Universitatsdrucke Gottingen
, , ,

AUA Adjunct Lecturer Dr. Harutyun Harutyunyan Publishes on Artsakh Heritage

2 min read

On June 9, 2021, Adjunct Lecturer at the American University of Armenia (AUA) Dr. Harutyun Harutyunyan delivered the opening remarks at the “Armenian Cultural Heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh and the Germans” (Das armenische Kulturerbe in Berg-Karabach/Arzach und die Deutschen) Inter-Christian Conference.

The proceedings of the conference, including his remarks, were recently published by Gottingen University Press in a new Armenian- and German-language volume eponymously titled “Armenian Cultural Heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh and the Germans.” Dr. Harutyunyan has actively collaborated on this publication, especially with the sourcing and translation of key documents from Armenian into German.

In the wake of the dreadful outcome of the 2020 Artsakh War, German theologians Martin Tamcke, Andreas Muller, Dagmar Heller, and Egbert Schlarb decided to launch a new initiative featuring the ancient cultural heritage of the Nagorno Karabakh region. They focused on reaffirming the historic intellectual ties among German and Armenian scientists and academic circles, forged through a deep interest in the richness of Armenian culture, a legacy that has been often threatened by conflict, war, and foreign dominance.

The conference included a presentation of treasures rescued from Artsakh and spotlighted the individuals and organizations that have helped the people of Artsakh. These included German-speaking missionaries from Switzerland who lived and worked within the Armenian community of Shushi in the 19th century; Friedrich Heyer and Hermann Goltz, who were both theologians and historians; and Johannes Lepsius, a Protestant missionary and humanist who meticulously documented and condemned the Armenian genocide despite censorship by the German state. 

“The current political and social background of our research area is unfortunately in one of its unluckiest stages,” said Dr. Harutyunyan. “However, in spite of the many challenges and difficulties, there are always moments of hope, when the historical truth wins against destructive ignorance. Therefore, it is important to remember such significant and enlightening moments, especially when we work together with our German and Swiss colleagues on such important academic statements and collective publications.”

The speakers also spotlighted the post-war activities of the Gustav-Adolf NGO in Artsakh, including renovating the damaged evangelical church in Stepanakert and providing psychosocial support to the local community. The conference presentations were delivered by scholars from Germany and Armenia who expressed their unwavering commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh. 

The PDF version of this publication is open source and can be accessed here

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.