October 9, 1915
NAMELESS HORRORS are being perpetrated in the interior of Turkey in Asia upon the Armenians, one of the oldest and most faithful Christian nations of the world. The accounts of reliable eye-witnesses are now filtering through, and they contain descriptions of scenes too revolting to be included in anything but official reports. We learn from the press that Mr. Morgenthau, American Ambassador at Constantinople, has protested in vain against this organized extermination of the Armenians by their Moslem neighbors, and as a result of his last protests, we are told that seven of the most prominent Armenians in Constantinople were taken and hanged in the streets. American missionaries in Asia Minor report that they are unable to afford more than temporary protection to their Armenian pupils, as Turkish soldiers have entered the missions and slaughtered the Armenians before their eyes. In a recent article the Journal de Geneva says:
"The extermination is being carried out by three means: massacre, deportation, and forced conversion to Islam. Throughout the whole of the country it is the same story. . . . The Government has released from prison criminals who are in charge of the Armenian convoys, and there is no brutality they do not commit."
The Manchester Guardian learns from a Swiss correspondent recently returned from Turkey that in Constantinople--
"In the street the insolence of the Mussulmans toward the Christians knows no limit; the sons of Turkish families gather in bands and go to the houses of Armenians to decide which of the young women they will rape. In the same way Turkish housewives choose their future residence in Armenian houses Christians in the street. Massacres are stated, on reliable authority, to have already taken place in the city. No Armenians dare to leave their houses. . . . . .
"In the province of events surpasses all that can be imagined. Whole towns have been sacked and the inhabitants sent to the interior. At Marsivan the men were told they need not take provisions with them; they would be fed on the way. Before their eyes the town was then burned, and they were taken to series of graves already prepared, and poleaxed. Some escaped, but were caught. 'Kill us with your guns,' they said, as they were taken back. 'Never,' was the answer; 'a bullet costs a hundred paras; you aren't worth it; better as it is.' As for the women, they were sold in all the villages on the way to Mosul, so that at the end there were only left cripples, hunchbacks, and other deformed people."
The Italian Consul at Trebizond, Signor Corrini, who returned home on the outbreak of war between his country and Turkey, recounts his experiences in the Rome Messagero:
"From June 24 the Armenians in Trebizond were interned, they were then sent under escort to distant regions, but the fate of at least four-fifths of them was death. The local authorities, and even some of the Mohammedan population, tried to resist and to decrease to number of victims by hiding them, but in vein. The orders from Constantinople were categorical and all had to obey. . . . . The scenes of desolation, tears, curses, suicides to save honor, sudden insanity, fires, shooting in the streets, in the houses, are impossible to describe."
Signor Corrini concludes with an eloquent appeal to neutral Christian nations:
"When one has witnessed for a month daily scenes of this terrible character without being in a position to do anything one wonders--Have all the wild beasts of the world congregated in Constantinople? Such massacres cry out for the vengeance of all Christendom. If people knew what I know, had seen what I have seen, and heard what I have heard, then all the Christian Powers yet neutral would rise against Turkey and cry anathema against that barbarous Government."
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