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  • Norwegian source
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

  • #2
    Great link, great information, and great PROOFS of the AG from an UNBIASED EYEWITNESS (something turks simply don't have...)
    [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


    • #3
      Yes, a good link. Thanks.

      Especially the photographs.

      The ones of all the widows are particularly moving - and it was lucky that the photographer was a woman, since I doubt that most men in that period would have thought about taking such images.

      Interestingly, Nos. 57 and 58 seem to show some of the hundreds of thousands Armenians who were expelled from Turkey during the Kemalist period - a reminder that the genocide continued into the 1930s and that the present Republic of Turkey is a guilty of genocide as its Ottoman predecessor is.
      Plenipotentiary meow!


      • #4
        Originally posted by bell-the-cat
        Yes, a good link. Thanks.

        Especially the photographs.

        The ones of all the widows are particularly moving - and it was lucky that the photographer was a woman, since I doubt that most men in that period would have thought about taking such images.

        Interestingly, Nos. 57 and 58 seem to show some of the hundreds of thousands Armenians who were expelled from Turkey during the Kemalist period - a reminder that the genocide continued into the 1930s and that the present Republic of Turkey is a guilty of genocide as its Ottoman predecessor is.
        You're welcome.
        General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


        • #5
          Denmark: Human Rights activist

          Karen Jeppe : Denmark’s First Peace Philosopher” by Eva Lous. Here is the section dealing with Armenians in Turkey and the Armenian gwnocide:

          The story of Karen Jeppe could begin in many ways. For example, it might begin with a bronze statue of her in the State Library in Aarhus. Or it might begin with her birth in Gylling parish in 1876 or it might begin in 1903, the year when she went to Turkey, more precisely to Urfa, East of the Eufrates. Really the story should begin with the Danish linguist and author Aage Meyer Benedictsen (1866-1927).

          I settle for the traditional intro, starting with the birth of Karen Jeppe. Her father was a teacher at the school in Gylling, and very well educated for his time. He had studied in England and originated from Als, so he spoke both English and German. A modern man, he advocated the idea that women should also have an education. He started to teach Karen at an early age, and before she was six years old, she read the historic novels by Ingemann. By the age of 13 she was sent to her father's relatives in Als to learn German After her homecoming, her father continued her education until 1893, when she became a resident pupil at the Ordrup Grammar School. Here the legendary H.C.Frederiksen was headmaster, and boys and girls were taught together, not usual at the time.

          Karen became a sort of adoptive daughter to Frederiksen, called Friser, after she had insisted, knowing well that she could not live in their house, on having a place to sleep there. The outcome was that she stayed on, until her school certificate in 1895, and several years later. ? Karen?s father intended her to become a doctor, but she would study mathematics and started, but she had to give it up. She felt that the work load was too heavy, and that she could not cope. She was ill for two years! Whether it was only due to disappointment and ?nerves?, or whether there was also a physical cause for her long confinement, history does not say.

