Friday, May 16, 2014

House of the Angel Guardian; Jamaica Plain, Boston / Memorial Day Story

Lately I have been dreaming of my deceased parents. Whether it is the advent of Memorial Day or some other reason, I feel compelled to share a story.

After the untimely accidental death of my grandfather, my dad was placed in the House of the Angel Guardian on August 7, 1937. At the time my father was living at the Franco-American school/orphanage in Lowell, Massachusetts. Two years previous he had been placed there with his two younger brothers and older sister for his destitute widowed father could no longer care for them.

The House of the Angel Guardian was an industrial school / orphanage situated in Jamaica Plain/Boston, Massachusetts. The orphanage was administered by the Belgian religious order, the Brothers of Charity. A historian described the home as "certainly no bed of roses under the strict rules," but it "inculcated manly virtues, self-discipline, independence, and respect for authority in its graduates, qualities useful in the military and industry...the monotonous diet of oatmeal, bread, milk, stew, potatoes and peanut butter." The Brothers taught dad the trade of printing and he worked as a printer most of his life.

Dad Far Right
 







Read Story of Dad's Parents Mendoza and Eveline Rousseau
http://milhomme.blogspot.com/2012/07/mandoza-milhomme-and-eveline-rousseau.html

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Armenian Girls Forced in Harems and Servitude

Military men, Turks, Kurds, and Arabs would either snatch or bribe the gendarmes escorting the deportation caravans and bring Armenian women, girls, and boys into their homes, and harems, as servants, slaves, wives, or concubines. Others were sent to state-run orphanages where a Turkification process was underway. Accounts from the deportation marches tell of mass mutilations and unimaginable sexual violence. Children were raped then shot, as they became unable to continue on the death marches. 

The “good looking” deportees were distributed among men in different villages. Girls were sent to high-level government officials for their sexual pleasure, and forced into orgies. The director of the Rescue Home, Karen Jeppe, stated that out of the thousands of women who came her way, only one had been spared sexual abuse, as Matthias Bjornlund notes in his article “A Fate Worse than Dying.” Excerpt  from Devilish Marks’ and Rape in the Time of Genocide by Nanore Barsoumian (Armenian Weekly)











Alma Sakaian, a 15 year old genocide survivor was sold into servitude by a slave trader. Read her story

Read about "Secrets of Harems"

Read  about "Auction of Souls" based on Ravished Armenia: http://milhomme.blogspot.com/2012/05/auction-of-souls-made-blood-of-american.html

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1915 Martyred Professors of Euphrates College, Harpoot





































In 1915 several of the leading Armenian members of the faculty at Euphrates College in the city of Harpoot were arrested, tortured, and executed. The college buildings were then occupied by the Ottoman Military and initially used as training camp, and later as a military hospital. Euphrates College was officially closed shortly after the founding of the Republic of Turkey and nothing now remains of its buildings.

The following description of the above photograph is from `WHERE EDUCATION WAS A CRIME' [By Ruth A. Parmelee, M.D.] < http://groong.usc.edu/orig/ak-20110627.html >

`When the Turkish Government began to carry out its plan of exterminating the Armenian race, the educated and influential men of the community received first attention. In May, 1915, a number of Armenians were imprisoned in the city of Harpoot, among whom were priests and merchants and five of the professors of Euphrates College. Their houses were searched for papers that might incriminate them in some revolutionary plot, and they themselves were cruelly tortured, to extract confessions of hidden fire-arms or the preparation of bombs.'

She continues and describes the men in the photograph.

`The upper right hand professor in the group [Nigohos Tenekejian, Professor of History and Ottoman Literature, [Osmaniyan badmoutiun in Armenian] had served the college for thirty five years and had shown some special talent and tact in representing the interests of the Americans and his own people to the Government. He never had shown the least disloyalty toward the rulers. Nothing could be proved against him at this time, but after most severe tortures (pulling out of hairs of head and beard, hanging by arms, beating) he was sent out with his companions, bound together and under strong guard, and killed on the road. Of this man's family only one daughter escaped. The two older sons were among twelve hundred Armenian soldiers (serving in the Turkish army) who were starved for some days and sent out to be murdered in cold blood. The wife and the younger children were exiled and never heard from again.

