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AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY: INFORMATION GAPS
Категория: Айоц Ашхар | Новость от: admin | 08.02.2007, 00:32

Keeping the USA out of WWI was among the strategic priorities of the Germano-Turkish block. In 1916, this practically amounted to securing Wilson's victory at the Presidential elections of November 1916, for Wilson campaigned under the slogan of American neutrality. In February 1916 Lord Bryce's REPORT was published in England. Although the REPORT was based on material submitted by US consular and missionary eyewitnesses of Turkish atrocities against the Armenians, its publication in the USA did not occur before the November 1916 Presidential elections. The effect of that publication on American public opinion was enormous: had the REPORT been published before the elections, it could have rendered any neutrality propaganda useless, dooming Wilson to failure. That delay indicates that during 1915-1916, in the USA the information as regards the Armenian Genocide of 1915 was subject to manipulation. Parts of it could be totally hidden from the public (example: SLAUGHTERHOUSE PROVINCE by WWI US consul in Turkey L. Davis remained hidden in US State Department archives for decades). Some taboos surrounding the Armenian Genocide of 1915 live even today, and slow progresg in the matter of International recognition of the Armenian Genocide can be attributed to them. But how to find something hidden so careful? Concentration on information gaps in relevant historical writings may give certain chances for a clue.
Below under scrutiny are the information gaps in the old classic "AMBASSADOR MORGEN¬THAU'S STORY" (STORY for short). The first gap is uncovered by juxtaposition with the articles [1] and [2] by Barbara W. Tuchman and Morgenthau III, Ambassador's granddaughter and grand¬son. Both articles treat the same episode from Morgenthau's Ambassadorial activity during his office at Constantinople. As B.Tuchman puts it, in 1915 Ambassador Morgenthau" performed a "historical" task of saving the Jewish colony of Palestine from "starvation and probable extinction" via expulsion. Participation of US battleships indicates that the operation had the backing of US government up to Presidential level. If measured simply in terms of time^ and energy spent, that task would rank as the first among Ambassador's accomplishments. The episode was extremely fit for representation in a book, where repressions against peoples (Armenians, Greeks, Serbs) are one of the main themes. And yet the STORY remains totally silent about it.
Another similarly important information gap is revealed by an article from the collection [3]: it refers to the plans of evacuation of half a million Armenian deportation victims, still alive in September 1915, from Turkey to USA. Ambassador Morgenthau was the main force behind those plans, which initially found approval of the US government. Here again the STORY keeps total silence.
Some indisputable archival facts described in [4] point at the third gap: silence about the delivery of consular and missionary testimonies on Armenian deportations and massacres of 1915, which had been in Morgenthau's possession before his departure from Turkey, to England's Lord Bryce and Arnold Toynbee. Publication of these documents in England instead of USA, at least for a time seriously harmed the credibility of the documents: in 1916, unlike America, England was deep in the war, and often used what was later on called the "wartime propaganda".
Before and during WWl H.Morgenthau was among the first political figures in the Democratic Party and around President Wilson, he actively campaigned for Wilson in 1912 and' 1916 Presidential elections. Therefore the motivations of the mentioned gaps should be looked for at the highest political echelons. The article explains the cover-ups by the desire to conceal certain maneuvers of US foreign policy, aimed at ensuring Wilson's victory in 1916. Written in the form of a reportage from the pages of relevant books and other (often INTERNET) sources, the article rises questions, whose study may shed new light on the present day attempts to deny the Armenian Genocide.
US WARSHIPS VISITING PALESTINE
"AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY" (STORY for short), authored by Henry Mor-genthau, American Ambassador at Constantinople from 1913 to 1916, was published by "THE WORLDS WORK" in 1918. It appeared in the largest American newspapers and was released by DOUBLEDAY. In the years that followed the book became almost a best seller, it was read and discussed even decades later. Describing the Ambassador's life in Constantinople often in great detail, the book remains one of the important documents concerning the Armenian Genocide. And yet some of Morgenthau's Ambassadorial activities of extreme scale remained totally outside the scope of the STORY. We begin with the episode of the Palestine Jews, totally bypassed by Morgenthau in the STORY but disclosed by B.W. Tuchman in [1] and again discussed by Mor-genthau III in [2]. In B.W. Tuchman's words "the incident remains virtually unknown except to a few investigators; but it was of decisive and immense historical importance".
By 1908, when Sultan Abdul Hamid II's rule collapsed, the Jewish population of Palestine had risen to 80.000, .three times the number in 1882, when the first entree restrictions were imposed (fpr;;1914 B.W.Tuchman gives the number 100.000). This happened despite the presence of a series of restrictions devised by the Ottomans, formally banning Jewish political settlement in Palestine. That official policy is explained by the Arab factor: from the start the Arabs were against Jewish colonization of Palestine as they are today, and the Sultan was playing loyalty to his Arab subjects. (Recall that some decades later, after WWI, the Arab'factor forced Britain to limit Jewish emigration into Palestine. The result was Jewish extremist terror against British forces in that area.) The slackly implementation- of the anti-Zionist laws indicates at least, that they were not based on racial or ethnic bias of the Turk administration. In that connection we recall the famous telegram the Filth Zionist Congress sent to Abdul Hamid in 1901, expressing "dedication and gratitude which all the Jews feel regarding the benevolence which his Highness the Sultan has always shown them". The actual administrative climate in Palestine was more pro-Jewish than pro-Arab, but with the; beginning of WWI, Arab separatism became a feal danger for the Empire. The regime felt that in order to keep Arabs loyal, the policy towards Palestine Jews should become more tigorous. Something spectacular had to be done to compensate the Arabs for 30 years of neglect of the existing laws. The articles of B.W.Tuchman and Morgenthau HI testify that the Turks have conceived expulsion of the Jewish settlers from Palestine.
