Kasbarian: The Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Genocides: An Inconvenient Truth

Recent articles in the mainstream media would have us believe that governments around the world somehow question the factuality of the 1915 Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Genocides committed by Turkey. These articles would also have us believe that the Turkish government’s latest temper tantrums over these genocides are justified. Turkey, of course, just recalled its ambassadors to protest the passage of resolutions by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee and the Swedish Parliament that acknowledged Turkish culpability for these genocides.

Despite what today’s mainstream media are declaring, the evidence proving the 1915 genocides is overwhelming. And formal resolutions affirming these unpunished crimes against humanity made appearances around the world long before 2010. Regardless of what pro-Turkish apologists would have us believe, the issue has never been about whether the Turkish regime carried out genocide. Rather, it has always been about when Turkey would be punished and deliver reparations and restitution to the rightful, indigenous inhabitants.

Powerful media elites would have us believe that the mainstream media universe has been devoid of criticism for Turkey’s unpunished crimes because such voices are either non-existent, marginal, irrelevant, fabricated, or some combination thereof.

What the media elites fail to tell us is that when these critical voices—from victim ethnic groups or elsewhere—come forward to submit letters, opinion pieces, or quotes, they are usually denied access.

Media elites also neglect to tell us that opinions that do not reflect the official narrative spun by Turkey—not to mention Israel and the U.S.—largely go unpublished. Authoritative voices that would discredit the mainstream media’s official narrative of the genocide issue are removed from the elite’s “golden rolodex”—the name given to describe the small group of establishment-approved “experts” who are most frequently quoted in news stories or asked to appear on television.

The absence of dissent in the mainstream media and in the halls of power does not mean that the victims of the genocides and their descendants are insignificant, apathetic, or deceitful. No, we are alive, awake, and infuriated.

The media are also telling us that we should sympathize with Turkey because it feels “humiliated” by accusations of genocide. Turkey uses this word to describe its anger that its national honor has somehow been injured by such accusations. Do Turkish, Israeli, and American officials know what “humiliation” means to the survivors and descendants of the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Genocides who experienced debasement and degradation during the genocidal ordeals, and are forced to endure denials and demeaning treatment right up to the present day?

And how did humiliation of the victims occur? By order of the Young Turk regime, unarmed civilian subjects—Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek men, women, and children—were raped in broad daylight, in front of their families and neighbors. The tortures and violations were beyond one’s wildest imagination. Innocents were skinned and burned alive. Their tongues and fingernails were torn out. Horseshoes were nailed to their feet. They were stripped naked and sent on death marches into the desert. Women’s breasts were cut off and their pregnant bellies bayoneted. Fetuses were thrown up into the air and impaled on swords and bayonets for sport. Men were tied to tree limbs that were bent towards one another; when the tree’s limbs were released, the men’s bodies were torn in half. Women were tied to horses and dragged to their deaths.

Those Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks who were not exterminated, enslaved in harems, or kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam were driven from their indigenous lands. Those who survived the death marches spent the rest of their lives in exile, uprooted from their culture and civilization, grieving for their slaughtered families and yearning for their ancestral homeland.

Media elites are giving voice to embroidered Turkish “humiliation” and not to the real humiliation of the victims, survivors, and heirs who live with constant anguish in the face of torture, dispossession, contempt, and indifference. Media elites are defending Turkey when it is the martyrs and their heirs who deserve mercy and compassion.

In spite of Turkey’s efforts to humiliate the victims at the time of the genocides—and to prolong this humiliation up to the present day with cultural theft, trivialization, and scape-goating—the dignity of the victims and their descendants has, remarkably, remained intact.

Turkey’s genocidal crimes have gone unpunished. While continually profiting from the homes, farms, lands, properties, institutions, and possessions confiscated in 1915, Turkey even accuses the victims and survivors of the crimes that it itself committed. And media elites portray ongoing survivor grievances as nuisances that impede “progress.”

It is the genocide deniers—the rulers and lobbies of the U.S., Turkey, Israel, and Azerbaijan—who are the ones impeding progress. Their denial, duplicity, and audacity do not mean that the genocides’ victims and their heirs have been defeated. Denying the truth does not invalidate it. Fictional Turkish “reconciliation” initiatives foisted upon Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks will never take the place of genuine atonement and restitution, which are necessary for true progress to be made.

To these deniers and obstructionists we say: “Your tactics are transparent. The perpetrators, beneficiaries, and enablers of the ongoing genocide against the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek peoples will be brought to justice. You can hide from the truth, but you can’t hide the truth. We will persist, and the truth will prevail.”

Lucine Kasbarian

Lucine Kasbarian

Journalist, political cartoonist and book publicist Lucine Kasbarian is the author of several books about Armenia and Armenians. Visit her at: www.lucinekasbarian.com

34 Comments

  1. Turkey itself is a big Genocide. Any minority can become a victim for Turkish sour appetite. Turks have no right to be called a nation. If Turks had the opportunity they would have slaughtered all the Russians and Americans in one day with big enjoyment. Obama should take this under consideration though  Putin knows something about that. Who has ears can hear me.

