Armenian News Network / Groong


Armenian News Network / Groong
February 22, 2010

Special to Groong by Abraham D. Krikorian and Eugene L. Taylor


Click here to print the Manuscript


A book authored by Donald Bloxham entitled The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians was published in 2005 as a hardback, and as a paperback in 2007 by Oxford University Press (OUP). A photograph captioned `A Turkish official taunting starving Armenians with bread' was not questioned as to its authenticity either in the pre- or post-publication review process. In the fall of 2009 Dr. Jeremy Salt of Bilkent University, Ankara et al. reported that the photograph was a forgery. Upon being notified of the forgery, OUP's response was to admit the error, destroy existing stock, and re-issue the volume with the same photo but with a new caption intended to constitute a "more effective rejoinder to the forger than silently dropping [the photo]..." In no way does the forged photograph affect the conclusions drawn by Bloxham as to the reality of the Armenian Genocide. Early in 2010 the photographic forgery was sensationalized in an Ankara newspaper article. The photograph was presented as yet another example of the many `forgeries' claimed to support a case for a genocide perpetrated by the Young Turks against Armenians. We show that the forged photograph was published at least as early as 1919 in a book in Armenian printed in Cairo. A publication trail back to its source is presented for the forged image. The `silver lining' in all this will hopefully be that more work will be stimulated on the study of attestation and attribution of photographs relevant to genocide and atrocities in the broadest context. Photographs and their captions ought to `say exactly what they mean' and `mean what they say.' The Armenian Genocide needs no validation by photographs but we owe it to those who lost their lives and those who survived to do as good a job as possible.

                                                                                                                                                          “Ihrehn ashkin ch’ervahr.” Old saying in Armenian: “It is not
                                                                                                                                                           visible to his/her eyes.” or, “One sees what one wants to see.”

                                                                                                                                                          “Having eyes, see Ye not?” Mark 8:18.

                                                                                                                                                           Equally applicable to our 'Saga' - "A mountain is in labor, sending
                                                                                                                                                           forth dreadful groans, and there was in the region the highest
                                                                                                                                                           expectation. After all, it brought forth a mouse.” Horace Ars
                                                                                                                                                           Poetica 139 ca. 9 B.C.

                                                                                                                                                         "In this instance it is the mouse--the ridiculous mouse--that has been
                                                                                                                                                           bringing forth a mountain, and a great litter of them too.” This is a
                                                                                                                                                           much more modern turn of phrase on doggerel or verse of little
                                                                                                                                                           value, but aptly said of the ‘Official Turkish Point of View’ on the
                                                                                                                                                           Armenian Genocide.

                                                                                                                                                           “Much ado about nothing.” William Shakespeare, ca. 1598/1599.

The foregoing quotes will attest to the fact that we appreciate pithy sayings. Dr. Gerard J. Libaridian voiced many years ago, long before he held a professorship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a brilliant `one liner' about the Armenian Genocide. He said `The Armenian Genocide is not a historiographical problem, it is a political one.' Nothing more to the point could be said about the Armenian Genocide. The genocide perpetrated upon the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire by the Young Turk regime under cover of World War I and immediately thereafter, and still later by Kemalists, is a fact (period, full stop).

The official `Turkish Point of View' is one of denial and rejection of any semblance of the `tragic events' that admittedly occurred to genocide. The approaches to denial taken by those who espouse the `Turkish Point of View' are far-reaching, sometimes consistent, and on occasion quite imaginative, often manifesting hubris in the extreme.

Simply stated, the focal point of the denialist strategy appears to involve discrediting as falsehoods and forgeries any and all documents that purport to offer any kind of `proof', even suggestive implications, that what is now long-since regarded as genocide was committed. Any hint of the appropriateness of the infamous and dreaded `G-word' is to be opposed and thwarted, seemingly at any cost.

This position of out-of-hand dismissal by Turkish officialdom and its supporters of anything and everything that does not fit into their interpretation of what they refer to as the `Armenian Tragedy' or the `Armenian Issue' or the `civil war' or the `alleged genocide' etc., is explained on several grounds. It is the result of outright bias, political partisanship and failure to understand the details of the `whole' case, the lack of proper use of Archival documents, or mistranslation or understanding of Ottoman Archival documents, or further still, is the result of reliance on much propaganda, falsification and even forgeries. [ 2 ]

This apparent stratagem applies not only to written documents found in various archives but extends also to photographs and visual representations of genocidal events. This communication deals with the recent case of a forged photograph used in a scholarly publication by a non-Armenian author. Before we go further in the matter of the forged photograph, a brief overview of photographs in general and how they have been responded to by `the Turks' will be given.

Right at the outset, and to be `fair and accurate,' we admit that there have been cases of imprecise captioning of photographs in a way that does violence to the 'Official Turkish Point of View' even to the extent of sometimes `insulting Turkishness.' One relatively recent case involved an `Armin Wegner Photograph.' [ 3 ] The photograph, which probably shows three `Famished Armenian children,' is familiar to those who know anything about Armenian Genocide imagery. [ 4 ]

The use of this photograph by reporter Robert Fisk of The Independent newspaper with a description of `massacred' ...rather than `starved to death' caused a tempest in a teapot. An official from the Turkish Embassy in London complained in a letter that journalist Robert Fisk was very much mistaken about the facts. There was no genocide. [ 5 ] The firm that supplied the photograph, apparently Hulton Archive/Getty, is said to have removed the stock photograph from its archives permanently on grounds of copyright ownership issues.

Some might simply say the assumption was gratuitous that the individuals in the Wegner photograph were massacred . Others might say it was imprecision in the use of a word. This photograph, and others of the same genre have appeared, of course, in what might be termed for lack of a better expression, the `pro-Armenian case or side of the story.' Moreover, most of these have largely been in commemorative or memorial publications, not scholarly or academic publications. Without doubt these arguably imprecisely labeled images could have been better researched before publication. Under `ordinary' circumstances the caption would probably not have been noticed and most likely completely ignored. But then again recall that we are dealing with zealots whose intent is to discredit as much as they can as forgeries or falsifications.

There is but one case that we are aware of in which there was an erroneous attribution of a photograph (used on the soft cover of a book) made by a professional scholar and historian. It was acknowledged as soon as it became known. The inadvertent error was admitted both in an interview and in print. The misidentified image was eliminated from the cover in a new printing. [ 6 ] What more could have been done that would be consistent with academic honesty? Nothing. But no notice seems to have been taken by proponents of the `Official Turkish Point of View', of any of this responsible behavior. In a word, a mistake in captioning of a photograph (unfortunate for the Armenian point of view and the truth) was exaggerated and blown way out of proportion and has been fully exploited, even to the extent of taking on a life of its own.

