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Link: http://www.armenocide.net/armenocide/armgende.nsf/$$AllDocs/1918-11-20-DE-001
Source: DE/PA-AA/R14105
Central register: 1918-A-50121
Edition: Genocide 1915/16
Date of entry in central register: 11/24/1918 a.m.
Embassy/consular serial number:
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 04/02/2012

From Johannes Lepsius to the Secretary of State of the German Foreign Office (Solf)


presently in The Hague, 20 November 1918
Nassau, Zuilensteinstr. 3

Your Excellency,

I request that you consider whether I could be appointed as a delegate for questions concerning the Orient, and in particular for Armenia, at the peace negotiations. The questions concerning the political, religious and economic reorganisation of Turkey, the limitation of national areas for Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Syrians, etc., the consideration of the individuality of religions, churches, schools and missions, the preservation of Germany’s economic and cultural interests, in the Turkish interior as well: all of this requires exact knowledge of the conditions before the war and the changes during the war, which few Germans have had the opportunity to acquire. Our former diplomacy in Constantinople knew only the European, but not the Asian face of Turkey. It must be the earnest will of the new Germany to rectify the mistakes of its policy, its actions as well as its omissions already at the peace negotiations. The sympathy of the Christian nations and the Mohammedan people which we have lost can only be won back if we look after their real interests in life as justly as possible. I have been in living touch with all relevant questions for the past twenty years, have not only travelled in all directions throughout Turkey, but also got to know the elements of the population through my work among them, by founding large humanitarian institutions and economic companies in Turkey and northern Persia. I believe I am not exaggerating when I say that I am practically the only German who, even now, still has the complete trust of the Armenian people and its leaders, both the Turks and the Caucasians. For years I have been personally acquainted with the delegates of the Armenian nation who will represent the new Armenia at the peace congress; I also know the members of the British parliamentary phil-Armenian Committee from working with them, as well as the leading men from the American missions in Turkey and Persia, who are extremely influential in Washington. I also have a personal relationship with the Armenian friends in the neutral countries. These special circumstances led me to make my request.

I hope to be in Berlin in a few days’ time to present my suggestions to the government for steps that are to be taken now or later, but I would like to make the government of the Reich aware of my request today.

Your Excellency, I remain respectfully yours,

Dr. Johannes Lepsius

[Note by Solf]

Application must be taken into earnest consideration. Lepsius has a reputation abroad!

[From Johannes Lepsius to the German Foreign Office, 20 November]

Your Excellency,

I request that you present the enclosed application to the Council of People’s Representatives. I have sent a transcript of the application to Dr. David, the Undersecretary of State, whom I know personally. No one but Your Excellency will understand so well the demands made on German policy by the changed situation in the Orient. It is especially important to head off the moral offensive by the Entente in the question of Germany’s joint responsibility for the Armenian mass murders with all the means at hand and to exonerate Germany.

With great respect, I remain,

Your Excellency’s most faithful,

Dr. Johannes Lepsius

[Memo by Göppert, 14 December]

Dr. Lepsius has been ordered by the Secretary of State to publish the files on the German government’s position in the Armenian question. He has accepted the order and first plans to print a few files in preface to his written work on the persecution of the Armenians that will now be published in German, French and English. This is to be followed as soon as possible by a collection of files with no accompanying texts.

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