I have filed a copy of the enclosed reports sent by the Imperial Embassy to Consul General Mordtmann.
The Massacres in Armenia 1915 [Report written in her own hand by Alma Johansson. For a comparable report, see Viscount Bryce: The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire“, Doc. No. 23.]
Those of us in the country’s interior saw the situation develop step by step. (Naturally, I can only speak for the provinces in the interior, where we saw everything happen.)
The systematic robbing of the Armenians already started when the mobilisation began. Not only those items were taken which might be needed for the war, but everything which was of any value at all. Any Turk could enter a shop or a house and take whatever he wanted.
Now, it is true that the fundamental attitude of the Armenians was quite the opposite of being pro-German, but they were not pro-Russian, either, nor did they hope for anything from the British. With a satanic sort of cleverness, the Turks knew how to stir up this opinion of the Armenians against Germany, naturally in order to be able to deliver proof afterwards. For example, the most unbelievable stories were spread among the Armenians about us two sisters to make them thoroughly hate us.
Since the war began then, everyone among the Armenians who was of an age to serve was called up, whether sick, blind or a cripple, with the exception of those who had been exempted. And yet, until the very end, the strongest people among the Turks escaped this fate either through friendship or bribery.
Then the food needed had to be brought to the Russian border, but who was to do this? There were only the Armenians, and since the government had taken away their animals for other purposes, they had to carry the loads on their backs. Now, the winters in the Mush-Erzurum region are very long and harsh, and the people often needed 2 – 3 weeks to reach their place of destination. The people were not dressed for this, as they had no money to do so, and anyone with anything on them had it taken away from the gendarmes accompanying them. Masses of these bearers, made up of children, old people and those who had been extempted, died along the way due to the cold and deprivation. Whenever anyone fell down from weakness, he was beaten by the gendarmes riding with them until he either attempted to walk again or fell down dead. Another freezing comrade then took the few clothes off the dead man in order to protect himself somewhat from the cold. It was a good thing if a third or even a quarter of each crowd which left Mush returned alive. Although Kurds were also used as bearers, they always ran away. And it can hardly be considered a great sin if the Armenians, at least those who could, gradually attempted to escape.
Then there were the stories of the gendarmes in the villages. Bad people who were unemployed allowed themselves to be signed up as gendarmes in the town and the surrounding area; these people were given unlimited rights to rob, for the government had said, woe to anyone who refused the gendarmes or soldiers. Taken on its own, all the things that happened there became a long, dark history of violence and inhumanity. The Armenians only defended themselves a few times in order to protect the women from the violence of the Turks, as a result of which a village would be burned down in part or entirely. Because the “Holy War” had been proclaimed, we knew what this would lead to. Rousing speeches were made that, “because we are fighting a war against the Christians we must first annihilate the Christians in our country”. And they all counted on the Russians coming at least as far as Mush, but it was said that before this happened they would first slaughter the Armenians, and then the Russians could come. In November 1914, it was officially admitted that they were only waiting for a reason for a massacre and as soon as they found one they would not leave even one Armenian alive.
The winter passed in this manner, and every day we thought that the misery could get no worse. In March we heard of unrest in Van, but we hoped that the rumours were exaggerated. But gradually both Armenian as well as Turkish reports came through, and strangely they backed one another up, except that the Turkish reports went even further. Officers and public officials proudly told us that the Armenians in Van were now annihilated, “everything hacked, hacked up into little bits”. (The Russians only arrived a few weeks later in Van.)
At the beginning of May we heard of massacres in Bitlis, and everything had been prepared for a massacre in Mush. Then the Russians arrived in Lies (16 hours from Mush) and that is what saved Mush this time, for now all of the attention was there, but things became more frightening every day. Any Armenian who held any sort of position with the government was removed from office and quietly eliminated. From now on, all of the bearers were also killed every time they arrived at the front with the provisions, although certainly one or several almost always managed to escape. During that time, the entire stretch behind the front from Erzurum to Lake Van was destroyed by the soldiers; here and there, women who had escaped arrived in Mush with their children, but I cannot describe the state they were in and the stories they told.
