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Why Was Ambassador Morgenthaus Story Written?

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Why Was Ambassador Morgenthaus Story Written?

Mesajgönderen TurkmenCopur » 24 Ara 2010, 20:12

WHY WAS AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAUS STORY WRITTEN?

ANY examination of the genesis of the Morgenthau 'Stoiy,' must begin by focusing on a letter the Ambassador addressed to his friend and confidant, United States President Woodrow Wilson, on November 26, 1917. For it is in this previously unpublished letter that Morgenthau set forth both his idea of writing a book, and his aims and objectives in desiring to do so. He combined his concept with an appeal for the President's 'blessing' as it were for his proposal. Given the fact that his sole aim was fostering public support for the United States war effort by writing a work of anti-German, anti-Turkish propaganda which would "win a victory for the war policy of the government," he not surprisingly received it.

He couched his idea to Wilson in the following terms:

"...Greatly discouraged at the amount of outright opposition and the tremendous indifference to the war, as well as by the lack of enthusiasm among the mass of those who are supporting the war...

I am considering writing a book in which I would lay bare, not only Germany's permeation of Turkey and the Balkans, but that system as it appears in every country of the world. For in Turkey we see the evil spirit of Germany at its worst - culminating at last in the greatest crime of all ages, the horrible massacre of helpless Armenians and Syrians. This particular detail of the story and Germany's abettance of the same, I feel positive will appeal to the mass of Americans in small towns and country districts as no other aspect of the war could, and convince them of the necessity of carrying the war to a victorious conclusion...

We must win a victory for the war policy of the government and every legitimate step or means should be utilized to accomplish it."

In its simplest form, this study intends to evaluate the ensuing work from the perspective of whether or not, as written, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story exceeds or adheres to his own criteria of utilizing "every legitimate means" to reach his stated goal of convincing the "mass of Americans" to support the war.

Within a year of the date of Morgenthau's letter to Wilson, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, as the work he proposed was eventually titled, had been written; serialized in monthly installments in one of America's best-known magazines, The World's Work (circulation: 120,000); appeared in over a dozen of the country's largest newspapers with a combined circulation of 2,630,256; released with great fanfare as a book by Doubleday, Page & Co., and already accumulated sales of several thousand copies (by July 1st of the following year those sales would reach 22,234 copies).

In short, Morgenthau's goal of contributing to America's war effort by authoring a book which would, in his words, "appeal to the mass of Americans in small towns and country districts as no other aspect of the war could," had been attained in a manner which must have exceeded even his wildest expectations. Indeed, no sooner had World's Work begun its installments of the book's opening chapters in May, 1918, than Morgenthau received an offer from Hollywood for the film rights of his 'story,' an offer accompanied by the promise of $25,000 for said rights. After initial excitement, and the writing of a basic film treatment, Morgenthau's enthusiasm for a career in the movies cooled following receipt of a second letter from President Wilson which expressed his disapproval in no uncertain terms.

Wilson wrote:

"I appreciate your consulting me about the question whether the book shall be translated into motion pictures, and I must frankly say that I hope you will not consent to this... Personally I believe that we have gone quite far enough in that direction It is not merely a matter of taste, —I would not like in matters of this sort to trust my taste,—but it is also partly a matter of principle... There is nothing practical that we can do for the time being in the matter of the Armenian massacres, for example, and the attitude of the country toward Turkey is already fixed. It does not need enhancement."

Less than a year earlier it had been the approval of Wilson which Morgenthau sought prior to beginning the book project, and, indeed, it was only when Wilson had blessed the proposal and written:

"I think your plan for a lull exposition of some of the lines of German intrigue is an excellent one and I hope you will undertake to write and publish the book you speak of," that Morgenthau responded positively to preliminary inquiries from Burton J. Hendrick of Doubleday, Page & Company's The World's Work, and the project began to materialize. It would be somewhat surprising to find the President of the United States of America and an ex-Ambassador communicating on a topic of this nature. But, this was wartime and, as the Morgenthau-Wilson cor-respondence illustrates, from its inception, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story was conceived as an integral part of 'President Wilson's Story' as well. It was a desire to increase support for Wilson's war effort which prompted Morgenthau to write an anti-German, anti-Turkish work, which would convince the American public of the "necessity of carrying the war to a victorious con-clusion,"

In other words, as envisaged by Morgenthau, his 'story' was intended as wartime propaganda, i.e., as a contribution to the Entente war effort. It is against this background that we must attempt to examine how and by whom the book was actually written, as well as the larger questions concerning the accuracy or lack thereof of the 'story' it purports to tell.

