Index of this very early TAT page:
Insight on Wegner from Guenter Lewy
Armin T. Wegner was the World War I German medic who disobeyed orders
and took photographs of the suffering Armenian people. His photographic works
constitutes a large chunk of the documented proof that is offered by Armenians
to support their claim of genocide. In the partially Armenian-sponsored PBS
program, The Great War, for example... some of these photographs were
presented as the main evidence. The photos on this page are mainly screen
captures from the PBS show. (Although I discovered later his work is
omnipresent throughout the Internet on the omnipresent Armenian web
I read Mr. Wegner
himself was Armenian, and lost the information that backed up the claim. (If
anyone can confirm whether Armin was Armenian, I'd appreciate knowing.)
Biographies I've come across state that he was born "on October 16, 1886
in the town of Elberfeld/Rhineland... He
was the scion of an old aristocratic Prussian family, with roots reaching back
to the time of the Crusades." Well, that's as far away from being an
Armenian as one can get. (Of course, the main reason the Armenians
with the Nazi cause was the claim that the Armenians were fellow Aryans; but
that's a different matter.)
Armin Theophil Wegner would be any less credible if he did turn out
to be Armenian... in an ideal world. However, the normal sympathy one
would feel while observing terribly suffering people would surely increase if
the suffering were of your own, or similar, kind. Unfortunately,
Armenians have demonstrated time
and time again that they cannot be counted upon to provide reliable
information regarding the Armenian "Genocide." The only thing that's
preventing me from believing Armin Theophil Wegner was not a purebred
"Prussian," aside from the past information of his Armenian ethnic
background I no longer have access to, is this one line that crops up on some
of his biographies:
Armin's father, Gustav
Wegner, came from a family of rigid Prussian traditions... In his
autobiographical writings, Wegner recalled three episodes that left a mark on
his life: his father's reading to him an account of the 1895 Armenian
massacres in Turkey...
Not that it would be
impossible for a German aristocrat of rigid Prussian traditions to be
interested in the topic of Armenian massacres... but it makes me wonder. Along
with that Greek-sounding middle name of his. (Also... while difficult to
tell from the portrait above... what appears to be a rather large schnozzola.
I'd love to see a profile shot.)
Armin Wegner was so
tremendously affected by the suffering Armenians that he seemed to focus on
the issue for years afterwards. Surely the sights he witnessed could be so
haunting that anyone could develop a kind of obsession. However, it was
World War I; the losses almost every nation suffered were catastrophic. Maybe
Armin Wegner was not stationed anywhere during the war but in the Ottoman
Empire. However, he must have seen other locals who were far from having a
picnic. I would like to think one with his compassion would not limit himself
to acknowledge the suffering of just one people.
He sounds like he was a
pretty great guy overall. Armin Wegner had the incredible courage to send
Hitler a six page letter in defense of the Jews. He naturally got arrested,
and "would suffer incarceration in seven Nazi concentration camps and
prisons before he could make his escape to Italy."
ADDENDUM: After writing the
above, I encountered this double whammy from Prof. Türkkaya Ataöv's AN
ARMENIAN FALSIFICATION, regarding a manipulated picture on the cover of a
One may now focus on the
latest Armenian falsification in respect to the Vereshchagin painting. The
second edition of Der Prozess Talaat Pascha,2’ originally offered to the
German reader by a certain (originally Armenian) Armin T. Wegner, was
reprinted in Gottingen and Vienna in 1980 under the new title of Der
Volkermord an den Armeniern vor Gericht, The Vereshchagin painting appears on
the very cover of this German book, Talât Pasha’s photograph inserted in
the upper left hand corner (see Annex 1). The German publication “confidently”
announces in the inner pages that the cover photograph shows “Turkish
barbarism” (Turkische Barberei), supposedly depicting a pyramid of skulls in
Western Armenia, 1916-1917 (eine Schadelpyramide in Westarmenien 1916/17). I
may here, once again, remind the reader that Vereshchagin painted this canvas
in 1871 and that the artist died in 1904.
