top of page

Genocide and kidnapped Armenian women

Karen Jeppe (1876–1935) was a Danish missionary and social worker, known for her work aid worker with Ottoman Armenian refugees and survivals of the Armenian Genocide, mainly widows and orphans, from 1903 until her death in Syria in 1935.

She was a member of Johannes Lepsius’s Deutsch Orient-Mission (German Orient Mission) and assumed responsibility (in 1903) for the Armenian children in the Millet Khan German Refugee Orphanage after the 1895 Urfa massacres.

A tragic side-issue of the Armenian genocide of 1915 and 1916, was the imprisonment of women and children in Turkish and Kurd harems, a fate which overtook probably a full 200,000 women and children.

In 1922 the “League of Nations” granted the first money to the liberation of women and children, and Karen Jeppe started working. This is a documentary film about the liberation of women in the desert of Der Zor. Filmed in 1926.

To Karen Jeppe the economic support from the League of Nations meant that she could start work on liberating the deported women. Together with her faithful helpmate Misak she created rescue stations during 1922 and 23, and a number of search stations.

Both were geographically spread out, and the rumour of a way to rescue had the effect that many women and children fled and sought refuge in these small stations, from where they were later taken to Aleppo. Other women were simply bought off their Arab owners.

One big problem was that many women had had children by their new owners, and found it difficult to leave them. Karen Jeppe has described how some of these men came to Aleppo to fetch their children, considered in fact the property of the man. In most cases they had to yield the child to the father, in other cases they succeeded in buying the child, and there were cases too when the mother chose to follow the man so as not to lose her child.

They succeeded in freeing ab.2000 women and children. In connection with work in the League of Nations offices were also created, which were to try to bring families together that had been dispersed during the war. 80% were lucky and found one or more relatives alive.

Becoming someone else … Genocide and kidnapped Armenian women

The Danish Peace Academy: Lous, Eva: Karen Jeppe

Karen Jeppe – den glemte heltinde –

Karen Jeppe

Becoming someone else…

Genocide and kidnapped Armenian women. – See more at:

Becoming someone else…

Genocide and kidnapped Armenian women. – See more at:

Becoming someone else…

Genocide and kidnapped Armenian women. – See more at:

0 views0 comments
bottom of page