“I rarely had to see people fighting with as much bitterness as during the siege of Van.
It was a never-ending battle, sometimes turning into a hand-to-hand fight. Here, no one begged for mercy and no one spared no one.
Neither a Christian nor a Muslim returned from captivity. To save a prisoner in those days was just as impossible as to take the prey away from a hungry tiger…
Only this way – with burnt hair, faces dirty from gunpowder and smoke, half-deafened by artillery shells and shooting at a close range – we could slowly, at the cost of unheard of sacrifices, move towards the center of this stubborn city in which Armenians continued to desperately defend themselves among the burning ruins of their homes, until the last breath fighting for a free Armenia and for the victory of the Christian faith.
I cursed the hour when the evil fate turned me into the executioner of my fellow believers.”
Rafael de Nogales, “Four Years Under the Crescent.”