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Kitap: THE STORY BEHIND AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY
Yazar: Heath W. Lowry
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Re: WHY WAS AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAUS STORY WRITTEN?

Mesajgönderen TurkmenCopur » 24 Ara 2010, 20:15

WHOSE 'STORY' IS IT?

Our sources for the history of Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, are two collections of surviving Morgenthau papers, one housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., which is known as:


The Papers of Henry Morgenthau (Hereafter: LC: PHM), and the other, part of the Henry Morgenthau, Jr. Papers in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York (Hereafter: FDR: HMS). These two collections, which comprise literally tens of thousands of documents, must be supplemented by a wide variety of published and unpublished materials, the most important of which are the papers of the well-known Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, biographer and historian, Burton J. Hendrick. For, not only did Ambassador Morgenthau need the approval of President Woodrow Wilson to proceed with the plan for the book which bears his name, more importantly he needed the skilled hand of Burton J. Hendrick, to actually write the work in question. In point of fact, it appears that the actual concept of the book originated in the mind of Hendrick, who first suggested it to Morgenthau in April of 1916. It is through an examination of several thousand letters and documents in the above-mentioned collections that eventually the rather murky origins of the work in question emerge. To unravel the many threads which went into Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, we must begin by discussing the various sources upon which it was based.

First and foremost, is a typed-transcript called 'Diary' which covers the actual period of Morgenthau's sojourn in Istanbul (Constantinople), that is, the period from November 27, 1913 (the date of Morgenthau's arrival in the Ottoman Capital), to his departure from Turkey on February 1, 1916, a period of twenty-six months. From internal evidence, in particular Morgenthau's comments about dictating to his secretary, a Turkish-Armenian named Hagop S. Andonian, it appears that on a regular basis Morgenthau related his day's experiences to Andonian, who in turn typed them up for posterity. Though extremely detailed, in particular as regards his contacts with the Young Turk leaders, Said Halim Pasha, Enver Pasha, and Talaat Bey, the version of events recorded in his daily 'Diaiy' entries often bears little relationship (as will subsequently be demonstrated) to the descriptions of the same meetings and discussions narrated in Ambassador Morgenthau's Story. Despite this problem, there can be no doubt that the key source material upon which the book was based is the daily record preserved in the 'Diary.'
In addition to his 'Diaiy,' and based primarily upon it, Morgenthau was in the habit of writing a lengthy 'round robin' type weekly letter to various members of his family back home in the United States.

These letters were likewise prepared by Hagop S. Andonian, Morgenthau's personal secretary, and indeed often, as Morgenthau tells us in a letter of May 11, 1915, actually written by him:

"I have really found it impossible to sit down and dictate a letter quietly. So I have instructed Andonian to take my diary and copy it with some elaborations of his own. Of course this relieves me of all responsibility for any errors."

B

Copies of Morgenthau letters are found primarily in two separate sections (series) of the FDR Library - Morgenthau Papers. Specifically, they are in the FDR: HMS -Boxes 5, 7,8,10 and in the FDR: HM]/Caer - Boxes Nos. 1-2. While clearly based on the 'Diary7 entries for the period they describe, there is often additional data found in the 'Letters,' in that they provide a useful supplement to the sometimes laconic 'Diary' entries.

