Kristine Hagopian

We already had been deported once, in 1915, sent towards Der-Zor. But, my uncle’s friend had connections in the government and he had us ordered back to Izmir.


Orders came again that everyone must gather in front of the Armenian church to be deported. My father refused to go and told us not to worry. He didn’t think the Turkish government would do anything to him since he was a government employee himself.


Twelve Turkish soldiers and an official came very early the next morning. We were still asleep. They dragged us out in our nightgowns and lined us up against the living room wall. Then the official ordered my father to lie down on the ground… they are, dirty the Turks… very dirty… I can’t say what they did to him. They raped him! Raped! Just like that. Right in front of us. And that official made us watch. He whipped us if we turned away. My mother lost consciousness and fell to the floor.


Afterwards, we couldn’t find our father. My mother looked for him frantically. He was in the attic, trying to hang himself. Fortunately, my mother found him before it was too late.


My father did eventually kill himself—later, after we escaped.