Boghos Nubar Pasha to The Times of London (1919)
Boghos Nubar Pasha was the leader of the Armenian delegation in attendance at the Paris Peace Conference after World War I.
In his letter to The Times of London, dated 30 January 1919, he openly acknowledges that it was the Armenian contributions to the allied war effort which led to their mistreatment by the Ottoman authorities.
To the Editor of the Times,
Sir, the name of Armenia is not on the list of the nations admitted to the Peace Conference. Our sorrow and our disappointment are deep beyond expression. Armenians naturally expected their demand for admission to the Conference to be conceded, after all they had done for the common cause.
The unspeakable suffering and the dreadful losses that have befallen the Armenians by reason of their faithfulness to the Allies are now fully known. But I must emphasize the fact unhappily known to few, that ever since the beginning of the war the Armenians fought by the side of the Allies on all fronts. Adding our losses in the field to the greater losses through massacres and deportations, we find that over a million out of a total Armenian population of four million and a half have lost their lives in and through the war. Armenia’s tribute to death is thus undoubtedly heavier in proportion than that of any other belligerent nation. For the Armenians have been belligerents de facto, since they indignantly refused to side with Turkey.
Our volunteers fought in the French “Legion Entrangere” and covered themselves with glory. In the Legion d’Orient they numbered over 5,000, and made up more than half the French contingent in Syria and Palestine, which took part in the decisive victory of General Allenby.
In the Caucasus, without mentioning the 150,000 Armenians in the Russian armies, about 50,000 Armenian volunteers under Andranik, Nazarbekoff, and others not only fought for four years for the cause of the Entente, but after the breakdown of Russia they were the only forces in the Caucasus to resist the advance of the Turks, whom they held in check until the armistice was signed. Thus they helped the British forces in Mesopotamia by hindering the Germano-Turks from sending their troops elsewhere.
These services have been acknowledged by the Allied Governments, as Lord Robert Cecil recognized in the House of Commons.
In virtue of all these considerations the Armenian National Delegation asked that the Armenian nation should be recognized as a belligerent. Had the recognition been granted, we should now have been admitted, ipso facto, to the Conference, to which even transatlantic States have found access, though having merely broken off diplomatic relations with Germany, without the least sacrifice on their part.
At the moment when the fate of Armenia is being decided at the Peace Conference, it is my duty, as the head of the National Delegation which has no tribute from which its voice can resound, to state once again, in the columns of The Times, the important part played by the Armenians in this frightful war. I wish strongly to urge that the Armenians, having of their own free will cast their lot with the champions of right and justice, the victory of the Allies over their common enemies has secured to them a right to independence.
Believe me, sir, yours very truthfully,
Paris, January 27, 1919