By Josh DeHaas
MONTREAL (CTV) — A Montreal woman believed to have been the last documented Canadian to have survived the Armenian Genocide died on Thursday, January 19, just weeks shy of her 108th birthday.
Born in 1909, Knar Bohjelian Yemenidjian was only six years old in 1915 when the Ottoman Turks began their massacre. An estimated 1.5 million people were killed.
Yemenidjian’s niece, Nazan Artinian, says that she learned much of what she knows about the Genocide from her aunt Knar, because other family members were unable to discuss the atrocities.
Artinian says her aunt and mother survived initially only because Yemenidjian’s father (Artinian’s grandfather) was warned by a Turkish friend that “all the Armenians are going to be killed.”
The friend told him, according to Artinian, “If you want to live, leave your house, take your family and go to this farm and hide yourself there.”