1915-08-27-DE-003
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Source: DE/PA-AA/R14087
Central register: 1915-A-28189
Edition: Genocide 1915/16
Date of entry in central register: 09/28/1915 p.m.
Embassy/consular serial number: Bericht Nr. 39/J. Nr. 407
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 03/23/2012


From the Consul in Trebizond (Bergfeld) to the Reichskanzler (Bethmann Hollweg)

Telegraphic Report



Report No. 39 / J. No. 407
Trebizond, August 27, 1915.
Further to the report dated 25 July [A 23905.]

During the general deportation of the Armenians from Trebizond, some individuals remained here through the verbal or written permission of the Vali. These include the officials from the Ottoman Bank, the Tabakregie, two wives of officials and several single women. They are now being deported at night and it seems that they are being murdered just outside of town. Apparently the Vali of Trebizond is a member of the Young Turk Committee, but he attempted to keep his independence, and he endeavoured to soften the measures against the Armenians as far as possible. It was probably his influence, which led to the successful dismissal of the local inspector and Committee leader, Nai Bey. Unfortunately, he receives no support from his officials and the police organs whatsoever. With few exceptions, they enrich themselves during the vacation of Armenian houses in a most shameful manner. Thus, the Vali was unable to prevail against the criminals threatening Armenian lives and property. On the other hand, he would have to go against his own nature if he remained a powerless spectator of the wrongdoings he disapproves of. This is probably what led to his clearing out and, using an unimportant excuse, going into the interior for about three weeks.

The occurrences described are not only unfortunate with regard to German and Turkish reputation as well as for general humane reasons, but they also present the danger that the people of the Committee may begin to enjoy enriching themselves in such an effortless manner and, at a given moment, proceed against the Greek population in the same manner, should no punishment be forthcoming now. This is only possible by setting up a court martial in Trebizond to investigate and pass sentence in the matter. Meanwhile, the judges’ position will not be an easy one. They will not only be exposed to attempts at bribery from the Armenian booty, but also run the danger of compromising their future by acting against the people of the Committee.

I have telegraphed a report to the Imperial Embassy in Constantinople and sent a transcript of this report.


[Bergfeld]


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