A friend has received the following e-mail and excerpt from another friend and I thought our readers may want to read it.  

I thought I would share an excerpt from “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story” By Henry Morgenthau American Ambassador to Turkey during the Genocide. I found it to be eerily prophetic and certainly apropos.



This is from Chapter 25

After this exchange of compliments we settled down to the business in hand. “I have asked you to come to-day,” began Talaat, “so that I can explain our position on the whole Armenian subject. We base our objections to the Armenians on three distinct grounds. In the first place, they have enriched themselves at the expense of the Turks. In the second place, they are determined to domineer over us and to establish a separate state. In the third place, they have openly encouraged our enemies. They have assisted the Russians in the Caucasus and our failure there is largely explained by their actions. We have therefore come to the irrevocable decision that we shall make them powerless before this war is ended.”

On every one of these points I had plenty of arguments in rebuttal. Talaat’s first objection was merely an admission that the Armenians were more industrious and more able than the dull-witted and lazy Turks. Massacre as a means of destroying business competition was certainly an original conception! His general charge that the Armenians were “conspiring” against Turkey and that they openly sympathized with Turkey’s enemies merely meant, when reduced to its original elements, that the Armenians were constantly appealing to the European Powers to protect them against robbery, murder, and outrage. The Armenian problem, like most race problems, was the result of centuries of ill-treatment and injustice. There could be only one solution for it, the creation of an orderly system of government, in which all citizens were to be treated upon an equality, and in which all offenses were to be punished as the acts of individuals and not as of peoples. I argued for a long time along these and similar lines.

It is no use for you to argue,” Talaat answered, “we have already disposed of three quarters of the Armenians; there are none at all left in Bitlis, Van, and Erzeroum. The hatred between the Turks and the Armenians is now so intense that we have got to finish with them. If we don’t, they will plan their revenge.”

If you are not influenced by humane considerations,” I replied, “think of the material loss. These people are your business men. They control many of your industries. They are very large tax-payers. What would become of you commercially without them?

We care nothing about the commercial loss,” replied Talaat. “We have figured all that out and we know that it will not exceed five million pounds. We don’t worry about that. I have asked you to come here so as to let you know that our Armenian policy is absolutely fixed and that nothing can change it. We will not have the Armenians anywhere in Anatolia. They can live in the desert but nowhere else.

I still attempted to persuade Talaat that the treatment of the Armenians was destroying Turkey in the eyes of the world, and that his country would never be able to recover from this infamy.

You are making a terrible mistake,” I said, and I repeated the statement three times.

Yes, we may make mistakes,” he replied, “but” —and he firmly closed his lips and shook his head—“we never regret.”