NEW YORK—On Thurs., Dec. 1, Dr. Vartan Matiossian will give a presentation titled “The Aryan Myth, Hitler, and the Armenians” at the Diocesan Complex in New York at 7 p.m.
Matiossian will explore the definition of the word “Aryan” and how it has historically related to Armenians. “At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a strong anti-Armenian, racist current in Germany, which became evident during the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath,” he said. “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 to categorize Armenians as Semites, and the strong Armenian lobby that succeeded in ensuring the recognition of Armenians as Aryans.
Matiossian began his research on this topic almost a decade ago after reading about a German-Armenian scholar who had been involved in the lobbying effort. 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 culminated into a book-size manuscript.
As he continued to investigate, 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,” he said.
Matiossian is currently the executive director of the Armenian National Education Committee in New York. He is a native of Montevideo, Uruguay, and received his Ph.D. in history from the National Academy of Sciences in Armenia. He is the author of 5 books in Armenian and 1 in Spanish, and has translated 13 books from Armenian into Spanish.