Dr. Barton Quotes Embassy Note to Turkish Government Presented Last August
Boston, Dec 22 – The German Government on Aug. 8 last filed at Constantinople a protest against the Turkish treatment of Armenians, according to Dr. James L. Barton, Chairman of the National Committee for Armenian and Serbian Relief, who today made public the text of the protest.
In a statement quoting the official statement transmitted by the German Embassy at Constantinople, Dr. Barton, speaking for the committee, called attention to the fact that Count Ernst von Reventlow, the German naval expert, in a recent statement, published in Tages Zeitung in Germany and cabled to the United States, strongly defended Turkey’s massacre of the Armenians on the basis of military necessity.
“One wonders,” Dr. Barton added, “whether von Reventlow knows that throughout the length and breadth of the Turkish Empire, after the men (who only were capable of revolution, but who, according to every known evidence, did not revolt, had nearly all been disposed of, the attack fell upon the widows and orphans, who were driven from their homes by hundreds of thousands at the point of the bayonet.
“It is possible that von Reventlow knows that fully one-half of these refugees miserable perished from violence, exposure and starvation. He must be ignorant of the sickening reports made by many eyewitnesses – American, Italian, British, German – civilian and official, who tell of seeing these helpless inoffensive women and girls brained because they clamored for food or forced into Islam because perchance they were comely, or women throwing their babies into rivers or over precipices to save them from the impending horror of continued existence
“He cannot have known that on Aug. 9 of this year, in Constantinople, the German Ambassador, in the name of his Imperial master, filed a protest against these horrors with the Turkish Government couched in the following words:
“‘The German Embassy regrets to have to realize that, according to information received from impartial and reliable sources, acts of violence, such as massacres and plunders, which could not be justified by the aim that the Imperial Government was pursuing, instead of being checked by the local authorities, regularly followed the expulsion of Armenians, so that most of them perished before reaching their destination. It is chiefly from the provinces of Trebizond, Diarbekir, and Erzeroum that these facts are reported; in some places, as in Mardin, all Christians, without distinction of race or religion, had the same fate.
“‘At the same time the Imperial Government has thought it right to extend the measure of expatriation to the other provinces of Asia Minor, and very recently the Armenian villages of the district of Izmit, near the capital, have been evacuated under similar conditions.
“‘Under such circumstances the Germany Embassy, by order of its Government, is obliged to remonstrate once more against these acts of horror.