49 Following

Lagraziana's Kalliopeion

This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.

My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.



The Fight for Life of Six Armenian Villages Against the Ottoman Empire: The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel

The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (Verba Mundi) - Franz Werfel, Geoffrey Dunlop Die vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh - Franz Werfel

In April 1915, well covered up by the turmoil of World War I raging all over Europe, the Ottoman rulers launched their big stroke against the hated Armenian population living in Eastern Anatolia. The Armenian genocide started in Van on 19 April 1915 and then swept over the rest of the region including the then Syrian coast. By the end of World War I, which also led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire five years later, estimated 500,000 to 1.5 million Armenians were dead. However, according even to the current Turkish government it was just a "relocation" with some inevitable casualties!


Based on a true story Franz Werfel's novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh gives early fictional (!) account of the resistance that the inhabitants of six Armenian villages offered the Ottoman authorities on the Musa Dagh – Mount Moses – at the Syrian coast during the summer of 1915... In the book as in reality almost all of them survived although Ottoman forces were by large superior in number because they were rescued by French and British warships virtually in the last minute.The Austrian author heard about the couragous as well as desperate fight during a travel in the Middle East where the misery of the refugees was still visible when he was there.


Much in the novel also recalls the Jewish holocaust although Adolf Hitler had only seized power in Germany when Franz Werfel's novel (which would soon be banned and burnt not just for its "dangerous" contents, but also because the author was Jewish) was first released in 1933.


Click here to know more about this classic of Austrian literature which I reviewed at length on my other book blog Edith's Miscellany.

Source: http://edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com