The sad events are generally well-known. But the Entente, England, France and Russia are mainly to blame for this. At this point I remember an article in the Daily Chronicle in September 1915, that was full of praise and recognition of the fact that the Armenian people, from the beginning of the war onwards, had accepted the matter of the Entente as their own, from the very beginning had fought on the side of the Entente uncompromisingly and had a right to be considered as the seventh ally of the Entente. The article is signed: The seventh Ally!
In the Armenian question, from the very beginning, we have lodged forceful protests with the Sublime Porte. Perhaps later, after the war, when our position is no longer as delicate as it is today, we will publish our negotiations in a white book. I can tell you in confidence that our Ambassador has gone as far as to incur the direct displeasure of the Grand Vizier and the Minister of the Interior. After the first three months of his office, the ministers concerned said that the Ambassador appeared to have nothing better to do than to annoy them with the Armenian issue.
The latest complaints, that the Armenian orphanages have been dissolved, the Armenian girls put into harems and the boys in Turkish orphanages and forced to become Muslims, have prompted me to personally lodge serious representations with the Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is currently in Berlin. I have pointed out that these events are extremely embarrassing not only for the Turks but also for us and that we must urgently request him to find means and ways for remedy.
I can only say that we have done everything we could. The only other extreme thing left for us would be to terminate our alliance with Turkey. You will understand that under no circumstances can we reach such a decision. Higher than the Armenians in our list of priorities, no matter how much we regret their fate from a purely humane point of view, are our sons and brothers who must shed their precious blood in the most dreadful battles and who are also dependent on the support of Turkey. After all, the Turks are doing us significant and great services in covering the south-east flank. You will agree with me that we cannot go so far as to break off our alliance with the Turks whom we have indeed upset with our continual protests about the Armenian question.
According to the unanimous judgement of our representatives, the Turkish government behaved quite correctly towards the Armenian element during the first months of the war. The first signs of storm brewing up involved an incident at Zeitun. In this small town in South Armenia, which was almost exclusively inhabited by Armenians and built like a fortress, a group of Armenian deserters had gone into hiding in March 1915 and put up desperate resistance to their Turkish military pursuers. This led to a siege and storming of the town, whereby considerable stores of modern weapons were found. As a part of the population had made common cause with the revolutionaries, under martial law a regime of a strict criminal prosecution was imposed on the town. The incident in Zeitun was not the only one. Following it, similar rioting and fighting followed in several towns in the province, which led to the beginning of the evacuation of the heavily compromised Armenian population. The measures were limited at first to a relatively small area and had only local character. But still the mistrust of the government towards the Armenians had been aroused. Things took a disastrous turn the following month, in April 1915, when in Upper Armenia, in particular in the area around Van, in the rear of the Turkish troops who were advancing against Azerbaijan, a general Armenian revolt broke out which cost the lives of thousands of Muslims within only a few days. For obvious reasons very little or even nothing was published in any press, which was hostile to Turkey or Germany about this bloodbath which was to have such sad consequences for the Armenians. By way of mobilising superior forces and with considerable losses, the Turks succeeded in suppressing the revolt in the rear of their front. It is understandable that they then decided to make such occurrence impossible in future. Moreover an Armenian plot directed at the lives of the Turkish potentates, was discovered in the capital and also there were other signs that some of the Armenians were in secret contact with Turkey’s enemies. In view of the critical position of Turkey at that time - the battles in the Dardanelles were at their climax - the Turkish government was compelled to restore the threatened internal security in the heart of the country with all means available to them. The hard, from a military standpoint understandable solution of deportation of the Armenian people from the regions affected by the war, due to their significance as operational and transport and communication areas, was declared. In the northern part of Mesopotamia, far from the militarily threatened borders, the Armenians were supposed to be allocated to new settlements. The fact that the execution of these deportation orders were bound to the destruction of a large proportion of the Armenian population, was originally most certainly neither intended nor foreseen by the Turkish rulers. The deplorable development of affairs appears to a certain degree to be understandable if on the one hand one takes into consideration the not unjustified anger of the Muslim population, on the other hand the primitive character of the internal Turkish conditions and the slight influence that the Central Administration in Constantinople was able to exercise in the more distant provinces. For a relocation of a population on such a large scale, which even in times of peace would have required years of preparation, nothing at all had been planned. There was a lack of everything, a suitable organisation, roads, means of transport, money and especially of food. The base instincts whipped up by the war, the old racial and religious conflicts did the rest. That the course of things, which could no longer be curbed, did not seem unwelcome to some of the Young Turkish rulers as a radical solution to the Armenian question, is unfortunately not improbable. This would not have happened if the Armenians themselves had not provided an opportunity. The moral blame for the events lies not only with the Armenians themselves but with their instigators in London, Petersburg and Paris. An article in the ”Daily Chronicle” dated 23 September 1915, entitled ”Our seventh Ally” was typical of this. It was full of praise and recognition of the fact that the Armenian people, from the beginning of the war onwards, had adopted the cause of the Entente as their own, from the very beginning had fought on the side of the Entente without hesitation and thereby had acquired a right to be considered as the seventh ally.
The Foreign Office and the Imperial representatives in Turkey have, from the beginning of the Armenian crisis, done everything possible with diplomatic instruments to alleviate the fate of the Armenians. This is a fact which is unknown to the public and for the time being should remain unknown, the Imperial government has gone to the utmost limit with its pressure on the Turkish government. The Imperial government did and does not feel justified to break with the alliance on account of the Armenian question. Because, although it is most regrettable from a Christian and from a generally humane point of view that, apart from the guilty, also hundreds of thousands of innocent people are having to perish under the Turkish hand, more important to the German government than the Armenians are the sons of Germany, whose sacrificial and bloody battle in the west, east and south is considerably facilitated with the help of the weapons of the Turkish allies. The responsibility for weakening the south-east flank of our position arising from our global conflict by breaking with Turkey on the grounds of the Armenian question, could not be borne by any German government and the less so since the Armenians would not save themselves from further persecution through taking this step, but would be particularly delivered up to Turkish acts of revenge.