BETRAYAL: the Promise Never Kept

Betrayal: The Promise Never KeptBETRAYAL: The Promise Never Kept is an untold story of the Armenian Genocide. The book was compiled by Sylva  Natalie Manoogian and Ara Khachig Manoogian, using Shahan Natalie’s unpublished notes,  intelligence documents, censored pages from Soghomon Tehlirian’s memoirs and so on.

This book is dedicated to Shahan Natalie, Soghomon Tehlirian and all those who attempted to keep the promise that was made to the Armenian people by its leaders and those who today continue this important work.

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The story this book tells is not traditional. It is not another tale passed on from one generation to the next, painting the Armenians as victims of a Genocide. Nor is it a story many are waiting to hear about the details of the implementation of Operation Nemesis my grandfather led – the termination of the top Young Turk leaders directly responsible for carrying out the Genocide that resulted in the loss of 1.5 million Armenians. Although the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide were sentenced to death by the Turkish courts-martial of 1919-1920, no world power cared to put the verdict into action. At the same time, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the leading the government of the First Republic of Armenia, adopted a deliberately passive stance with regard to the issue.

Nevertheless, that account, penned by my grandfather back in 1922, will be published in the near future.

When I was 5 years old, my family boarded an airplane from Los Angeles and headed to my grandparents’ home in Watertown, Massachusetts. Although we had made such trips before, this one was special. What made it different was that my parents had a mission to get my 87-year-old grandfather to tell his grandchildren the story of his life and, most notably, how he was able to put an end to the Armenian Genocide by handing out justice to those who had betrayed our people. Recorded on a tape, his account was originally meant to educate my brothers and me about these crucial events lest we should be brainwashed by the mainstream Armenian media. My grandfather’s enemies had spun their own version of the story tainted with inaccuracies. And they were using all their powers to make it the only true account.

As a child, I was raised to believe that there is nothing more important than justice. This was instilled in me and my siblings by my parents and grandparents, not just in words but by example. This book is an attempt to materialize that ideal.

Betrayal presents documents about what led to and followed the arrest and the execution of the Armenian leaders and intellectuals on April 24, 1915, by the orders of Talât Paşa, Minister of the Interior. This book reveals the Armenian revolutionary leaders’ betrayal of their own promise to the Armenian people: unite the forces of the Armenian people, achieve political and economic freedom for Western Armenia.

Many of the pages to follow are from my grandfather’s archive, which he allowed us to share with the world after his death. We have also incorporated documents from years of research I have done as an investigative journalist to corroborate my grandfather’s statements, including those recorded by my father during our trip to Watertown, when I was 5 years old.

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