Armenian Deportees: 1915-1916

Wegner Collection

Photographed by Armin T. Wegner

Read Armin Wegner's Biography View the Photographic Collection

The photos of Armin T. Wegner are among the few that capture the bleak struggle to survive facing Armenian deportees. As a second-lieutenant in the German army stationed in the Ottoman empire in April 1915, Wegner took the initiative to investigate reports of Armenian massacres. Disobeying orders intended to stifle news of the massacres, he collected information on the genocide and took hundreds of photographs of Armenian deportation camps, primarily in the Syrian desert.

Wegner was eventually arrested, but not before he had succeeded in channeling a portion of his research material to Germany and the United States through clandestine mail routes. When he was transferred to Constantinople in November 1916, he secretly took with him photographic plates of images he and other German officers recorded.

Click on a thumbnail to view a full-size photograph from the Wegner collection.
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Family of deportees on the road Burial services in deportation camp Tent camp in Syrian desert
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Corpses of children left in gutter Murdered man cast in ditch Young boy dies on doorstep
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Family without shelter Removing lice Orphaned children
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Corpse of murdered young man Foraging for grain Starvation claims two boys
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Three generations share tent Resting under the desert sun Women living in the streets
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Laundry in the Euphrates River Skulls of deportees  
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Pair of orphaned boys Mother and child  

© Armenian National Institute, Inc., courtesy of Sybil Stevens (daughter of Armin T. Wegner).
Wegner Collection, Deutches Literaturarchiv, Marbach & United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

(Search the National Archives to find additional images relating to the Armenian Genocide.)