Tormented In The Desert Of Deir ez-Zor – Years Of The Armenian Genocide

Inhuman trials befell divided Armenian families during the years of the Armenian Genocide. Orphaned, helpless, and defenseless Armenian families were sentenced to death. On the way to places of exile located in the Syrian desert, many have died and lost their loved ones.

Though one brother and sister (pictured below) who had lost each other during the deportation met three years later in the desert of Deir ez-Zor.

During the years of genocide, tens of thousands of Armenian families fell apart. Many of them were completely exterminated. The survivors lost their wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. The consequences of the policy of the extermination of Armenians were not only massacres, deportation, and loss of their homeland but also the appearance of thousands of orphans.

Some Armenian women who found themselves in Turkish harems would subsequently refuse to leave their new families as they had young children and were not sure whether they would survive in future trials. This also applies to the miraculously survived Armenian children – only a few would be brought back to their Armenian roots.

“There is no language in the world rich and colorful enough to describe the horrors and express the physical and mental suffering that these innocent martyrs had endured before heaven sent them eternal rest.

This wretched handful of people who survived the terrible massacre, eyewitnesses to the death of all their loved, dear ones, are there, in concentration camps, being subjected to all kinds of dishonor, doomed to death before the eyes of ‘high-ranking Turkish officials’, German officers, and gendarmes who, leaning on their guns, are smiling with pleasure, watching the cramps of agony and hearing the wheeze of the dying…”

Jacques de Morgan, French archaeologist, engineer, and geologist.

Photo Source: Collection of the National Archive of Armenia, from the special project “100 photo stories about the Armenian Genocide”

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