19FDR: HMS - Box 7: HM to children letter of May 11,1915. That this commcr t docs not relate solely to the May 11,1915 letter is confirmed by FDR: IIMJ/Gner - Box 1-2: HM letter to Henry Morgenthau, Jr. of September 1, 1915, where we read: "I am sending you one of the copies of the general letter which recently has been written by Andonian, so don't blame me if it is too impersonal and skeletonish." On another occasion we find the following in a letter: "Idon't know whether you folks all noticed the difference in style between this letter and the preceding ones. I have dictated this one myself and filled the mere skeleton notes that I gave Andonian and from which the recent letters were written." (.FDR: HMS - Box No. 8: Letter of 7/13/1915 - p.15)

It was then a combination of the Morgenthau 'Diaries' and 'Letters' which served as the basic raw material out of which the work was ultimately assembled. These two sources were supplemented in some instances by copies of actual reports received by Morgenthau in Constantinople, or dispatched by him to Washington, D.C.20 Stated differently, these formed the skeletal framework upon which the finished product was to be hung.

With this background in mind we must now turn to an examination of the actual manner in which the book was written, and to the even more complex question of by whom it was written.

In this regard, in each and every edition, the author appeared solely as:

Henry Morgenthau. And today, seventy-two years after its appearance, no one has ever suggested in print that anyone but Morgenthau authored Ambassador Morgenthau's Story. Despite this fact, there are abundant clues scattered about in the surviving Morgenthau material to provide us hints as to the identity of the work's actual author.

First and foremost, is an acknowledgement made by Morgenthau in the 'Preface' to both the book's American and British editions, where he wrote:

"My thanks are due to my friend, Mr. Burton J. Hendrick, for the invaluable assistance he has rendered in the preparation of this book." This acknowledgment is, to say the least, an understatement. For in point of fact, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story emerged from the pen of Burton J. Hendrick, with the editorial assistance of a large number of individuals, including Morgenthau himself. In addition, he was assisted by his Armenian secretary Hagop S. Andonian who followed Morgenthau to the States and lived with him throughout the period in which the book was under preparation.

Very little is known concerning the life of Hagop S. Andonian. In numerous appearances of his name in both the 'Diary' and 'Letters' he is generally referred to by Morgenthau as "my secretary," though on occasion he clearly fulfilled the role of "Dragoman," (translator) as well. The 'Diary' records the fact that he was a frequent guest at the Morgenthau table, and often accompanied the Ambassador to the movies in the evening. From a reference in Morgenthau's family 'Letter' of July 15, 1914, it appears that Andonian was a student at the American run Robert College around the turn of the century. A surviving photograph of the Embassy staff taken during Morgenthau's tenure, shows him to have been in his early thirties at that time. While nothing specific has apparently survived to shed light on the question of why he returned to the United States with the Morgenthaus, a 'Diary' entry for February 8, 1916 clearly establishes that he left Turkey with the Ambassador. On that date in describing a shipboard masquerade party en route to New York, Morgenthau records that his son "Henry was dressed as a Greek and Andonian as a Turkish lady." Among the surviving Morgenthau correspondence is a copy of a letter addressed by the Ambassador on January 9, 1918 to the Honorable Breckenridge Long, Third Assistant Secretary of State, requesting that official's assistance in obtaining a deferment from military service for his secretary, Mr. Hagop S. Andonian.

This letter includes the following paragraph:

"You probably know that with the approval of the President, I have undertaken to write a book. Mr. Andonian is assisting me in the preparation of that work and owing to his intimate knowledge of the east and his unusual experience, his services to me are really indis-pensable."

This passage establishes three facts of interest:

a) One reason for Andonian's being in the U.S. was to assist Morgenthau with the book;
b) the actual work on the book had begun by the beginning of January 9, 1918, and,
c) by 1918 Andonian was eligible for military service in the U.S.

There are also three short references to Andonian in Morgenthau's 1918 Diary/Appointments Calendar:

1) an entry for April 26, 1918 which reads:


'Dictated at Yale Club to Andonian and examined galley proofs of second installment next book;'

2) an entry for April 17, 1918 reading:

'Dictated all day to Andonian and Hendrick;' and,

3) a two-word notice on September 9, 1918 which reads:

'Andonian left.'27 The next and final references to Andonian in the Morgenthau Papers are two handwritten letters dated December 16, 1920 and December 24, 1920.