  2. Hye Lucine, you’ve told the truths so well.  Too, the media and government leaders in a Turkey, an Israel, a USA, seem to ‘forget/omit’ the issue of the ongoing Genocides still into today – 2010. Genocides can still occur – who is to step forth and stop Genocides?
    If Ottomans, and subsequent Turkish leaderships were brought to face their guilt in the early 20th century – if the Turks had admitted their guilt, paid their reparations and more, ALL the Genocides of innocents that followed shall never have been!
    The cycle of Genocides shall have ended. And, despots shall not have gained their convoluted goals via Genocides… they dared not since the civilized nations of the world had joined together to end the cycle of any and all Genocides – wherever, whenever and whomever, whether a foe or an ‘ally’…  Genocides shall not have continued into Darfur, still, in 2010!
    Hence,  the next Genocide of innocents, who, when, where?    Manooshag
     
     
     

  3. Finally, an article that puts the spotlight on the committed atrocities during the Genocide.  The effect that true life stories and experiences can have on politicians and communities in general can be duplicated if faces, names, dates and details are attached to them.  This is the time where we have to make public all the gruesome details of the Armenian Genocide.  Details that the wildest of imaginations could not have concocted.  Stories that the survivors of the Genocide struggled to get themselves to tell, and a lot of them opted to cover their faces while telling the shameful acts committed to them and their loved ones.  The Turkish leadership’s behavior  is a classic textbook reaction of a guilty person, whose guilt is so tremendous that he opts to completely shut it out by calling the truth a “lie”, “covering it up”, and when cornered “start treatening” that you are “humiliating” him and he will need to retaliate, all because he cannot get himselft to face what he has done and the consequences he needs to bear.
    We have all tried to further our just cause by speaking for the survivors and victims of the Genocide.  It will be more effective to let them speak for themselves by publishing their firsthand testimonies.  I strongly recommend that the editorial of the Armenian Weekly publish from now to April 24th one survivor’s story per week.  The story should not be censored.  As a matter of fact we should make sure to make public all the unthinkable things these survivors had witnessed and experienced.
    In reality, the only thing that is truly “humiliating” the Turks is what their ancestors have done.  The other humiliating factor is the fact that Turkey continues to cover up what its ancestors have done, and even though it calls itself modern it cannot muster enough civility and strength to study the issue itself, acknowledge it and put an end to this “humiliation” by accepting the Genocide and making reparations for it.

  4. BIG THANKS TO LUCINE KASBARIAN WHAT A WRITE YOU ARE, AND PLUS GARY. I ADORED Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD comment, you out out the righteousness because I said exactly the same if it weren’t the Armenians or Greeks meaning who ever lived instead of these people for instance,  another Chritian nations would have suffered maybe even worse.

  5. Katia, I am honoring your wish by printing here excerpts from the book, “Memories of the Holocaust,” written and compiled by Levon K. Daghlian, DMD and printed by Haig H. Toumayan in Boston, Mass., 1976.  The following are eyewitness testimonies repeated to Sir Mark Sykes in 1918 Aleppo.  They are not for the faint at heart.
    1915
    May 26: “At the same place, in bright daylight, two gendarmes killed with bayonets Aram Kasbarian and took away his beautiful wife. His six year-old son when crying and screaming on his father’s bleeding body, was taken and a long wooden stick was forced through his rectum and in this condition he was shown to the people with the cries, ‘Here is your flag…'”
    — Yepraksi Yanikian
    May 26: “At the same place [near the pass of Kemakh], several gendarmes took by force the young child Mesrob, five years old, from his mother’s arms and nailed him on a wooden frame through his eyes, hands and feet. The he was elevated in the midst of the people with shouts of, ‘Here is your Christ and his Cross, let him come and save you.'”
    — Arevalouys Pashalian
    June 2: “At Kharput, Prof. Nahigian and Prof. Lulejian were imprisoned. After having been beaten, turtured, the finger and toe nails were pulled off, they were sent out of the city on 22 June with 300 other Armenians, and among them the Armenian prelate. All but Prof. Lulejian have been massacred. He has escaped to America.”
    — Armenoush Nahigian
    June 2:  “At Kharput, Prof. Moujganian was imprisoned and after having been nearly killed by beatings for ten days, his head was crushed in an iron ring.”
    — Armenoush Nahigian
    June 3: “Before reaching Kemakh, at the time when a pregnant woman was delivering her baby, a gendarme came in the tent and pulled the baby out of the woman’s womb and with his dirty hands and tearing it in two with the bayonet, said, ‘See, now you are the mother of two.'”
    — Yepraksi Yanikian
    Juen 5:  “Ohan and Nerses Vartabeds and fifteen other priests were nearly beaten to death in the prison of Tokat. After their eyes were taken out and their noses and ears were cut off, they were burnt with kerosene in the yard.”
    — Louisa Jamgochian of Tokat
    June 12: “At Kharput, Prof. Tenekejia was hung head down in a Turkish water closet.”
    — Armenoush Nahigian
    July 4: “At Kirk-Geoz, twenty-five women and girls were pushed into the water and drowned. They had been without a drop of water for 12 hours.”
    — Veronica Keosheyan of Sivas
    July 25: “Fried in the heat of the desert, we drank the urine of my daughter Victoria.”
    — Veronica Keosheyan
    July 31: “Beyond Veranshehir, I drank from a well which was full of dead bodies. I had not drunk water since two days…”
    — Arevalouys
    August 10: “At Furunjular, the women of our party were forced to throw away their sucklings. About 200 infants were left there alive. The mothers could hear their babies crying for fifteen minutes and the cry of the mothers echoes on the plain for several hours.”
    — Helene Iknadiosian
    Sept. 5: “At Kizlar, near Ourfa, the Turks slaughtered my two song, three and six years of age, and threw them to the dogs of the village.”
    — Haiganoush Shahinian
    Sept. 10: “In the boat on the Euphrates, I saw a gendarme knock out the teeth of a woman for the gold she had in her mouth.”
    — Aghavni Boghosian
    Aug. 30: “Between Ourfa and Sourroudj, I saw a baby suckling his dead mother’s breast.”
    — Helene Iknadiosian
    Sep. 12: “Near Ourfa, Elizabeth Demerjian was badly raped and her two sons slaughtered before our eyes. Anna, Jarmon and Barkev, three girls belonging to the Taptapian family were raped and sold to the neighboring villagers.”
    — Hayganoush Shahinian
    1916
    March 5: “Being drive from Bab southward, I saw a girl 12 years of age taken and raped by nine gendarmes in daylight behind the bush within thirty yards from us. She was left for dead.”
    — Khatchadoor Karabajakian
     
     

  6. To: Ms. Lucine Kasbarian….I have read about many of the trocities but what you have described here is very heavy! Thank you for the history details and warning us that we need a strong make up to read this!

