Leon's Story

May 14, 2012
By Anonymous

Dear Journal,

November 16, 1895

My name is Leon, a solider who has entrusted his loyalty to the Ottoman Empire. I

have a mother and a father, but they have both passed due to illness. I live by myself and

I am 23 years of age. War has started to break out because lately “The Ottomans made

the first step towards the extermination of the Christian people. The massacres began in

the region of Divabakir and extended all the way to Hansankeyf and Sivas.” (SAYFO).

As I was a solider, I was sent out to exterminate the Christians. When I asked Sultan

Abdulhamid, “… the creator of Hamidiye Alayari, the group behind the

genocide…” (SAYFO). Why we, the Ottoman Empire, are doing this, he simply said,

“The Ottoman Empire suffered heavy territory losses in Africa and Arabia through both

Arab and Non Arab rebellions.” (SAYFO). “When Sultan cam into power on September

1, 1876, the Empire was very chaotic. Disorder reigned, politicians were quarrelling, and

the Empire had few authorities.” (SAYFO). And we solider have had the worst of it.

Being sent off to do Sultan’s bidding at his will. Although I do love the Empire, this is

just utterly ridiculous.

There was good thing in the midst of all this. I met a woman, a very beautiful woman

whose name was Magdaline. We met in the extermination of in the Divabarkir region.

She was helping Christians run away from the Ottomans. Our eyes met and I fell in love.

Shock came in her eyes and, like a deer, she took off running. Quickly and quietly, like a

bear, I followed her. She wasn’t that far from where we had met before I caught her wrist

and spun her around to face me.

I put her face in my chest, protecting her from the soilder running back and forth

behind me. Knees on the floor, I released her. She shouted, “What the h*ll!? Why are

you doing this to me, an Assyrian woman! If you’re going to kill me, kill me, do not

torture me!!” Releasing her wrist, I smiled and said,” You have been doing a great job,

stirring up the war like this, and I will not tell anyone or kill you. Now run along, little

woman, before I change my mind.” Cowering back, she got up and on her feet, taking a

good look at me before she ran away, once more, from my grasp. I set my head in my

hands, staying on my knees missing the woman who I had just met and the woman who I

long for so very much. I had never felt this sense of longing before. Is this what they call


I swore I would not tell anyone and I do not intend on killing her. I have not told a

single soul about this secret, but you, my precious journal. It would mean the

extermination of both of us. My secret is kept safe with you, I am sure. My beloved

journal, do not tell a single soul.


Dear Journal,
November 23,1895

Honestly, the Assyrian nation has done no wrong. Except, in the eyes of the Ottoman

“...the Assyrian Nation were also prime targets of the Ottoman policy to deliberately

exterminate ancient Christian Nations of the Middle East.” (1915 A&A Genocide1).

“Sultan candidly admitted that this was because he did not want Palestine to become a

‘Second Armenia’.” (1915 A&A Genocides2). Soon turkey will slowly but surely join

along the side of the Ottomans. Turkey will use the same excuse it has always use, and

forever use: “The Armenian Nation, with its ancient ethnic culture and Christian religion,

stood in the way of homogenizing nationalism, embraced by all the Young Turks.” (1915

A&A Genocides3).

More and more rumor spread like wild fire of a Assyrian woman named Magdaline,

who was helping all Christians of all ethnicities escape into other countries and other

regions. She also goes around preaching about Jesus and encouraging people to hold

strong and have faith. The more things Magdaline does, the more I am intrigued by

her. I have not told anyone but you, Journal. It would mean the extermination of the

both of us. My secret is kept safe with you, my Journal. My Friend, please do not tell a

single soul.



Dear Journal,
November 30,1895

Although it is only the start of the genocide and the beginning of this regiment

“… hundreds of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered without any

mercy. Not even women and children were spared. Many people were thrown

alive into water wells, which were later ... sealed. People were…taken out to sea,

pushed overboard and left to drown. Parents were butchered in the presence of their

children. Many people were intentionally left to die of hunger and thirst in the wilderness

of Mesopotamia. Great pains, great tragedies were experienced.” (TSRTAG2).

