriots” have published some notorious anti-Jewish lines. A series of three lengthy front-page articles written by a Dashnag just returned from Germany, were published in the August 19, 20, 21, 1936, issues of Hairenik, extolling the Nazi regime, the myth of Aryan culture, and whitewashing Nazi persecution:

“Jews of all people being the most fanatical nationalists and race worshippers, wherever they go they are compelled to create an atmosphere and the rites and customs of inter nationalism and world citizenship in order to preserve their race exalation pure.  As the British use battleships to occupy lands and to protect their fatherland, in this same way the Jew uses internationalism or communism as a weapon. 

“Sometimes it is difficult to eradicate these poisonous elements when they have already struck deep root like a chronic disease. And when it becomes necessary for a people to eradicate them in an uncommon method, these attempts and methods are regarded revolutionary. During a surgical operation the flow of blood is a natural thing. Under such conditions dictatorship seems to have the role of a savior” (translated from Armenian).

Hairenik Weekly is the English language organ of the Dashnag, edited in Boston by James Mandalian. The Weekly voiced the political sentiments of the mother publication but exercised greater restraint. The August 9, 1935, issue started off with a reference to the Jewish controlled film industry, then ascribed Armenian massacres to the Turkish Jews of Salonika because of the Jewish love of gain. The May 10, 1935, issue quoted the vice mayor of Bucharest as saying: “The Armenians [meaning Dashnags only] have helped us Rumanians not to become slaves of the Jewish elements.” An article in the September 25, 1936, issue of the Weekly denounced Zionist aims, and adopting a strong Arab nationalist view concluded with:

“And the type of Jew who is imported to Palestine is not anything to be proud about. Their loose morals, and other vices which were unknown to the Arabs prior to the Balfour Declaration, on top of all communistic activities, were the cause of most of the Arab criticism.”

Dashnags as anti-Christian

Flynn's patriots also have a record of antiChristian utterance. The archbishop's heinous murder had its roots in Dashnag disrespect for church and clergy. It was common practice for ARF chiefs to burst into a church, fling open the doors and using the altar and chancel as platform hold political meetings. In at least two instances Armenians who tried to protect the Church of Smyrna from being desecrated were shot on the spot by Flynn's patriots. Dashnag leaders have always tried to seize political control of the church and reduce it to an instrument of Dashnag ideology.

They carried their cancerous feud even to America, but thanks to the devotion of a flock loyal to a historic church founded in 301 A. D., the ARF plan has failed.

Hairenik Weekly evidently tried to poison the American-born Dashnag generation with a dose of anti-Christian hate and published two astonishing letters (March 29, 1935), headlined “Better off without Christianity.” Excerpts follow:

“1. By accepting Christianity as our national religion we lost more than we gained as a people. There is nothing we as a people should thank Christianity for and plenty we should regret on account of it.

“2. The Armenian cause suffered by the adoption of Christianity. The new venture was not particularly beneficial nor reassuring. We lost much of our virility as a militant race. Before Christianity Armenia was a powerful state capable of more than holding her own. We possessed national unity, solidarity, and virility.”

Dashnags as race worshippers

Just as the myth of an Aryan super race was conceived by the Nazis to rekindle hope among the defeatist and frustrated German masses, Flynn's friends added race worship to the cult of flag worship. A few months before the murder, Hairenik (September 27, 1933) published an article on racial religionism explaining the need for “racial convulsions” in order to achieve “racial awakening”:

“The racial-religious believes in his racial blood as a deity. Race above everything and before everything. Race comes first. Everything for the race. * * * we hear the racial religious orders have their own general creed, their leadership, and political emblem. They are also going to have their own uniforms, their own hymn, their rites, their holidays (translation).” 

The organizer of the Racial Religious Orders was military hack named Gen. K. Nejdeh. 

“Today Germany and Italy are strong,” he croaked, "because as a nation they love and breathe in the terms of race" (Weekly, April 10, 1936). Adapting the slogan “Youth, heart, and iron,” Nejdeh generally modeled Dashnag youth upon the Hitler youth pattern. At first called racial patriots, later they become known as Tzeghagrons—composed of two words: tzegh (race) and gron (religion): race worshippers.

From this point on the dope of decadent race worship, dead-hero worship and defunct-flag worship was injected into young Tzeghagron minds. Whipped into strict discipline, urged never to marry non-Armenians lest it “pollute” the “purity of the Armenian race,” Dashnag leaders pursued the nationalist credo that Armenianism and Armenian race-nationalism be retained at all costs. Otherwise, they cried out in alarm, its youth would “disintegrate into the melting pot and be lost to Armenia.” It urged political activity as a means of keeping the new generation anchored to its race. Listen to the drivel drilled into American-born Tzeghagrons (Hairenik Weekly, January 11, 1935) by Mandalian, Darbinian, Nejdeh & Co.:

“I am preaching to you the Tzeghagron creed, worship of the race. To me the highest act of individualism and of freedom is to follow the voice of my race. I am a Tzeghagron. That means: I know my race. I believe in my race. I worship my race. I know that my race is great; that my race has given more to humanity than it has received from it. I am a believer in my race and, behold, I worship another deity, the blood of my race, in whose unspotted purity lies the future of our people. The deification of the will of the race—that is what the Tzeghagron is fighting for.”