A Forgery

A very recent event involving a forgery surely must be taken as a reminder to all those who would in the future attempt to use Armenian Genocide photographs and persecution imagery without due diligence and respect for as much precision as possible. One could perhaps have pardoned or minimized the errors or shortcomings made many years ago by saying that well-intentioned authors, even `still-grieving' authors, amateurs or those untrained in historical methods, produced works `from the heart, rather than from the brain.' That kind of explanation can no longer be taken seriously. It never was an excuse but it is an explanation.

The unknowing mistake under discussion here is of a very different sort from any contentious disagreements about wording of captions like using the word massacres versus starved to death etc. It involves the use of a forged photograph in a scholarly work by Donald Bloxham of the University of Edinburgh published in 2005 entitled The Great Game of Genocide. [ 7 ] The caption that accompanied the photographic reproduction reads `A Turkish official taunting starving Armenians with bread'. No source was given for the photograph. This itself was admittedly inappropriate for a professionally produced work published by a respected press like Oxford University Press.

We predict that it will have no long-term implications and consequences for those accused or taking the blame. The response to the error was addressed promptly and responsibly as soon as it was brought up. That does not necessarily mean, of course, that the `story' will `go away' so far as the `Official Turkish Point of View' is concerned. After all, this is a clear-cut example of forgery that can be exploited.

All the ruckus concerning the photograph aside, the forgery in no way compromises the measured conclusions drawn in Donald Bloxham's book on the Armenian Genocide.

Modern scholars of the Armenian Genocide have been very careful in terms of their `written words' and their respect for context, but like many who utilize visual documents, whether they be genocide scholars or those in other very different disciplines, they have been considerably less attentive or conscientious when it comes to the use and captioning of photographs to enhance or supplement their works.

On 18 January 2010 a `post' of a newspaper article featuring Dr. Jeremy Salt appeared on a blog website called `Armenian Genocide Resource Center.' It is titled `Yet Another Armenian Forgery. Read about it here.' We do urge that it be read to get the `Turkish Point of View.' See

At first glance this URL may seem to be yet another of several sites that seek to engage interested parties and readers on matters relating to the Genocide perpetrated against the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire under cover of World War I. If one reads more carefully and examines the range of topics addressed on the blog, one quickly concludes `Hardly.' [ 8 ]

Dr. Jeremy Salt, who is listed as a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Bilkent University in Ankara goes into considerable detail about how a forged photograph in the book by Donald Bloxham was found out, and proven to be a forgery. Of course the error was not taken as an unfortunate mistake by a non-Armenian, and an unbiased, non-politically motivated respected scholar. Instead it was taken as yet another example to be added to the list of deliberate forgeries. The least the user(s) could be accused of is that they have aided and abetted those on the wrong side of the `issue.' At best, perhaps they have been naively exploited by Armenian deceivers and falsifiers to bolster the totally unjustified case of accusing the undeservedly oft maligned Turks as perpetrators of genocide.

As we shall see, the forgery was blatant. We do not know who perpetrated it. We believe that the facts of the case should be set straight so far as they are known and put into the record. One should say that one is sorry for use of the forgery and get on with more productive endeavors.

That is why we feel it appropriate to quote the ancient wit and wisdom of the Roman poet Horace as it applies to the `mountain bringing forth a mouse', and `a mouse bringing forth a mountain' -- the mountain being in this case the forged photograph, or should it be the other way around?

We believe that to gain a fuller perspective and hopefully a better understanding of this `issue' (to imitate a Turkish Government turn of phrase), it will be useful to give additional broadly based background information.

It serves no useful purpose to make recriminations and hurl accusations. Any number of reliable photographs could have been used had it been deemed necessary or desirable in Donald Bloxham's book to `horrify" viewers or to "indict" the Turks. The book has on its dust jacket a familiar and very appropriate Armin Wegner photograph of a deported Armenian mother with her baby. [ 9 ]

Genocide and atrocity photographs have always been morally and politically charged. As early as 1919 the well-authenticated Wegner photographs elicited violent reactions. In an interview in May 1972 in New York City with Stephen Svajian, D.D.S. (1906-1977), Armin Wegner said `Only in 1919 was I able to have this [open] letter [to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson] published in a Berlin newspaper. [ 10 ] At that time too I rented a movie house to show the photographs of the massacre which I had taken with my small camera in Turkey. A riot was staged between Armenian and Turk spectators at the showing of these pictures.' [ 11 ]

The real point, we believe, is to work towards avoiding errors in the future.

Photographs in Scholarly Publications - "Second-Class Citizens"?

It seems that if illustrations are not the focal point of a paper or a book they are vulnerable to `falling through the cracks' of the editorial process. (Textbook photographs are another matter of course, and today it is widespread practice that digital disks with very impressive graphics and imagery accompany the inevitably multi-authored textbook.)

Despite what might be said to the contrary, there are too many examples that might be given to justify our contention that review of photographs and pictures and their captions takes quite low priority in comparison to the written word. Examples can even be given wherein some popular journals and magazines have taken the liberty of using illustrations that the text-author has himself or herself not authorized, and might well have disapproved of had the photograph(s) been seen beforehand.

Having said what we have about maintaining quality standards for photographs dealing with various aspects of the Armenian persecutions such as the Hamidian massacres, the Cilician massacres and ultimately the Armenian Genocide, and the period after War's end euphemistically referred to by some as the period of `reconstruction,' it at once becomes clear that the task is not an easy one. Even for the many and oftentimes gruesome images associated with the Nazi Holocaust in the 1940s, which is as well documented visually as any genocide can be, one is sometimes confronted with major problems when it comes to attestation and attribution. The late Sybil Milton, a specialist in such matters, made the all too true and telling assessment years ago that `...documentary photography has no inherent qualities of accuracy. It is obvious that the presence of a photographer often disrupts and changes a scene, even if it is not posed or staged. Moreover, although images cannot be created retroactively, they can be and often are manipulated, misrepresented and distorted.' [ 12 ]

Following standard practice, the Bloxham book was reviewed after publication. The reviews were quite enthusiastic and complimentary. One review in English written by a former Turkish diplomat was not. But the point is that so far as the culprit photograph is concerned, not one of the reviewers we are aware of said a word about it! So, the photograph passed or was ignored both in the pre-publication process and in the post-publication scholarly review process - at least for several years! [ 13 ]

Now, to the main point of this communication.

