The Mush Plain Massacre – Testimony of Noemzar Muradyan, 1915

The Mush Plain MassacreIn her memoirs, Noemzar Muradyan tells how the Kurds ravaged and burned the Mush plain early in the morning on the day of the holiday of Vardavar in 1915. The Kurds killed her Husband Daniel on the holiday of Vardavar as well. The massacre in Mush plain began on this day.

“It was Sunday. There was a fuss that the Kurds started a massacre in Mush plain. Men were gathered and taken away, and women and children were locked up in the hayloft and burned.

I gathered my children and went to the hayloft. I waited a bit and then sneaked onto the roof. I saw that the houses of our village were covered with smoke.

My youngest daughter was a baby. Avisar, Grigor, Sos, Kyaram, and Satik were my five children. ‘What to do?’ I thought in horror. We tried to leave the hayloft, but the Kurds noticed us from afar. They approached us and threw us into the hayloft.

I saw our neighbors there, crying and screaming. My youngest daughter also began to cry out loud. The Kurds locked the door and left. In a bit, I noticed that the corner of the hayloft was collapsed, letting in some light. I pulled out a couple of stones and pushed the children out.

And suddenly, I lost sight of Sos. It couldn’t find him and get him out.

I crawled out, and we ran to the stable of the nearest house. Then, we hid in a pile of hay.

Suddenly, we heard screams. The Kurds set the hayloft on fire. Everyone was screaming, and the fire was crackling. My dear son, what was it, what was it?… I can’t forget this day.

We alternately overcame many obstacles. Thousands of times, we looked into the eyes of death. But I managed to save my three children and reach the coast of Akhuryan River. My beautiful Sos had disappeared without a trace on the roads of deportation or had maybe drowned crossing the river. Maybe the Turks and Kurds took him away. During the deportation, my Satik had died of thirst as well, endlessly asking for water, saying, “Boo! Boo!”…

I and my three children survived the massacre. I would then get married again, relying on fate. Now, every time before bed, I thank God for each day that I live through. Every morning, I ask the Lord “not to shed tears.”

Verzhine Svazlyan, “Armenian Genocide: Testimonies of Survivors”, Second supplemented edition, Yerevan, “Gitutyun”, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, 2011, certificate 7, p. 88.

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