`The left hand man in the lowest row [Donabed Garabed Loulejian, (Biology; Botany and Zoology)] was beaten until unconscious and then thrown into a foul-smelling closet. The Turkish mayor himself took a hand at the beating. After some weeks of imprisonment, some favorable influence resulted in his being taken to a Turkish military hospital. After recovery from the results of his tortures, he remained in hiding until opportunity was offered of escaping on foot through the mountains into Russia. He was a great help in relief work for the destitute Armenians in the Caucasus [specifically Erzerum] until his death from typhus fever.

`The one in the center of the group [Garabed Soghigian, (Armenian Language)] also died of disease, after obtaining release from prison by paying large bribes.

`The right hand professor in the middle row [Mugurdich Vorperian, (Professor of the Preparatory Department, Religion)] did not suffer imprisonment but was exiled with his family in a company of rich people who were promised very safe conduct. They were robbed of all their possessions and after a few days' travel, the men were separated from the women, to be taken to their slaughter. When asked for his thirteen year old daughter by a Turkish officer the Professor replied that he should prefer death for himself and her, to a marriage to a Mohammedan Turk. The beautiful girl was kidnapped by the officer, but the father died for his principles, being taken out and killed with all the men of their company. The son of this professor [Mooshek Vorperian] had his life saved through the influence of the above-mentioned Turkish officer and later escaped into Russia and thence to the United States. His story has been recently printed in a well-known magazine. 

Of these seven professors, then, four were murdered [Khachadour NahigianHovhannes Boujicanian, Nigoghos Tenekejian, Mugurdich Vorperian ] and two died of disease after having suffered the tortures and discomforts of the Turkish prison [Garabed M.Soghigian and Donabed Garabed Loulejian]. Four of these men had taken post-graduate work in Yale [Donabed Garabed Loulejian, M.S. degree, 1911], Cornell [courses taken as a special student fall of 1909 and spring 1910 by Garabed Donabed Lulejian sic!], Michigan [Khachadour Nahigian], Princeton [Mugurdich Vorperian] and Edinburgh Universities [Hovhannes Boujicanian]. The only charge against them was their education. `The seventh man [Samuel Khachadourian, Professor of Music (left hand lower corner) was the sole survivor of the group. He had studied music in Germany and seemed to find favor with the Turkish authorities.'
Also 

https://www.facebook.com/bill.milhomme/media_set?set=a.3582716294854.165851.1481635172&type=3

Monday, April 14, 2014

Alma Sakaian: 1915 Caravan PART III Samsat to Ras Al Ayn


Alma Sakaian, a young woman of 15 years of age, was among the 150 survivors of a 1915 deportation caravan that numbered 18,000 men, women and children. She was the sole survivor of her immediate and extended family. Her 65 day forced march commenced in her village of Aghin situated in the regions of the Upper Euphrates valley. It traversed ancient roads along the Euphrates River, along the foot paths of the Taurus Mountains and the uncharted sand dunes of the Syrian Desert. Using available primary sources I have attempted to recreate her ordeal. 

PART III chronicles the landscape traversed days fifty to seventy from the ferry crossing of the Southern Euphrates at Samsat to Ras Al Ayn in the Syrian Desert.The map outlines the 3 caravans that deported the villages of the Harpout area. The identified numbered towns on the right are the towns the Alma's caravan passed through and the correspond to numbered pictures provided. The pictures should convey to the reader the difficult terrain that the deportees walked upon. 













READ ALMA'S STORY : 
http://milhomme.blogspot.com/2012/03/from-aghin-samuel-sakaian-alma-sakaian_10.html

Alma Sakaian: 1915 Deportation Caravan Rte. PART I : The First 13 of 65 Days Forced March; Aghin to Malatia          
http://milhomme.blogspot.com/2014/04/alma-sakaian-1915-deportation-caravan.html

Alma Sakaian: 1915 Caravan PART II Malatia to Samsat
http://milhomme.blogspot.com/2014/04/alma-sakaian-1915-caravan-part-ii.html


THE EXTERMINATION RESEARCH CHRONOLOGY DAYS FIFTY to seventy


1915; September 10: Eight thousand women and children from convoys originating in Harput and Erzerum are exterminated between Diyarbekir and Mardin, their killers being members of bandit squadrons of the S.O. **(Simon, n.d.: 90).

