Mampre Shirinian, told by George Shirinian

Posters appeared in the spring of 1915 across the Ottoman Empire with an order for Armenians to leave immediately. They had to gather whatever belongings they could carry at a moment’s notice for a trip with no clear route or end.

To the Young Turks still in charge of the crumbling empire, Christian Armenians were a threat to the state. Setting a precedent for skittish leaders of the coming century, they demonized a whole people, partly because some Armenian nationalists had taken up arms against them. The security threat was not all: Simply and absolutely, the Armenians were not ethnic Turks. Therefore, they had to leave even though there was nowhere for them to go. According to plan, they died along the way.