More than 100 years have passed since the first massacres of Western Armenians. Abdul Hamid rule has left unspeakable consequences on the life of Armenians and also has prepared a base for the implementation of 1915 Armenian genocide.
About 300.000 Armenians were killed during the massacres. Parallel to the massacres of Western Armenians, their cultural heritage, mostly schools and churches, was ruined and destroyed. Armenians has also suffered huge material loss. These events were greatly echoed in the local and world media. Apart from the articles, a number of photos, caricatures of the Turkish perpetrators, especially of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, post cards, etc. have appeared in the European press of the time. Insert-postcards for advertising purposes were also popular.
In 1896 the French chocolate-making «Chocolaterie d’Aiguebelle» company released a series of promotional postcards under the heading “Armenian Massacres” («Massacres d’Arménie») dedicated to 1894-1896 Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire. Among them were 12 insert-cards representing the massacres of Trabzon, Malatya, Arabkir, and Kyurin in 1895 and Constantinople in 1896. The series were one of the first releases of the company. Most remarkably, this collection received a gold medal during an international exhibition in 1900.
The study of this collection is of great interest and importance, because apart from giving valuable information, the violence against the Armenians was illustrated in a very expressive and unique manner.
Due to scarcity of resources, it is difficult to find out the Armenophil motives of the French company. However one thing is certain - propaganda was the ideology of this undertaking. The company aimed to inform all its customers about the Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire.
Propagandistic and pro-Armenian activities of «Chocolaterie d’Aiguebelle» gave a start to a release of postcards dedicated to the future massacres of Armenians and different anniversaries of Armenian Genocide.