Нерсисян М. Г., Саакян Р.Г.

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[ стр. 681 ]


Edited by prof. M. G. Nersissian


During World War I one of the most outrageous tragedies in human history was plotted in the Ottoman Empire. The ruling clique of Sultan's Turkey, to be more precise, the blood-mad horde of national-chauvinist Young Turks, staged the barbaric annihilation of about one and a half million Armenians and reduced the whole of Western Armenia into a smouldering desert.

However, this blood-curdling misdeed of the Young Turks was the acme of the nefarious practice of physically exterminating the Armenian population of Turkey, such policy being initiated by the brutal and sanguinary tyrant Sultan Abdul Hamid. That is why, when reference is made to the genocide of the Armenians inhabiting the Ottoman Empire, the notion should involve not only the wholesale massacre of 1914—1918, but also the slaughters and persecutions en masse at the turn of the 20th century.

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Under Sultan Abdul Hamid large-scale killings of Armenians were executed in the 1890s. During August and September of 1894 Sassoun, one of Armenian's mountain provinces, was looted and devastated, while its population was put to the sword regardless of sex and age. In the following two years (1895—1896) mass murders of Armenians were performed in Constantinople, Erzroum, Marash, Sebastia, Van, Kharberd and in many other towns and areas of Western Armenia and Turkey. The Turkish authorities and assassins spread fire and sword with unspeakable brutality. During Sultan Hamid's reign about 300 thousand peaceful, innocent Armenians were done away with.

The blood-stirring policy of Abdul Hamid respecting the Armenian people was inherited by his successors— the Young Turks. Moreover, being avowed chauvinist-pan-Turkists and aggressors they proved to be superior in cruelty and ferocity. In conformity with their expansionist and pan-Turkist designs Talaat bey, Enver pasha, Doctor Behaetdin Shakir, Nazym bey and other ringleaders of the Young Turks plotted the scheme of the decimation of the Armenian people which they put into effect craftily, methodically and mercilessly in the heat of World War I. One and a half million Armenians were victimized by the Turkish murderers.

Progressive public opinion in many countries censured the crimes of the Turkish barbarians. Vehement protests were voiced by such world-famous personalities as Maxim Gorky, Valery Bryussov and Yuri Vesselovsky in Russia, Anatole France, Jean Jores and Romain Rolland in France, James Bryce in Britain, Fritjof Nansen in Norway, Karl Libchnecht, Johannes Lepsius, Joseph Marrkwart in Germany and many other outstanding representatives of literature, culture and the sciences in almost all the countries of the world. However, the voice of those noble people was strange and incomprehensible to those ferocious bandits who went on with their execrable deeds.

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The end of an entire nation seemed to loom large. However, the institution of Soviet power in Armenia put an end to the age-suffering of the Armenian people. The overhanging danger of massacres and pogroms was removed. With the assistance of Soviet Russia the Armenian people commenced a new life, took the path of creative labour and national revival.

This collection, dealing with the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during 1876—1918, comprises documents and materials from various sources— Armenian, Russian, Arab, Turkish, German, French, English, American, Swiss, Greek and others. Most of these archival documents are official reports and letters of consuls, ambassadors and ministers, high-ranking officials and heads of government as well as the testimonies of clericals and missionaries on the wholesale slaughters of Armenians in Turkey. These significant and authoritative documents, the authenticity of which raises no doubts, illustrate in detail and veraciously the bloody crimes of the Turkish hangmen and the appalling tragedy

that weighed upon the Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire.

Extensive literature-research papers, sketches, memoirs, articles, collections of documents, etc. — are available on the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, the event being highlighted by a great number of prominent historians, publicists, writers, men of science and culture, high-ranking government officials and others, from almost all the countries of the world. The authors of all these publications passionately condemn the barbaric crimes of Sultan Abdul Hamid and the Young Turks. Nowadays one can hardly come across a literate man who should be unaware of the tragic fate of the Armenian people.

Mildly speaking, however, one circumstance occasions wonder: many official personalities and representatives of the intellectuals of modern Turkey brazenly pervert

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the historical truth in their attempt to deny the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. But the labours of the falsifiers are futile. The lie they are promulgating is at once rotten, wanton and shameless. This statement is eloquently borne out by the incontrovertible documents of this volume.

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