Vatican archives documenting centuries of European history, on public display for the first time include documents relating to the Armenian Genocide.
Head of the Vatican archives Sergio Pagano said in an interview that the 2012 exhibition would present a book with documents and information on the Armenian Genocide, published as a separate volume. Extracts include:
An eyewitness from Erzrum writes: “I saw how they were slaughtering many children. My nephew was running away from home with a two year-old child on his shoulders, but he got shot and collapsed, two soldiers approached and killed him as the child watched… I saw how they killed the spiritual leader of our town: they dug out his eyes, tore off his beard. Before killing him the soldiers had made him dance.”
An extract from a Turkish soldier’s testimony named Mustafa Suleiman reads:
“We entered the Armenian villages and killed everybody, we were given an order to kill all people disregarding their gender or age. The Kurds who had come with us were looting the houses. A great number of disabled and elderly Armenians were hiding inside a school in the town center, but we had a clear order, so we killed them too. In Geliguzan village 800 Armenians were killed or burned to death. Father Hovhannes’s eyes were dug out, his beard, nose and ears were cut off. I did not kill a single child, I even saved two. I hid them in my tent for three days, but then one day I entered the tent and found their disfigured and dismembered corpses.”
Pagano stressed that Pope Leo XIII at that time called on Turkey to stop the Genocide.