A presentation titled “The Aryan Myth, Hitler and the Armenians” will be given by Dr. Vartan Matiossian on Thursday, December 1, 2011, at the Diocesan Complex in New York City at 7 p.m.
During his lecture, Dr. Matiossian will explore the definition of the word “Aryan” and how it has historically related to Armenians.
“At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a strong anti-Armenian, racist current in Germany, which became evident during the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath,” said Dr. Matiossian. “Hitler, who was aware of anti-Armenian writings, first mentioned Armenians in 1922, when he already spoke of them as a mixed race, and maintained such views from time to time.”
He will also touch upon the campaign waged against Armenians that would have categorized them as Semites, if it wasn’t for a strong Armenian lobby that succeeded in ensuring the recognition of Armenians as Aryans.
Dr. Matiossian began his research on this topic almost a decade ago after reading about a German-Armenian scholar who had been involved in the lobby for recognition of Armenians as Aryans in Nazi Germany. After publishing subsequent articles about his findings in Armenian, he found an absence in scholarship on the topic in English and continued his research, which has now evolved into a book-size manuscript.
While he investigated the topic thoroughly he came across unexpected information that fueled his research further. “It was extremely interesting to see how unfavorably Armenians were pictured, particularly in the 1800-1920 period, in the West,” said Dr. Matiossian.
Dr. Matiossian is currently the executive director of the Armenian National Education Committee (dependent of the Armenian Prelacy) in New York. He is a native of Montevideo, Uruguay, and earned his Ph.D. in history from the National Academy of Sciences in Armenia. He is the author of five books in Armenian and one in Spanish, and has translated 13 books from Armenian into Spanish.