    How can people claimed these atrocities to simply be war or  “civil war’ or 
    ‘ tragedies. How can deliberate, systematic, murder be called other than just that? It is sickening! I believe the more we expose this history, as painful as it all is, the more the rest of the world shall realize just what went on in those dark days!

    Q: do you know how and at what time in history our names have come to include Turkish front ends? Like I am told that ‘malkhass’ is the large scissor usually used by tailors on their cutting tables. I am assuming that it is Turkish term? Were our names in earlier times like the ones in the Bible? e.g. Joseph of Aramathea, Saul of Tarsus or Jesus of Nazareth etc. indicating whare the person was from??

  7. Dear Lucine,
    First of all I want to congratulate you on your work and thank you for your original article.
    Secondly, I cannot thank you enough for responding to my recommendation to Armenian Weekly, and taking the time to list “some” uncensored Genocide survivor testimonies.   (They should also show up in actual articles)
    The Americans, English and Swedish are hearing about their government resolutions that want to acknowledge the 1915 atrocities as Genocide, but they are also being bombarded by claims that these resolutions are not politically beneficial for their countries, and that Turkey is getting humiliated and calling its Ambassadors back. 
    What is missing from the picture is the most central part of the story, which are the atrocities committed to regular citizens by a government.  The Americans and Europeans should be informed about the details, so that they understand the enormity of the crime, and see why this crime needs to be acknowledged.   Most of us Armenians grew up with these stories from our grandparents, but the American, European and even Turks are not fully aware of the details.  What better way to inform them but to splatter all these testimonies all over the Internet.  The countries of the world will not feel our pain, unless we fully share it with them.
    My hope is that the “informed” Turks will also see that by hiding and denying the atrocities committed by their ancestors, they are choosing to be complicit with them.  When Europe demanded that the Young Turks and the officials who perpetrated the Armenian Genocide be brought to Justice, Turkey was cornered and court-martialed and even sentenced to death a good number of the culprits.  Ataturk called the Armenian Genocide a “Shameful Act” that will never be repeated.  What followed though was a very well planned system of cover up and denial.  First the Turkish alphabet was changed from Arabic to Latin.  (Most of the documents from the Genocide time and the Court-martials were written in Arabic).  Next, the “Surname” law was enforced in the early 1930s, where everyone’s last name was ordered be changed.  The “ians” of the last names of the surviving Armenians where either taken out or the Armenians  were asked to use the name of their craft or profession as their last name.  The years from 1914 to 1923 were blurred in academics, and the schools were ordered not to cover any of this.  During WWII (1940s) another round of massacres took place under the disguise of a “Capital Tax”, which taxed Armenians, Greeks and Jews with amounts that were made purposely outrageous so that they will not be able to pay them.  In return, they were sentenced for evading the tax, taken to labor camps from which they never returned.
    In other words, we have the Genocide itself which needs to be recognized and dealt with legally, and we have the active cover up that followed it that needs to also be addressed and dealt with.  In fact, not only should the Turkish government make reparations for the lives, properties and lands lost, it should also make reparations for all the illegal laws it created to further deplete the Armenian community, and all the inheritance, assets, farming lands and other economic benefits that it has been sitting on and preventing the descendents and beneficiaries from getting. 
    Reading the above testimonies one can only come up with one accurate adjective to describe them and that is “barbaric”.  When we use this term however, the uninformed Turks are taking offense and calling it racism.  That is another reason why these testimonials with all their gruesome details need to be exposed for all to see.  Turkey will be cutting its losses short by acknowledging the Genocide like Germany has, and by distancing itself from its ancestors, instead of “humiliating” itself by trying to cover up an internationally known crime, that the word “Genocide” was specifically created to describe.
     
     

  8. Very well said Ms. Kasbarian.  You echoed my very thoughts.  The US and Israel have continuously denied to utter the word Genocide or pass a resolution in their parliaments for 95 years not to offend, to upset or to “humiliate” the denyalist Turkey; and what about the humiliation of our 1.5 million martyrs who died the most degrading and disrespectful deaths?  The US media for 95 years shuts us out of their media, the Jews can speak all they want about the Haulocaust but we are left in the cold, they said later to us, as they only wished to speak about their losses but not anyone elses – they won’t let us speak about our huge human losses and our reparation rights.  Thanks for putting the Armenian Genocide under the rug for the world not to hear about it, the cycle of Genocides are continuing until today, thus the Armenian Genocide has not ended.  Turkey’s denying about the Armenian Genocide is the beginning of the next Genocide.  Something that it is already happening right now in Turkey, as Erdogan wants to expel 100,000 Armenians from Turkey.  He wishes them to walk the marches into oblivion as they did in 1915 when the Turkish government gave orders to the women and children to walk to the Mesopotamian deserts, when the world have known it to be the death marches. 
    Thanks for your post Dr. S. Jeshmaridian; What a truthful expression of thoughts.  If it wasn’t for Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians; the same would have happened or could to the Russians and the Americans.

    As far as testimonials from Leslie Davis from Kharpert in June and July of 1915, I have already put it out in one of my posts in the Armenian Weekly about 2-3 weeks ago. 

  9. Nairian, would you post the link that will lead us directly to the page where we can find the excerpts from U.S. Consul Leslie Davis’ eyewitness accounts? Thank you.