Dashnags and Nazi Germany

The question arises: were Flynn's friends subsidized by the Nazis or, as in the case of countless American Fascists, did Dashnags themselves bear all carrying charges? This issue of Propaganda Battlefront presents only the documented evidence and will draw no conclusions. But it is significant that in its editorial of November 1, 1936, Hairenik observed:

Who can guarantee that Germany and Italy with their Polish and Hungarian and other allies, or independent of them, would not try to infiltrate beyond Transcaucasia as the Germans did in 1918. Therefore, instead of binding our fate to the ‘undefeatable' army of the Soviet Union, isn't it wiser for the Armenian to think also of the day when that army is crushed, deserts our motherland, and leaves defenseless our people of the homeland (translated from Armenian).” 

Equally significant is an item in News Week of November 12, 1941, entitled “Armenian Puppet State:”

“As the Near East crisis develops, look for evidence of Nazi fifth-column activity by Armenians in Turkey and Syria. The Nazis have picked out the Armenian Revolutionary Federation or ‘Dashnag' party to do the fifth column work. This intensely nationalist organization has recently moved its head quarters from Switzerland to Paris in Berlin. * * * The Nazis have promised the Dashnags an autonomous state similar to Croatia in return for their cooperation.”

Pages of Hairenik Weekly contained references to intercourse with Nazi Germany. The November 29, 1935, issue recorded that Frau H. Winkler was shipping to Tzeghagrons 200 copies of her book entitled “In the World of the Dragons.” Formation of a Tzeghagron chapter in Berlin received repeated mention. The May 3, 1935, issue carried a letter from Hellmut Lange, a Nazi at Chemnitz, Germany, answering the query of a Tzeghagron on the Reich's attitude toward ARF aims:

“We Germans stand for the principles of self-determination not only for Our German countrymen living under foreign oppression but also in favor of any other nation suffering in the same way. National socialism is the mainstay of the national idea and the determined opponent of thraldom. We Germans cannot but recognize your claims as thoroughly legitimate. * * * Your aim is and must be Armenian rebirth to Armenian liberty in the Armenian spirit. We Germans want to have our countrymen free from foreign yoke. You as an Armenian patriot want to have Armenia free again. Can we both have a finer aim than this?

Dashnags as communists

With the turning of the Nazi tide and the triumph of Soviet Armies, Dashnag policy in the past 6 months has completely reversed itself. The Dashnags have now seemingly turned Communist. The Mandalian-Darbinian enterprises regularly reprint from Lraper, Armenian organ they once denounced as Communist, from Sovetakan Hayastan, Official organ of Soviet Armenia, and the Weekly (Mar. 29, 1944) published a panegyric on Soviet Armenia and the Patriotic War issued by the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Dashnags have already made subtle overtures to leftist Armenian elements. On May 19, 1944, a Weekly editorial (translated from the Hairenik) ignored its defamation of the Soviet regime and adulation of Nazi theory, and begged anti-ARF factions to forget the past and effect a merger, explaining:

“The attitude of the Federation toward the Soviet Government in relation to the practical Armenian national policy is no different from theirs. Like them the Federation too looks to the Soviet Government and is willing to make all possible sacrifices for the realization of that national aim. The Federation, too, like them, admits that Soviet Armenia is the rightful political trustee of the Armenian cause.”

Dashnags as political chameleons

Flynn's pals began as Socialists and Socialist-Revolutionists, turned into Nazi sympathizers and are now seeking favor with Soviet interests, while also courting Brother Flynn's brand of America First politicians. The fact is that a corrupt, self-seeking Dashnag leadership has always followed an opportunistic policy, becoming all things to all men—whatever was most lucrative for the moment.

But it's bad business now to write pro Nazi columns, and it's bad business to peddle anti-Jew hate. Hence Simon Vratzian, member of the Dashnag central committee in Boston, shed crocodile tears (Weekly, September 22, 1943) in an article entitled “The Jewish Tragedy.” In hypocritical contrast to previous ARF sentiments, Vratzian bemoaned the “terrible fate” of Jewry and called Jews the “allies of civilization.” Reversing its former anti-Zionist and pro-Arab nationalist views, the Weekly (March 22, 1944) devoted an editorial to the jubilee birthday of Rabbi Stephen Wise, chief exponent of Zionism, referred to him as one of Jewry’s “noblest sons” and wished him the attainment of Zionist aims. But although the Dashnags have professed internationalist views on world collaboration, they are currently serving as informants for the ultra isolationist, nationalistic McCormick-Patterson interests.

Dashnag leaders have tried to be everything to anybody—whether Communist, Nazi, Social-Democrat, Socialist, isolationist, or native Fascist. In order to survive they must be nourished by outside sources for they are shunned by those who know the truth about them.

But John T. Flynn insists on calling them “patriots.” Dashnags have hoodwinked many with their wily chameleon politics, perverted patriotism, hypocritical professions of faith, employment of defrocked priests, glib flattery and bribery of the gullible and naive. But the prize catch in the ARF suckers' net has been John T. Flynn who, in the absence of any evidence against the author of Under Cover, has swallowed as truth the sewer-spawned lies of a disreputable Armenian terrorist-fascist gang completely unrepresentative of Americans of Armenian origin and ostracized by them.

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