Below is published an excerpt from the book: “Garegin Nzhdeh and the KGB. Scout’s memoirs.”
The book of the late KGB Colonel Vache Hovsepian is a documentary story of one of the most dramatic periods in the life of the outstanding national and political figure of Armenia Garegin Ter-Harutyunyan (Nzhdeh), in particular, the years of his imprisonment in the Yerevan prison of the Ministry of State Security of the Armenian SSR in 1952-53.
“My first meeting with Nzhdeh took place in the office of the Deputy Minister of the Republic Colonel Martiros Aghekian. In accordance with my assignment, I sat in the corner at a separate table with a pencil and paper to record the conversation. Before setting out its content, let me share my first impressions of Nzhdeh.
Accompanied by a warder (who then retired), a fit-looking man of a pleasant appearance, 66 years old, he entered the office in a military manner. He was of average height, had lively brown eyes, was gray-haired and bald.
In spite of his military bearing, he looked somewhat exhausted and depressed, but his sharp reaction, bright speech, tenacious memory, analytical thinking, hardness, ability to maintain his dignity were still with him.
The deputy minister led a conversation with Nzhdeh. To put it mildly, it was unethical. He came to us from Moscow, he knew the history of Armenia superficially, spoke poorly in Armenian, and at the same time behaved extremely arrogantly, which aroused alertness and an apparent antipathy in Nzhdeh.
All the questions that preceded the conversation about the state of health and mood of Nzhdeh were of a formally soulless nature, and the answers to them were put appropriately.
Then, the deputy minister unexpectedly decided to use the ‘main trump card’ and literally stated the following: ‘You, Nzhdeh, should be grateful to us that, despite your bloody acts towards the Bolsheviks in Zangezur, we saved your life and did not shoot you down.’
These words infuriated Nzhdeh. He jumped up and shouted in Aghekian’s face: ‘I don’t care about your shooting. You must understand who you are dealing with. I am Garegin Nzhdeh, a dedicated enemy of Bolshevism who has devoted his life to an uncompromising struggle for the freedom and independence of his people.
I defended Zangezur from the Turks and the Turk-Bolsheviks. Would I be scared of your execution? Many frightened me with it but did not achieve anything.’”