Assimilating Armenians, 1915–1917

  • Hilmar KaiserEmail author


The Ottoman government targeted the empire’s Armenian communities with a series of policies aimed at destroying the population. In the process perpetrators annihilated about eighty percent of the victims. For a variety of reasons, some Armenians were able to stay behind as the authorities deemed their qualifications indispensable. Others, mostly Protestants and Catholics, remained behind for political reasons. Yet, almost all of those who escaped deportation had to become at least officially Muslim. Still, the authorities continued treating these converts as Armenians showing that their motives were not religious but political. Once deportations had started, Ottoman authorities had to cope with a large number of abandoned or abducted Armenian children. The assistance rendered was, however, insignificant. Few Armenian children received any form of government support. In general, Ottoman government policies became reactive following the initial deportation orders. Detailed prior planning had been absent and hastily adopted improvised measures became contentious issues. The ruling Committee of Union and Progress was by no means united about policies with a more moderate faction offering determined resistance. While in other areas almost all deportees were massacred, a large number of Armenian deportees was able to survive within the region under the control of the Ottoman Fourth Army.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WiesbadenDeutschland

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