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Henry Morgenthau: Turks excelled in beating out an Armenian's brains with a club, this is a perfect indication of methods they applied to Armenian problem

Henry Morgenthau: Turks excelled in beating out an Armenian's brains with a club, this is a perfect indication of methods they applied to Armenian problem

“The all-important point is that this idea of deporting peoples en masse is, in modern times, exclusively Germanic. Anyone who reads the literature of Pan-Germany constantly meets it," the American diplomat wrote.

My failure to stop the destruction of the Armenians had made Turkey for me a place of horror, and I found intolerable my further daily association with men who, however gracious and accommodating and good-natured they might have been to the American Ambassador, were still reeking with the blood of nearly a million human beings, Henry Morgenthau, American ambassador to Turkey in 1913-1916 recollects in his story.

PanARMENIAN.Net - "For centuries the Turks have ill-treated their Armenians and all their other subject peoples with inconceivable barbarity. Yet their methods have always been crude, clumsy, and unscientific. They excelled in beating out an Armenian's brains with a club, and this unpleasant illustration is a perfect indication of the rough and primitive methods which they applied to the Armenian problem. They have understood the uses of murder, but not of murder as a fine art. But the Armenian proceedings of 1915 and 1916 evidenced an entirely new mentality. This new conception was that of deportation. The Turks, in five hundred years, had invented innumerable ways of physically torturing their Christian subjects, yet never before had it occurred to their minds to move them bodily from their homes, where they had lived for many thousands of years, and send them hundreds of miles away into the desert. Where did the Turks get this idea? I have already described how, in 1914, just before the European War, the Government moved not far from 100,000 Greeks from their age-long homes along the Asiatic littoral to certain islands in the Aegean. I have also said that Admiral Usedom, one of the big German naval experts in Turkey, told me that the Germans had suggested this deportation to the Turks. But the all-important point is that this idea of deporting peoples en masse is, in modern times, exclusively Germanic. Anyone who reads the literature of Pan-Germany constantly meets it."During a series of exchanges with German admiral Usedom engaged by Turks, Ambassador Morgenthau spoke about the Armenians and obtained light on the German attitude toward the massacres. "Usedom made no attempt to justify them; neither did he blame the Turks. He discussed the whole thing calmly, dispassionately, merely as a military problem, and one would never have guessed from his remarks that the lives of a million human beings had been involved. He simply said that the Armenians were in the way, that they were an obstacle to German success, and that it had therefore been necessary to remove them, just like so much useless lumber. He spoke about them as detachedly as one would speak about removing a row of houses in order to bombard a city," the ambassador recollects.

The ambassador recalls his last conversation with Talaat Pasha, one of the masterminds of the Armenian Genocide:

"As to the American missionaries and colleges and schools," said Talaat - and Enver assented - "we give you an absolute promise. They will not be molested in the slightest degree, but can go on doing their work just the same as before. Your mind can rest easy on that score."

"How about the British and French?" I asked.

"Oh, well," said Talaat, smiling, "we may have to have a little fun with them now and then, but don't worry. We'll take good care of them."

And now for the last time I spoke on the subject that had rested so heavily on my mind for many months. I feared that another appeal would be useless, but I decided to make it.

"How about the Armenians?"

Talaat's geniality disappeared in an instant. His face hardened and the fire of the beast lighted up his eyes once more.

What's the use of speaking about them?" he said, waving his hand. "We are through with them. That's all over."

Such was my farewell with Talaat. "That's all over" were his last words to me.

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