Food Procurement Methods during the Armenian Genocide as Expressions of “Unarmed Resistance”: Children’s Experiences

Authors

  • Hasmik Grigoryan

Keywords:

Armenian Genocide, Holocaust, children, unarmed resistance, food, memoirs, oral histories

Abstract

The main objective of the article is to discuss whether food procurement methods during the Armenian Genocide could be considered as unarmed resistance. For this purpose, the first part of the article touched upon some scientific questions and the formation of the concept of unarmed resistance in the context of the Holocaust.
Such scientific interest was inspired by the fact that though there had been instances of armed resistance during the Armenian Genocide, fights in self-defense, including those with victorious outcomes, as in Van, nonetheless there existed an opinion that the Armenians were to be blamed, to some extent, to have been “slaughtered like sheep,” i.e. without resistance. For that very reason, the purpose of this article was to offer a scholarly assessment of the concept of “resistance” by suggesting its subcategories as subjects for separate research. Indeed, it is impossible to cover all the viewpoints on the problem and all the forms of resistance within one article; however, this article was an attempt to formulate new queries.
In the second section of the article, an attempt is made to group food procurement methods during the Armenian Genocide and consider them in the context of the concept of unarmed resistance. Special attention is paid to the experiences of children, trying also to identify the types of activities that the social groups were involved in and the extent of involvement. Food acquisition methods that were part of the daily life during the Armenian Genocide are discussed as expressions of conscious and unconscious struggle against the genocidal policy of condemning people to starvation.
The article is based on published memoires and oral histories of the Armenian Genocide survivors.1 Although food procurement methods were diverse, the article offers the most common forms: feeding on wild grass, collecting fruits, berries, and nuts, begging, often referred to by the survivors as life and death struggle.

Author Biography

Hasmik Grigoryan

Ph.D. in History, cultural anthropologist, independent researcher.

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Published

2022-04-05

How to Cite

Grigoryan, H. (2022). Food Procurement Methods during the Armenian Genocide as Expressions of “Unarmed Resistance”: Children’s Experiences. International Journal of Armenian Genocide Studies, 6(2), 40–52. Retrieved from http://agmipublications.am/index.php/ijags/article/view/50