A. Plan of Investigation
The beginning of World War I marked the commencement of the bloodiest war in history, thus far. With this in mind, it is fitting that the bloodiest genocide in history besides the German Holocaust began as well, the Armenian genocide. This examination evaluates to what extent World War I affected the Armenian Genocide.
To comprehend how World War I influenced the Armenian Genocide, research has been conducted to explore; World War I’s contribution towards the severity of the Armenian Genocide’s causalities, foreign aid, and how the genocide was reported to the world. The main sources used for this investigation are the Treatment of the Armenians by James Bryce, which describes the severity of the Armenian condition in Turkey during the World War I era, as well as the Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian, which emphasizes World War I’s conditions and how they affected the Armenians in Turkey during that time.
B. Summary of Evidence
There was stirring animosity between the Armenians and the Turks prior to World War I, in 1894, thousands of Armenians were massacred by the Turkish due to their religious affiliation with Christianity, which juxtaposed the Islamic Turks with whom they lived with (Greene 125). The Armenians living in Turkey have been ostracized ever since, and increased tension between the Turks and Armenians was sparked by the beginning of World War I. On April 15th, 1914 the Armenians asked for German protection from the Turks, which the German government refused to avoid offending the Turkish Government (Gunter 46). The Germans began negotiations with Turkey about a week prior to the beginning to World War I on August 1st, 1914. 8 days after Germany declared war on Russia, the Turkish government declared censorship of all telegraphic communication between the Armenians and the outside world (Bryce 104).
At the Battle of Sarikamish on January 16, 1915, Turkish morale took a large hit when their army was nearly destroyed by the Allied forces. 70,000 out of 85,000 Turks were killed and the Turkish government was looking for someone to blame. On February 27th, 1915, the Turks conducted attacks on many Armenian villages by raping, looting, and an increasingly larger number of killings. Conditions for the Armenians worsened when mass public beatings and tortures were inflicted upon the Armenians in Chomaklu. Soon, it became obvious that nothing would be done to stop the Turks when three Armenians were hanged publicly, without trial, in Mush on the 26th of April, 1915. Halfway through World War I, the amount of Armenians being deported from their homes was augmenting. The measures to deport them were so awful that only 10% of the original Armenians deported out of Aleppo survived (Adam 56). This occurred in January 23rd, 1916, and the governor of Aleppo ordered that the remaining survivors be murdered.
The United States own New York Times reported on some of the news regarding the ongoing Armenian genocide. On...