The Forty Days Of Musa Dagh

The Book

The Forty Days of Musa Dagh is a historical novel depicting the heroic battle of Musa Dagh, which took place in 1915. The novel was written in 1933 by the Austrian writer Franz Werfel (1890-1945).

The Story

"For months the ruthless Turks had waged a campaign of terror against the Armenians -- hanging, looting and raping.

And now, in 1915, they embarked on a campaign of complete extermination.

Faced with certain death, the Armenian villagers revolted. It fell to Gabriel Bagradian to lead some five thousand of them into the impenetrable mountain area of Musa Dagh. Here they constructed primitive but almost impregnable fortifications.

The tough, courageous villagers--poorly armed and with meager provisions-- looked out across the rocky slopes to see the first Turkish patrols inching slowly up the mountain.

The bloody battle of Musa Dagh was about to begin..."

About The Novel

Here is what American writer William Saroyan had to say about the novel:

"In number of words and pages this is a long novel, but in swiftness of movement it is all too short. Reading it, one hopes it might never end, and actually it does not end. Its implications cling to the heart and mind of the reader as some long forgotten and suddenly remembered experience in the story of all who once lived on the earth and somehow live yet. The novel is written with the ease which gives writing and life inevitability. Here, at last, is a contemporary novel full of the breath, the flesh and blood and bone and spirit, of life."

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