Karen Jeppe in The Danish Peace Academy Archives

The Danish Peace Academy
Karen Jeppe : Denmark’s First Peace Philosopher

By Eva Lous 2003
Karen Jeppe together with Misak
and Hadjim Pasha

The story of Karen Jeppe could begin in many ways. For example, it
might begin with a bronze statue of her in the State Library in
Aarhus. Or it might begin with her birth in Gylling parish in 1876 or
it might begin in 1903, the year when she went to Turkey, more
precisely to Urfa, East of the Eufrat.

Really the story should begin with the Danish linguist and author Aage
Meyer Benedictsen (1866-1927).

I settle for the traditional intro, starting with the birth of Karen

Her father was a teacher at the school in Gylling, and very well
educated for his time. He had studied in England and originated from
Als, so he spoke both English and German. A modern man, he advocated
the idea that women should also have an education. He started to teach
Karen at an early age, and before she was six years old, she read the
historic novels by Ingemann. By the age of 13 she was sent to her
fathers relatives in Als to learn German After her homecoming, her
father continued her education until 1893, when she became a resident
pupil at the Ordrup Grammar School.

Here the legendary H.C.Frederiksen was headmaster, and boys and girls
were taught together not usual at the time. Karen became a sort of
adoptive daughter to Frederiksen, called Friser, after she had
insisted, knowing well that she could not live in their house, on
having a place to sleep there. The outcome was that she stayed on,
until her school certificate in 1895, and several years later.

Karen’s father intended her to become a doctor, but she would study
mathematics and started, but she had to give it up. She felt that the
work load was too heavy, and that she could not cope. She was ill for
two years! Whether it was only due to disappointment and nerves, or
whether there was also a physical cause for her long confinement,
history does not say. But nevertheless she started teaching at Frisers
school and a competent teacher she was, who took care especially of
difficult and uncooperative pupils. At this school she also met her

One evening in 1902 Friser read aloud to the pupils at the school. It
was an article writtenarticle written by Aage Meyer Benedictsen, and
it dealt with the persecutions of the Armenian people at the end of
the past century. When shortly afterwards Benedictsen lectured in
Copenhagen, they went there to listen. An engaging orator, he ended
his talk by a cry for help to the Armenian people passed on from an
old Armenian.

Aage Meyer Benedictsen was an unusual man. He was one of the first
Danish cosmopolitans and champions of Human Rights a true man of
Peace. An educated philologist, he travelled to learn languages of
East Europe, Kurdistan, Persia, India, Borneo, the West Indies,
Ireland and Armenia. As time passed, the ethnologic studies occupied
him more than the purely linguistic. He became an anti-colonialist,
straining himself for the right of minor peoples to self-government
and so also freedom of language and religion. In particular the
persecution of the Armenians occupied him, and during one of his
travels to Persia he visited the German Orient Mission in Urfa, which
had started an orphanage, a school and a production of carpets for
export. Leader was the German clergyman Johannes Lepsius. When
Benedictsen returned to Denmark in 1902, he took the initiative to
start The Danish Friends of Armenians.

Karen Jeppe was deeply moved by his lecture, and as Ingeborg Sick
wrote in her book on Karen Jeppe: The thought of the children, whom
the massacres left in the streets and roads, would not leave her And
one day in the spring of 1903 the thought, refused by her, comes up
from her subconscious with an imperative:You must. (Sick, 1936, p.27)

She contacted Benedictsen, who could tell her that Dr.Lepsius was just
looking for a woman teacher for the school. She would receive a
salary, but would have to pay her passage.

The Danish Friends of Armenians had a sturdy friend in squire Hage of
Nivaagaard, and he was willing to pay for Karen’s travel.

Then where was she going?

Since 1991 Armenia is an autonomous republic with much the same
borders as original Armenia. Bordering on Georgia in the North,
Azerbaidjan in the West, Iran to the South, and Turkey in the East.

The last great conflict in the region took place in 1994, when Armenia
conquered a strip of land from Azerbaidjan to Nagorno Karabakh, where
the majority consists of ethnic Armenians.

Armenias history goes back to very early times. The first written
sources stem from Herodotus, who described the conquest by the Persian
king Darius in 520 B.C. . The next 400-500 years were marked by
changing borders with different rulers.

