Independence monitor. (Independence, Or.) 1912-19??, March 22, 1918, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

The appeal to America for relier for the outraged and starv
ing people of Armenia and Syria is, without exception, the most
heartrending and urgent of any that has come to us since the
war began.
We have been eager to do our part in giving for the welfare
of our sons and brothers in the army, knowing that our best is
but a beggarly sacrifice by comparison to theirs.
The appeal from Belgium is heartrending, as we know be
cause we have learned about it from reliable sources.
The situation in Armenia and Syria is worse, appallingly
worse, by every comparison, and our information cannot be
Relief work devolves largely on American agencies and is be
ing carried on with scrupulous conscience in every detail, but is
pitiably insufficient.
It has been assigned to us to carry the appeal to the people
of Polk county. It must be done with the greatest possible
speed and must be met with the utmost generosity.
The Tragic Situation in Western Asia Calls for the Immediate
Response of the Samaritan Spirit of the World
Reports regarding the atrocities, deportations and suffering!
among the peoples of Western Asia have been so terrible as almost
to challenge belief. They do stagger theimagination of those who
were not eye witnesses.
Personal testimony of many who lived through the earlier period
and information furnished by American Ambassadors, Consuls, teach
ers, physicians, missionaries and business men who hare recently
returned from Turkey to America confirm the worst. Documentary
evidence of an overwhelming character is also abundant.
At a history making conference held recently in New York
and participated in by 139 representatives of the above classes
the very people who know most about actual conditions in the
afflicted territory the following statement were unanimously
agreed to as well within the facts:
At least 1,000,000 Armenians and Syrians in Turkey have per
ished during the past two years from massacre, deportation, ex
posure, starvation, disease.
Over 2,000,000 are now homeless and in dire distress.
Thousands of Greeks deported from the sea coast of Asia Minor
are now in danger of starvation.
Four hundred thousand of those In need are orphans.. Little
children scarcely able to feed themselves live absolutely alone in
deserted homes. Seventy-five thousand children under 12 years of
age are starving in Syria and the Lebanon district alone.
Sufferers in the Lebanon district recently were dying at the rate
of 1,000 a day
Five hundred thousand refugees have fled the Turkish dominions
and in their temporary homes cry for help.
Relief Is wisely and economically administered by absolutely
reliable agents, but is pitiably insufficient.
Every dollar contributed goes for relief, none for expenses.
The RED CROSS Is Assisting to the Utmost of Its Ability. Every Humanitarian
Agency in Christendom Indorses This Appeal
President Wilson Urges Help v
In an appeal to the American People in which he
urges further contributions to the relief of these
stricken people, President Wilson says : "Reports indi
cate that of orphans alone there are more than 400,000,
besides women and other dependent children, reaching
a total of more than 2,000,000 destitute survivors. The
situation is so distressing as to make a special appeal to
the sympathies of all."
From Former Ambassador Oscar Strauss
"I am impressed with the increasing need as the
winter comes on. The cold is severe through all the
region of Asiatic Turkey north of Syria and if these
refugees are not aided by relief from America many
more will perish."
From Consul Leslie A. Davis
"I believe there is no place in the world where there
is greater and more urgent need of relief at the present
time than among the surviving Christian population in
the Turkish Empire.
"I speak from a personal knowledge of the situation,
as during the past three years I have been located at
Ilarpoot, and there was brought into close contact with
the distress and misery of thousands of homeless and
destitute women and children who are absolutely de
pendent upon charity for their subsistence.
"It is to be borne in mind that very few of these
people have any way of earning money, as owing to the
existing conditions there is no work to be obtained.
"The majority of these unfortunate women and
children are now in such a wretched and helpless con
dition that they cannot long survive if help is not re
ceived. Many did die last winter for lack of food.
Present conditions are more critical than ever.
"Arrangements have been made by which funds cau
continue to be sent there without any risk of loss."
From First Secretary Tarler
"There is no question as to the extreme need. The
distress among the stricken people is beyond any power
of words to describe. The American public can have
absolute confidence that every dollar irivon is wisely
and effectively used for the saving of life."
From Consul Recently Returned from Aleppo
, "The only thing the matter with your statement is
that it is not strong enough. The urgency of the de
mands are far beyond estimation The 120,000 or so
dependent persons in Aleppo and vicinity have no other
resource for bread, and once the relief stops these peo
ple will disappear from the face of the earth. Disease
is rife even among the permanent inhabitants, irre
spective of race or religion, and the deported Chris
tians will bo in an absolutely hopeless conditon with
out tho funds that have been and must continue to be
sent to them.
The local relief distributing committee in Aleppo is
very trustworthy and all funds forwarded there go to
reliable men who nro intensely interested in tho work
in every particular."
