Thousands Protest Armenian Murders -nyt19151018b

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Only One Man and One Woman Dissent from Resolutions Denouncing Outrages


Evidence, Taken form State Department, Shows Quarter of a Million Women Violated

OCTOBER 18, 1915

A great audience that packed the Century Theatre, Central Park West and Sixty-second Street, yesterday afternoon, had just acclaimed its approval of a resolution deploring the atrocities committed against the Armenians by the Turks, when a man, who said his name was Brown, arose and demanded a chance to discuss the resolutions.

A woman, who said she was Mrs. Brooks, shouted encouragement to the disturber and demanded that he be heard. He was forcibly ejected from the theatre, but in a few minutes was back, angrily demanding to have his say.

The meeting, held to condemn atrocities in Armenia, was under the auspices of a committee of prominent Americans and well-known Armenians. Hamilton Holt, editor of The Independent, presided, and the speakers were the Rev. Dr. Lames L. Barton of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the Rev. Father John J. Wynne, S. J., editor of the Catholic Encyclopedia; W. Brouke Cochran, the Rev. Dr. Ernest Yarrow of Van. Turkey, and the Rev. Dr. William J. Haven.

The resolutions adopted read as follows:

Whereas, The civilized world has been shocked by a series of massacres and deportations of Armenians in the Turkish Empire; and

Whereas, These crimes and outrages committed upon an industrious, thrifty, and peace-loving people, find no justification, viewed either in the light of law or humanity; and

Whereas, Those Armenians who survive are in great hood of succor and relief, be it hereby

Resolved, That as American citizens, we make our most solemn practices and implore all officials and other having influence in the Turkish Empire, to put an end to these wrongs and to render every aid to the American Ambassador and others who would rescue and repatriate a people, who, by their history and achievements have been a credit to the empire.

Resolved, Further, That war, wherever and by whatever nation waged, affords no warrant for inhumanity toward innocent persons. The slaughter of noncombatant men, the tortures, mutilation, and outrages committed have given to the fairest places upon the earth the semblance of hell. In the name of the God of Nations and our common humanity, we call upon the nations at war to cease these crimes against civilization and morality.

Father Wynne seconded the resolutions and Mr. Holt had them up for approval when Brown arose, red with excitement.

Several men hurried to the disturber and started him down the aisle. Mrs. Brooks then demanded that the man be heard and followed those who were ejecting him.

The audience was on its feet as were those on the stage, among the latter Mgr. Lavelle, who represented Cardinal Earley, Charles R. Crane of Chicago the Rev. Dr. H. P. Mendes, Professor William W. Rockwell, Professor Samuel P. Dutton, and a score of other prominent men.

Angrily denouncing his ejectors and struggling every inch of the way the man was forced from the theatre.

"This meeting," said Mr. Holt in his opening address," is called for the purpose of deploring the greatest hecatomb known to history. The massacres now being perpetrated in Turkey are the most atrocious in the history of the world, and if they are to stop we must prevail upon Christian Germany, who alone can save the Armenians. The appeal may not be listened to in Constantinople, but it can be heard in Berlin."

Dr. Barton was the first speaker. "We are here," he said, "to consider facts that bear upon the Armenian situation in the Turkish Empire, facts from which we cannot escape." Referring to the report made by the Armenian Atrocities Committee, Dr. Barton said the disclosures were for the most part the disclosures were for the most part taken from official documents in the State Department at Washington.

"The committee," he said, "took steps to get only facts and went to Washington and examined the official reports to the State Department. They ask why we did not publish the names of the persons who made the reports. The reason as obvious. One of the laws of Turkey is retaliation. One of our Consuls asked that his name be withheld because he would have to quit his post if his name became known."

Dr. Barton held up a great mass of papers, all copies of official reports, to the State Department. Excerpts were read telling of terrible tortures, in thousands of instances causing death.

Dr. Barton read a statement by a well-known Armenian, a graduate of an American university, just arrived in this country. He told of the fate of 1,215 men. These men were herded together and then in groups of twenty-five were sent away "by order of the Government and all of them brutally slain." The executioners, he said, were Turkish gendarmes and murders and other criminals freed from jails to assist in the killing of Armenians.

"The reward of these murders," said the statement, "was the money and valuables founded on the bodies of their victims. One of these men boasted that he got 150 pounds in Turkish money for his night's work."

Bourke Cochran said he had been informed that between 500,000 and 800,000 Armenians had been massacred and that 250,000 women and girls had been outraged. The problem of Armenia, Mr. Cochran said, is the problem of the Cuba of 1898 aggravated a million times.

Rabbi Wise was the last speaker. He was present, he said, not as an opponent of Turkey, nor as a champion of Armenia, but to protest against inhumanity, whether committed by Germans against Belgians, by Russians against Jews, or by Turks against Armenians. He said that Germany and Austria could do much toward ending the Armenian atrocities, and if they did not do so, he said, those nations may find out that "certain victories are more disastrous than any defeats."

If the Germans would alienate the good will of those who still remain neutral," he said, "let these outrages go on unchecked. If they would rehabilitate themselves, let them say to the Turks: "Not one more drop of blood must be shed."

In all the seats were petitions, with blanks for signature, addressed to the Kaiser and the people of Germany, imploring them to use their good offices to end the atrocities in Armenian.

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