Newspaper Page Text
V October 18, 1916}
ed out of the town, laden with women and children, and here and there a man who had escaped the previous deportations. The women and girls all wore the Turkish costume, that their faces might not be exposed to the gaze of drivers and gendarmes?a brutal lot of men brought in from other regions. "The panic in the city was terrible. The people felt that the government was determined to exterminate the Armenian race, and they were powerless to resist. The people were sure that the men were being killed and the women kidnapped. Many of the convicts in the prisons had been re leased, and the mountains around were full of bands of outlaws. "Most of the Armenians in the district were absolutely hopeless. Many said it was worse than a massacre. No one knew what was coming, but all felt that it was the end. Even the pastors and leaders could offer no word of encouragement or hope. Many began to doubt even the existence of God. Under the severe strain many individuals became demented, some of them permanently." Turks Persecute Armenian Women and Children. Armenian women and children had reason to be thankful if they could find conveyance for their own persons from town to town. Sometimes the government announced that it wou;d provide an ox-cart for each family. But this was often only another opportunity for mockery. In one place, where the people had been given notice to depart on Wednesday, the carts appeared on Tuesday at 3:30 A. M., and the people were ordered to leave at once. "Some were dragged from their beds without even sufficient clothing." In other cases no provision was made at all. One wealthy Armenian, who paid ?15 (Turkish) for a carriage to take himself and wife, was'commanded by the gendarmes to leave the carriage, which was sent back to the city. Armenians Systematically Butchered. The recent massacres of Armenians were carried out systematically. On a given day the streets of whatever town it might be were occupied by the gendarmerie with fixed bayonets, and the Turkish governor summoned all able-bodied men of Armenian race that had been exempted from military draft to present themselves now on pain of death. "Able-bodied" received a liberal^ interpretation, for it included any male between fifteen and seventy years of age, and these were all marched out of the town by the gendarmes. They had not far to go, for the gendarmerie had been reinforced for the purpose from the gaols, and the brigands and Kurds at large were waiting in the hills. They were waiting to murder the prisoners. The first secluded valley witnessed their wholesale massacre, and. acnuitted nf their task, the gendarmes marched back leisurely Into town, rrom the AiiutIiuii COiiiiiilttvO for Armenian and Syrian Relief, 70 Fifth Avenues New York City. A well-dressed but unassuming man Wfllkeri mndBBtlv (nfn ttin ? __ < > WW llivi UIUWO Ui IUC American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, 70 Fifth avenue, New York city, one day this week and Inquired for the secretary. He named a Middle West State as his home and said he had been thinking about making a contribution on "Armenian Sunday," October 22d, to help the Armenian refugees in Turkey, but had concluded, from what he had read in the newspapers, that money is badly needed now. "I can give |5,000," he said, "hut I would like to hear something about the facta." The assistant secretary of the committee, Walter Mallory, summarized THE PRESBYTERI the situation in accordance with information which had been received in recent letters and cablegrams. One of the facts stated by Mr. Mallory is that there are about a million Armenian and Syrian Christian refugees in Turkey and Persia, largely women and children, nearly all of whom are destitute. Deported from their homes by Turkish soldiers, many thousands are suffering for lack of the bare necessities of life. Then he fiegan to tell of sacrifices which contributors to the relief fund had made. The visitor listened to the story of a minister in Ohio, who had written that, from a salary of $80 a month, his wife and himself would contribute $40 a month for six months. "Well," said the stranger, "if they can make a sacrifice like that I think I can give $10,000." On the way to the office of Charles R. Crane, the treasurer, the donor was told of an old woman who wrote she had no money, but would give her old paisley shawl?an heirloom which had been in the family many years and had once been her mother's. He listened also to a letter from the mother of a little girl, four years old, who had earned two cents sweeping the sidewalk. She wanted to give one cent to the Belgian babies and the other to the starving Armenians. "If other people are willing to give up things," commented the stranger, "I ought to be willing to do the same. I think that every one ought to help save this old Christian race.'' I believe I can give $15,000." Before he entered the treasurer's office, the stranger seemed to make some mental calculations and when he wrote out his check it read $18,000. "Under no circumstances Is my name to be made public," said the stranger; so the treasurer, to keep faith, personally deposited the check in the bank. Recent Letters. The following letters have Just been received by the Armenian and Syrian Relief Committee from a source well known to the chairman of the committee, Dr. J. L. Barton, of Boston. They come through official channels ana mey are absolutely trustworthy. For obvious reasons names are suppressed. A merchant, formerly well to do, writes from Aluhara, Armenia: "I am in the greatest need. To here we came with God's and your help. Nothing is left me here except a cooking stove and the clothes on my body. But Christ has also hungered and had no place to lay His head. In this great wilderness we have no roof, no cover over us. Our children I have distributed among the tents of some friends. My wife and children send greetings * V A letter from Aintab says: "One must see in order to under stand the conditions prevailing. Ah, dear sister, Der Zor needs help. Please toll people so. Tell mir missionaries that their college children, young men and girls, are dying of hunger. To look at them breaks one's heart. We have need of hands that reach out to help, of people ready to help, faithful to their duty. Perhaps they are astonished at this cry for help. But I am not thinking of myself, but of the crowds of children outside that are crying for bread, of the many pure girls who, driven by hunArm* on<l Inn nHnnan of fS *' * aim 1U11C1IIICOO at UUIUC, Ot7 CIV refuge at the hearts of Arabian' men, to whom they are sold for bread; the women, the mothers, who are wandering about In despair to find bread for the little ones; the young people who, weakened by hunger, appear like old people prematurely aged. The responsibility of having seen this compels me to write. A little boy said to AN OP THE SOtJT