From Morgenthau III, [2J: " Ironically, Ambassador Morgenthau was much more effective in res¬cuing Jews than Armenians. As an outspoken anti-Zionist he was frequently savaged by prominent Zionists such as Chaim Weizmann and Felix Frankfurter. Yet even before the Armenian genocide began, Morgenthau was by no means alone in warning the Zionists that their actions were spurring the Turks to destroy the Yishuv [Palestinian] Jews. Immediately after the outbreak of the WWI Morgenthau... appealed to American Jewish leaders for aid. In September 1914, fifty thousand dollars in gold was collected and delivered to Jaffa harbor on board the battle cruiser USS North Carolina. The prompt appearance of US naval might was an* eve.n more impressive deterrent to the Turks than the gold.
[In March 1915] Ambassador Morgenthau made arrangements through his friend Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, to have the USS Tennessee evacuate a number of Jews' from Palestine to refugee camps in Alexandria, Egypt. Among them were David Ben Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi (destined to be Israel's second president).... On arriving in Alexandria [Ben Gurion] was jailed ... by the British, and then evacuated to New York, ... thanks to intervention of Ambassador Morgenthau."
From B.W. Tuchman [1]: "The initial relief of course, far from solved the problem, which, as soon
as Turks entered the war in November 1914, became grave. About half the Jewish population in
Palestine ...were Russian by nationality and had preferred to remain stateless rather than become
Ottoman subjects. They were subject to treatment by the Turks as enemy aliens... Expulsion and
even massacre became imminent threats, involving the American ambassador in unceasing efforts
to mitigate harsh and capricious measures of the Turks... . • {*■
Six thousand Jews expelled from Jaffa were carried by the USS Tennessee...to Egypt, where the British permitted their entry. Later, the USS Vulcan carried food supplies ... At first gold bullion was shipped directly from Egypt, on US warships, but when the Allies closed down this entry, Morgenthau resorted to sending the funds by mail from Constantinople...By these measures the nucleus of the future state of Israel survived."
There is a discrepancy in the versions of Morgenthau III and B.W.Tuchman as regards the route
the initial relief ($ 50.000) reached Palestine: B.W.Tuchman does not mention the USS North
Carolina. She writes in [1] that "the funds were wired to Constantinople, converted to gold and
carried in a suitcase by Morgenthau's son-in-law, Maurice Wertheim, my father". To settle this,
one has to admit that the battle cruiser was visiting Constantinople or Smyrna say, where she
took Mr. Wertheim on board. . '
Both authors cited above give no hint а,ч regards the domain within the Ottoman Empire destined to accept the Palestine Jews, and this naturally provokes conjectures. In spring of 1915 Con¬stantinople was simultaneously contemplating two expulsion projects: of Jews from Palestine and of Armenians from Western (Turkish) Armenia. In the political thinking of Turkish leaders, the two ethnic elements were in a sense antipodal: the Armenians were strongly pro-Russian, (this remains until to-day an olJicial Turkish excuse for the 1915 actions against Armenians) while the Palestine Jews were strongly anti-Russian. As regards the latter group, B.W.Tuchman writes: "about half the Jewish population in Palestine, including most of the new colonists" .came from Russia, "whose pogroms they had fled". From the viewpoint of the Turkish military with their centuries-old orientation against the Russian enemy, it was optimal to send Palestine Jews to Western Armenia, after the latter became free from Armenian population (note that a portion of Armenians was sent to Palestine). This conclusion is confirmed by Yair Auron, who in his book [5] about Zionism and Armenian Genocide mentions several times, that the Jews of Palestine lived under the "threat" of expulsion to the East-Anatolian provinces of Turkey.
The very short passage in [5] reflecting the events described by B.W. Tuchmanand Morgenthau III
reads as follows: "When the war broke out, the Turkish authorities issued an order for the expulsion
of all enemy nationals. The Yishuv WHS stunned; some 50,000 Russian nationals were ordered to
leave immediately on neutral ships. Although some of them obeyed the order, the overwhelming
majority requested permission to stay. Thanks to the efforts of Henry Morgenthau, the American
ambassador in Constantinople and himself a Jew, and others, enemy nationals were given a choice:
to leave the country or to become Ottoman. A movement to encourage " Ottomanization" was
created with the encouragement of the leadership of the Yishuv but encountered difficulties when
it was discovered that the naturalization tax was forbiddingly high. After further intercession,
the tax was reduced and when army conscription began, the government decided to defer the
enlistment of the new "Ottomans" for one year." This contradicts the statement by Tuchman
that Russian nationals "preferred to remain stateless rather than become Ottoman subjects" and
reveals additional details: initially the internal (within Ottoman empire) relocation was planned
solely for settlers who. already possessed Ottoman status; most Russian nationals preferred to
share, the pending relocation with settlers who possessed Ottoman status rather then to go to
camps in Egypt. .
TURKO- GERMAN LOBBY IN AMERICA
In 1915 Turkey was politically enslaved by Germany, and any decision of scale by Turkey without
German approval was unthinkable. Probably, the Turkish rulers had the German OK for the
relocation of the Palestine Jews because, this, fitted German plans for domination in Near East.
