Armenians and Jews are similar for a variety of reasons – one being that both nations fell victim to genocide. The Armenian Genocide, which was perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey, took place in 1915. Approximately 1.5 million Armenians were exterminated on their homeland. The goal was not only to exterminate Armenians, but to wipe Armenia off the map, leaving no trace of Armenian history behind. Thousands of monuments, both ancient and contemporary, were demolished. Thousands of Greeks and Assyrians also fell victim to genocide during this same period. Approximately 30 years later, Nazi Germany began exterminating its indigenous Jewish population. Hitler supposedly remarked, “who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” when carrying out his final solution. Being all too familiar with mass extermination pogroms, some Armenians actually helped Jews escape death (24 Armenians have been awarded by the Israeli Government as “Righteous Among the Nations”).
The Holocaust Memorial in Yerevan is a symbol of solidarity between the two nations. The Memorial has a bilingual inscription which states “To live and never forget: In memory of the victims of both the Armenian Genocide and Jewish Holocaust. (translated from Armenian)”. The Memorial is quite hidden – it is located in Paplovok Park, at the corner of Teryan and Moskovyan Streets. I wholeheartedly recommend visiting this Memorial as it is significant for obvious reasons.
Important to note: The Assyrian Genocide Memorial is located nearby at the intersection of Nalbandyan and Moskovyan Streets. The Armenian Genocide Museum is also a must visit.