The Last Day of Talaat Pasha’s Life – March 15, 1921

The Last Day of Talaat Pasha's Life

This unique photograph was taken during one of the trials of Soghomon Tehlirian in June 1921 in Berlin. March 15, 1921, was the last day of the life for one of the main executioners of the Armenian people, Talaat Pasha.

In organizing the execution of Talaat Pasha, the main role was played by the American Central Committee of the Dashnaktsutyun Revolutionary Party, as well as by Armen Garo (Garegin Pastrmadjian, February 9, 1872 – March 23, 1923) and Shahan Natali (1884 – April 19, 1983).

In his memoirs, Soghomon Tehlirian wrote: “I caught up with Talaat on the opposite sidewalk. I quickened my step, got ahead enough, and moved to his side of the road. I went towards him. We approached each other. He walked like on a stroll, swinging his cane casually.

When the distance between us became insignificant, I was seized by an amazing peace. About to pass me, Talaat suddenly looked straight at me, and the horror of death flashed in his eyes.

His step went astray, he turned a little to avoid the inevitable, but I grabbed the weapon and instantly unloaded it in his head. From the blow, Talaat as if stretched out. In a second, his large body stretched tensely, vibrating. Then, he with the crash of a felled oak fell face down.”

The trial of Tehlirian lasted two days.

The lawyer, well aware of Tehlirian’s action, said: “At that moment, when the accused went out into the street and pointed the gun towards his victim, it was not just him who went out into the street.

He went out on behalf of the millions killed during the past centuries. We can say that he was carrying the flag of honor of all his people, the flag of all those torn to pieces, the flag of his tormented family.”

The jury appeared at the end of the trial, and one of its members read the verdict:

“I testify with honor and conscience the decision of the jury on whether defendant Soghomon Tehlirian is guilty of the assassination of Talaat Pasha committed in Charlottenburg on March 15, 1921. Not guilty.”

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