Sunday, June 15, 2008

John Roy Carlson (Arthur Derounian): Under Cover

By Solomonia

John Roy Carlson is a name mostly forgotten, though it deserves to be remembered. In brief, Carlson was the pen name for a guy named Arthur Derounian, an Armenian from Alexandria, Greece who moved to the US as a young man with his family in 1921. Having experienced life in a region of war-torn ethnic strife, Carlson (for simplicity, I will refer to him by the name he wrote under) fell in love with America, with democracy, with all the nation stood for (and, as his later career would show, a philosemite). He made good, worked hard, and attended the Columbia J-school (in the days before it turned you into the enemy, haha).

An incident in 1933 was formative. He witnessed the assassination of a beloved Armenian priest right there in the aisle of a New York church perpetrated by members of an Armenian political party. The incident hammered home to Carlson that two oceans were not enough to keep the political violence of the Old World away from his beloved new home. That home needed active protection on the part of those, like himself, who knew the dangers that were out there.

Arthur Derounian passed away in 1991 at the age of 82 while doing research in the library of the American Jewish Committee in New York.

[Read Article...]

Comment: My father was singing in New York in the Armenian chorus when right in front of them the Armenian priest was killed. He told me about it when I was a boy. Now I know why he kept distance from the Armenian political parties. My father with his family was marched into the Syrian desert, with family members dying all around him, then he comes to America and has to see one Armenian killing another in front of him in the church.

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