Soon after publication and receipt of our copy of Donald Bloxham's book The Great Game of Genocide, we noticed that a problematic photograph had been used as his Fig. 9. Several of the other images used by Bloxham are more or less familiar political cartoons from Punch, the British magazine of humor and satire. Only one from the 1870s was unknown to us; we had seen the others in various publications including a work replete with political and satirical cartoons by Ahmaranian. [14]

It may be interjected here that our interest in photographs and images relating to the Armenian Genocide derives in part from our conviction that far too little has been done on attestation and attribution of persecution-related photographs. Having access to well-researched photographs would be very necessary in the event a documentary film aspiring to showcase or feature authenticated photographs or film footage was ever to be made. To be totally candid, for some years the very first thing examined by us in a book or publication has been any photographs or imagery!

We took note of the image in the Bloxham book, but essentially ignored it because we had encountered it long before in a very short (only 32 pgs. long) 1980 genocide commemorative booklet entitled `A Question of Responsibility...' by one Susan K. Blair. [ 15 ] (See Fig. 1). The authorship is given in an unconventional way. It states on pg. `6' `by Susan Blair incorporating Turkish documents translated from the Ottoman Turkish by G. Krieger.' And yet, on pg. `4' the work reads ©1980 G. Krieger.

Sadistic Official

Fig. 1

The booklet was apparently endorsed by the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and its issuance supported by the Armenian Rights Council of America. We believe that the cover photograph should never have been very convincing to any careful observer. Perhaps the most suspicious part is that the photograph appears posed, and ostentatiously at that. The emaciated arms of the presumably `starving Armenians,' mostly children with their backs to the viewer appear extraordinarily long, and weirdly positioned, some even blurred. In a word, the photograph looks `phoney.' [ 16 ]

Moreover, as indefensible as it might seem to some, we say that the man at the left hand side of the photo does not look particularly Armenian. The girl with the kerchief standing in the center looks peculiar as well. She is very thin but does not appear to be very distressed or Armenian! [ 17 ]

Finally, the exposure of the print does not appear uniform. The man (the so-called Turkish official as described in later captions to the photograph) looks as if he had been pasted in and the photograph re-taken. [ 18 ] He seems to lack his left arm and even one of his legs! The left hand end of the adobe mud (?) wall in the background somehow looks blended in - a bit different from the adobe brick part. Not a word was written about the cover photograph. Apparently it was thought to merit no special commentary, perhaps the photo was able to speak for itself - like all good iconic photographs are supposed to do?

Not very convincing: but not our immediate concern or within our capability to delve into. We had too many other priorities such as finding and studying genocide photographs etc. The result? Into the `genocide pictorial folder' in the event it should be needed for future reference.

As working professionals doing piece-meal amateur Armenian studies sporadically and erratically, and concentrating especially on archival eye-witness reports and photographs, it would take us until December 1989 to encounter Susan K. Blair again. This time it was in an article in the Long Island Section of the New York Times that reported the terrible times and threats which had been visited upon her and her publisher as a result of publication of The Slaughterhouse Province... written by Leslie A. Davis. [ 19 ]

Davis who was the last United States Consul to Harput, Turkey-in-Asia, witnessed the events of the Genocide in the Harput area and wrote a detailed report when he got back to the United States. It is quite an important document and is damning to the `Turkish Point of View.' [ 20 ] Moreover, the then newly located atrocity photographs taken by Davis published in the edited Report were at once fascinating and disturbing in the extreme.

Ms. Blair extolled at some length in her introduction to the The Slaughterhouse Province the importance of photograph identification. Her mentor Father Grigor Guerguerian [ 21 ] had instilled in her, she says, the need to be extra cautious when it came to photographs. `Father Guerguerian explained to me the difficult process of documenting photographs. `A photograph can easily be misrepresented. One can claim it shows exactly the opposite of what it actually depicts...Be careful of photographs.'' See page 22 of Davis edited by Blair.

Once one fully appreciates the use of a spurious photograph on the cover of a commemorative booklet in which Father Guerguerian is listed as a co-author, albeit under the pen name Krieger, one can see the utter irony in what Susan K. Blair states in The Slaughterhouse Province about how he felt about the problems associated with attesting and attributing atrocity photographs. One wonders if he ever saw the photograph intended for the cover of the booklet in which he is identified as an author. Or if he did, whether it might have been after publication and too late to do anything about it?

We admit that the image on the cover of the Blair and Krieger booklet (Fig. 1) is slightly less suspicious at first glance than the glaringly 'contrasty' man in the photograph published in a booklet in French in 1964 (Fig. 2) entitled Le Deuil National Arménien [The Mourning of the Armenian Nation] by R. Donikian, J. Nazarian, V. Solakian. [ 22 ]

Sadistic Official

Fig. 2

The photograph appears on pg.`61' of the booklet (Fig. 2). Although it is not specifically credited in the caption, the Bibliothèque Noubar Pasha (Paris) is given elsewhere as the source of all photos used. The caption in translation reads `This photographic document shows a Turkish official brandishing a piece of bread before a group of starving deportees.' [Ce document photographique montre un officiel turc brandissant un morceau de pain devant un groupe de deportés affamés.] The entire book can be accessed at Somewhere along the line a major `touching up' was carried out. Who did the touch up, and when, will more than likely forever remain unknown.

One could speculate that the image did not look quite right to the printer(s) and so he/they decided that the overall exposure of the photo could be `improved' by some retouching. Again, this would suggest lack of serious concern for what the photograph portrayed. On that view, those who produced the booklet would have been more concerned with technical aspects of printing such as contrast, rather than substance.

Various copies of the photograph exist. For example the photograph is reproduced on page 87 of the 1987 printing of the thick commemorative memorial book on the Armenian Catastrophe [Mets Egherne] first published with the photograph in Beirut in 1965. [ 23 ] There the `Turkish Official' is described as `sadistic.'

The contrast in the forged photograph in that volume is more uniform and the man in the `black' suit does not stand out as glaringly as it does in Fig. 2. Even so, his left arm is missing, one of his legs is missing, the arms of the `starving' are too long etc.

The photograph is also reproduced in Gerard Chaliand and Yves Ternon's Le Genocide des Armeniens 1991 on page 192 (see Fig. 3). The 1980 first edition/printing of that work has a quite poorly reproduced and much darkened photograph. The 1991 printing/edition shown here is considerably better. We have not seen the 1984 edition. [ 24 ]

Sadistic Official

Fig. 3

It seems again that the western style suit in the photograph is darkened but not nearly as much as that in Fig. 2. Credit for access to the photographs used is given to one Père [Father] [Sérop] Akelian (see pg. 143). It is also mentioned that the bulk of the images used derived from Armin Wegner. (This is not one of the photos in the Wegner Collection so far as we know.) The caption reads in translation `A Turkish official amuses himself with a group of starved people. Period document.' [Un fonctionnaire turc s'amuse avec un groupe d'affamés (document d'époque)].