Written from Istanbul on a letterhead bearing the names:

Haig, Nichan, Hagop Andonian' and listing their role as agents for the 'Sun Insurance Company,' and as real estate brokers, Andonian writes to inquire about the truth of rumors then circulating in the Ottoman capital to the effect that Morgenthau is to be appointed by the U.S. President to mediate between the Kemalist and Armenian forces. Andonian offers his services to Morgenthau should these rumors prove true (they didn't).

To anyone familiar with Turco-Armenian history in the post-war period, the question of a possible relationship between Morgenthau's Secretary Hagop S. Andonian and, Aram Andonian, the author of the collection of forged documents known as: The Memoirs of Nairn Bey: Turkish Official Documents Relating to the Deportations and Massacres of Armenians, London (Hodder & Stoughton), 1920, immediately comes to mind. Both were natives of Istanbul and shared the rather uncommon surname ofAndonian,' which raises the possibility that they may have indeed been related. To date, no additional information on this question has been uncovered.

Another key figure who had significant input in the preparation of the book was Arshag K. Schmavonian, yet another Turkish-Armenian who, in 1918 was in the employ of the State Department in Washington, D.C. as a 'special adviser,' and who had worked as Morgenthau's interpreter in Istanbul and accompanied him in all meetings with Turkish officials. Schmavonian's role as friend, confidant and adviser to Morgenthau both during and after his stay in Istanbul is easily traceable in the various surviving Morgenthau Papers. Indeed, almost from the day of his arrival in Turkey, Morgenthau relied upon Schmavonian as his eyes and ears in what must have seemed an alien environment given the fact that Morgen-thau knew neither Turkish, French, Greek nor Armenian, the four principal languages spoken in the Ottoman Capital.

Already, in a 1914 interview given shortly after his arrival in Turkey to a correspondent of The New York Herald, Morgenthau acknowledged his dependence on Schmavonian in the following terms:

"It will be my duty to dive into the very heart of things surrounding me. With the help of the Legal Adviser of the Embassy, Mr. Schmavonian, who knows the Orient so well, I shall be able to master the task in a more or less satisfactory manner in a few weeks."
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Re: WHY WAS AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAUS STORY WRITTEN?

Mesajgönderen TurkmenCopur » 24 Ara 2010, 20:15

There is hardly a page of the Morgenthau 'Diaiy' which does not contain reference to Arshag K. Schmavonian. He accompanied Morgenthau on almost every official visit he paid to members of the Young Turk Government, he sat in on Morgenthau's meetings with American businessmen (many of whose legal affairs he handled in Turkey), he participated in all meetings with the American missionary interests (whose legal affairs he also handled), and, also assisted Morgenthau in the writing of his cables to Washington, D.C. The National Archives in Washington, D.C. houses a collection of Schmavonian Papers.

Though the overwhelming majority of these papers deal with Schmavonian's representations of various American business and missionary interests, they also preserve a few handwritten notes from Morgenthau to Schmavonian, all of which bear the salutation:

'My dear Mr. Schmavonian.' In the Morgenthau papers there are also a large number of letters from Arshag Schmavonian to Ambassador Morgenthau, covering the years 1914-1921.

All of the letters written prior to 1919 bear the salutation:

'My Dear Chief.'

The extent to which Morgenthau relied upon his Armenian adviser can be partially measured by a speech he gave when raising funds for Armenian and Syrian Relief following his return to the United States.

Of Schmavonian, he wrote:

"The first man I found in the Embassy whom I could lean upon for all kinds of assistance, the man who has done the yeoman work of the American Embassy, is an Armenian [Schmavonian]. He has been connected with our Embassy for sixteen years. I found him to be an unusual man, held in high regard by the Turkish authorities. My private secretary [Andonian] was also an Armenian.
Through these two men I became acquainted with some Armenian priests and with patriots and professors, and learned not only to respect but to love and admire many of the Armenians. "

Nor did this relationship end with Morgenthau's departure from Turkey. The two men were reunited in 1917 when Morgenthau was sent by President Wilson to Europe, and Schmavonian joined him once again in the role of interpreter. Then, following the rupture of relations between Turkey and the United States, Mr. Schmavonian was transferred late in 1917 to Washington, D.C. where he remained in the capacity of a 'Special Adviser' until his death in January, 1922.

