The Catholicos of Sis had received permission from Djemal Pasha to send a priest to Der-el-Zor to see for himself the state of the deportees arriving there. He has now returned and reports the following:
Those arriving in Der-el-Zor come from Zeitun, Yarpuz, Alabash, Albistan. There were 15,328 of them, of which 10,000 were put up in the town, the rest in the surrounding area. Most of them have to sleep in the open. 300 died from the difficulties along the way, 98 drowned in the Euphrates River. Food is completely insufficient. In order to protect themselves from starvation, the deportees have had to sell more than 30 of their children. A weekly sum of more than 500 Turkish pounds would be necessary to spend just 8 Pfennigs per head each day on food.
Nothing at all was paid for 35 days for those deported to Membidj.
At this point I would respectfully like to bring to mind that the deportees in the area of the 4th army, and these are the people under discussion here, are generally being treated much better than those in the area of the 3rd army.
By 30 July, 14,000 deportees arrived in Aleppo, of which until now 4,000 have been sent further on, so that at present there are 10,000 people here. [I received the following message from the German Mission for the Orient in Urfa dated the 26th inst. which was kept short for safety’s sake, “We are experiencing the saddest things here. Only women and children pass by here from the North – a new type of death march. Complete annihilation is certain.”]
The order has already been given to clear Aintab Killis and the coastal strip of the Vilayet of Aleppo, i.e. once again to plunge 50,000 people into misery. There is no other way to put it for, from an organisational point of view, the government is not up to the task of deportation. At any rate, it has now reached the decision not to send the newly banned to Mesopotamia any longer, but rather to Syria. It is said that they will first be taken to Damascus. But what shall become of them then? The government drags them out of their work and earning their livelihood and will certainly not feed them until such time as they find a new job. Deportation would be particularly unjustified and especially hard for the town of Aintab, in which a larger percentage of educated and relatively wealthy families live, because urban dwellers are even less used to the hardships of the road than people living in the country. By the way, Aintab is situated neither in a war zone nor along the military road. It has an Armenian population alone of 32,000, an important element for economic life in these areas!
It could not yet be determined for certain whether the order to evacuate Marash has already been given.
I am sending the same report to the Imperial Embassy.