VILAYET OF MAMOURET-UL-AZIZ.
This province lies south-west of Erzindjan, where the Kara-Su bends from west to south and effects its junction with the Mourad-Su, to form the united stream of the Euphrates. The remnant of the convoys from the Vilayet of Erzeroum passed through this district on their way to Mesopotamia, and the Armenian inhabitants of Mamouret-ul-Aziz itself were sent after them in the first weeks of July.
The great advance of the Russians in the winter of 1915-6 brought this province within the immediate war zone, and apparently provoked a second outburst of persecution. On the 24th February, 1916, the Paris journal "Le Temps" published the following telegram from Rome : "According to information that has reached the Vatican, the Turks have carried fire and sword through the region of Mamouret-ul-Aziz, killing all the Christians, including the Catholic Armenian Bishop, Mgr. Ivraklon, who was subjected to prolonged and fearful tortures."
The. name of the town to which most of the documents in this section relate is, for obvious reasons, withheld.
64. H. : STATEMENT MADE BY MISS DA., A DANISH LADY IN THE SERVICE OF THE GERMAN RED CROSS AT H.. TO MR. DB. AT BASLE, AND COMMUNICATED BY MR. DB. TO LORD BRYCE.
Sister DA. left the German Red Cross Mission at H. in April, 1916, travelling through Ourfa to Aleppo, and thence by road and railway across Anatolia to Constantinople. Mr. DB. met her at Basle, on her way from Constantinople to Denmark, in the house of a mutual friend.
Sister DA. told Mr. DB. that on the 16th March, 1915, the German Vice-Consul appointed provisionally to Erzeroum (the Consul himself being interned in Russia) was passing through the town of H., accompanied by two German officers, and arranged to dine that evening with the German Red Cross Staff, after paying his respects to the Vali. At the hour fixed, only the two officers appeared. They said that they had called, with the Vice-Consul, upon the Vali, but that after a time the Vali had shewn signs of being irked by their presence, and so they had taken their departure, leaving the Vali and the Vice-Consul together. The company waited for the Vice-Consul about two hours. He arrived about 9.30 p.m., in a state of great agitation, and told them at once the purport of his interview. The Vali had declared to him that the Armenians in Turkey must be, and were going to be, exterminated. They had grown, he said, in wealth and numbers until they had become a menace to the ruling Turkish race; extermination was the only remedy. The Vice-Consul had expostulated and represented that persecution always increased the spiritual vitality of a subject race, and on grounds of expediency was the worst policy for the rulers. Well, we shall see," said the Vali, and closed the conversation.
This incident occurred on the 16th March, 1915, and Mr. DB. points out that it must have been practically simultaneous with an interview given by Enver Pasha at Constantinople to the Gregorian Bishop of Konia in the course of February, 1915, Old Style. In this interview the Bishop had asked Enver whether he were satisfied with the conduct of the Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman Army, and Enver had testified warmly to their energy, courage and loyalty---so warmly, in fact, that the Bishop at once asked whether he might publish this' testimonial over Enver's name. Enver readily consented, and the Gregorian Patriarchate at Constantinople accordingly circulated an authorised account of the interview to the Armenian, and even to the Turkish, press.(83) Thus, in the latter part of February, 1915, the Central Government at Constantinople was advertising its friendly feelings towards its Armenian subjects, while by the 16th March, less than a month later, it had given its representative in a remote province to understand that a general massacre of these same Armenians was imminent.
To return to Sister DA.'s narrative---she told Mr. DB. that between February and the beginning of May, 1915, about 400 Armenians had been arrested and imprisoned at H. They were the young men, the strong in body and the intellectuals. Most of their kind had been taken for the Army in the mobilisation of the previous autumn, but these 400 had been left, and were now thrown into prison instead of being conscribed.
At the beginning of May, the Vali of H. sent for the head of the German Protestant Mission Station in the town, and requested him to tell the Armenians that they must surrender their arms. Otherwise, he said, the most stringent measures would be taken against them. The missionaries must persuade them to deliver up the arms quickly. The head of the Mission Station called a meeting of Armenian notables, and put to them what the Vali had said. The Armenians decided to consult with their Turkish fellow-townsmen, and so a mixed meeting was held of all the Turkish and Armenian notables of H. At this meeting the Turkish notables urged the Armenians to give up their arms and promised that, if they did so, they themselves would guarantee their security, and would see that they suffered nothing at the Government's hands.
This promise induced the Armenians to comply. They collected their arms and presented them to the Vali, but the Vali declared that all had not been brought. The newest and most dangerous weapons, he said, had been in the hands of the 400 prisoners. These must be surrendered also, or the penalties he had threatened would still be inflicted on the whole Armenian community at H. So the notables went to the men in prison, and besought them to reveal where their arms were hidden; all the Gregorian priests went, and the head of the German Mission Station went with them. The 400 were obstinate at first, but it was represented to them that., if they refused, they would be responsible for the destruction of the whole community, and at last they gave in. They revealed the hiding-places, and the arms were duly found and delivered up to the Vali.
The Vali immediately had photographs taken of all the arms collected, and sent them to Constantinople as evidence that an Armenian revolution was on the point of breaking out at H. He asked for a free hand to suppress it, and an order came back from Constantinople that he was to take whatever measures he considered necessary on the spot.
After that, the 400 young men were conveyed out of the town by night and never heard of again. Shots were said to have been heard in the distance.
Three days later, the rest of the Armenian community at H. was summoned by bugle to assemble before the Government Building, and then deported. The men were first sent off in one direction, and later the women and children, on ox-carts, in another. They were only given a few hours to make their preparations, and Sister DA. described their consternation as being terrible. They tried to dispose of their property, which the Turks bought up for practically nothing. Sewing-machines, for instance, sold for two or three piastres (4d. to 6d.). The process of deportation was extended to the whole Vilayet.