The picture in question
appears on this site's "Forgeries"
page. A Russian painting from 1871 made to look like a photograph of the
Armenian "Genocide," nearly half a century later.
Apparently Armin Theophil
Wegner was behind the first version of this German book from 1921
[Berlin, Deutsche Verlagsgesallschaft für Politik und Geschichte]; again, I'd
like further evidence, as I'm not sure what "offered to the German
reader" means; it does sound like Wegner was the force behind this book
and didn't just contribute, say, a foreword. If he was the force... that is,
if he wrote the book, perhaps with the presentation of his photographs, then
he probably was behind passing off this painting as photographic evidence. If
that's the case, far more than the revelation that he was probably Armenian,
that would make my respect for the man's integrity take a serious nosedive. (See Addendum of 10-05., below.)
Later ADDENDUM (6-04):
I've been poking around
to get at the truth of this matter, and at this point I don't think
Prof. Türkkaya Ataöv believes Armin Wegner was an Armenian. Perhaps
someone included that "originally Armenian" bit in the
parentheses (from the excerpt of Ataöv's AN ARMENIAN FALSIFICATION,
above), that appeared in whatever web site I got that from. Until better
facts emerge (that is, until further "revision," the business
of real truth-seeking historians), nobody should assume Armin Wegner was
Still Later ADDENDUM (10-05):
1980 reprint of Der Volkermord an
den Armeniern vor Gericht (A Myth of Terror)
The book discussed above, along with commentary
from Prof. Erich Feigl (from "The Myth of Terror") is reproduced at
Now that I see this is the doing of one of the
meanest "genocide scholars" around... Tessa Hofmann.... CORRECTION: Tessa "Savvidis" Hofmann
(Yes, she has a curious Greek-sounding middle name, as does her fellow German,
Armin Theophil Wegner), I suppose the choice of putting this skullduggery
forgery was not Wegner's doing, when this work was "first offered to the
German reader" some seven decades ago. It looks like the credit belongs
to our darling Tessa. I suppose the claim that this image shows "Turkish
barbarism" must be attributed to Tessa Hofmann as well. In her writings,
this "genocide scholar" appears to demonstrate a worse than usual
contempt and hatred for the Turks, and as long as her desire to convey
"Turkish barbarism" is satisfied, adherence to the facts will not
always take priority.
Feigl's caption partly reads: "Vicious
propaganda comes in various forms. One of the most sinister is the hidden
falsification. The pamphlet... is adorned with a montage made up of a portrait
of the accused, Talaat Pasha, and a horrid mountain of skulls. Casual
observers — and they are the majority — will inevitably make a connection
between Talaat and the crania on the cover."
|From THE GREAT WAR... the
more incriminating photographs.
All of these shots were identified, among other photos in the PBS program, as
coming from Armin Wegner. (The web provides other Wegner photographic examples, some worse
than the images shown on the program.) Here we have Armenians marching to their new
destinations. It certainly must have been terrible to travel on foot like that. As much as
we would like to wish otherwise, the "Sick Man of Europe" had a limited railroad
system during 1915.
Wegner took this shot of Armenians being relocated
reporter from ATA-USA Magazine inquired about the documentation of the Wegner photos
to the director of the German museum
where the Wegner photo originals are housed (Stutgart's Schiller-Nationalmuseum
Deutsches Literaturarchiv), the director replied:
do not have any indication regarding when or in what country the Wegner photographs
were taken. As a result, the dating, and sites depicted must be determined by whoever
uses the photos.’’
dramatic shot was used to identify the "Genocide"
chapter in The Great War.
There was a lot of suffering going on, to be sure.
The other PBS Armenian program that is highlighted on this web site, "The
Armenians, a Story of Survival," used this shot as well, along with certain
others. On the latter program, the filmmakers decided to crop out much of the photo
in order to highlight the crying girl... to accentuate the misery even further.
|The question with this photo is...
