1915-06-30-DE-001
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Source: DE/PA-AA/BoKon/169
Embassy register: A53a/1915/4018
Edition: Genocide 1915/16
Embassy/consular serial number:
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 03/23/2012


Notes by the Consul General in the German Embassy in Constantinople (Mordtmann)





I would like to note the following with regard to the enclosed draft:

1) As the telegrams from Samsun, Trebizond and Harput (the latter from Pastor Ehmann) show, and as Djanbulat Bey orally confirmed to me several days ago with the map of Anatolia in his hand, the Turkish government recently decided to extend the deportation measures against the Armenians even further: the Armenians in the provinces of Djanik, Trebizond, Sivas and Mamuret-ul-Aziz are now also supposed to be deported.

This can no longer be justified by military considerations; rather, it is a matter of destroying the Armenians, as Talaat Bey told me several weeks ago.

I believed that I should point out indirectly at the beginning of the new draft that we cannot agree to such an extent of mass deportations.

2) It must be expected that the destruction of the German-Armenian institutions will cause great agitation in the pro-Armenian circles in Germany. I was not able to achieve anything on behalf of the Armenian personnel from the charity organisation in Marash (in particular, this concerns rural workers); with regard to Harput (Mission Institution Ehmann) a telegram was supposedly sent there yesterday in accordance with our petition.

I consider it advisable to make the Porte particularly aware of these institutions and have thus added a paragraph in the new draft which refers to this.

First Draft

[For the second draft, which was given to the Porte in the form of a memo, see Doc. 1915-07-07-DE-001, enclosure] [Note from Mordtmann with regard to this: Given to Talaat Bey on 6th/7th, who made a somewhat offended impression and promised a reply.]

L’Ambassade d’Allemagne vient d’être informée que les Arméniens d’Erzurum qui devaient être déportés à Kharpout par voie d’Erzindjan ont été en route assaillies par des bandes de Curdes et de marodeurs qui égorgèrent les hommes et les enfants et enlevèrent les femmes.

Presqu’en même temps les Arméniens expulsés de Diarbékir et qui étaient dirigés sur Mossoul ont disparu en route; les radeaux sur lesquels on les avait embarqués sont arrivés vides à Mossoul et les eaux de l’Euphrate charriaient pendant quelques jours les cadavres mutilés des massacrés.

Des massacres partiels ont eu lieu dans le district de Khinis.

Ces événements sont regrettables sous tous les rapports.

Il est à prévoir que les Puissances ennemies en profiteront pour fomenter l’agitation parmi les Arméniens; et les nouvelles qu’on en répandra à l’étranger ne manqueront pas de provoquer l’indignation générale dans les pays neutres, surtout dans les Etats-Unis dont les représentants s’intéressent depuis quelques temps au sort des Arméniens en Turquie.

A part cela, il est à craindre qu’à la suite de ces massacres qui coïncident avec l’exécution d’une vingtaine d’Arméniens dans la Capitale, la population Arménienne ne se livre à des actes de désespoir en se soulevant ouvertement contre le Gouvernement et en attentant à la vie de ceux qui se trouvent à la tête du Gouvernement et qu’elle accuse d’être les promoteurs de ces persécutions.

Le Gouvernement d’Allemagne croit de son devoir comme Puissance amie et alliée de la Turquie d’attirer l’attention de la Sublime Porte sur cette situation et sur les conséquences qui en pourraient résulter au détriment de leurs intérêts communs, tant pendant la guerre actuelle qu’après, lors de la conclusion de la paix.

L’Ambassade pense qu’il serait d’urgence de donner des ordres peremptoires aux autorités provinciales d’empêcher par tous les moyens le retour de pareils incidents; elle pense également qu’il serait prudent de surseoir momentanément à l’exécution des arrêts de mort déjà rendus ou à rendre contre des Arméniens par les cours martiales de la Capitale ou dans les provinces, surtout a Diarbékir et à Adana.


[Translation of the first Draft by George Shirinian]

The German Embassy has just been informed that the Armenians of Erzerum who were supposed to have been deported to Kharput through Erzincan were assailed en route by groups of Kurds and by marauders who cut the throats of the men and children, and who sold the women.

Almost at the same time the Armenians expelled from Diarbekir and who were sent to Mosul have disappeared en route; the rafts on which they were shipped arrived empty and the waters of the Euphrates carried for many days the massacred remains of mutilated figures.

Partial massacres took place in the region of Khinis.

These events are regrettable in all their forms.

It should be noted that the enemy forces are taking advantage of the situation by creating tension among the Armenians, and the news that has been sent abroad especially the United States, where the representatives have been interested in the Armenians in Turkey for some time.

Aside from this, it is to be feared that following these massacres which coincide with the execution of about twenty Armenians in the capital, the Armenian population does not allow itself to succumb to desperate acts by openly rebelling against the government and by not attacking those found at the head of the government, whom they accuse of encouraging these persecutions.

The German government believes in its responsibility as a friendly Power and ally of Turkey to bring to the attention of the Sublime Port this situation and its consequences, which could result in the destruction of our mutual interests, both during the current war and after, during the peace negotiations.

The Embassy believes that it should be urgent to give peremptory orders to the provincial authorities to stop by any means possible the recurrence of similar incidents. It also believes that it would be wiser to limit the “death stops” for the Armenians by the Armed Forces of the capital or within the provinces, especially in Diabekir and Adana.



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