Decisive for the fate of the country was the fact that they became
Christian. According to legends it was the very disciples of Jesus,
Bartholomew and Thaddaeus, who brought the Gospel. Armenia has been
officially Christian since ab.300, when the King declared Christianity
the State religion. Gregorius also called the Bearer of Light became
the first Armenian apostle, and by him the Armenian Church is called
the Gregorian.

Located between the Byzantine and the Persian realms, Armenia was
exposed on all sides, and ar. 1000 the Turks conquered the region the
result was a great emigration. Many Armenians went South to Cilicia
later called Little Armenia.

Here the Crusaders won an ally, and the close contact with the
Europeans became significant among other things by a close contact to
the Roman Catholic Church. During this period many convents and
churches were built, which are there to this day.

Around the middle of the 1400s the whole area was incorporated into
the Osman realm, but Armenia had its own patriarchs both in Jerusalem
and Istanbul, where they functioned as go-betweens between the small
Christian population and the highest Islamic authority. The Christian
population was on the whole allowed to do its own affairs for many
years, until the end of the 1800s, when the Osman realm began to fall
apart. Scape goats were to be found for the incompetence of the rulers
and for the economic deroute, and very naturally this was the little
group of Christians, who for centuries had stuck to their own religion
and therefore were a minority. At the same time many Armenians were
bankers and tradespeople and received the same role as the Jews in
Europe in the past century. During the previous centuries the
Armenians had settled around the entire Osman empire with a
concentration in what is now the Easternmost Turkey, and down along
the coast to the South.

The Osman empire was not allowed to collapse, because Western powers
England and France had an interest in controlling the passage between
the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, thereby keeping Russia out of the
Mediterranean. The Germans also got involved, they wanted to build a
railway from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Bagdad.

This conflict between the Great Powers ended at the outbreak of the
First World War, but before that the Turks had tried to relieve the
inner tensions by exterminating the strangers, those who were
different, of another faith than the Moslem one. To begin with, about
30.000 Greeks had to pay, then ab. 10.000 Syrians, in 1876 the round
came to ab.20.000 Bulgarians, and in 1894 it fell to the Armenians.

According to German accounts, during the years 1894 to 1896 more than
88.000 people were killed. 2500 villages were destroyed, and 568
churches met the same fate.

Especially hard hit was the district around Urfa. Here were already
many refugees, driven from the land districts. The massacre became
known in Europe, but here more attention was paid to the great
political game and the protests arising had little or no
effect. American missionaries were in the area, among others running
an orphanage, and they tried to take in and shelter as many as
possible at the mission. The German Orient Mission was also present,
and here Karen Jeppe was to work.

Before Karen could leave, she had to persuade her father that she had
taken the right decision. True, he himself had travelled much, but to
send his daughter into the middle of the Osman realm, down to the
infidels wearing scimitars and practising polygamy – this did not seem
right to him. Neither did the local pastor and close friend Otto
Mxller like the idea. But Karen was tough she would do it and just as
when she, at the time, had herself lodged with Friser, this once also
she had her way, and could leave with the blessings of both her father
and the pastor.

The travel to Urfa

One of the narrow roofed streets in the bazaar.

October 1, 1903 Karen Jeppe left home first by train via Berlin to
Italy, from where she sailed to Istanbul, and on also by boat through
the Marmara Sea to Ishenderun, where she was to have gone ashore, but
there was an epidemic of cholera, so instead it was Mersin. During the
travel she was in company with the Swiss diacon Jakob K|nster, who was
also to work at the orphanage.

Later Karen Jeppe wrote that she was at once fascinated by Asia the
grand lines of the landscape, the cupolas of Istanbul in silhouette,
the strong colors of the sunsets.

>From Mersion they went by train to nearby town Adana here the rails
stopped, and the rest of the trip was done first by horse wagon, then
on donkeys.They were accompanied by a soldier, who was to protect them
from robbers. The little company spent the night at a sort of inns,
where people brought their own bedding and food, because there was
only the bare clay floor. Karen found this exciting.

When they approached Urfa, hundreds of people rushed to meet
them. They wanted to come and see the foreign lady from Denmark. They
brought fresh water, tea and food and served them on blankets brought
for the purpose, they even had a horse so that Karen Jeppe could enter
the town in proper state, but she refused the offer and mounted the
donkey to which she had got accustomed, in order to cover the last

The town had ca. 50.000 inhabitants, the houses had one or two
stories, the streets so narrow that a loaded camel could just
pass. Legend has it that Urfa is situated where the Ur of Abraham
was. To Karen Jeppe all was new and much different from what she had
been able to imagine: a whole world rushed over me.(Cedergreen Bech,
p.22) Karen Jeppes work

Before she could begin teaching, she had to learn the language. When
after about a year she started work, she spoke Armenian, Arabic and
Turkish, and she introduced new methods of teaching. This aroused
attention, because her children learnt to read and write far quicker
than those in the other schools.