  10. Hye Lucine, as I had mentioned in my ‘leave comments’ the word Genocide, although it is meant to ‘describe’ the ‘elimination’ of the Armenian nation – I, too, was using the more descriptive methods of the Ottoman Turks and their subsequent Turkish leaderships in their  inhumane methods of slaughter – including bandinados, beating the soles of the feet of the victims until they were bloody – then exploded – then death…  Yes, the descriptions of the inhumanity of the hordes out of the Asian mountains.  Today, still manifested is the Turkish pursuit to ‘eliminate’ the Armenians –  victims of their Turkish Genocide – still into today, 2010.
    The Turks needed these years to weaken the Armenians determination to seek justice and reparations – Turks planned in these years the Armenians shall have become lost across the nations of the world, integrated, and thus their Genocide shall have never come to light – never brought the Turks to face their guilts to the Armenians and more.
    Well, hello Turkey… the world  knows and recognizes your  Turkish Genocide of the Christian Armenians 1915-1923, and more, denials by Turks today – 2010 – still!  Manooshag

  11. I am reading Yair Auron’s “Banality of Denial – Israel and the Armenian Genocide.”  You can go to Books.Google.com and find it for free and read it.
    Actually, I was unaware that this debate about the Armenian genocide was going on in Israel.  I came across it quite by accident while reading Haaretz. 
    I have relatives who were survivors of the Armenian genocide.  I also have religious relatives in Israel.   Therefore, I know the Armenian genocide and Holocaust both happened.
    Because my family escaped the Russian Revolution and ended up in Turkey for a while, they were aware of what happened to the Armenians.  My grandfather was a menschevik; I guess dashnak was another party.  
    I am reading too the terrible tragedy of the white Russians who escaped Russia and their brief stay in Turkey.   There are pictures in the book on the history of Robert College of the Russian Choir and Russian dancers, a new addition to their collection of people.  Many formerly rich Russians were cleaning tables and washing dishes at Robert College. 
    I was really surprised to find out the problem of  genocide denial in Israel.  My first reaction was that survivors of the Holocaust wouldn’t do that.  However, I will have to read the book to find out why this surprising event has taken place and whether any efforts to remedy it have taken place.  I see another book written by the author discusses his attempt to remedy this in the educational system in Israel. 
    In the meantime I sent books and pictures I have to the Armenian Genocide Museum. 
    I guess I too am amazed that I found remnants of the dashnak party, although I don’t know too much about it.   I’m a menschevik.  I haven’t found the remnants of the menschevik party.   I wish I could piece together the story of  my family from the Russian side, but that is harder than putting together the story of my Armenian relatives.   People want to hear the story of the Russian Revolution I guess, but I don’t know if I can put the pieces together from my family’s perspective.  It probably is an interesting story.  My relative said it is like “Doctor Zhivago. ”



  12. Recent stories from my clinic on Armenian genocide

    The Al Shamari tribe in north of Iraq saved many dying children. One of them was found in river Khabour, so they named him Khabour.* They describe him as a blonde-haired person with blue eyes. His grandchildren say he looked different from our granduncles. He married from the tribe.
    There are many stories that people are still narrating from the Al Anzi and Al Dhufayri tribes. They saved Armenian Children in the middle East the Gulf, and Arabia, brought them up to become part of their families. They say they are proud to have Armenian origin.
    To understand the culture of Arabs and their dignity, they called the girls Merriam, which means Mary, as they were Christian and they believe in Merriam being mentioned in Qur’an; mother of Essa (Jesus). It was easier for them than Armenian names, which is difficult to pronounce and write. The name Merriam is heartily and holy in use among Muslim Arabs and Iranians, as frequent as Mary among Christians.

     

  13. Ghazaros jan, I didn’t save it in my files, however perhaps the Editors of Armenian Weekly can find it for me from my previous posts and post it here again.  However the late Leslie A. Davis’ book is on Amazon.com at http://www.answers.com/topic/armenian-massacres
    “The Slaughterhouse Province: An American Diplomat’s Report on the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1917 (Hardcover)

    Massacres

    Mass Burnings

    Eitan Belkind was a Nili member, who infiltrated the Ottoman army as an official.  He was assigned to the headquarters of Camal Pasha.  He claims to have witnessed the burning of 5,000 Armenians.

    Lt. Hasan Maruf, of the Ottoman army, describes how a population of a village were taken all together, and then burned.  The Commander of the Third Army Vehib’s 12-page affidavit, which was dated 5 December 1918, was presented in the Trabizon trial series (March 29, 1919) included in the Key Indictment, reporting such a mass burning of the population of an entire village near Mush.  that in Bitlis, Mush and Sassoun, “The shortest method for disposing of the women and children concentrated in the various camps was to burn them.  And also that, “Turkish prisoners who had apparently witnessed some of these scenes were horrified and maddened at the remembering the sight.  They told the Russians that the stench of the burning human flesh permeated air for many days after.”

    Suffocation

    Trabzon was the main city in Trabzon province; Oscar S. Heizer, the American consul at Trabzon, reports: plan did not suit Nail Bey….  Many of the children were loaded into boats and taken out to sea and thrown overboard.  The Italian consul of Trabzon in 1915, Giacomo Gorrini, writes:  “I saw thousands of innocent women and children placed on boats which were capsized in the Black Sea.”  The Trabzon trials reported Armenians having been drowned in the Black Sea.

    Hoffman Philip, the American Charge at Constantinople charge d’affaires, writes:  “Boat loads sent from Zor down the river arrived at Ana, one thirty miles away, with three fifths of passengers missing.”

    Use of poison/overdose

    The psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton writes in a parenthesis when introducing the crimes of Nazi doctors, “Perhaps Turkish doctors, in their participation in the genocide against the Armenians, come closest, as I shall later suggest.”

    Morphine overdose; During the Trabzon trial series of the Martial court, from the sittings between March 26 and May 17, 1919, the Trabzons Health Services Inspector Dr. Ziya Fuad wrote in a report that Dr. Saib caused the death of children with the injection of morphine.  The information was allegedly provided by two physicians (Drs. Ragib and Vehib), both Dr. Saib’s colleagues at Trabzons Red Crescent hospital, where those atrocities were said to have been committed.

