This collection of Tehlirian’s memoirs describes the events between 1915 until the assassination of Talaat Pasha and the subsequent trial, in January 1921 in Berlin. The trial, which resulted in Tehlirian being found not guilty, served as another reminder for the European public about an unprecedented crime against humanity: the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey.
The book was printed in 1953 in Cairo, and in 1993 in Armenia, on both occasions under the title Recollections, The Terror of Talaat. The memoirs were written down and edited by the writer, social activist, and statesman Vahan Minakhoryan. The importance of Tehlirian’s book for the Armenian people is unquestionable, and it will undoubtedly be of great interest to readers outside Armenia. A work of great social and historical significance, the collection is now accessible to English-speaking readers, more than 60 years after the memoirs were first published.
A survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated the former Ottoman Interior Minister Talaat Pasha in Berlin as an act of retribution for Talaat’s role in organising the Armenian Genocide during World War I. The assassination took place in broad daylight and led to Tehlirian being arrested by the German police. After a two-day trial, Tehlirian was found not guilty by a German court and was set free.
In June 1915, the Ottoman police ordered the deportation of all the Armenians in Erzinjan, where Tehlirian’s family lived. Tehlirian's family, together with other Armenians, were deported and then massacred. Motivated by a desire to avenge the brutal killings of his family members, Soghomon Tehlirian joined Operation Nemesis in 1921, a covert assassination program targeting those who were responsible for the Armenian Genocide.
The assassination of Talaat Pasha was part of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Operation Nemesis. In 1919, in Yerevan, the general assembly of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation party enacted a resolution calling for the implementation of the verdicts it had reached. Soghomon Tehlirian executed the death sentence on Turkey’s minister Talaat on March 15, 1921 in Berlin. Tehlirian is considered a national hero in Armenia.