Get Armenians in France essential facts below. View Videos or join the Armenians in France discussion. Add Armenians in France to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Although the first Armenians settled in France in the Middle Ages, like most of the Armenian diaspora, the Armenian community in France was established by survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Others came through the second half of the 20th century, fleeing political and economic instability in the Middle Eastern countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iran) and, more recently, from Armenia.
The contacts between Armenians and the French became frequent during the Crusades. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, located on the north-eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, became of strategic importance to the crusaders en route to Palestine. Armenian kings Oshin and Leo IV are known to have given special trading privileges for the French. In the 14th century, the Hethumids were unable to retain power in Cilician Armenia and following the assassination of Leo IV in 1341, his Lusignan cousin became King of Armenia as Constantine II. The Lusignan kings were of French origin and ruled the country until 1375 when the last king, Leo V, was captured by the Mamluks and taken to Egypt. He was later released and transferred to France where he died in 1393 and was buried at the Basilica of St Denis, the burial place of the French monarchs.
As a result of the Allied victory in the First World War, tens of thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide found themselves living in the French-occupied part of the Ottoman Empire in Cilicia, and far more in the French Mandate territories of Syria and Lebanon, as the death camps of Deir ez-Zor were in Syria. In 1920, the French army under General Henri Gouraud ordered the French Armenian Legion to lay down their weapons and that the Armenian refugees should leave at once. He had formed a "peaceful, reconstructive policy" with the Turkish nationalists to pull French troops out of Cilicia, but all that ended up doing was allowing attacks against Armenian civilians to resume. Most Cilician Armenian fled alongside the French and were resettled in refugee camps in Alexandretta, Aleppo, the Beqaa Valley (e.g. Anjar) and Beirut. From there, entire families took the opportunity to flee to France. The influx of the Armenian Genocide survivors brought tens of thousands of Armenians to France. By the early 1920s, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 Armenians lived in France. According to another source 90,000 genocide survivors settled in France, more than half of whom were villagers.
Most Armenians initially arrived in Marseille, thereafter many of them spread across France and settled in large cities, especially in Paris and the urban areas across the Paris-Marseille railway, notably Lyon. In the Interwar period, the majority of Armenians in France were unskilled villagers that mostly worked in factories for low wages. Between 1922 and 1929 80% of Armenians in France were laborers. They earned 10-15% less than Frenchmen.
Immediately after the Second World War, about 7,000 Armenians repatriated to Soviet Armenia.
Migration of Armenians from the Middle East
Thousands of new immigrants arrived in France from the Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Iran since the 1950s. These new immigrants mobilized the French Armenian community. By the 1980s around 300,000 Armenians lived in France.
As the Institut national d'études démographiques, France's national statistics agency, does not collect data on ethnicity there is no reliable information about the number of French people of Armenian ancestry. Various experts, media and organizations have estimated the number of French Armenians to be 250,000, 300,000, 400,000, 450,000, 500,000, 500,000-700,000, 750,000. As of 2005, there were 12,355 Armenian-born people residing in France.
Today, Armenian classes are organized in many localities with full bilingual kindergartens and primary schools near Paris and Marseille attended by several thousand children and youths. Armenian is currently a valid option counting toward the Baccalaureate, the French High School certificate.
Each of the three Armenian Churches has its own organization in France, three bishoprics (Lyon, Marseille, Paris) depending from the Catholicos of All Armenians, the Eparchy of Sainte-Croix-de-Paris depending from the Armenian Catholic Church, and the Armenian Evangelical Churches Union of France, part of the Armenian Evangelical Church.
The Armenian Social Aid Association, operating Armenian retirement homes, was founded before this period and is unique to France. National institutions, and first and foremost the Armenian Church of Paris founded in 1905, were very soon to co-exist in Paris, playing a fundamental role in defending and protecting the refugees.
There are also umbrella organizations, the Forum des associations arméniennes de France, created in 1991, and the Conseil de coordination des organisations arméniennes de France, new name since 2001 of the « Comité du 24 avril ».
The first Armenian journal in France began publishing in 1855. As of 1991, around two hundred Armenian newspapers and magazines have been published in France, more than any other European country. Currently, the only daily newspaper is Nor Haratch, an independent publication that started publishing on October 27, 2009 on the basis of 2 issues per week. It replaced Haratch (), a daily founded in 1925 by Schavarch Missakian that stopped publication in May 2009.
France is one of the countries that has recognized the Armenian Genocide. There are monuments dedicated to the genocide victims in several cities in France, including Paris, Lyon, and Marseille.
