There were times when Henry
Morgenthau provided indications that there could not have been an
extermination policy against the Armenians. One of these came from an early
1915 report, which will be featured below. But let us start
with an account from later that year, reproducing the hideously propagandistic
article in its entirety:
OF ARMENIAN PEOPLE
THE LITERARY DIGEST
October 2, 1915
It is a period marking the death of nations, and the one
to reach the goal first seems to be the victim of the Jahad which was to overwhelm the
Allies. Instead of having any such result, the Holy War is merely extinguishing the race
who were Christians when our ancestors were offering hearten sacrifices in the dense
forests of Europe. "Turkey is now in the act of murdering Armenia, and she has almost
completed her work," says Vincent Yardum in the New York Times. All able-bodied
males, we are told, have perished in prisons or on the gallows. Old men, women, and
children have been driven out of their homes and sent into exile toward Arabia, where they
never arrive. Death from starvation or from the attacks of plundering Mohammedans
overtakes most of them. The American Armenian Relief Fund Committee issues in The
Churchman (New York) a letter dated Constantinople, June 15, 1915, and purporting to come
from "a high authority whose word is not top be doubted." We quote:
"The Public in America are unaware of the great crisis through which the Armenian
nation in Turkey is passing at present. Indeed, our knowledge of the actual condition of
the provinces is very little, because of the strict censorship to which communications
with the interior are subjected, and because of the absolute interdiction against
traveling on the part of Armenians; yet you will have an idea of what we know already. The
Armenian nation is dwindling between life and death at this moment in every part of
Turkey. I will pass over the misery caused by arbitrary confiscations, the ravages of
typhus, the conscription of men between eighteen and fifty, and the imprisonment and exile
during the last two months of thousands of Armenians. About the beginning of April,
immediately after the events of Van, Armenian houses, schools, churches, and diocesan
offices were searched, by the order of the Central Government, even in the poorest country
corners, and consequently many people were thrown into prison for possessing arms, which
were hitherto permitted, and for books and pictures publicly sold. In the jails of Cesarea
alone 500 Armenians are incarcerated to-day, besides those who have been exiled, by
administrative orders only and without any guilt, to places inhabited solely by Moslems.
But this condition of affairs is much milder than of the provinces of Cilicia and of those
bordering the Caucasus. The Turkish Government is executing to-day the plan of scattering
the Armenians of the Armenian provinces, profiting from the troubles of the European
powers and from the acquiescence of Germany and Austria. This scheme began to be carried
out first in Cilicia. The whole of the population of Zeitun, destroyed, and its
neighborhood, and the greater part of those of Marsh and Hassanbeyly were deported
forcibly and without notice. . . . . .
"The condition of the Armenians is extremely aggravated since my last letter. It is
not Armenian population of Cilicia only which has been deported wholesale and exiled to
the deserts. Armenian commutes from all the provinces of Armenia--from Erzerum, Trebisond,
Sivas, Kharput, Bitlis, Van, and Diarbekir, also from Samsun, Cesarea, and Ourfa--a
population of 1,500,000--are marching to-day, the stick of forced pilgrimage in hand,
toward the Mesopotamian wilderness, to live among Arabias and Kurdish savage tribes. It is
evident that these poor people can take with them only a little of their good and
property, owing to the impossibility of transportation and the insecurity of traveling.
Very few of them will be able to reach the spots designated for their exile, and those who
do will perish from starvation, if no immediate relief reaches them. There are no means of
communicating with the people in the provinces, as the scattered people are not permitted
to send any telegraphic dispatches. However, we hope that it will not take very long to
find out their present locations and to reach them somehow or other. I trust that the
Armenians of America will hasten, on being informed of the distress of their parents,
children, and relatives, to send us funds, so that their lives may be saved. I hope also
that the American charitable public, on hearing the condition of this ill-fated nation,
already in the throes of death, will not refuse its helping hand. Immediate action is
necessary. Every day that passes carries away many victims of starvation. It would be
superfluous to add anything more. You may conceive from these lines that we are facing the
extermination of a nation. Is it that God Almighty, not deeming sufficient the unlimited
sufferings of this people in the past ages, has left the bitterest cup to be tasted in
this twentieth century? It is in the name of starving population of 1,500.000 that urgent
appeals should be made to the charitable public of America."