The leader of the Orient Mission wrote after a visit: Our school work
has influenced considerably the system of teaching in a wide area
around Urfa. Miss Jeppe has introduced sound and visual instruction
with the result that normally gifted children, within a year, do not
only learn to speak the language fluently, but have also acquired a
writing capacity which hitherto took 2-3 years to achieve. From far
away teachers come to get familiar with the method. A renewal of the
entire Armenian school system seems to radiate from here. (Cedergreen
Bech p.23)

Undoubtedly, during her teaching days at the Ordrup Grammar School
Karen Jeppe got to know the textbooks of the educationalist Kirstine
Frederiksen (see Dansk Biografisk Leksikon) from 1889, where as
something quite new she, among other things, warmly recommends visual
instruction. Practical Liberation Philosophy

Karen Jeppe proved to have a formidable talent for organizing. At the
childrens home she got things in order, she thought ahead. No good for
the children to get an education by books, if there were no
possibilities of supporting them. She created workshops where the
children, from an early age, learnt different crafts, a weave shed
with corresponding dyeworks also got started. She also had plans for
silk production, aiming at sale. The mission needed money for schools,
food and housing. She wrote to the Danish Friends of Armenians, asking
for help. No money in the till, but author Ingeborg Maria Sick
encouraged her to send some of the famous Armenian needlework home,
then the Friends of Armenians would sell them and send the money to
Karen.This became the beginning of an extensive collecting and
production of Armenian embroideries, later to be of great

In 1908 Karen Jeppe went home to Denmark, partly for a holiday, partly
to travel around the country and tell about her work among the
Armenian refugees. While she was at home, the conflict was aggravated
between the Young Turks and the old Osman regime. During many years,
the Armenians had put their trust in the promises given by the Young
Turks, that Christians and Moslems were to live peacefully side by
side, when they came into power. But the promises proved to be
empty. The Young Turks were strongly nationalist, wanting a state
consisting of Moslems.

New massacres took place in Cilicia, where 20.000-30.000 Armenians
were murdered. The Young Turks blamed the government and deposed
it. The Young Turks, when they came into power, did not give the
Armenians the legal status promised to them. Nevertheless conditions
got better for the Armenian population in the years up to World War
1. On the whole there was no persecution, and several started
different kinds of crafts, whereas others returned to cultivate their

Karen Jepep, who had come back in 1908, untiringly continued her work
to provide the daily bread for the Armenians. For a long time she had
harbored plans of setting up minor agricultural settlements. Many
refugees were former peasants, so she bought a piece of land in the
mountains, where she, among other things, planted vineyards. To begin
with, she lived in a small tent, and the locals did not understand
that she dared at all stay so far away from the mission station,. But
slowly she built up a good relationship to the Kurds and Arabs
passing. She set cool water at the entrance drive, greeted them in
their own language: God bless your father, she offered cigarettes and
coffee, a common custom with the Arabs. Karen Jeppe got great help
from the son Misak whom she had adopted, a few years after she had
come to Urfa. Like many others he was an orphan, and at a time had
confided in Karen Jeppe that when she first came to Urfa, he believed
she was to be his foster mother. Karen Jeppe had also adopted a girl
Lucia. She and Misak were married in 1913, on the anniversary of Karen
Jeppes arrival in Urfa. All looked well the vineyard and the growing
of vegetables were a success, the workshops associated with the
childrens home functioned well, and conditions for the Armenians
looked tolerable.

The Turkish Genocide on the Armenians

Armenian victims in one of the countless massacres.

But the peaceful times were shortlived. World War 1 proved a
catastrophe for the Armenian people. Turkey entered the war on the
German side. In 1915 the Turks resolved that the Armenians were to be
moved they were an unreliable population element!

The Turks were efficient. Before the war there were ab. 1.8
mio. Armenians in Turkey, after the war there were ab. 450.000. A few
hundred thousands managed to flee either to Caucasus or to Syria.