    Toxic gas; Dr. Ziya Fuad and Dr. Adnan, public health services director of Trabzon, submitted affidavits reporting cases in which two school buildings were used to organize children and send them to the mezzanine to kill them with toxic gas equipment.

    Typhoid inoculation; The Ottoman surgeon, Dr. Haydar Cemal wrote “on the order of the Chief Sanitation Office of the IIIrd Army in January 1916, when the spread of typhus was an acute problem, innocent Armenians slated for deportation at Erzincan were inoculated with the blood of typhoid fever patients without rendering that blood ‘inactive’.  Jeremy Hugh Baron writes:  “Individual doctors were directly involved in the massacres, having poisoned infants, killed children and issued false certificates of death from natural causes.  Nazim’s brother-in-law Dr. Tevfik Rushdu, Inspector-General of Health Services, organized the disposal of Armenian corpses with thousands of kilos of lime over six months; he became foreign secretay from 1925 to 1938.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/armenian-massacres

  14. Hello Ghazaros, here’s another letter and testimonial from U.S. Consul Leslie A. Davis.

    “No. 38
    Mamouret-ul Aziz (Harput0, Turkey
    July 11, 1915

    Subject: Transmitting copy of a report to the American Embassy at Constantinople about the expulsion of the Armenians from this part of Turkey.

    The Honorable
    The Secretary of State,
    Washington
    Sir:
    I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a report which i am sending the Embassy at Constantinople in regard to the expulsion of the Armenians from this part of Turkey.
    I have the honor to be, Sir,
    Your obedient servant,
    [Signed] leslie A. Davis
    Consul
    Enclosure:
    As indicated.
    840.1”
    —————————————————————————-
    “Mamouret-ul-Aziz (Harput), Turkey
    July 11, 1915
    Honorable henry morgenthau,
    American Ambassador,
    Constantinople.

    Sir:

    I have the honor to supplement my report of June 30th (File No. 840.1) in regard to the expulsion of the Armenians from this region, as follows:
    On July 1st a great many people left and on July 3rd several thousand more started from here.  Others left on subsequent days.  There is no way of obtianing figures but many thousand have already left.  The departure of those living at Harput was postponed, however, and many women and children were allowed to remain temporarily.  People began to hope that the worst was over and that those who remained might be left alone.  Now it has just been announced by the public crier that on Tuesday, July 13th, every Armenian WITHOUT EXCEPTION, must go.

    If it were simply a matter of being obliged to leave here to go somewhere else it would not be so bad, but everyone knows it is a case of going to one’s death.  If there was any doubt about it, it has been removed by he arrival of anumber of parties, aggregating several thousand people, from Erzeroum and Erzingan.  The first ones arrived a day or two after my last report was written.  I have visited their encampment a number of times and talked with some of the people.  A more pitiable sight cannot be imagined.  They were almost without exception ragged, filthy, hungry and sick.  That is not surprising in view of the fact that they have been on the road for nearly two months with no change of clothing, no chance to wash, no shelter and little to eat.  The Government has been giving them some scanty rations here.  I watched them one time when their food was brought.  Wild animals could not be worse.  They rushed upon the guards who carried the food and the guards beat them back with clubs hitting hard enough to kill them sometimes.    To watch them one could hardly believe that these people were human beings.

    As one walks through the camp mothers offer their children and beg one to take them.  in fact, the Turks have been taking their choice of these children and girls for slaves, or worse.  In fact, they have even had their doctors there to examine the more likely girls and thus secure the best ones.

    There are very few men among them, as most of them have been killed on the road.  All tell the same story of having been attacked and robbed by the Kurds.  Most of them were attacked over and over again and a great many of them, especially the men, were killed.  Women and children were also killed.  Many died, of course, from sickness and exhaustion on the way and there have been deaths each day that they have been here.  Several different parties have arrived and after remaining a day or two have been pushed on with no apparent destination.  Those who have reached here are only a small portion, however, of those who started.  By continuing to drive these people on in this way it will be possible to dispose of all of them in a comparatively short time.

    Among those with whom I have talked were three sisters.  They had been educated at Constantinople and spoke excellent English.  They said their family was the riches in 
    Erzeroum and numbered twenty-five when they left but there were now only fourteen survivors.  The other eleven, including the husband of one of them and their old grandmother had been butchered before their eyes by the Kurds.  The oldest male survivor of the family was eight years of age.  When they left Erzeroum they had money, horses and personal effects but they had been robbed of everything, including even their clothing.  They said some of them had been left absolutely naked and others with only a single garment.  When they reached a village their gendarmes obtained clothes for them from some of the native women.  Another girl with whom I talked is the daughter of the Protestant pastor of Erzeroum.  She said every member of her family with her had been killed and she was left entirely alone.  These and some others are a few survivors of the better class of people who have been exiled.  They are being detained in an abandoned schoolhouse just outside of the town and no one is allowed to enter it.  They said they practically are in prison, although they were allowed to visit a spring just outside the building.  It was there that I happened to see them.  All the others are camped in a large open field with no protection at all from the sun.

    The condition of these people indicates clearly the fate of those who have left and are about to leave from here.  i believe nothing has been heard from any of them as yet and probably very little will be heard.  The system that is being followed seems to be to have bands of Kurds awaiting them on the road to kill the men especially and incidentally some of the others.  The entire movement seems to be the most thoroughly organized and effective massacre this country has ever seen.”
    ————————————————————————————
    There are 3 1/4 more pages to Leslie Davis’ letter to Henry Morgenthau, and
    here is where I have acquired it from:
    http://www.gomidas.org-gida-index_and_%20documents-867.4016_index_and_documents-docs-4016.127.pdf

  15. Hye, Unfortunately the above site didn’t work; but I may type the whole 3 1/4 pages of the rest of US Consul’s Leslie Davis’ letter if the Editors in here permit me; however if not because it’ll take a good deal of space, then you can also search under “Gomidas Institute Armenian Genocide Documentation Projet”.  However all of this you will probably find it in his book that I mentioned it above.  To acquire it from amazon.com

  16. Thank you, Nairian, for taking the time and trouble to provide this for all of us. Katia K. asked for testimonies that pull no punches in terms of their grimness. Do you think Leslie Davis’ eyewitness accounts do justice to the savagery? Having read a number of delicately-worded survivor accounts, I wouldn’t be surprised if, in some books available to us, some things were just too unspeakable for survivors to repeat.
     