The Chicago Daily news prints a dispatch from Sofia, Bulgaria, giving an account of the
activities of Henry Morgentau, the American Ambassador to Turkey, who recently made an
offer to the Turkish Government to raise $1,000,000 to transport to America the Armenians
who thus escaped the general massacres:
"Enver Pasha, the Minister of War, and Talaat Bey, Minister of the Interior, accepted
the offer, and September 3 the Ambassador asked the Government at Washington to appoint a
committee of five Americans, whom he recommended, to take charge of the great undertaking.
Mr. Morgenthau declined, however, to give me their names when I saw him recently in
"Since May,' said the Ambassador, '350,000 Armenians have been slaughtered or have
died of starvation. There are 550,000 Armenians who could now be sent to America, and we
need help to save them. One million dollars is too little for the purpose of the
transporting them, as it takes $100 to equip, feed, and transport one man. Perhaps
$5,000,000 will be necessary. I should like to see each of the Western States raise a fund
to equip a ship to bring the number of settlers it wants. The Armenians are a moral,
hard-working race, and would make good citizens to settle the less thickly populated parts
of the Western States.'
"Turks admit that the Armenian persecution is the first step in a plan to get rid of
Christians, and that Greeks will come next. Jews also are marked for slaughter or
expulsion. American missionaries must also be driven out, for Turkey henceforth is to be
for Turks alone. The Sheik-ul-Islam, on being questioned, said that the deportation of the
Armenians was contrary to Moslem law, but that he was powerless in the face of military
"Foreigners in Constantinople hold the Germans, in part at least, responsible for the
persecution of the Armenians, for they are doing nothing to prevent the distribution of
inflammatory literature among the savage tribes inciting them to attack Christians."
Viscount Bryce, formerly Ambassador to the United States, writes to the Associated Press
to enlist the aid of America in this crisis. "If anything can stop the destroying
hand of the Turkish Government," he thinks, "it will be an expression of the
opinion of neutral nations, chiefly the judgment of humane America." He writes:
"Soon after was broke out between Turkey and the Allies, the Turkish Government
formed, and since has carrying out with relentless cruelty, a plan for extirpating
Christianity by killing off Christians of the Armenian race. . . . . . .
"In Trabizond City, where the Armenians numbered over 10,000, orders came from
Constantinople to seize all Armenians. Troops hunted them, drove them to the shore, took
them to sea, threw them overboard, and drowned them all — men, women, and children. This
was seen and described by the Italian Counsel.
"Some in the country escaped by professing to accept Islam, and a quarter of a
million escaped over the Russian frontier, but perhaps half a million were slaughtered or
deported, and those deported are fast dying from ill-treatment, disease, or starvation.
The roads and the hillsides are strewn with corpses of innocent peasants.
"We can all try to send aid to the miserable refugees now in Russian territory, but
what man can stop the massacres? Not the Allied Powers at war with Turkey. Only one Power
can take action for that purpose. It is Germany. Would not the expression of American
public opinion, voicing the conscience of neutral nations, lead Germany to check the
Pretty stomach-churning, isn't it? As with all
publications of the period, hateful hearsay was reported as though actual fact.
"'Turkey is now in the act of murdering
Armenia, and she has almost completed her work,' says Vincent Yardum in the New York
Times." Good old Armenian-batty New
(If anything, Turkey made the existence of
Armenia possible. Scroll down to the Treaty of Baku, here.)