The photograph does not appear in the English translation of the book published in 1983 in London by Zed Press. Here, some of the photographs used are identical to the ones in the French editions but others are different. [ 25 ]

A Copy of the Forged Photograph in the United States National Archives

Early in 2005 while working at the National Archives we encountered by chance the `phoney' image once again. We were trying to track down a totally unrelated photograph. (It has turned out to be a sort of rule that one almost never finds a photograph on the first try. Even so, one comes across others that may be equally interesting, perhaps as yet unappreciated pieces to an as yet unsolved puzzle. [ 26 ])

We found the `phoney' photograph in association with a typewritten report in English titled `The Diarbekir Massacres' and authored by Thomas K. Mugerditchian. [27] He described himself as "H.B.M.'s , i.e. His Britannic Majesty's, Ex-Pro-Consul of Diarbekir" (see Fig. 4a).

Sadistic Official

Fig. 4a

Sadistic Official

Fig. 4b Enlargement of handwriting at top of Fig. 4a

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Fig. 5

Sadistic Official

Fig. 6

The photograph (Fig. 5) bears the annotation "3" on the back (Fig. 6) along with the caption

"A Turkish official showing bread to Armenians dying of starvation."

The handwriting seems to be Mr. Mugerditchian's. If one compares, for example, the `T' on the handwritten caption of the word `Turkish' on the back of the photograph (Fig. 6) with the `T' in Thomas in the `transmittal signature' of Thomas K. Mugerditchian on the cover page of the `report' it seems a very reasonable stance (Figs. 4a and 4b).

A particularly interesting thing about the photograph among the Mugerditchian materials at the Archives (Fig. 5) that we had not paid attention to when we first encountered it is that the upper crop of the photograph is a bit more severe than that of the photos published in the other sources reproduced here in Figs. 1, 2 and 3. Only a portion of the bread is visible; indeed only a portion is visible in Fig. 3 as well. On the other hand, the Armenian printed version of Mugerditchian's work [28] (see Fig. 7 for the title page and Fig. 8 for the entire page with the photograph) shows considerably more edge on the upper part of the photograph.)

Sadistic Official

Fig. 7

The Armenian title of Fig. 7 was transliterated and professionally catalogued long ago as Tigranakerti nahangi chartere ev K'urderu gazanut'iwnnere by Thomas Mgrdichian. It translates as The Massacres of the Dikranagert Province and the Atrocities [literally `bestialities'] of the Kurds.

The cropping of the photograph is such that one can see the object being held in its entirety. One assumes it is bread - looks like complete pideh or pita to us, not a `piece' of bread.

Sadistic Official

Fig. 8

The Armenian caption beneath the photograph reads `A cruel Turkish official shows a piece of bread to dying exiles.'

The group of photographs associated with the Mugerditchian material at the National Archives were apparently first provided in an envelope with Kodak etc printed on it (Fig. 9).

Sadistic Official

Fig. 9

This suggests that the prints were processed by some firm in Cairo that used Kodak supplies, paper etc. Clearly a photographic print that was less `cropped' was used by the printers of Mugerditchian's book in Armenian.

Another of the photographs in Mugerditchian's material is to be found in Arshag Ohan Sarkissian's photo essay entitled `Genocide in Turkey' in The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of World War I. It was published as a double page image in 1984 and again in a 1986 edition. It shows a stretcher with an emaciated body stretched out on it. The commentary relating to the photograph in Sarkissian's article states `Starvation, the reality behind Turkey's policy of mass deportation of Armenians.' [ 29 ] Mugerditchian's caption on the back of the photo accompanying his report reads `An invalid mother who is deported, being carried away by her children.' (The same image may be found opposite pg. 72 in the Armenian version of Mugerditchian.)

Years earlier, in 1970, Sarkissian authored a magazine article in a short-lived British popular magazine entitled History of the First World War that included images, some of which were found by us among the Mugerditchian report photos as well. [ 30 ] Sarkissian makes no mention as to the source of the photographs used in his articles. He was, of course, in Washington, D.C. and it is possible that he knew about the photographs in the Archives and used them. This magazine is rather rare and we chanced upon it at the National Archives in Maryland a long while back, and scanned the entire article. We have since learned that someone else who had access to a copy scanned it as well. See

None of this would have gotten us anywhere had we not been investigating, albeit again very sporadically, the famine in Lebanon. That had been stimulated in a very round about way. Dr. Mark H. Ward had been active in the Harpoot [Kharpert] region after the Genocide as part of the American Committee for Relief in the Near East effort (later named Near East Relief). He came from a family that had quite a long and varied affiliation in Turkey with the Armenians. We were fortunate enough to locate a nephew of Dr. Ward whose mother and physician father had first been in Diarbekir as missionaries before the Genocide and later worked in Beirut at the time of the Lebanon famine. [ 31 ]

While working at the Hoover Institution at Stanford on Armenian Genocide-related materials we again by chance found an old illustrated book in French that dealt with the Lebanon famine. That eventually led us via a tortuous path to an illustrated article without authorship published in the journal L'Asie Française, in its February 1922 supplement (Fig. 10). The editor(s) apologize for the troubling and dreadfully sad photographs but felt that it was necessary to publish them.

Sadistic Official

Fig. 10

We were able to gain full access to the La Famine au Liban Document issue once back on Long Island and found that it was replete with photographs, some of them to be found in both Mugerditchian and Sarkissian--not very well reproduced admittedly, but certainly very adequate for study (and scanning).

The forged image with the alleged monstrously cruel Turkish official is not present in the L'Asie Française supplement. The La Famine au Liban article has been described by modern day writers as very propagandistic, excessively pro-French, generously portraying themselves as helpers of the afflicted Lebanese. That aside, it is easy enough to see quickly that the suspect image clearly fits into the genre of photograph featured in that supplement issue. As we will show, one of the 15 photographs in La Famine au Liban was used as the `base' or `core' for executing the forgery!

The forged image (Fig. 11) was contrived, use whatever word you will, using the photograph of Fig. 12 b (or one very similar to it) as the starting point for manipulation. Comparison of Fig. 12b with Fig. 11 will show that the photograph along with portions of other photos (unknown to us) yielded the forgery. We suspect that what was added or further manipulated derived from the same `photo shoot' of the photographs in L'Asie Française February 1922 supplement.

The viewer will pardon our use of a totally modern expression 'photo shoot' but we hope it gets the idea across.

Sadistic Official

Fig. 11 - End-Product (Forgery)

Sadistic Official

Fig. 12a

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Fig. 12b - Enlarged from Fig. 12a

Sadistic Official

(Left)Fig. 13a (Right)Fig. 13b enlarged from Fig. 13a

The fruit tree (probably a peach) in the foreground of Fig. 11 is present in the base photograph (Fig. 12b). The large leaf of a banana plant behind the wall is visible in both photos as well. The woman sitting on the ground in Fig. 13b is the same woman with the kerchief standing in the forged photograph. It is certainly a distressing and desperate setting. It also seems (on closer look) that the left hand part of the wall in the forged one and which looks a bit `blurred' or `dodged' adjacent to the `adobe brick' are different sections of the same wall.

