1915-09-04-DE-001
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Source: DE/PA-AA/R14087
Publication: DuA Dok. 160 (gk.)
Central register: 1915-A-26474
Embassy register: A53a/1915/5118
Edition: Genocide 1915/16
Date of entry in central register: 09/10/1915 a.m.
Embassy/consular serial number: No. 549
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 04/03/2012


From the Ambassador on Extraordinary Mission in Constantinople (Hohenlohe-Langenburg) to the Reichskanzler (Bethmann Hollweg)

Report



No. 549
Pera, 4 September 1915

3 Enclosures

On the 2nd of this month, Talaat Bey gave me the German translation of various telegraphic orders on the persecution of the Armenians which he sent to the provincial authorities concerned, copies of which are enclosed. With these, he wished to deliver proof that the central government is seriously attempting to end the riots, which have taken place against the Armenians in the heart of the country and to see to it that those who have been deported receive provisions during transport. A few days earlier, in reference to this, Talaat Bey said to me, "La question arménienne n'existe plus." ("The Armenian question no longer exists.")

The first and third dispatches are not dated; the first was probably sent on 31 August.

While reserving the right to make further reports, I would like to note that, according to a telegram from the Imperial Consulate in Trapezunt, a number of previously spared Armenians (among others, officials from the Ottoman Bank, the Regie, and women) were deported from there at night during the last few days of August and supposedly they were killed close to the city. Based on statements made by travellers, the local Armenian Catholic Patriarchy also reported that Armenians from Angora (mainly Catholics), including the Catholic Archbishop with his clergy and several nuns, were deported from Angora on 30 August and all of them were killed some distance away.

Taking these latter incidents into consideration, I would recommend presently refraining from informing the press of these telegrams.


Hohenlohe.

[Notes Göppert 2 September]

The Armenian Question


Today, Talaat Bey gave HSH the enclosed orders. As soon as the wartime situation permits, he plans to travel to the province to supervise the conscientious compliance with the orders. HSH wishes that Monsignor Dolci and the Armenian Catholic bishop be informed of the orders.


Enclosure 1

I To the provincial authorities of:

Hudawendigiar, Angora, Konia, Ismid, Adana, Marasch, Urfa, Aleppo, Zor, Sivas, Kutahia, Karassi, Nigde, Mamuretil-Aziz, Diarbekir, Karahissar, Kaissari, Erzurum:

Since the Imperial Government, in transferring the Armenians from their homes to the previously determined zones, is pursuing the sole target of preventing the anti-government activity and undertaking of this nationality as well as making them incapable of pursuing their nationalistic endeavours with regard to the creation of an Armenian state, but not, however, their annihilation, it was conclusively decided to take all measures to protect and feed the convoys during the evacuation. In future, all other Armenians, with the exception of those who have already been sent away from their place of residence and who are awaiting their further transfer as well as, in compliance with notification already given, the soldiers' families, a number of craftsmen corresponding to the requirements, and the Armenians from the Catholic and Protestant parish, will not be deported from their place of residence.

It is hereby declared that legal proceedings will be instituted without delay to severely punish all persons, together with their helpers, who attack the convoys, commit robbery and carry out heinous deeds through their beastly inclinations, as well as against all guilty officials and gendarmes. Those officials who are guilty must be named. In case of repeated offences, the authorities of Vilayet and Liva will be held responsible.


Enclosure 2

II Ciphered telegram dated 16 August 1331 (29 August 1915).

To the Vilayet Konia.

Bread and olives must be bought and distributed to the Armenian emigrants in Eregli, and rusks must be made available. We must be informed of the necessary expenses so that the required funds can be sent from here.


Enclosure 3

III Ciphered telegram.

To the provincial authorities of:

Ismid, Eski Shehr, Kutahia, Karahissar, Hudavendigiar, Konia, Angora, Adana, Aleppo

You are hereby authorised to obtain enough bread for three or four days for the Armenians who are already at the waiting points and for those who are to be brought from further waiting points and to take all measures to ensure that they do not suffer want or hardship along the way.


[Notes by Mordtmann from 4 September (completed on 7 September)]

To No. 5118 in A53a (telegrams from the Porte concerning the Armenian question)

A) Today, Aziz Bey, the representative of Djanbulad Bey, informed me of the following at the Ministry of the Interior:

1) The first telegram was, in fact, sent only to the provincial governments listed at the top, i.e. not, for example, to Trapezunt. Furthermore, Katamuni, Bitlis and Van, where, according to Bergfeld's telegram from the 27th of this month (no. 4996), slaughtering is supposed to have taken place at the end of August, are also missing. Aziz Bey knew nothing of these latter incidents.

2) He did, however, know that a "clash" had taken place during the deportation of the Armenians from Angora. No details are available.

3) If nothing is mentioned in the telegram concerning the return of those Catholics and Protestants who have already been deported, then this is because only some of them will be allowed to return, to avoid their gathering together again in larger groups in different localities.

B) Today, 4 September, I gave simple transcripts of the telegrams in question together with a short covering letter "on behalf of His Highness" to Monsignor Dolci and Monsignor Naslian from the Armenian Catholic patriarchy for Monsignor Terzian.

C) The local Gregorian Armenian Patriarch urgently requests that, if appropriate, we intercede on behalf of the following points:

1. that the Armenians who were deported from the western provinces not be sent further than Bozanti;

2. that the relatives of those Armenians who have been conscripted be exempted from deportation;

3. that the government permit the relief action undertaken by the ecclesiastical authorities and other unofficial persons and associations;

4. that correspondence be permitted between those deported and their relatives who remain elsewhere.


[Note Neurath from 7 September]

The points can be brought up for discussion at some time; frequent and detailed intervention would only lessen the effect.


[Telegrams to the Consulate in Erzurum (No. 36), the Consulate in Adana (No. 37), the Consulate in Aleppo (No. 64), 9 September]

The Porte has informed the consulate of the wording of the telegraphic instructions which were sent out (supposedly on 29 August) to various provincial governments, including that one, on the matter of the persecution of the Armenians. Basically, their message is: the mass evacuations are not for the purpose of exterminating the Armenians, but rather ensuring that certain elements which are enemies of the government are rendered harmless; the deported are to be protected and fed during transport; furthermore, those not yet deported as well as the soldiers' families, the Catholics and the Protestants, and craftsmen, insofar as they are indispensable, are no longer to be deported, as has previously been ordered; acts of violence against the deported will be legally punished and, in case of a repeated offence, the higher authorities will be called to account.

[Note Mordtmann]


N.B. In this case as well, the Vali from Adana has not paid attention to the official orders from the Porte; see also 7216 in A 12 pg. 143.



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