www.dorasakayan.com > selected reviews > Yerevan State University (2007)
Witnesses of the Armenian Genocide
Grabs (Switzerland). The written testimonies of Clara and Fritz Sigrist-Hilty from Werdenberg on the Armenian Genocide during WWI have been published. Last evening the book was launched.
These days, the city of Aleppo is the focus of the Syrian conflict. One-hundred years ago, during the Armenian Genocide, it was the epicenter of the deportation routes. From 1915 to 1918, Clara and Fritz Sigrist-Hilty were forced to watch from their house in Keller (today Fevzipasha), a town next to Aleppo, “the never-ending procession of the Armenian death marches” and to see “the lapsing of human lights down there in the steep gorge,” while in their secluded little house they lived their everyday life, and in their “cozy little room” they enjoyed the happiness of family life.
Yesterday, under the auspices of the Werdenberg Yearbook, a launch was held for Dora Sakayan’s new book Man treibt sie in die Wüste: Clara und Fritz Sigrist-Hilty als Augenzeugen des Völkermordes an den Armeniern 1915–1918, (translated as “They drive them into the desert: Clara and Fritz Sigrist-Hilty as eyewitnesses of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1918”), which was published by Limmat-Verlag, Zürich.
The 85-year-old Sakayan, born in Saloniki as a child of Armenian refugees from Anatolia, is a scholar in the fields of Germanic linguistics and Armenolgy. She has now thoroughly examined and processed most of Clara and Fritz Sigrist-Hilty’s literary heritage, which their son Rudolf Sigrist-Clalüna bequeathed to the Archive of Modern History at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH) in 2005. Sakayan also used the Armenian Dante-Inferno, a book published in Beirut in 1970 by Haig Aramian, the only Armenian worker on the construction of the Bagdad Railway, whose life Clara and Fritz Sigrist-Hilty could save.
Translated from German by Dora Sakayan
Werdenberger & Obertoggenburger
27 October 2016