ARMENIAN GOLGOTHA - A Memoir Of The Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918

Grigoris Balakian (1876-1934), a cultural and religious leader in Istanbul's Armenian community, was arrested in April 1914 with 250 other leaders and began almost four years of deportation, forced march to the Syrian desert, and abusive treatment. Thus was launched the Turkish government's program to rid the country of Armenians. Hundreds of thousands were viciously murdered or died of cold and starvation, but Balakian's fierce will to live and his encounters with a few generous people allowed him to survive and tell the story. This memoir, which Balakian published in Armenian in 1922, vividly portrays Turkish brutality as it provides his and others' stories along with well-informed commentary on Turkey's actions. Peter Balakian (English, Colgate Univ.; The Burning Tigris), the author's grandnephew, has translated this rich historical document and provided scholarly support, making available a readable and moving account that will be welcomed by both the English-speaking Armenian community and a broader audience committed to witnessing and understanding the massive cruelty and suffering that characterized widespread crimes against humanity in the 20th century. Important for readers who want to judge whether or not this was the first genocide in modern times.

ARMENIAN GOLGOTHA by Grigoris Balakian, translated by Peter Balakian with Aris Sevag 


Table of Contents

      Introduction p. xiii   Map p. xxx   Chronology p. xxxiii   Translator's Note p. xliii Volume I The Life of an Exile July 1914-April 1916   Part I   July-October 1914   1     In Berlin Before the War p. 5 2     In Berlin p. 10 3     Return to Constantinople from Berlin p. 22 Part II   The First Deportation, April 1915-February 1916   4     The General Condition of the Armenians at the Beginning of 1915 p. 31 5     The First Bad News from Cilicia: The Secret Messenger p. 49         Map p. 54 6     The Night of Gethsemane p. 56 7     Red Sunday p. 58 8     Toward a Place of Exile: The Names of the Exiles in Ayash p. 61 9     Life in Chankiri Armory: The Names of the Deportees in Chankiri p. 68 10     Life of the Deportees in the City p. 74 11     Plan for the Extinction of the Amenians in Turkey p. 77 12     The Armenian Carnage in Ankara p. 82 13     The Tragic End of Deportee Friends in Ayash p. 90 14     The Tragic End of the Chankiri Deportees p. 95 15     The Deportation and Killing of Zohrab and Vartkes p. 103 16     The Armenians of Chankiri in the Days of Horror p. 106 17     The General Condition of the Armenians at the Beginning of 1916 p. 117 18     Second Arrest and Imprisonment p. 122 19     Departure from Chankiri to Choroum p. 125 20     From Choroum to Yozgat p. 131 21     From Yozgat to Boghazliyan: The Skulls p. 134 Part III   The Second Deportation: The Caravan of Death to Der Zor, February-April 1916   22     The Confessions of a Slayer Captain p. 139 23     Encountering Another Caravan of the Condemned p. 150 24     From Boghazliyan to Kayseri: The Halys River Bridge and the Bandits of the Ittihad p. 162 25     Kayseri to Tomarza p. 170 26     Tomarza to Gazbel p. 179 27     Gazbel to Hajin p. 184 28     Hajin to Sis p. 195 29     Sis to Garzbazar p. 204 30     Garzbazar to Osmaniye p. 216 31     Osmaniye to Hasanbeyli and Kanle-gechid p. 220 32     Hasanbeyli to Islahiye: The Sweet Smell of Bread p. 230 33     Islahiye: A Field of Mounds for Graves p. 240 34     Bad News from Der Zor p. 247 35     Escape from Islahiye to Ayran p. 252 Volume II The Life of a Fugitive April 1916-January 1919   Part I   In the Tunnels of Amanos   1     Escape on the Way to Ayran-Baghche (Vineyard) p. 263 2     The Remnants of the Armenians in the Amanos Mountains p. 268 3     Signs of Imminent New Storms p. 272 4     The Treatment of the Armenians by the German Soldiers p. 279 5     The Ghosts of Ten Thousand Armenian Women in the Deserts of Ras-ul-Ain p. 282 6     The Deportation and Murder of the Armenian Workers of Amanos p. 283 7     Bloodshed on the Way from Baghche to Marash: A German Nurse Goes Insane p. 291 8     The Suffering of British Prisoners of War at Kut-al-Amara p. 294 9     The Program of Forced Islamization: Escape from Baghche to Injirli p. 298 10     In the Forests of Injirli: Escape from Amanos to Taurus p. 302 Part II   In the Tunnels of the Taurus Mountains       Map p. 308 11     The Self-Sacrifice of the Armenian Workers of the Baghdad Railway p. 311 12     Fragments of Armenians in the Taurus Mountains p. 316 13     In the Deep Valley of Tashdurmaz p. 319 14     Life in Belemedik p. 322 15     The Deportation of Patriarch Zaven Der Yeghiayan from Constantinople to Baghdad p. 326 16     Legions of Armenian Exiles in Konya and Bozanti p. 331 17     Meeting Armenian Intellectuals on the Road to Belemedik p. 335 18     Escape from Belemedik to Adana p. 339 Part III   In Adana, January 1917-September 1918   19     The General Condition of the War at the Beginning of 1917 p. 347 20     A Mysterious Patient in Adana's German Hospital p. 348 21     The Condition of the Remaining Armenians in Adana p. 352 22     The Curse of Murdered Armenian Mothers p. 356 23     The Natural Beauty of Cilicia: The Disguised Vine Grower p. 357 24     The Clerk of the Office: Disappearance p. 368 25     The General Condition of the Armenians at the Beginning of 1918 p. 370 26     The Turkish Army Invades the Caucasus, and the Armenians at Sardarabad p. 374 27     The Declaration of the Armenian Republic p. 378 28     The Hospital-Slaughterhouse of Turkish Soldiers p. 380 29     The Victorious British Army Occupies Damascus: The Battle of Arara p. 389 30     The National Vow of the Turks to Exterminate the Surviving Armenians: The General Massacre in Der Zor p. 392 31     Escape from the Land of Blood p. 398 32     The Disguised German Soldier Toward Constantinople: The Longing of a Mother p. 404 33     Armistice: The Allied Fleet Victoriously Enters the Turkish Capital p. 411 34     Did the Victors Come to Punish, or to Loot? p. 416 35     The General Condition of Constantinople on the Eve of the Armistice p. 421 36     Irrevocable Departure from Turkey: From Constantinople to Paris p. 430   Acknowledgments p. 435   Glossary p. 437   Biographical Glossary p. 441   Appendix: Author's Preface p. 453   Map p. 458   Notes p. 461   Bibliography