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.
`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
, Hovhannes Boujicanian, Nigoghos Tenekejian, Mugurdich
] 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
] and Edinburgh Universities [Hovhannes Boujicanian]
only charge against them was their education. `The seventh man [Samuel
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.'