The Chitjian Foundation is dedicated to preserving the memory of genocide survivor Hampartzoum Chitjian (1901 – 2002) with the intention of spreading awareness and recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

A 100 Year Legacy

Sara Chitjian expresses her father’s message for the value of unity and Genocide Awareness.

“This collection is a sharp reminder of the “significance of the loss.” Until his last breath, the nightmares of his struggle to survive as an incognito Turk continued as he was confronted with the unbelievable “denial.”  Not only did Turkey deny history, a country that is known not to honor the rights of all humans, but also the United States, a country he chose to honor and support.  A country that also dismissed its own constitutional ethics of honoring the essence of the human rights of all people, something that he personally witnessed. That was the ultimate blow!” – Zaruhy Sara Chitjian

“This website reflects the Legacy of two Armenian Genocide Survivors from the Turkish Atrocities in 1915” – Sara Chitjian

University Affiliations

The Chitjian Foundation archives will be permanently located at CSUN, the largest campus by enrollment in the California State University system. Students of Armenian descent consistently number between 8 and 10 percent of the overall student body. CSUN has the largest number of Armenian students in any four year university outside of Armenia.  

The Armenia studies Program at CSUN has three specific objectives: To promote Armenian Culture, to prepare the new generation of scholars and to prepare students to become teachers of Armenian subjects.

The Chitjian Foundation is in long term partnership with the USC Institute of Armenian studies whose mission is to advance and promote multidisciplinary scholarship and collaboration that probes the social, cultural, educational, and political challenges impacting Armenian communities in the Diaspora and the Republic of Armenia. In an effort to re-define and study the complex issues that make up the diverse contemporary Armenian experience, the Institute encourages research, public service, and relationships among global Armenian communities.

The Research Program in Armenian Archaeology and Ethnography was created through the long-term partnership with The Chitjian Foundation and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology in 2013. As one of its core tenets, the Research Program seeks to address the development of interdisciplinary studies in the Social Sciences and the Humanities based on a broad inclusion of Armenian material, together with issues of preservation of Armenian cultural heritage. This approach is the main venue to integrate Armenian Studies in world scholarship and to identify new methods and strategies that would lead to an expansion and recognition of these studies.

Through its world-class academic programs, research centers, student services, and community outreach, the American University of Armenia will have a transformative impact on people’s social, economic, political and intellectual capacities to meet the challenges of a globalized world. Our faculty and staff will inspire students to advance knowledge and become responsible citizens and leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship.

A Hair’s Breadth From Death

The Memoirs of Hampartzoum Mardiros Chitjian, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. This Book is available for free, downloadable in the following languages: English, Armenian, Turkish, Russian, Spanish, French, German, Chinese. Feel free to click the book of your choice below:

“A Hair’s Breadth from Death is one of the most important first person accounts of the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath.”

– Ara Sarafian (British historian and founding director of the Gomidas Institute in London.)

“One never survives from a Genocide. You may escape physically, but your mind and soul are tormented forever”

– Hampartzoum Chitjian

The Hampartzoum and Ovsanna Chitjian Family

The Chitjian family archive of photos has been organized by decade. To view this collection of photographs dating back to the 1890’s Click Here.

1915 – Malatya

Ovsanna Piloyan on the far right

1980 – Los Angeles

Hampartzoum & Ovsanna

1919 – Kharput

Hampartzoum & younger brother Kerop

“There are few countries which have made, for their size, such an outstanding contribution to civilization as has Armenia, while remaining virtually unknown to the western world.”

– David Marshall Lang (Esteemed British scholar)

How Ironic that Raphael Lemkin created the word “Genocide” because of the 1915 Armenian massacres yet it is still denied by the government of Turkey today!

Armenians are an indigenous people of the Anatolia region for many thousands of years, history and DNA evidence of 5,000 year old bones confirm this. Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity and its people built some of the oldest churches in the world, many of which are still in use today. The motive of the Ottoman Muslim Turkish government to eradicate the indigenous Christian Armenian population coincides with all other Genocidal ambitions that proceeded it or is being perpetrated somewhere in the world today.        When will humanity become wise to celebrate  our human diversity instead of fear and destroy it? 

To My Dear Reader

The last words of Hampartzoum Chitjian

“Lyre resonate your tunes for the whole world to hear,

about the persecuted Armenians, the mortally wounded.

Groan as you cry, with so much affliction, so much evil.

With so much blood, we have shed so many tears.

If our descendants forget this much grief,

let the whole world dishonor the Armenians…”

– Hampartzoum Chitjian