The Armenian children in the German Orphanage at H. were sent away with the rest. "My orders," said the Vali," are to deport all Armenians. I cannot make an exception of these." He announced, however, that a Government Orphanage was to be established for any children that remained, and shortly afterwards he called on Sister DA. and asked her to come and visit it. Sister DA. went with him, and found about 700 Armenian children in a good building. For every twelve or fifteen children there was one Armenian nurse, and they were well clothed and fed. "See what care the Government is taking of the Armenians," the Vali said, and she returned home surprised and pleased; but when she visited the Orphanage again several days later, there were only thirteen of the 700 children left---the rest had disappeared. They had been taken, she learnt, to a lake six hours' journey by road from the town and drowned. Three hundred fresh children were subsequently collected at the "Orphanage," and Sister DA. believed that they suffered the same fate as their predecessors. These victims were the residue of the Armenian children at H. The finest boys and prettiest girls had been picked out and carried off by the Turks and Kurds of the district, and it was the remainder, who had been left on the Government's hands, that were disposed of in this way.
As soon as the Armenians had been deported from H., convoys of other exiles began to pass through from the districts further north. Sister DA. did not see these convoys, because they made a detour round the town, and she never left the town precincts; but she talked with many people who did see them, and they gave a terrible description of their plight. The roads near the town, they said, were littered with the corpses of those who had died of sickness or exhaustion, or from the violence of their guards. And these accounts were confirmed by her own experience last April (1916), on her journey to Aleppo. On the road to Aleppo from Ourfa she passed numbers of corpses lightly buried under a layer of soil. The extremities of the limbs were protruding, and had been gnawed by dogs. She was told by people she met that unheard-of atrocities had been committed, and that there were cases of women who had drowned themselves to escape their tormentors.
It was Sister DA.'s impression that the deportation and massacre of the Armenians had ruined Turkey economically. The Armenians had been the only skilled workers in the country, and industry came to a standstill when they were gone. You could not replace copper vessels for your household ; you could not get your roof re-tiled. The Government had actually retained a few Armenian artisans---bakers, masons, &c.---to work for the Army, and whatever work was still done was done by these and by a few others who had gone over to Islam. But though the sources of production were cut off, the Turks had not begun to feel the pinch. Having laid hands on all the property of the Armenians, they were richer, for the moment, than before. During the past year bread had been plentiful and cheap, cattle and meat had been abundant, and there were still enough supplies, she thought, to last for some time yet. Under these circumstances, the Turkish peasantry were well content---except for the women, who resented the absence of their husbands at the war. The dearth of men, Sister DA. said, was everywhere noticeable. She had been told, however, that some Kurdish tribes had refused to furnish recruits, and that the Kizil Bashis of the Dersim had furnished none at all. The Government had been preparing an expedition against the Kizil Bashis to extort a toll of conscripts, but the plan had been thwarted by the Russian advance. In the Turkish villages agricultural work was being largely carried on by the Armenian women and children, who had been handed over to the Moslem peasants by the authorities. Sister DA. saw quantities of them everywhere, practically in the condition of slaves. They were never allowed to rest in peace, but were constantly chivied about from one village to another.
As she came down to Aleppo she found the country under good cultivation. Great stores of bread had been accumulated for the army in Mesopotamia. In Anatolia, on the other hand, the fields were neglected, and she thought that there famine was not far off. But it was not till she reached Constantinople that she found any present scarcity. In the provinces only sugar and petrol had been scarce ; at Constantinople all commodities were both scarce and dear.
Sister DA. was told at Constantinople that, Turks of all parties were united in their approval of what was being done to the Armenians, and that Enver Pasha openly boasted of it as his personal achievement. Talaat Bey, too, was reported to have remarked, on receiving the news of Vartkes'(84) assassination : "There is no room in the Empire for both Armenians and Turks. Either they had to go or we."
65. H. : REPORT, DATED 11th JULY, 1915, FROM A FOREIGN RESIDENT AT H. ; COMMUNICATED BY THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR ARMENIAN AND SYRIAN RELIEF.
If it were simply. a matter of being obliged to leave here to go somewhere else, it would not be so bad, but everybody knows that it is a case of going to one's death. If there was any doubt about it, it has been removed by the arrival of a number of convoys, aggregating several thousand people, from Erzeroum and Erzindjan. I have visited their encampment a number of times, and talked with some of the people. A more pitiable sight cannot be imagined. They are, 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 ------ and spoke excellent English. They said their family was the richest 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 that 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 that every member of her family with her had been killed and that 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 school-house just outside the town, and no one is allowed to enter it. They said that they were practically in prison, although they were allowed to visit a spring just outside the building. It was there 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 organised and effective massacre this country has ever seen.
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 batch were sent away during the night of the 23rd June. Among them were some of the professors in the College and other prominent Armenians, including the Prelate of the Armenian Gregorian Church. There have been frequent rumours 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 had 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 occurrence on Wednesday, the 7th July. On the Monday many men were arrested, both at H. and G., and put in prison. At daybreak on the Tuesday morning they were taken out and made to march towards an almost uninhabited mountain. There were about eight hundred in all, and they were roped together in groups of fourteen each. That afternoon they arrived in a small Kurdish village, where they were kept overnight 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 the 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 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 that 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 AT. and BG., 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 rumours of similar occurrences 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 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, and 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 remaining here, including women and children, must leave on the 13th July.
66. H. : MEMORANDUM(85) FORWARDED BY A FOREIGN RESIDENT AT H. (THE AUTHOR OF THE PRECEDING REPORT) ; COMMUNICATED BY THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR ARMENIAN AND SYRIAN RELIEF.
On the 1st June(86), 3,000 people (mostly women, girls and children) left H., accompanied by seventy policemen and a certain Turk of influence, K. Bey. The next day they arrived at AL., safely. Here K. Bey took 400 liras from the people, "in order to keep it safe till their arrival at Malatia," and promised to accompany them, for their protection, as far as Ourfa ; but that same day he ran away with all the money.
