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Link: http://www.armenocide.net/armenocide/armgende.nsf/$$AllDocs/1915-09-02-DE-002
Source: DE/PA-AA/R14087
Central register: 1915-A-25988
Edition: Genocide 1915/16
Date of entry in central register: 09/04/1915 p.m.
Embassy/consular serial number:
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 03/23/2012

From the Director of the German Christian Charity-Organisation for the Orient, Friedrich Schuchardt, to the German Foreign Office


Frankfurt am Main, September 2, 1915

As a supplement to the material you already have, I take the liberty of sending you a further report from Mr. von Dobbeler, which I have just received. This act of self-defense by a people driven to despair will give the Turkish rulers a justification for their right to commit their atrocities. They are sure to make clever use of this, once again, and unfortunately, it will probably be accepted all too willingly by our press.

One of the reasons for me to travel to Constantinople is to safeguard a larger amount of money, for which I have been unable to find any explanation during the past few days.

Could you obtain the appropriate letters of recommendation for me, as the above mentioned information makes necessary?

Respectfully yours,
F. Schuchardt



Mamouré, 1 August 1915

Dear Mr. Schuchardt,

Once again, I was in Adana to see the vali, because the government wanted to remove all of the children, employees, and teachers from our institution. Today, I am travelling back to Harounia and am presently at Mamouré station. We never know here what the next day, yes, even the next hour will bring. The state of affairs forces us to struggle constantly with all sorts of Turkish officials, and had we not moved heaven and earth again and again, our institute would have been empty long ago. The situation is extremely critical. It was to be expected that there would be a reaction to those drastic deportations of the Armenians, and it came faster than anyone thought it would. While I was in Adana, I received a telegram from my wife stating that our institution was in the gravest danger, and that I had to return immediately, as rebellious Armenian gangs had arrived near Harounia. Unfortunately, it is a fact that the Armenians, the intelligent ones as well as the fools, think that the Germans, if they had only wanted to, could have prevented the deportations and all of the misfortunes connected with them. Therefore, the rebels also turned against us and, at any rate, we are quite justified in being extremely worried about this situation. The German Embassy should have protected the Armenians and not abandoned them (the Turks have a plan to let the entire people die in the desert or to deliver them into the hands of the Arabs or local residents, who will, of course, kill them.) No one here believes that any of the tens of thousands, who have already been taken away, will return. Therefore, those who are already deported have sent word to their fellow countrymen, who are still here, that it would be better to die at home than in exile. Thus, the battle, which has now broken out, is one of desperation, and it may possibly take on a much larger dimension than one would imagine. We heard here that the gang was two thousand men strong and is now stationed between Marash and Harounia. The vali of Adana mustered all of the military on its way to Aleppo and set out from Baghché at the head of the troops to meet them. Nevertheless, it goes without question that they will achieve nothing, unless they once again call on German officers for assistance, as they did when they overcame Zeitoun. I did what I could to move the embassy in order not to turn the Armenians entirely against it, but no one there will listen to me. In addition, the Turkish government, through its measures, is foolish enough to plunge its country into extremely superfluous inner turmoil and civil wars. Dr. Büge said that the Armenians had been more than loyal, considering what they had endured in all the past years. We have absolutely no contact with Marash, but presumably the brethren there have the same worries we have.

We must now wait and see what will happen. It is impossible to decide today what we should do tomorrow.

In Germany the Turks are still completely misjudged. Misled by the reports in the daily newspapers, it is commonly thought that something is still to be expected of the Turks. In fact, they are an entirely incompetent, caught in self-conceit nation - a nation that will still manage to make a desert of its countryside and, one day, possibly hand the ruins over to a European power.

Respectfully yours,
[B. von Dobbeler]

[Zimmermann's reply, September 8]

Your […etc], I gratefully confirm receipt of your friendly letter from the 2nd inst. Similar to the material previously sent on the persecution of the Armenians, the enclosed supplementary report from Mr. von Dobbeler was passed on to the Imperial Embassy in Constantinople.

I would like to note that, in accordance with your wish, expressed here orally, the Imperial Ambassador was instructed by telegram on the 1st inst. to speak up on behalf of the charity organisation, so that its institutions in Mamouret ul-Azis, Marash and Harounia will not be closed down, and the orphans not removed. As you know, the Imperial Embassy had previously been instructed to intercede on behalf of the institutions of the charity organisation. Everything that can be done at present along these lines is being carried out by the embassy. Thus, in accordance with the Imperial Ambassador, I can only, once again, advise you to postpone your planned journey to Constantinople to a more opportune time, and I am not in a position to grant you official facilities should you undertake the journey now anyway.

[From Zimmermann to the Embassy in Constantinople, September 8 (No. 686)]

Subsequent to the events, I respectfully enclose a transcript together with enclosure for your information and use as you find suitable.

Mr. Schuchardt has been informed that everything possible is being undertaken on the part of the Imperial Embassy that can be done at present in the interests of the charity organisation's institutions. In addition, he has been advised to postpone the planned journey to Constantinople to a more opportune time, and official facilities for the journey were declined.

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