The people in Fig. 13b may be found described in a number of places as Armenians. James Nazer's book reproduces the photograph, more cropped though, on page 89 of the genocide commemorative volume that he compiled and published in 1968. He captioned the photograph:-`A group of starved women and children. A monument for the glorification of Turkish racism. (Photograph by a Viennese Officer, 1916).' [ 32 ] Another reproduction of the photograph showing the man in a very `contrasty' suit similar to the one in Fig. 2 appears in yet another commemorative volume entitled The Armenian Genocide [ 33 ] (1987) with the caption `Cruel Turkish official taunts starving Armenians by showing a piece of bread.'

Readers/viewers will concur that the level of disparate contrast in a specific part of a given print or reproduction has a great deal to do with the level of interest that may be aroused on initial viewing --perhaps raising a red flag if something appears curious, thus stimulating a closer look. [ 34 ] The more uniform the exposure, the less likely the signaling. Incidentally, the photograph used in the Bloxham book is rather washed out, weak but uniform, to use a phrase common in old fashioned print photography, and less likely to draw special attention by the casual viewer.

Someone must have provided Mr. Mugerditchian the photographs that he used in his book. There is no evidence that he was a photographer. Whether he was given several photo sets, or even prints that were not used, or had some of them or all of them copied and extra prints made in Cairo for transmittal by someone else who ultimately made them available in Washington, D.C. we cannot obviously say. Those inclined to be less open-minded (charitable?) would say at the very least he commissioned the forgery. There is absolutely no evidence that we know of that this was the case.

Use of the photograph does not necessarily mean that Mr. Mugerditchian would have condoned it had he been aware of it. We would argue that he, himself, could have been `duped' by the real forger. That position remains a very real possibility because there is so much evidence that authors do not examine photographs carefully despite using them in their own works! On that view, little has changed over the years. Particularly when people are rushed they often `see what they want to see.' Commemoration publication deadlines are particularly straining (personal communication).

The reader will recall that the Thomas K. Mugerditchian report and photos were submitted by someone or other (there is no cover letter that we know of) to the State Department in 1919, and to repeat, there is no proof that he personally submitted the `report.' He was not in the United States at the time. The report could have been forwarded through the British etc. Mugerditchian's daughter Alice (who incidentally spelled her surname with two `gs') describes in her book in some detail the family's arrival first under the leadership of her mother, and later their father's arrival in 1921. [ 35 ]

And, to recall further, the printed book in the Armenian language is dated 1919. So we at least know for sure that the photograph existed at least as early as 1919. The February 1922 date of the `Famine au Liban' title is relatively speaking of late date. It is not even out of the realm of possibility that the L'Asie Française photographs represented Armenians, and these were used in the context of the famine in Lebanon. We do not believe this to be the case but if one is to be totally open-minded, and based on our evidence, we have not dispensed with that possibility.

What has been said in this commentary is all we feel competent to say about the photograph. That is why we say `a part of the rest of the story' in our title. And why we apologize to Paul Harvey who usually fully presented `the rest of the story' in his broadcasts. Hopefully, some `Beirut contingent' or `Paris contingent', or some other `contingent' singly or collectively can fill out the rest. Maybe we can say `To be continued?'

Final Comments

We have seen just how convoluted a path might be associated with tracking down details of a genocide photograph. Much of it has a very real chance factor associated with the quest. We could not have undertaken this study had it not come into focus piecemeal. We would not venture to say how we could have undertaken a study to learn specifics about the photograph if that was to have been an assignment in the first place. We have also seen that some have been somewhat casual about coming up with captions. Perceptions have sometimes been changed into realities. Again, some, perhaps all of us, `see what we want to see.'

This forged photograph is the only forgery we have encountered. Indeed there are many images and photographs that bear imprecise or questionable captions. This applies to photographs used by the Turkish side as well. Many early photographs of `rebellious' Armenians were deliberately posed. There are missionary accounts that Muslim women mourners were paid to pose near murdered Armenians in the pretext that the murdered were Muslims. Is there any real difference in a forgery through physical manipulation of a photograph from trumped up manipulation of a photo scene via posing---`paid' or `unpaid?' In either case the intent is to deceive. [ 36 ] Admittedly physical manipulation is less sophisticated.

Surely a prospective user of a photograph should not be expected to go through the yeoman-like work that we have gone through. We cannot but feel deep regret that Professor Bloxham and Oxford University Press have been subjected to this embarrassing situation and expense.

The lesson learned anew, if it was not already understood, is that it cannot be assumed that prior use in a publication of a photograph validates what it is claimed to be. Incidentally, the statement is wrong in Dr. Salt's blog article that the Library of Congress has the forged photograph online. We are very familiar with the relevant digital photograph collections of that Library, and have never seen it despite regular visitations to the site ever since it was available We recently checked with the Library and remain ready to be shown that what he claims is the case. Also Dr. Salt is in error when he claims that the validity of the forged photograph may be (or should have been) questioned on additional grounds such as `given the cumbersome equipment that photographers had to carry around with them in the early 20th century...' Dr. Salt would be advised to do some research on the availability and widespread use of small film cameras by U.S. Consuls, missionaries and still later, by relief workers. Is there not an ancient saying that an allegedly educated person `should know what he doesn't know?'

It seems that it is time to re-emphasize that those concerned with the use of photographs in publications dealing with the Armenian Genocide or with educational or museum displays should go the extra mile to verify captions or their claims. It goes without saying that when in doubt one should not use a given photograph. There are more than enough to choose from that will fit any need. [ 37 ]

The `silver lining' in this forged photograph incident may be that the `Turkish Point of View' is in fact stimulating those who would expound the Armenian Genocide visually to renew efforts to do an unimpeachable job. (We venture the opinion that the Turkish side would never dream of seriously attesting and attributing pro-Turkish side photographs?)

We know that there have been at least a couple of individuals who have never felt at all comfortable with the photograph which is now absolutely confirmed as a forgery. Some of the kinds of problems bothering us similarly bothered them and have been covered at perhaps too much length above---hence our use of the word `Saga' in the title. Much ado about nothing? The L'Asie Française photographs have been known for some time as well, and have even appeared on several Internet sites with various and sometimes conflicting commentaries.

There is an old saying that one cannot carry out an interview at a grave. Would that we could.

