Armenian's Tragic Finish -ld19220225

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The Literary Digest for February 25, 1922

TURKISH BUTCHERIES OF ARMENIANS have reached the point where a remnant of 120,000 has besought the Council of the League of Nations to send ships to transport them beyond the reach of their hereditary enemies. Persecuted for centuries, and deserted, we are told by those on whom they had most relied, the Armenians have no recourse other than evacuation of their country and many of servers agree that the spectacle of these being hounded from their native soil is a reflection of civilization. Ancient history records many moving tragedies of which whole nations were the victims, but, says the Kansas City Journal, "modern times have written no such chapter as that which puts the finish to the national history of the Armenians, who . . . are to leave their immemorial homeland and abandon Armenia for an indefinite period, if not forever." Whether the "pitiful remnant" of 120,000 is all that is left of the 1,500,000 who were in Armenia when the war ended is not stated, but it is regarded as probable that the number refers only to those who were in Cilicia at the time of the French occupation. It is certain, however, "that hundreds of thousands have been ruthlessly slaughtered and starved by their infamous Moslem and Russian persecutors." Turkey has been permitted to wreak her barbarous will upon the Christian Armenians while "the world stood supinely by," continues the Journal, and -- "Christian civilization can not evade the condemnation that is involved in such a situation. What is every nation's business is proverbially no nation's business, but it is one of the most frightful ironies of history that the Turk, hurled out of Palestine and reduced to a mere shadow of his former national power, should still be able to slay and torture and starve Armenians until, despairing of rescue by men and even of the mercy of God, a whole nation emigrates to an unknown destination.

"The Russian Bolsheviks have proved more ruthless oppressors than the unspeakable Turk, yet millions in treasure are poured into Russia, while the Bolsheviks and the Kurds unite in crushing Armenia into the bloody mire of multiplied massacres, her daughters dragged into Turkish harems, her men butchered, her land made a bloody waste, without a hand being raised in her defense. That is the tragedy of modern history, the shame of Christendom."

The Armenia's various appeals for help against her oppressors have, so far, been without avail, the American Near East Relief is attempting to feed the refugees population and is maintaining what is said to be the largest orphan asylum in the world at Alexandropol, in Caucasian Armenia. Defeat of Turkey in the World War have new hope to the country, but the treaty of Angora between the French and the Turks, mentioned in these pages on January 28, resulted in the withdrawal of the French from Cilicia, and, says the Des Moines Register, "turned forlorn hope into despair."

France has taken measures, through an understanding with the Turks, to protect the Armenians and other Christians in Cilicia, a French delegate stated to the League of Nations, and the French Government has voted 50,000,000 francs for the care of the Armenian refugees. But the past experiences of the Armenians confirm them in their fears that the persecutions will not be halted, and, according to the Christian Science Monitor, secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, insists that the French withdrawal from Cilicia "would undoubtedly open up the way for further attacks by the Turks upon unprotected Armenians and other Christians in the Cilician districts." Systematic annihilation of the Greek populations in Asia Minor is also a part of the Turkish program, according to news dispatches. Just before he sailed from New York recently, the Patriarch of Constantinople received a statement, says The Living Church (Episcopalian), giving details of various massacres of the Greeks. Among several other barbarities reported to the Patriarch, according to The Living Church, are these in the city of Merzifoun (or Marsovan) and in Samsoun:

"Osman Agha, after seizing the property of all the Christians, set fire to the Greek and Armenian quarters. The sight was most horrible. All the streets and alleys were blocked by the culprits to that those attempting to escape were either shot or pushed back into the fire irrespective of age or sex. In less than five hours 1,800 houses were burned down with their residents. Crimes, unheard of in the history of vandalism, were committed against maidens and children. And while they did this, they cried, 'Let your Englishmen and Americans, your Christ Himself, come now and save you!'

"All the Greek villages of the region of Samsoun were burned, the property of the inhabitants seized, young men and women violated and carried off to the mountains. Many a young woman, choosing to die rather than be disgraced, committed suicide. Parents, unable to bear the sight of their children thus disgraced in the hands of the Turks, killed them.

"The above is a rough online of the horrible picture reflecting on the martyrdom of the Hellenism of Pontus."

According to a cablegram received by the near East Relief at its New York officers on January 16, more than 200,000 Cilician refugees evacuated the country after the Franco-Kemalist treaty, and are now scattered through the Beirut and Constantinople areas.

At an Alexandropol orphanage saved by the Near East Relief from starvation and massacre.

A hard copy of this article or hundreds of others from the time of the Armenian Genocide can be found in The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From The American Press: 1915-1922

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