Hovhannes Kajaznuni

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Hovhannes Kajaznuni
Յովհաննէս Քաջազնունի
Hovhannes Katchaznouni.JPG
1st Prime Minister of Armenia
In office
30 May 1918 – 28 May 1919
Preceded by position established
Succeeded by Alexander Khatisyan
Chairman of the National Assembly of Armenia
In office
4 November 1920 – 2 December 1920
Preceded by Avetik Sahakyan
Succeeded by Soviet Armenia
Personal details
Born (1868-02-01)February 1, 1868
Akhaltsikhe, Tiflis Governorate, Russian Empire
Died 1938 (aged 69–70)
Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Armenian
Political party Armenian Revolutionary Federation

Hovhannes Kajaznuni, or Hovhannes Katchaznouni (Armenian: Յովհաննէս Քաջազնունի) (1 February 1868 – 1938) was the first Prime Minister of the First Republic of Armenia from May 30, 1918 to May 28, 1919. He was a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

Personal life[edit]

Hovhannes Kajaznuni was born in 1868 in the town of Akhaltsikhe, then part of the Russian Empire, now part of Georgia. He attended secondary school in Tiflis from 1877 to 1886. In 1887 he moved to St. Petersburg and entered the Citizens' Architectural Institute, graduating with honors in 1893. In St. Petersburg he joined the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, eventually becoming one of its most important members. After graduation, he worked at the construction department of the Baku provincial administration (1893-1895), as an architect in Batumi (1895–1897), and as regional architect at the Tiflis provincial administration (1897-1899). Between 1899 and 1906 he worked as a senior architect in Baku, designing hospitals and apartment buildings. After 1906 he devoted himself to political and social activities.[1]

He was forced to leave the Caucasus in 1911 to avoid being called to St. Petersburg to testify at the "Armenian Revolutionary Federation trial" mounted by the Russian government. He lived in Constantinople and then in Van until 1914, when he returned to the Caucasus. He became a member of the Armenian National Council in 1917 and was an A.R.F. representative in the Seym (the Transcaucasian Parliament) until 1918. He was on the Armenian delegation that conducted peace talks with the Ottoman Empire in Trabzon and Batoum. After the dissolution of the Transcaucasian Federation, he became the first Prime Minister of the independent Armenian state in 1918. He held this position until August 1919. He was in diplomatic missions in Europe and the United States during 1919 and early 1920. He returned to Armenia and he was arrested after the Bolsheviks came to power in December 1920, but was liberated by the February 1921 revolt against the Soviet regime. After its end in early April, he left the country and lived in Bucharest from 1921-1924. In 1925 he returned to Soviet Armenia and worked as an architect in Leninakan. He also taught at the technical department of Yerevan State University, lecturing on construction and architecture. In 1930 he joined the newly established Construction Institute and attained the title of professor there.

Kajaznuni became a victim of Stalin's Great Terror. He was arrested in 1937 and imprisoned. He died in prison in 1938, although the exact date of his death is unknown.[2]

Report to the 1923 ARF Congress[edit]

Kajaznuni prepared a critical report for the April 1923 ARF convention in Bucharest (the 10th Congress of the Party was held in 1924)[3][4] titled "Dashnaktsutyun Has Nothing More to Do," which called for the dissolution of the Party and Armenian support of Soviet Armenia.[5][6][7][8] It has been claimed that the convention of 1923 was "highly secret and closed to the public",[9] which was common for party gatherings. Kajaznuni published his report in Vienna (1923). In the same year, it was republished by non-A.R.F. circles in Tbilisi, Alexandria (Egypt), and Bucarest.[10] Its claims immediately drew rebuke from the party.[11][12][13][14] Until recently, the report was available through its abridged English translation by Matthew Aram Callender, The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnagtzoutiun) Has Nothing to Do Any More, edited by Avedis Boghos Derounian, and published by the Armenian Information Service, directed by the latter.[15] The Armenian original was reprinted twice in Yerevan in 1994 and 1995, and copies of different editions are available through major Armenian libraries worldwide.

In 2007 Turkish historian Mehmet Perinçek,[16] son of politician Doğu Perinçek, the first person to be convicted by a court of law for denial of the Armenian Genocide, claimed to have produced a new Turkish and English translation of the full text, based on a reportedly unabridged Russian copy (printed in Tbilisi, 1927) held in the Russian State Library in Moscow.[17] This story is disputed by some Armenian intellectuals such as Viken L. Attarian, who claim that all these "discoveries" are actually forgeries of this document, made by alleged Turkish unscrupulous historians to rebuke the fact of the Armenian Genocide,[18] which is proven by the fact that the translations of the text in Turkish, English, and German were published by Kaynak Press, Istanbul, as the first in a book series titled "Ermeni Belgeleriyle Ermeni Soykırımı Yalanı," "The Lie of 'Armenian Genocide' in Armenian Documents" and "Die Lüge vom Genozid an den Armeniern Anhand armenischer Dokumente.", whilst in the version which is translated from the original by Matthew A. Callender Kajaznuni describes what happened as "holocaust" (p. 7) and says:

The second half of 1915 and the entire year of 1916 were periods of hopelessness, desperation and mourning for us. The refugees, all those who had survived the holocaust, were filling Russian provinces by tens and hundreds of thousands.[19]


  • Katchaznouni, Hovhannes (August 1955). John Roy Carlson (Arthur A. Derounian), ed. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnagtzoutiun) Has Nothing to Do Anymore. Matthew A. Callender. New York: Armenian Information Service.  (Book cover), Full text online
  • Ovanes Kachaznuni. The Hundred and Ten Days in Europe. Baku, 1911 (new edition in Russian, Saint Petersburg, 2013)


