President Armen Sarkissian has sent a letter of condolences to the family of Arsene Tchakarian, the last survivor of a famous group of immigrant workers that fought against the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, who died on August 4 at the age of 101.
“The life of the tough warrior reflects the great tragedies of the 20th century and the spirit of struggle for freedom and justice,” Sarkissian said in his message.
“Enduring the bitter fate of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide and the pain of the great loss of his people, he and a group of other stateless people went against fascism and struggled to the death for the restoration of truth in the post-war years.”
According to the President, Tchakarian’s life experience demonstrates how to remain committed to ideas, the truth and humanity.
Tchakarian, a tailor of Armenian origin, passed away at a hospital near his home in the Paris suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine, where he had lived since 1950, Deutsche Welle reports.
After fighting in the legendary resistance group Manouchian, Tchakarian's historical and memorial tasks occupied him for the rest of his long life. He turned his home in an archival center, spoke at colleges and schools about the Nazi occupation of France, and campaigned for the recognition of the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians as a genocide.
"I'm sort of the last of the Mohicans, as they say," Tchakarian said.
French President Emmanuel Macron paid homage to Tchakarian on Twitter, praising his historical work and calling him "a hero of the resistance and a tireless witness whose voice resounded with force until the end."