Morgenthau wrote a moving tribute to his memory, which illustrates the closeness of their relationship:

'Great was my pleasure to find upon meeting Mr. Schmavonian that the enthusiastic praise of my predecessors [Ambassadors Straus and Rockhill] was not only fully justified, but had failed to do him adequate justice. He had all the traditions of the office most methodically stored away in his mind, and made them accessible to me at any time, day or night, at a moment's notice, and it was the same as to all the American missionary and educational activities in Turkey. He was so eminently just, and so absolutely truthful, that every one with whom he came in contact, promptly recognized the sterling qualities, and soon learned to love their possessor.

'He was a delightful social companion and graced any assembly which he attended. The services which he rendered to the United States government and to all the Ambassadors at Constantinople, to the missionary interests, American business interests, and the Armenian and Jewish populations in Turkey, were unexcelled by anyone.

'He was unobtrusive to a fault, and never claimed any credit for himself. His devotion to his mother and to the service possessed him completely, and he was always thoroughly loyal to his own people, the Armenians.
The United States has lost one of its most faithful servants, and I, one of my dearest friends.'

Some idea of the extent of Schmavonian's role in shaping Ambassador Morgenthau's Story may be had by an examination of his surviving correspondence with Morgenthau during the period in which the book was written:

a) January 16, 1918 letter from Schmavonian to Morgenthau responding to an earlier request for the names and titles of various Ottoman Cabinet members during Morgenthau's tenure;
b) January 26, 1918 letter from Morgenthau to Schmavonian asking him to supply facts based on the cables and dispatches which Morgenthau sent the Department of State from Turkey;
c) An enclosure of August 29, 1918 of comments on Morgenthau's manuscript prepared by the State Department, appears to have been written by Schmavonian as well, thus raising the possibility that he was (as might logically be expected) the official in the Department assigned to comment on the draft of Morgenthau's book;
d) September 3, 1918 Morgenthau to Schmavonian letter, clearly establishes that it was Schmavonian who was commenting on Morgenthau's manuscript.

When Morgenthau writes:

'I am sending by this mail our article No. 7, the first half of the Armenian story... I do hope that in your good-natured and accommodating way, you will work over time, and I will promise you that I shall not write more books that have to get the approval of the State Department.'

In short, Schmavonian was a key aide to Morgenthau both throughout his tenure in Turkey, as well as during the months in which Ambassador Morgenthau's Story was being written in 1918. He was even entrusted by the State Department with the task of approving Morgenthau's manuscript.
Despite his role at each and every stage of the project, he is not mentioned by name in Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, an oversight which is hard to comprehend.

This is particularly so in light of the fact that he is named in Morgenthau's 1922 autobiography:

All In A Life Time. In this book, which Morgenthau wrote in collaboration with French Strother, Schmavonian appears (as he in reality was) a close confidant of Morgenthau. Can it be that Morgenthau felt that reference to his dependence upon his Armenian assistants (An-donian is not mentioned either) might appear strange in a book devoted partially to the Armenian Question?

Yet another participant in the project was the U.S. Secretary of State, Robert Lansing who (at the President's behest?) read and commented upon every chapter of the work in progress.

The nature of Lansing's role will be discussed below; however, a number of letters, dating from the gestation period of the book fully illustrate that it was not insignificant:

a) Lansing to Morgenthau letter of April 2, 1918, in which the Secretary states: "I am returning herewith the first installment of the proof of your book which I have read with particular interest... I have made various marginal notes suggesting certain alterations or omissions in the text before publication and I trust that you will agree with these suggestions;"
b) Lansing to Morgenthau letter of April 27, 1918, accompanying another segment of the draft manuscript "accompanied by a few suggestions which after careful consideration we venture to propose;"
c) Lansing to Morgenthau letter of August 29, 1918, together with proof sheets and more suggestions;
d) Lansing to Morgenthau letter of September 17, 1918 with "suggestions and remarks,"
e) Morgenthau to Lansing letter of September 22, 1918 asking permission to acknowledge in the Preface to the published book, his appreciation for the "trouble taken by the Secretary of State Robert Lansing in reading the manuscript and of the many valuable and wise suggestions he has made;"
f) Lansing to Morgenthau letter of October 2, 1918 declining Morgenthau's wish to acknowledge his assistance with the book on the grounds " that on the whole it would be advisable not to mention my name in connection with the book."

