Child Genocide (no login) Posted Oct 2, 2010 11:59 AM
Armenian Children Victims of Genocide
Compiled from V. Dadrian Children as victims of genocide: the Armenian case
The Issues of the History and Historiography of the Armenian Genocide, Volume 7, AGMI, Yerevan 2003
A significant portion of Armenian children succumbed to severe hardships during the Armenian Genocide. In the order of Talaat, the Minister of the Interior of the Ottoman Empire was told: "All the Armenians in the country who are Ottoman subjects, from five years of age upwards, are to be taken out of the towns and slaughtered". Some of children were burnt alive; the others were poisoned or drowned, died from lack of food, or succumbed to diseases. As a consequence of the Armenian Genocide hundred thousands of Armenian children were left orphans, many were converted to Islam.
The most extensive operations of mass burning of children took place in Bitlis province. Swedish missionary Alma Johansson, who was running the German orphanage in Mush, reported that many Armenian women and children were burnt alive as the orphans of their orphanage. The mass burning of children took place also in Der Zor, where the orphans gathered into a large orphanage building, then pushed in batches to a spot about an hour distant from the city, doused with petrol and torched to death. This method of murder of children was implemented also in the provinces of Kharpert and Diarbekir.
The method of poisoning of children also was implemented by Turkish physicians during these years. Survivors testify how in Agn, Khapert province some 500 Armenian orphans collected from all parts of that province were poisoned through the arrangement of the local pharmacist and physician. Nearly all methods of Genocide were implemented at Trabzon. Dr. Ziya Fuad, Inspector of Health Services, and Dr. Adnan, the city's Health Services Director, testified based on evidence gathered from local Turkish physicians that Dr. Ali Saib, Director of Public Health of Trabzon province, systematically poisoned Armenian infants brought to the city's Red Crescent Hospital and ordered the drowning at the nearby Black Sea of those who resisted taking his "medicine." Another method Dr. Saib applied in a house full of Armenian infants was the "steam bath"
An equally large number of Armenian children were destroyed through mass drownings at the Mesopotamian lower ends of the Euphrates River, especially in the area of Deir Zor. According to the testimony of an Armenian survivor, Mustafa Sidki, Deir Zor's police chief, on October 24, 1916 ordered some 2000 Armenian orphans carried to the banks of the Euphrates, hands and feet bound. They were thrown into the river two by two to the visible enjoyment of the police chief who took special pleasure at the sight of the drama of drowning. Another center for mass murder through drowning involving especially children was the Kemakh Gorge on the Euphrates River. The US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau states that at Kemakh Gorge "hundreds of children were bayoneted by the Turks and thrown into the Euphrates."
The policy of Turkish Government to annihilate the Armenian children became more evident after the deportation, when a lot of orphans were gathered. Turkish Government opened some orphanages for these children. Talaat ordered to collect and only keep those orphans who cannot remember the tortures to which their parents have been subjected. The others must be sending away with caravans. Danish missionary Sister Hansina Marcher visited one of these orphanages in Kharpert and surprised: She found about 700 Armenian children; all of them were good clothed and fed. When she visited the orphanage again several days later, there were only 13 out of the 700 children left -- the rest had disappeared. They had been taken to a lake and drowned, where ten thousands of Armenians drowned during the summer.
It should be mentioned that many orphans have been picked out and carried by the Turks and Kurds, Arabs during these years. The Armenian orphans were adopted by them and converted to Islam. The orphans in some orphanages, such as Antura orphanage, also were converted to Islam. During the next years by the efforts of several organizations and persons thousands of them were rescued.
The children, who had survived the Armenian Genocide, had to overcome a lot of difficulties, to face a lot of trials to remain faithful to their religion and nationality.