Arshalouys Tashjian

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ARSHALOUYS TASHJIAN'S TESTIMONY (Born in 1908, Malatia)

When we were exiled from Malatia I was still a child. The Turks came and entered our house. We were going to bake bread; we had lit the tonir, they came and forced us out of the house and turned everything upside down, began to plunder. While plundering they saw leather in the house, for father was a shoemaker. They spoke among themselves, "Let's not slaughter this man; he will be useful to us."

They came near me; I was holding father by the hand. One of them said to father: "Give me this child; let me take her."

I began crying and shouting: "Daddy, I won't go."

Father didn't give me.

They drove us to a place called Alma Oghlu Baghcha (garden), but it wasn't a garden; it was an open wasteland, and we slept on the ground that night, in the open air.

In the morning, as day broke, they came and separated us: Armenian Christians - on one side, Catholics - on the other. They didn't exile the Protestants and the Catholics. Only us, the Armenian Christians, they decided to drive to exile like sheep. But because they had seen that father was a shoemaker, they sealed our paper and sent us back to our village. We came, entered our house and lived.