Karen Jeppe tried to help as best she could. She hid refugees under
the floor of her house, she organized food and water for the caravans
of Armenians driven through Urfa on to their last travel. The Turks
were not so sophisticated in mass destruction, so their methods were
to herd the men together and shoot them. The young women were often
sold as house slaves, older women and children were also driven
together, but these were sent out wandering, until they died of
thirst, hunger and exertion.

Karen Jeppe stayed on in Urfa during the war. Once she was attacked by
spotted fever, and it was arranged for her go home together with a
missionary, but she refused as long as she had refugees in her
house. She helped many to flee by disguising them as Kurds and
Arabs. By 1918 all refugees had left her house, and there was no more
for her to do. For a year and a half she had had refugees living in a
cellar dug under her house. Sick and nerve-racked she went home to
Denmark. She was unhappy, she had had to leave her two children to an
uncertain destiny.

Karen Jeppe stayed in Denmark for three years. She more or less
recovered, but the strength and energy which she had possessed earlier
on, never came back. She said herself that something inside her had

At the end of the war the Turks had lost, but they refused to honor
the peace agreement laid upon them. Great parts of the land were
occupied. Asia Minor (Cilicia), Syria and Lebanon by the French,
Palestine and Jordan by the English. The Armenian state which the
Western Powers had promised to set up, was very short-lived. The
Russians conquered the original Armenia and incorporated it into the
Soviet Union.

Karen Jeppe in Aleppo

Armenian children in lined up at the soup kitchen.

Karen Jeppe decided to leave and find her people, wherever they might
be. In 1921 she went to Aleppo in Syria, where she knew that many
Armenian refugees had ended up.

She was received by Misak and Lucia in Beirut. Danish Friends of
Armenians had started publication of the periodical The Armenians
Friend (Armeniervennen), and after her arrival in Syria Karen Jeppe
wrote an article headed: Home Again. (Armeniervennen no 9-10,1921)
Undoubtedly it was here that her heart was. Besides Misak and Lucia
there were other well-known faces from Urfa, and the rumour that the
girl from Urfa, as she was called, had arrived in Aleppo, spread

She began to build up a childrens home, a soup kitchen, a medical
clinic and a dressmakers workroom. The beginning was hard. There were
only very few elderly women survivors from the war, and these were the
ones who knew the ancient patterns and techniques. Incidentally one of
the boxes with old embroideries, which Karen Jeppe had sent home to
Denmark from Urfa during the war, had stranded in Aleppo, and no less
incidentally it came to light now, and the workroom got
going. Embroideries sent to Denmark brought as much money as the
voluntary contributions. The idea behind the workrooms was still that
the Armenians were to be educated to support themselves and get out of
the refugee camps.

By 1922 the situation worsened seriously. Refugees came pouring in,
especially from Cilicia, where the French troops were in
withdrawal. Many Armenians had gone back to their homes, believing
that they would be protected by the French. Karen Jeppe and the
League of Nations Working with the traditional Armenian embroidery in

In 1921 Karen Jeppe was asked to join the League of Nations committee
for release of Armenian women and children. The Danish delegate Henni
Forchhammer, as one of the three women (the two others were professor
Kristine Bonnevie of Norway and Anna Bugge Wicksell of Sweden) who had
a seat in the League of Nations, had worked hard to have Karen Jeppe
put on the budget of the League.

Ever since the turn of the century, Henni Forchhammer had worked on
the issue of the so-called White Slave Trade, where women were either
abducted and forced into prostitution, or the problem arisen during
World War 1, where women were deported and lived under slave-like
conditions. Already before she went to the first Assembly in 1920, she
had investigated the matter, and she used the contacts made in Geneva
to obtain further information, especially about the Armenian women.

>From the information gathered she could assess that most of the
deported persons were Armenian women, and that by 1920 there were
still at least 30.000 of these either in Turkish harems or with Arab
nomads. Most of them lived under constraint, hoping for
liberation. Quite a few statements about this had secretly reached the
European and American mission stations working in the area.

When Henni Forchhammer was able to provide this information about
conditions such as these, it was because she had, for a long period of
years, worked internationally among other things as Vice President of
the International Council of Women (ICW), and thereby had contacts not
only to women-political circles, but also to a number of
politicians. Besides, the International League of Women for Peace and
Freedom, who had their main office in Geneva, were well informed and
gave great help. By 1920 they succeeded in having a commission set up
especially to investigate the matter of the deported women and
children of Armenia, Asia Minor, Turkey and the bordering
countries. At the time Henni Forchhammer did not know Karen Jeppe
personally, and at first she was not intended as a member of the
commission, but instead a French woman, known as strongly in favour of
the Turks, was appointed. From friends of Armenians all over the World
protests were raised against the appointment of the French woman, and
here Karen Jeppe was mentioned as the most likely candidate. She knew
the local conditions and spoke both Armenian and Turkish. Henni
Forchhammer did the hard work, ending in Karen Jeppe as a member of
the commission the next year.