We cite [18] from a document by German Chancellor (Bethrnann-Hollweg) of November 1915,
directed to German Consulates in Palestine, saying that German Government looked favorably
on "Jewish activities designed to promote the economic and cultural progress of the Jews in
Turkey, and also on the immigration and settlement of Jews from other countries." Sounding like
Balfour's, but with no mention of Palestine, this declaration confirms that Germany considered
Jewish immigration as instrumental for her purposes in the Near East. '
From the American side, the figure of Edward Mandell House (Colonel House) deserves greatest attention. In the US Government; he had no official position, so BRITANNICA defined him as president Wilson's "most trusted adviser". Writes BRITANNICA: "After the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914, House became Wilson's principal representative to the governments of Great Britain, France, and Germany. He visited those nations in 1915 and again in 1916 to explore the possibility of mediation by the United States." He was so important, that (BRITANNICA) "when Germany requested a discussion of peace terms (October 1918), House represented the United States at the Inter-Allied conference, where he persuaded the Allied leaders to accept the Fourteen points as the basis for a peace treaty. House...worked closely with Wilson in the drafting of the covenant of the League of Nations".
According to G.S. Viereck [17], in the White House the nickname of Colonel House was "Tabriz". We read in [17]: "House proposed Henry Morgenthau as Ambassador to Turkey. Wilson, mindful of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire by the Balkan League in the war of 1912 jokingly retorted: "There ain't going to be no Turkey." "Then," House replied in the same vein of levity, "let him go look for it."" Wilson's biographer J.W.S. Nordholt writes [8] : "House ...came up with a proposal to give Germany a zone of influence in Asia Minor and Persia, and he continued to hold stubbornly to this fantastic notion. In May 1914 he went to Berlin, where he was given a friendly reception [and] received an audience with Emperor...[House] wrote to Wilson: "I have been as successful as I anticipated"".
In spring 1915, the mentioned notion of "Tabriz" about Asia Minor and Persia did not appear fantastic at all; on the contrary, it wns very near to realization. Indeed, against evacuation of Belgium and France (doubtless, necessary conditions of any peace deal) the Germans expected to receive compensations in that part of Asia. In 1915 both US and Germany had common position as regards integrity of the Ottoman Empire, which was opposite to that of Entente, who fought for«dismembernient of that Empire. A search for further points of contact between Germany and USA soon discloses Oscar S.. Straus, US Ambassador to Turkey 1909-1910 and his project of establishment of national Jewish homeland in Iraq (INTERNET). "Tabriz" could be under the influence of that idea, so congenial to Bethmann-Holweg.
US Ambassador in Germany, James W.Gerard in his book [9] told a story demonstrating House's control of Woodrow Wilson. In February 1915 representatives from the German Government contacted Gerard and'a-sked him to tell President Wilson that they wanted to stop the war. Ambassador Gerard sent President Wilson a message, but the answer came from Colonel House, telling that henceforth all communications with President Wilson were to be sent through him. "All authority therefore bad been vested to Colonel House...the President ceased to be even a conduit of communications."
House gained his extraordinary influence during Wilson's Presidential campaign of 1912 where he had a chance to collaborate; with II. Morgenthau. According to B.W. Tuchman [1], her grandfather was one of the largest individual contributors and undertook (1912) the chairmanship of the Democratic Finance Committee. She also notes that Morgenthau hoped to get a cabinet post as Secretary of Treasury. Yet he wa.s persuaded to take ambassadorship to Turkey by some people who anticipated great events over Palestine, probably the same people who later on lobbied US warships operations in Palestine waters. B.W. Tuchinan starts her article [1] remarking that Morgenthau believed Jewish statehood in Palestine to be a ""stupendous fallacy" and "blackest error"". This probably means that Morgenthau, an "outspoken anti-Zionist" [2] shared the ideas of his predecessor Oscar S. Straus. Finally, as stated in [19], the Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels who sent the USS Tennessee to evacuate 6000 from Palestine was also a key figure in Wilson's Presidential campaign of 1912
In the midst of deepening world crisis, the relations between the USA and Turkey in 1915 remained stable (describing the farewell audience with Sultan in the STORY, Morgenthau calls them "pleas¬ant"). In fact USA did not declare war on Turkey even after the declaration of war on Germany in 1917. So there is no real ground to interpret the appearance of US warships as deterrent to the Turks. We recall that March 1915 was the month when the British and French undertook the operation in the Dardanells, but even their great naval force did not "deter" Turks from the deportation of Armenians. Truly, that US naval activity looks more like a series of amity visits. The delivery of gold had the approval of the Turkish leadership, for Ambassador Morgenthau was sending funds from Constantinople, i.e. under Government control. According to prevailing Ottoman morale, this approval could only mean, that the Government was sure the gold would soon come in its possession: either in the form of bribes to officialdom paid by the Jews at the new resettlement zone, or as a price for the property offered by the State to the settlers. From that point of view too, the optimal zone of resettlement could be Western Armenia, where the Turkish State, planned to inherit the property of the, banished Armenians.