          But nevertheless she started teaching at Friser?s school ? and a competent teacher she was, who took care especially of difficult and uncooperative pupils. At this school she also met her destiny. One evening in 1902 Friser read aloud to the pupils at the school. It was an article written by Aage Meyer Benedictsen, and it dealt with the persecutions of the Armenian people at the end of the past century. When shortly afterwards Benedictsen lectured in Copenhagen, they went there to listen. An engaging orator, he ended his talk by a cry for help to the Armenian people ? passed on from an old Armenian. ? Aage Meyer Benedictsen was an unusual man. He was one of the first Danish cosmopolitans and champions of Human Rights ? a true man of Peace. An educated philologist, he travelled to learn languages of East Europe, Kurdistan, Persia, India, Borneo, the West Indies, Ireland and Armenia. As time passed, the ethnologic studies occupied him more than the purely linguistic. He became an anti-colonialist, straining himself for the right of minor peoples to self-government and so also freedom of language and religion. In particular the persecution of the Armenians occupied him, and during one of his travels to Persia he visited the German Orient Mission in Urfa, which had started an orphanage, a school and a production of carpets for export. Leader was the German clergyman Johannes Lepsius. When Benedictsen returned to Denmark in 1902, he took the initiative to start The Danish Friends of Armenians. ? Karen Jeppe was deeply moved by his lecture, and as Ingeborg Sick wrote in her book on Karen Jeppe: ?The thought of the children, whom the massacres left in the streets and roads, would not leave her ? And one day in the spring of 1903 the thought, refused by her, comes up from her subconscious with an imperative:?You must.?? (Sick, 1936, p.27)- She contacted Benedictsen, who could tell her that Dr.Lepsius was just looking for a woman teacher for the school. She would receive a salary, but would have to pay her passage. ? The Danish Friends of Armenians had a sturdy friend in squire Hage of Nivaagaard, and he was willing to pay for Karen?s travel. Then where was she going? Since 1991 Armenia was an autonomous republic with much the same borders as original Armenia.The last great conflict in the region took place in 1994, when Armenia conquered a strip of land from Azerbaidjan, Nagorno Karabakh, where the majority consists of ethnic Armenians. ? Armenia?s history goes back to very early times. The first written sources stem from Herodotus, who described the conquest by the Persian king Darius in 520 B.C. . The next 400-500 years were marked by changing borders with different rulers.? Decisive for the fate of the country was the fact that it became Christian. According to legends it was two disciples of Jesus, Bartholomew and Thaddaeus, who brought the Gospel. Armenia has been officially Christian since ab.300, when the King declared Christianity the State religion. Gregorius ? also called the Bearer of Light ? became the first Armenian apostle, and by him the Armenian Church is called the Gregorian. ? Located between the Byzantine and the Persian realms, Armenia was exposed on all sides, and ar. 1000 the Turks conquered the region ? the result was a great emigration. Many Armenians went South to Cilicia ? later called Little Armenia. Here the Crusaders won an ally, and the close contact with the Europeans became significant among other things by a close contact to the Roman Catholic Church. During this period many convents and churches were built, which are there to this day. ? Around the middle of the 1400s the whole area was incorporated into the Osman realm, but Armenia had its own patriarchs both in Jerusalem and Istanbul, where they functioned as go-betweens between the small Christian population and the highest Islamic authority. The Christian population was on the whole allowed to comduct its own affairs for many years, until the end of the 1800s, when the Osman realm began to fall apart. Scapegoats were to be found for the incompetence of the rulers and for the economic disaster, and very naturally this was the little group of Christians, who for centuries had stuck to their own religion and therefore were a minority. At the same time many Armenians were bankers and tradespeople and played the same role as the Jews in Europe in the past century. During the previous centuries the Armenians had settled around the entire Osman empire, with a concentration in what is now the Easternmost Turkey, and down along the coast to the South. ? The Osman empire was not allowed to collapse, because Western powers England and France had an interest in controlling the passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, thereby keeping Russia out of the Mediterranean. The Germans also got involved, they wanted to build a railway from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Baghdad. This conflict between the Great Powers ended at the outbreak of the First World War, but before that the Turks had tried to relieve the inner tensions by exterminating the strangers, those who were different, of another faith than the Moslem one. To begin with, about 30.000 Greeks had to pay, then about 10.000 Syrians; in 1876 the turn came for about 20.000 Bulgarians, and in 1894 it fell to the Armenians. According to German accounts, during the years 1894 to 1896 more than 88.000 people were killed. 2500 villages were destroyed, and 568 churches met the same fate. ? Especially hard hit was the district around Urfa. Here were already many refugees, driven from the land districts. The massacre became known in Europe, but here more attention was paid to the great political game ? and the protests arising had little or no effect. American missionaries were in the area, among others running an orphanage, and they tried to take in and shelter as many as possible at the mission. The German Orient Mission was also present, and here Karen Jeppe was to work. Before Karen could leave, she had to persuade her father that she had taken the right decision. True, he himself had travelled much, but to send his daughter into the middle of the Osman realm, down to the infidels wearing scimitars and practising polygamy – this did not seem right to him. Neither did the local pastor and close friend Otto M? like the idea. But Karen was tough ? she would do it? and just as when she, at the time, had herself lodged with Friser, this once also she had her way, and could leave with the blessings of both her father and the pastor. ? October 1, 1903 Karen Jeppe left home ? first by train via