When more is learned about those L'Asie Française photographs, we predict that facts will emerge that will be quite unflattering to the Young Turks who controlled The Lebanon and Greater Syria during the last years of the long-crumbling Ottoman Empire. Djemal Pasha, one of the notorious Young Turk triumvirate, will not have had the last word by any means so far as the famine in Lebanon is concerned.

We should really like to see the results of a grand inquest as well, and to be told the full story about those Arabs who were hanged on 16 May 1916, and are commemorated today in Martyr's Square in Beirut. The ominous statement `We have banished the Armenians by the sword and will kill off the Lebanese by starvation' has yet to be studied fully and understood in its entirety. [ 38 ]

We admit that we have had misgivings in writing this essay from the outset. Some of our arguments expressed are inevitably circular. Can anyone really recommend that all photographs be rigorously attested and attributed before use? Probably not. Dr. Libaridian's statement on the Armenian Genocide being a `political problem' is very true. From that one can straight-line extrapolate and conclude therefore only those students of genocides, or those who would commemorate genocides which are not recognized as such by the perpetrator(s) or their descendants have to do that. Different rules for different people?

In the case of the Nazi Holocaust, Sybil Milton expressed her concern that there are many photographs that do not match up well with similar photographs and even negatives between and among seemingly identical photographs to be found in various important archives. Reference may also be made to attempts published in 1980 by Andrew Mollo of work carried out to learn whether specific locations where photographs were taken at Dachau Camp during the Nazi Holocaust could be revisited precisely. This seemingly reasonable quest quickly proved to be a very difficult, and sometimes an impossible task. [ 39 ]

If this is so difficult for the Nazi Holocaust from the Second World War period, one can appreciate that the task is infinitely more challenging for those who seek to validate certain aspects of imagery from the First World War period, or even earlier.

This should, nevertheless, as stated at the outset of this article, be taken as a major challenge and incentive. If a proper and responsible response to this `issue' of photographs in the broadest sense is not launched soon by the community professing guardianship over such matters, it will be too late. We have seen period snap shots deteriorate under our very eyes!

Most assuredly, the Armenian Genocide does not need to be validated through photographs. But, if photographs are going to be used, and it takes but a brief visitation to the Internet to show that there is a tremendous interest in the use of photographs, they should be used responsibly and with as much exactitude as possible. [ 40 ] It takes an equally brief visit to the Internet to see that there are countless abuses of the standards of scholarship made by people who mean well. [41] The memory of those who lost their lives as a result of the Armenian Genocide deserves as good as can be delivered. It must be honestly admitted that a better job can be done. One must put an end to the use of misattributions to further the cause of those who seek to deny the Armenian Genocide.

The famous author Aldous Huxley said in the opening sentence of an essay he wrote in 1956 entitled A Case of Voluntary Ignorance `That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.' We hope that he was wrong.


We thank the US National Archives for all the help and kindnesses that its staff has rendered us over the many visits we have made. Thanks also go to A.K.G. for discussing with us the various nuances of Armenian words used by Thomas Mugerditchian in his book. We also appreciate the helpful comments and guidance given by several friends who read the final manuscript and examined the photographs carefully.


[ 1 ] We would have liked to offer our apologies to pioneer radio broadcaster Paul Harvey (1918-2009).

[ 2 ] A few specific examples may be given. Justin McCarthy has made attempts to discredit the British `Blue Book' with its documentation of atrocities as a work of propaganda. See Justin McCarthy, "Wellington House and the Turks," in The Turks, ed. Hasan Celal Güzel, et al. (Ankara: Yeni Turkiye, 2002), 447-467. By way of contrast see David Miller, "The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. A History of the 'Blue Book'," RUSI Journal 150, no. 4 (2005): 36-44. McCarthy has also attempted to discredit the many eye-witness reports by missionaries stating that they were highly biased and much was seen through an anti-Turkish prism. By way of contrast see James L. Barton, ed. "Turkish Atrocities: Statements of American Missionaries on the Destruction of Christian Communities in Ottoman Turkey, 1915-1917' (Ann Arbor: Gomidas Institute,1998). Also, a few years ago the prestigious journal International Journal of Middle East Studies elected to reprint in celebration of the appearance of its fortieth volume an excerpt from Dr. Vahakn N. Dadrian's `ground-breaking' 1985 paper on `The Naim-Andonian Documents,' IJMES 40 (2008), 171-179. Arch Armenian Genocide denier Türkkaya Ataöv wrote a `reply' to [editor] Judith E. Tucker's `A look Back: `The Naim-Andonian Documents' by Vahakn Dadrian (IJMES 40 (May 2008):171-179.' Instead of dealing directly with any perceived shortcomings in Dadrian's analysis and exposition, Dr. Ataöv merely chose to hang his case against the article on a quote from German philospher Hegel and say that `The truth is the whole' etc. etc. Hegel should have been the last person to quote since even today, after nearly 200 years, philosophers argue as to what Hegel was all about. It brings to mind the saying that `you cannot hit a moving target.' The level of rejoinder by Professor Dr. Ataöv is not atypical.

[ 3 ] Armin T. Wegner (1886-1978), a German, was what we call a `conscientious objector' and was assigned to do Red Cross work as a nurse `medic' in Turkey. He was a witness to what was happening to the Armenians especially in the concentration camps around Meskene and Aleppo and was able to take a number of photographs at great personal risk. It was illegal to take photographs. Understandably, these are historically quite important. For an excellent English-language treatment of Armin Wegner, his life and work see Sybil Milton, "Armin T. Wegner Polemicist for Armenian Rights and Jewish Human Rights," The Armenian Review 42, no. 4 (1989): 17-40.

[ 4 ] Our preference for `famished Armenian children' derives from the description that the Wegner photo was given by Ernst Friedrich (1894-1967), the German pacifist. He published the photograph on pg. 154 of his graphically and disturbingly illustrated volume `Krieg dem Kriege = Guerre à la Guerre = War against War.' Although the source of the photograph that Friedrich used is not given, it seems likely that as anti-militarists Friedrich and Wegner would know each other. See It is worth mentioning that Donald Bloxham used this Wegner Collection photograph in his article "Rethinking the Armenian Genocide," with the caption "Armenian children massacred in Turkey in 1915 or 1916." History Today 55, no. 6, June (2005): 28-30.

[ 5 ] For the newspaper article describing some of the semantic issues involved in that case see and also pgs. 194-195 of Colin Jacobson, ed. Underexposed (London: Vision On Publishing, 2002).