In the middle of June, Servet Bey, the Mutessarif and an intimate friend of Enver Pasha, had both of us sisters called to him and said that we had to travel to Mamuret-ul-Aziz in a few days’ time. The German and Turkish governments in Constantinople had decided that all foreigners were to be sent there. We requested that he leave us where we were, but he became very outraged and screamed at us that, if we did not go willingly, he would send us by force, “I have the right to do so.” He also said we could take our employees with us, but he answered our question as to whether there was no danger for them, “Nothing will happen to you; only when they see an Armenian do they cut off his head.”
We were told in a friendly way from other sides that we should not go; bad things had been planned for us along the way. In June, many military convoys passed through Mush and all of them, both officers and soldiers, spoke very heatedly in the marketplace about the fact that Armenians were still alive in Mush.
Fierce shooting began on the evening of 10 July and lasted for a few hours. The next morning, the whole town was in arms. Naturally, no Armenian dared to leave his home. I then went to the Muttessarif and requested that he ensure the safety of our homes. He was very angry and said it served us right; why hadn’t we left? Now there was nothing he could do for us. The entire town had been besieged for weeks; 11 canons had been set up around it. Apart from those soldiers already there, 20,000 extra soldiers came to Mush.
The Mutessarif advised us to move to a Turkish quarter (for our houses were in the centre of town). But how could we move when Sister Bodil was very ill with typhoid fever? I asked for a few men to help us and an ox cart for the sick sister, but he could not give us that. And so we had to remain where we were. The Mutessarif had had a visit at noon from the richest Armenians and told them that the entire population would have to leave Mush in 3 days’ time. They were allowed to leave their families there if they wished, but whether or not they took them along or left them: everything they owned belonged to the government. Now, those rich people who still had some money went along with this; they thought that in this way they would at least escape with their lives. But the other Armenians (not many men were still alive) said that such conditions only meant certain death and so they decided they would rather die together in their houses, and only if the soldiers attempted to enter with force would they sell their lives as dearly as possible. As I have mentioned, they had been given 3 days, but after a few hours the soldiers began to enter the houses around us by force. From our house we could see and hear many things. Several women with their children as well as some of our married girls fled to our house.
Early the following morning, 12 July, we heard some rifle shots and then the canons immediately started to fire. Now, I am sure I do not need to describe the bombardment of a town. Apart from the soldiers, all of the Turks from Mush had weapons, and they distributed themselves among the soldiers, because they knew where game was to be caught. Here and there, firing was returned from the houses as a last defence. Fires soon broke out on every corner. The first crowd of women and children who had been collected marched past our house on the second morning. I am not yet able to describe the images, bloody, crying … The outer gate of the orphanage was already smashed on the first day. They demanded that I open the gate as they were searching for refugees. Some of our village teachers, who had come to us on the previous day and could not leave because of the sudden shooting in the morning, were taken away. During these proceedings, some girls and a woman who were standing next to me were shot dead.
On the third day, several officers and a troop of soldiers came again with a written order from the Mutessarif that everyone who was in our houses had to be handed over, and the entire people would be sent to Urfa. Together with the male servants, only three girls were allowed to stay with us as servants. Despite the heavy shooting, I then climbed up to the Mutessarif. He was standing next to a canon as the supreme commander. All my begging and pleading was of no use; the houses were emptied. Asraf Bey [Mordtmann in document 1915-11-06-DE-012 called him "Assat Bey"], a doctor, acted particularly dreadfully. He almost shot me in the house, and I had to ask the captain several times to look after the doctor, as otherwise he would already have shot people in the garden. But if I had known that the children and women were only led away to die, I believe I would have chanced all of us being killed together in the house. But I was given a word of honour and assured that they would be taken safely to Urfa. We received the first piece of terrible news on the evening of the same day. A few bakers, who were needed by the government, heard everything, for it was reported loudly in the market.
