Hallo der ute - her er hjemmesiden min!

Varoujan: “Blood Never Forgets”. Part IV – A Wake-up Call

Varoujan got really eager to tell us more of his story, and we were so excited to hear more. More wine and more apricots were consumed, and our strong need to ask further questions subsided as the night started falling. There was no need to ask him, Varoujan was like the most exciting and thrilling TV series, like Prison Break or like Six Feet Under. You don’t want the story to end, you just want to suck in and learn more. His eyes were wet, he was on the verge of letting go a tear several times, but he seemed to hold back. To me, it was obvious that he wanted to convey his whole story in order to teach us what this was about. In a way, I got the idea that this must be important for anyone Armenian, to let people know, to create awareness on the genocide, which so many people are ignorant about, which the descendants of the perpetrators will do anything to deny. We were all fully centered and concentrated. Before he went on, he wanted to make sure we had our facts right. There were three men whose names were fully comparable to the despised man Adolf Hitler.  The Armenian Genocide was masterminded by the Central Committee of the Young Turk Party (Committee for Union and Progress), which was dominated by Mehmed Talât Pasha, Ismail Enver Pasha, and Ahmed Djemal Pasha, the three most influential leaders of the regime in Turkey. What really pisses all Armeniasn off today is that the worst psychopath of them all, Talat, has schools, streets and squares named after him in Turkish cities and towns. Varoujan slowly raised his right hand and whispered:  What if Germans and Austrians named anything Adolf Hitler Square, Adolf Hitler Boulevard or Adolf Hitler Hospital?  Thanks to God, these psychopaths were all killed by young Armenians after the days of the genocide.

 

Mehmed Talat Pasha - The Hitler of Turkey

Mehmed Talat Pasha – The Hitler of Turkey

 Varoujan went on : “The three men screamed at us in Turkish and asked us to identify ourselves. I felt the opening of a rifle against the temple of my head. I couldn’t care less about what was going to happen next. My life was over, there was nothing more to live for. Suddenly the armed men started discussing something between them in Armenian. Of course, this surprised me, and I uttered a few words about who I was, and what had happened. They instantly let the rifles go, picked us up, and told us about their  their hideout.These people were Armenians who had managed to ambush a couple of inattentive Turkish soldiers and had got a hold of their firearms and loads of ammunition. They had found a hideout at the foot of a mountain, and they were about 20 Armenian and Greek men trying to help survivors of what they now officially called the genocide, and attempting to offer the Turks the least bit of resistance. They had not been very successful, but were happy they had managed to save some lives, and had gotten some people in safety placing them on boats to safe havens in foreign countries.

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The stories of the atrocities committed against my people were horrendous and the more stories they told me about Armenians being shot, hanged, drowned, burned to death, the angrier  I got. They had also seen the long row of Armenians being sent out on a death march, kicked, hit, raped, beaten by Turkish soldiers and Civilians, even Kurds had joined in order to harass my people in the worst cruel way possible. These men had seen thousands of people die with their own eyes, watching everything from a not too safe distance, but the Turks were too busy trying to kill as many of us as possible, so they never noticed the presence of armed Armenians following their actions from the mountain foothills through the desert.

The men offered to take care of me and get me into safety. According to the men, it would be really risky business for Ergin to try to aid an Armenian, and if he was caught he would definitely be killed immediately. I was happy to be taken care of by my own people, so Ergin left, wishing me all the luck in the world, and I went along with the “Armenian fighters” to the mountains for a nice meal and a good night’s sleep in their secret camp.

Concealed in a kind of remotely situated valley surrounded by mountains and a kind of thick and impenetrable bush, the men had created a small village. There were about twenty something small huts made of branches, grass and leaves, and eight Armenian families living in them. Or, rather, whatever was left of these eight families. The Turks had  killed so many people. The stories I heard, it is like this is happening today, I will never forget. Turks killed people in any way they could. There were rapes, they set fire to people,  people were forced to enter small boats, and in the middle of the sea or the river, they would come with another boat a make large holes in the boats filled with Armenian women and children so that they all drowned. Whoever managed to escape and swim ashore were immediately shot. There was Armenian blood everywhere. The Turks did not only kill strong men, everybody was killed, even new born babies.

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The next few days I was in a state of lethargy and kind of an everlasting shock. My death wish had not decreased. I just sat around trying to talk to the other people to find some kind of motivation to go on, to try to figure out what might lay ahead in the future, if there was one at all. One night, I was awoken by a guy called Erik. He wanted us to go for a walk, make a fire and have a serious talk. We went through a small mountain pass, using a small torch to see where we out our feet. Erik was a strong man, a typical Armenian fighter. He was actually the leader of the 20 strong men, a person that the others looked upon as a kind of hero. He had managed to save many lives by hiding people from the Turks. He had pretended to be Turkish all along, like me he had gotten a circumcision and learned how to talk Turkish without an Armenian accent. Before he left the town where he saved hundreds of people, most of them children, he had also managed to kill armed Turkish men and steal their rifles. The saved Armenians were now in safety in Alexandretta, an area under French sovereignty at that time. Many orphans had been shipped off to the USA to foster parents, and Erik had been an important voice in seeing to it that Armenian  orphans would be adopted by the Armenian diaspora in foreign countries so that these children would grow up to be Armenian. Our only chance of survival, Erik Said, was to save as many of our people as we could and make sure they were raised to be Armenians in their heart, culturally as well an linguistically. Erik was convinced that the Turks were ready to decimate the Armenian population down to zero, and that would mean the end of  the world’s heritage of the first Christian People, our traditions, architecture, language – everything Armenian. If we could save a few, that would mean the survival of our people for eternity, and these Armenians could make sure the world would never forget these atrocities committed by the Turkish people.

We spent the whole night talking, and at dawn, I had gotten back my will to live, and a very strong will to fight. Erik had given me and my blood the full understanding of how important it was for the future of Armenia to stand up, to do whatever possible to resist the annihilation of an entire people, an entire nation with a rich culture and full of proud traditions. This was not goping to happen, and so I decided to join Erik and his men, to be at their disposal and to do whatever was necessary to save more lives, to make sure the Turks would not succeed

To be continued…..