“We were given an order: to kill all Armenian men between the ages of fourteen and sixty-five. The rest of the Armenians should have been dealt with by local units and specially formed groups of criminals who had been released from prison. But we learned about this later… When we went out to the streets…
When we went to the streets of Trebizond, the unimaginable was already happening there. We only killed men, but they… killed everyone indiscriminately. No one was spared, even infants. Girls were raped anywhere. I have often seen it with my own eyes – even the little ones haven’t been spared.
We were standing in front of the mansion of the Greek metropolitan when about one hundred and fifty girls ran in there. We did not do anything. But a crowd of people came, chasing them… Beasts! And they burst into the building after them…
They dragged all the girls out. Began to beat them. Many were dragged away, and some were raped right on the threshold of the metropolitan’s residence. Some were then killed. Armenians were killed everywhere. All the streets of Trebizond are still in the blood.
After that, we gathered all the survivors and led them to the city gates from the side of the village of Dzhevezlik. We drove Armenians from the surrounding villages here as well. Gathered a huge number of Armenians. Maybe two thousand.
I thought, we all thought that they would be led somewhere, but the detachments of “Chetniks” and those in the city appeared… As for us… We were placed around the crowd and given an order – to kill anyone who tried to get out of the circle. Then… Then, the “Chetniks” entered the crowd and dragged out all the men.
They began to kill them with sophisticated cruelty. They killed them with sabers, knives, shot at them. Earth, grass – everything around us was in blood.
Children with wide open eyes of horror were crying. Women were begging for mercy… And were passing out at the sight of what was happening. I was still able to endure this, but when several children were grabbed, dragged to the nearest cliffs, and thrown into the sea… My patience was over.
I realized that I could no longer obey orders. I dropped the rifle and closed my eyes. But the officer threatened to shoot me. I picked up the rifle and was forced to watch the atrocities, the likes of which I had never seen, couldn’t have even imagined. My mind refused to take it…
Tiny babies were pulled out of the hands of distraught mothers and right there… They took them by the legs and smashed their heads against the cliffs or broke their spines with blows on their knees. Then, they proceeded to women. They were raped, their stomachs were ripped open with swords… No words can convey all this horror. Some of us are crazy about it. Others will never forget this!
And now, you can kill me. I deserve to die. We all deserve to die.”
An excerpt from the book “Kes Harout” Louis Brignon