(I inadvertently discovered Vincent Yardum had
nothing to do with the New York Times, contrary to the official
tone given in the above paragraph. He was only a reader, and this quote was from a
Sept. 17, 1915 letter. In fact, Yardum was not just a reader; he was a biased Armenian
reader, as demonstrated in armenianchurch.net,
where he was listed among other committee members from the 1940s. There is a lesson
to be learned here, apart from confirming the idiocy of the Literary Digest
to point to the opinion of an individual reader as if it were an authoritative
source. [Actually, the Literary Digest goes on to cite many of the
other "facts" Yardum provides, as though Yardum were an actual valid
source. Incredible!] It wasn't only the 145 articles the New York Times
published on the Armenians in 1915, as Peter Balakian loves to remind us. [See
graphic below.] There were also plenty of pro-Armenian letters from readers that
appeared, as well.)
It's as if the journalists of the period fell
over themselves, trying to outdo the other in making sure this prejudiced hearsay
Before we get to Morgenthau's tripping over
himself, helping to prove that the Armenian experience could not have been a
deliberate extermination effort, let's briefly cover a few of this article's
"Old men, women, and children have been
driven out of their homes and sent into exile toward Arabia, where they never
If they never arrived, how could the majority of Armenians had survived?
"Armenians living in areas served by the railway could buy tickets and
travel safely, there were no further attacks on Armenians who reached Syria — and
Armenians living in Istanbul and other Turkish cities far from the war zone were
(Dr. Gwynne Dyer, "A Question of
Genocide in Turkey")
"It is in the name of starving
population of 1,500.000 that urgent appeals should be made to the charitable public
Very good of this terribly irresponsible
article to corroborate the fact that there were around 1.5 million Armenians before
the war. If one million survived, as Armenians themselves concede, 1.5 million
naturally could not have died. Nor, for that matter, could anything approaching one
Henry Proves It:
Here we go:
"The Chicago Daily news prints a dispatch from Sofia, Bulgaria, giving an account
of the activities of Henry Morgenthau, the American Ambassador to Turkey, who recently
made an offer to the Turkish Government to raise $1,000,000 to transport to America the
Armenians who thus escaped the general massacres."
The next paragraph tells us Enver and Talaat accepted the offer. That makes it sound like
the Ottoman leaders were trading lives for money, doesn't it?
Morgenthau is then quoted as saying the following:
"One million dollars is too little for the purpose of the transporting them, as it
takes $100 to equip, feed, and transport one man. Perhaps $5,000,000 will be
IN OTHER WORDS, NONE OF THIS MONEY WAS EARMARKED FOR THE TURKS.
The question begs to be asked: If the idea was to exterminate the Armenians, because they
were Christians or whatever other reason pro-Armenian propagandists have concocted, why
would the Turks have agreed to the deal?
Why would they have wanted such good treatment for the Armenians, if the Turks weren't
going to turn a profit? (Another genocidal reason, as you know, is that the Muslims were
after Christian wealth.)
(Those who have read the real Ottoman orders safeguarding
the lives and properties of the Armenians already are aware the government had the good
treatment of Armenians at heart... whether conditions permitted the scrupulous following
of these orders by locals was a different story.)
Let's think about this carefully: Since Armenian propaganda tells us that the Armenians
were all marked for death, why the humanitarian gesture?
If Adolf Hitler were asked to ship out the Jews of his concentration camps at no monetary
gain, would he have accepted? Would he have accepted even if he were bribed with a huge
monetary amount? NO. Because Everyone knows Hitler had the "intent" to
exterminate the Jews.
What we have examined is a Holocaust parallel
worth considering. This is one clearly flying in the face of genocidal theory.
The Armenian Genocide simply does not make sense. Even repulsively racist and
irresponsible articles from the period as this one offer evidence.
Taking a Look at the
Article's Other Comments
Ethics-Challenged Henry Morgenthau
You can see from the article that
Morgenthau refused to supply, for some oddball reason, the names of the five
Americans in charge of the committee for the "great undertaking." (An
undertaking that did not appear to get off the ground. One would think a measly
million would not have been so insurmountable to raise, given that the Near East
Relief, working on behalf of the Armenians, raised well over a hundred million.)
