Armenian Genocide survivor dies in Canada at age 104

Armenian Genocide survivor dies in Canada at age 104

PanARMENIAN.Net - Eugenie Papazian (Kokorian-Yerganian), a Toronto woman believed to have been one of the last Canadians to have survived the Armenian Genocide, has died four months shy of her 105th birthday, Horizon Weekly reports.

Papazian was born in Turkey, in the Ionia district of Samsun by the Black Sea in 1915. She never knew her parents. Her father was taken to the army in 1915 and did not return home, while her mother died when she was still a newborn.

She had a large family: 2 sisters, Arousiag and Azniv, 3 brothers, 3 maternal aunts and uncles, whom she has not seen.

At the start of the 1915 deportations, the members of her extended family gathered and found refuge in the mountains and then descended into the gorge. It was there that she was born. Because of her beauty and golden hair, they named her Voski (Gold in Armenian). After Eugenie’s birth her mother, exhausted, died in a place her daughter would never know.

Following her mother’s death, her maternal grandmother struggled to look after her for three years, and gave her to an orphanage when she was no longer able to feed her. So began her painful odyssey through three children’s homes in Greece, where an American relief organization had arranged the placement of Armenians in 13 orphanages.

An Armenian couple took Papazian to Egypt, and she spent her early teens in Cairo where she met her husband, Garabed Kokorian. She was 15-years-old when she married Garabed.

Eugenie had five children, nine grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

April 24, 1915 is the day when a group of Armenian intellectuals were rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide will be commemorating the 105th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.

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