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.
Document 9 : Letter dated 3rd / 16th August 1915 conveyed beyond the Ottoman Frontier by an Armenian refugee from Cilicia in the sole of her shoe.
In haste and in secret I seize this opportunity of bringing to your ears the cry of agony which goes out from the survivors of the terrible crisis through which we are passing at this moment. They are exterminating our nation, mowing it down. Perhaps this will be the last cry from Armenia that you will hear; we have no longer any fear of death, we see it close at hand, this death of the whole people. We are waifs who cry for the lives of our brothers. These lines cannot describe our misery ; it would need volumes of reports to do justice to that.
At the present moment there are at……….more than 10,000 deported widows and children ( among the latter one sees no boys above eleven years of age). They have been on the road for from three to five months; they have been plundered several times over, and have marched along naked and starving….It is said that the number of these deported widows will reach 60,000; they are so exhausted that they cannot stand upright ; the majority have great sores on their feet, through having had to march barefoot.
The massacres have been most violent in the Eastern provinces, and the population has been deported wholesale towards the Hauran Desert, Gereg and Mosul where the victims are doomed to a death from natural causes more infallible than massacre.
My friends, I have not time to tell you more ; one may say with truth that not a single Armenian is left in Armenia ; soon there will be none left in Cilicia either…..From moment to moment we are waiting for relief, to stave off the Death of the Nation. Be quick, never mind how, we have no means of communication!
1600 Armenians have had their throats cut in the prisons at Diyarbekir. The Arashnort was mutilated, drenched with alcohol, and burnt alive in the prison yard, in the middle of a carousing crowd of gendarmes, who even accompanied the scene with music. The massacres at Beniani, Adiaman, and Selefka have been carried out diabolically ; there is not a single man left above the age of 13 years; the girls have been outraged mercilessly ; we have seen their mutilated corpses tied together in batches of 4, 8, or 10 and cast into the Euphrates. The majority had been mutilated in an indescribable manner.
We are unable to realise any of our property, either national or private, because it has all been confiscated by the Government. The Government has even confiscated the convents, the churches and the schools. Black famine reigns in this town ; we have 15,000 deported Armenians here, who are being sent on in batches to Arabia. The whole of Armenia is being cleared out.
I sign this letter with my blood.
Categories: Armenian Genocide