Why were these
Certainly, this image in itself is pretty
disconcerting... it does not look like the civilized thing to do. However, the death
penalty was in effect in the Ottoman Empire during 1915. Even Ottoman soldiers were executed for mistreatment of the Armenians. (Not imprisoned... executed.)
I'm not too crazy about the death penalty, but some present-day civilized nations still
practice this punishment, such as my own country, America.
Is this proof of genocide?
If the reader accepts the Armenians were not as helpless as
the Armenians and fellow Turcophobes would prefer you to believe... there were a lot of
Armenians who were stirring things up,
stabbing their nation in the back during a life and death struggle. Were the people in
this photo hanged because they were simply innocent Armenians, victims of a systematic
extermination... as the program would have us believe... or were they traitors to their
homeland, that any nation of that period would have executed?
Do we even know that these hanged folks were Armenians?
Armenian web sites irresponsibly use
practically any sensational image they can get their hands on and claim the victims
This isn't the first time PBS has been happy to broadcast
one-sided Armenian television shows... there have been many, through the years. Another
was called "An Armenian Journey," back in 1988. Naturally, since real proof
of the Armenian "Genocide" is nonexistent, these shows repeat the same material
over and over again... and this show, too, featured Armin Wegner photographs.
If you visit the page in this site that refers to "An Armenian Journey," you
will find the following information:
"The film credits the Informations
and Dokumentationszentrum Armenian, an Armenian research center located in West Berlin, as
the source of the photos. However, these photographs are in fact copies from a collection
of 50 glass positives taken by Armin T. Wegner, a member of the German-Ottoman Health
The originals are housed in Stutgart’s
Schiller-Nationalmuseum Deutsches Literaturarchiv, and ATAA, the Turkish-American
organization, contacted the museum director regarding the Wegner photos, and the reply
“Unfortunately, we do not have any
indication regarding when or in what country the Wegner photographs were taken. As a
result, the dating, and sites depicted must be determined by whoever uses the photos"
The article on "An Armenian Journey" concludes: "This means
that the people displayed could be Turks, Armenians or others, all of whom died in large
numbers in the regions Wegner visited."
Now, take a look at this photograph, also from "The
Perhaps the most horrifying photo among all the Wegner photos
presented on the Armin Wegner segment of the program.
Has anyone documented to whom
these skulls once belonged?
For one thing, I have a hunch Armin Theophil Wegner didn't
even take this shot... because it's so jarringly different than the others that were
shown, representing his work. Since the other photos weren't "genocidal" enough,
I can easily suspect the producers snuck this photo in as part of the Armin Wegner
collection. I could be wrong, but it doesn't matter. Go to any Armenian web site,
and you will find plenty of "bone" photos.
Two other reasons why this photo is particularly fishy
is... "The Great War" identifies Wegner as having "visited a refugee
camp filled with survivors." I don't know who was running this refugee camp (the
Turks? The Christian relief organizations?), but I'd doubt these skulls would be allowed
to remain in the camp, or nearby.... for Armin Wegner to have photographed it. Secondly,
since Armin Wegner happened to be encountering the resettling Armenians in 1915 and/or
1916...how did the flesh so cleanly melt away from these skulls in such a short time? I'm
not an expert in how long it takes a body to decompose... but I have encountered images of
bodies being exhumed after relatively long periods of time (say a year, or even two), and
the corpses are still in the process of rotting, and not yet "clean" skeletons.
Of course, these skulls were exposed to the elements (I guess; who knows?), so the
decomposition might have taken place faster.
This is the point. We just don't know the origin of these
photos..! Even the "legitimate" work of an Armin Theophil Wegner is
undocumented. Imagine what the source of all the "horror" photos the Armenians feature in their web sites
Here are two of the sadder images
featured in The Great War
apparently dead of starvation
What a heart-breaking sight. This one,
and the one underneath. Again, we have no idea who the victims are. However, let's
say these dead children are Armenians, as they likely are.
