French Rescuers of Musa Dagh Honored

TOULON, France (A.W.)—On Oct. 15, Armenian Ambassador to France Viguen Tchitetchian, unveiled a plaque in honor of French sailors who saved the 4,100 Armenians of Musa Dagh from extermination by the Turkish army and irregulars during the Armenian Genocide, reported French Armenian journalist Jean Eckian.

The unveiling of the plaque

The unveiling, held in Toulon’s port, was attended by Secretary of State Hubert Falco.

“They are the pride of our Navy, they are the honor of the French army, the honor of entire France,” said Falco in his speech.

Falco also recalled the historic ties that bind Armenia with France. “These are the links of brotherhood and of the heart. The winds of history, with winds of pain and sorrow, have pushed successive generations of Armenians to France. They settled here. They worked, often under harsh conditions. They raised their children,” he said. “They have integrated into French society. They brought to it the best they had in themselves. They even shed their blood for a homeland that is now theirs.”

In 1915, the Armenians of Musa Dagh resisted Turkish troops for close to 50 days. On Sept. 12, a French battleship, Guichen, approached the shores to communicate with the Armenians. Soon, four other French battleships joined Guichen and bombed several Turkish positions on Musa Dagh and the surrounding regions. The Armenians were brought on board the battleships and were transported to Port Said in Egypt.

The heroic struggle of the people of Musa Dagh is immortalized in Franz Werfel’s celebrated novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh.


  1. I have long suggested that Armenian American organizations, speaking as one, demand that the US State Department issue an apology for helping Turkey to stop the filming of the 40 Days Of Musa Dagh in the 1930’s.
    Congress ought to pass a resolution to this effect.
    In fact, all Diasporan organizations and Armenia itself should join in this effort.  What do you say?
    The fact is that even the English language edition of Werfel’s famous book was heavily censored and modified from the original.
    Why do we let others get away with this?

  2. You are right, David, about revisiting that issue. However, I think a Congressional resolution is meaningless unless the Armenian community can gather the funds to get a good screenwriter and and a company to produce the film featuring top actors. We need to take or create every opportunity to give in-your-face support to our Genocide demands. 

    • Robert – Who are you to give your shallow Ignoramus opinion on these issues ?!
      What kind of crass ignorant would say such thing!?

      We will always Fight for Justice
      We will always Fight for Accountability
      We will always Fight for Reparations and Restitution
      We will always Remember and Commemorate our Ancestors

      We will always Educate the masses ( especially ignorant ones like yourself).

      Do you also harass Jews , Blacks, and other people who have suffered tragedies??

    • You don’t know the history and what exactly happened in 1915 we should defend always our rights.

  3. Robert.. don’t you EVER get tired of trying? you are not going to win.. get over yourself.. .. the minute you smell an idea that will expose your cowardly country and people like you, you start popping your ugly head.. you won’t win and your country will pay.. sooner or later.. so i would suggest you to stop showing your weakness because every comment you make opens the world of someone who is absolutely terrified about the truth being out like that…Turkey must have done a good job making you her zumbi…

    David jan.. an excellent idea.. i am ready to do whatever it takes…

    Thank you

  4. Dear Boyajian,
    you have a good pint. We need good leaders to push and pass the resolution in our government system. 
    Thank you, 

  5. Robert, don’t you and your government ever get tired of lying? What happens when YOU find out that YOUR GOVERNMENT has been lying to YOU!

  6. Asa Shakeh jan.. asa.. we tried to knock some sense into this Robert person, de padosh martu gluxi mech.. but nothing is working..

    You said it beautifully.. thank you

  7. It was a French warship that rescued them, and took them to Port Said. No wonder, France has been proactive in commemorating the Armenian Genocide. Let us hope that one of these days, Turkey will do the same.

    • You are right Tim, and one of the Commanding Officers was Rear-Admiral Gabriel Darrieus, my Great-Grand Father.

  8. Perhaps Hollywood producers ought to consider a less politically themed book to make the Armenian Genocide familiar to the US and the world.
    I would like to suggest, the recently published book, which has also been on Amazon’s best sellers list (in 2011).
    The book is “Between the Two Rivers – A Story of the Armenian Genocide,” by Aida Kouyoumjian (yours truly), Coffeetown Press, Seattle, Washington.
    The book has been in its second edition and this week it was included in a series of courses about the Holocaust and Genocides to be taught at public schools in the State of Washington.
    The story is about Mannig of Adapazar who, after losing her family of eight along the deportation trek, finds herself in the streets of Mosul, Iraq, scavenging for food.
    Eventually, she enters an Armenian orphanage, and at 15, marries one of the benefactors of the orphanage, Mardiros Kouyoumdjian, a prominent family in Baghdad.
    Between the Two Rivers is in its 2nd edition now, and its sequel is being considered for publication.
    Check out my blog:

  9. Some here may not like hearing this, but the French saved the inhabitants… then later sacrificed their country and gifted it to the genocide perpetrators. The French ships saved Armenians? Yes, but not by intent, merely consequentially. So what happened next? They gave Armenians the ultimate betrayal.

    I see no reason to honor these people. In fact I’d rather condemn France for being a cowardly nation which puts the Second Genocide on a higher level than the First Genocide with its make-believe honor.

  10. My Boyadjian family (heritage) from Diyarbakir, Armenia – Turkey has led me to do tremendous research on what your lives and ancestors lives may have consisted of. I do find the political atmosphere disheartening, at best, as I grow older.

    Obama was/is a whimp when it came to the Genocide, period. (mostly due to US interests – air bases etc in Turkey). A vast majority of Americans know nothing of this Genocide that Hilter copied the blue print.

    France, LORDY, they are confusing at best. There are plenty of political interest there as well.

    I apologize for non-Armenian Americans and being unaware, ignorant and not providing help in any way to assist in pushing the recognition. I suppose many here in the US are of the mind “if it is not my backyard, I don’t have concern”. So myopic and sad. I love though – Do you think this organization is good for Armenian Causes or is it just flash for Americans? What are a couple of other organizations that would benefit Armenians that I could also be a part of?

    Hagop, D – I tend to agree with you.

    For those who say stop Whining –
    SERIOUSLY ? You mean spirited, arrogant, pigs. Period! You should have been a Jew in Germany during that Genocide. Many would love to have held a piece of bread before your lips and let you beg before your last breath.

    I believe all the smoke and mirrors that the “Turkeys” continue to shuffle will come to a head soon. Unfortunately all the records of Armenians living on the lands of the Turks will be wiped out. Right now, Turks are actively destroying Armenian records from the archives etc. Right now!

    Anyway, the rescuers being honored may have been honorable men but the govt’ they work (ed) for was not.

    Holly (Boyadjian-my grandmother)

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