The French Senate passed a bill in 2011 that criminalizes denial of acknowledged genocides, which includes both the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. The bill was submitted by the parliament in 2012. However, the bill was considered unconstitutional on 28 February 2012 by the French Constitutional Court: "The council rules that by punishing anyone contesting the existence of ... crimes that lawmakers themselves recognised or qualified as such, lawmakers committed an unconstitutional attack on freedom of expression,".
According to a 1996 survey in France 69% of respondents were aware of the Armenian Genocide, of which 75% agreed that the French government should officially recognize it.
On 24 April 1965, 10,000 Armenians marched on Champs-Elysées to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the genocide.
Anita Conti (1899-1997), explorer and photographer, first French female oceanographer
Ana Khesarian, a character in The Promise (2016). Pietro A. Shakarian, a PhD candidate in Russian history at Ohio State University, wrote in The Nation that Ana represented the wealth held by the Armenians in France, with her wishes highlighting "affinities of the prosperous Armenian urban class for Europe."
^"Immigration and asylum". Ararat. Armenian General Benevolent Union. 34: 2. 1993. The Armenian Diaspora of France, with almost 300,000 people, is the third largest community of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia itself (the first is in the United States, the second in Russia).
^Buxton, David Roden (1975). Russian Mediaeval Architecture with an Account of the Transcaucasian Styles and Their Influence in the West. New York: Hacker Art Books. p. 100 Reprint of the 1934 ed. published by the Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-87817-005-0.
^Bournoutian, George A. (2005). A concise history of the Armenian people: (from ancient times to the present). p. 254.
^Dédéyan 2007, p. 907: "C'est du même siècle que remonte l'alphabet mesrobien de trente-six lettres, gravé sur une niche de l'église Sainte-Marthe de Tarascon, sans doute par un pèlerin arménien qui se dirigeait vers Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle."
^Aslanian, Sebouh David (2010). From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 76. ISBN978-0-520-94757-3.
^Spary, E.C. (2013). Eating the Enlightenment: Food and the Sciences in Paris, 1670-1760. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 53. ISBN978-0-226-76888-5.
^McCabe, Ina Baghdiantz (2008). Orientalism in Early Modern France: Eurasian Trade, Exoticism and the Ancient Regime. Oxford: Berg. p. 188. ISBN978-1-84520-374-0.
^Barnes, David S. (2006). The Great Stink of Paris and the Nineteenth-Century Struggle Against Filth and Germs. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 149. ISBN978-0-8018-8349-1.
^Jean-Paul Labourdette; Dominique Auzias; Dominique Auzias (2010). Petit Futé Paris, Ile de France (in French). Paris: Le Petit Futé. p. 311. ISBN978-2-7469-2778-0. En 1888, Auguste Ponsot, en voyage dans l'Empire ottoman, se rend en Armenie. Il decouvre que les habitants parfument et desinfectent leurs maisons en faisant bruler du benjoin, la resine d'un arbre. De retour en France, il met au point le papier d'Armenie dans son petit labrotoire de Montrouge.
^Totoricaguena, Gloria (2005). Basque diaspora : migration and transnational identity. Reno: University of Nevada Press. p. 403. ISBN978-1-877802-45-4. France has the largest Armenian community in Europe, estimated at between five hundred thousand and seven hundred thousand ...
^Taylor, Tony (2008). Denial: history betrayed. Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Publishing. p. 4. ISBN978-0-522-85482-4.
^"Alice Sapritch Resume" (in French). L'Express. Retrieved 2014. Alice Sapritch, de son vrai nom Alice Sapric, née le 29 juillet 1916 à Ortaköy à Turquie et morte le 24 mars 1990 à Paris, est une actrice et chanteuse d'origine arménienne naturalisée française.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
^von Voss, Huberta, ed. (2007). Portraits of Hope: Armenians in the Contemporary World (1st English ed.). New York: Berghahn Books. p. 101. ISBN978-1-84545-257-5.
^Marsh, David (2011). The Euro. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 1956. ISBN978-0-300-17390-1. Chirac's appointee as finance minister - effectively No. 2 to the prime minister - was the prime, precisely-worded Edouard Balladur, born in Turkey of an Armenian family who emigrated to Marseille in the 1930s.
^ abLegal Newsletter from France. Kevorkian & Partners. 1: 43. 1995. I am pleased to note that the team also boasted two Armenians, or rather half- Armenians, Youri Djorkaeff, whose mother is Armenian, and Alain Boghossian, whose mother isn't.Missing or empty |title= (help)
Hacikyan, Agop Jack; Basmajian, Gabriel; Franchuk, Edward S.; Ouzounian, Nourhan (2005). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the eighteenth century to modern times. 3. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN978-0-8143-3221-4.