The concept that the Jews of Palestine were under threat, of hunger contradicts the above descrip¬tion of the events by Yair A\iron (hunger is stronger than any political preferences). Even if we assume the reality of that threat, the concept that the gold was intended merely to prevent hunger leaves without answer the question: why make things infinitely more complicated by giving them a political-dimension, i.e. sending 6.000 to Egypt, a country essentially at war with Turkey? If the gold was intended to prevent the deportation, it would have better remained in Constantinople to be used for bribing the Turkish rulers. So probably the gold was intended mainly to assist Palestine Jews in their pending migration. The fact is that the absolute majority of the colonists eligible to evacuation to Egypt preferred to stay. At that moment they chose a future in the new resettlement zone away from Arabs, within Ottoman Empire but under the German protection. Arrival of American gold a.nd the personal attitude of the American Ambassador was welcome yet the main guarantee lied in good relations with Turkish administration and the sure perspectives of German postwar domination in the Near East, as they appeared in 1915; after Gallipoli and Gorlitze. We recall in this connection that in 1922, after the capture of Izmir, Kemal Ataturk said [11]: "OF ALL THE ETHNIC MILLETS THE JEWS ELECTED TO REMAIN LOYAL TO THEIR MOTHERLAND".
Neither B.Tuchman in [1] nor Morgenthau III in [2] tried to explain the 60 years of taboo around that subject, valid even within Israel. As we saw above, mere mentioning of the planned deporta¬tion raises the question of its destination, and so implies a connection with Armenian Genocide. But this could hardly doom the episode to a, taboo, if no other side apart from the Turkish rulers and the German Big Brother was actually involved: on the contrary, acknowledging of an ad¬ditional evil intention on their part could essentially enrich the anti-German and anti-Turkish rhetorics that saturates the book. More plausibly, the taboo was imposed for.a twofold reason: to hide both the participation of the Wilson administration and the political orientation of the Jewish colonists expressed in that episode. That orientation contradicted the postulates of the Zionist leaders in the USA whose influence greatly increased in the concluding years of WWI.
GERMANY AND POLISH JEWS
Speaking about early years of the Young Turk regime, says Morgenthau in the STORY: "Ar¬menian leaders...believed that constitutional Turkey wa«s possible. They were conscious of their own intellectual and industrial superiority to the Tiirks, and knew that they could prosper in the Ottoman Empire if left alone, whereas, under European control, they would have greater difficulty in meeting the competition of the more rigorous European colonists who might come in." The STORY confirms that " European colonists" refers to colonists to be sent by Germany in the fol¬lowing words of Wangenheiin, the German Ambassador at Constantinople in 1915 directed to H. Morgenthau: "The Armenians have shown themselves in this war to be enemies of the Turks. It is quite apparent that the two peoples can never live together in the same country. The Americans should move some of them to the United States, and we Germans will send some to Poland and in their place send Jewish Poles to the Armenian provinces."
Before WWI, the concepts of a Russian Jew and of a Polish Jew were almost identical: most Polish Jews were Russian subjects. By the spring of 1915 Germany has occupied Russian Poland and was in a position to send "Jewish Poles to the Armenian provinces". Since most Palestine Jewjs came from pre-WWI Russian Poland, .their re]o.catipnbyrTurks was.probably considered by Germany as a first step in her larger scheme. The first half of,20-th Century has seen many plans (and realizations) of deportations of peoples. Against that landscape, the German plan of 1915 for Jewish Poles looks rather ordinary. It is totally dwarfed, say, by the WWII Morgenthau plan (forced conversion of Germany to an agricultural country implied resettlement or starvation of many millions of Germans). That plan was approved by President Roosvelt, his author was Roosvelt's finance minister Morgenthau-II, Ambassador's son.
Did the words of Wangonheim reflect real German plans or just Wangenheim's own personal interpretation of Bethmann-Holwog's ideas? In the episodes where the STORY could suitably clarify this, the text is always eva.sive, as in the following example.
H.Morgenthau left his office at Constantinople in February 1916. On his return route to New York, US Ambassador James W. Gerard in Berlin arranged for him to meet with'Zimmermann and Jagow, the first two figures in (lie: Germany's foreign policy at that period. Writes Morgenthau: "Zimmerman...told me'how splendidly the Jews had behaved in Germany during the war and how deeply under obligations the Germans felt to them. "After the war" he said, "they are going to be much better treated in Geraiiiny titan they have been"". That conversation brings Morgenthau to the final conclusion that "Wangenheim had really represented the attitude of official Berlin", this being confirmed1 by Zimmerman, " the highest German authority". However, Morgenthau avoids saying directly, whether "the attitude of official Berlin" extends to the plans for "Jewish Poles" or not. .
After the phrase about Jewish Poles is pronounced by Wangenheim, the STORY never again returns to that topic. Among the articles contained in [3] only three touch colonization. One is the testimony of the Rev. A.N.Andrus, senior missionary at Mardin, Mesopotamia: "At first the Turkish Government objected to the German suggestions of the removal of the Armenians on the grounds that they were valuable as artisans and business men and necessary for the economic life of the country, but the Germans promised to supply men to take their places. Having persuaded the Turks, the Germans then left it to them to put the plan into effect." The other is in the answer given by LIVING AGE (Feb. 5, 191(i) to the question: what can be said about German complicity? We read: "the whole apparatus of trade, commerce and culture (in Turkey) had fallen into the hands of Armenians, and the elimination of a million of them would leave a gap specially suited to the kind of German immigration which most feels the pressure of population at home, and most desires opportunity for expansion abroad. More then this at present we cannot say." The "pressure of population" clearly hints at antiseinitism. On October 8, 1915 The New York Times citing the London Times, wrote: "Attempts of the American Ambassador to procure some alleviation of the lot of the Armenians has thus far proved unsuccessful. Mr. Morgenthau, in the opinion of good observers, has vested too much diplomatic energy on behalf of the Zionists of Palestine, who were in no danger of massacre, to have any force to spare. ... German and Austro-Hungarian residents in Turkey at first approved of the punishment of Armenian traitors, but the methods of the Turkish extremists have sickened even Prussian stomachs.<-True-the Jewish Baron von Oppenheim, now in Syria, has been preaching massacre, and German consular officials have followed suit perhaps with the idea, of planting German colonists in the void left by the disappearance of Armenians when the wax was over, but the German government has grown nervous...".
