PARAMUS, N.J. — Most Armenians are familiar with Franz Werfel’s book, The 40 Days of Musa Dagh, detailing the true story of six villages that resisted the Turkish army on the Mountain of Moses (Musa Dagh). Now, an illustrated children’s book has been published by the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), to reach a younger audience of Armenians.
The Hero of Musa Dagh highlights the efforts of Badveli (Reverend) Dikran Antreassian, who organized the villagers to fight the Turks with limited supplies and weapons. After 53 days, the villagers were rescued by a French warship and taken to Port Said, Egypt. The story is told by former Judge, M. Kay Nanian, and illustrated by Mariam Dashtoyan, an art and theater student in Yerevan, Armenia.
Werfel’s book, published in 1933 in Austria, served as the inspiration for the Warsaw Ghetto revolt in 1943 by the Jews against their Nazi captors. The book was initially written in German and was banned by Adolf Hitler. The following year, it was published in Hebrew and had a profound impact on the Jews in European ghettos. The book was later made into a movie in 1982 and was incorporated into the second half of the movie, The Promise in 2016.
The children’s book is available for $10 plus S & H at the AMAA website: https://amaa.org/featuredbooks/