Henry Morgenthau


From 1913-1916, Henry Morgenthau served as the U.S Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, under the Wilson administration. In this role, Ambassador Morgenthau became the most prominent American figure to condemn the Armenian Genocide.

Click here for a NY Times article from October, 1915 discussing Morgenthau’s efforts:  NY Times Morgenthau

Morgenthau Quotes- 

“When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact. . . . I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915.” – Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story, 1919

“Deportation of and excesses against peaceful Armenians is increasing and from harrowing reports of eye witnesses it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion.

“Protests as well as threats are unavailing and probably incite the Ottoman government to more drastic measures as they are determined to disclaim responsibility for their absolute disregard of Capitulations and I believe nothing short of actual force which obviously United States are not in a position to exert would adequately meet the situation. Suggest you inform belligerent nations and mission boards of this.”

Confidential telegram, Ambassador Morgenthau to Secretary of State, Consenian Genocide 1915-1917, pp. 55, document NA/RG59/867.4016/76

“I argued in all sorts of ways with him but he said that there was no use, that they had already disposed of three quarters of them, that there were none left in Bitlis, Van, Erzeroum, and that the hatred was so intense now that they have to finish it. I spoke to him about the commercial losses and he said they did not care, that they had figured it out and knew it would not exceed for the banks etc. five million pounds. He said they want to treat the Armenians like we treat the negroes. I think he meant like the Indians. I asked him to make exceptions in some few cases which he promised to do.”

Henry Morgenthau’s report of his conversation with Talaat Pasha.dated 8 August 1915. United States Diplomacy on the Bosphorus: The Diaries of Ambassador Morgenthau 1913-1916, p. 298.




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