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along the deportation route

along the deportation route to Syria

The Turkish government then turned its attention to the now defenseless population. They posted notices of deportation in public places and sent criers to the Armenian villages to order the Armenians to prepare to leave their homes in a few days time. They organized the people into convoys and ordered them to walk to the Syrian desert to the south. 

The horrors of this march are revealed in this eyewitness account from a German missionary, Johannes Lepsius*:

The major portion of these miserable people brutally driven from home and land, separated from their families, robbed of everything they owned and stripped of all they carried underway, have been herded like cattle under the open skies without the least protection against heat and cold, almost without clothing, and were fed very irregularly, and always insufficiently. Exposed to every change in weather, the glowing sun in the desert, the wind and rain in spring and fall, and the bitter cold in winter, weakened through extreme want and their strength sapped by endless marches, deplorable treatment, cruel torture and the constant fear for their lives, those that had some shreds of their strength left dug holes at the banks of the river to crawl into them.

*Deutschland und Armenien: Sammlung diplomatischer aktenstukke (Potsdam: Tempelverlag, 1919)


Part of The Armenian Genocide exhibit