1918-05-23-DE-001
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Link: http://www.armenocide.net/armenocide/armgende.nsf/$$AllDocs/1918-05-23-DE-001
Source: DE/PA-AA/R14100
Publication: DuA Dok. 395 (re.)
Central register: 1918-A-21877
Edition: Caucasus Campaign
Departure of telegram: 05/23/1918 07:00 PM
Arrival of telegram: 05/24/1918 03:45 AM
Date of entry in central register: 05/24/1918 a.m.
Embassy/consular serial number: Nr. 782
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 04/15/2012


From the Ambassador in Constantinople (Bernstorff) to the Foreign Office

Telegraphic Report



Constantinople, 23 May 1918

General von Lossow cabled: Armenian representatives in Trans-Caucasian delegation, who as ministers were simultaneously members of the government, as well as a deputation of Armenian intermediary agents had several meetings with me. In their desperate situation the Armenians expect rescue and aid from Germany. They admit that before the war they were politically oriented towards Russia and England. They could not be reproached for that. They solemnly declared that if they received assistance from Germany today, they would forever hold fast to Germany. We are in a position to defeat the propaganda with one blow that is carried out against us in the world because of the Armenian question.

As I am continuously reporting, the aim of Turkish policy is the permanent occupation of the Armenian districts and the extermination of the Armenians. All of Talaat’s and Enver’s assurances to the contrary are lies. In Constantinople, the extreme anti-Armenian trend has gained the upper hand. The Turkish plan is clear today: they believe they will gain the Mohammedan district of Achalzich; by covering up the facts, they are attempting to present the completely Armenian district of Achalkalaki as belonging to the district of Achalzich. They have occupied the city of Alexandropol. They wish to occupy the railway line to Djuelfa, including a strip of land 25 kilometres east of the railway, and never return it.

Annexation of the provinces of Elisabethpol and Baku by Turks with the permission of the Tartar population has been achieved; at the same time, an advance has been made on Baku to drive off the Bolsheviks there and for the Turks to take up their position there. Turkish troops are on the front to the south of Achalkal, advancing against Tiflis and Erivan. Kurd and Tartar volunteers accompany the army, robbing and murdering in the Armenian towns. All of the men are taken away. In order to avoid conflicts, Armenian troops get out of the way by going east. The Armenian population is fleeing to the east and must soon encounter the Tartars which will lead to massacres. Turkish policy indicates that it will avoid an ultimatum and achieve a fait accompli with regard to the possession of territory. No space will be left for the Armenian population to live on. This must ...[Group is missing] to guerilla warfare that will make transportation and reinforcements on the Alexandropol-Djulfa line, which is in our interests, impossible. I suspect that this is the intention of the Turks. Through Leishman, the authorised Delegation of the Armenian National Council has requested Germany’s protection against the complete annihilation of the Armenian people and that the remainder of the Armenian territory be placed under German protectorate. I have in hand an official document in this matter. If the extermination of the Armenians is to be prevented, it is necessary to put immediate and permanent pressure on Turkey. I request a German warship as quickly as possible, as a battalion has been sent to Poti, and instructions regarding a statement on official Armenian discussion. Immediate action must be taken.


Bernstorff


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