After everyone had left our houses, two gendarmes were assigned to protect us. They told us all the same shocking stories. The men who were caught alive (but there were only a few) were immediately shot just outside the town. The women were taken with the children to the next villages, locked by the hundreds into houses and burned. Others were thrown into the river. Yes, even higher officers always came to visit us now and they proudly told the same stories. This much is true: except for a small number of women who the Kurds or the Turks took for themselves, almost everything in the entire Mush region which could call itself Armenian has been exterminated, and no one got beyond the district.
The shooting lasted for an entire week, the canons only for three days. And it was particularly bad at night: all around us, the neighbours could shoot through the windows into our houses. The walls were also pierced with bullets. Often we did not know where to hide. We could barely stand the smell from the corpses, but also from the many bodies lying burned in the houses. Here and there, the dogs tugged and pulled at the corpses. There had been about 25,000 Armenians in Mush; in addition, Mush has 300 villages, most of which had been Armenian. When we left Mush after three weeks, everything was burned down. Everywhere along the road where we met Kurds we were told the same stories. And the many corpses along the road! But those were only individuals; the female corpses were all naked.
Then we arrived in Mamuret-ul-Aziz. All of the orphanages there were full, including several teachers, but that was all we found. I would like to repeat what the missionaries there told us.
On 3 July, 6,000 families, all of them rich, Gregorians as well as Protestants: by the time they reached Malatia all of the men had been killed; some of the women from this crowd got as far as Urfa, but their condition was terrible. In the meantime, the remains of the crowds from Keghi, Erzurum, Trebizond, Samsun, Erzindjan, etc., also arrived. Of those, actually only the women and children were still alive, and those who were still alive when they arrived in Mamuret-ul-Aziz were finished off there. Even worse than death was the terrible treatment which the poor women and girls suffered.”
I left Mezeré at the beginning of October. The piles of corpses along the way! I could hardly bear it. We also met several crowds of women and children; they were a miserable sight. The gendarmes riding with them spoke openly of what they did to the poor people along the way. When asked, “Where are they going?” they answered, “If no one else will take them and they don’t die, then we’ll just have to kill them.”
A great many women and girls were taken by the Turks and Kurds, especially in Harput and Mezeré; the husbands of many of these women are in the United States.
One can say that, as a people, the Armenians are finished; several thousand should still be alive. Should they also perish?
I spent over three years working primarily as a home missionary in Hadjin and the surrounding area and my personal, close contact with both the Turkish and the Armenian population gave me ample opportunity to study the people’s characters and their situation.
I always had very friendly contact with the government and higher officers as well as the families of public officials, and this gave me a clear insight into the national and religious enmity of both nations living under the Ottoman sceptre.
This intimate contact with the people of both nations was a great help in forming an impartial opinion based on observations of the turmoil, its beginning and the course it took right up until today. The following is meant to assist in recognising the ”truth” about the deportation of the Armenians, which has been described and discussed so much. It is also meant to prove how this matter besmirches the German ”name of honour”, and finally, that a fair judgement and humane punishment have become impossible due to the fanatical ”hatred of Christians”.
How is the Armenian population in Hadjin to blame?
Hadjin, with approx. 25,000 inhabitants in 3,000 houses, had about 200 Mausers at its disposal, as well as other small weapons and hunting rifles of no value from a military point of view. As in every other city in the whole world, there were various committees in Hadjin, whose membership lists were registered with the government and which were previously recognised as being “harmless”.
It would be neither impartial nor wise to claim that there were absolutely no members of secret, revolutionary committees; however, someone who knows the population and has observed its behaviour can state with a clear conscience that there were few real “subversives” in Hadjin and the surrounding area and that their ideas found little or no approval, especially with the Protestant population.
