The photograph below shows German soldiers who served in the territory of the Ottoman Empire during WWI posing with the bones of Armenians who had been killed in a massacre near Hekimhan. The day when the picture was taken is known: it was November 18, 1918. The negative of the photo was given by the German servicemen to the Armenian photographer Tsolak Dildilian for development.
This photo and its negative have a very interesting story. Armenian photographer Tsolak Dildilian, having shown and handed the photo to the Germans, decided to keep the negative as a memory, suggesting that the remains in this photo may be the bones of his relatives who had been killed in the same area in 1915.
The Germans gave their consent since secrecy was no longer so important: the war was over, and Germany and its ally, the Ottoman Empire, were defeated in it.
During the years of the Armenian Genocide, German soldiers took many photos of the Armenian refugees and the victims of the Genocide despite the fact that the Ottoman authorities strictly enforced censorship.
“The extermination of Armenians was carried out in a massive scope. This policy of extermination will remain a blot on Turkey’s name for a long time.”
Richard Kuhlman, German Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1916-1917
Photo source: Tsolak Dildilian’s collection. From the catalog “100 photo stories about the Armenian Genocide”