File No. 867.4016/173

The German Ambassador ( Bernstorff ) to the Secretary of State

J. Nr. A 5952]

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to enclose for your confidential information a copy of a memorandum handed to the [Page 990] Imperial Ottoman Government by the acting Imperial Ambassador at Constantinople on August 9 about the expulsion of the Armenians.

The Imperial Ottoman Government has informed the German Government that it will take the measures necessary to prevent the repetition of excesses.

I am [etc.]

J. Bernstorff

The German Embassy in Turkey to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs


By its memorandum of July 4, the German Embassy had the honor to acquaint the Sublime Porte With the views of the Imperial German Government concerning the banishment of the Armenian inhabitants of the Anatolian provinces and to draw its attention to the fact that the measures had been attended in several places by acts of violence such as massacres and plundering which the end sought by the Ottoman Imperial Government could not justify.

The German Embassy regrets to state that it appears from information received subsequently from impartial and trustworthy sources that incidents of that character, instead of being prevented by the local authorities, have regularly occurred upon the expulsion of Armenians, so that most of them perished even before reaching their destination. These are reported mainly from the provinces of Trebizond, Diarbekr and Erzerum. In some places, at Mardin for instance, all the Christians without distinction of race or faith have had the same fate.

At the same time the Ottoman Imperial Government saw fit to extend the banishment order to the other provinces of Asia Minor, and quite recently the Armenian villages of the Izmid district were emptied of their inhabitants under like conditions.

In the presence of those events the German Embassy, by order of its Government, is constrained to remonstrate once more upon those horrible deeds and to decline any responsibility for the consequences they may involve. It finds itself under the necessity of drawing the attention of the Ottoman Government to that point all the more as public opinion is already inclined to believe that Germany as a friendly power allied to Turkey may have approved or even instigated those acts of violence.