Karen Jeppe herself, however, had second thoughts about the
matter. During her travel to Aleppo she wrote in her diary:

It appeared in letters from Miss Robinson (The Armenian Committee
in London) that I am almost appointed to the Commission, and it
overwhelmed me, since the difficult character and size of the
entire task, if it is to be of any use, is too much for me. How
would I supply for all these people ? It is quite certain that if
I have got them out of the harems, then I will also be responsible
for what becomes of them.And who will finance this huge enterprise
? I have very little trust in the whole affair.

But it may a vocation. Well, then I must apply myself to it,
however much I resist. (Quot. from Memories of Karen Jeppe,

As it appears distinctly, Karen Jeppe was not eager to shoulder the
task in particular the problem of providing for yet more people
worried her. Later on, her work in the League of Nations proved an
advantage to her.

In 1922 the League of Nations granted the first money to the
liberation of women and children, and Karen Jeppe stsrted working.

By 1923, Henni Forchhammer was anxious to know whether luck would have
it that the support continued. In one of her travel letters to her
family at home she wrote:

I have been very busy, partly with committee work, partly with
talking to people to interest them in the work of Karen Jeppe. The
case has been brought before the committee, I spoke, if I may say
so, very well, after that professor Murray very warmly supported
the proposal, then Karen Jeppe spoke quietly, but earnestly, it
had a great effect, several spoke in favour, nobody against, and
finally the motion was carried unanimously, and I was elected
chairman of the Assembly, which meant that they have made me a
deputy member instead of technical delegate to our delegation. But
there is a long way ahead yet; when a grant is about, it has to be
laid before the Finance Committee and also a Control Committee,
and they are all people who only look at the ciphers and have no
time to acquaint themselves with the realities of the case, so
these must be influenced separately. (Quot. after Hanne Rimmen
Nielsen, p.189)

In a meeting a year later, where the economic support was again on the
agenda, it was said: It is so little use, at which Karen Jeppe made
maybe the shortest speech in the League of Nations, answering: Yes, it
is only a little light, but the night is so dark. (Quot. from Dansk
kvindebiografisk Leksikon, p.214). Fight against the white slave

One of the Armenian women

tattooed in Arabic captivity.

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.

Another problem was that many of the women, living in Arab families,
had had their faces tattooed, so that it could be seen, to which tribe
they belonged. In her report to the League of Nations Karen Jeppe

the tattooing which has aroused much attention at home. The moral
consequences of this procedure are often very distressing,
because the poor girls go around feeling that they have been
branded in their faces for life, which in fact has often
prevented them from getting home, they simply dare not show
themselves to their countrymen.

Physically it is a very painful treatment to go through, but if
luck will have it that the poison does not get into the blood, it
is harmless. (Karen Jeppe, Report p.5. Manus.no 898).

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.

To Karen Jeppe work in the League of Nations was stressing, but it
also had its advantages Traveling to Geneva took time, a lot of
reports had to be written about the progress of the work; but money
came in, very much needed, and she was issued a car with the signature
of the League of Nations painted on its side. This gave opportunities
and a freedom of movement not earlier available. At the same time it
gave status in the sense that now she did not come on her own errand,
but as official emissary. Farming

In 1925 she got two Danish helpers, Jenny Jensen and Karen
Bjerre. This was a welcome relief, and it helped Karen Jeppe now to
concentrate on her new project.

In Urfa her little farm had seemed to succeed, if it had not been
stopped by the war. She herself had grown up with the Jutland soil
under her feet, and the thought that the Armenians would be able to
provide for themselves by cultivating the land, had never left her. In
1923, during a visit to Denmark, she had been promised economic
support from the leader of the Swedish section of the World League for
Peace and Reconciliation, Natanael Beskow.

Back in Aleppo she contacted a Bedouin sheik, Hadjim Pasha who owned
much land East of the Eufrat. She packed her little travel tent and
drove by car out to his camp, wher she was his guest for a week. It
aroused quite some attention that a white woman lived in a small white
tent side by side with him and his family in their black tents.