What do these photos prove?
Surely the Armenians who were being
resettled faced deplorable conditions, starvation being one of them. However, was
this a case of the Ottoman Empire's deliberate campaign of murder, as the genocide
advocates have attested?
Here is what Henry Morgenthau, one of
those very genocide advocates said in his ghostwritten book, "Ambassador
Morgenthau's Story" (but on this point, he had no reason to exaggerate...
besides, he is far from the only source to proclaim the awful conditions of
"The Sick Man of Europe"):
Turkish Government paid its soldiers 25 cents a month, and gave the families a
separation allowance of $1.20 a month. As a result thousands were dying from lack of
food and many more were enfeebled by malnutrition.And
this was during the German-initiated mobilization period, before the war had even
Ottoman SOLDIERS died of malnutrition. General Liman von Sanders, as an unfriendly
witness in the trial of Talat Pasha's
economic situation was so dismal that not only many Armenians, but thousands of Turkish soldiers as well died of the lack of food
supplies, disease, and other consequences of poor organization in the Turkish
government. In my division alone, after the battle of Gallipoli, thousands died of
The Ottoman Empire is in its death throes, desperately fighting superior foes on
multiple fronts. You would think if the limited resources would have to go anywhere,
it would go to the one component that was keeping the nation from getting eaten
alive — the military personnel. If the SOLDIERS were dying of malnutrition
and disease by the thousands, who in their right minds would fault the
government for not feeding the Armenians as a first priority?
it's mortifying to see these photos of suffering and dying people.
(This was one of the photos from "The Great War" that is NOT
one of Armin Wegner's... it's a frame capture from archival footage.
look at the above.
the overexposed presentation of these photographs is a perfect example of how
unfairly one-sided the Armenian "Genocide" has been. The Armenians who
starved and suffered from malnutrition were only one segment of the population who
suffered from the same causes.
the Armenians would soon have a flood of Christian charities, organized by the Near East Relief fund, to help them
in this dark hour. (To the tune of over a whopping 113,000,000 American dollars,
"more than a billion dollars in contemporary terms," according to Peter
Balakian.) The Turks would be totally on their own, facing even more desperate
conditions, as the war came to an end and their nation crumbled.
My first impression, when I saw the
photo at right among the other "genocide" photographs in "The
Great War," was that this was a concentration camp. No doubt others came to
the same conclusion, supporting the case for genocide. I've now come to realize,
based on what I've learned through the Near East Relief drive, that the photo (which
is not an Armin Wegner photo) most likely depicts the tents put up by the Christian
relief organizations. Not that the Armenians were having a wonderful time, but at
least food and other needs were being provided for them.... while the Turks
continued to suffer.
The reader must ask:
If the famine implied in photos as the
first two shown here was a result of the Ottoman government's deliberate policy of
extermination, why then did the Ottomans spend a small fortune on the resettling of
the Armenians... when such money could have been put the good use, elsewhere?
Remember, the Ottomans were broke! Even such a powerful "Armenian source"
as Morgenthau's book confirms this.
If the Ottoman government intended to
do away with the Armenians, it would have slaughtered them on the spot... just like
the Armenians massacred their Turkish cousins. Why bother with resettlements? (The
word "deportation" is incorrect; it's defined as "banishment or
expulsion from a country" in my dictionary. The Armenians were taken from one
place of the Ottoman Empire to another... within the country.)
DID WEGNER PROVE A
"GENOCIDE," OR SUFFERING? HE DID NOT WITNESS A SINGLE MASSACRE. BY
CONTRAST, HERE IS WHAT HIS COUNTERPART, A RUSSIAN MEDIC, HAD TO REPORT:
"I arrived in Bayburt on August 8,
1917. What I saw was terrifying. Armenians under the Russian administration
were committing horrifying, wild atrocities against Turks in Bayburt and
Ispir. The rebels named Arshak and Antranik, slaughtered the children in the
orphanage I worked at with their daggers. They raped young girls and women.
