The Saga of Simon Goenden

Hamo Moskofian, by phone, Beirut-Germany-Canada, 12 July 2010

Born as Alevi Nureddin, Baptized as Darontsi Simon

Simon Goenden and family

Hamo Moskofian, by phone, Beirut-Germany-Canada, 12 July 2010

Born as Alevi Nureddin, Baptized as Darontsi Simon

Simon Goenden and family

In one of the narrow streets of the German city of Wiesbaden, near the Varto grocery store and Ani restaurant, owned by Mush and Daron convert Armenians, stands the home of Simon Goenden. Born in the historic Armenian village of “Karmir Khach” (Kzel aghaj) as Alevi Nureddin, he came to Germany to find work and to help his family of 10 children and parents. They were financially ruined because their sons and father raised arms against Turkish oppression, racism and turkification, as members of the Kurdistan workers party (PKK). During that struggle, they lost an elder brother and Simon's uncle. Simon's father was arrested and tortured by Turkish soldiers.

“We realized that we were Armenians, survivors of Genocide and massacre by the Turkish state and our only way of survival was struggle–at the beginning through the Kurdish revolutionary movements, then through the help of our brethren in Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora,” said Simon during our first meeting four years ago in Germany. While Mush native Armen, whom we met at “Sasna Doun” (Home of Sassoun) in Yerevan, translated to us the message of Ocalan (Apo) to fellow Kurds and PKK members: “Go to Armenians; fall on your knees in front of them and ask pardon for the horrible deeds that your fathers had done to them…”

In Wiesbaden, Mainz, Hattesheim, Koln and Berlin, where thousands of convert Hamshens and “Kurdified” Armenians, Zazas, Kzlbashes, Assyrians, Syriacs and progressive Turks live, Simon established firm contacts with fellow Christian Armenians from Turkey and Lebanon, Iran and Syria. That was the origin of their relationship with lost Armenians–keeping, because of suspicion, some distance from him. Once he even hired a bus, carrying many Alevi and Zaza Armenians, and Assyrians to participate in massive demonstrations for the rights of Armenian minorities in Brussels, the capital of European Union.

Simon’s devotion was not always truly understood by the Christian Armenians of Germany and even by his countrymen and relatives of Mush and Varto. One of them, Weisbaden's Ani restaurant owner, told me, “We are also Armenians, but Simon is nationalist and… religious extremist”, indicating that our hero was baptized by the Armenian spiritual Father of Hessen, Serope Isakhanian who officially accepted him as a member of the Armenian community of Germany.

The fact is that former Alevi Nureddin and today’s Simon Darontsi is the direct bond and relative to the legendary Armenian fedayis, Hrayr Djoghk and Serop Aghbyur. Many of Simon's relatives live on the Land of Western Armenia, Heroic Sassoun and Mush, historical Daron where the creator of the Armenian alphabet Mesrob Mashdotz was born.

  1. May God bless you Hamo Moskofian and the new family

    May God bless you, Hamo Moskofian, and the new family you presented to us. Please let the readers of Keghart know a bit more about you. You may have been baptized as Hamazasb, a legendary freedom fighter in his own right. May your revelations not be a curiosity for us but an awarness that we need to become more accepting in our midst not only to the direct bonds of Hrayr Djogkh or Serop Aghbyur who fired our youthful imagination at one time but also to the others who are connecting to their roots. I hope that they will find in us the support they deserve.
    1. Thank you
      Sireli Hamo.

      Shad shnorhagal em ais badmootian hamar. vorkan tsavali yeghads e ais endanikin gianke antsyalin. sagain aisor anonk veratartsads en mer mech vor shad ourakhali iraganoutioun e mezi hamar.

      Vartsket gadar Hamo. Asdvads oujt aveltsene.

  2. Bless you too!

    Thank You my Dear Brother from the States. May God Bless you too! Your comment made me burst into tears…It seems that our 35 years of struggle is giving fruits…

    Hamo Moskofian

  3. Amazing story

    I was in Istanbul for the first time this past April. 

    I felt at home and alienated at the same time. It is an odd, but expected feeling.

    I noted that half of the people I saw in the streets looked somewhat Armenian. It made me wonder how many others are there like Nureddin Simon. How many Turks have Armenian bloodlines?

    Great story. Thanks for sharing.


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