Shahnazar Keotahian

One morning a young Turkish man knocked on our door; negative attitude … at that moment I was in front of our house.


My father had seen from upstairs the approach of the young man and he had been waiting; there was no way to escape; after a few moments he came downstairs.


When the door opened the young man greeted my father in the following manner; I remember his statement word for word: “ Mustafa Effendi (the town leader) wants you.”


My father exchanged a few words with my mother at the doorstep, took out his pocket watch and gave it to her, and came out of the house to join the young Turk.


And that was his departure; he went … he went to his death, to eternity.


I wanted to go follow my father, but my mother did not let me.  “No, you must not go, stay here, stay close to the house.”


I was powerless, what could a small boy like me do?


I wonder what were my father’s last words, what did he feel, what thoughts passed through his head.


It was only later I would come to know that the front doors of all the Armenians had been knocked on in the same manner and all the adult males and youth who had come of age had been taken to Mustafa Effendi…