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Photo Caption: Family of Teriz (Moomjian) Enokian, pre-1915: from left to right are daughter Anna Moomjian, father Avedis Moomjian (seated), relative Kevork Moomjian (standing behind father), mother yesapet Moomjian (seated), sister Theresa (Teriz), who has her right arm on her mother's shoulder, and sister Nevart. Only Teriz and Nevart survived. Photo courtsey of Ralph Enokian.
"Turkish soldiers came into the village and after they had confiscated all the arms and weapons, ordered the inhabitants to come out of their homes, which were then locked up. The peoples' belongings were taken away from them. In the pouring rain, the villagers were marched off to the army barracks where they stayed for one week before the soldiers came and stripped them of all their remaining money and jewels. Men and women were separated as soon as possible.
The men were taken and forced in labor camps where they eventually died of starvation, poor health and other causes. The young, attractive girls were beaten and raped and forced to work in the brothels. When they were no longer useful they were killed. Women with children were subjected to similar brutalities, but even worse. The fear of being caught was so great that, if possible, the female captives tried to commit suicide in any way possible, sometimes jumping off cliffs.
Some of the women and girls were separated from the rest to serve as domestics in the homes of their captors. In one such case, a young girl was snatched from her mother's arms to serve a captain's wife as her servant. Ironically, this girl's sister also ended up in the keep of a Turkish priest who was sympathetic to the plight of the Armenian people.
Fortunately and miraculously, some of these victims survived the Turkish brutalities. In the case that I have described, one of the sisters was my mother, and the other was my aunt, who was like a second mother to me. Somehow, with the aid of an underground support system, my mother and aunt were able to get away, and after living in orphanages in different countries, they found their way to the United States." — Submitted by Ralph Enokian, Albany, NY