These names wasn't the only thing the ambassador refused to supply, at least at face
"Turks admit that the Armenian persecution is the first step in a plan
to get rid of Christians, and that Greeks will come next."
The names of these "Turks" who "admitted" this plan were
not provided. Despite how The Literary Digest appears to be quoting
Morgenthau, the ambassador seems to be off the hook. These words were lifted
verbatim from a Sept. 14, 1915 New York Times article entitled "Would
Send Here 550,000 Armenians," without providing the source. (Assuming The New
York Times was the original source. Regardless, not the finest hour of
Now brace yourselves...
"Jews also are marked for slaughter or expulsion."
Imagine making a statement like that with no
proof whatsoever. Utterly despicable of The New York
And a quick note of who was likely the most trusted
Briton in America, the former ambassador to the United States, Viscount and
Wellington House propagandist James
His reason for genocide: "Extirpating Christianity."
Bryce's "drowning at sea" story was
discussed by C. F. Dixon-Johnson in his "Figures and Fancies" chapter of
"The Armenians." The testimony of the Italian consul was explained differently. Even Ara Sarafian
begged to differ with this hogwash.
We don't know exactly when Bryce was quoted for
this October 2, 1915 article, but it probably wasn't a long time prior. Note his
figure: "perhaps half a million were slaughtered or deported."
That's combining both the killed and the
"deported," mind you.
Now here is the propagandist at work, cited at
the good old New York Times:
Yes, in the October 7, 1915 N. Y.
Times article, Bryce gave a total of 800,000 "counted destroyed"...
while relating his favorite "10,000 drowned" story, again.
|Morgenthau "Proof " of NO GENOCIDE, Number Two!
Early Morgenthau kept a lid on his propagandistic ways, before
the "genocide" (that is, the relocation) of the Armenians had begun. Let's
reproduce a March 1915 report from the "relatively honest" Henry Morgenthau
(thanks to Mavi Boncuk) :
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau on the Anglo-French Setback at the
Dardanelles, 18 March 1915
On March 18th, the Allied fleet made its greatest attack. As all the world
knows, that attack proved disastrous to the Allies. The outcome was the sinking of the
Bouvet, the Ocean, and the Irresistible and the serious crippling of four other vessels.
Of the sixteen ships engaged in this battle of the 18th, seven were thus put temporarily
or permanently out of action. Naturally the Germans and Turks rejoiced over this victory.
The police went around, and ordered each householder to display a prescribed number of
flags in honour of the event.
The Turkish people have so little spontaneous patriotism or
enthusiasm of any kind that they would never decorate their establishments without
such definite orders. As a matter of fact, neither Germans nor Turks regarded this
celebration too seriously, for they were not yet persuaded that they had really won a
Most still believed that the Allied fleets would succeed in forcing their way through. The
only question, they said, was whether the Entente was ready to sacrifice the necessary
number of ships. Neither Wangenheim (note: German Ambassador) nor Pallavicini (note:
Austro-Hungarian Ambassador) believed that the disastrous experience of the 18th would end
the naval attack, and for days they anxiously waited for the fleet to return.
The high tension lasted for days and weeks after the repulse of the 18th. We were still
momentarily expecting the renewal of the attack. But the great armada never returned.
Should it have comeback? Could the Allied ships really have captured Constantinople? I am
constantly asked this question. As a layman my own opinion can have
little value, but I have quoted the opinions of the German generals and admirals,
and of the Turks - practically all of whom, except Enver, believed that the enterprise
would succeed, and I am half inclined to believe that Enver's attitude was merely a case
of graveyard whistling.
In what I now have to say on this point, therefore, I wish it understood that I am giving
not my own views, but merely those of the officials then in Turkey who were best qualified
Enver had told me, in our talk on the deck of the Yuruk, that he had "plenty of guns
- plenty of ammunition." But this statement was not true. A glimpse at the map will
show why Turkey was not receiving munitions from Germany or Austria at that time. The fact
was that Turkey was just as completely isolated from her allies then as was Russia.
