By Dagmar Herzog (eds.)

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They burned those parts of the body which are most sensitive. Both the elderly and the young were killed by frightful tortures, without regard to gender. 20 Hundreds of thousands were given short notice, from weeks to mere hours, by the authorities to leave their homes and possessions and march toward the Syrian desert to be ‘relocated’. 25 At that point, few believed the promises made by the authorities to protect the deportees. In an eyewitness report by Ottoman Lieutenant Sayied Ahmed Moukhtar Baas (who like many other Muslim Ottoman citizens was against the genocide or even tried to save Armenian lives, although it was punishable by death),26 it was stated that When the first batches of the deported Armenians arrived at Gumush-Khana all able-bodied men were sorted out with the excuse that they were going to be given work.

This would be reminiscent of how the distribution of Armenian wealth and people was used to secure loyalty. 103 Sexual violence seems rather to have been a completely accepted, often encouraged, ‘by-product’ of the overall genocidal program. Regardless of whether the Ottoman government or the CUP directly authorized the sexual abuse as a separate policy or not, it was an integral part of the widespread and systematic attacks against a civilian population with the aim of destroying this population, thus making the sexual abuse genocidal as such.

She had a child and couldn’t take care of her. So I was to do all the chores around her. 172 In Sivas, nine-year old Henry Vartinian, his widowed mother, and his four siblings had survived 1915 by being protected by an influential Turkish friend, Ali Effendi, who eventually had to tell the family that he could no longer hide them as he would be hanged if the authorities learned about his actions. He advised the Vartinians that they could only Matthias Bjørnlund 41 survive by converting, which the mother, a devout Christian, refused at first; but Ali told her that the alternative would be that her children would be killed in front of her and that she would be forced to marry a Turk.

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