The New York Times4 October 1916


American Committee Starts Biggest Undertaking of Mercy; Since Relief of Belgium.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8.- The greatest, American Relief Campaign to be undertaken since organization of the Belgian Relief Commission was launched today by the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief. An exhaustive summary of the whole Armenian and Syrian situation was made public and will be sent to ministers of 120,000 churches all over the country and to many leading citizens and relief organizations.

A fund of $5,000,000 is called for to relieve 1,000,000 destitute, exiled and starving Armenians and Syrians scattered broadcast over Turkey, Persia, Syria and Palestine. The appeal declares that of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians originally in their native country, three-quarters of a million have been massacred or have died of wounds, disease or exhaustion since the war began.

The allied blockade has been lifted to allow passage of the supplies. Oct. 21 and 22 have been set aside by proclamation by President Wilson as relief days.

People were found eating grass, herbs, and locusts," says the committee in describing its investigation of conditions, in Armenia, " and in desperate cases dead animals and human bodies are reported to have been eaten.

In some cases men were lined up so that several could be shot with one bullet in order not to waste ammunition. A mother said that not a girl above 12 (and some younger) in the village of ***** escaped violation. The people kill and eat the street dogs. A short time ago they killed and ate a dying man.

" Of 450 from one village only one woman lives. She saw her husband and three sons tied together and shot with one bullet to save ammunition. She saw her daughter outraged and then killed. She was carried away by a Kurd but escaped by night, naked, and after terrible suffering fell in with some refugees.

" In the litera1 sense of the word, 100,000 to 120,000 armenians arrived at Etchmiadzin, stripped even of their outer garments. There 11,000 died and 40,000 more in the country.

The New York Times