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An Armenian Immigrant's Experience in the United States

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An Armenian Immigrant's Experience in the United States


Armenian massacres, 1915-1923.
Emigration and immigration.


Oral history video clip featuring Nazar Melkonian, survivor of the Armenian genocide. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Melkonian, Nazar
MacFarlane, Joan


Tape number: 4127E


video / mp4




Oral History


Armenian massacres, 1915-1923.
Detroit, Michigan, United States.

Oral History Item Type Metadata


MacFarlane, Joan


Melkonian, Nazar


Later on, they made an affidavit; they send it to me. And I came -- not exactly, I didn't come to America. I came to Canada. First I came to Canada, and I stayed there only two or three weeks. This has happened to me in 1923, '22, '23. So I came to Canada, Montreal, Canada. Then from there I came to Windsor, but I knew already they have arrangement, you know. They were going to send somebody -- I came to Windsor, Canada. They already made an arrangement from America that somebody going to come and see you.

So somebody came out there, which I did see them and I knew who he was, from when I was a kid I knew. He said, "You know what, you are going to walk with somebody. You're not gonna -- you can't speak English anyway. You going to walk with somebody. He's going to take you in a boxcar, train boxcar. And don't say anything until you get in the boxcar. So you get in the boxcar, the man says (inaudible)."

The train move, the train move under the water, got out in Jefferson, West Jefferson. I remember it just like. We went under the tunnel, got out at Jefferson. Streetcar was only six cents them days -- I know you weren't around. Six cents the streetcar. The man took me with the streetcar, we came downtown Detroit. Now I escaped from Canada; you know that illegal, because I escaped from United States to -- yeah, Canada. From Canada I escaped to United States.

Anyway, so finally when we got downtown the man says, "Now you are your own, Nazar. You are in United States." So I have an address. My brother's address is Harrington. I don't know what the number is, and I show the cabman. I said -- and I'm not speaking, you know: motion, you know. "Can you take me to this address?" Why, sure, sure he'll take me.

So he brought me to the Harrington. I didn't have the money with me. I walked in the house. "Oh, my God! This is a big man now." Well, I was only little kid, ten years later. I've grown up big man now. So I asked him, "Give me couple dollars." They give me a couple dollars, I hand it over to the cab, and that's what it is. So that's the whole thing.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “An Armenian Immigrant's Experience in the United States,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed July 13, 2020,