If it had really been like this, there would definitely have been a revolt when a young man I know well who had served five years as a sergeant in the gendarme, was shot in the market by a policeman for no reason at all, so that he had to be treated for four months by a government doctor.
The fact that negotiations were initiated with neither the policeman nor the person shot at proves that the whole matter was simply put on. The policeman claimed that the reason for his act was that the young man was subject to compulsory military service and also wanted, and that he had said that he wanted to shoot the policeman – the policeman just wanted to prevent this and, thus, shot first.
It was obviously forgotten that this statement by the policeman is very illogical. I. Someone who wishes to hide from justice is hardly likely to sit in an open marketplace at 11.00 a.m. II. If he had seriously been considering murder, weapons of some kind would have been found during the immediate examination carried out when he fell to the ground, but this was not the case.
This happened after the conspiracy "Dört Yol" had become public knowledge and caused a stir everywhere, and the population of Hadjin began to have a gloomy premonition. If they had really had thoughts of revolution at that time, the rebellious population of Hadjin would certainly have clashed with the government because of the unjust deed of the policeman, but this was not the case. Although they seethed inwardly at the injustice suffered, they kept silent.
If an "experiment" that was meant to upset the population failed, malicious persons devised a new plan. Unfortunately, it has to be admitted that there are those among the Armenians who do not shy away from laying traps for their own people just for their own advantage, or out of hatred for individual people whom they would like to destroy. For example, very young men on the Hindschack Committee drew up a document for incitement in the Armenian language and attached it to the church doors. Those who read it first suspected that it was a mean trick and immediately tore it down – a short while later, a second one was found which the Armenian population gave to the government for investigation and in order to prevent disaster. Five young men were accused, two of whom have already been hanged; two each received one-hundred-year sentences and one, the leader of this affair, a thief, swindler and counterfeiter with several previous convictions, offered his services to the government to destroy his own people in return for his life. He was given his freedom and, as one of the government's definite favourites, he served it by means of his statements, both true and false, which resulted in large judicial investigations to be initiated at the beginning of May by Alay-Bay of Adana, who was appointed for this purpose.
All military deserters were called in upon remittance of their punishment. All of them reported with the exception of two who came later, and, without being sentenced, were shot by the gendarmes bringing them to the court-martial in Adana because they had allegedly fled: how was that possible, when they were walking after being bound with heavy chains?! As the son of a wealthy family, one of those shot had taken 40 Turkish lira with him that disappeared despite his being guarded by the gendarmes. The families who asked for the corpses did not receive permission to bury them, and had to leave them lying on the field as food for vultures and jackals. Thus, all military deserters were handed over, and now all the weapons were called in, with the promise that no soldiers would move in if they continued to be obedient and willingly hand over everything. Before the objects demanded could be handed over, almost 2,000 soldiers reported for duty, which led to the population being overcome by a great fear, and so part of the weapons were not handed over for reasons of self-defence. And this was the only reason weapons were kept in Hadjin, not for revolutionary purposes, as was suspected. This statement is upheld by the fact that the government had an excellent relationship with the population and Hadjin's obedient behaviour was recognised by the mayor as well as both the gendarmes and the heads of police, yes, even by the Wali Pasha. Even Alay Bay admitted that although the population was simple-minded, it was not dangerous, and so he swore that, if the rest of the weapons were handed over, no one would be hurt, etc. Despite all their experiences to the contrary, people believed him once again and mutually encouraged one another to hand over even the most worthless weapons and implements, which they did.
In the meantime, about 200 of the most wealthy and well-educated Armenians were taken prisoner. There were many among them of whom it could be said in all good faith that they had never been involved in political matters and were obedient citizens of the state. Despite all of the oaths and promises on the part of the government, despite all the weapons and deserters being handed over, despite all of the orders and bans being followed, deportation within 1 – 3 days now began. First it was the distinguished, educated classes, who had to leave behind almost all of their possessions because only a few animals were delivered. Deportation continued in this manner until the beginning of November, and although everything went peacefully in Hadjin, contrary to other towns, it is still impossible to describe the wretchedness and misery; it must be seen to be understood. I use the following few as examples for many:
The list is headed by women who were only a few days or even hours away from giving birth or who had just given birth and requested permission for some extra time, which was not granted, and so many of them were completely ruined because they were forced to give birth in an open field under terrible pain and deprivation. The crippled, lame and blind were partly treated in the same manner. A very small number of such wretched people were finally left behind in Hadjin.
