Abraham Giulkhandanian (1875–1946)
Born in Vagharshabad, Ejmiatzin, Giulkhandanian studied at the Gevorgian Seminary and later in Russia at the Yaroslavl Law School. He joined the ARF in 1894, and in 1898 went to Baku on business, remaining there for many years, devoting himself to ARF work.
Giulkhandanian became a member of the ARF Central Committee of Baku in 1902, continuing uninterrupted in that capacity until 1908. During that period, he established close ties between the ARF and Armenian oil well laborers in Baku, earning the respect of Armenians from all classes of society as well as non-Armenians.
An active leader in Baku during the Armeno-Tatar clashes of 1905–1906, he also led the Armenian defense in the Gandzak province (present-day Gyanja, in Azerbaijan).
In 1908, he became a member of the ARF’s Eastern Bureau and helped coordinate ARF activities throughout the Caucasus. He was arrested in April 1910, during anti-ARF persecutions headed by government prosecutor Prince Leizhin, and was not freed until 1912. He moved to Yerevan after his release.
In 1914–15, he became a member of the organizing committee of the Armenian Volunteer Movement. In 1918, he returned to Baku, where, with Rostom and other leaders, he helped conduct the heroic defense of the town.
Giulkhandanian served as a member of parliament independent Armenia, later becoming Minister of Justice in Aleksandr Khatisian’s cabinet, and subsequently Minister of the Interior. He was also part of Khatisian’s delegation that signed the Treaty of Alexandropol with the Bolsheviks in December 1920.
After the Sovietization of Armenia, Giulkhandanian fled to Romania. He eventually settled in Paris as a member of the ARF Bureau, taking charge of organizing the party archives.
An active writer for the rest of his life, Giulkhandanian published numerous books, articles, and memoirs regarding the Caucasus, the Armeno-Tatar conflict, Armenian revolutionary women, and ARF history.
During World War II, he was vice-president of the Armenian National Council in Berlin, and took part in the delegation that negotiated with Germany to form an Armenian regiment in the Caucasus composed of captured Armenian POWs.
He died in France. He was 71.