One of the Earliest Popularly-Published Eyewitness Accounts of the Armenian Genocide (1916)

Horrors of AleppoThis is a well-traveled pamphlet1, its face showing its miles.

The author, the “German Eyewitness”, was Dr. Martin Niepage2, a school instructor at Aleppo, who wrote what was to become (apparently) the first popularly-published account in the West of the Armenian Genocide.  The pamphlet was published in 1916 and begins the story in 1915, getting quickly to the terror stories of chopped-off children’s hands. 

“In April 1915 the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population. The persecutions continued with varying intensity until 1923 when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. The Armenian population of the Ottoman state was reported at about two million in 1915. An estimated one million had perished by 1918, while hundreds of thousands had become homeless and stateless refugees. By 1923 virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolian Turkey had disappeared.”–Armenian Genocide Organization

The full text is located at

From the Niepage text:

"When I returned to Aleppo in September, 1915, 
from a three months' holiday at Beirout,
I heard with horror that a new phase of Armenian massacres had begun which were far more terrible than the earlier massacres under Abd-ul- Hamid, and which aimed at exterminating, root and branch, the intelligent, industrious, and progressive Armenian nation, and at transferring its property to Turkish hands." "Such monstrous news left me at first in- credulous. I was told that, in various quarters of Aleppo, there were lying masses of half- starved people, the survivors of so-called " de- portation convoys." In order, I was told, to cover the extermination of the Armenian nation with a political cloak, mihtary reasons were being put forward, which were said to make it neces- sary to drive the Armenians out of their native seats, which had been theirs for 2,500 years, and to deport them to the Arabian deserts. I was also told that individual Armenians had lent themselves to acts of espionage." After I had informed myself about the facts and had made enquiries on all sides, I came to the conclusion that all these accusations against the Armenians were, in fact, based on trifling provocations, which were taken as an excuse for slaughtering 10,000 innocents for one guilty- person, for the most savage outrages against women and children, and for a campaign of starvation against the exiles which was intended to exterminate the whole nation."



  1. Martin Niepage. The Horrors of Aleppo… Seen by a German Eyewitness. A word to Germany’s Accredited Representatives by Dr. Martin Niepage, Higher Grade Teacher in the German Technical School at Aleppo, at present at Wernigerode. T. Fisher Unwin, London, (1916). 185x120mm, 24pp. Original wrappers. Provenance: Army Medical Library (in 1935), and then the Library of Congress. There are cataloging notes on the front cover, as well as a “withdrawn for Exchange” Army Medical stamp and a “surplus” LC rubber stamp (that on the rear cover).

    2. Martin Niepage was a teacher of the German Realschule in Aleppo from 1913 to 1916. Niepage had tried to stop the massacres from happening by appealing to the local German authorities in order “to put a stop to the brutality with which the wives and children of slaughtered Armenians are being treated here”. He also indicated that the campaign of forceful starvation was just one of the methods employed to annihilate the Armenian nation all together. Martin Niepage wrote an account of his experiences in Aleppo entitled The Horrors of Aleppo. Niepage was later sentenced to death in absentia by the Turkish government for publishing the account.’–“Witnesses and testimonies of teh Armenia Genocide”,


By: JF Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries

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