How an Armenian Saved the Bulgarian City of Pazardzhik – David Lang

How an Armenian Saved the Bulgarian City

In the Bulgarian city of Pazardzhik located on the railway line from Istanbul to Western Europe, there is a street named after one Hovhannes Sevadjian.

This Sevadjian was a local chief of the railway station and a cryptographer during the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878 which liberated the Bulgarian people from the Turkish yoke.

When the Russian troops approached, the Turkish commander-in-chief ordered the military commander of Pazardzhik: “Set the city on fire and expel the population.”

The ciphered order arrived at the railway station telegraph when there were Turkish military leaders in the office of Sevadjian. Putting his life to risk, Sevadjian interpreted the telegram in the opposite sense. Namely, that the city and its inhabitants should be spared.

To avoid any checking, Sevadjian swallowed the printed text of the original message. After some time, the Russian troops entered the city saved from destruction by the courage and resourcefulness of an Armenian.

An excerpt from the book of David Lang “Armenians: Creator People”

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