Hayastan All Armenian Fund congratulates Vahakn Dadrian and Wolfgang Gust, among winners of President Prize
Posted on May 20, 2009
The Hayastan All Armenian Fund congratulates all winners of the 2008 President’s Prize, including scholars Vahakn Dadrian and Wolfgang Gust, who were awarded the prestigious prize for their invaluable contributions to the study of the Mets Yeghern as well as efforts to secure worldwide recognition for the first modern case of genocide.

Gust received the President’s Prize for his groundbreaking research of German state archives pertaining to the 1915 Genocide. His landmark study, The Armenian Genocide 1915/16: Documents from the Official German Foreign Office Archives, which appeared in 2005 after over eight years of research, reveals the deep-rooted relations between imperial Germany and the Ottoman Empire during the first part of the 20th century, particularly as documented in the secret correspondence between the German consuls in the field and the ambassador in Istanbul, and between the ambassador and the German Foreign Minister in Berlin.

Gust’s 675-page volume includes 218 secret and top-secret telegrams, letters, and communiqués, based on the edition of Johannes Lepsius. Gust discovered that some documents that implicated the Germans in the Armenian Genocide had been abridged, and some were omitted completely. He has laboriously recreated all these documents in their entirety, thus documenting for the first time the full extent of German complicity, as well as the premeditated nature of the Ottoman genocidal scheme.

A renowned journalist and scholar, Gust has long been dedicated to the study of the Genocide. An Armenian translation of his first work related to the subject, 1993’s The Armenian Genocide: The Tragedy of the Oldest Christian Nation, was published in Armenia in 2002. In recognition of Gust’s achievement, His Holiness Garegin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, bestowed on him the St. Sahak and St. Mashtots medal in 2001.

Professor Vahakn Dadrian, who has devoted almost his entire career to the study of the Armenian Genocide, received the President’s Prize not only for his past achievements but
also for his ongoing research within the field. Dadrian is the author of numerous pioneering studies on the Genocide, German complicity, Turkish denial, parallels between the Genocide and the Holocaust, and related topics. As Director of Genocide Research at the Zoryan Institute in North America for the past ten years, Dadrian worked closely with Gust on his research, and helped many other scholars with materials and with developing their own research projects.

The President’s Prize’s special category, Valuable Contribution to the Recognition of the Genocide, was instituted in 2005. The prize for the category includes a certificate of achievement, a medal, and a monetary award in the amount of $10,000. To date, nine scholars and public figures, including four Armenians, have received the President’s Prize in this category.

Commenting on the President’s Prize phenomenon, Ara Vardanyan, Executive Director of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund, said, “It’s a great honor to acknowledge some of the most accomplished scientists, scholars, and artists of our time, and especially to be able to express our gratitude to those who have contributed so much to the field of Genocide recognition. The Hayastan All Armenian Fund is extremely proud of its role as organizer and coordinator of the President’s Prize competitions and awards ceremonies. We look forward to continuing to build on this tradition, thanks to the support of the Boghossian Foundation.”

Established in 2000 by the Boghossian Foundation, the President’s Prize promotes excellence in the Armenian arts, sciences, and Genocide-recognition efforts. It also includes the President Youth Prize, which awards young talents in various fields. Administered by the Hayastan All Armenian Fund, the juried annual prize is bestowed on recipients by the President of the Republic of Armenia, during a rewards ceremony held at the presidential residence. This year the prize was awarded to 21 individuals, for achievements in one of nine categories.