Short Films, Long Stories

In his documentary “Map of Salvation,” Finnish historian Svante Lundgren retraces the paths of five humanitarian heroes of the Armenian Genocide. Putting themselves at risk, these people extended a helping hand to Armenian orphans and refugees, thus saving thousands of lives. Here are five excerpts from the full documentary.

Article items: 

1. Alma Johansson

Alma Johansson was a Swedish missionary who worked in the city of Mush in the Ottoman Empire. She saw children and women tortured, beaten and killed, and testified about those crimes to German and American diplomats in hopes that the Western countries would put an end to the violence. Johansson also described her experiences in a book titled "A People in Exile: One Year in the Life of the Armenians," which was translated into Armenian and French.


2. Maria Jacobsen

Thousands of children called Danish missionary Maria Jacobsen "Mama." The 600-page diary Maria Jacobsen kept between 1907 and 1919, complete with heart-breaking photographs interleaved between the pages, played an enormous part in bringing the truth about life and death inside the Ottoman Empire to the wider world.


Read Maria’s full story here.


3. Bodil Katharine Bioern

The daughter of a wealthy ship owner, Bodil Katharine Bioern was born to a life of privilege. In 1903 she began attending lectures given by German and Scandinavian missionaries on the plight of Armenians in Turkey, and her life took a dramatic turn. By the end of 1918 Bodil had saved hundreds of Armenian women and children.


Read Bodil’s full story here.


4. Anna Hedvig Büll

Anna Hedwig Bühl helped to save thousands of Armenian children during the Armenian Genocide. Between 1911 and 1916, the Estonian missionary worked as a teacher in Cilicia, where she witnessed the terrible events of the Genocide. Her courage and dedication led to the rescue of some two thousand children and women in Maraş, which was later called "The City of Orphans."


5. Karen Jeppe

Karen Jeppe was born in late 19th century Denmark into a middle-class family. She is directly and indirectly credited with the survival of thousands of Armenians who would have otherwise perished in the Genocide. Few individuals have contributed as much to the humanitarian cause as Karen Jeppe.


Read Karen’s full story here.


Display type: 
VIDEO: The Outstanding Saviors of Genocide