1915; September 14: Two thousand women and children of the convoys originating in Harput and Erzerum are exterminated in the outskirts of Nisibin. ** (Simon, n.d.: 90).

1915; October to the end of March 1916, concentration camp at Ras ul-Ayn (mutessarifat of Zor): This camp is situated to the east of Urfa, in Syria and Mesopotamia in a desert climate. The camp of Ras-ul-Ayn houses deportees for six months. ** (Kévorkian, 2006:804-805).

1916; March 17, concentration camp at Ras ul-Ayn: In five days the operation saw the systematic liquidation of 40,000 internees still living in the camp. This violence was organized by the kaymakam, Refik Bey; Adıl Bey, the Director of deportees; an “educated” Istanbulite; and local Çerkez led by the Mayor of Ras ul-Ayn, Arslan Bey. ***(Kévorkian, 2006: 805).






Alma Sakaian: 1915 Caravan PART II Malatia to Samsat


Armenian girls crucified outside Malatia (Ravished Armenia book/movie)
Alma Sakaian, a young woman of 15 years of age, was among the 150 survivors of a 1915 deportation caravan that numbered 18,000 men, women and children. She was the sole survivor of her immediate and extended family. Her 65 day forced march commenced in her village of Aghin situated in the regions of the Upper Euphrates valley. It traversed ancient roads along the Euphrates River, along the foot paths of the Taurus Mountains and the uncharted sand dunes of the Syrian Desert. Using available primary sources I have attempted to recreate her ordeal. 

PART II chronicles the landscape traversed days fourteen to fifty (112 miles) over the Taurus Mountains to the ferry crossing of the Southern Euphrates at Samsat.The map outlines the 3 caravans that deported the villages of the Harpout area. The identified numbered towns on the right are the towns the Alma's caravan passed through and the correspond to numbered pictures provided. The pictures should convey to the reader the difficult terrain that the deportees walked upon. 














Aidyaman




READ ALMA'S STORY : 
http://milhomme.blogspot.com/2012/03/from-aghin-samuel-sakaian-alma-sakaian_10.html

Alma Sakaian: 1915 Deportation Caravan Rte. PART I : The First 13 of 65 Days Forced March; Aghin to Malatia          http://milhomme.blogspot.com/2014/04/alma-sakaian-1915-deportation-caravan.html


THE EXTERMINATION RESEARCH CHRONOLOGY Days thirteen to fifty 


1915; July 16, transit camp at Fırıncılar (sancak of Malatya): Girls under the age of fifteen and boys under the age of ten are removed from the convoys of deportees passing through Fırıncılar to be officially housed in orphanages specially established for them at Malatya. Several thousand of them are drowned in the Euphrates some days later.

1915; July 18, Harput (province of Mamuret ul-Aziz): The second convoy from Harput, made up of some 3,000 people, is set en route to Urfa. Eight days later, at a point some three hours from Malatya at a place called Çiftlik, the males over the age of twelve are extracted from the convoy and executed in the barracks. *** (Kévorkian, 2006: 484).

1915; July 28, Harput (province of Mamuret ul-Aziz): The third and last convoy from Harput carries the elderly, young women, some children, and the blind who had been taken care of until then. **(Jacobsen, 2001: 82-83; and Davis, 1994: 53).

1915; August 15 to 17, sancak of Malatya: The first convoy of deportees from the various quarters of Malatya is put together and sent to Sürgü. Part of this convoy is decimated two hours away at Akçadağ, in the Beğler Deresi valley, by local Kurdish tribes. ***(Kévorkian, 2006: 508).

1915; August 23 to 25, sancak of Malatya: The second convoy of deportees from Malatya is put together and sent to Fırıncılar. Part of the group arrives at Samsat. ** (Kévorkian, 2006: 508).