Armenian Genocide ; Eye-Witness Accounts ( Part 2)

In 1916, a book was published entitled “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16. Documents presented to Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs”, by Viscount Bryce which contained a comprehensive collection of documents produced by a variety of people who were eye-witnesses to the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. This research and abridged summary is taken directly from an original copy published at the time by His Majesty’s Stationery Office in London.

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Document 7 ; Letter dated Constantinople 2 / 15th August 1915 and addressed to a distinguished Armenian resident beyond the Ottoman frontier.

It is now established that there is not an Armenian left in the provinces of Ezeroum, Trebizond, Sivas, Harpout, Bitlis, and Diyarbekir. About a million of the Armenian inhabitants of these provinces have been deported from their homes and sent southwards into exile.

..On the pretext of disarming the Armenians, these criminals committed assassinations and inflicted hideous tortures. Next, they imprisoned the Armenians en masse…then they massacred them; not one of these escaped slaughter.

The only step taken by the authorities was to send people to bury them in order to safeguard the health of the Muslim population.

Mademoiselle Flora A Wedel Yarlsberg, a Norwegian lady of good family who was a nurse in a German Red Cross hospital, and another nurse who was her colleague, were so revolted by these barbarities and by other experiences of equal horror, that they tendered their resignations, returned to Constantinople, and called personally at several Embassies to denounce these hideous crimes.

A Muslim traveller on his way from Malatia to Sivas, a nine hours’ journey, passed nothing but corpses of men and women…..every Muslim considers it his duty now to kill them (Armenians) at sight.

…In certain towns, the Armenians who had been consigned to oblivion in the prisons have been hanged in batches…In many places the Armenian inhabitants, to save their lives, have tried to become Muslim, but this time such overtures have not been readily accepted, as they were at the time of the other great massacres.

We have just learned the fate of some of the provincial bishops. Mgr Anania Hazarabedian, Bishop of Baibourt, has been hanged without any confirmation of the sentence by the Central Government….When the people were deported, the churches were pillaged and turned into mosques…they have begun to sell at Constantinople the sacred objects and the other properties of the Armenian churches, just as the Turks have begun to bring to Constantinople the children of the unhappy Armenian mothers.

We thought at first that the Government’s plan was to settle the Armenian question once and for all by clearing out the Armenians of the six Armenian provinces and removing the Armenian population of Cilicia…Unhappily their intention was wider in scope and more thorough in intention. It consisted in the extermination of the whole Armenian population throughout the whole of Turkey. The result is that, in those seven provinces where the Government was pledged to introduce reforms, there is not 1% of the Armenian population left alive.

Is there anything further to add to this report? The whole Armenian population of Turkey has been condemned to death, and this decree is being put into execution energetically in every corner of the empire, under the eyes of the European powers; while so far, neither Germany nor Austria has suceeded in checking the action of their ally and removing the stain of these barbarities, which also attached to them. All our efforts have been without result. Our hope is set upon the Armenians abroad.

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Categories: Armenian Genocide

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