Berlin to Italy, from where she sailed to Istanbul, and on also by boat through the Marmara Sea to Ishenderun, where she was to have gone ashore, but there was an epidemic of cholera, so instead it was Mersin. During the travel she was in company with the Swiss deacon Jakob K?, who was also to work at the orphanage. Later Karen Jeppe wrote that she was at once fascinated by Asia ? the grand lines of the landscape, the cupolas of Istanbul in silhouette, the strong colors of the sunsets. ? From Mersin they went by train to nearby town Adana ? here the rails stopped, and the rest of the trip was done first by horse wagon, then on donkeys.They were accompanied by a soldier, who was to protect them from robbers. The little company spent the night at a sort of inns, where people brought their own bedding and food, because there was only the bare clay floor. Karen found this exciting. When they approached Urfa, hundreds of people rushed to meet them. They wanted to come and see the foreign lady from Denmark. They brought fresh water, tea and food, and served them on blankets brought for the purpose, they even had a horse so that Karen Jeppe could enter the town in proper state, but she refused the offer and mounted the donkey to which she had got accustomed, in order to cover the last distance. The town had about 50.000 inhabitants, the houses had one or two stories, the streets so narrow that a loaded camel could just pass. Legend has it that Urfa is situated where the Ur of Abraham was. To Karen Jeppe all was new and much different from what she had been able to imagine: ?? a whole world rushed over me.?(Cedergreen Bech, p.22) ? Karen Jeppe?s work:Before she could begin teaching, she had to learn the language. When after about a year she started work, she spoke Armenian, Arabic and Turkish, and she introduced new methods of teaching. This aroused attention, because ?her? children learnt to read and write far quicker than those in the other schools. The leader of the Orient Mission wrote after a visit: ?Our school work has influenced considerably the system of teaching in a wide area around Urfa. Miss Jeppe has introduced sound and visual instruction with the result that normally gifted children, within a year, do not only learn to speak the language fluently, but have also acquired a writing capacity which hitherto took 2-3 years to achieve. From far away teachers come to get familiar with the method. A renewal of the entire Armenian school system seems to radiate from here.? (Cedergreen Bech p.23)-? Undoubtedly, during her teaching days at the Ordrup Grammar School Karen Jeppe got to know the textbooks of the educationalist Kirstine Frederiksen (see Dansk Biografisk Leksikon) from 1889, where as something quite new she, among other things, warmly recommends visual instruction. ? Practical Liberation Philosophy; Karen Jeppe proved to have a formidable talent for organizing. At the children?s home she got things in order, she thought ahead. No good for the children to get an education by books, if there were no possibilities of supporting them. She created workshops where the children, from an early age, learnt different crafts, a weave shed with corresponding dyeworks also got started. She also had plans for silk production, aiming at sale. The mission needed money for schools, food and housing. She wrote to the Danish Friends of Armenians, asking for help. No money in the till, but author Ingeborg Maria Sick encouraged her to send some of the famous Armenian needlework home, then the Friends of Armenians would sell them and send the money to Karen.This became the beginning of an extensive collecting and production of Armenian embroideries, later to be of great significance. ? In 1908 Karen Jeppe went home to Denmark, partly for a holiday, partly to travel around the country and tell about her work among the Armenian refugees. While she was at home, the conflict was aggravated between the Young Turks and the old Osman regime. During many years, the Armenians had put their trust in the promises given by the Young Turks, that Christians and Moslems were to live peacefully side by side, when they came into power. But the promises proved to be empty. The Young Turks were strongly nationalist, wanting a state consisting of Moslems.? New massacres took place in Cilicia, where 20.000-30.000 Armenians were murdered. The Young Turks blamed the government and deposed it. The Young Turks, when they came into power, did not give the Armenians the legal status promised to them. Nevertheless conditions got better for the Armenian population in the years up to World War 1. On the whole there was no persecution, and several started different kinds of crafts, whereas others returned to cultivate their land. ? Karen Jepep, who had come back in 1908, untiringly continued her work to provide the daily bread for the Armenians. For a long time she had harbored plans of setting up minor agricultural settlements. Many refugees were former peasants, so she bought a piece of land in the mountains, where she, among other things, planted vineyards. To begin with, she lived in a small tent, and the locals did not understand that she dared at all stay so far away from the mission station,. But slowly she built up a good relationship with the passing Kurds and Arabs. She set cool water in the entrance drive, greeted them in their own language: ?God bless your father?, she offered cigarettes and coffee, a common custom with the Arabs. Karen Jeppe got great help from the son ? Misak ? whom she had adopted, a few years after she had come to Urfa. Like many others, he was an orphan, and at a time had confided in Karen Jeppe that when she first came to Urfa, he believed she was to be his foster mother. Karen Jeppe had also adopted a girl ? Lucia. She and Misak were married in 1913, on the anniversary of Karen Jeppe?s arrival in Urfa. All looked well ? the vineyard and the growing of vegetables were a success, the workshops associated with the children?s home functioned well, and conditions for the Armenians looked tolerable. ? The Turkish Genocide on the Armenians: But the peaceful times were shortlived. World War 1 proved a catastrophe for the Armenian people. Turkey entered the war on the German side. In 1915 the Turks resolved that the Armenians were to be moved ? they were an unreliable population element ! The Turks were efficient. Before the war there were about 1.8 million Armenians in Turkey, after the war there were about 450.000. A few hundred thousands managed to flee either to the Caucasus or to Syria. ?
          General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