More on these plans can be found beyond the literature treating Armenian Genocide. The article "A HISTORICAL SURVEY OF PROPOSALS TO TRANSFER ARABS FROM PALESTINE, 1895-1977"" by Rabbi Dr. Chaiin Simons (in INTER.NET) mentions the plans for "Jewish Poles" explicitly. We cite from a. section devoted to former US President HERBERT HOOVER plan proposed November 1945 in NEW YORK WORLD TELEGRAM. Writes C.Simons: "In 1909, Sir William Willcox, an eminent British Engineer and adviser of Ottoman Ministry of Public Works, put forward a proposal to restore the old irrigation system of Iraq ... However only part of Willcocks plan was executed by the British engineering firm of Sir John Jackson Ltd. between 1911 and 1913." C.Simons reproduces the words of Hoover: "Some years ago it was proposed that this area should be developed for .settlement for Jewish refugees. This did not however, satisfy the Jewish desire for homeland", and comments on these words: "The plan referred to by Hoover was possibly that proposed about half a eeutury eailicr, when it had been suggested that twenty miles of each side of the Baghdad railway should be handed over to Jews from Russia and Poland."
Realization of German plans as expressed by Wangenhehn, in the part that referred to emigra¬tion of Armenians to America necessarily required cooperation of the US Embassy in Turkey. Was H.Morgenthau cooperative in that matter? On October 2, 1915 wrote Chicago Daily News: ""Since May" said the Ambassador Morgenthau "350,000 Armenians have been slaughtered or have died of starvation. There are 550.000 Armenians who could now be sent to America, and we need help to save them. Perhaps $5,000,000 will be necessary. I should like to see each of the Western States raise a fund to equip a ship to bring the number of settlers it wants. The Armenians ... would make good citizens to settle the less thickly populated parts of the Western States..." Enver Pasha, the minister of War, and Talaat Bey, Minister of the Interior, accepted the offer, and September 3 the Ambassador asked the Government at Washington to appoint a committee of five Americans, whom he recommended, to take charge of the great undertaking."
The STORY keeps total silence about the September 1У15 evacuation plans (and their failure). Describing his last conversation with Wangenheim (in October 11)15, not long before Wangenheim's death that followed on October 24), says Morgenth.au: "Wangenheim again suggested that the Armenians be taken-to the United States, and once more I gave him the reasons why this would be impracticable". Probably this abrupt change reflected some political decision made by that time in USA (see the Lust section).
THE TERRITORIALISTS . •
The idea to resettle Jews beyond Palestine was by no means new in 1915.
In tHe time of Theodor Herzl, the Father of Zionism, the Sultan in Turkey was Abdul Hamid II,
who attempted to exterminate Armenians in 1895 and 1896. A typical book on the history of
Zionism [6] reveals the following facts from Herzl's life:
1898, 18 October: Meeting with Kaiser Wilhelm II in Constantinople
1898, 2 November: Reception by Kaiser Wilhelm II in Jerusalem of a Zionist Delegation
headed by Herzl.
1901, 18 May: Meeting with Abdul Hamid II,
1902, February: Negotiations in Constantinople: promise of a Charter, albeit not for Palestine
On the latter two events [(>] comments "Herzl's hopes now concentrated upon negotiations with
Turkey. After he was accepted May 18 by Sultan he was sure he was "on the brink of the Charter".
By his second audience in February li)l)2 Sultan olfcred a solution without Palestine, that Herzl
declined." So, the; book faiis to indicate to which part of Turkey outside Palestine the Sultan's
proposal referred. The silence about geographical bounds of the Sultan's February 1902 plan is
shared by [7], where that episode is presented as follows: Herzl "saw many people in Turkey,
among them the Sultan's grand,vizier, but then and later, the Sultan refused any grant of land in
Palestine, although he told Herzl that he would not be opposed to mass immigration of the-Jews into Turkey itself, where IK; would grant them a soli-governing area". Again, the intended location of the "self-governing area" is kept secret.
After Herzl's death in 1904, a "Territorialist" faction came into being within the Jewish movement. That faction' removed the postulate of Palestine and put forward the purpose of massive Jewish immigration to any suitable territory. Eventually Zangwill became the movement's undisputed leader. The Territorialists had considered a dozen candidate countries (Russia among them, under condition of Jewish- self-government). The INTERNET biographies of Zangwill mention that before the WWI, a Territorialist expedition was sent to Mesopotamia. Together with the remark by Rabbi Dr. Chaim Simons, this hints where to look for Abdul Hamid's Promised Land. The expedition included archaeological studies conducted in 1911-1913 by German diplomat Baron von Oppenheim. R.emarkably, attempts of restoration of old irrigation system in the same region by a British engineering firm fall on the same years. The North-Western part of Mesopotamia merges with Turkish Armenia and has the; historical name of "Mesopotamia of the Armenians". Before World-War I it possessed considerable Armenian population. The symbol of German imperialist aspirations, the Baghdad railroad ROCS through that area, which after 1918 was occupied by Prance but in 1921 (under Miller;md) shared.the fate of Kars: the latter region was surrendered by Tjotski to Talaat at Brest-Litoysk, and that surrender was confirmed in 1921. At the-end of WWII Stalin tried to annex Kars region, but wa.s deterred by the Americans, who established military air bases in former French zone. Today, the US air ba.se; near Diarbekir looks like a triumph of Abdul Hamid's old idea to plant a strong foreign power in that region.