They took away 150 children with them while they were withdrawing from Bayburt
and killed most of them while they were still on the way."
Red Cross Attendant
Tatiana Karameli, student of Russian Medicine School, serving at Russian Red
Cross 1917-18, memoirs. Ottoman Archives BOA HR. SYS. 2877/1
"Massacre" photos a one-way street?
Armenian family sitting in a tent inside a refugee
camp is what this photo appears to be.
To sum up, most of the Armin Wegner
photos shown in "The Great War" were of the variety of people on the march
or in refugee camps, such as this shot at right. The worst of the lot has been shown
above. (And even one that was not an Armin Wegner photo... to be more fair; and I'm
not referring to the "skulls" shot, whose origin is dubious.) What's the
Of course, the Ottoman Turks did not
have the efficiency of the Nazis, and photographic equipment was not as widely
present as during the days of WWII. However, we've all seen tons of photographic
proof of WWII's Holocaust... incriminating shots of bulldozers pushing
countless corpses into pits, and the like... you would think there would at least be
some photos that would make you think, there's a full-scale GENOCIDE going on. All
I'm seeing are undocumented photographs of suffering, miserable people, and some
that have died or look like they are about to. It's a mighty big leap to prove a
government-sponsored extermination occurred, on the basis of these photographs.
I have seen a PAINTING
in Armenian sites of Turkish soldiers on horseback attacking half-naked women,
but... that's a make-believe image created from the artist's imagination. Even if
there were a few actual photographs with similar scenes, would that prove the
Armenian "genocide"? Turks are the first to admit brutalities occurred on
their end. There is no denying that Armenians have been massacred. However,
massacres by themselves do not constitute genocide, not according to the definition
of the 1948 U.N. convention.
What I don't see in Armenian
web sites is any mention of Armenians having massacred Turks. Why is this?
The reason, of course, is that it
would take away from the Myth of Innocence Armenians and their sympathizers have
worked so long to establish, almost exclusively offering their side of the story,
with no opposing view.
Massacred Turkish women and
children in the village of Subatan
If Armin Wegner's photos serves as sufficient proof
of a genocide for you, then what does the photo at left suggest? I only became
recently aware of photos like these when I started constructing this web site
because, probably like yourself, I've only been exposed to Armenian visual
"evidence." (Living in the United States as I do.) However, there is a
whole slew of photographs such as these. Moreover, many of these shots appear
fully documented, unlike the images at the Armenian sites, the origin of which are
I can bombard this site with such sad images as the
ones you're seeing, but my intention is not to go for the sympathy vote. What I'm
interested in is uncovering the truth and FAIRNESS of this issue. Why have I never
seen such images of murdered Turks? If you are from America, Europe or Australia...
have you seen such images?
Don't forget, these butchered Turks were murdered
under a campaign to systematically
eliminate them, to make room for Armenians in provinces where they were far from
in the majority.
Turks left on snow in Erzican
is like in the Old West, to bring up the "Indian" analogy again. Indians
would kill a settler's family, and the press would howl in outrage. When U.S. troops
would clean out a whole Indian settlement, mum would be the word. Conclusion: the
Indian's lives... just like Turkish lives... were regarded as less than human.
The caption for
this is: "An innocent and defenceless Turkish
lad whom Armenians wanted to kill by lighting a fire on his
abdomen"; (Collection of Photographs, First World War, Album
no. 4, Photo No. 69, Archives of the Department of Military
History and Strategic Studies, Turkish General Staff.)
Just one of the countless Turkish victims of Armenian
brutality... but the reason I chose to include it was
not because this boy was a victim of the Armenians, but to
show off his legs. He's just as skeletal as the photos
of the Armenian children you see above... shedding
light on how commonplace famine was for all the people.
