What percentage of those forced to relocate actually died as a result of the relocation?


2 Answers 2


In "Armenia: the case for a forgotten genocide", 1972, Dickran H. Boyajian quotes the deputy director of the settlement of refugees, who in 1916 said that 10% of refugees arrived at their destination.

US Counsel Jesse B. Jackson reported that 85% of the deportees died in one of his official reports.

Johannes Lepsius wrote two reports where he stated that 90% of the deportees died.

These numbers may be inflated. If we look at the "other side" of this, one of the organizers of the genocide, Djemal Pasha used the number 600.000 in his memoires.

Talaat Pasha's official report on the genocide doesn't include numbers about the relocation, just a census over Armenians, and says that there was 1,256,403 Armenians in 1914, and 284,157 in 1917. That gives a total death rate of 75%. Not all Armenians were forced on death marches, and many Armenians were killed in other ways, so this doesn't say much about the death rate for the relocations, but it's clear that it's quite high.

Mark quotes Arnold Toynbee as saying that it is at least 50%.

So estimates on the percentage of dead ranges between the very conservative 50% and up to 90%.

  • To give some context, the Cherokee tribe claims about 4000 out of 17000 tribe members forcibly removed on The Trail of Tears in 1835 died (about 24%). So high percentages for this kind of forced removal in that era are probably to be expected.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 13, 2014 at 22:36
  • @T.E.D. In both cases those who forced the removal would at best not care if those removed lived or died, and quite likely preferred them to die. Therefore high percentages of dead are indeed expected. But even so, there is a world of difference between 24% and 90%. Feb 13, 2014 at 22:53

According to Arnold Toynbee at least 50 percent [500,000 - 700,000] would be casualty of the deportations.[7]

Wikipedia, which references Arnold Toynbee, "A Summary of Armenian History up to and Including the Year 1915," in Viscount Bryce, preface, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16: Documents presented to Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs By Viscount Bryce (New York and London: G.P.Putnam's Sons, for His Majesty's Stationary Office, London, 1916), pp. 637-653.

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