Sis Publications, an imprint of the Eastern Prelacy, has just released a bilingual edition of “My Memoirs (1914-1921),” the unfinished recollections of Gurghen Sarkissian (1898-1972), which constitute a valuable testimony of the crucial period leading to the foundation and demise of the first independent Republic of Armenia. The book has been sponsored by the author’s grandson, Mr. Victor Sarkissian, and his wife Stephanie. It will be launched on June 13, following the Divine Liturgy, at the hall of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia.
The Armenian manuscript, held in the family for close to half a century, has been edited, annotated, and translated into English by Dr. Vartan Matiossian, the Executive Director of the Prelacy, who has also authored an extensive introduction. Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, has written a foreword to the illustrated book, which also contains an appendix of documents and a bibliography.
Gurghen Sarkissian, a graduate of the Kevorkian Seminary of Echmiadzin who had undertaken the writing of his life story in his last years, wrote the blueprint for his text, but only managed to write his recollections until the triumph of the February 1921 uprising that briefly ousted the Soviet regime in Armenia. The author left Armenia after the end of the uprising and, after a brief stint as an actor in a theatrical group that played in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Greece, pursued his higher education at the University of Prague. He settled in Romania, where he was a teacher for two decades. In 1944, he was arrested by the Soviet army that had invaded the country and exiled to Siberia, where he survived twelve years in labor camps. After his return to Romania, he emigrated to the United States with his family and settled in Philadelphia, where he passed away.