H his mother: 'Here is the cooking stove and the pot, why don't you cook us something to eat?' The little one had not eaten anything for two days. Another child: 'Mother, will ever the time come again that I can eat as much as I like?' The people kill and eat the street dogs. A short time ago they killed and ate a dying man. An eye-witness told me this. I saw a woman who from the street ate the clotted blood of an animal. Up till now all fed themselves with grass, but that, too, is now dried up. Last week we came in a house of which the occupants had not eaten anything since three days. The wife had a child in her arms and tried to give it a crumb of bread to eat. The child could eat no more; it died in her arms. A mother threw herself into the Euphrates after she had seen her child die of hunger; a father did the same." ? The Children Upon the Dung Hills. From a letter from Haman: "There are here many hundreds of miserable, abandoned children, women and men. who, weakened by hunger and illness, wander about the tents, looking very pitiful. Many families have eaten nothing for several days, and do not have the courage to beg. What will be the end? If it goes on like this all the greater part of the people, perhaps all, will perish with hunger and misery. Such horrible things we see daily, and can do nothing but implore God for help and mercy. Dear sister, we beseech you, for Christ's sake, to come in some way to the aid of this poor, miserable people to save it from horrible starvation." From Sepka: "With this letter I come to you as the representative of many prayers and cries of need. I ask for a crowd of more than 2,500 miserable, hungry people and dried up to skeletons. Many arc dying with hunger every day. The grave diggers are always busy. The groans and lamentations in the market place, in the streets and out in the quiet desert give our hearts no rest. The children on the dung hills! Ah! what am I trying to describe? The pen fails me. I beg for them for help, for mercy." The Blackest Page in History. Competent authorities who have Deen upon tne ground, like Herbert A. Gibbons, says that these conditions constitute "The Blackest Page in Modern History." This is the title of a book by Mr. Gibbons. For years he was a correspondent on Turkish affairs for various European and American papers. He witnessed the persecutions in Adana in 1909. Lord Bryce, former ambassador to the United States, has a new book in press upon the Armenian question, based upon the most careful study of the situation. His view of conditions in Armenia is Bummed up in a recent speech in the House of Lords, in which he makes the statement that not since the time of Tamerlane has the world witnessed such suffering, devastation and death. He adds that the situation is without a parallel in modern times. Mr. S. S. McClure, the noted American publisher, in a series of articles on Turkey, embodying largely views of Turks themselves, accepting their views when possible, was compelled, upon investigation, to disbelieve statements from Turkish sources as to conditions in Armenia and as to the causes which led to these conditions. He sums up the Armenian situation by saying that by their very character and magnitude the Armenian atrocities constitute "something new in history." A Martyred Nation. The Armenian people constituted the first Christian nation. The Armenian "Empire," as it was then called, was probably Christian as early as 275, or nearly a half century be (841) 13 foro Constantlne proclaimed Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. During a large portion of the sixteen centuries Bince that time the Armenians have suffered persecution for political and religious reasons, or both usually, politics serving as a cloak for persecution on account of religious faith, this being the regular rule in all religious persecutions. The Emperor Yazgerd 2nd in 450 A. D. solemnly swore that he would eradicate Christianity from Armenia. He must be given credit for trying to make gqpd his oath. The Armenian bishops and princes of that early time closed a reply to this threat with the following solemn and brave words: "Our bodies are in thy hands. Do with them according to thy pleasure. Tortures are thine and patience ours. Thou hast the sword, we the neck. We are nothing better than our forefathers. who, for the sake of their faith, resigned their goods, possessions and life. Were we born immortal, it would become us to die for the love of Christ. We die as mortals, that we,? j through our death, may be placed among those who are immortal." ^ These words nobly express the spirit of the Armenian people for fifteen cen- " turies. But it was not in that rude age that the Armenians suffered most. It remained for our own twentieth century to reveal the full refinement of torture. The Christian Bpirit of these people remains unbroken today as in the fifth century. The Time for Rehabilitation. And thus it was that the slogan "Armenia without Armenians" seemed In a fair way to be realized, but the sit- j uation was changed with the changing ] fortunes of war. and on account of pressure from Germany and America the bitter persecution, the wholesale umiuor, mjie una piuage nave largely ceased, and the time for help has come. It was of no avail while the war of extermination was actually on; ; Now help reaches its destination safely and accomplishes the results intended. The people need clothes, food, fuel, seeds, cattle, horses and other domes- . tic animals, and agricultural implements. While the slaughter has largely ceased, the privation during the winter will increase unless help is provided. It can come adequately ; only from America. l Former Ambassador to Constantino-. pie Henry Morgenthau says that $5,000,000 is imperatively needed at ! once, or five cents from each of our 1AA AAA AAA " ivw,uuu,vuu 1ICU|J1C. Lflllie I\ew Z.eaIand, with all her war burdens?for she has sent a large contingent of soldiers to the war?has given $1.25 per capita to help Serbia alone. America gave on-third of one cent. Gladstone, a great Armenian champion a half century ago, said: "To serve Armenia is to serve civilization." Of 2,000,000 Armenians, 750,000 have perished. About 1,200,000 remain, the survivors of persecutions," hunger and forced marches. A large percentage are young men and boys, women and girls. And Now Syria, Too. It is too early to be able to give Syrian conditions in detail. Reports are that Syrians in the Lebanon region are suffering most awful deprivations. It is even asserted that suffering for want of food and clothes is greater than in Armenia. Eighty thousand oy ntiiia navB pensnea. i ne total' population is 4,000,000. Four things a man must learn to do I' he would make his record true; To think without confusion clearly; To love his fellow-man sincerely; To act from honest motives purely; To trust in God and heaven securely. ?Henry van Dyke.