The Basin of the Euphrates Filled with the Bones of Armenians – Photo from the National Archives of Norway

The Basin of the Euphrates Filled with the Bones of ArmeniansA photography kept in the National Archives of Norway shows an Armenian with the surname Papazian standing in a Syrian desert near the Euphrates River. In front of him, in the basin of the river, bones of massacred Armenians can be seen.

The bones of killed and beaten Armenians testify to the horrors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 carried out by the Ottoman Turks. According to witness accounts, the caravans of Armenians whose route lied along the Euphrates River were beaten up by the Turks and Kurds. The bodies of those killed would be thrown into the river. There have been so many bodies that the river got clogged and formed a new channel.

Years later, the bones of the killed Armenians became visible in the territory of northern Syria.

Armin Wegner, a German medic and a witness to the Armenian Genocide, wrote to the President of the United States Woodrow Wilson:

“The caravans of Armenians deported from their homeland – Western Armenia – initially comprised of thousands of people. By the time they reached the vicinity of Aleppo, only several hundred people remained… The fields were covered with darkened, swollen, naked, and raped bodies intoxicating the air with the odor of decomposition.

The Turkish gendarmes drowned many of the deported Armenians by tying them up in pairs to feed the fish, sometimes mocking the unfortunate people to only prolong their agony. They poured flour into the hands of the starved and shaking people who would hungrily lick it off.”

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