The Death March Begins in Sivas
Oral History Item Type Metadata
And my mother's brother heard from somebody that it's gonna happen, this massacre. One of my uncles, my mother's side, was such a good businessman. In thirty-five, thirty-six years old, he was a big manufacturer in Sivas. He was one of the heads of the city. They put him in prison. Most people never stay alive; they all were killed.
But to thwart the men that killed that uncle, to tell to the brother, and the brother went to the family and says that we're gonna be all killed. He wanted we pour kerosene and we burn ourselves. Of course not: they refused, and we all deported. None of them left, only that uncle, by miracle -- the story of him stay alive. And he was always thinking and feeling so mad. I mean, hard to believe that he stay, survived, and nobody left alive.
And even he went after armistice to those places that we were -- Iran, Euphrates River, Syria, these places -- to see if he can find one of the survivors of his family. None. There was a section of Sivas nobody survived; maybe they all put in the river. Nobody. Don't know, don't know how they killed. None of them. We were the lucky ones.
Oh. How we started, yeah. The first thing -- I don't know how many, two days or three days or whatever -- called Keutu Khan, some place that those tobacco people -- they were, what you call enemy to my father, and they called him and they took [him] someplace, I guess, and told him, "You give all your money you have." And he gave, like everybody around him.
They beat him so much, broken arm and everything, and he was almost crippled and came home. And my grandmother knows those people, and she [sic] asked one of them, "Why you beat so much my son?" He said, "Be happy that he's alive."