The third day the convoy of exiles reached AM. There the Arabs and Kurds began to carry off the women and girls, and this went on till they reached the first railway station at Ras-ul-Ain, on the Bagdad line. The policemen given to them for their protection incited the half-savage tribes of the mountains to attack them in order to rob, kill and violate their women or else carry them away, and they themselves many times violated the women openly.
The fourth day they arrived at AN., where the policemen killed three of the prominent men. The ninth day they came to AO., where the horses, hired and paid for in full for the journey as far as Malatia, were taken and sent back. So they had again to hire ox-carts to carry them to Malatia. Here many were left without any beast of burden, only a few being able to buy donkeys and mules, which were also stolen in their turn.
At AO., a policeman carried off Mrs. L. and her two daughters and ran away.
The thirteenth day the caravan was at Malatia, but for one hour only, for they returned to the village of AP., two hours from Malatia. Here the policemen deserted them altogether, after taking from them about 200 liras in toll for the protection they had given them that far, and the people were left to the mercy of the beastly Bey (claw-chief) of the Kurds of Aghja-Daghi.
On the fifteenth day they were again toiling on their way through the steep mountains, when the Kurds rounded up 150 of the men of all ages from fifteen to ninety years. They took them some distance off and butchered them,, then they came back and began to rob the people.
That day another convoy of exiles (only 300 of whom were men) from Sivas(87), Egin and Tokat, joined the convoy from H., thus forming a bigger convoy of 18,000 people in all. They started again on the seventeenth day, under the so-called protection of another Kurdish Bey. This Bey called out his people, who attacked the convoy and plundered them. They carried off five of the prettiest girls and a few Sisters of Grace from Sivas. At night some more girls were stolen, but they were returned after being violated. So the journey began once more, and on the way the pretty girls were carried off one by one, while the stragglers from the convoy were invariably killed. On the twenty-fifth day they reached the village of Geulik, and all the villagers pursued the convoy for a long distance, tormenting and robbing the exiles. On the thirty-second day they found themselves at the village of Kiakhta. Here they remained two days, and again many girls and women were carried off.
On the fortieth day the convoy came in sight of the river Mourad, a branch of the Euphrates. Here they saw the bodies of more than 200 men floating in the river, with traces of blood and blood-stained fezes, clothes and stockings on the banks.
The chief of the neighbouring village took one lira in toll from each man, as a ransom for not being thrown into the river.
On the fifty-second day they arrived at another village, and here the Kurds took from them everything they had, even their shirts and drawers, so that for five days the whole convoy marched completely naked under the scorching sun. For another five days they did not have a morsel of bread, nor even a drop of water. They were scorched to death by thirst. Hundreds upon hundreds fell dead on the way, their tongues were turned to charcoal, and when, at the end of the five days, they reached a fountain, the whole convoy naturally rushed towards it. But here the policemen barred the way and forbade them to take a single drop of water. Their purpose was to sell it at from one to three liras the cup, and sometimes they actually withheld the water after getting the money. At another place, where there were wells, some women threw themselves into them, as there was no rope or pail to draw up the water. These women were drowned, and, in spite of that, the rest of the people drank from that well, the dead bodies still remaining there and stinking in the water. Sometimes, when the wells were shallow and the women could go down into them and come out again, the other people would rush to lick or suck their wet, dirty clothes, in the effort to quench their thirst.
When they passed an Arab village in their naked condition, the Arabs pitied them and gave them old pieces of clothes to cover themselves with. Some of the exiles who still had money bought some clothes ; but some still remained who travelled thus naked all the way to the city of Aleppo. The poor women could hardly walk for shame; they walked all bent double.
Even in their nakedness they had found some means of preserving the little money they had. Some kept it in their hair, some in their mouths and some in their wombs; and when the robbers attacked them some were clever enough to search for money in those secret places, and that in a very beastly manner, of course.
On the sixtieth day, when they reached Viran Shehr, only 300 exiles remained out of all the 18,000. On the sixty-fourth day they gathered together all the men and the sick women and children and burned and killed them all. The remainder were ordered to continue on their way. In one day's journey they reached Ras-ul-Ain, where for two days, for the first time since they started, the Government gave them bread. The bread was uneatable, but for the three succeeding days they did not have even that.
Here a Circassian persuaded the wife of the Pastor of Sivas, as well as some other women, with their children, to go with him to the station, promising to send them to Aleppo by train. In spite of all the warnings of their friends, these women followed the man, as they and their children were no longer capable of finishing the journey on foot. The man took them in the opposite direction from the station, explaining that lie would borrow money from his friend, near by, for the tickets ; but after a short time he came back to where the convoy was halted. The women and their children were no more.
The governor of the place demanded three liras for himself and one lira for the railway ticket from each of them, before he would let them go by train.
On the seventieth day, when they reached Aleppo, 35 women and children were left out of the 3,000 exiles from H., and 150 women and children altogether out of the whole convoy of 18,000.
67. H. : NARRATIVE OF AN ARMENIAN REFUGEE FROM H. ; COMMUNICATED TO LORD BRYCE BY THE CORRESPONDENT OF THE LONDON "TIMES" AT BUKAREST.
Much has been written in the Press about the Armenian massacres, and especially about the horrors of the wholesale deportations, by which the Armenians were forcibly removed from their native homes. At the same time no precise or concrete description has yet been given of the monstrous excesses of which the Armenian nation has been the victim. But a young Armenian, an eye-witness who escaped by a miracle from the atrocious butchery at H., has related to us in all their appalling detail the events that took place at this town. His narrative gives a clear idea of the enormity and the ignoble cruelty of the crime committed, not only at H., but in all the other provinces of Armenia. We can easily discern from these facts the criminal tactics of the Young Turkish Government.
