Further to Report No. 131 [A 8373.]
At the request of the local American Bible House, I had asked the Imperial Consul in Damascus to give his opinion on the prospects of greater assistance being planned by this institution for the suffering Armenians in Damascus. The plan was to set up a central office in Damascus or possibly in Beirut with branches. The necessary financial means and the staff are to be provided by the Americans; on the other hand, it was urgently requested that a German be entrusted with the management, and to this end they had already contemplated asking Vicar Kunze.
Mr. Loytved then reported the following:
"Three weeks ago I planned to set up a soup kitchen, public bath and orphanage for the Armenians in and around Damascus under Hanauer’s management, a German missionary living in Damascus. I informed Djemal Pasha of this. He told me in confidence that he personally would like to relieve the lot of the Armenians within the scope of his possibilities, but that he had received strict orders from Constantinople to prevent any German and American participation in assistance for the Armenians, because the Armenians’ inner resistance against the Turkish government could only be overcome if they were taught that they could not expect any support whatsoever from any foreign government. At my request that he do something himself, if possible, he ordered the mayor of Damascus in my presence to rent a house and take in Armenian orphans. Djemal Pasha declared that he was prepared to accept money for the Armenians through me and to distribute this through Turkish officials whom I also consider to be trustworthy."
It must be noted that the Turkish authorities are also trying to prevent the Armenian patriarchate from assisting those exiles who are suffering, so that the patriarchate is forced to use foreign agents to achieve this purpose. It is beginning to appear as if the Porte rejects any kind of emergency aid, no matter what direction it comes from.