The Smith College Relief Unit, Near East Relief and visions of Armenian reconstruction, 1919–21
, Florence Snow, Helen Thayer and Helen Whitman.
5 See A. D. Krikorian and E. L. Taylor’s data compilation and analysis, ‘Ninety-six Years Ago Today’, Armenian News Network , 16 February 2015, www.groong.org/orig/ak-20150216.html (accessed 20 March 2020).
6 B. Little, ‘An Explosion of New Endeavours: Global Humanitarian Responses to Industrialized Warfare in the First World War Era’, First World War Studies 5:1 (2014), 1–16.
7 For example, special issue of First World War Studies 5:1 (2014); D. Rodogno, ‘Non-state Actors’ HumanitarianOperations in the
Displacement and the humanitarian response to suffering: reflections on aiding Armenia
-state Actors’ HumanitarianOperations in the Aftermath of the First World War: The Case of the Near East Relief’, in F. Klose (ed.), The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas and Practice from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 185–207.
12 A good starting point is B. Taithe and J. Borton, ‘History, Memory and “Lessons Learnt” for Humanitarian Pactitioners’, European Review of History , 23:1–2 (2016), 210–24.
modern, technical, transnational and secular endeavour. 28 Along similar lines, Keith Watenpaugh has argued for the exceptionality of Western humanitarian interventions on behalf of post-genocide Armenians in the Middle East, stressing the extent to which a process of transformation in humanitarian practices took place. 29 Both Cabanes’ and Watenpaugh’s arguments claim a significant shift from wartime to post-war humanitarianoperations. However, such an emphasis on this period as a ‘break’ tend to obscure significant elements of continuity in practices and agents
Russian imperial responses to Armenian refugees of war and genocide, 1914–15
of Tiflis, was to coordinate the work of the committee.
This organisation was responsible for collection of donations, transportation of the refugees from the frontline to the interior, establishment of food stations on routes of mass population movement, and sanitary-medical assistance to the displaced and the refugees (particularly prevention of epidemics during humanitarianoperations). 54 The Caucasus Committee opened food and tea stations, as well as medical stations on the Igdir–Etchmiadzin–Erivan–Yelenovka–Dilijan–Aghstev route for refugees coming from
Orphans, refugees and Norwegian relief in the Soviet Armenian Republic, 1922–25
Inger Marie Okkenhaug
worked alongside NER in the Armenian Republic. These included a Norwegian orphanage, established and run by the nurse, midwife and missionary Bodil Biørn. Biørn, who had arrived in Anatolia in 1905 in the employ of the German Deutscher Hülfbund’s Mission, established an orphanage in Alexandropol (Leninakan/Gyumri) in the north-western part of Armenia in 1922. 4 Norwegian relief was small and unassuming compared to NER’s humanitarianoperation, and it was financed by private funds from Norwegian women. Even so, it aimed for modern, international standards, and for