"At H.," says this witness, "the deportation of the Armenians lasted three months. In June the most prominent members of the Dashnaktzoutioun Committee were arrested, including Messrs. DE, DE, DG., DH., and DJ., as well as various others. They were subjected to unheard-of tortures, to extract from them supposed secrets concerning the alleged project of an Armenian revolution. No result was obtained from this inquisition.
"The Armenian population was simple enough to believe that this harsh persecution was only directed against the members of the Dashnaktzoutioun Committee, and it therefore displayed no uneasiness on its own account. But shortly afterwards the arrests were extended in scope and began to assume formidable proportions. All the Armenian young men in the town were arrested and terrorised by infernal torments. About 13,000 Armenian soldiers, too, who were serving among the Ottoman troops at H., were stripped of their arms and transferred to the "Red Palace" at G. They were kept there under stringent guard, and hunger and thirst were left to do their work upon them. The friends and relations of the prisoners were rigorously debarred from any communication with them. A week later all the prisoners were brought out again and despatched to an unknown destination, under a strong escort of gendarmerie with fixed bayonets. They were told that they were going to be transported to Ourfa, to work on the roads and lines of communication, but when they reached BP. Han, near BQ. village, they were all shot and their corpses shovelled into a great trench, which had been specially prepared for them. The majority of the young Armenians who were treated in this way were pupils of the American College, the French College, and the Central Armenian School. Other prisoners were subsequently led away in the same direction in gangs of five and shot. Twenty of these unfortunates succeeded by a miracle in escaping, and have related the details of this awful butchery.
"Next came the turn of the imprisoned members of the Dashnaktzoutioun Committee; but they had guessed the fate that was awaiting them and offered a desperate resistance, which ended in their setting fire to the building in which they were confined, since they preferred being burnt alive to becoming the prey of Turkish barbarity. (There were from twenty-five to thirty of these Dashnakists, but the young refugee was ignorant of their names, with the exception of those which we have mentioned above.)
"In July all Armenian families of any standing in G. were compelled to emigrate. The arrests of the young men had been effected at night time, but the deportation of these wealthy families was carried out in full daylight.
"These exiles from G. were taken to the villages of AN. and AO. On their way they were overtaken by a gendarme riding post-haste with an order from the Vali, which directed the return of a score of individuals among the party. These individuals were taken a distance of twenty kilometres and then slaughtered without pity, like cattle, on the banks of a river and their corpses thrown into the water. As for the rest, the men were separated from the women and cruelly murdered by blows of the axe. The women and girls were carried off by the Kurds and Turks.
"This was followed by the general deportation. The people were deported in several convoys, and in different directions. These convoys were massacred openly and without discrimination, some below the hill of AU., others on the summit of BR. Hill and on Mount BS.
"A few men and women in the service of the Turkish and Kurdish beys were allowed to live until the end of the harvest. The compulsory emigration was even forced upon Armenians who had been converts to Islam since the massacres of 1895. These were deported in October.
"All the professors and schoolmasters wore also imprisoned and subsequently assassinated, at the same time as the young men. Those, however, who were connected with German institutions were happily excepted.
"The American Consul did not see fit to intervene in favour of these unfortunates---not even when they were American citizens. We do not know the motive of this passive attitude of his.
"Out of a numerous convoy of exiles from Erzeroum and Erzindjan, nothing but a handful of women and children succeeded in reaching H., after abandoning on their way many of their number who could no longer bear up against the misery and starvation. Those who have reached H. are in an absolutely deplorable condition. They hardly look like human beings, and roam about the streets seeking for a morsel of dry bread, until they fall fainting from exhaustion and are picked up next day half dead by the municipal scavenger carts. These scenes are repeated daily.
"The massacre of the entire population of the Province of Sivas has been effected in the same fashion. Everywhere one passes corpses lying unburied in the open. On my journey I saw heart-rending incidents---women in their last agony lying on the ground with their sucklings, already dead, beside them.
"The Turkish and Kurdish villages are full of Armenian women and girls. Some of the villagers have taken possession of dozens of them. Eimen, the head of the 'German Oriental Mission,' remarks, as if that completely justified everything, that now the Armenians will realise for the future the serious consequences of conspiring against Germany and her Allies. A considerable number of Armenians from H. and the neighbourhood have taken refuge among the mountains of Dersim, where the native Kurdish have offered them generous hospitality."
Another Armenian, who succeeded in escaping from Der-el-Zor, in Arabia, describes the miseries endured there by the Armenian women. They are not only suffering from the ravages of disease, but from the lawlessness of the Arabs, who come again and again to snatch victims for their bestial lust.
68. MANOURET-UL-AZIZ: NARRATIVE OF AN ARMENIAN LADY DEPORTED FROM C. (A PLACE HALF-AN-HOUR'S DISTANCE FROM H.), DESCRIBING HER JOURNEY FROM C. TO RAS-UL-AIN; WRITTEN AFTER HER ESCAPE FROM TURKEY, AND DATED ALEXANDRIA, 2nd NOVEMBER, 1915; PUBLISHED IN THE ARMENIAN JOURNAL "GOTCHNAG" OF NEW YORK, 8th JANUARY, 1916.
Shortly after last Easter (1915), the Turkish officials searched the Armenian churches and schools of G., H., C., AQ., AR., AS. and the surrounding villages, but without finding anything incriminating. Afterwards they took the keys of these buildings, and filled them with soldiers. They also searched private houses on the pretence of looking for arms and ammunition, but they did not find anything. After that the Town Crier announced that all arms were to be handed over to the Government, and by this means a number of arms were collected.
After that, they arrested from the town of C. the following persons: Professor B., Mr. H. and his brother J., Mr. O. and his son P., Mr. Q., the brothers R., the brothers S., and T. Effendi, as well as many others, old and young. They took them to the house of V. Agha, stripped them one by one and gave them 300 lashes on their backs. When they fainted, they threw them into a stable and waited until they had revived, in order to beat them again. The men who performed these cruel acts consisted of the following Turks: Commissary (Gendarme) W. Effendi the son of Commissary X., V. Agha, V.'s cousin Y., Z. Agha, Hadji CA. Bey the son of CB. Effendi, CD, and CE. the son of V. Agha. Among the Kurds implicated were the son of CD, CG., etc. The above-mentioned CF.'s son and another Kurd beat Mr. CH. until he was half dead.