Because animals had been granted sparingly to large families with small children, almost all of their possessions were left behind, which means that rich families were suddenly poor as paupers as their wealth consisted of goods and livestock. In addition, the drovers who were forced by the government without remuneration of any kind to bring the people, threw their loads off in the fields after a day or two and fled with the animals. Thus, people started to suffer hunger even before reaching Osmania, for what can people carry on their back, especially with small children?!!
One group was even chased off without animals with blows from a stick. For example, a woman with 4 small children and no husband was driven away without any animal at all; she was expected to take food for 5 days with her, which meant that for 5 people she needed as much as for 25 days. What could she take with her? Her baby? Or more than 1 bed? Or clothes for 5 people? Or bread?! Or wheat?! Except for her small child, she is hardly capable of carrying one thing or another for months. In addition, the people were often pulled out of their homes and then, for days, made to wait 3-5 hours outside the town – in other words, they ate the little they had taken with them and then starved.
On my present journey to Constantinople, I met numerous of these people dying of hunger, half-naked, sick, impossible to describe – perhaps the German officers will be able to do so, for they also saw this misery.
In addition, many of those who were able to take something with them were robbed of everything, and the gendarmes (who accompanied them) admit this openly. At the sight of all this wretchedness and inhuman treatment, I remember again and again what high Turkish officers said: Madam. Our government carries out only justice and leniency. Germany wanted us to get rid of the Armenians, but we are so compassionate, that we only deport them – we give them so many animals that they can take everything with them. Furthermore, they are given the best assistance and protection to reach their goal. There, they are given houses, gardens and vineyards of the same value as those they have left behind, and so they start anew there and will soon be rich once again … The general report given by the Turks to the Germans is like this and similar, but the fact is that of all those deported, 2/3 are without pack animals and, thus, without their possessions. They are deported to the desert without any protection and assistance whatsoever, having to leave behind even the most necessary items, and here the Arabs are waiting to rob them of everything except the shirt off their backs and sometimes even that. If the women have gold fillings, their teeth are pulled out under great pain, etc.
I dare to write this last sentence because it is taken from a letter from the desert. An Armenian soldier who came on leave met such misery and smuggled a letter in his shoe to those left behind in order to destroy false hopes. The letter stated further that there would be no reunion, because everyone was dying of hunger or killed by the Bedouins.
This is the fate of all Armenians beyond Aleppo!! Naturally, a small number will still remain which can shed more light on the matter at a later date … Once again, I must come back to my eye and ear witnesses in the Hadjin area.
At that time, when relief, i.e. an order, of the Protestants could no longer be kept secret in Hadjin (as happened at first), the Protestants were promised that they would not be deported. However, after only a short while all of them with the exception of 5 families were deported under difficulties far greater than those experienced by others. Did this compassionate order not apply for everyone?!
During all this it was openly admitted to me that Hadjin had never caused the government any difficulty. The Commissioner of Police admitted, "I have been here for three years and have never had any reason to complain – I honestly regret Hadjin's fate; it is not just." The captain of the gendarmes and some public officials who knew the situation in Hadjin made similar remarks.
And now to the end and the height of my personal experiences in Hadjin:
On 3 October 1915 at 9 in the evening, fire suddenly broke out in the middle of the market square, in the immediate vicinity of my flat. For a short while I observed how absolutely nothing was done to put it out – suddenly a jet of flame flew in the opposite direction from the centre of the fire. The cause?! The hose used under the supervision of Turkish officials had been filled with petroleum instead of water, and this was meant to put out the fire. Naturally, it assisted sufficiently in leaving barely 500 miserable huts (in the Turkish quarter) of the 3,000 houses there once were. All of the lovely Armenian houses, the church, the large American orphanage, naturally my flat as well: everything is gone. Hadjin is a heap of rubble.
