“Auction of Souls” or “Memorial of Truth”
The poster of the film “Auction of Souls”
“Ravished Armenia”, one of the first documentary memoirs of an eyewitness of Armenian Genocide was published in 1918, in New York. In this book Arshaluys (Aurora) Mardiganian, a girl from Chmshkatsag, Armenian populated town in the Ottoman Empire, gave a detailed account of the terrible experiences she endured during the genocide.
At the age of fourteen Arshaluys was beaten and tortured in harems of Turkish officials and Kurdish tribesmen. The most traumatic of all, though, was the fact that she lost her parents, sisters and three brothers who were viciously killed in front of her eyes. After two years of those horrors Arshaluys Mardiganian, or Armenian Janna d’Ark, as she was called in America, resisted the conversion of her faith, escaped from the harem of Kemal Efendi, her Turkish lord. In the beginning of spring in 1917, after long-lasting wandering she reached Erzrum, which had already been occupied by Russian forces. There Arshaluys was sheltered by American missionaries. Later by the help of Armenian National Union and American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief she moved to Peterograd, Russia, then to New York USA and settled there. Despite all the sufferings Mardiganian stayed unbending. She had a mission to tell the world about the atrocities committed against Armenians in Turkey.