1915-11-06-DE-011
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Source: DE/PA-AA/BoKon/171
Publication: DuA Dok. 192 (gk.)
Embassy register: A53a/1915/6600
Edition: Genocide 1915/16
Embassy/consular serial number: Nr. 838
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 03/23/2012


From the German Foreign Office to the Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy in Constantinople (Neurath)

Directive



No. 838
Berlin, 6 November 1915
1 Encl.

The report enclosed in transcript by Dr. Neukirch from Erzindjan, the German doctor who is a member of the Red Cross expedition, on the Armenian question is respectfully sent for your information.1


Enclosure

Transcript

A 31677

Erzindjan, 5 August 1915

The Armenian question is no longer under discussion for Erzindjan at present. With the exception of a few craftsmen who have been kept here by the government, there are no indigenous Armenians left here. When I look back at my previous reports, I believe that I differentiated sufficiently between what I heard and what I saw with my own eyes. However, if one wishes to limit oneself to what was seen, little remains, as strangers are always kept away from possible massacres. Those with knowledge of the Armenian disturbances are sufficiently aware of how these things are done here. On the other hand, it is difficult to determine how much of what is said every day is true. At any rate, due to the lack of other sources it appeared to be necessary to note everything as I have done. After what we saw here recently, those steps undertaken to carry out the deportation of the Armenians in a more humane manner – of which, naturally, we know nothing – were successful.

While previously miserable hordes of poor women and children, with no possessions whatsoever, were shepherded past, led by only a few armed men, those people who have passed by recently had pack animals and livestock with them. Most recently, the inhabitants of Erzurum passed by in huge, well-supplied ox wagon caravans. The people looked very well (it seemed as if all of the men were with them), made the journey in small segments and were protected by numerous gendarmes under the leadership of officers.

The largest of these caravans was accompanied by a high official, the Mutessarif of Bayazid himself. The people set up camp on the plain of Erzindjan and moved on about a week later. Credit for such proper transportation of the Armenians from Erzurum obviously goes to Taxim-Bey, the Vali there. It is regrettable that the local authorities here acted differently. According to a good source, the events in Trebizond were also not carried out correctly. The people from that area passed through here on foot, with little or no possessions. The economic consequences, which must be of particular interest at home, cannot yet be assessed.

The relations between the expedition and public authorities and the population are good. On the other hand, the Armenians will want to burden us with the responsibility for what has happened.


Summary.

All of the Armenians in this state have been deported, obviously as a result of the traitorous acts in Van. During the first weeks, there is no doubt that the most severe mistakes occurred; later on, this matter was carried out in what is for Orientals a relatively well-ordered manner. Massacres have obviously no longer taken place here since the middle of June.

The economic consequences are incalculable.


1The original report was sent by Dr. Carl Neukirch, a lawyer in Frankfurt on Main and the brother of Dr. Neukirch, to Privy Councillor Simons at the German Foreign Office in Berlin on 30 October 1915.



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