October 18, 2007
New documents on the Armenian Genocide in 1915.
In the result of the consistent work during last years new photos and documents on the Armenian Genocide were revealed from different countries’ state archives and private collections by various researchers dealing with the issues of the Armenian Genocide. Photos made by Austrian military man Victor Pitchman are of great interest. Victor Pitchman was born in Vienna in 1881. He was in Turkey from 1914 till the end of the World War First. First he served in Turkish then in Austrian and German armies. He built Turkish mountain firing in Erzerum and drew war map of the South Western Asia for the German main headquarter. Being in Erzerum he witnessed Armenian slaughters carried out by the Ottoman government. There are deportation views of the Armenians in photos made by Pitchman near Erzerum. Artem Ohandjanyan, doctor of historical sciences, a resident of Austria provided these photos with the photo collection of the AGMI.
New photos were revealed also in the state achieves of the “Doutsche” bank and they were contributed to the AGMI. Meanwhile the museum collection was enriched with dozens of unprinted memoirs recorded by the survivors of the genocide.
Reminiscence “War and Peace memories”
by Eric af Wirsen, military attache of the Swedish Embassy to the Ottoman Empire, contains exclusive facts on the Armenian Genocide. One of its chapters is titled as “Slaughter of one nation”
where the author describes one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century. The author witnessed the mass graves of the Armenians in the vicinity of Euphrates as well as he had direct contacts with foreign diplomats, who witnessed the massacre. Mr. Wirsen writes, “Slaughters were carried out in such ways that humanity has never seen since the middle ages”.
Wirsen was informed by different consuls that the Turkish gendarmes entered houses of foreign diplomats, and without any words they shot their servants of Armenian origin. Eric af Wirsen notices that it is difficult to release the Germans from the responsibility as they did nothing to prevent the bloodshed. Mr. Wirsen also states that some German officers gave back the medals and rewards granted by the Ottoman government with the following reason they cannot accept any honors from a government carrying out such cruelties. “I join to the words of general fon Lossov who tete-a-tete told me that slaughters of the Armenians were the most terrible brutalities in the world history”, wrote E. Wirsen.
As a primary source this work is important and valuable as first it was written by a representative of Sweden, a neutral state during the war, where Ambassador Morgenthau’s evidences are affirmed for many times. Concluding the above mentioned chapter, Wirsen wrote“I constantly recollect cynic expression of Talaat’s face when he said there is no “Armenian problem” anymore”.