  1. ^ Edmond Tigranian, Հայ ճարտարապետների գործունեությունը Անդրկովկասում XIX դարի վերջ - XX դարի սկիզբ (Contributions of Armenian Architects in the Transcaucausus at the End of the 19th Century and the Beginning of the 20th Century), Yerevan, 2003, p. 236-241.
  2. ^ Հայկական Հարց Հանրագիտարան (Encyclopedia of the Armenian Question), Yerevan, 1996, p. 456.
  3. ^ Svajian, Stephen G (1977). A trip through historic Armenia. GreenHill. p. 418. ...the manifesto to the 'Dashnag Party Congress' in Bucharest, April 1923.
    His manifesto is entitled, 'Dashnaktzoutune Has Nothing To Do Any More.'
  4. ^ Bast, Oliver (2002). La Perse et la Grande Guerre. Institut français de recherche en Iran. ISBN 978-2-909961-23-1. ...book which was originally 'a manifesto' he had presented to the convention of the foreign branches of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Bucharest, 1923) 
  5. ^ Katchaznouni, Hovhannes (July 1923). Dashnaktsutiune anelik chuni ailevs (in Armenian). Vienna: Mechitarist Press. 
  6. ^ Hovannisian, Richard G. (January 1974). "Dimensions of Democracy and Authority in Caucasian Armenia, 1917-1920". Russian Review (Blackwell Publishing) 33 (1): 37–49. doi:10.2307/127620. JSTOR 127620.  See footnote 12.
  7. ^ Nassibian, Akaby (1984). Britain and the Armenian question, 1915-1923. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-312-09809-4. (Dashnaktsutiun Has Nothing To Do Any More) (Vienna, 1923)  (also London and Sydney: Croom Helm)
  8. ^ Libaridian, Gerard J (September 1991). Armenia at the Crossroads: Democracy and Nationhood in the Post-Soviet Era. Blue Crane Books. p. 20. ISBN 0-9628715-1-6. 
  9. ^ Vosbikian, Joseph (1995-12-16). "The ARF World Congress, Then and Now". Armenian Reporter. As for the 1923 ARF convention and the 1995 26th World Congress of the ARF, both were highly secret and closed to the public; we were solely dependent on the information that has leaked out since and the recent public statements coming from their central bureau. 
  10. ^ See http://www.armunicat.am:8991/ARMA and search for Յովհաննէս Քաջազնունի.
  11. ^ Darbinian, Reuben (1923). Mer Pataskhane H. Kachaznunii (in Armenian). Boston: Hayrenik Tparan.  Translates to "Our Answer/Response to H. Kachaznunii" (author's name also transliterated "Rouben", "Ruben", "Rooben", etc.)
  12. ^ "Books of the Armenian Research Center". Armenian Research Center. University of Michigan. 2003-05-07. Retrieved 2008-08-07. Kachaznuni, [Hovhannes]. H.H. Dashnaktsutiwne anelik chuni aylews [Dashnaks Have Nothing To Do Any More] (Vienna: Mkhitarean Tparan, 1923).
    We also have R. Darbinean's and S. Vratsean's responses...R. Darbinean, Mer pataskhane H. Kazaznunii and S. Vratsean, Kharkhapumner: H. Kajaznunu H.H. Dashnaktsutiwne anelik chuni aylews [girk artiw] [(Boston, MA: Hayreniki Tparan, 1924)], in Box 5 of the St. Sarkis books.
  13. ^ Gakavian, Armen (October 1997). "ARMENIAN DIASPORAN IDENTITY REIMAGINED, 1915-1985". PhD Thesis, Department of Government and Public Administration, University of Sydney. Retrieved 2008-09-02. ...the former Prime Minister of Armenia, Hovhannes Kachaznouni, published a book, The ARF Has Nothing More to Do, and migrated to Soviet Armenia. As the title suggests, Kachaznouni argued that the ARF and the other parties had no role to play in Armenian political life, now that Armenia was Bolshevik. The opponents of the ARF, of course, capitalised on this. In the same year, a response was written to Kachaznouni by high-ranking party member Rouben Darbinian, who argued that Kachaznouni was wrong to give up hope, because Sovietisation would be short lived, and the ARF needed to continue the struggle for freedom. 
  14. ^ Derogy, Jacques (1990). Resistance and Revenge. Transaction. p. 167. ISBN 0-88738-338-6. April 11[, 1923]. Letter from Shahan Natali to the Boston committee:
    I was informed too late to be able to express my view towards the item put on the agenda of the next interim conference in Vienna; the position of the Party toward the sovietization of Armenia. You are not without responsibility for this delay, which has prevented me from making the party return to its revolutionary line.
  15. ^ Imprinted on the cover of the booklet: "Published by the Armenian Information Service, Suite 7D, 471 Park Ave., New York 22."
  16. ^ "Doktora: 2007-2008". ÖĞRENCİLER. İ.Ü. Atatürk İlkeleri ve İnkılap Tarihi Enstitüsü. 2007-11-23. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  17. ^ Özdemir, Sadi (2007-11-02). "Ermeni isyanını Perinçek buldu İTO ABD’ye gönderiyor". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  18. ^ Hovhannes Katchaznouni - the Intellectual Politician and Unique Patriot (A Lecture in Armenian). By Viken L. Attarian, P. Eng. MSc MBA, Montreal
  19. ^ The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Has Nothing To Do Any More: The Manifesto of Hovhannes Kajaznuni. New York 1955. p.7
Political offices
Preceded by
Prime Minister of the First Republic of Armenia
Succeeded by
Alexander Khatisyan