Between April 17th and May 20th
1918, the German author Dr. Weiss, Austrian writer Dr. Stein and Turkish writer Mr.
Ahmet Refik (Altinay) visited Trabzon, Kars, Erzurum, Batum and environs to record the
cruelties of the Armenians. The latter author's observations are in two books, "Two
Committees and Two Massacres" and "On the Caucasian Roads."
For more photographs exploring this far lesser known arena:
Excerpts from Refik's books:
"Two Committees and Two Massacres,"
Istanbul, 1919, pp.
71–72, describing Erzincan: "..fresh corpses lying
about in the streets and deep in the wells covered with blood not yet dried were those
of the poor Turks killed by Armenians. When looked down into the narrow wells, a bad
odor would strike the nose and one would feel faint. Hairs and pieces of clothes of
the unfortunate Turks were still there stuck to the stones of the wells. Places of
ruins, places of burnt down houses, bottoms of the walls were filled with the corpses
of the Turks, severed arms, skulls, fatty leg bones, bodies not yet decayed. People
were grieved and wretched. Those wandering in the downtown were without shoes, with
burnt faces and in tattered clothes. Only grass was on sale in the shops to feed the
people. Wheat was not available anywhere but with the military command. Were it not
for the kindness of the Commander, even the Sub-governor would no doubt starve to
"On the Roads of the Caucasus," describing Erzurum:
"I am in a place destroyed by fire. This historical and
devoted land of the Turks lay in ruins. Streets, buildings, mosques, madrasas and
entirely destroyed houses are filled up with bodies. When the rubbles of burnt down
houses are slightly moved heads of men and children, arms, legs, parts and pieces of
bodies and feet are revealed.... While fighting against the Ottoman Army in the
formation of armed bands outside the town, the Armenians were killing the people in
the town by stuffing them into caserns and shutting in houses. Sometimes they chopped
the heads on a log and threw the bodies into wells.... There is nothing under the
rubbles of walls but Turkish bodies. When the soil is slightly dug, a human arm would
first appear, then the head and the whole body displaying a tragic scene. Corpses were
so rotten that brains would flow out at the slightest touch, grinning chins would
disintegrate and fatty, burnt and crushed chests would appear naked and wretched in
soiled clothes.... The Armenian savagery had terribly devastated Erzurum. Streets were
all filled with bodies of women and children. Women’s breasts and even private
organs were nailed to walls. Children’s lungs were hanging from telegraph wires.
Entirely naked woman bodies with pierced abdomens were put in rows on both sides of
the road. When we had seen this state of my unfortunate nation, we became almost
crazy. I wonder if civilized Europe will try to find out those who are guilty of these
crimes. History has never recorded such brutalities before. They caught innocent
maidens, attacked them like wild animals and satisfied themselves on their innocent
bodies and then ripped their abdomens with bayonets and threw them onto ruins. We were
occupied for weeks to gather these corpses, take their photographs and bury them.
While entering the town it was terrible to see the roadsides. On both sides were
arranged woman corpses. The genital organs of women were torn and male genital organs
were pushed into. Tears were coming involuntarily from my eyes and I was feeling a
bitter curse at the deepest point of my heart."
Courtesy of ARCHIVE
DOCUMENTS ABOUT THE ATROCITIES AND GENOCIDE INFLICTED UPON TURKS BY ARMENIANS
"The realm of legends"
The following insight on Armin Wegner is from Guenter
Lewy's The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed
Genocide (2005, pp. 135-6).
As a crucial ally Germany maintained a large military mission in Turkey that at all times had a sizable presence in Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Some of these officers commanded or were staff officers of
Turkish army units. Others had administrative assignments, such as
on the Baghdad railway; military physicians sought to improve Turkish
sanitation and medical services. In all of these positions German officers, though not proficient in the Turkish language and dependent on
interpreters, were in an excellent position to observe the course of the
Armenian deportations; and their reports, to be found in the archive of
the German Foreign Ministry, contain much valuable information.
