About this blog

I plan to collect historical documents and articles by various authors in this blog, usually without comments. Opinions expressed within the articles belong to the authors and do not always coincide with those of mine.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Men Are Like That

Source: "Men Are Like That" by Leonard Ramsden Hartill. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis (1926). (Memoirs of an Armenian officer who observed the Armenian genocide of the Muslims)

p. 20:

"Our men armed themselves, gathered together and advanced on the Tartar section of the village. There were no lights in the houses and the doors were barred, for the Tartars suspected what was to happen and were in great fear. Our men hammered on the doors, but got no response; whereupon they smashed in the doors and began a carnage that continued until the last Tartar was slain. Throughout the hideous night, I cowered at home in terror, unable to shut my ears to the piercing screams of the helpless victims and the loud shouts of our men. By morning the work was finished."

p. 132:

"The main body of our troops in Northern Armenia was stationed at Karaklis, a town situated on the railroad about sixty versts from Alexandropol. It is the third largest town in Russian Armenia. On the approach of the Turks toward Alexandropol we fell back to Karaklis, there joining with our main force. In this movement we took with us three thousand Turkish soldiers who had been captured by the Russians and left on our hands when the Russians abandoned the struggle. During our retreat to Karaklis two thousand of these poor devils were cruelly put to death. I was sickened by the brutality displayed, but could not make any effective protest. Some, mercifully, were shot. Many of them were burned to death. The method employed was to put a quantity of straw into a hut, and then after crowding the hut with Turks, set fire to the straw."

p. 202:

"This war quickly developed into one of extermination. Horrible things happened, things that words can neither describe nor make you understand. The memory of scenes I witnessed and of incidents in which I participated still makes me feel sick. But war is always horrible, for it liberates all the fear and hate and deviltry that are in men...We now proceeded to solve the Tartar problem in Armenia. We closed the roads and mountain passes that might serve as ways of escape for the Tartars, and then proceeded in the work of extermination. Our troops surrounded village after village. Little resistance was offered. Our artillery knocked the huts into heaps of stones and dust, and when the villages became untenable and the inhabitants fled from them into the fields, bullets and bayonets completed the work. Some of the Tartars escaped, of course. They found refuge in the mountains, or succeeded in crossing the border into Turkey. The rest were killed. And so it is that the whole length of the border-land of Russian Armenia from Nakhitchevan to Akhalkalaki, from the hot plains of Ararat to the cold mountain plateaus of the north, is dotted with the mute mournful ruins of Tartar villages. They are quiet now, those villages, except for the howling of wolves and jackals that visit them to paw over the scattered bones of the dead."

p. 203:

"A soldier succeeded in driving his bayonet through the Tartar. I saw the point of the weapon emerge through his back. ...Another soldier seized a rock and pounded the Tartar's head with it. The Tartar ceased to struggle and lay still. The Armenian who had bayoneted him sprang to his feet, wrested the weapon from the Tartar's body, and, raising it to his lips, licked it clean of blood, exclaiming in Russian, 'Slodkey! Slodkey!' (Sweet.)

One evening I passed through what had been a Tartar village. Among the ruins a fire was burning. I went to the fire and saw seated about it a group of soldiers. Among them were two Tartar girls, mere children. The girls were crouched on the ground, crying softly with suppressed sobs. Lying scattered over the ground were broken household utensils and other furnishings of Tartar peasant homes. There were also bodies of the dead.

I was late in the matter of the girls, but I did what I could for them. I spoke to them in their own tongue and assured them that they had nothing more to fear. When they understood that I intended them no harm and sought only to help them, they gave way to their grief and wailed piteously. They were in terror of the soldiers and would not be comforted as long they were near. I took the girls along with me, leaving the soldiers in an ugly mood; for they considered that I was depriving them of what had become a recognized prerequisite of victory. A verst or two further on I came to another village that had met with the same fate as the first. As it was now dark, I decided to spend the night there. I shared the food that I had with the two girls, found them a shelter and another for myself. I was soon asleep. In the night I was awakened by the persistent crying of a child. I arose and went to investigate. A full moon enabled me to make my way about and revealed to me all the wreck and litter of the tragedy that had been enacted. Guided by the child’s crying, I entered the yard of a house, which I judged from its appearance must have been the home of a Turkish family. There in a corner of the yard I found a woman dead. Her throat had been cut. Lying on her breast was a small child, a girl about a year old." 

"The Armenians in Baku, supported by the English, seized that great oil city and massacred twenty-five thousand of the Tartar population."

p. 218:

"Russian troops did terrible things in the Turkish villages. The world knows the fate of the Armenians in Turkey. We Armenians did not spare the Tartars. It is all a circle of hatred and revenge, an endless chain plunging ever farther into the depths and bringing forth the worst there is in human nature. If persisted in, the slaughtering of prisoners, the looting, and the rape and massacre of the helpless become commonplace actions expected and accepted as a matter of course. Men are like that."

For more complete quotes, see:

"...the documented massacre of Turkish or Tartar citizens in the republic of Armenia in 1919 .. I have no justification for it, I strongly condemn it.." Prof. Gerard Libaridian (in his debate with Dr. Kerim C. Kevenk, Sponsored by University of Pittsburgh at Jonstown Social Sciences Division October 21, 1982)

Source: http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/debate82.htm

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