When one recollects the fact that prior to beginning his project, Morgenthau received the written blessings of the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, and, that as the work progressed, each chapter received the personal stamp of approval of the U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing, it is clear that Morgenthau's book may be said to bear the imprimatur of the United States Government.

This said, what literary merit the work has, and all its reviewers found it very readable indeed, is purely the result of Hendrick. While Hendrick was never accorded his due in terms of open recognition of his role in 'ghosting' the story, he was well paid for his efforts, as a surviving letter from Morgenthau to him dated July 5, 1918 attests.

In lieu of a formal written contract, which does not appear to have existed between the two men, Morgenthau wrote the following to Hendrick:

'I desire to put in writing that I intend to transfer to you a share of the income of the book, 'Ambassador Morgenthau's Story,' about to be published by Doubleday, Page & Company.
The definite arrangement is to be made when your work on the book is completed, but if anything should happen to me in the meantime, I hereby direct my Executors to arrange that you are to receive two-fifths of any profits that are coming to me from Doubleday, Page & Company, until you have received Ten Thousand ($10,000) Dollars, and that the first five thousand ($5,000) Dollars coming to me are to paid to you on account.'

Hendrick, an individual fully deserving of serious scholarly study in his own right, must have been fully satisfied with the final 'arrangement' made at the completion of the book. From a receipt which has survived in the Morgenthau papers we may surmise that whatever the final agreement was, it guaranteed Hendrick's 40% share throughout the life-time of the book. It shows that in the period between January 2, 1932 and July 1, 1932, that is, fourteen years after its initial publication, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story was still in print.

In this six month span it registered a grand total of $2.00 in sales, of which the author's one-half share, i.e., $1.00, was divided as follows:

Mr. Burton J. Hendrick's 40% share:
Mr. Henry Morgenthau's 60% share :
Thus fourteen years after its initial publication, the American edition of the book was still providing income to Hendrick and Morgenthau. As for Hendrick's feelings, they were recorded in an Oral History interview he gave the historian Alan Nevins at Columbia University, a few months before his death in 1949.

He stated:

"I had one job of 'ghosting.' That was the elder Henry Morgenthau's Reminiscences. That book created quite a good deal of interest. I worked with Henry all the time.
He was an interesting character. Henry Morgenthau was a very capable person, very chummy and good natured and was a very successful man. He, of course, made a great fortune here in New York in real estate. . .The writing of my books on Sims and Morgenthau was very interesting - more or less of a job..."

Hendrick who within ten years of the publication of the Morgenthau book was to receive three Pulitzer Prizes, one for the book he co-authored with Admiral William S. Sims: The Victory at Sea (recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1920), and two in Biography for his 1922 work, the Life and Letters of WalterH. Page and in 1928 for his second Page volume entitled The Training of an American, was already in 1918 a well-known journalist who had done stints as an editorial writer with The New York Evening Post, McClure's Magazine, and The World's Work. In these positions, in the words of his New York Times obituary writer, Hendrick "developed a reputation for painstaking accuracy, honest thinking and good humor and developed an appetite for research in subjects of great historical interest." The Times obituary goes on to say that "critics of his biographies and histories almost invariably would remark that his freshness and penetrating analysis bore the mark of his early journalistic training."

Ironically, at least one reviewer of Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, a 'W.K.K.' writing in December 5, 1918 issue of the Detroit Michigan News, instinctively-sensed that Morgenthau must have had a journalistic collaborator when he wrote:

"...Henry Morgenthau, our Ambassador to Turkey in the first year of the war, is either a born journalist, or else he had journalistic help in the preparation of his volume; for 'Ambassador Morgenthau's Story' is pure journalese..."