The possessions of the deportees, which had been piled up in one of the largest churches, were all exposed to the fire in order to avoid having to render an account of them, as a high public official stated when he was requested to give permission that the church be emptied quickly. The Protestant church, situated in a high place and separated from the houses by streets, was already burning before the next houses began to burn – why?! Eye witnesses – the assistant of the Protestant Mechtar, Albarian – saw how gendarmes climbed the bell cage and started a fire there with petroleum, then climbed down to the church and started a fire there as well, repeating the process in the school which was in the same courtyard. The man then immediately attempted to save the harmonium, but this was not possible.
I was on the street for the entire night, watching the few Armenians wringing their hands because they had lost everything. Eight days later, with the exception of 10 craftsmen's families, some soldiers' wives, cripples, blind people, etc., about 200 people, all of these people were also deported, naked and without any means, because everything had been burned.
The captain came to me on the street, gave me his hand and – cried, he was that upset. When I asked him how the fire broke out, he shrugged his shoulders with a meaningful glance. Naturally, some people were quick to answer that it was the work of the Christians – when it was clear that this was not valid, it was said that a new immigrant from Salonik, a Turkish Lokontadsche, had started it through carelessness, but he was soon set free and now it is an open secret that the mayor knows very well how it started. Even some Turks came forward as witnesses!
Thus, Hadjin can be considered to be ruined, and I vouch for every word that I have written down: I saw and heard everything and a thousandfold more myself.
It must be mentioned that the mayor asked me whether I had heard masses of bombs exploding; this showed how bad the Armenians were, because they had hidden them all. The gentleman was silent when I answered him, full of conviction, that it was petroleum and that there had been large bottles of gas and spirits at the chemist's, furthermore explosives in the sealed-off bazaars, as well as some cartridges here and there; if it had been bombs, this would have been clear from the explosion as well as from the destructrion. Madam, you are a sharp thinker, he says when he has been convinced.
Just a few short sketches of what my eyes and ears have met with in the neighbouring towns:
Everyone, including the Protestants, was deported from Fecka, except the soldiers' wives, while everyone including the soldiers' wives was deported from Yerebakan. Roomlo and Schaar suffered the same fate; the latter village is mainly Protestant and hardly any Mausers were found there. This population is very poor and the little they took with them was tipped out in the field beyond Hadjin. All of them have been sent to Der-el-Zor and Cham, which means that the majority will die because of the tremendous change in climate and hunger. The Protestant preacher from Everek will bear witness to what happened in that town and the area surrounding it, and I can guarantee for the man's truthfulness. The German female missionary there also reported [the following].
In brief, a man was pumped up artificially and beaten 900 times in that condition. The wife of an Armenian pastor was terribly beaten, because she was unable to give up a book demanded from her as it had been burned. The Protestant wife of a preacher, who was in jail with her, took care of her and testifies that she had to be carried out from time to time by four people. Many people's feet were streaming with blood and they were forced to say that some wound had opened up. Glowing coals were put under people's clothes, needles stuck under their fingernails, etc. Similar things happened in Schimakle. Ten men were shot without further ado and it was then said that they had rebelled, but this is very questionable, because all the weapons had been taken from the people long before. Many innocent people were hung in Kaisaria, among other an Armenian priest whose jacket was tied by the tails on two sides, as was his beard. The cross in the Armenian church was ruined and abuse hurled at it, and so on.
