Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


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When I examined the facts from the Armenian perspective, the evidence I found most troubling were from the Germans. After all, the Germans were the allies of the Turks; if the Germans said the Turks were guilty of genocide, that is something worth listening to. Just like the Armenians' allies, the Russians, documented the atrocities of the Armenians, as they went about slicing and dicing innocent Turkish villagers.

However, the difference is, the Russian officers who testified against the Armenians were on the field, and served as genuine eyewitnesses. Almost all the German reports I've seen that incriminated the Turks were far from the action.

A brief background is called for. Did the Germans and the Turks jump into bed together because they were madly in love, or because they needed the services of a hooker?

The caption: "In the meantime the Cretans see to it that not
much is left for the authorities to do."

The fact is, the Germans were no different as far as their Christian European counterparts regarding the disgusting image of the Terrible Turk. Germans were brought up with the same prejudices. The Germans fought wars with the Ottoman Turks through the centuries... few Germans (who never had a chance to meet the mysterious Turks firsthand) regarded the Turks as good human beings.

The picture is from Andrew Wheatcroft's "The Ottomans," which I would recommend heartily to our Armenian friends to get an even-handed view (realizing that any author who writes about the Turks in a way that doesn't regard them as devils would not be deemed objective and possibly in the employ of the Turkish government): "Kladderadatsch, 30 August 1896, shows that the German attitude to the Ottoman was not so very different from that of the other European nations. Once again the Ottomans impale, stab and kill at will — this time in Crete. The cartoon mocks the Ottoman claim that this was a civil war."

So here you have these good, Christian Germans, brainwashed through centuries of how barbaric the Turks are.... how many would manage to erase their prejudices while filing reports?

Johannes Lepsius was a holy man who detested the Turks. He never managed to travel into the heartland of the Ottoman Empire to see things firsthand during the war years, although he begged Ambassador Wangenheim to get Talat Pasha to give permission. Photographer Armin Theophil Wegner, whose works only depict suffering people (and some corpses), in a devastated land littered with suffering people and corpses, is said to have offered "documented proof" of the genocide. I haven't come across any from the Wegner collection that demonstrated a state-sponsored plan for extermination. (And what kind of a German name is "Theophil," anyway?)

Armenian sources sometimes allude to a damning list of comments from Baron von Wangenheim. Wangenheim was just like Ambassador Morgenthau, probably never venturing beyond the city limits of Istanbul. he relied on the reports of consuls and perhaps Armenians. What is being offered are opinions... not facts.

One such consul was Max Erwin von Scheubner Richter; he wrote, "The Armenians of Turkey for all practical purposes have been exterminated." Given that one million Armenians survived from a neutrally figured pre-war population of 1 million to 1.6 million, we can determine exactly how much credibility Herr Richter deserves.

Incidentally, Richter would become a Nazi, managing the SA... and would be shot dead in 1923, during Hitler's premature misstep in challenging the State. Some Armenian scholars would have us believe Richter whispered genocidal thoughts in the future Fuehrer's ear, implanting the notion of the Holocaust. Armenians will grasp at any straw to make the Armenian "Genocide"-Holocaust connection.

On the other side of the coin, General Liman von Sanders, high commander of the German forces, as witness for the defense in Soghoman Tehlirian's trial (i.e., an unfriendly witness), testified: "In the five years I was in Turkey, I never saw an order signed by Talaat against the Armenians..." Since the Germans were, for all intents and purposes, behind the workings of the Ottoman war machine, how is it possible that such a key German general not come across any government-sponsored genocidal order? (Von Sanders further testified he received many telegrams.) If a government decides to commit genocide, they would have to let their local officials to know about such a policy, so that the genocide could be carried out.

The caption of this PUNCH cartoon — Kaiser: "Leave
everything to me. All you've got to do is explode."
Turkey: "Yes, I quite see that. But where shall I be when
its all over?" DATE: Nov. 11, 1914. ARTIST: Raven Hill.

The Tehlirian trial seemed pre-determined; there are statements in the transcripts that provided major clues. The broken Germans did not wish to carry the burden of being accused of supervising the policy against the Armenians. There were four or five brilliant Armenian-paid defense lawyers to only one prosecutor, and all the witnesses were unfriendly in a cursory two-day trial where the defendant was allowed to walk free... in this historic case of murder-justification. It seems the Armenian hero, who shot Talat Pasha in the back of the head, was not even tried for bravely shooting and wounding Talat's wife.

Regardless, there is other German testimony offering evidence to the contrary.

