The Armenians of Marseille, a community driven by memory

When she was little, Astrid Artin was paralyzed by her grandfather, hard and rigid, to whom he sometimes, in fits of anger, threw plates on the floor. Or to start shaking, head in hands, in front of a dish of grilled meats.

Why had he started crying that Sunday, when the weather was so fine and everyone was so cheerful? “Because of the chops. They had reminded him of the gnawed bones that the Bedouins, who had kidnapped him half dead from hunger and thirst in the Syrian desert, threw at him like a dog. »

Astrid’s grandfather was called Sahag Artin-Keusseyan. He never returned to Anatolia. He never saw his village, Kantaros, nor the orange mountains and sparkling lakes of his native region of Sivas again. Of his life before, he confided only snippets to his family: the herd of sheep, the farm, the laughter of his brothers and sisters, then the long lines of deportees, the death marches in the desert. .

His sister who begs him to urinate so that she can moisten her lips, the Euphrates red with the blood of the corpses that the gendarmes threw there. Three countries crossed, on foot, before the final destination, the concentration camp of Deir ez-Zor, in Syria, from where he managed to escape, before being kidnapped by Kurds, then Bedouins, and landing in Iraq, in a refugee camp, from where he finally manages to reach France, after nine years of wandering.

Thousands of survivors landed

How do you survive a genocide

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Source : Nouvelobs

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