Anahid Ter Minassian (1929-2019): By way of a tribute
Some deaths are trascendant; they point to something larger beyond the individual life.
The death of Anahide Ter Minassian–in whom the historian, the person of action, and the tender nurturer cohabited a common psychological space–on February 11 is one such event. It spans the decades of Armenian life after the genocide, and with her passing, an entire period in the diaspora of Europe comes to an end, a period anchored in Paris and sustained by the work–material and cultural– of the refugees, exiles, displaced persons, all remnants of the genocide: the Missakians, the Ter Minassians, the Samuelians, and less directly the Aznavourians; the factory workers, the skilled laborers, the seamstresses, among others.
Almost all were survivors of some kind, refugees, displaced persons, exiles carrying the horrors of the genocide and the indignities of resettlement, people who tried to rebuild their lives and their communities–clubs, newspapers, bookstores, theater groups and choirs.
The grief for her passing is also a collective mourning for the end of that era and its substantial achievements. Anahide Ter Minassian was one of the most vocal and original figures of that generation, and the one with the most energetic life. Till the very end, her heart and mind were generous, her laughter sharp and voluminous, and her spirit buoyant and utterly free of sentimentality.
Anahide belonged to another age, and it is that age over whose eclipse we weep now.~