Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient
IN THE SHADOW OF THE FORTRESS: The Genocide Remembered
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IN THE SHADOW OF THE FORTRESS: The Genocide Remembered

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by Bertha Ketchian

In the Shadow of the Fortress is the story of a young girl born in Hussenig, Western or Ottoman Armenia, just before the Genocide of 1915-1917. Bertha Nakshian Ketchian experienced the horrors of that tragedy with her mother and sister. She witnessed and recorded in her memory the cruelty as well as devotion of neighbors, the hard choices of friends and family as she survived against all odds. Having crossed the desert and spent time in an orphanage supported by American help, Bertha eventually joined her father in Providence, Rhode Island. Her vivid memory, narrative ability, and strong interest in her family's past have prompted this remarkable re-creation. The story is told in the first person. Simple and honest, the style preserves the freshness of the feelings, impressions, and thoughts of a young girl being denied her childhood.