     

  17. To: Gayane

    Thank you so much for your kind words & encouragement…aghchikneres shad arjekavor en ints hamar! Yev, poloris hamar anshusht!

    To:Nairian

    Thank you for posting the letter dated 11 July by Leslie Davis. Shad tsavov ge gartank ais arunod batmutchiunnere! No wonder there is so much pain even a century later!

    G

  18. You are welcomed Ghazaros, Although what I am doing now for our martyrs’ souls is such a small matter; but I am sure my grandmother Khachkhatoun’s, my grandfather Khatchig’s, my great grandfather Kevork’s and my great grandmother Hazarkhan’s souls are happy now that in my little way I am letting the world to know what happened to them during the Armenian Genocide in 1915 by the hands of the CUP, the Turks and the Kurds .  What their poor bodies and souls went through is unspeakable of, unimaginable, unthinkable and so horribly atrocious.  I never knew my extended family on both sides of my parents because of the Genocide; but as much and even worse than that is our nation’s great loss; more than 1.5 Million of our beautiful race’s loss is what I have been crying about and still do.  It is hard, very hard to digest Ghazaros that a whole nation have been almost distinct atrociously and horrendously; and what a nice race we were, but make no mistake, we shall survive amongst vermins and wild animals.  We are a nation of survivors, we are resilient and very proud bunch of people and we shall continue to survive!!!!

    Ghazaros, You asked whether Leslie Davis’ eye wintness accounts in regards to the savagery do justice.  I don’t know; but try to think what they have endured, those poor souls have walked down from Erzeroum and Erzincan with practically very little food and water, if any, they were treated like wild animals by barbarians (thanks to the barbaric Turks and the barbaric Kurds), they saw their pretty sisters, mothers, daughters raped infront of their eyes, then killed or taken away for slavery.  They saw their fathers, husbands, brothers, beheaded, killed, their eyes being put out, their noses and ears cut out, their skin being carved out then aunts being put into it to torture them by horrifying and painful deaths.  Then boiled egges being put under their armpits, little girls being thrown up in the air while bayonets’ swords are waiting at the bottom to tear their little bodies apart.  And finally when these poor civilized Armenian souls having witnessed all that, then the Kurdish peasants charged at them taking their monies, belongings, foods, and have teared and taken away even their clothes that they were wearing and left them naked to walk that way for two whole months, mostly hungry, thirsty and sick,  what do you expect?  By the time they have reached to Kharpert (Harput) they were probably half mad, very hungry, thirsty, desolate and very very frightened state of mind.  You hear about how soldiers that came back from wars, such as the Vietnam war and other wars, how a good number of them psychologically are warped, mostly in a crazy state of mind, and mind you those soldiers weren’t even left hungry or thirsty for many months walking and being attacked, looted and God knows what else that they went through.   Wars are hell; but what our poor martyrs went through is beyond our wildest imagination.

  19. The continuation of US Consul Leslie Davis’ letter to Henry Morgenthau.

    “Not many men have been spared, however to accompany those who are being sent into exile, for a more prompt and sure method has been used to dispose of them.  Several thousand Armenian men have been arrested during the past few weeks.  These have been put in prison and each time that several hundred had been gathered up in that way they were sent away during the night.  The first lot was sent away during the night of June 23rd.  Among them were some of the professors in the American college and other prominent Armenians, including the Prelate of the Armenian Gregorian Church of Harput.  There have been frequent rumors that all of these were killed and there is little doubt that they were.  All Armenian soldiers have likewise been sent away in the same manner.  They have been arrested and confined in a building at one end of the town.  No distinction has been made between those who had paid their military exemption tax and those who had not.  Their money was accepted and then they were arrested and sent off with the others.  It was said that they were to go somewhere to work on the roads but no one has heard from them and that is undoubtedly false.

    The fate of all the others has been pretty well established by reliable reports of a similar occurence on Wednesday, July 7th.  On Monday many men were arrested both at Harput and Mezreh and put in prison.  At daybreak Tuesday morning they were about eight hundred in all and they were tied together in groups of fourteen each.  That afternoon they arrived in a small Kurdish village where they were kept over night in the mosque and other buildings.  During all this time they were without food or water.  All their money and much of their clothing had been taken from them.  On Wednesday morning they were taken to a valley a few hours’ distant where they were all made to sit down.  Then the gendarmes began shooting them until they had killed nearly all of them.  Some who had not been killed by bullets were then disposed of with knives and bayonets.  A few succeeded in breaking the rope with which they were tied to their companions and running away, but most of these were pursued and killed.  A few succeeded in getting away, probably not more than two or three.  Among those who were killed was the Treasurer of the American College.  Many other estimable men were among the number.  No charge of any kind had ever been made against any of these men.  They were simply arrested and killed as part of the general plan to dispose of the Armenian race.

    Last night several hundred more men, including both men arrested by the civil authorities and those enrolled as soldiers, were taken in a different direction and murdered in a similar manner.  It is said this happened at a place not two hours’ distant from here.  I shall ride out that way some day when things become a little quieter and try to verify it for myself.

    The same thing has been done systematically in the villages.  A few weeks ago about three hundred men were gathered together at Itchme and Haboosi, two villages four and five hours’ distant from here, and then taken up into the mountains and massacred.  This seems to be fully established.  Many women from those villages have been here since and told about it.  There have been rumors of similar occurences in other places.

