Viscount Bryce, in Report of Crimes, Tells of Ghastly and Terrible Cruelties Inflicted Upon Peaceful Peasants and Mountaineers by Foes
London, Nov 26-Viscount Bryce to night made public details of further Armenian massacres, which in a letter accompanying them he says, ‘surpass in horror, if that were possible, what has been published already.’
I feel,’ his letter continues, ‘that much crimes ought to be exposed to the utmost and that the charity of other nations will more than ever be drawn to the unhappy refugees when it is known what their friends and fellow countrymen have suffered.’
Viscount Bryce says the details confirm and amplify the ghastly history of deportations by which Armenians in northern and eastern Anatolin were driven to a death of flendish cruelty. The first part of the evidence he says was received by the committee of inquiry in the United States and the second part comes from an Armenian gentleman at Tiflis, who received it fro refugees.
‘The sufferings of the peasants and the mountaineers in the regions of Van, Mush and Sasun,’ Viscount Bryce says ‘seem to have been even more terrible than were those of the peaceful town folk described in part one of the report. Every successive piece of evidence increases the horror of the story and confirms the dreadful certainly of its truth.
‘These atrocities were not produced by imagination. Many are vouched for by several coincident testimonies. They all are in keeping, and he evidence is most complete and some of it most terrible. At this present phase of events the civilized world is powerless to intervene, but we must bear these unspeakable crimes in constant memory against the day of reckoning.’
After giving the parts of the evidence received from the United States Viscount Bryce says that the following extracts were taken from his correspondents: at Tiflis:
‘Toward the end of May, Djevdet Bey, the military governor, was expelled from Van. Djevdet, fled southward and entered Saint with some 8,000 soldiers, whom whom he called ‘butcher battalions.’ He massacred most of the Christians of Saint the details of which nothing is known. On the best of authority, however, it is reported that he ordered his soldiers to burn in the public square the Armenian bishop, Eglise Vartaved, and the Caldean bishop, Addat Sher.
‘On June 25 the Turks surrounded the town of Bitlis and cut its communications with neighboring Armenian villages. Then most of the able-hoodied men were taken away from their women by domiciliary visits. During the following few days all the men under arrest were shot outside the town and buried in deep trenches dug by the victims themselves. The young women and children were distributed among the rabble. The remainder, the useless lot, were driven to the south and are believed to have drowned in the Tigris.
‘Any attempts at resistance, however brave, were quelled by the regular troops. Many Armenians, after tiring their last cartridge, either took poison by whole families or killed themselves in their homes in order not to fall into the hands of the Turks.
‘It is in such a fashion that the Turks disposed of about 15,000 Armenians at Bitlis. At Mush early in July the authorities demanded arms from the Armenians and a large sum in ransom of notables of the town. The head men of the village were subjected to revolting tortures. Their finger nails and then their toe nails were forcibly extracted; teeth were knocked out and in some cases noses were whittled down, the victims thus being done to death under shocking lingering agony