Copy [Copy acc. to von Metternich presented to the Foreign Office on 21. 9.]
Further to my report of 29th of the preceding month. B.N. 2463 [A 25739.]
The statements made in the above-mentioned report on the situation regarding the deportation of the Armenians in the area around Der-el-Zor have meanwhile been confirmed to me to a considerable extent by other trustworthy sources. For instance, a German employee of an American firm [August Bernau], who has just returned from there and who, on the occasion of a business trip, visited most of the camps there, reported the following:
The government is doing nothing at all to feed those who are placed in the camps. These are usually far from any towns and villages. For this reason, it is difficult to provide any food for them, even for those who still have some money. Provisions are limited to whatever the Arab farmers bring every day to the camp in the way of bread, melons etc., i.e. an absolutely insufficient amount. Many are living solely on melons that grow abundantly in those areas. They even eat them with the peel and seeds. When I distributed bread in a small camp, the people behaved like wild animals. I had to flee and leave the distributions to the gendarmes. Those who have no money, have to starve. The paper pound was worth 45 piasters. But the people are even refusing support in the form of money and are crying out for bread. I saw some of them who were picking corns of barley out of horse manure to eat.
As long as the deportees have got money, they are allowed to stay in their camps. When the money is used up, they are deported in the direction of Der-el-Zor. In doing so, families are ruthlessly torn apart. Near El-Hammam 6 - 700 Armenian men are working on government buildings without their families. By the way, they also look starved.
The inhabitants of the camps are comprised of members of all social classes together. During my visits, I was often addressed in French, English and German, in German by pupils of German schools and orphanages. Many refugees try to flee to other camps which are nearer to towns and villages and therefore offer opportunities for nourishment. The gendarmes are constantly on the lookout for such refugees. Those who are arrested, are considered as lost.
The winter’s cold will do the rest to finish off the deportees.
As far as the fate of those deportees, who are sent on further from Der-el-Zor, is concerned, who, following official announcements, are said to be heading for Mosul, I have enquired with the Imperial Consulate as to how many deportees are estimated to have arrived from Der-el-Zor over the past few months. According to information from that source, on 15th April four transports left Der-el-Zor along two routes and 19000 altogether met up again in a camp by the river Chabur. On 22nd May, i.e. 5 weeks later, about 2500 people from these transports, including several hundred men, have arrived in Mosul. Some of the women and girls have been sold en route to the Bedouins, all the others have died on the journey of hunger and thirst.
Consequently no new transports have arrived in Mosul for the past 3 ½ months. This fact must confirm the opinion of the people of Der-el-Zor and the corresponding actual details, that under the rule of the new Circassian Mutessarrif of Der-el-Zor, short work is made of those who are deported further, more recently in the place where the Euphrates and the Chabur meet.
The closing of the local orphanages for children of deceased deportees has not yet begun. However the representative of the local deportation commissioner officially has now explained to one of the head Sisters there, that these orphans will be brought to a new large national orphanage in Konia, there they would of course receive Turkish names and be educated as Turks (i.e. Muslims).