Most of us, the people of Calcutta, do not have any idea about the existence of the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Calcutta. It is located in the Churchyard of Armenian Church, at no 2 Armenian Street, Calcutta, also known as the Church of the Holy Nazareth. The memorial was built by the Armenian community of Calcutta on 24 April 1965, to mark the 50th anniversary of the great national tragedy, the genocide of the Armenians, when about 1.5 million innocent Armenians were brutally massacred by the Ottoman Turks during and after the Great World War 1914-1918.
The Armenian Genocide is also known as the Armenian Holocaust or the Armenian Massacres. It is traditionally and universally considered by the Armenians as the greatest crime of the Ottoman government, who exterminated its minority Armenian subjects methodically from their historic homeland, the territory, which constituted the present-day Turkey. The massacre took place during and after World War I and was implemented in two phases. Firstly, the mass killing and forced labour of the young male population and secondly, the forced deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm to their deadly marches to the Syrian Desert. The total number of people killed in the process has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million.
24 April is considered as the Armenian Genocide day, because on that day in 1915 about 250 Armenian intellectuals, which include the poets, musicians, publicists, editors, lawyers, doctors, deputies, were arrested in Constantinople under warrants issued by the Turkish authorities and were sent to the interior of Anatolia for imprisonment, where most of them were promptly slaughtered. The extermination of the Armenian Intellectuals was, in fact, the part of a systematic, brutal plan to annihilate the Armenians in their homeland. It was the first state-planned Genocide of the 20th century.
Armenians all over the world observe 24 April as the Armenian Genocide Remembrance day, the day of the great national tragedy, and the Armenian community of Calcutta is not an exception to it.