Ambassador Morgenthau's Story

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Wayne State University Press, 1918 - History - 333 pages
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Originally published in 1918, Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story is one of the most insightful and compelling accounts of what became a recurring horror during the twentieth century: ethnic cleansing and genocide. While he served as the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire under Woodrow Wilson from 1913 to 1916, Henry Morgenthau witnessed the rise of a new nationalism in Turkey, one that declared "Turkey for the Turks." He grew alarmed as he received reports from missionaries and consuls in the interior of Turkey that described deportation and massacre of the Armenians. The ambassador beseeched the U.S. government to intervene, but it refrained, leaving Morgenthau without official leverage. His recourse was to appeal personally to the consciences of Ottoman rulers and their German allies; when that failed, he drew international media attention to the genocide and spearheaded private relief efforts.

"The power of Morgenthau’s book to move and instruct us eighty years after its publication," writes Roger Smith in his introduction, "is intimately connected with its truthfulness about the atrocities and the men behind them, but also about the capacities of humans to commit enormous evil with a light heart." The memoir also documents the beginnings of U.S. interest in international human rights as well as patterns and symptoms of genocidal tendencies, foreshadowing most notably the Nazi Holocaust.


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Germanys plans for new territories coaling
Turkeys abrogation of the capitulations Enver living in a palace with plenty of money and an imperial bride
Germany forces Turkey into the war
The Turks attempt to treat alien enemies decently but the Germans insist on persecuting them
The invasion of the Notre Dame de Sion School
Wangenheim and the Bethlehem Steel Company A Holy War that was made in Germany
Djemal a troublesome Mark Antony The first German attempt to get a German peace
The Turks prepare to flee from Constantinople and establish a new capital in Asia Minor The Allied fleet bombarding the Dardanelles
Bulgaria on the auction block
The Turk reverts to the ancestral type
The Revolution at Van
The murder of a nation
Talaat tells why he deports the Armenians
Enver Pasha discusses the Armenians
I shall do nothing for the Armenians says the German Ambassador
Enver again moves for peace Farewell to the Sultan

Enver as the man who demonstrated the vulnerability of the British fleet Oldfashioned defenses of the Dardanelles
The Allied armada sails away though on the brink of victory
A fight for three thousand civilians
More adventures of the foreign residents
The Rest of the Story

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About the author (1918)

Peter Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities and a professor of English at Colgate University, where he was the first director of the Center for Ethics and World Societies. He is the author of the prize-winning memoir Black Dog of Fate.

Robert Jay Lifton, one of the most distinguished social critics and psycho-historians writing today and is Visiting Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School.

Roger W. Smith is a professor of Government at the College of William and Mary and is the president of the Association of Genocide Scholars of North America.

Henry Morgenthau III is a retired television producer and writer.

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