Of course, I was witness to all of these tragic events. I saw Magdaline before

one of these mass murder events. I told her,” Run! So that you may save yourself and

your family!!” Running towards her, she turned around and said with a confident yet

sarcastic tone, “AS IF!” She ran off and heartbreak was shown on my face. I watched

her run off, biting my lip I turned around. Walking back pain and torture entered my soul

as I was holding back my tears. After that, all the soldiers in my unit were summoned to

headquarters for a new mission. This mission was to burn the town of a girl named

Magdaline. “She is a very dangerous rebel who must be taken down at all costs. Men or

woman, we shall slay all rebels. Now, as my trusty dogs, I want you to go and do my

biding.” He said, keen eyes scanning each of the soldiers. A smirk appeared on my face

and I took my boy and left. I was confident, yet doubtful that Magdaline had left.

The very next day we rode into the town of Olekisy with horses under us and torches in

our hands. Hoping and praying that Magdaline had left, I reluctantly threw my torch onto

and hut with goat blood on the rims of the doors. All the troops in my unit let out a battle

cry. I put my head in my hands and ran out to the top of the hill. I stopped at the top of

the hill and watched as the town burned, cool tears flowing down on my checks, reaching

my chin and dropping onto the ground in front of me.

After the swelling and burning fire died down we went down back into the

town to look at the bodies. My ‘friends’ decided half way down the hill to stay at the top.

When I got to the burned down and fragile gate of the town, I dismounted my horse and

walked onto the paper-thin ashes picking up and shuffling scorched bodies around. I held

back my tears, wishing I would not see Magdaline’s body here. I picked up a body with a

figure similar to Magdaline’s. My entire world then seemed to fall down and crackle and

shatter around me.

I frantically flipped over the body and pinned it to the ground. My tears overflowed

and landed on the scorched skin of my one-sided love. I hugged Magdaline tightly, still

not wanting to believe that it was Magdaline. Accepting this, I let go and realization hit

me. I killed Magdaline. And now, she was gone and there was no way of ever getting

her back. No one knows my secret. It would mean the extermination of just me now.

My secret is kept safe. Don’t ever tell a soul. My dear Journal, thank you.



Dear Journal,

March 15, 1917
Let me catch you up. My name is Leon and I am now 45 years of age. I have no wife

and no kids. The reason is because I am in love with a dead woman named Magdaline.

I had a part in her death, which I deeply regret. 22 years have passed and I have never

forgotten any of those horrible sins I have committed. After looking in previous towns

Magdaline had been in, I found her diary with one entry the day before her death.

It read:
“I never loved a man more than him.”

I cried but good news though. “ A conference on Assyrian Genocide will be held

in Yerevan, Armenia on April 23-24 to mark the start of the genocides of Armenians,

Assyrians, and Greeks perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire.” (Gale1). Before World War

1. “ The conference titled ‘Assyrian Genocide and its Consequences in the modern

World’ is organized by USR, CCA, ARFD, and DPA.” (Gale1). I will be standing in the

defense of the Assyrians.

From my experience, looking back on everything I have done, I now understand

what a genocide is. Genocide is “Violation of human rights… abuses aimed.. Tibetans

from asserting their own identity… wish to preserve it… racial and cultural

discrimination. (Human Rights 188-189).

This also could have prevented by other countries stepping in and taking the aid of the

Christians. It all could have been stopped. Her death could’ve been prevented and I

could’ve been in love

Truly Yours,

Work Cited

“Conference on Assyrian to be held in Yerevan.” PanARMENIAN.Net 23 Mar. 2012

Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 5 Apr. 2012.

Daniel Pipes Nation Review Online February, and 2012 Remember the name

Kastelorizo; you heard it here first. It is…. “ The 1915 Armenian and

Assyrian Genocides: Inconvenient Precedents for the Arab Spring

Revolutions | The Conservative Papers.” The Conservative Papers |

Solutions and Ideas for Preserving Freedom in the USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Apr.


“La Lettre de l’ADL – Turkey Should Recognize the Assyrian Genocide 1915.” La

Lettre de l’ADL – Accueil. N.p., n.d. web. 8 Apr. 2012.

Langwith, Jacueline. Human Rights. Detroit, Mich.: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Print.

“SAYFO – The Assyrian-Suryoyo Genocide.” Assyrian International News Agency.

N.p., n.d. web. 8 Apr. 2012.

The author's comments:
This is a genocide research paper, done for school, and recommended to be submitted. Leon is my grandfather's name who has now passed away.

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