New York, Oct 3-Documentary evidence of the atrocities inflicted by the Turks upon the Armenians was made public tonight by the committee formed by Charles R. Crane, Cleveland H. Dodge and others to investigate the facts of the Armenian massacres, and which also is taking steps to aid sufferers.
The committee states that the evidence was collected from sources that are unquestioned as to veracity and authority of the writers, but that for obvious reasons their names cannot be given and in most cases names of towns and cities must be concealed.
Quotations are given in the committee’s report from twenty four sources, some of which describe in detail instances where Armenians have been put to death, women violated and children slaughtered of robbery, torture and death by starvation and of terrible privations endured in long marches to the desert regions to which the Armenians have been exiled crimes described by the committee as surpassing ‘in their horror and cruelty anything that history has recorded during the past thousand years.’
‘The idea of direct attack and massacre, carried out in former times,’ says one authority, writing under date of August 3, ‘has been altered somewhat, in that the men and boys have been deported in great numbers and disappeared en route, and later on the women and children have been made to follow. For some time stories have been prevalent from travelers arrived from the interior of the killing of males and of great numbers of bodies along the roadsides and floating in the Euphrates river; of the delivery to the Kurds, by the gendarmes accompanying the convoys of women and children, of all the younger members of the parties; of unthinkable outrages committed by the gendarmes and Kurds, and even the killing of many victims. At first these stories were not given much credence, but as many of the refugees now are arriving in, no doubt remains of the truth of the matter.’
Describing under date of June 20, the wholesale deportation of 26,000 Armenian inhabitants of Zeitoun to the KOnieh region, Aleppo and places in Mesopotamia, one writer gives the text of the Turkish government order giving authority for the expulsions. It reads:
‘The commanders of the army, of independent army corps and of divisions may, in case of military necessity and in case they suspect espionage or treason, send away, either singly or in mass the inhabitants of villages or towns, and install them in other places.’
Whole villages were deported at an hour’s notice, says the writer, with no opportunity to prepare for the journey, not even in some cases to gather together the scattered memebers of the family; so many little children were left behind.”