Armenian Genocide survivor Mihran Andonian on his mother's attempt to save him
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

Mihran Andonian is describing an experience that was common during the Armenian Genocide. Some Armenian mothers, certain that they would not survive the death marches into the desert, let their children be taken by Muslims (Turks, Arabs, Kurds), hoping to guarantee survival. Other Armenian mothers on the caravans died while still with their children leaving these orphans to fend for themselves. Indeed, thousands of Armenian children were left homeless by the end of World War I and were either taken in by locals or rounded up by missionaries and brought to orphanages. In addition, thousands of children, boys and girls, were forcibly kidnapped from the deportation caravans and incorporated into Muslim society as slaves, adoptees, child brides or concubines. When the war ended, missionaries and others made it their duty to locate and retrieve these children and return them to their extended families or to orphanages. Some of the children, particularly females, having born children of their own to their Muslim captors, refused to leave their new families. Thus it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Muslims in the Republic of Turkey have grandmothers [or great-grandmothers] who were born Christian Armenian.

Mihran Andonian is an example of boy who was taken in as slave labor (by an Arab) only to be freed by an Armenian who understood the situation.

Author: Eric Bogosian author of “Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide”

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