The New York Times6 August 1918


The Rev. Mr. Apelian Tells of the Slaughter of 1,250,000 of His Countrymen.


So the Kaiser, Through the Turks, Destroyed All the Men Between the Ages of 16 and 60.

Asserting that it is only through the Armenians that this country can find a spiritual contact with the Near East, the Rev. Bedros K. Apelian of Turkey pleaded for help to 500 teacher students of Columbia, at a mass meeting held in the Horace Mann Auditorium yesterday afternoon. He vividly narrated his own harrowing experiences in attempting to obtain an education in Armenia, and later to leave for America for further study, and then asked each teacher in the audience to carry back to his, or her home town the story of how two million Armenians had been reduced to three-quarters of a million by slaughter, and how they were now dependent upon American relief for a bowl of soup and a crust of bread a day. The Rev. Mr. Ape1ian, who has been a student at Union Theological Seminary and took his M.A. degree at Columbia University, was introduced by Dr. Paul Monroe, Professor for Education and Director of the School of Education.

"The Near East," said the speaker, "is the core of the diplomatic policy which has led to this war. One nation saw; or thought she saw, an opportune moment to sell all of the Near East. At present she holds most of it, and will be glad to give up all her captured territory in France and Belgium if she can retain her booty. However, there was one obstacle in her way that had to be removed. Armenia had always been responsive to the highest ideals of civilization. Her very environment had been intellectual. Hers had been the land of the stories of the Bible. It was this region of enlightenment that stood in the way of the designs of the Germans, and the Germans were keen enough to see that the inhabitants must be destroyed, and their rich lands, so ferti1e and open to development, exploited along the lines of the commercial policy which has been the public secret of Germany for so long.

"That the Turks, at the instigation of the Germans have been largely successful is witnessed by the fact that of the 2 000,000. Armenians living in their native country at the beginning of the war only 750,000 are now alive, and of these perhaps 400,000 are children. The tales of horror cannot be repeated too often. They are the outstanding evidence of the spirit we are fighting. It was the Kaiser who expressed his pride in being the protector of the Turks, and it was the Turks who slaughtered 55,000 Armenians in one day, who drowned 12,000 in the Black Sea, and who wiped out of existence all men between the ages of 16 and 60. They took the women and children from their homes, and Marched them through deserts until they dropped dead from exhaustion and starvation. That is what happened to us who were Christians under the Roman Empire."

"I wanted to come to this country for an education," continued the speaker, "but there was no legal way in which I could obtain permission. I was looked upon as a revolutionist. So I had to walk fifty miles, then ride 250 miles over the most unfrequented roads, and finally hide myself among cases of freight upon the steamer-all this to escape the authorities who wished to prevent me from imbibing the spirit of America, whose ideals and sympathies are those of the Armenians.

"It is in America that our highest educational ideals are found. And except for the support that will enable our people barely to exist we do not look to America for anything material, for armies, for munitions, but for those spiritua1 realities which are our ancient heritage, which are in essence the soul of democracy. And we look for that spirit to permeate all the nations of the Allies, so that we May closely approximate that Country of the World which has always been our dream."

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