          • #6
            Part II.

            Karen Jeppe tried to help as best she could. She hid refugees under the floor of her house, she organized food and water for the caravans of Armenians driven through Urfa ? on to their last travel. The Turks were not so sophisticated in mass destruction, so their methods were to herd the men together and shoot them. The young women were often sold as house slaves, older women and children were also driven together, but these were sent out wandering, until they died of thirst, hunger and exertion. ? Karen Jeppe stayed on in Urfa during the war. Once she was attacked by spotted fever, and it was arranged for her go home together with a missionary, but she refused as long as she had refugees in her house. She helped many to flee by disguising them as Kurds and Arabs. By 1918 all refugees had left her house, and there was no more for her to do. For a year and a half she had had refugees living in a cellar dug under her house. Sick and nerve-racked she went home to Denmark. She was unhappy, she had had to leave her two children to an uncertain destiny.? Karen Jeppe stayed in Denmark for three years. She more or less recovered, but the strength and energy which she had possessed earlier on, never came back. She said herself that something inside her had died. ? At the end of the war the Turks had lost, but they refused to honor the peace agreement laid upon them. Great parts of the land were occupied. Asia Minor (Cilicia), Syria and Lebanon by the French, Palestine and Jordan by the English. The Armenian state which the Western Powers had promised to set up, was very short-lived. The Russians conquered the original Armenia and incorporated it into the Soviet Union. ? Karen Jeppe in Aleppo: Karen Jeppe decided to leave and find ?her people?, wherever they might be. In 1921 she went to Aleppo in Syria, where she knew that many Armenian refugees had ended up. She was received by Misak and Lucia in Beirut. Danish Friends of Armenians had started publication of the periodical The Armenians? Friend (Armeniervennen), and after her arrival in Syria Karen Jeppe wrote an article headed: ?Home Again.? (Armeniervennen no 9-10,1921) Undoubtedly it was here that her heart was. Besides Misak and Lucia, there were other well-known faces from Urfa, and the rumour that ?the girl from Urfa?, as she was called, had arrived in Aleppo, spread quickly. ? She began to build up a children?s home, a soup kitchen, a medical clinic and a dressmakers? workroom. The beginning was hard. There were only very few elderly women survivors from the war, and these were the ones who knew the ancient patterns and techniques. Incidentally one of the boxes with old embroideries, which Karen Jeppe had sent home to Denmark from Urfa during the war, had stranded in Aleppo, and no less incidentally it came to light now, and the workroom got going. Embroideries sent to Denmark brought as much money as the voluntary contributions. The idea behind the workrooms was still that the Armenians were to be educated to support themselves and get out of the refugee camps. By 1922 the situation worsened seriously. Refugees came pouring in, especially from Cilicia, where the French troops were in withdrawal. Many Armenians had gone back to their homes, believing that they would be protected by the French. ? Karen Jeppe and the League of Nations: In 1921 Karen Jeppe was asked to join the League of Nations? committee for the release of Armenian women and children. The Danish delegate Henni Forchhammer, as one of the three women (the two others were professor Kristine Bonnevie of Norway and Anna Bugge Wicksell of Sweden) who had a seat in the League of Nations, had worked hard to have Karen Jeppe put on the budget of the League.? Ever since the turn of the century, Henni Forchhammer had worked on the issue of the so-called White Slave Trade, where women were either abducted and forced into prostitution, or the problem arisen during World War 1, where women were deported and lived under slave-like conditions. Already before she went to the first Assembly in 1920, she had investigated the matter, and she used the contacts made in Geneva to obtain further information, especially about the Armenian women.? From the information gathered she could assess that most of the deported persons were Armenian women, and that by 1920 there were still at least 30.000 of these either in Turkish harems or with Arab nomads. Most of them lived under constraint, hoping for liberation. Quite a few statements about this had secretly reached the European and American mission stations working in the area. ? When Henni Forchhammer was able to provide this information about conditions such as these, it was because she had, for a long period of years, worked internationally among other things as Vice President of the International Council of Women (ICW), and thereby had contacts not only to women-political circles, but also to a number of politicians. Besides, the International League of Women for Peace and Freedom, who had their main office in Geneva, were well informed and gave great help.

