YEREVAN (Armradio)–New photos and documen’s on the Armenian Genocide were revealed from different countries, state archives and private collections by various researchers dealing with the issues of the Armenian Genocide, informed the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute Thursday.
Newly discovered photos of Armenian deportations near Erzerum taken by Austrian soldier Victor Pitchman during World War I were among the never before seen documen’s donated to the museum by Artem Ohandjanyan, a doctor of historical sciences and resident of Austria.
Pitchman was in Turkey from 1914 until the end of the war. He served in the Turkish, Austrian and then German armies during this period. Pitchman is credited with building artillery outposts in Erzerum as well as drawing war maps of Southwestern Asia for the German Armies main headquarters. While in Erzerum, Pitchman witnessed first hand the Armenian slaughters carried out by the Ottoman Government.
New photos found in the state achieves of the Doutsche Bank were also contributed to the AGMI. Meanwhile the museum collection was enriched with dozens of unprinted memoirs recorded by the survivors of the genocide.
The memoirs of Eric Wirsen, military attach? of the Swedish Embassy to the Ottoman Empire is also among the unearthed documen’s donated to the museum. “Reminiscence, War and Peace Memories” contains exclusive facts on the Armenian Genocide and one of its first chapters, “Slaughter of one nation,” describes one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century. The book documen’s Wirsen’s eyewitness accounts of Armenian mass graves around the Euphrates as well as the accounts of foreign diplomats who also witnessed the massacres.
Wirsen’s book also documen’s how Turkish gendarmes would enter the houses of foreign diplomats and, without warning, shoot their Armenian servants. Unique is Wirsen’s commentary on German responsibility during the Genocide. He notes that it is difficult to release the Germans from the responsibility because they did nothing to prevent the massacres. However, he does mention that many German officers gave back the medals and rewards given to them by the Ottoman Government to protest the cruelties carried out by the Turks.
Wirsen’s memoirs are of particular importance as a primary source for the study of the Armenian Genocide. Written by a representative of a neutral state, they cannot be denounced by denialists aswartime propaganda. Furthermore, Wirsen’s work serves as yet another confirmation of the accounts provided by American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau.