Armenia Between 1921 and 1936

From 1921 to 1936 Armenia together with Georgia and Caucasian Azerbaijan formed the Soviet Federative Socialist Republic of Transcaucasia, and from 1936 it became the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia, directly dependent on the central government of Moscow. On a territory of 30,109 sq. Km. lived in 1931 residents 877.870, in 1933 residents 1,109,000, in 1939 residents 1,289,599 and in 1947 about one and a half million. Over half a million Armenians live in other territories of Transcaucasia and the USSR. About one million are spread across Asia, Africa, Europe and America.

Under the Soviet regime, Armenia made remarkable progress in the field of material culture and technology, increased the production of wheat, grapes, cotton and sugar beets and the breeding of livestock, and founded industries (textile in Leninachan, synthetic rubber in Erivan, copper in Alaverdi, wine and dairy products exported to other regions of the USSR). Large-scale electrical installations (the largest is located in Sevan-Zanga) were built to the great benefit of the population and the economy. Erivan has become a large modern city full of monumental buildings; the whole country has benefited from the best health care and the encouragement of public education. The Suntukian State Drama Theater, the Spendiarov music theater are also known outside Armenia; talented composers and conductors have renewed taste and revived national traditions. The natural Armenian artistic genius was able to manifest himself in painting, sculpture and architecture both in Armenia and in other Soviet countries; sciences and letters are cultivated; the Erivan Academy of Sciences is chaired by the archaeologist and orientalist Giuseppe Orbeli. Erivan’s public library has two million books; there are many publications every year in Armenian, Russian and other languages ​​of the Caucasus. Political and cultural activity bears the Soviet mold evident, but this has not prevented the manifestation of national characteristics.

According to topschoolsintheusa, Armenia’s contribution to the Russian military effort in World War II was very notable.

The Armenian Orthodox Church was treated with particular attention by the Soviet authorities. In 1946 Armenian delegates from Asia, Africa, Europe and America were able to travel at the expense of the Soviet government, and meet in Ečmiadsin for the election of the new patriarch (the katholikos) who was chosen in person, of the Archbishop Cheorekgian (now George VI). The successes of the civil and economic revival have also produced a favorable impression on Armenians abroad who do not sympathize with the Soviet regime, and opposed the anti-Soviet propaganda of the nationalist Dashnak party. Indeed, it has happened that in recent years many Armenian refugees abroad, or who had never lived in the territory of the present republic, have flowed into Armenia attracted by the skilful propaganda of their compatriots and the Soviet consular authorities. In 1935, over two thousand Armenians from France, Greece, Bulgaria and America landed in Batum and were sent to repopulate the areas set up in Erivan. After the Second World War the repatriation movement intensified and extended to the Armenians of Constantinople, Hatay, Lebanon and Syria where very numerous colonies had formed due to the persecutions and events of the First World War. It is estimated that in 1947 ten thousand Armenians, mostly from the lower classes, left Turkey, Lebanon and Syria to go to Armenia.

Little is known for sure about the internal situation of Armenia in the past 27 years; the anti-Soviet sources speak of the suffocation of all resistance to Soviet programs, of the annulment of the freedom of drastic purges until 1936. In international politics, Armenia has returned to discussion only in the last three years due to the claims made on the Turkish districts of Kars and Ardahan.

These districts form the eastern part of the Turkish province of Kars, and belonged to the Ottoman Empire from the 10th century. XVI to 1788. Ceded in that year to Russia, they were returned to Turkey in 1917 with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; disputed by the Armenian national republic in 1918-19, as territories that were once part of historical Armenia, although almost completely cleared of the Armenians as a result of persecutions and war actions, they were occupied by the Turkish troops of the eastern front in 1920. The Armenian national republic accepted with the Treaty of Alexandroupolis the new border, the current one, which was confirmed with the Turkish-Russian treaty of Kars of March 1921. Today’s Armenian claims are supported by the Soviet government; Armenian associations abroad also support them; L’ Armenian Council of America in 1945 presented a memorandum to the San Francisco congress for the organization of peace; in it the border proposed by Wilson in 1920 is claimed for Armenia and also includes the Anatolian provinces of Trebizond, Van and Erzerum in Armenia.

Armenia Between 1921 and 1936