            By 1920 they succeeded in having a commission set up especially to investigate the matter of the deported women and children of Armenia, Asia Minor, Turkey and the bordering countries. At the time Henni Forchhammer did not know Karen Jeppe personally, and at first she was not intended as a member of the commission, but instead a French woman, known as strongly in favour of the Turks, was appointed. From friends of Armenians all over the World protests were raised against the appointment of the French woman, and here Karen Jeppe was mentioned as the most likely candidate. She knew the local conditions and spoke both Armenian and Turkish. Henni Forchhammer did the hard work, ending in Karen Jeppe as a member of the commission the next year.
            General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


            • #7

              Armenian Genocide, Missionaries and

              Home > Educational Resources > Encyclopedia Entries on the Armenian Genocide

              Missionaries were the first foreign eyewitnesses of the Armenian Genocide. With their successful evangelizing among Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, Protestant missionaries, mostly associated with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), had created an extensive network of school, orphanages, hospitals, and colleges across Anatolia and Armenia. On account of US neutrality during the first three years of World War I, the missionaries were allowed to stay in the Ottoman Empire. Their institutions, however, were devastated by the destruction of the Armenian population. The missionaries made heroic attempts to provide for the care and feeding of the destitute, especially orphans, only to face hardships of their own at the hands of Turkish officials. Attempts to provide refuge proved futile and only provoked the ire of the government, which came to look upon them with increasing suspicion. Next to the US consuls, the American missionaries collectively became the second most important group of witnesses to the Armenian Genocide. Virtually every mission sent reports, which together with the official consular communiques, came to constitute the body of English-language eyewitness and documentary evidence about the Ottoman policy of extermination filed with the American Embassy in Constantinople and forwarded to the US Department of State in Washington. Many of these reports were compiled by Arnold Toynbee, then a young historian, and were published in Lord (James) Bryce's The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire presented to the British Parliament in 1916 as proof of "the gigantic crime that devastated the Near East in 1915." While the Department of State classified the cables from the Embassy in Constantinople as confidential, the ABCFM was able to release the contents of the reports it received and alerted the US media and the American public. Formal US reaction to the deportations and massacres did not go beyond verbal protests to the Ottoman government. Strong public sympathy generated by the atrocity reports, however, helped in subsequent relief efforts. Swiss, Danish, and German missionaries also witnessed the Armenian Genocide. Johannes Lepsius of the Deutsche-Orient Mission, whose wartime report was suppressed by Germany upon the protest of the Turkish government, with the authorization of the postwar German government published Deutschland und Armenien 1914-1918: Samlung diplomatischer Aktenstucke (1919), the second important volume of documentary evidence released during the time of the Genocide.

              —Rouben Paul Adalian
              General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


              • #8
                I noticed a mention about Bodil Biørn here
                More photos of the event are also at
                Plenipotentiary meow!


                • #9
                  There is a movie about Bodil Bjorn that was made this year. It features her grandson who travels back to Armenia and Syria. He learns that she was, in fact, her biological grandmother.

                  It sounds like a fascinating story. The kind of story that would make an amazing epic movie.

                  Read more about it here.


                  Does anyone have any further information about this movie and when it is being released?


                  • #10
                    I'll send an email to the people who organised the meeting in London - perhaps a mention of the documentary came up in passing.
                    Plenipotentiary meow!