    There seems to be a definite plan to dispose of all the Armenian men, but after the departure of the families during the first few days of the enforcement of the order it was announced that women and children with no men in the family might remain here for the present and many hoped that the worst was over.  The American missionaries began considering plans to aid the women and children who would be left here with no means of support.  It was thought that perhaps an orphanage could be opened to care for some of the children especially those who had been born in America and then brought here by their parents and also those who belonged to parents who had been connected in some way with the American Mission and schools.  There would be plenty of opportunity, although there might not be sufficient means, to care for children who reached here with the exiles from other Vilayets and whose parents had died on the way.  I went to see the Vali about this matter yesterday and was met with a flat refusal.  He said we could aid these people if we wished to do so, but the Government was establishing orphanages for the children and we could not undertake any work of that nature.  An hour after I left the Vali the announcement was made that all the Armenians remainig here, including women and children, must leave on July 13th.

    The evident plan of the Government is to give no opportunity for any educational or religious work to be done here by foreign missionaries.  Some Armenian women will be taken as Moslem wives and some children will be brought up as Moslems, but none of them will be allowed to come under foreign influences.  The country is to be purely Moslem and nothing else.  Some of the missionaries think they would like to remain here and try to work among Moslems.  I not only think it would be very dangerous for them to undertake it but do not believe they will be alloweed to do anything along that line.  I shall not be surprised, as I have said before, if all the American missionaries are ordered to leave here in the near future.  If they are not, they will be so effectually prevented from doing any kind of work that it will be entirely useless for them to remain here.  Furthermore, they will be annoyed in many ways by the local officials.  I do not think for a moment that they will be allowed to open any of the schools again and it’s quite probably that the hospital may be ordered closed.  It is very probable also that both the school and the hospital buildings may be seized by the Government.  It seems certain that there will not be any work for them to do here and that they will not be permitted to do any work.” 

    There is more of 1-1/4 page of Leslie Davis’ letter. 

  20. “The Story of the Near East Relief” by James Barton has pictures of the orphans who survived.  They were skin and bone, filthy and plagued with disease like typhus.  Money was collected by americans and the book said one million Armenians were saved in the orphanages in Lebanon, etc. run by the missionaries who worked with them, often getting sick and dying themselves. 
    I also mention that the refugees from the Bolsheviks who landed by boat in Turkey were in the same condition, and I don’t know how many of the 100,000 or more of them went on and survived.  That also, these atrocities were going on in Russia and against each other in civil war too perhaps.  That human rights was and still is very different in Russia, Turkey and Iran, and why it is important to demand an improvement in human rights in these countries.  That these countries acted like savages and barbarians; to the americans these things were horrible and made them sick to their stomach according to Harry Truman who served in WWI and heard about these stories. 
    Also, that is very important that the subject of genocide be taught in schools for children to understand what causes them, the nature of prejudice and the value of human rights, in all countries, Israel, France, etc.  Maybe the way it is taught has to be determined so the subject does not traumatize the children (Sarkozy had trouble), but teaches them to become more emphathetic.  If there was more emphathy in the parties to a conflict, maybe better results in conflict resolution would be achieved.  Therefore, bringing attention to the world of the Armenian genocide may cause some good results in the education field and conflict resolution.

  21. Here’s the end of U.S. Consul, Leslie Davis’ letter to the Honorable Mr. Henry Morgenthau on July 11, 1915 from Mamouret-ul-Aziz (Harput), Turkey:

    “Under the circumstances, I think the only wise and safe thing for them to do is to consider the matter of leaving here, temporarily at least, as soon as it may be possible.  I realize that it is a serious matter for them to abandon their work but the present situation is serious too and I fully believe there is nothing else for them to do.  It would probably not be best for all of them to leave together, but I am going to advise that some of them leave as soon as it may be safe to go.  In the meantime I earnestly recommend that the Embassy bring to the attention of Mr. Peet and the board the possible necessity of all of them leaving here.

    I do not think that any of them should go now.  In fact, some of them have been quite firmly of the opinion that someone should go at once for the purpose of trying to raise a relief fund for these unfortunate people.  To go now would be almost certain death, with bands of Kurds awaiting travelers on every road.  I asked the Vali, however, if it would be all right for one or two of the Americans to leave here now to go to Constantinople and then to America and he said very plainly that it would not be safe.  He said that no matter how much a guard he gave them it would be dangerous for them to travel at the present moment and advised waiting a few weeks.  This confirms the general fear as to the fate of those who are sent away from here.  It also indicated that perhaps the authorities do not wish any real harm to befall the Americans.  On the other hand, the Vali intimated that possibly the Americans might not be permitted to leave here.  Some of them think that we know too much about what is happening in the interior of Turkey and the authorities do not intend to let any Americans leave here alive to tell about it.  I do not think that, but I do think the life of every American here is in danger and that the danger is increasing.  If all of the missionaries can get away safely I shall feel greatly relieved.  It is not only that the present situation is very critical, but they are constantly doing things that are more or less imprudent.  The entire colony may suffer for the imprudence of one person.  It is quite natural that they should sympathize with the people among whom they have been working and want to aid and protect them, but there is great danger of carrying their zeal too far and getting into trouble themselves.

    With reference to the need of funds for the relief of these exiles, which I mentioned in my telegrams of June 27th and 28th and my dispatch of June 30th, I am inclined to believe that there will be no occasion for raising funds.  It looks as though there were not going to be any people who can be helped.  All who are sent away will probably be killed or die on the road within the next few months and the women and children who are left will probably have to become Moslems.

    My attention has just been called to the fact that the post office at Mamouret-ul-Aziz has refused to pay out money to the Americans that has been sent them from Erzeroum and Erzingan for the exiles who have come here.  It is probable that the Government will confiscate this money.  I do not know whether the Embassy would care to take any measures about this or not.  The money is addressed to the Americans, but it is intended for the Armenian exiles.

