Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Simon Vratsian
Simon Vratsian was born in 1882 in Great Sala village of New Nakhichevan, Russia and died in 1969 in Beirut, Lebanon. He was an Armenian political figure and the last Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Armenia.
After education at Armenian and Russian schools he joined the Dashnak party. He received further education at the Gevorgian seminary from 1900 to 1906. Vratsian returned to Nor Nakhichevan as Dashnak party worker and took part in the 4th general congress of Dashnaktsutiun at Vienna in 1907; where he supported the adoption of socialism.
In 1908 he travelled to St. Petersburg to study law and education. He travelled to the United States in 1911 where he edited the Hairenik newspaper. In 1914 he made his way to the 8th general congress of Dashnaktsutiun in Turkey. He was elected to the party's Bureau and mixed with the leaders of the Young Turks. In August 1914 he was jailed as a Russian spy, but escaped to Transcaucasia, where he became involved with the Armenian volunteer units who fought with the Russian army. After the disbandment of the units he attended the Moscow state conference, the Armenian National Congress, and was elected a member of the National Council. Hovhannes Qajaznuni asked him to accompany him on his tour of Europe and America in 1919, but he was refused a visa by the British as they saw him as a radical socialist. In the same year he was appointed to ministry of labour, agriculture and state positions in Aleksandr Khatisyan's Cabinet. His positions carried over to the government of Hamo Ohanjanyan; he also assumed responsibilities for information and propaganda. After the resignation of the government and the failure of Hovhannes Qajaznuni to form a coalition, Vratsian accepted post of Prime Minister on 24 November 1920. On 2 December he handed over Armenia to the Bolsheviks. He subsequently went into hiding, and later emerged as President of the Committee for the Salvation of the Fatherland. He also appealed to Europe and Turkey for assistance against the Bolsheviks. Vratsian then travelled over Europe, settling in Paris to edit the Droshak from 1923 to 1925. In 1945 he presented a petition to the UN General Assembly at San Francisco demanding the restoration of Wilsonian Armenia held by Turkey to Armenia.
During his lifetime he edited various now defunct Armenian periodicals and newspapers, including Harach and Horizon.

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