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Assyrian Exodus from Persian Urmia - Summer of 1918

The Assyrians decided to head for the English in Baghdad. All told, 250.000 people set out from Urmia - men, women and children. There was no road. It was necessary to go along the Turkish front, through the Turkish and Kurdish mountains. On all sides were Turks and Kurds and Persians - a hostile sea of Moslems - with shots from behind the rocks and battles beneath the crags in gorges where swift rivers flow through the rocks and rocks fall from the crags, and crags, always crags - the Persian crags like powerful waves, like the rock ripples of an entire sea of rock. The Assyrians kept going because they are a great nation. They left the gorges and proceeded through the mountains. There was no water. They ate snow for twelve days. The horse fell. Then they took horses away from the old men and gave them to the young. It was no longer a question of saving individuals, but of saving the nation. Then they abandoned the old women. Then they began to abandon their children. It took a month to reach English territory in Baghdad. On the day of their arrival they numbered 203.000 people. 

                             (From Viktor Shklovsky, A Sentimental Journey, 1923)