After beating T. Effendi in H., and tearing out his finger nails and the flesh of his hands and feet, they put a rope under his arms, dragged him to C., and threw him into prison. Then they entered his house, and, on the pretence of searching it, made his wife, who was in indifferent health, lie on the ground; a soldier sat on her, and they began to beat her on her feet, asking her where they had hidden their arms. After a few days her husband died in the prison.
In C. they beat many young men to get their arms, so that they were obliged to buy arms from the Turks and give them to the Government(88).
When the Government was convinced that they had no more arms to surrender, they stopped tormenting them ; but after a few days' interval they took the young men to G., imprisoned them there for a time, and then deported them in May. Meanwhile the women of C. went to the German missionary, Dr. U., at G. and begged him to defend them. Dr. U. came to C. and spoke, in a church ; he advised the Armenians to trust the Turks absolutely.
When I was in C. I heard that in H. they had beaten CL Agha, who subsequently disappeared.
They plucked out the hair and nails of some of the professors. They dug out their eyes and branded them with red hot irons, so that some of them died immediately, and others first lost their reason and died thereafter.
The Bishop of H., CJ., and other prominent Armenians were imprisoned and suffered many cruelties.
On Friday, the 2nd July, they deported part of the Armenians of G. Their destination appeared to be Ourfa via Diyarbekir.
On Saturday, the 3rd July, they deported all Armenians domiciled in the houses belonging to CL. in A. Street, in the town of G. Again their destination was supposed to be Ourfa, but via Malatia in this case.
We ourselves were deported on the 4th July in the direction of Ourfa via Diyarbekir.
The Town Crier proclaimed that on the following Tuesday those from B. and C. Streets in the Town of H. would be deported, on Wednesday the Armenians from AQ., on Thursday those from AR., and so on.
CJ. and two hundred other Armenians were deported ten days before we were, that is on Wednesday, the 23rd June; we do not know their destination. Their party started at midnight. Some of them dropped cards asking for money, and at AT. money was conveyed to them. But the following Monday, the 28th June, when the Armenian women of AT. went to the river, they saw some Turkish women washing blood-stained clothes. The Armenian women took the clothes from the Turkish women and brought them to the Governor at G. The Governor on hearing this went to AT. and found that the Bishop and the 200 Armenians had been killed.
Up to the day we started, the Syrians had not yet been deported, and the women who had no husbands were also allowed to remain, but later on CK. Aghassi said that not a single Armenian would be left. After the Armenians were deported, the Government locked their houses and sealed them up. The men of CL.'s factory were also deported with their families. In C. some of the tradesmen were not deported, as, for example, CM. Agha the son of CN. Agha, the baker CO. and his family, and the two brothers, CP. and CQ. Aghas, the sons of Q. Agha. CQ. Agha became a Moslem, while the father was deported with the Bishop.
All the people of C. started the same day. I think we were about 600 families. We had with us all our cattle and all our property. The first night we reached AU. and slept that night in the fields. The next day we passed many corpses heaped together under bridges and on the road, their blood had collected in pools. Probably these were the Armenians that were killed with the Bishop, for the corpses were all those of men. We spent the night near AV. in a valley, and that night we had to drink water polluted with blood. We promised our guards money if they took us a better road and gave us clean water. The third day they again made us travel past corpses, and on Wednesday we reached A.
The same morning the gendarmes that were accompanying us, W. Effendi and the other Turkish effendis that were with him, put down their chairs in front of our han, and sat down. Then they turned to us and told us that they had received telegrams from H., and that instead of going to Ourfa some of us would go to Yermag and the rest to Severeg, so that our journey would thus be shortened. "Only it is necessary," they added, "that your men should come and register themselves at the ban at A., and state which way they would like to go. Thank the Sultan, who has made your journey shorter." After these words they all clapped their hands and forced us to do the same. Our men, being simple-minded, were deceived, and they even left their hats and coats to go to the han in question. None of those that went returned. Then the rest of those above 16 years of age and all the old men were arrested and taken to the same place. After this the gendarmes beat the women and forced them to continue their journey. The women said: " We will not go unless our men go with us. You may kill us if you want to." But the Turkish officials told us that our men would follow us in a little while, and forced the women and children to march on, so they marched on crying and wailing. After half -an-hour's journey they made us sit in the fields, and all the Turkish officers returned to A. except one. The same day some Arab women (that is, Armenian gipsies) brought us bread, in spite of the officers' efforts to prevent them, and when they heard that we were crying because our men had been killed, they told us that they had seen them all passing by roped together. Again we went on under the hot burning sun, still crying. The sixth day they made us stop in a Kurdish village, where we spent the night. Next morning we saw that all the gendarmes that had returned to A. had now rejoined the convoy.
Then Gendarme W. Effendi and the other Turks with him beat us and forced us under threat of death to give them all our money and ornaments. They said that, if we did not give them up, they would violate us and exile us to different places. We were afraid, and gave them everything we had. Then they gave us back from five piastres (10d.) to one medjidia (3s. 2d.) each, at the same time stating that our money and everything else would be returned to us at Diyarbekir, and that they had only taken our jewellery and money for safety.
The ninth day, they took us to the top of a mountain, and the same Effendi and the other gendarmes searched us all over in a shameful manner ; they took all the silk-stuffs and everything else of value in our clothes and bedding. Half-an-hour later we reached a Kurdish village. There I met a Turkish soldier from Malatia, called CR., whom I knew. He pitied me, and told me that it was all over with us. "I would advise you," he said, " to leave your company and look after yourself."