On the German side, the Territorialists list may start with already twice mentioned above Max von Oppenheim. The STORY tolls: "A certain Baron Oppenheim travelled all over Turkey... Ostensibly7 he was an archaeologist, while-in reajityrhe opened offices everywhere from which.
issued streams of slander against the Ententev.the.-Kaiser-suddenlyvbecame.^jB^ji^W^6^".^ the great protector of Islam." Probably, when needed, the offices could assume a more practical function of offering support to the incoming settlers.
Official INTER.NET biographies of many politicians of Jewish Palestine contain an adjective "Ot-tomanist". Let us see what this can mean in the example of David Ben Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi, as presented by Morgenthau-III in [2]: "Both men were avidly pro-Turkish. Indeed Ben Gurion had tried to organize a Jewish corps in support of the Ottomans, but when his name appeared on a Zionist list he was jailed and charged with treason." (According to [2], Morgenthau interfered twice to free Ben Gurion: first from Turkish and then from British jails.) Ben Gurion and Ben-Zvi published a book projecting Israel within the framework of the Ottoman Empire. A citation from that book Ottoman rulers and official anti-Zionists, Enver and Talaat, both appear to be strong Territorialist supporters. In the pre-war years Enver spent much time among German strategists in Berlin, and even the Emperor himself cultivated a special relationship to him. A Turkish general Kazim Karabekir in his memoirs tells that Enver used to speak about settlement in Anatolia of "many Germans", in the areas vacated through Armenian deportations [10]. In 1918, after Mudros he and Talaat fled to Berlin, to be received by Karl Radek (Sobelson), a Comintern dignitary for Germany [12]. L.D.Trotski was a prominent friend of Talaat: both met at Brest-Litovsk in 1918. Talaat's body was reburied at Constantinople in 1943, the year Turkey opened doors for Jewish refugees from Southern Europe. Probably, Turkey could not find a better symbol to publicize that turn in her immigration policy.
Morgenthau's Diary and Letters contain [3] literally dozens of references to the close relationship which existed between Talaat, Morgenthau and the Grand Rabbi Haim Nahoum, leader of Ot¬toman Jewish communities. The latter personage is not at all mentioned in the STORY. This information gap provides basis for a conjecture that the friends had common position as regards relocation of Palestinian or general Polish Jews in Turkey.
The close ties between Grand Rabbi Haim Nahoum, Morgenthau and Talaat provokes a question about the attitude of Ottoman Jewish priesthood. Some idea about this can be gathered from [11]. In 1990, Rabbi Albert J. Amateau, the founder and honorary president of The American Society of Jewish Friends of Turkey, campaigning against recognition of the Armenian Genocide by US presented a sworn statement [11] to US Congress. Amateau was [13] a descendant of the Chief Rabbi of Palestine and had family ties with the Chief Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire (probably Haim Nahoum himself), and presumably he absorbed their political concepts. Now, [11] informs that "at no time did the Jews of Turkey nurse aspirations for political separation from their Ottoman saviors...", and contains an approval of Ottoman actions against allegedly less loyal Armenians. Remarkably, Rabbi Albert J. Ainateau declares that during WWII the author of THE FORTY DAYS OF MUSSA DAGIT renounced his masterpiece. We read in [11]? "Werfel confessed to me his shame and remorse for having written that story, in which he had blamed the Ottomans as the aggressors and terrorists". It is not clear, to what extent this position is shared by the official Israel; Yair Auron confesses [2], that he can not understand the reasons, why the State of Israel has consistently refrained from even acknowledging the genocide of the Armenian people. He goes so far a.s to blame US failure to acknowledge the Armenian genocide on Israeli pressure.
BEHIND THE "STORY" .
H.W. Lowry's booklet [.'>] contains many comments on the STORY based on original Morgenthau papers (Diary, Family Letters etc.) surviving in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.. The booklet's purpose was to put the Armenian Genocide under doubt presenting the STORY as a war propaganda book. This alone is-enough to raise doubts about the conclusions of H.W.Lowry himself: publication of the STORY was not yet, complete by the end of WWI. However, [3] is valuable if only as a review of archival materials, accessible via INTERNET and raising serious questions.
Among the facts disclosed in [3] that are sufficiently supported by documentary proof, the following three pertain to our topic:
1) The writing of the STORY was undertaken after Morgenthau received the personal blessing of
President Wilson. In a letter addressed to the President (November 26, 1917) Morgenthau pro¬
posed that he writes a book that would culminate at "the horrible massacre of helpless Armenians
and Syrians" of 1915 in Turkey. In his answer Wilson gave his approval, instructing Morgenthau
to give "a full exposition of some of the lines of German intrigue".
2) As the work progressed, US Secretary of State Robert Lansing read and commented upon every
chapter. Each time he returned the material supplied with remarks and suggestions for alterations
or omissions. Eventually, each chapter received the personal stamp of approval of the Secretary
of State. '
3) Morgenthau supplied his material on Armenian deportations and massacres of 1915 (i.e. the
"reports of the American missionaries and Consuls in Turkey) to England's Lord Bryce and Arnold
Toynbee. Publication of the materials first in England doubtless harmed their credibility by asso¬
ciation with war propaganda systematically conducted by the British. CURRENT HISTORY (of
The New York Times) started publication of Lord Bryce's "REPORT ON TURKISH ATROCI-
TIES..IN ARMENIA" containing Morgenthau's material as late as November 1916.
