Forcible conversion to Islam was, as always, a feature in the Turkish attack upon the Armenians. The Germans acquiesced, because “in the East creed and nationality are synonymous.” They knew, too, that the Turks fully intended to destroy the existence of the Armenian nation, but that design could not greatly shock the heirs of the “Frederician tradition” as practised in Poland and Denmark, and as even then contemplated for Belgium. Count Wolff-Metternich and Prince Hohenlohe did, indeed, severally suggest to Herr von Bethmann Hollweg that at least Germany should dissociate herself from the enormities of her ally by articles in the German newspapers. But the course was not deemed expedient.
On the contrary, the North German Gazette, the semi-official organ of the German government, published the Turkish official denials of the massacres which the German Ambassadors reported, and rebuked the Allied Press for its slanderous suggestion that the Government of Germany’s ally could have had anything to do with whatever “excesses” might have been committed. That is a measure of the value to be attributed to other German official statements - including the official statements now being made on the origin and on the military suppression of the “insurrection” in Upper Silesia. Ludendorff, indeed, did protest against the Turkish invasion of Armenia beyond the districts assigned to Turkey at Brest-Litovsk. His protest, however, was made exclusively upon military grounds. Hindenburg concurred, and “as a Christian” added a plea that the population of the Caucasus might be spared. Enver treated the plea with contempt. His brother, Nuri Pasha, assured Baron von Kress, the German High Comissary at Tiflis, that “any little accident” which might have occurred would be repaired. That is all that Germany, with full knowledge of the facts, and with power for a long period to give commands to Turkey, obtained for the nation who were being deliberately extirpated by the ally she directed, financed, armed, and led. Her own High Commissioner warned her of the judgement her conduct must bring upon her. He had the courage to tell his Government in a dispatch that “the responsibility for the annihilation of this ancient Christian people would lie for ever upon Germany and Austria.” “History,” he went on, “will not, and cannot, admit that the two great Christian Empires of Central Europe were not in a position to impose their will upon their Asiatic ally, at least ... where the life and death of a whole people are at stake.” That is the judgement on the attitude of Germany and of her allies in Armenia from official German lips. We cannot imagine a condemnation more terrible or more just.