We were already within a short distance of Diyarbekir when two soldiers came from the Governor, to find out where we had been during the last nine days. Here the gendarmes that were with us took away all our cows and cattle; they also kidnapped one woman and two girls. Outside the walls of Diyarbekir, we had to sit in the burning sun for 24 hours. That same day a number of Turks came from the city and kidnapped our little girls. Towards evening again we went on, still crying; more Turks came to carry off our girls and young brides, and would not let us even open our mouths to protest. Then we left all our cattle and everything we had, to save our honour and our lives. It was already night when the Turks from Diyarbekir attacked us three times and carried off the girls and young brides who had fallen behind. After this we lost all sense of time. The next morning again the gendarmes searched us all over, and then made us march six hours. During these six hours we found no drinking water, and many women sank on the way from thirst and hunger. The third day after that they robbed us, and violated us near a place where there was water. Some days after, two Turks dressed in white coats followed us, and, every time they had a chance, carried off still more of our girls. The wife of CS. Effendi from C. had three daughters, one of whom was married. A coloured gendarme who was with us wanted to take these girls. The mother resisted, and was thrown over a bridge by one of the Turks. The poor woman broke her arm, but her mule-driver dragged her up again. Again the same Turks threw her down, with one of her daughters, from the top of the mountain. The moment the married daughter saw her mother and sister thrown down, she thrust the baby in her arms upon another woman, ran after them crying "Mother, mother!" and threw herself down the same precipice. Some said that one of the Turkish officers went down after them and finished them off. After that Mrs. CS.'s remaining daughter and I disguised ourselves, and, each taking a child in our arms, abandoned everything and walked to Mardin. There our party joined us again. We stayed there eight days. There was an artificial lake there, and every night they opened the sluices and flooded the ground, so that in the panic they might kidnap some of the girls. They also attacked us every night and kidnapped little children. At last, one evening, they drove us on again and left us among the mountains. They wounded a woman because she did not wish to give up her daughter. When they were going to carry off another girl, I asked CT. Tchaoush, a Mardin, man,, to help us, he stopped them at once, and did not let them take her away. He told us to stay there and not to start until further notice. The Kurds from the surrounding villages attacked us that night. CT. Tchaoush, who was in charge of us, immediately went up on to the heights and harangued them in Kurdish, telling them not to attack us. We were hungry and thirsty, and had no water to drink. CT. took some of our vessels and brought us water from a long way off. The wife of my brother-in-law, the tailor CU., had a baby born that night. The next morning we started again. CT. left some women with her and kept an eye on her from a distance. Then he put the mother and the new-born child on a beast, and brought her to us in safety. Again we marched six hours without water. Here a Turk kidnapped the son of the woman who had been thrown down the mountain side. Finally, in the last stages of hunger and exhaustion, we reached Viran Shehr. Many had already been left on the road.
We had nothing more to eat until we reached Ras-ul-Ain. A fourth part of our convoy had already perished of starvation. Just before reaching Ras-ul-Ain we marched through the whole of one night. We passed three wells choked with corpses up to the brim. The women that went before us encountered three wounded women who crawled out of these wells and asked for bread. These three women went on in our company towards Ras-ul-Ain. Two of them died on the way, and the third was sent to Der-el-Zor with the convoy. It was here that CV., the sister of CW., a girl about 18 or 19 years old, fell down because she could not walk any further. Her mother and sister-in-law kissed her, crying, and left her. We were forced to leave her by herself, because the soldiers would not let any one stay behind with her.
We did not see a single Armenian until we reached Ras-ul-Ain. There we found many deported Armenians who had come from Erzeroum, Egin, Keghi, and other places. They were all on their way to Der-el-Zor. At Ras-ul-Ain we suddenly met CX. Agha of H. He had come from Aleppo to help us. He wanted to save at least a few of the party and take them to Aleppo. He advised us to go to the house of CY. Bey, a Circassian, or to the house of his son-in-law, so that he might convey us into safety from there. At Ras-ul-Ain a great many of the Armenians found refuge in the houses of some Tchetchens (a tribe akin to the Circassians), but afterwards the Government removed them all from the Tchetchens' houses to deport them to Der-el-Zor. Only my batch, consisting of forty-one people, were left in the house of this CY. Bey, and we were safe here because the Bey and his friends were Government people. The first moment that we saw CX. Agha we thought we had seen an angel from Heaven, and cried to him : "CX. Agha, save us." When the Tchetchens heard his name, they discovered that he was an Armenian, and immediately attacked him. He was almost killed, but withstood them by his bravery and address; he told them that he had been sent there specially by the Government, and turning immediately to us, he gave us to understand that those who went to CY. Bey's house would be saved.
CX. Agha took the next train and returned to Aleppo. He tried every means to save us, and after fifteen days he came back. The Circassians (or Tchetchens) endeavoured to force us to become Moslems, but we answered them: "We will throw ourselves into the water and die, but we will not become Moslems.") The Tchetchens were surprised at these words, and said they had never seen people like this, so zealous for their honour and their religion and so devoted to each other. CX. Agha found this out and went to the chief of the Tchetchens ; he bribed him, and then, with superb courage, conducted us to the railway one by one, the station being about two miles from where we were. It was Saturday evening when we reached Aleppo. Here for the first time we met some Armenian soldiers, who were almost crazy with joy when they saw us. We could hardly believe they were Armenians, until CX. Agha's father came after dark with some of these soldiers, carrying no lights, and took us to the Armenian Church. There they told us that if the Government should discover us and inquire how we came, we were to tell them that we had travelled at our own expense. They immediately brought us bread ; we had not eaten anything for twenty-four hours. There were a number of deported Armenians in the Church; they came from different places and had been travelling for four months. They were so exhausted that about forty of them were dying every day. The priest who performed the ceremony could not drag himself home. From the deported Armenians in Aleppo we learned that the husbands of many of the women had been roped together and taken to Sheitan. Deressi (Devil's Valley)(89), where they were slaughtered with axes and knives. Here we gave up all hope of seeing our husbands again, being convinced that they were all killed. We heard that in some places they made the Armenians dig their own graves before they killed them. An Armenian soldier from Tchemesh-Getzak told me that the Turks were killing the Armenians and throwing them into the Euphrates, when six of them managed to cross the river and get away, after three days' journey through country littered with corpses.
