Armenian Death March Experiences, Part 3
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Then we came near the Euphrates River -- some river; we didn't know the name or anything. My mother called me and said, "I don’t want to continue anymore. I am hopeless, tired." I look at her face: pale, almost crying, trembling, aged. She said, "I want to take your brother and sister into the river. You want to come?" I don't know. She whisper to me, "(inaudible) something in my mind?" I said, "No, I go with my younger brothers. Happen gonna happen." I can never forget that, how I said those things.
Then looks at the next day before dawn, take them to the river, and my sister died, I guess. And (inaudible) to get money, I guess, so they took people floating on the river. He brought them ashore and came where we were -- my uncle -- asks money. He has no money. Beat him so bad he cried in the pain, got crippled. And over there were those Arabs or Kurds, whatever they were. They noticed that some women, they swallow gold pieces. A few of them they killed like that, to find the money. I think -- oh, one of my aunts, carrying the baby in her back in a bundle, and he got (inaudible) and died. And over there were -- I don't know, they had money or something. Arabs, they came around, they sent a little bread or, yogurt, you know, make with water and yogurt to drink. We had few of those.
Then after, on the large -- what you call those? Barge? They took us to the other side after we were: that was the Syrian Desert. We start in Sivas in June, around there maybe August, the hot time. Everybody despaired, nobody wants to walk. Actually, my brother took out too, I saw him (inaudible) my mother and my brother brought to my uncle. But my brother telling, I remember, that he drank so much water he tried his best to stay alive. No food, no water, nothing. People must stay there, die right there. If they have any family, they push them, same as my brother, so weak, maybe had dysentery. He couldn't stand on his feet. My mother had to leave and go. She never forget that day all her life. That was on her conscience, thinking about that brother all the time, suffered so much, hard to figure out. And me, naturally, I have strong legs. Now, at my age, this morning I walk around twenty-five minutes, one mile. I do that holding my mother, or somebody walked, I don't know how.
For days, no food, no water, nothing. You see lying there dead bodies in the Syrian Desert. They stay there. And when we came a place, there was of course a million people, dead people, bodies in the water. We all ran and drank from that water. I don't remember how. We were all dirty, and all the lice and things all over our bodies, and just in rags. Of course, we were walking. I don't figure out how we stayed alive. Then finally, we came a place -- I forgot the name of it.