Talaat Pasha was assassinated in Berlin on March 15, 1921

Talaat Pasha was assassinated in Berlin on March 15, 1921 –

Soghomon Tehlirian

 Soghomon Tehlirian was an Armenian Genocide survivor who assassinated the former Ottoman Interior Minister Talaat Pasha in the presence of many witnesses on March 15, 1921 in Berlin as revenge for his role in orchestrating the Armenian Genocide during World War I. It was a part of the Operation Nemesis by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Talaat Pasha had been convicted and sentenced to death in absentia in the Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919–1920 for his crimes against the Armenians of the Empire (among other things). After a two-day trial Tehlirian was found not guilty by the German court and freed. Tehlirian is considered a national hero by Armenians.

 He was born in Erzurum, Western Armenia. He went to the Getronagan Armenian High School in Istanbul and later went to Germany to study engineering, but had to return to his town when World War One started.

 His mother, three sisters, two brothers, his sister s husband and their two year old child were forced to march for several hours. Tehlirian remembers hearing gunfire and seeing his mother shot dead. His sisters were dragged away and raped. His brother was beheaded in front of him. Soghomon got hit in the head knocking him unconscious. Later waking up on piles of corpses.

 He made his way to Tbilisi where he joined the ARF (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) and later participated in General Andraniks military detachments.

 In 1921 Tehlirian was back in Germany continuing his studies when one day he spotted Talaat Pasha outside of his home, the main perpetrator of the Armenian Genocide.

 On March 15, 1921 Soghomon assasinated Tallat., A single bullet to the head killed Talaat Pasha. The assassination took place in broad daylight and led to Tehlirian’s immediate arrest by German police

 Tehlirian was tried for murder, but was eventually acquitted by the German court.

The trial examined not only Tehlirian’s actions but also Tehlirian’s conviction that Talaat Pasha was the main author of the Armenian deportation and mass killings. The defense attorneys made no attempt to deny the fact that Tehlirian had killed a man, and instead focused on the influence of the Armenian Genocide on Tehlirian’s mental state. When asked by the judge if he felt any sort of guilt, Tehlirian remarked, “I do not consider myself guilty because my conscience is clear…I have killed a man. But I am not a murderer’.

 It took the jury slightly over an hour to render a verdict of “not guilty. The president of the court building on the “Nein” of the jury announced the court’s decision that Soghomon is acquitted and released.

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