On Sunday morning I went to see the American Consul at Aleppo, and asked him to save me, as I was an American citizen. He asked me where my papers were. I told him they were taken from me on the way ; I told him all the circumstances, and he promised to help me. I went to him again the next day and told him how my parents were American citizens, and my husband also, and how my husband had lived in America for 18 years; I told him he could prove it by asking the American Consul at H. or even the Washington Government. After five days had passed, he sent for me and made me tell my story in the Turkish language. He put my name in his book, and placed me in his kavass's house. Then he gave me a passport and sent me to Alexandretta in the company of some Russian subjects. We stayed fifteen days in Alexandretta. From there we reached Alexandria on board the American cruiser "Chester," on the 22nd September, 1915.
While I was in Ras-ul-Ain, we saw some Armenian girls in the houses of some Tchetchens. One of them was married to one of the Tchetchens. They begged us not to forget them if we were ever saved. J. Agha's wife and children reached Ras-ul-Ain. A Kurd came and said to them: "I am from the village of Karer ; you come with me, and I will take you to Karer until the end of the war." They believed him, and went to his house. Afterwards CX. Agha tried to save them, but they had already gone. H. Agha's wife and three daughters went to Der-el-Zor.
The Turkish Government did not provide any food for us on the way; one day only, at Diyarbekir, they gave us one loaf each, and again for about eight days at Mardin, but the bread was so hard that it cut our mouths. The son of Prof. B., his married daughter, and his future daughter-in-law, as well as the wife and two daughters of Mr. CZ., reached Aleppo in safety. CC. Agha's daughter and his little boy were kidnapped by the Turks. Only two of the boys were left with the mother, who reached Aleppo safely. Besides the gendarmes, Kurdish irregulars also followed us on the way, to kill those that were left behind. The clothes of those who underwent this deportation were all rotted by the end of the journey, and the exiles themselves had almost lost their reason. When they were given new clothes they did not know how to put them on, and when their hair was washed it came off bodily from their scalps.
69. H. : STATEMENT BY THE PRINCIPAL OF THE COLLEGE, DATED 19th JULY, 1915 ; COMMUNICATED BY THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR ARMENIAN AND SYRIAN RELIEF.
I shall try to banish from my mind for the time the sense of great personal sorrow at losing hundreds of my friends here, and also my sense of utter defeat in being so unable to stop the awful tragedy or even mitigate to any degree its severity, and compel myself to give you concisely some of the cold facts of the past months, as they relate themselves to the College. I do so with the hope that the possession of these concrete facts may help you to do something there for the handful of dependants still left to us here.
Buildings.---Seven of our big buildings are in the hands of the Government, only one remaining in our hands. The seven buildings in question are empty, except for twenty guards who are stationed there. I cannot tell you exactly the amount of loss we have sustained in money by robberies, breakages and other means, and there is no sign that the Turks will ever return these buildings to us.
Constituency.---Approximately two-thirds of the girl pupils and six-sevenths of the boys have been taken away to death, exile or Moslem homes.
Professors.---Four gone, three left, as follows
Professor A.---Served College 35 years ; representative of the Americans with the Government, Protestant "Askabed," Professor of Turkish and History. Besides previous trouble, arrested May 1st without charge; hair of head, moustache and beard pulled out, in vain effort to secure damaging confessions ; starved and hung by arms for a day and a night, and severely beaten several times ; taken out towards Diyarbekir about June 20th, and murdered in general massacre on the road.
Professor B.---Served College 33 years, studied at Ann Arbor, Professor of Mathematics. Arrested about June 5th, and shared Prof. A.'s fate on the road.
Professor C.---Taken to witness a man beaten almost to death ; became mentally deranged ; started with. his family about July 5th into exile under guard, and murdered beyond Malatia. Principal of Preparatory Department; studied at Princeton; served College 20 years.
Professor D.---Served College 16 years, studied at Edinburgh. Professor of Mental and Moral Science. Arrested with Prof. A. and suffered same tortures; also had three finger nails pulled out by the roots ; killed in same massacre.
Professor E.---Served College 25 years. Arrested May 1st; not tortured, but sick in prison ; sent to Red Crescent Hospital, and after paying large bribes is now free.
Professor F.---Served College for over 15 Years, studied in Stuttgart and Berlin, Professor of Music. Escaped arrest and torture, and thus far escaped exile and death, because of favour with the Kaimakam secured by personal services rendered.
Professor G.---Served College about 15 years, studied at Cornell and Yale (M.S.), Professor of Biology. Arrested about June 5th, beaten about the hands, body and head with a stick by the Kaimakam himself, who, when tired, called on all who loved religion and the nation to continue the beating ; after a period of insensibility in a dark closet, taken to the Red Crescent Hospital with a broken finger and serious bruises. Now free.
Instructors, Male.---Four reported killed on the road in various massacres, whose average term of service is eight years.
Three not heard from, probably killed on the road; average term of service in the College, four years.
Two sick in the American Hospital. One elsewhere. One, engaged in cabinet work for the Kaimakam, free. One, owner of house occupied by the Kaimakam, free.
Instructors, Female.---One reported killed in F. ; served the College over 20 years.
One reported taken to a Turkish harem. Three not heard from.
Four started out as exiles. Ten free.
Total Loss.---About seven-eighths of the buildings, three-quarters of the students, and half the teaching staff.
