Today, the Pedagogical University organised a conference on the topic of “Soviet Armenia from 1920 to 1930”.
The aim of holding this conference was to discuss the issues of the Soviet Armenia in 1920 and 1930, including political activities, external policy, economic life, connection with the diaspora, the activities and the role of the Armenian Apostolic Church, cultural life, and daily routine.
The ASPU Rector Rouben Mirzakhanyan greeted the participants of the conference and highlighted the important factors that made the studies of 1920-30 more exciting and interesting.
“The euphoric mood spread around after the independence of Armenia passed; Armenian nation obtained their historical dream but there were still some moods in their historiographical scope that refused all that existed in the Soviet times. This also served as favourable setting for making studies in our days. And the second important factor is that among currently active historians there are still generations coming those times; as well as it’s one thing if the historian’s material is based on various sources, and another thing is if they are direct contemporaries of the time”, mentioned Doctor of History, Professor Rouben Mirzakhanyan.
Speaking about another important factor Rouben Mirzakhanyan highlighted that almost three decades had passed after the collapse of the USSR, serious political processes had taken place, and figures from various political camps brought different examples of history, but we should notice that if we wanted to draw historical parallels, it would be more effective to draw them with respect to history of our nation in 1920s-30s.
“We, Armenians, are the same nation both in 20s-30s of the former century and now.”
The Director of the RA NAS Institute of History, Doctor at the RA NAS, Professor Ashot Melckonyan’s report referred to the formation of Armenian National State Regulations in the 1920s.
Academician Melckonyan presented the situation and the circumstances because of which such state system was established in the Soviet Caucasus in the 1920s and explained whether another national structure could have been created if the situation and circumstances were not.
“When speaking about the sovietisation matters of this region, one should start from the spring of 1920, when after a few victories the 11th red army gradually approached the borders of Transcaucasia, and obviously the first state border was Azerbaijan’s. Unfortunately, when discussing general sovietisation of the region we did not refer to Azerbaijan much, when they set conditions for further developments, and the process of sovietisation of Azerbaijan had its consequences from the perspective of formation of national state regulations”, mentioned Ashot Melckonyan and spoke about fast and peaceful sovietisation of Azerbaijan as a result of close connection between Lenin-Kemal.
He also spoked about the newly established military-political and other alliances with the reference to the whole region at that period, including the activities of the Red Army, the historical-political happenings of Syunik, Artsakh, Nakhijevan, and the outcome status acquired afterwards, and about the republics that acquired the soviet socialistic freedom, including Armenia.
Further-on, Doctor of Philology, Professor Davit Gasparyan spoke about the issue of developing Armenian national state formations in 1920s, the literary groups and literary fights, stating that the idea of having literary groups came from Tumanyan, when the “Vernatun” was founded, followed by Nikol Aghababyan’s “Armenian Literary Company”, the “Navasard” in Western Armenian literature, and other similar companionships in the Diaspora.
The professor thoroughly presented the activities of the “November” faction and the fact that Yerevan had turned into a literary centre in those times, where literary bulletins, trumpet shows, etc. were being organised.
“According to the state policy, the literary factions should have united, even though literary collectivization was not in the interests of art; thus, the “Federation of Soviet Armenian Writers” was established as well as a decision about the literary and artistic groups was made”, mentioned Professor Gasparyan and spoke about the matter of importance of Mkrtich Armen’s well-known article about “Charents and Related Issues”, when the question of national literature both with its form and content was raised. In Davit Gasparyan’s opinion that experiment turned into a test stone.
“For us 9 August 1936 had the same meaning as the 24th of April 1915, when the Armenian intellectuals, the cream of the crop was destroyed for the second time”, mentioned Davit Gasparyan and added that in the following periods the Armenian literature took a new flow.
In his turn, the Head of the Chair of Museum Studies, Librarianship and Bibliography of the ASPU after Kh. Abovyan, the Director of the RA National Archive, Professor Amatouni Virabyan emphasized that even though interest towards that period was lost for a short while, however, the history of Soviet Armenia was enough studied. Besides, speaking about the struggles inside the party in the elite of the authorities of the Soviet Armenia, Professor Virabyan advised the historians to unite and study the period with various approaches and to make an objective assessment of the 70 years of deep and multicolour relationships, especially taking into account the fact that the documents had been preserved.
Likewise, Amatouni Virabyan spoke about the pre-Moscow period, when all questions were solved in Tbilisi, in the Transcaucasian Federation.
“That Federation solved only one question in favour of Armenia- Lori was given to Armenia; we are also guilty for that, as we have never had peaceful government and the choice always stood between the bad or the worse. Throughout the 70 years human relations among the authorities, middle and lower classes were the most difficult”, added professor Virabyan.
The activities of the conference “Soviet Armenia in 1920-1930” proceeded in two areas: Cultural Life in Soviet Armenia in 1920-1930” and “Socio-Economic and Political Life in Soviet Armenia in 1920-1930”.
In addition, the speakers referred to diplomatic activities conducted by A. Bekzadyan, contextual peculiarities of Armenia-Diaspora Communication, the cultural actualisation matter and ethnic minorities, as well as the Etchmiadzin-Antelias relations, the Armenian holidays and rituals system within the context of the Soviet anti-religious policy, etc. Similarly, within the framework of social-economic and political life, the peculiarities of socio-economic movements, the Armenian demolition of Nakhijevan, the areas of practice of the ASSR State Supervision Committee, formation of Kurdish community, commercial and economic links, etc. were also presented.
We would like to mention, that a scientific laboratory for “Armenia in 1920-1991” is open at the Pedagogical University, which aims at studying the history of Soviet Armenia.