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Soghomon Tehlirian
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    (April 2, 1896-May 23, 1960)
    Born in Nerkin Bagarij, Armenia
    Armenian Genocide survivor
    Member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation
    Assassinated former Ottoman Interior Minister Mehmed Talat Pasha in Berlin (March 15, 1921)
    After a two-day trial was found not guilty by the German court and released
    Later settled in San Francisco, California
    He has been compared to Herschel Grynszpan.
    He claimed that his mother appeared to him in a dream and chastised him for seeing Talat in Weimar and not killing him.
    He was allegedly chased down the street by angry Germans after the killing, responding in broken German, 'I foreigner, he foreigner, this not hurt Germany.'
    His trial turned into a media circus, which had less to do with his killing a man and more to do with verifying the atrocities of the man he killed.
    He stated at his trial, 'I do not consider myself guilty because my conscience is clear … I have killed a man. But I am not a murderer.'
    He remains persona non grata with the Turkish government because he draws attention to a tragedy they insist 'never happened.'
    His assassination of Talat Pasha triggered two more assassinations of the other two 'Pashas,' as part of 'Operation Nemesis' (killing them instead of bringing them to stand trial to answer for the atrocities the committed).
    He remains a national hero in Armenia, and for Armenians all over the world.
    Hannah Arendt praised his actions in her classic 'Eichmann in Jerusalem.'
    He was studying at a university in Europe before the Armenian Genocide resulted in his being 'deported' along with the rest of his family from their hometown, Erzinga (June, 1915).
    He survived the infamous Armenian 'death marches' as a teenager, despite receiving an axe blow to the head by a guard which knocked him unconscious.
    When he awoke, he discovered he had survived the massacre of his entire family; he then vowed to avenge his family's killing.
    He had also been a witness to numerous atrocities on the death marches, including the shooting of his elderly parents and the rape of his young sisters by Turkish soldiers.
    His case was so compelling that it took less than an hour for the jury to return with a 'not guilty' verdict.
    His trial piqued the interest of a young Raphael Lemkin, who would go on to coin the term 'genocide' in 1943, with the Armenians in mind.
    His trial's irony was pointed out in that he was being tried for the murder of a man responsible for the deaths of over one million, but who had hitherto gone unpunished. ('The Three Pashas' were found guilty in absentia.)
    He has several beautiful monuments in California and Armenia.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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