There were two railroad lines leading from Constantinople to Germany. One went by way of
Bulgaria and Serbia. Bulgaria was then not an ally; even though she had winked at the
passage of guns and shells, this line could not have been used, since Serbia, which
controlled the vital link extending from Nish to Belgrade, was still intact.
The other railroad line went through Rumania, by way of Bucharest. This route was
independent of Serbia, and, had the Rumanian Government consented, it would have formed a
clear route from the Krupps to the Dardanelles. The fact that munitions could be sent with
the connivance of the Rumanian Government perhaps accounts for the suspicion that guns and
shells were going by that route.
Day after day the French and British ministers protested at Bucharest against this alleged
violation of neutrality, only to be met with angry denials that the Germans were using
this line. There is no doubt now that the Rumanian Government was perfectly honourable in
making these denials. It is not unlikely that the Germans themselves started all these
stories, merely to fool the Allied fleet into the belief that their supplies were
Let us suppose that the Allies had returned, say on the morning of the nineteenth, what
would have happened? The one overwhelming fact is that the fortifications were very short
of ammunition. They had almost reached the limit of their resisting power when the British
fleet passed out on the afternoon of the 18th.
I had secured permission for Mr. George A. Schreiner, the
well-known American correspondent of the Associated Press, to visit the Dardanelles on
this occasion. On the night of the 18th, this correspondent discussed the situation with
General Mertens, who was the chief technical officer at the straits. General Mertens
admitted that the outlook was very discouraging for the defence.
"We expect that the British will come back early tomorrow morning," he said,
"and if they do, we may be able to hold out for a few hours."
General Mertens did not declare in so many words that the ammunition was practically
exhausted, but Mr. Schreiner discovered that such was the case. The fact was that Fort
Hamidie, the most powerful defence on the Asiatic side, had just seventeen armour-piercing
shells left, while at Kilidul-Bahr, which was the main defence on the European side, there
were precisely ten.
"I should advise you to get up at six o'clock to-morrow morning," said General
Mertens, "and take to the Anatolian hills. That's what we are going to do."
The troops at all the fortifications had their orders to man the guns until the last shell
had been fired and then to abandon the forts.
Once these defences became helpless, the problem of the Allied fleet would have been a
simple one. The only bar to their progress would have been the minefield, which stretched
from a point about two miles north of Erenkeui to Kilid-ul-Bahr.
But the Allied fleet had plenty of minesweepers, which could have made a channel in a few
hours. North of Tchanak, as I have already explained, there were a few guns, but they were
of the 1878 model, and could not discharge projectiles that could pierce modern armour
plate. North of Point Nagara there were only two batteries, and both dated from 1835!
Thus, once having silenced the outer straits, there was nothing to bar the passage to
Constantinople except the German and Turkish warships. The Goeben was the only first-class
fighting ship in either fleet, and it would not have lasted long against the Queen
Elizabeth. The disproportion in the strength of the opposing fleets, indeed, was so
enormous that it is doubtful whether there would ever have been an engagement.
Thus the Allied fleet would have appeared before Constantinople on the morning of the
twentieth. What would have happened then? We have heard much discussion as to whether this
purely naval attack was justified. Enver, in his conversation with me, had laid much
stress on the absurdity of sending a fleet to Constantinople, supported by no adequate
landing force, and much of the criticism since passed upon the Dardanelles expedition has
centred on that point.
Yet it is my opinion that this exclusively naval attack was justified. I base this
judgment purely upon the political situation which then existed in Turkey. Under ordinary
circumstances such an enterprise would probably have been a foolish one, but the political
conditions in Constantinople then were not ordinary.
There was no solidly established government in Turkey at that time.
A political committee, not exceeding forty members, headed by Talaat, Enver, and Djemal,
controlled the Central Government, but their authority throughout
the empire was exceedingly tenuous. As a matter of fact, the whole Ottoman state,
on that eighteenth day of March, 1915, when the Allied fleet abandoned the attack, was on
the brink of dissolution.
