Noyemzar Mouradian’s Testimony

In her memoirs Noyemzar Mouradian tells how the Kurds burned the field of Mush early in the morning of the Feast of Vardavar in 1915. She notes that the Kurds gathered and took away the men, and burned all the women and children. Out of the five children of the witness only the three sons survived. The eldest daughter is missing, and the youngest died on the road.

The Turks killed my husband on the day of Vardavar. The massacre of the Armenians in the Moosh plain started on that very day.


It was the Sunday of Vardavar. The sun had just risen when an uproar rose in our village. Rumors spread that the Kurds had invaded the Moosh plain and were collecting and taking away the adult males and were packing the women and children in barns and burning them. I took my children and entered our barn; we stayed there for a while, then I rose to the roof. I saw that the houses situated on the border of our village were on fire, and heavy smoke rose and covered the sky. My little daughter was still a breast-fed baby. I had five children – Avissar, Grigor, Sossé, Kyaram and Satik. I was at a loss; I did not know what to do and where to go. Finally we came out of the house warily and wanted to escape. The Kurds noticed us from a distance; they captured us and imprisoned us in a large barn, where our neighbor women and children were shut. Everybody was crying and screaming. My little daughter also started to bawl. The Kurds locked the barn-door and went away. We stayed there for a while. I suddenly noticed that a corner of the barn-wall was torn down and a beam of light penetrated through the crack. I tried hard and removed several other stones and pushed my children out of that breach. I only could not find my daughter Sossé in that confusion. I crawled also out, and we fled running and entered the barn of the neighboring house. We hid ourselves in the haystack. Suddenly we heard cries and shrieks from the barn we had just escaped from. The Kurds had set fire to it, and its crackling sounds were heard.

Oh, my child, what dreadful days they were! I’ll never forget those days… After our flight, we encountered thousands of hardships, and we faced death a thousand times, but I succeeded in saving my three sons and taking them to this bank of the Akhourian River, while my beautiful daughter, Sossé, got lost traceless on that unfortunate day. Nobody knew anything about her fate…, whether she got burned in the barn, or she could escape and then got lost on the road of exile, or she got drowned while crossing the river… Maybe the Turks or the Kurds took her away. My poor baby, Satik, also died of thirst on the distressing road of exile․

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