What we are faced with is less the memoirs of one individual, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, than a memoir by committee as it were. Morgenthau's Istanbul notes (consisting of his 'Diary' and Family 'Letters'), are reworked initially by Morgenthau and Andonian, together with Hendrick; edited for content by Schmavonian (on behalf of the State Department); then 'fine tuned' by the Secretary of State Robert Lansing (on behalf of the Executive); and, finally written down as Ambassador Morgenthau's Story by Burton J.Hendrick.

As to the question of whose story it really is, as our subsequent examination will illustrate, it is a collective story bearing only a cursory relationship to what was actually experienced by Henry Morgenthau during his tenure in Turkey.
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Re: WHY WAS AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAUS STORY WRITTEN?

Mesajgönderen TurkmenCopur » 24 Ara 2010, 20:16

THE INTENT AND SCOPE OF THE 'STORY'

The key questions with which the remainder of this study is concerned are these:


how much of Ambassador Morgenthau's Story which doesn't originate from the 'Diaiy' or 'Letters' comes from the fertile journalistic imagination of Burton J. Hendrick, and how much of it was invented by Morgenthau in support of his aim of writing a sensational book damning the Turks and Germans and thereby stirring up support for the war among his fellow Americans? In the same vein, what was the nature of the input from U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing? That is, did he confine himself to censoring potentially embarrassing diplomatic disclosures on the part of Morgenthau, or did he take an active role in attempting to blacken the reputations of Turks and Germans alike in keeping with his Presidential employer's and the author's stated aims? Were Morgenthau's views of the disputes between Turks and Armenians shaped by his Armenian eyes and ears, namely Arshag K. Schmavonian and Hagop S. Andonian?

Most importantly, what were Morgenthau's real views of the Turkish leaders and German diplomats he dealt with during his tenure in Constantinople and how (and to the extent possible why) had these views been altered some two years later when Ambassador Morgenthau's Story was written?

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with Morgenthau's book, it may be necessary to set forth its basic themes, which are four in number, in summary form:

1) German imperialistic motives led the naive Young Turk Government into the war;
2) The Young Turk leadership, in particular Talaat Bey and Enver Pasha, decided to use the cover of the war to once and for all Turkify' the Ottoman Empire. To aid this objective they conceived and perpetrated a plot to exterminate the Ottoman Armenian population, whom they falsely accused of aiding and abetting their Russian enemy in wartime;
3) Henry Morgenthau was a lone voice tirelessly attempting to dissuade the evil Talaat and Enver from their nefarious scheme of destroying the Armenians; and,
4) Morgenthau's efforts failed for the sole reason that the one man who could have persuaded the Turks to alter their action, the German Ambassador Baron Wangen-heim, sat idly by and refused to speak on behalf of the helpless Armenians.

Morgenthau's themes are given credibility by virtue of the fact that throughout his 'Story,' literally from beginning to end, his troika of villains, Wangenheim, Talaat and Enver, repeatedly condemn themselves with their own voices of his charges, i.e., over and over Morgenthau provides us first-person accounts, complete with quotation marks, of comments allegedly made by these individuals which buttress his contentions as to their roles. Indeed, the only crime that they did not openly confess to, if Morgenthau's account is accepted, was that of 'genocide,' and that only because the term had not yet been coined.
The question we must ask is, did these alleged con-versations actually occur in the manner described by Morgenthau/Hendrick? To answer this query we must compare a series of statements in the book with the parallel accounts provided in the 'Diary,' 'Letters,' and reports submitted by Morgenthau to the Secretary of State Lansing in Washington, D.C.

At the outset, one fact is indisputable:

None of the statements given in quotation marks throughout the book, and purporting to be comments made by one or another Turkish or German official, are based on written records. There simply are no such statements recorded in any of the sources used in writing Ambassador Morgenthau's Story. Stated differently, the use of such quoted statements is simply a literary convention adopted by Hendrick in telling Morgenthau's 'Story.' Their purpose can only have been to make the words put into the mouths of the various players more believable. While this does not de facto establish that they were false, it does mean that we should subject them to far greater scrutiny than they have hitherto received.
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