Lieutenant General Bronsart von Schellendorf was the commander-in-chief of Turkish Land Forces, and he was not allowed to be a witness in the Tehlirian trial. In frustration, he wrote an article which was published in Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on 24.7.1921, in part stating:

In the Tehlirian case, only the people with poor knowledge about the event were listened as witnesses. The ones who saw the truth were not invited to the trial. Why were the German officers, who were on duty in the region, not accepted as witnesses? I want to convey my knowledge about the event via this article since I was not listened as witness . We should take a look at the history in order to understand the accusation of chief vizier Talat who had been killed.

Testimony of other Germans may not be as reliable since the Germans were, after all, allied with the Turks. However, the voice of Schellendorf, a politically unconnected army officer, resonates with sincerity. And he was in the heart of the action. He obviously felt strong enough about the injustice he perceived to take the trouble to tell the world the real side of the story.

In conclusion, because a German offers his opinion that the Armenians were annihilated, in words very likely translated by the fact-twisting Vahakn Dadrian, does not amount to proof... especially when we know the Armenians were far from annihilated. The Germans who said such things were not eyewitnesses, and were affected by the same emotional and mostly concocted reports supplied to Morgenthau's consuls: the missionaries and the Armenians.


 ADDENDUM: The Austrians

It wasn't just the Germans who could not let go of their religious and racial bigotry against the Turks, accepting at face value the horror stories of their missionary and Armenian co-religionists. American war correspondent George Abel Schreiner detailed the workings of German bias in this revealing excerpt from “The Craft Sinister,” 1920. The Germans' Austrian allies are also on record for echoing the same "Terrible Turk" sentiments, regarding the Armenian "genocide." While the Germans had enough wars with the Ottoman Turks through the centuries to not have developed the friendliest predisposition, it was likely worked more into the Austrian soul that the Turks were barbarians. The Ottoman Turks, after all, twice stormed the gates of Vienna, leading to the development of the croissant (each time the Austrians bit into the crescent-shaped pastry, it was like "giving it" to the Turks.)

Similar to the opinions of many Germans, Austrian diplomats and others have also implicated the Turks. Prosecutor Vahakn Dadrian has helpfully dug up the opinions of Austrian consuls, Doctors Kwatkiowski and Nadamlenzki, for example. "Opinions," however, can never take the place of cold, hard evidence. In recent times, to stress this point, Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, precipitating a war, turned out to be nothing more than an "opinion."

On the other hand, there were Austrians (like their German counterparts) who expressed different opinions.  Here's one (Austrian Consul in a report submitted to his government, Nikerled Krayblis, Rusya'nin fiark Siyaseti ve Vilayet-i fiarkiyye Mes'elesi [Eastern Policy of Russia and the question of the Eastern Provinces], translated by Habil Adem, Istanbul, 1932, p. 178):

"The outcry and clamor of Armenians and Turks have been persecuting Armenians are nothing but lies. The Turkish government has done nothing evil to Armenians. Perhaps Armenians have planned a revolution taking advantage of the indifference of the government, have armed bands and sent them to mountains, as for the Turks, perhaps they have been trying only to pursue them and put down the uprisings."


Thoughts from NICK:

German and Austrian officials were often prejudiced against Turks and looked at their own broader national post war interests. Don't forget that, prior to the outbreak of war, Germany had been involved in negotiations over the partition of the Ottoman empire in which they would have been substantial beneficiaries. Even in 1915 Germany secretly offered Constantinople to Russia in order to neutralise the eastern front!

network54.com forum, Aug. 1, 2000


Kamuran Gurun described well Germany's feelings of alliance ro the Ottomans (The Armenian File, 1985, p. 69):

"Germany, who started her colonization drive after this date, saw the Ottoman Empire as a country which she could easily influence. The reason why she supported the Ottoman State during the Berlin Congress, and offended her ally Russia, was because she did not want the Empire to disintegrate before she could obtain some rights. As a matter of fact Ottoman-German relations became closer. Nevertheless, Germany was to take part in the projects carried out by Russia, France and England to divide the Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence, and to claim her share. It is certain that the Ottoman Empire, which entered the First World War as Germany's ally, would have come under the absolute authority of Germany, if Germany had come victorious out of the war."

Nick has moved on from guestbook references, as cited in this early TAT page, to the contribution of excellent analyses in this site. A particularly insightful study concerns early 1900s German extermination efforts in Southwest Africa, and how these experiences might have tied in with Germany's later wars.


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