The services of Morgenthau to Wilson were not limited to 1912. We read in the STORY: "... An event was approaching in the United States...- the Presidential Campaign. I felt that there was nothing so important in international politics as the reelection of President Wilson. I could imagine no greater calamity, for the United States and the world, than that the American nation should fail to indorse heartily this great statesman. If I could substantially assist in Mr. Wilson's reelection, I concluded that I could better serve my country at home at this juncture." In the concluding section "Farewell interview with Enver and Talaat" goes ahead Morgenthau: ""I hear you are going home to spend a lot of money and reelect your President," said Talaat-this being a jocular reference to the fact that I was [for the second time] the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Democratic National Committee."
The above passage is essentially all that the STORY has to tell about the circumstances of Mor¬genthau's departure from office in Turkey in early 1916. The passage puts the responsibihty for that turn on a party decision to which Morgenthau willingly obeyed. Probably, that decision also took care in some way of the unfinished commitments of Morgenthau described in the previous sections, but due to taboos, the STORY does not elaborate. The fact of censorship over the STORY confirms that Morgenthau accepted a kind of party discipline, while Wilson's blessing looks in this light like an assignment to create a post-1917 party version of the events.
Among the forces outside Turkey, the STORY chooses to concentrate the blame for the Arme¬nian Genocide on Prussian militarism. So, the book begins with the chapter entitled "German Superman at Constantinople" reminiscent of Nietzsche and presenting Wangenheim as a perfect embodiment and implementer of the Prussian doctrine (the Prussian roots of Wangenheim are questionable, [10]). Other German personages have the same imprint. Pressing on a purely Prus¬sian interpretation of the "German intrigue" amounts to a taboo as regards any alternative. A typical citation from the STORY: Wangenheim "was the one man and his government was the one government that could have stopped ... the massacre of a nation..." Similar frequent incantations had to prevent the reader from asking a simple question: did America protest to Germany on behalf of the Armenians in 1915 ? (The answer is no.)
Any censorship (even by Lansing himself) sometimes fails to eliminate all traces of the taboo subjects, and there are such cases in the STORY. We cite: "In early autumn 1915, a Dr. Nossig arrived in Constantinople from Berlin. Dr. Nossig was a German Jew and came to Turkey evidently to work against the Zionists... he was a German political agent." Speaking "as one Jew to another", Nossig recommended to stop Ambassador's activity in the interest of Armenians. For a STORY reader unsuspicious about the taboos, all this remains a complete mystery. But if "to work against the Zionists" is interpreted as to work for resettling the Palestinian Jews, the things become much clearer. In particular Nossig's phra.se "all of us Jews are proud of what you have done" probably refers to the US warships episode, while Morgenthau's answer "I, a Jew, have been exerting all my powers to .save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Christians" probably refers to the plans of evacuation of Armenians to USA.
In another case, the "STORY mentions an article in WESTMINSTER GAZETTE which said that the German consuls at certain places in Turkey had instigated and even led the attacks on the Armenians. In this connection a German Embassy official (Neurath) informed Morgenthau that "his Government has directed him to obtain a denial of these charges from the American Am¬bassador at Constantinople". The phrase (dated October 1915) points at a degree of cooperation between German and US diplomatic services that existed at that phase. Although the STORY proudly tells, that Morgenthau declined that offer, the main proof of Morgenthau's cooperation with Germans remains: delivery to England of the material on Armenian massacres. We discuss this in the next section, in the framework of very special political situation in USA in 1916. ■ -
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF 1У16
The main slogan of the Democratic Presidential Campaign of 1916 was that Wilson will keep USA outside the war. That seemed convincing since Wilson had already kept USA outside the war for the preceding two years. The relations between USA and Germany are best illustrated by the tragic Lusitania episode. Recall that sinking of the Lusitauia by a German submarine occurred on May 7, 1915, and incurred the loss of 128 American lives. The US government sent notes of protest and started a. prolonged diplomatic pressure on Germany, even threatening to enter the War on the Entente side. But at first the Germans could reasonably think that all this was intended only ill for domestic consumption, to calm US public opinion: three days after the disaster, Wilson had declared [8] that America "is too proud to fight". USA was too wealthy and too unassailable to be made into an enemy, so German strategy was to support the Democrats. On May 4, 1916, after a visit of Colonel House, Germany promised to attack no more merchant ships. Citing J.W.S. Nordholt [8]: "The German promise called the "Sussex Pledge" was a striking victory for Wilson ... he had been able to preserve both national honor and peace. In the summer there were no more incidents. Nothing could be better in a year in which Presidential elections were coming up." We note that according to BRITANNICA, the first concession in the submarine warfare made by Germany dates back to September 18, 1915. To summarize, Wilson was reelected due to his peace promises plus increasing German support (without the bitter the promises could seem unrealistic). After Wilson's victory, in February 1917, Germany returned to submarine warfare.
