The assertion that we did not prevent the persecution of the Armenians even though we would have been in a position to do so and that we actually advised the Turks to annihilate the Armenians is still believed, especially in American circles.
It would seem advisable to justify our behaviour by publishing information on the actual course of events, before the Armenian question is raised during the negotiations with our opponents. As official German declarations are seldom believed, Secretary of State Solf has ordered the well-known friend of the Armenians, Dr. Lepsius, to take over this task. He is highly respected, especially in enemy countries, and, since the beginning of the persecutions against the Armenians, as is generally known, took a stance somewhat opposite to that of the government. The decision was made at a time when the publication of other information in our files was expected in the near future. Even though this is now no longer the case, it is recommended that this decision should not be changed. The reasons against opening our archives if our opponents do not open theirs cannot be taken into consideration in this special question which affects only us. In the meantime, Dr. Lepsius has also informed his friends of the order he has received.
He plans to publish the most important documents in the preface to a piece of work on the persecution of the Armenians that is ready to be published, and this will be followed as soon as possible by a collection of all the important decrees and reports, without an accompanying text. Furthermore, the head of a local mission wishes to present the position of German circles with religious interests during the critical period, making use of official material to defend the government’s position.
Public opinion will hardly consider these publications to be a complete justification of our policy. The reproaches, however, that can then be raised against us are far less grave than the accusations that are presently general belief.