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- the genocide
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from a letter sent by an American observer in Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1915:

' "Armenia without the Armenians" - that is the Ottoman Government's project. The Muslims are already being allowed to take possession of the lands and houses abandoned by the Armenians. The exiles are forbidden to take anything with them. In the districts under military occupation there is nothing left to take, as the military authorities have carried off, for their own use, everything that they could lay hands on. The exiles have to traverse on foot a distance that involves one or two months' marching and sometimes even more, before they reach the particular corner of the desert destined to become their tomb. We hear, in fact, that the course of their route and the stream of the Euphrates are littered with the corpses of exiles, while those who survive are doomed to certain death, since they will find in the desert neither house, nor work, nor food. It is simply a scheme for exterminating the Armenian nation wholesale, without any fuss. It is another form of massacre, and a more horrible form.

All the men between 20 and 45 have been sent to the front lines. Those between 45 and 60 are working for the military transport service, or have been exiled or imprisoned on one pretext or another. The result is that there is no one left to deport but the old men, the women and the children. These poor creatures have to travel through regions which, even in times of peace, were dangerous. Now that Turkish brigands, as well as the police and civil officials, enjoy the most absolute licence, the exiles are robbed on the road, and their women and girls dishonoured and abducted.

About a million Armenian inhabitants have been thus deported from their homes and sent southwards into exile. These deportations have been carried out very systematically by the local authorities. In every village and every town, the population was disarmed by the police (and by criminals released from prison for this purpose. On the pretext of disarming the Armenians, these criminals committed assassinations and inflicted hideous tortures.). Next, they imprisoned the Armenians en masse, on the pretext that they had found something incriminating in their possession. After that, they began the deportation. Any men who had not been imprisoned were massacred. The remainder - old men, women, and children - were placed at the disposal of the Muslim population. The highest official as well as the most simple peasant chose the woman or girl who caught his fancy. The rest were marched away. An eye-witness reports to us that the women deported from Erzerum were abandoned, some days ago, on the plain of Harpout, where they have all died of hunger (50 or 60 a day). The only step taken by the authorities was to send people to bury them, in order to safeguard the health of the population.

We are making great efforts to save at any rate the Armenians of Constantinople from this horrible extermination of the race, in order that, hereafter, we may have at least one rallying point for the Armenian cause in Turkey. The whole Armenian population of Turkey has been condemned to death, and this decree is being put into execution energetically in every corner of the Empire, under the eyes of the European Powers. So far, neither Germany nor Austria has succeeded in checking the action of their ally and removing the stain of these barbarities, which also attaches to them. All our efforts have been without result. Our hope is set upon the Armenians abroad.'

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