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Centuries of Genocide

America and the Armenian Genocide of 1915

Armenian Deportees: 1915-1916

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.
Family of deportees on the road Burial services in deportation camp Tent camp in Syrian desert
Corpses of children left in gutter Murdered man cast in ditch Young boy dies on doorstep
Family without shelter Removing lice Orphaned children
Corpse of murdered young man Foraging for grain Executed in public square
Three generations share tent Resting under the desert sun Women living in the streets
Laundry in the Euphrates River Skulls of deportees Starvation claims two boys
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. To retrieve a wide range of materials, click the "NAIL Expert Search" link. Type "Armenian" in the first keyword box. Type an additional term, such as "Syrian Relief", in the second keyword box to narrow your search. Then click the "Submit Search" button.)

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