After the end of the war some of these officers published memoirs.
The best known of these military authors are Colmar von der Goltz,
Friedrich Kress von Kressenstein, Otto Liman von Sanders, Ludwig
Schraudenbach, and Theodor Wiegand, as well as the Austrian military attaché Joseph Pomiankowski. All of these books represent important sources for the wartime deportations.
In contrast, the work of the writer and poet Armin T. Wegner, who
has been called the genocide's "leading eyewitness,"22 has been found
to be untrustworthy. Serving as a young lieutenant in a volunteer sanitation unit, Wegner had learned of the deportations and massacres.
On journeys in 1915 and 1916 between Baghdad and Aleppo Wegner
observed the terrible suffering of the deportees and was able to take
photographs, despite orders forbidding the taking of pictures. Wegner conveyed this information to Lepsius and Walter Rathenau, later
to become foreign minister; but the publication of Wegner's findings
ran into difficulties in wartime Germany and did not take place until
1919 and 1920.23 In January 1919 he also addressed an open letter to
President Woodrow Wilson, in which he pleaded for the creation of
an Armenian state in order to make up for the cruel fate of the Armenians and find a just solution of the Armenian question. The following
excerpt from his letter to the American president is an example of what
Tessa Hofmann, a generally sympathetic critic, has called a mode of
description characterized by "pathos and passionate exaggeration."24
Children cried themselves to death, men threw themselves to their death
on the rocks while women threw their own children into wells and pregnant mothers leapt singing into the Euphrates. They
died all the deaths
of the world, the death of all the centuries. I saw men gone mad, feeding
on their own excrement, women cooking their newborn children, young
girls cutting open the still warm corpses of their mothers to search their
guts for the gold they had swallowed out of fear of the thieving gendarmes.25
Wegner was a poet, Hofmann has noted, and was prone to "a highly
dramatized self-absorption."26 But Wegner's work on the Armenian
tragedy suffers not only from excessive pathos and exaggeration. In
1993 the German scholar Martin Tamcke brought out a detailed critical examination of Wegner's writings on the deportations. Tamcke
compared Wegner's published work with the original diary on which it
was based, which had become available after his death in 1978. This
comparison revealed numerous discrepancies as well as important differences of substance when contrasted with other available accounts of
conditions in the Mesopotamian camps. Tamcke concluded that Wegner certainly did not deserve the title "chief eye-witness of the genocide," which had been bestowed on him by the Armenians and their
friends. Wegner's published work, Tamcke wrote, could not be considered an authentic source on the Armenian deportation and belonged
not to history but to "the realm of legends." 27
22. Hofmann, "German Eyewitness Reports on the Genocide of the
Armenians," p. 65. In a 1996 publication cited below and in a conversation with
me in Berlin in September 2001, Professor Hofmann acknowledged that her earlier
appraisal had been too flattering and that Wegner's testimony was less than reliable.
23. The most important and best-known of these publications is Armin T.
Wegner, Der Weg ohne Heimkehr: Em Martyrium in Briefen.
24. Tessa Hofmann, Armin T. Wegner: Writer, Eyewitness and Photographer of the
Armenian Genocide, p. 7.
25. Quoted in Hofmann, "German Eyewitness Reports on .the Genocide of the
Armenians," p. 66. The complete text of the letter, albeit in a different translation,
can be found in Andonian, Memoirs of Naim Bey, pp. 72-84.
26. Hofmann, Armin T. Wegner, p. 7.
27. Martin Tamcke, Armin T. Wegner und die Armenier: Anspruch und
Wirklichkeit eines Augenzeugen, p. 220. A table listing the discrepancies between the
original diary and its published version as well as differences from other accounts
(especially by Lepsius) can be found on pp. 242—45.