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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, October 18, 1916, Image 19

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1916-10-18/ed-1/seq-19/

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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 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
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- "
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
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.

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