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Hunchakian
Martyrs

Matteos Sarkissian (Paramaz)Matteos Sarkissian
(Paramaz)

Matteos Sarkissian was born in 1863, Meghri.

Matteos Sarkissian attends Meghri’s local schools, and by the age of sixteen transfers to the Kevorkian Seminary of Echmiadzin. In 1883, with the intention of teaching, he travels to the Nakhechevan region. There, he is introduced to a fellow teacher Stepan Sabah-Goulian. During his years as a teacher Matteos Sarkissian increases his intellect by constantly studying. By early 1890’s he devotes himself with the revolutionary politics of the Hunchakian Party and adopts the nickname of Paramaz.

During this time Paramaz not only continues his profession as a teacher but he also promotes the revolutionary ideas of the Hunchakian party in many of the notable Armenian villages of Iran (Ardabeel, Pahashoug, Salmasd, etc…). In addition, while in Iran Paramaz becomes the chief advisor to newly created fedayee groups, and in Salmasd he forcefully punishes those responsible for the assassination of Zolab Sargesian.

In the summer of 1897, Paramaz, along forty of his colleagues travels to Van where he is eventually arrested as a revolutionary. In August of 1898, during the trial, Paramaz proves that it is the government officials greed that instigate the people to revolt. In addition, he substantiates that during the last four years, over 175,000 Armenians have been massacred, over 80,000 families have been robbed, and over 250 villages have been burned. Despite his intrepid speeches and testimony the court sentences Paramaz to death, but being that he is a Russian citizen and through the efforts of the Russian consulate, Paramaz is handed over to the Russian Government where he remains in jail till 1900.

Matteos Sarkissian (Paramaz)After his release in the early 1900, Paramaz establishes an anti-Tsarist movement in the central Caucasus, and heads a group of Armenians who urge the Catholicos Khreamian Hayreeg to resist the orders of the Tsarist government and hold on to the treasured relics of the Armenian Church.

In 1903, under the order of the Hunchakian central committee of Baku, Paramaz organizes the famous assassination attempt of Russian governor Golitsyn. Although Golitsyn does not die from his wounds, the assassination attempt is seen as a productive step in warning that no enemy of the Armenian people is out of harm's way.

From 1905 through 1906, Paramaz leads Hunchakian troops in Erevan, Echmiadzin, Zangezour and Kharabagh in the Armenian-Tatar wars. In Tatar towns he also tries to promote anti-Tsarist sentiment as well as the vision that Armenian and Tatars can and should live together peacefully.

As a administrator for the Hunchakian Party’s Caucasus branches, Paramaz visits Hunchak branches in Iran, Boulgaria, Romania, and other European countries. Through these travels he becomes acquainted with leading leftist theorist and leaders.

With the establishment of a Constitutional Ottoman Empire, Paramaz moves to the Ottoman Empire and moves to establish a anti-Ittihad movement. Through his efforts to establish an anti-Ittihad movement, he travels to Constantinople, Adapazad, Deekranagerd (where he also establishes a workers union), Hayny, Arzny-Maren, Malatia, Kharpert, Aintab, Ourfa, Van, Gareen, etc…. Through these visits he in influential in strengthening the Hunchakian ranks, giving lectures, and is active in promoting Armenian self defence.

Through a pen-name of 'Hayr Seeva', he is an integral part of the newspaper 'Arevelk' in the Ottoman Empire. His writings were also included in the organ of the executive committee of the Hunchakian party, Hunchak, and through his writing the revolutionary and political life of Armenians, and Armenian organizations are reinforce.

Paramaz participates in the 7th General Convention of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, in Costanta, Romania, 1913. At the convention Paramaz is elected in the Central Committee, as well as given the task of organizing a covert operation of assassinating the leaders of the Young Turk Ittihad government.

Regrettably the resolutions of the convention were given to the Young Turk Government by an Armenian spy, and Paramaz along with other Hunchakian leaders and members is arrested upon his arrival to Constantinople.

Paramaz Statue - Beirut, Lebanon After spending two years in the horror known as Turkish jails that included lengthy interrogations as well as torture and a mock trial, Paramaz was sentenced to death by the court along with 20 other members.

On June 15, 1915, Paramaz along with 19 other prominent Hunchakian leaders were hung in the central square of Constantinople1.

Before his hanging Paramaz stayed true to his principles and declared to his executioners, you can only hang our bodies, but not our philosophy.
 

1. Stepan Sabah-Goulian was fortunate to escape jail, but was also condemned to death in absentia.

Monument of Paramaz Officially Opened in Meghri’s Central Square

Paramaz Statue - Meghri, Armenia

A monument of a great Armenian freedom fighter and representative of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, Paramaz (Matteos Sarkissian) was officially opened on Saturday, 16 June 2001 in the main square of Meghri, Armenia.

Paramaz and 19 other fellow Hunchak members were hung in the central square of Constantinople on June 15, 1915. The monument also commemorates 19 freedom fighters from Meghri who died in the Karabakh war.

The opening of the statue was attended by the city administration, the head of the Syunik Diocese of the Armenian Church, members of the Social Democrat Hunchakian party, as well as ordinary citizens of Meghri and countless Armenians from the Diaspora.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright© 2005 S.D.H.P. Australian Leadership