[ 6 ] See for a photograph on the front page of a work in German dealing with the Talaat Pasha murder trial. The image is also on the pg. 120 of a 'pro-Turkish side of the story' book by Erich Feigl. The pyramid of skulls initially thought to be a photograph was in fact a photograph of a 19th century painting on canvas by the Russian painter Vasily Vereshchagin called "The Apotheosis of War." See also pg. 56 of Tessa Hofmann and Gerayer Koutcharian, "Images that Horrify and Indict": Pictorial Documents on the Persecution and Extermination of Armenians from 1877 to 1922," Armenian Review 45, no. 1-2/177-178 (1992): 53-184.

[ 7 ] Donald Bloxham, The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

[ 8 ] We will leave it to readers to assess this blog for themselves.

[ 9 ] See pg. 97 of Armin T. Wegner, Anna Maria Samuelli et al., Armin T Wegner e gli Armeni in Anatolia, 1915 : Immagini e Testimonianze = Armin T. Wegner and the Armenians in Anatolia, 1915 : Images and Testimonies, (Milano: Guerini e Associati, 1996). The words to `horrify' (entsetzen) and `indict' (anklagen) were used in Armin Wegner's diary entry for 19 October 1916 made in Aleppo while at the `German Sisters' (see Armin T. Wegner Der Weg ohne Heimkehr; ein Martyrium in Briefen [The Road of No Return; Martyrdom in Letters], (Dresden, 1920) pg. 169. Wegner's choice of words for the photographs he took is not to be taken lightly. Attention was drawn years ago to these chilling and condemnatory words by Tessa Hofmann and Gerayr Koutcharian in the title of their pioneer paper on atrocity photographs that `horrify and indict'...published in 1992. See their pg. 54. For Wegner's original German printed in Gothic type refer to pg. 169. Also see pg. 21 of Sybil Milton "Armin T. Wegner Polemicist for Armenian Rights and Jewish Human Rights," The Armenian Review 42, no. 4 (1989): 17-40, in which she translates Wegner's German words into English as `images of horror and accusation.'

[ 10 ] Armin T. Wegner, "Offener Brief an den Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika, Woodrow Wilson, Uber die Austreibung des Armenischen Volkes in die Mesopotamische Wuste," Journal of Genocide Research 2 (2000): 121-126; Armin T. Wegner, translated by Silvia Samuelli, "An Open Letter to the President of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson, on the Mass Deportation of the Armenians into the Mesopotamian Desert," Journal of Genocide Research 2, no. 1 (2000): 127-132.

[ 11 ] See pg. 622 of Stephen G. Svajian, A Trip through Historic Armenia (New York: Green Hill Pub., 1977). Also see note 37 of Sybil Milton "Armin T. Wegner Polemicist for Armenian Rights and Jewish Human Rights," The Armenian Review 42, no. 4 (1989): 17-40.

[ 12 ] See pg. 27 of Sybil Milton, "Images of the Holocaust - Part I," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 1, no. 1 (1986): 27-61; and also cf. "Images of the Holocaust - Part II," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 1, no. 2 (1986): 193-216.

[ 13 ] For example see Robert Melson, "Donald Bloxham. The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians," The American Historical Review 111, June (2006): 931-932; Donald Quataert, "The Massacres of Ottoman Armenians and the Writing of Ottoman History," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 37, no. 2 (2006): 249-259; Norman Naimark, "Book Review. The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), xiv + 329 pp., Cloth $39.95, Pbk $26.95. The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide, Gunter Lewy (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2005), xiii + 370 pp. Cloth $24.95," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 21, no. 2 (2007): 298-303; Yucel Guclu, "Mislabeling Genocide? The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians," Middle East Quarterly 13, no. 2 (2006): 67-68; Jay Winter, "Donald Bloxham. The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians, Oxford University Press: Oxford,. 2005." European History Quarterly 38 (2008): 126-128.

[ 14 ] John Ahmaranian, Ph.D. An Answer to Turkish Denials (Pasadena, Calif.: [s.n.], 1989). For a partly colorized reproduction of the cover image see

[ 15 ] Her name was at one time Susan Blair Kelekian.

[ 16 ] One of the meanings of Yalanci in Turkish is `phoney.' Armenian cuisine includes yalanci sarma or `filled' vine leaves [yaprak dolma in Turkish, and dolmathakia in Greek]. A mixture of flavored parboiled rice, chopped onions, olive oil etc. is wrapped into blanched tender leaves, and steamed. It is usually eaten cold. Lack of the more usual meat found in regular sarma renders it `fake' or `false.'

[ 17 ] Some readers will hopefully agree with us.

[ 18 ] The practice of re-constructing a family photograph from the Old Country using part of a photograph taken in America or Europe was not uncommon. The photo of the 'missing' person was reprinted somewhere in the original photograph, usually at one side. The newly created family photograph was usually retained by the émigré, but on rare occasion a copy was sent back, or even hand-delivered. In such photographs, one can readily identify the émigré since he wears western clothing. The family members in the original would normally be wearing Old Country clothing. We have even seen a wedding photograph taken in America with a picture of a loved one lost in the Genocide under horrible circumstances (drowning herself to avoid advances of a Turk), cut out from an existing Old Country family photo, `added' to the wedding group and re-photographed. The availability of a number of photographs of families from the Old Country taken before the Genocide may be explained in many cases by the fact that the pictures with added photos of those missing when the photograph was taken in the Old Country already existed outside Turkey - in the cases known to us, in America. Only one family photograph mounted on card that we know of, worn and torn, survived the Death Marches by being secreted in a sash, and guarded as a treasure, taken first to France and then to America.

[ 19 ] Kate McKenna, "Account of Armenian Massacre Provokes Diplomatic Storm," New York Times, Long Island Weekly, Section 12, 3 December 1989, 1, 16; also see Paul Farhi, `Haunted by an Old Horror: a family's ordeal. Shedding light on a 1915 genocide has forced a Virginia writer into the shadows,' Washington Post, Section F, 26 May 1991;1;4.

[ 20 ] Leslie A. Davis and Susan K. Blair, The Slaughterhouse Province: An American Diplomat's Report on the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1917(New Rochelle, N.Y.: A.D. Caratzas, Orpheus Pub, 1989).

[ 21 ] G. Krieger was the pen name of Father Krikor Guerguerian (1911-1988), an Armenian Roman Catholic priest and pioneer scholar of the Armenian Genocide. Most of his work (apparently all in Armenian) remains unpublished. Mention should be made, however, of his scholarly treatment of the `Naim - Andonian' documents and telegrams that was published under `Krieger, Cairo.' See `Aram Andonianee Huradaragats Toork Bashdonagan Vaverakreru Vaveraganoutiwnu [ Authenticity of the Turkish Official Documents Published by Aram Andonian]' in [Memorial Volume of the Great Tragedy] (in Armenian) ed. by Gersam Aharonean and Nazaret Topalean, Hushamatean Mets Egherni, 1915-1965. Hazar Innhariwr Tasnhing - Hazar Innharawr Vat`Sunhing Hushamatean Mets Egherni, 3. hratarakutiwn (Beirut: Hratarakutiwn "Zartonk`" Oraterti, 1987), pgs. 221-258. For some reflections on Father Guerguerian and his pioneer work see pg. 14 ff of Rouben Paul Adalian, "Finding the words," in Pioneers of Genocide Studies, ed. Samuel Totten and Steven L. Jacobs (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2002), 3-26 (bibliography on pgs. 581-582.), and in the same volume the chapter by Vahakn N. Dadrian entitled `The quest for scholarship in my pathos for the Armenian Tragedy and its victims,' 235-251(bibliography on pgs. 583-584) especially pg. 240 ff.