The Near East was another area where Germany could support Wilson's campaign: we outline the probable model. Resettling of the Palestinian Jews could be interpreted by Zionist propagandists in USA as a disaster for which the Wilson administration has its share of responsibility (visits of US warships to Palestine). So the Democrats decided (probably in September 1915) that cleansing Palestine of Jews was no longer desirable. Germany demonstrated good will and gave orders to Turkey to postpone the relocation, and the Jews remained in Palestine. That postponement made the presence of Morgenthau in Turkey unnecessary, and simultaneously placed a red light for evacuation of Armenians to the USA. Instead, America decided to support them via the NEAR EAST RELIEF fund: arrival of half a, million of Armenian survivors of the*massacres could be effectively used for anti-Wilson propaganda as well. In order to save face for US foreign policy, the STORY had to keep a maximal zone of silence about all this. That silence extended to cover an attempt by Wilson to restore Morgenthau in Turkey in July 1917, which attempt was failed by the Zionists with participation of Weizmann, [18]. A few months later Balfour declaration followed.
Delivery by Morgenthau of his materials on Armenian deportations and massacres of 1915 to England instead of direct publication in the USA effectively excluded any interference of the Armenian tragedy with Wilson's forthcoming anti-war election'campaign. The Armenian card was temporarily kept back: the articles in Kloian sample [3] indicate a considerable drop of interest by US press in the Armenian events (lining the period from end 1915 to the Presidential elections. At that period, nothing comparable with the action of US State Department in the Lusitania case occurred in connection with the Armenian massacres in Turkey. An American missionary W.A.Shedd wrote in New York Times, February 18, 191(i: "...For our Government to make no public protest against a crime of such magnitude...is to miss an opportunity to serve humanity, if not to risk grave danger of dishonor on the name of America, and of lessening our right to speak of humanity and justice."
The publication by the Now York Times of Lord Bryce's REPORT based on Mergenthau's material followed in November 1916, the month of Presidential ejections. With a delay of one year, the Armenian card was played. The киоск in the American society produced by that publication silenced all peace propagandists. Now even such a. trifle as the Zimmerman telegram was enough to move America to war (April 2, 1917). Prodigies of finance and politics around Wilson, who conceived and implemented that н'шгр change could be guided by the perspectives of colossal prizes from stock market manipulations and tough state control over US war production, safely concentrated in their hands after Wilson's reelection. During the two war years (1917-1918), many around Wilson amassed fortunes measured in billions (the German press called Wilson the leader of billionaires). All this points at a deliberate deception of the public by Wilson's campaigners of 1916, as regards their real intentions in WWI. Imposition of taboos and censorship had to prevent that delicate secret from slipping into the STORY.
Young Turks who according to STORY "had adopted so many of the Abdul Hamid's ideas, also made his Armenian policy their own... In 1898 ,.. Kaiser Wilhelm the Second had gone to Constantinople, visited Abdul Hamid, pinned his finest decorations on that bloody tyrant's breast and kissed him on both cheeks. The same Kaiser who bad done this in 1898 was still sitting on the throne in 1915, and was now Turkey's ally". These somewhat pathetic, often quoted lines written by H. Morgenthau in 1918 skip over the period of 17 years, in particular over the Sultan's colonization proposal and the Territorialist aspect, as well as remain silent about the WWI maneuvers of the Wilson Administration. However for decades, among many they formed a cliche comprehension of the subject that even the actual denial of the Armenian Genocide by USA and Israel-could not shake. To overcome that stereotype thinking by the disclosure of the complete truth is the order of the day.
Analystian Yerevan, Armenia
REFERENCES
1. Barbara. W. Tuchman, The A.4Kimilationist Dilemma: Ambassador Morgenthau's Stdry. Com-
mentary, vol. 63, No 5 (1977).
2. Morgenthau III, Book R,eview-Zionism and Armenian Genocide. Institute for the Study of
Genocide.
3. Heath W.Lowry, THE STORY BEHIND AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY.
4. "The Armenian Genocide. New.s accounts from the American Press (1915-1922)", R.D. Kloian
editor.
5. Yair Auron,-ZIONISM AND ARMENIAN GENOCIDE. Transaction Publishers, 2000.
6. THEODOR HERZL ODER DER MOSES DES FIN DE SIECLE by Klaus Dethloff, Hermann Boehlhaus, 1986.
7. Howard Fast, THE JEWS, STORY OF A PEOPLE. Dell, New York, 1988.
8. J.W.S. Nordholt, WOODRAW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE.
9. James W.Gerard, MY FIRST EIGHTY-THREE YEARS IN 'AMERICA. Doubleday&
Co.Garden City, NY, 1951.
10. Vahakn N. Dardian, " THE HISTORY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE", Berghahn Books,
1995.
11. Albert J. Amateau, Tall Armenian Tale: The Other Side of The Falsified Genocide, INTER-
■ NET
12. John Kirakosian, YOUNG TURKS: THE JUDGMENT OF THE HISTORY, (in Russian)
Yerevan, 1989
13. Haham Albert J. Amateau: Obituary of a 20th Century Sephardic Advocate, New York Times,
February 29, 1996 (INTERNET)
14. K.B.Bardakjian, HITLER AND THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, The Zoryan Institute
15. Winston Churchill, The Second World Wa,r.
16. Jonathan Kaplan, Hundreds of tiiousands of Jewish refugees from Europe and the Arab lands
seek a new home in the Jewish state. Jewish Learning .com , INTERNET
17. George Sylvester Viereck, THE STRANGEST FRIENDSHIP IN HISTORY, Duckworth, Lon¬
don 1933
18. Robert John, BEHIND THE BALFOUR DECLARATION, Institute for Historical Review
(INTERNET)
19. A. Trojanovski, preface to Russian translation of ARCHIVES by E.M.Ho.use, Moscow, 1944.(
Trojanovski was the Soviet Ambassador in USA 1933-39, a. member of SOVINFORMBURO
from 1941)

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