In fact the French government had offered to create an agricultural
colony for the Armenian refugees in the Eufrat valley, but nobody
joined in. The Armenians had lost confidence in the French after their
withdrawal from Cilicia, which brought so fatal consequences to many
of their countrymen.

After negotiations with Hadjim Pasha the outcome was that Karen Jeppe
rented part of his land at a fair price. 30 families set out to build
houses, repair old dams, and not least plough and sow. The first
harvest was no success, but the settlers found that they had a good
market for their vegetables with the bedouins living around. More
refugees came, and little by little a small colony of farmers grew
up. Karen Jeppe built a house for herself, and it was a beloved place
not only for herself, but also for visitors coming from both inland
and abroad. Now she was a well-known person the French airforce
flapped their wings when they flew over her house, and French officers
were frequent guests. From Denmark among others came Henni Forchhammer
in 1926 a travel which she has described in a small book: A Visit to
Karen Jeppe. Sketches from a Voyage to Syria.

Hadjim Pasha became a good friend of Karen Jeppe, He helped her with
practical things, and his status in the region had the effect that the
settlers could be secure.

For instance his cousin was, to begin with, envious at the contract
which Hadjim had made with the settlers, and maybe he also thought
that this was not accceptable among beduins, to hire ones pasture land
to farmers in any case he sent his camels on to the cultivated
fields. Hadjim took up his gun and began shooting at the camels.After
that there was no more trouble. Of course there were difficulties, and
Karen Jeppe wrote in a private letter: If you have a colony in
Mesopotamia with tractor and bedouin problems, then you are really in
for it. (Cedergreen Bech, p. 58).

Outside Aleppo there are still some of the six small villages founded
by Karen Jeppes settlers, for instance Tel-Armen (The Armenian Hill)
and Tel-Samen (The Butter Hill), but no sign of farming. Karen Jeppes
intentions were good enough, but she was no agricultural expert. The
soil was not fit for farming year after year. Besides there was too
little water for irrigation, which is necessary during the repeated
dry periods.

The end

Karen Jeppe is punktured in the desert. The car which came with the
work for the League of Nations became a great aid for her in the
work. Now she had the possibility to attend the settlements and at
least keep the contact with the search stations established to search
for Armenian women and children.

Karen Jeppes health grew no better over the years. She still visited
Denmark at even intervals, but here there was not much holiday for
her. The many sections of the Friends of Armenians wanted to hear news
from her personally, and she lectured both here and there. Autumn 1933
saw her last visit to Denmark. On her return she fell ill, but
recovered partly and continued her work. In the summer of l935 she
went to her white house in the agricultural colony, and here she had
an attack of malaria, which she had also had earlier, but this time it
was more serious. She was taken to the hospital in Aleppo, where she
died on July 7, 1935, at the age of 59.

To the Armenians, dependent on her initiatives, this was a great
loss. They buried her in Aleppo, where her tomb may still be seen.

Obituaries weere written from many sides one of the most touching
comes from an Armenian writing:Mother, your dust will still shield,
and when we build our own capital at the foot of Ararat, we will build
a memorial shrine to you. The heart of any Armenian is really a
Pantheon to you. Armenians, let us bare our heads and fall on our
knees a messenger from God has left us. (Quot. after Chr.Winther,
p. 40)

The Armenians looked upon Karen Jeppe as their patron angel, which the
following story goes to prove. After the great earthquake in 1927,
with many casualties and great damage,.an Arab and an Armenian spoke
to each other. The Armenian said that here in Aleppo nothing happens,
for here a holy person lives, and the Arab asked who that was. Karen
Jeppe, was the answer.

Karen Jeppe is one of Denmarks great women, known to most of the World
as the woman who without hesitation gave her whole working life to a
people whom she came to love. She set out and worked in the German
mission, but she never did any missionary work herself. After a short
while she became aware that the Armenian people needed no conversion,
but help to helping themselves, and here her formidable talent for
organization came to full bloom She managed to create friendly
relations between bedouins and farmers an exploit in itself, but she
also opened the eyes of the Western world to the ethnic persecution
which the Armenians underwent. She was what to-day we should call a
liberation philosopher, who with all means tried to create
possibibilities of survival for the people without a homeland.

In 1927 she received the Medal of Merit in gold.

Translator: Hans Aaen, 2004.