Of the Armenian people as a whole we may estimate that three-fourths are gone, and this three-fourths includes the leaders in every walk of life---merchants, professional men, preachers, bishops and government officials. And there is no certainty for those who are just now free. The Vali has said that all must go. It is only temporary measures, such as bribes or special favours, that have secured postponement. Since we know the fate to which they go, since we have seen the pitiable plight of the stragglers who have survived the journey from Erzindjan and Erzeroum, since we find ourselves forbidden to aid them except in insignificant ways, and since we are forbidden to accompany them to aid them on the way, we are the more eager, if possible, to save those who are left with us.
It seems to us possible that something can be done to save these few. Permission has recently been obtained through the German Embassy for those connected with the German Mission, teachers and their families, orphans and servants, a circle of several hundred, to remain in G. I therefore beg of you to take what steps are possible to secure the permission through our Ambassador for the handful of dependants still with us to remain in H.
If such permission is not secured, we shall probably be called upon to see the very members of our households dragged off to decorate the harems of those who have not as yet secured as many girl slaves as they wish. Nothing can be done locally. The Kaimakam and his coterie in H. are more powerful here than the Vali, and take pleasure in flaunting our impotence in our faces.
I have said enough. Our hearts are sick with these sights and stories of abject terror and suffering. The extermination of the race seems to be the objective, and the means employed are more fiendish than could be concocted locally. The orders are from headquarters, and any reprieve must be from the same source.
70. H. : STATEMENT BY THE PRINCIPAL OF THE COLLEGE, DATED 19th JULY, 1915, RELATING TO THE DEPORTATION OF ARMENIANS FROM VILLAGES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF H. ; COMMUNICATED BY THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR ARMENIAN AND SYRIAN RELIEF.
From the village of E., 212 individuals set out, of whom 128 (60 per cent.) reached Aleppo alive; 56 men and 11 women were killed on the road, 3 girls and 9 boys were sold or kidnapped, and 5 people were missing.
From the same place another party of 696 people were deported; 321 (46 per cent.) reached Aleppo ; 206 men and 57 women were killed en route; 70 girls and young women and 19 boys were sold; 23 were missing.
From the village of D. a party of 128 were deported, of whom 32 (25 per cent.) reached Aleppo alive; 24 men and 12 women were killed en route ; 29 girls and young women and 13 boys were sold; and 18 were missing.
71. H. : LETTER DATED 10th NOVEMBER, 1915, FROM THE PRINCIPAL OF THE COLLEGE AT H. TO MR. N. AT CONSTANTINOPLE; COMMUNICATED BY THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR ARMENIAN AND SYRIAN RELIEF.
The difficulty of securing local permission to start out for America, as well as the scarcity of wagons, has delayed our party for some days. We have been grateful, in the meantime, that we have heard from you approving our plans. We hope to start in a day or two. We do not anticipate the journey with relish, but we feel that it will be better to go now than to wait. I am apprehensive for those who stay, though nothing definite threatens citizens of our country at present.
Following your circulars of information as to the attitude of the authorities at the capital, we opened our girls' department two weeks ago, and planned soon to open the boys' department also. The registration of the girls reached about 150, of which number about one-third are in the kindergarten. More than another third are boarders, mostly those who have been with us from the time school closed. There are very few day-pupils above primary age.
Last Thursday afternoon, the 4th November, a raid was suddenly made on the Armenian population. Men, women and children were arrested that afternoon in G. and taken to the police station. The next morning the same thing occurred here in H. Most of those arrested in H. were women and children, and they were nearly all of them released the same day, when they showed their papers. In G., however, many were kept over a day or two and then sent off on the road, probably to be butchered as other parties had been. The season is now so late that it is preposterous to suppose a safe journey to be possible when the exiles are allowed no preparation whatever. By far the largest number sent off seem to have been from the villages, where the people were pretty well cleared out. Estimates run as high as a thousand for those who were sent off in one night.
The panic resulting from this wholly unexpected raid can hardly be pictured. Those pupils who were coming to us from outside have stopped coming pretty largely, and many advise us to close the school. Those exiles who had managed in various ways to escape from the convoys and had settled down to normal life, are now plunged in terror. We have had to guard our gates and walls to prevent the public from pouring in on us.
During this recent event the Government has turned its attention to us once more. On Friday the police came, with a sufficient force, to arrest all the men on our promises. They were polite, but expressed the belief that we were hiding many. I went with the handful of men and boys available, and the next day my brother presented those who were not in evidence that day, and they were all sent back to our premises safely. The Commandant personally asked the Consul to write to us and warn us against harbouring any fugitives in our grounds. We assured him that it had been our settled policy all along to refuse such requests, and that we had no such persons with us. The Kaimakam refused to believe that we had no fugitives with us, but I think he has been persuaded more or less of the truth of this. Two of our teachers, who live in their own houses off from our compound, did not appear on Friday before the police. Afterwards, when they found that the others had been released, they also appeared. They were then put in prison, where they still remain. One of them, I hope, will soon be released, but I have fears for the other, because he was so intimately connected with the former Kaimakam, and there seems to be evidence against him that he was a tool in securing bribes for the said Kaimakam---of course under fear of death.
We have had frequent interviews with the Kaimakam and the Commandant, who is locum tenens for the Vali at present. Both of them have been courteous, and assure us that there are no further measures in store for those who have been allowed to stay by order of the Government. But our faith in such promises has been sadly shaken this summer. At two different times the Kaimakam has said that Armenian was no more to be taught in our schools. We have expressed our desire to make the language of the school English, and have assured him that we are working to that end.
As I wrote to you, our curriculum has been submitted to the Mearif, and has been largely approved verbally. We are still in correspondence over some minor details regarding texts. We shall not be able to open work for the few boys who are available at the present, and I confess my deep apprehension lest they and their male teachers should all be rounded up, to go the same road that their comrades followed in July.
It is hard for us to leave just at this juncture. Yet there seems no advantage in our staying compared with the difficulties of leaving later. We shall try to keep you informed of our curriculum.
IX. The Vilayet of Trebizond, and Sandjak of Shabin Kara-Hissar
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