Many other consuls, ambassadors and travelers,
speaking from personal knowledge, add their testi
mony to the great need and to the safety and integrity
of the handling of relief work and funds.
Child's Pitiful Appeal
"America did not realize the hunger that
existed in some parts of Turkey. I can
best illustrate it by telling you about a
little boy who was brought to one of the
hospitals. His condition was such that he
could not eat solid food, but he cried for
a piece of bread. When the physicians told
him he couldn't eat bread he said he didn't
want to eat it, he just wanted to put it
under his pillow so that he could feel that
food was near."
Men Devour Melon Rind
Perhaps a faint conception of the terrible
hunger experienced by thousands may be
gained from this little incident told by one
of the returning consuls: "I was eating a
piece of melon," he said, "and was paying
little attention to the people around me. I
tossed aside the rind when instantly a man
pounced upon it like a hungry wolf. lie
chewed on it for a few moments and then
he in turn tossed it aside. Another man
who had been watching him with the eyes
of a hawk picked it up and devoured the
Children Eat Dead Camel and Pick
Grains from Dung of Animals in
An American doctor coming down the
mountain side from the Lebanon noticed
in the distance a throng of children and
wondered why so many were gathered in
one place. Upon coming near he discovered
that a camel had died by the roadside and
these famished children were, in despera
tion picking the last shreds of flesh from
the skeleton of the fallen beast. Children
eagerly picking grains from the dung of
animals in the street have become a com
mon sight.
American Women Compelled to Deny
Appeals of Children
Tender-hearted American women have
been compelled to steel themselves against
the sight of children in the street dying for
lack of food to pass by without helping,
having no resources to warrant adding one
more to the number already being fed.
Missionaries Select Which Must
A hard task is assigned the missionaries,
that of practically signing the death sent
ence of children. For example, in one case
there were 430 children with funds suffi
cient for only seventy. The missionaries
were forced to Belect the seventy and say
no to the equally or possibly more destitute
"I'm Hungry! I'm Hungry!"
So far as Syria is concerned Beirut, Pal
istine and the Lebanon have suffered most.
Many villages have become depopulated.
An American passing through a village last
summer saw only one house open. The
people had either migrated or perished. In
one doorway sat a little girl, apparently
alone in the world. She kept saying over
and over, "I'm hungry ! I'm hungry 1" The
children in all the villages look like old
men and women.
Children Eat Grape Vines and Leaves
In Aleith no grapes are expected because
the children have eaten the shoots and
young leaves. The mulberry orchards were
planted with wheat but in many cases
children have plucked the wheat to eat the
seeds clinging to the roots.
Generosity of Americans
Those who have survived so far have
been kept alive through tho generosity of
Americans. All money sent from America
is received and the distribution of food is
effective. In the coming winter the condi
tions will become harder than ever, and
very few will survive unless adequate, reg
ular contributions are sent.
What an American Saw
An American consular agent reports that
in his daily walk from his house to the con
sulate he counted as many as twelve bodies
of persons who had died of starvation the
preceding night. Fifty-five per cent of the
population of the Lebanon are reported
dead from starvation, mal nutrition and re
sultant disease.
The scenes are indescribable. They can
never be blotted from my memory. I stood
beside a trench which was the grave of
2,000 victims. They, too, all surrendered
their arms upon implicit promises that they
would then be spared. The moment they
became defenseless they were compelled at
the point of the bayonet to dig the trench,
into which they were forced and then
hacked to pieces. Soldiers boasted of their
work with axes, as being more economical
than expensive cartridges!
Thousands of Christians have been driv
en from their homes in the mountains of
Armenia by the Kurds. To prevent their
return, if by chance any survive the depor
tation, the Kurds have destroyed all their
hoines, even burning up the doors and win
dows, with their frames. All the fruit and
nut trees and the vineyards were de
stroyed ; and to make sure that there
would be no wood for rebuilding, the
trees were cut into lengths too short
for boards. Even the terraces that held
the field on the mountain sides were brok
en down. The work of eenturies of paticn
labor by a long suffering people has been
completely overthrown.
flreat as is the tragedy of massacre, a
greater tragedy was the forced deporta
tions, 100,000 women and children from
one district alone. It is terrible to contem
plate their fate after the war. The nations
should provide means for searching out
and restoring any survivors to their homes
and loved ones.
The facts terrible, gripping, heartbreaking facts are here. The cry of anguish sobs through
them from beginning to end. Let the utmost measure of devotion be swift and sure.
Do not wait to be seen and asked to give. Do it now. The campaign must be carried to every
heart and home, but you help carry it and thus make the work mutual
Every cent contributed goes wholly to relief work. All expenses are met by special contribu
tions given expressly for that purpose.
Make all checks payable to BES SELLING, and send to MRS. WINNIE BRADEN, Dallas, Oregon.
W. V. FULLER, Chairman