[ 22 ] R. Donikian, Le Deuil National Armenien ([Gardanne] Centre d'Études Arméniennes, 1964).

[ 23 ] See pg. 87 of Gersam Aharonean and Nazar¯et` T`¯op`alean, eds., Hushamatean Mets Egherni, 1915-1965. Hazar Innhariwr Tasnhing - Hazar Innharawr Vat`Sunhing Hushamatean Mets Egherni / [Hatore Patrastets`, Gortsakts`Ut`Eamb Nazar¯Et` T`Op`Aleani]. 3. hratarakut`iwn. (P¯eyrut Beirut: Hratarakut`iwn "Zart`¯onk`" ¯Orat`ert`i, 1987).

[ 24 ] Gerard Chaliand and Yves Ternon, Le Genocide des Armeniens: 1915-1917 (Bruxelles: Editions Complex, 1980); Gerard Chaliand and Yves Ternon, Le Genocide des Armeniens, Nouvelle edition revue et augmentée ed., La Memoire du Siècle: 1915 (Bruxelles: Éditions Complexe, 1991; reprint, 1991).

[ 25 ] Gérard Chaliand and Yves Ternon, The Armenians, from Genocide to Resistance (London : Zed Press: Totowa, N.J., 1983).

[ 26 ] We were able to locate and work on the image which we sought out but feel that the story of this important photograph is incomplete despite what has been said on Internet sites which we regard as propagandistic and `anti-Armenian.' See e.g. for the image. The emotionally charged image has appeared with varying captions. See for example the 11th image at Also see

[ 27 ] The Mugerditchian report is on microfilm Roll 47 of Record Group 59. Records of the Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of Turkey, 1910-1929. RG59, 250/25/24/2 Decimal File 867.4016/417. Roll 47 deals with `Deportations of Jewish People from Jerusalem; Protests by governments of European neutral nations against deportations; Syrian and Armenian massacres; persecution of the Greeks in Turkey etc.]" The report was originally accompanied by some 25 photographs. One of them is missing.

[ 28 ] Thomas Mgrdichian, Dikranakerdi Djarter ev Kurderou Kazanoutiunner (Kahire: K. Gihanian, 1919).

[ 29 ] Arshag Ohan Sarkissian, Ph.D. 1934 from University of Illinois worked for some years in the Library of Congress. He joined the Library of Congress in 1940 as an Analyst in International Relations. A. O. Sarkissian, "Genocide in Turkey," in The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of World War I, 1915-16, ed. Brigadier Peter Young (New York, London, Toronto: Marshall Cavendish, 1986 Reference edition), vol. 5, 1321-1327. The image of the emaciated person on the stetcher may be viewed at

[ 30 ] A.O. Sarkissian, "Genocide in Turkey," History of the First World War 3, no. 16 (1970): 1321-1327.

[ 31 ] The details of the famine constitutes a much under-investigated field. Suffice it to say here that many of the materials we have read are inconsistent.

[ 32 ] James Nazer, The First Genocide of the 20th Century. The Story of the Armenian Massacres in Text and Pictures, Collector's Edition (International Year for Human Rights), (New York: T & T Publishing, Inc., 1968).

[ 33 ] See pg. 143 of Libarid Azadian and Armen Donoyan, eds., The Armenian Genocide (Glendale, CA: NAVASART, 1987).

[ 34 ] Lebanon was capable of growing bananas, and today a fair amount of commercial production is even carried out.

[ 35 ] Thomas K. Mugerditchian's wife wrote a book in Armenian (not seen by us) that was published in English as well (which we have seen ), Esther Mugerditchian, From Turkish Toils: The Narrative of an Armenian Family's Escape, (New York: G.H. Doran Co., 1917/1918). See also or or for a scan of the complete booklet. Mugerditchian's daughter Alice Muggerditchian Shipley wrote a book about what happened to her family in Turkey. Alice Muggerditchian Shipley, We Walked, Then Ran. (Phoenix, Ariz.: A.M. Shipley, 1983). pg. 287 ff. She also gives a very interesting interview and offers detailed comments in Dr. J. Michael Hagopian's film `Voices from the Lake,' (Armenian Film Foundation, Thousand Oaks, CA., 2000.)

[ 36 ] It is beyond the scope of this commentary on a forged photograph to go into detail about the many propaganda photographs that were produced by the `Turkish side' -at least as early as 1916. Aside from the posing of photographs to conjure up a scenario of rebellion by the Armenians, the manipulation of archival documents by zealots proselytizing for the Turkish side is by no means uncommon. For details see for instance Taner Akcam's `Anatomy of a crime: the Turkish Historical Society's manipulation of archival documents' in Journal of Genocide Research 7, no.2, June 2005, pp. 255-277 and his `The Ottoman Documents and the Genocidal Policies of the Committee for Union and Progress (Ittihat ve Terakki) toward the Armenians in 1915' in Genocide Studies and Prevention 1, no. 2, Sept. 2006, pp. 127-148. For convenient access reference may be made to Akcam's `Anatomy of Genocide Denial: academics, politicians and the re-making of history' posted in Occasional Papers of the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota, 28 pages long, see

[ 37 ] Of course one would have to take into consideration, where required, any issues of copyright, permissions and perhaps even payment of fees for reproduction and even use on the Internet.

[ 38 ] Nicholas Z. Ajay, Jr., "Political Intrigue and Suppression in Lebanon During World War I," International Journal of Middle East Studies 5, no. 2 (1974): 140-160. See especially pg. 145.

[ 39 ] Andrew Mollo, "Dachau," After the Battle (London) 27(1980): 1-33.

[ 40 ] Leshu Torchin, "Since We Forgot: Remembrance and Recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Virtual Archives," in The Image and the Witness: Trauma, Memory and Visual Culture, ed. Frances Guerin and Roger Hallas (New York, London: Wallflower Press, 2007), 82-97.

[ 41 ] Roy Rosenzweig, "Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past," Journal of American History 93, no. 1 (2006): 117-146.

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