    Embassy’s telegrams Nos. 19 and 20 have been received.  I have seen the Vali about the naturalized American citizens and their children and about the consular staff.  He said he had received no instructions about them, as I telegraphed this morning.  I have now just received word that the consular staff and two or three women whose husbands are in America may stay here for the present.  There seems to be nothing very definite about any of it.  I shall be very glad to have these women leave as soon as it is reasonably safe for them to go.  I hope it can be arranged for the employees of the Consulate, however, to remain here permanently, or at least as long as there may be a Consulate.  It would be impossible to find any one to take their place.

    I have the honor to be, Sir,
    Your obedient servant,

    [signed] Leslie A. Davis
    Consul.

    840.1”

  22. Now Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Frederick Reinfeldt, I hope you read these commentary sections and then decide for yourself if it’s the moral and the ethical thing to do to apologize to the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Raccip Erdogan that the Armenian Genocide Resolution should not have been accepted in Sweden’s Parliament and you are apologyzing for the passing of it.

    If and when Mr. Barak Obama and Mrs. Hillary Clinton of the U.S. read the commentaries on this website, I hope they both feel so happy and content with their moral and ethical stand for trying to annul or stay against the passing of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the House of Representatives, the United States Congress.  

  23. To: Nairian & others

    Thank youf or the posting of Consul Davis’ letter to Henry Mongenthau.
    A very sad state affairs of the time.

    I believe the American Missionaries came to Turkey, mostly to teach the people  about the Gospel of Jesus. They soon found the Turks not responsive to the Christian message. Then they turned to the Armenians, already the first Christians in history, with the same message of the Gospel. I believe this is how Armenian Protestants came about? Please correct me if I am wrong?

    Just think how history would have been different had the Turks and other Muslims accepted Christianity? Instead of bent on destroying our nation and other Christians.  Christianity is not spread ‘by the sword’ but by explaining the love of God for all people!

  24. Hello Editorial Board:

    WHERE ARE MY POSTS PLEASE? Your constant display of cowardice via censorship is getting quite old already!

  25. Hi Gary jan, you are welcomed and it’s the very least we can do for our beloved martyrs’ souls and their sad memories.  Gary, you are probably right about some Armenians having become Protestants or believing in the Brethren Churches, at least some of them.  I never thought about it, but you are most likely right, that’s probably why those American Missionaries were in Armenia in the first place.  If memory serves me right, I believe in and around Cilicia, when the French were there, some Armenians have become Catholics through the French peoples’ influence.  Otherwise, Armenians have always been “Hay Lousavorchagans”.  Belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church.  Anyhow, we are all Christians and we all believe to the three “God, Lord Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit” that are one.

  26. Lucine, you are amazing, your message is powerful; this is the first article I have read that characterizes so fully and accurately the criminal complicity of the mainstream media, orchestrated by Turkish, Israeli, US and UK lobbies, in blocking the voices of the victimized nations of Armenia, Greece and Assyria. Those lobbies can buy the media but they could not buy the Parliaments of 17 important democracies (Canada, France, Russia, Italy and recently Sweden to name the few) and 42 US states, who passed resolutions acknowledging the unprecedented crime in the history of mankind, committed by the Turkish people; these recognitions are the strong messages in the face of Israel, US and UK, telling them that their defunct  and immoral attitude of honeymoon with criminal Turkey has humiliated them and they are already in the minority camp and soon they will be isolated; thus, the truth has been revealed and prevails already and those culprit nations are still hiding from the truth; the longer they hide the more humiliated they will be; like Lucine says it so eloquenly and correctly at the end of her article.
    Lucine, with your article you have brought to life all the victims of the heinous crime and their descendants are six million times stronger, you deserve all the admiration.  
     
     

  27. “The more we moved away from civilization, the more agitated were our souls and the more our minds were racked with fear.  We thought we saw bandits behind every boulder; ..The expert on Armenian peasant songs, the peerless archimandrite Father Komitas, who was in our carriage, seemed mentally unstable.  He thought the trees were bandits on the attack and continually hid his head under the hem of my overcoat, like a fearful partridge.  He begged me to say a blessing for him…”  This passage is from the “Armenian Golgotha”, the memoirs of Genocide survivor Father Grigoris Balakian, describing one of our most famous and world renowned composers, Komitas.  Balakian and Komitas were in the first 250 intellectuals, physicians, religious figures, poets and politicians who were arrested the morning of  April 24, 1915.  The individuals who were in Balakian’s group helped him escape, and asked him to write about them if  he ever survived.  Father Balakian had studied in Germany and was fluent in German, and survived by disguising himself as a German officer.  Father Komitas also survived but suffered from permanent Post Traumatic Syndrome and died in an insame asylum in Paris in 1935.  Here was a genius who had created the most beautiful melodies and received international acclaim.  Why would any government arrest and deport a priest composer?  Daniel Varoujan, one of our leading poets of the time, was also in that group.  Balakian writes, “Then they drew their daggers and attacked them, ripping their bodies apart and slashing their legs and arms and other sensitive parts.  Only Varoujan defended himself, and as a punishment, after gutting him, the criminals dug out the eyes of the patriotic poet.”
    Here is the link to Nune Yessayan’s rendition of Komitas’ most famous songs, “Dle Yaman”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otsRwBBcNOg
    It has always been dedicated to our Genocide victims.  I am also dedicating it to my grandmother’s memory.  She had lost her parents and younger brother in the Genocide.  She lived and died yearning for them.

  28. U.S. of America is no longer a champion of Human rights defender while colludes with Turkey, Israel & Azerbaijan.
    Tell me with whom you go and I tell you what you are.

  29. Where is the freedom of speech?  None of my posts has been published. Let’s do it this way then. You tell me what to post in this forum, then I will write it down, and post it to the forum. This is just a shame.

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