1917, Armenian orphans waiting to be sent to an orphanage. At a glance, one could sense what physical and mental suffering this generation of Armenians devoid of their childhood had gone through…
In the years of mass slaughter, trying to avoid the violence of the Turks and Kurds and find a relatively safe haven, tens of thousands of Armenian refugees and orphans ended up in Eastern Armenia, in particular, in the Erivan province.
In January 1915, eight orphanages were opened for the care of orphans. By October, their number had reached 37. Here found shelter 2.690 orphans. These shelters were supported by various relief organizations and committees.
According to the data of the Erivan Committee of the “Brotherly Help” organization, between October and December 1916, most of the orphans had found shelter in Dilijan and Tiflis. Somewhat behind were Erivan and Ashtarak.
Compared to other shelters, the orphanages of the Erivan relief committee stood out with their better condition.
“…It was not a flash of Muslim rage. Everything happened at the behest of the government, not because of religious fanaticism. It was the result of the implementation of political considerations – the Turkish government wanted to get rid of the non-Muslim peoples who violated the homogeneity of the empire, creating an element that was not always ready to submit to oppression…” wrote English diplomat James Bryce.
Photo source: collection of the History Museum of Yerevan.