German complicity in Armenian Massacres
M. Balof, the Russian Red Cross Commissioner in Armenia, appears to have secured convincing evidence of the complicity of German officers and agents in the revolting massacres of Armenians last year, the recountal of which shocked the whole civilised world. It is not the first time that the charge has been made against the Germans in this connection, but, coming as it does from a responsible official, possessing the means of obtaining reliable and unbiassed evidence, it adds greatly to the long list of barbarous acts for which Germany must some day be called to account. There was much in the Armenian massacres to remind us of the German methods adopted in Belgium, Northern France, Alsace, and Loirraine. There had been previous massacres of Armenians by the Turks, but never such a systematic attempt to exterminate a whole race. The massacres continued over a period of about five month from May of last year, and different estimates placed the killed at from five to eight hundred thousand. Orders were sent through the excutitive authority in Constantinople to about 50 towns in Turkey containing Armenians. The Armenians were marched away under the control of gendarmes, who deserted them, after which they were murdered by Kurds and brigands. In other cases they were allowed to die by the roadside, while many girls and boys were sold to Turkish families as slaves. In Armenia proper the Turks carried out a policy of wholesale slaughter. During the discussion in the House of Commons in November last regarding the Armenian massacres, Mr. T. P. O'Connor, M.P, said: "There is one thing very German in this whole transaction. There is one great analogy between the Germans in Belgium and the Turks in Armenia, and that is the system and policy which underlie what might be regarded by superficial observer, as mere sporadic or individual blood lust... This movement was simultaneous in 50 centres, and, therefore, evidently was obeying a central impetus, a central command from the heart of "the Turkish Empire." The recurrence of the massacres at Kharput a few days ago is also reminiscent of German ruthlessness. When the French at Verdun defeat an attack the Germans turn their guns on the ruined town. When the Turks are defeated near Erzerum and Mush they vent their spite upon the unfortunate Armenians in Kharput.