All over Turkey ambitious chieftains had arisen, who were momentarily expecting its fall,
and who were looking for the opportunity to seize their parts of the inheritance. As
previously described, Djemal had already organized practically an independent government
in Syria. In Smyrna Rahmi Bey, the Governor-General, had often disregarded the authorities
at the capital.
In Adrianople Hadji Adil, one of the most courageous Turks of the time, was believed to be
plotting to set up his own government. Arabia had already become practically an
independent nation. Among the subject races the spirit of revolt was
rapidly spreading. The Greeks and the Armenians would also have welcomed an opportunity to
strengthen the hands of the Allies.
The existing financial and industrial conditions seemed to make revolution inevitable.
Many farmers went on strike; they had no seeds and would not accept them as a free gift
from the Government because, they said, as soon as their crops should be garnered the
armies would immediately requisition them.
As for Constantinople, the populace there and the best elements
among the Turks, far from opposing the arrival of the Allied fleet, would have welcomed it
with joy. The Turks themselves were praying that the British and French would take
their city, for this would relieve them of the controlling gang, emancipate them from the
hated Germans, bring about peace, and end their miseries.
No one understood this better than Talaat. He was taking no chances on making an
expeditious retreat, in case the Allied fleet appeared before the city. For several months
the Turkish leaders had been casting envious glances at a Minerva automobile that had been
reposing in the Belgian legation ever since Turkey's declaration of war.
Talaat finally obtained possession of the coveted prize. He had obtained somewhere another
automobile, which he had loaded with extra tires, gasoline, and all the other essentials
of a protracted journey. This was evidently intended to accompany the more pretentious
machine as a kind of "mother ship."
Talaat stationed these automobiles on the Asiatic side of the city with chauffeurs
constantly at hand. Everything was prepared to leave for the interior of Asia Minor at a
But the great Allied armada never returned to the attack.
Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. III, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni
Now then. Let us examine the several ways in which the more
"honest" Henry Morgenthau "proved" there was "no genocide":
1) Most importantly, he informs us the authority of the central government was
"exceedingly tenuous." This is the government that kept sending orders to
safeguard Armenian lives and property during the relocation, orders that were not always
followed. If Morgenthau himself is telling us government control was weak, a
state-sponsored extermination policy enters even more into the realm of fantasy.
2) Morgenthau tells us the Turkish people had little support for their government, to the
point of "praying" that the French and English would take over to
"relieve" them of the CUP gang, and to "end their miseries." (Of
course, if the French and English had taken over, that would have spelled the beginning of
the Turks' miseries, as the French and British went on to demonstrate a few years later by
signing the Turkish nation's death warrant.) There goes Vahakn Dadrian's assessment of "[T]here was massive,
popular participation in the atrocities." If the government had such little support, it stands to reason their
supposed policy of "genocide" would equally find no support.
3) Morgenthau clearly documents that the "spirit of revolt" was
spreading among the "subject races," specifying the "Armenians" as
wishing to "strengthen the hand of the Allies." There you have it: straight from
the mouth of Morgenthau that the Armenians' rebellion just might have had a lot more
substance than he let on in his "Story" book. He further elaborates on the
potential of the Armenians' disloyalty to their nation by referring to the "best
elements" of Constantinople as welcoming the Allied fleet "with joy." (We
don't have to think hard as to what the racist Morgenthau regarded as the "best
Two quick notes: Morgenthau refers to what sounds like a close relationship with
newspaperman George Schreiner. This would be the same George Schreiner who would be appalled over the lies of Henry's
"Story" book... and the one who concluded there was no "genocide."
Lastly, let's all try to keep in mind Morgenthau's own quote, "my own opinion can
have little value." That truism can be applied to the bulk of Morgenthau's
opinions on record.
Ambassador Henry Morgenthau
The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau's Story
Exposing the Lies of "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story"
Another reason for Mr. Morgenthau's ways involved his
commitment to Zionism and the creation of a Jewish state:
"The Burning Tigris" Critique; Chapter 17 on Henry Morgenthau