Is not the cross the most holy thing for Germany and its beloved ruler? And now I come to the statements made by the Turkish public officials, soldiers, men, women and children. Without any inhibitions, all of them say that it is solely Germany which has recommended these terrible atrocities against the Armenian population. Among other things, they say, "We learn everything from Germany, and are the Germans not Christians as well? But it was just these people who advised us not to leave one single Armenian alive." An officer said to me, "The Germans are very harsh, but we are compassionate towards these bad Armenians."
Just as our "enemies" wanted to dishonour the German name by lying, Germany's "friends" do similar things to convince the Armenians that it is not the Turkish government which carries out these atrocities, but rather the Germans, i.e. upon their "order"!!! Well-informed Armenians do not believe this and hope to find their eventual saviour in Germany, but when? This is everyone's anxious question. The large, uneducated crowd sees Germany as the enemy. Can this be held against them if such inhumanities and injustices are carried out under the German guise?!
I would like to close by proving that the fanatical "hatred of Christians" is the motivating force behind most of the atrocities. The following suggestion was made in Hadjin, Everek and Kaisaria: anyone who became a Moslem would not be deported, and this is what happened in Hadjin and Kaisaria. Those Armenians who became Moslems in Everek were sent to Siiss. In Kaisaria, 300 families converted to Islam, and about 30 families in Hadjin, not out of conviction, but only to escape a sure death and agony. When asked, they openly admit this.
Accordingly, was the deportation carried out for purely political reasons or out of hatred against the Christians?! If it was purely political, one would have to recognise that, if a politically dangerous Armenian became a Moslem in name only, and was forced to do so, he would still remain an Armenian and now be especially dangerous politically, because the government makes fun of that which is most sacred to him. Can a bad Armenian who is being tormented mercilessly be changed into a good "Turk" who loves his country by forcing him to change his religion?! – Never!!!
Despite all that has been said and had some light shed upon it, it is still a far cry to claiming that the Armenians are completely innocent. Unfortunately, the cause must be searched for in the Armenian people themselves, but only in individual areas, individual towns and among individual persons. It was certainly very unwise to look for the protection of other enemy powers in these times of war, but if one regards the people which have suffered from injustice and subjugation for centuries, if one must watch as they are constantly bled white and treated with hate because of their diligence, their industriousness and, through this, their wealth which causes jealousy, as well as because of their being Christian, then one tends to judge them more leniently that one would a German subversive who would deserve such treatment. Justice, compassion and freedom of religion reign in the German Reich where, unfortunately, there are still any number of revolutionaries, but should our entire people be judged guilty and punished without mercy because of this?!
Even among the Armenians, in proportion, it is only individuals who did not suppress their yearning for freedom, individuals who, indeed, acted very badly. But should the Turkish government be allowed to carry out undisturbed its plan of annihilation for this reason?!! A high, well-informed Turkish public official said to his friend, Dr. Redschebian, in Adana under the seal of secrecy, "Of those Armenians deported, none of them will come back. All of those sent further on from Aleppo will be handed over to the camel drivers in the desert, and there they will disappear without anyone ever asking about them." The fact that this public official told the truth is proven by his claiming at the time that it would make no difference to Turkish government whether or not there was a law not to deport Protestants and Catholics. And that is exactly what happened everywhere at that time: where there were few Europeans, Protestants were unknown.
I am aware of the seriousness of my statements, but I am prepared to stick to all of them, because they are the truth without any embellishments and, in addition, quite a shortened version. May a means be found of removing the disgrace which was wickedly thrown on the name of Christian Germany!!!
[Notiz Mordtmann 23.11]
Bl. 1-17 1) den Bericht der Alma Johannsson aus Musch, dessen hauptsächlichster Inhalt bereits in einer Aufzeichnung von mir (nach mündlicher Mitteilung der S. Johannsson) vorliegt und in einem Berichte an das A.A. verwendet ist;
2) Bl. 18 bis Schluß: den Bericht der Missionarin Alma [Magdalena] Didzun aus Hadjin. Letztere hält sich z.Z. hier auf und steht im Begriff nach Deutschland zurückzukehren.