Hendskriftsamlingen, Statsbiblioteket
Nr.896: Protokol for De danske Armeniervenner, Erhus, I og II 1920- 1938.
Nr.897: Breve vedr. Karen Jeppe og arbejdet for armenierne.
Nr.898: Lxse bilag til hendskrift nr. 896.

League of Nations Archives in Geneva.
Karen Jeppe was actually employed (from May 15, 1921) in The League of
Nations (United Nations) in a period as commissary in Armenian
affairs, and received som economical and political support from there,
there exists letter correspondences and reports in Switzerland, with
Rachel Crowdy, Dr. Kennedy (British), Miss Kushman (American) and
Madam Gaulis (French), Karen Jeppe’s letter correspondence with Miss
Robinson (Armenian committee in London), Inga Nalbandian
(Denmark). and with the (Armenian committee in Paris).

Benedictsen, Aage Meyer: Armenien : Et Folks Liv og Kamp gennem to
Aartusinder. De danske Armeniens-venner ; Gad, 1925.
Cedergreen Bech, Svend: Hos et folk uden land. Gad 1982
Dansk Biografisk Leksikon.
Dansk Kvindebiografisk Leksikon. Rosinante 2000-2001
Dickran, Karekin: Maria Jacobsen and the Genocide in Armenia.
By far Euphrates. Massacres of Armenians in Ourfa.
Et folk, der ikke findes : Interview med den kristne, amerikanske
armenier Michael Holt / Malene Grxndal ; Carsten Fenger-Grxn. I:
Information, 05/12/2000.
Forchhammer, Henni: Et besxg hos Karen Jeppe. Skildringer fra en rejse
til Syrien. De danske Armeniervenner 1926.
Forchhammer, Henni: Minder om Karen Jeppe. Kxbenhavn 1949.
Folkemord er et fyord / Malene Grxndal ; Carsten Fenger-Grxn. I:
Information, 05/12/2000.
Kraft-Bonnard, A.: Armeniens Time. I Kommission hos H. Aschenhough, 1922.
Mugerditchian, Esther: I Tyrkernes Klxer : En Beretning om en Armensk
Families Flugt. London : The Complete Press, 1918.
Nalbaldi`n, Inga: Armeniens Saga. H. Aschenhough, 1922?.
Nansen, Fridtjof: Gjennem Armenien, 1927.
Nielsen, Hanne Rimmen: I Folkeforbundets tjeneste Henni Forchhammers
rejsebreve fra Genhve 1920-37, i Hjort, Karen og Anette Warring:
Handlingens kvinder. Roskilde Universitetsforlag 2001.
Riggs, Henry: Days of Tragedy in Armenia : Personal Experiences in
Harpoot 1915-1917. Ann Arbor, Michigan : Gomidas Institute, 1997? –
ISBN 1-884630-01-4
Sch|tte, Gudmund: Ege Meyer Benedictsen : en dansk Ildend. I: Islandsk
Aarbog, 1935.
Sick, Ingeborg Maria: Pigen fra Danmark. Et rids af Karen Jeppes liv
og gerning. Gyldendal 1928.
Sick, Ingeborg Maria: Karen Jeppe. Gyldendal 1936
Thyssen, Nikolai: Nfgter folkedrab. I: Information. 05/114/2002.
De undertrykte nationers tolk (The voice of suppressed people) Chosen
articles and memorial. Nyt Nordisk forlag – Arnold Busck, 1934<.br>
Vejlager, Johannes: Karen Jeppe. 32 Aars opofrende arbejde blandt
Armenerne. Kolding 1936.
Winther, Chr.: Armenien og Karen Jeppe. Faglig Lfsning
nr. 84. Tidsskrift for Skole og Hjem. 1936
Armeniervennen 1921-1948

Peoples League (UN) A film about Karen Jeppe’s burial. Can be found
at; Det Danske Filmmuseum, Mxllemarken 29, 2880 Bagsvfrd Danmark
DK. Telephone: (+45 42 98 56 06, Fax: (+45) 44 49 06 10. The title of
the film: Folkenes Forbund + Karen Jeppes Bisfttelse. 20 minutes. 29,3
seconds. + 3 minutes. 15,1 seconds. Danish version, black & white,
format 1,37:1.

Eva Lous is research librarian and head of the Womens’ Historical
Collection in the State Library.


Fredsakademiet.dk. Opdated Mon, 08 Mar 2004 00:28:58 GMT

Ayskan Charik te´………

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress


Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS