1915: Urmia: Letter from Rev. Labaree to Mr. Speer
Letter dated Tabriz, 13th March, 1915 (to Mr. Speer).
Dr. Shedd's latest communication speaks for itself and reveals a terrible condition of things at Urmia. This condition, I fear, has been rendered even more acute in the two weeks since the letter was written by the defeat of the Turks and Kurds near Salmas. At that time all the remaining Christian refugees in Diliman (the chief town of Salmas) suffered terribly. All the males above twelve years of age were taken to two neighbouring villages, tortured and shot. Their number is estimated at 800. The women were to be made Moslems, but the entrance of the Russians into the town the next day prevented that. I doubt not but that the retreating Kurds will wish to do the same thing as they pass through Urmia. One is perfectly helpless at such a time. The Consuls are acting in concert, but what can they do ? The only salvation seems to be that the Russian army may advance soon to Urmia, but for military reasons this may be out of the question.
My own visit to Urmia has been stopped for the present by events. There is no possible way of my reaching Urmia, unless the Consul should go and I should accompany him.
1900-1999 A.D. Assyrian History Archives