Arshavir Shirakian

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Arshavir Shirakian
Arshavir Shirakian.jpg
Arshavir Shiragian's passport photo in 1919
Born1900
DiedApril 12, 1973 (aged 72–73)
Resting placeHackensack Cemetery
Coordinates: 40°54′31″N 74°02′00″W / 40.90872°N 74.033301°W / 40.90872; -74.033301
Known forAssassinating Cemal Azmi, Said Halim Pasha, Behaeddin Shakir, and Vahe Ihsan
Political partyArmenian Revolutionary Federation

Arshavir Shirakian (also Shiragian, Armenian: Արշաւիր Շիրակեան; January 1, 1902[1] or1900 – April 12, 1973) was an Armenian writer who was noted for his assassination of Said Halim Pasha and Cemal Azmi as an act of vengeance for their roles in the Armenian Genocide. He is also noted for writing his memoirs The Will of the Martyrs (Կտակն էր Նահատակներուն) which provide an accurate description of his life during the Armenian Genocide and the Operation Nemesis.

Life[edit]

Arshavir Shirakian was born in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire in 1900.[2][3] Shirakian grew up around many members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. During the Armenian Genocide, Shirakian was entrusted the job of smuggling weapons and delivering secret messages amongst party members.[2] Shirakian would describe in his memoirs that during those days, there were many hate rallies against Armenians and that many Armenian establishments were vandalized such as the Tokatlian Hotel.[4][5]

Operation Nemesis[edit]

Arshavir Shirakian's first target was assassinating Armenian traitor Vahe Ihsan (Yesayan). According to his memoirs, Vahe Ihsan was "a traitor who was despised by his countrymen, his relatives, and eventually by his own children" and "helped to draw up the list of prominent Armenians who were arrested and deported in 1915."[5] Shirakian assassinated Ihsan on March 27, 1920 in Constantinople.[2]

Shirakian was given the task to assassinate Sait Halim Pasha while he was in exile in Rome, Italy. Shirakian took up residence in a house on 28 Via Cola di Rienzo in Rome.[4] On December 5, 1921, Shirakian assassinated Sait Halim Pasha while he was in a taxi on the home on Via Eustachio.[5][6][7][8]

Shirakian, along with Aram Yerganian, was later given the task to assassinate both Cemal Azmi and Behaeddin Shakir, who were in Berlin.[2] On April 17, 1922, Shirakian and Yerganian encountered Azmi and Shakir walking with their families at the Uhlandstrasse street.[9] Shirakian managed to kill only Azmi and wound Shakir. Yerganian later ran after Shakir and managed to kill him with a shot to his head.[2][4]

Later life[edit]

Shirakian's headstone at Hackensack Cemetery in Hackensack, New Jersey

Arshavir Shirakian eventually married his wife Kayane and moved to New York in 1923, where they had a daughter, Sonia. He also was active in public life in the New York/New Jersey area and its Armenian community. He published his memoirs in 1965 entitled "Կտակն էր նահատակներուն" (English: It Was the Legacy of the Martyrs). The memoirs were eventually translated into French (La dette du sang, 1982 and 1984), English (The Legacy, 1976, by Sonia Shiragian) and Italian (Condannato A Uccidere: Memorie di un Patriota Armeno, 2005, by Vasken Pambakian).[10] Shirakian died in 1973[2] at the age of 73 and is buried in the Hackensack Cemetery in New Jersey.

He is recognized and honored as a national hero by Armenians.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ssdi. "Ancestry.com".
  2. ^ a b c d e f Berberyan, Nazaret (April 13, 2010). ՏԱՐԵԴԱՐՁՆԵՐ- Արշաւիր Շիրակեան Հայ ժողովուրդի Արդարահատոյց Բազուկը. Asbarez (in Armenian). Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  3. ^ Mouradian, George (1995). Armenian infotext (1st ed.). Southgate, Michigan: Bookshelf Publishers. p. 165. ISBN 9780963450920.
  4. ^ a b c Derogy, Jacques (1990). Resistance and revenge: the Armenian assassination of the Turkish leaders responsible for the 1915 massacres and deportations. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781412833165.
  5. ^ a b c Arshavir Shiragian, The Legacy memoirs of an Armenian Patriot, Hairenik Press 1976, p. 108
  6. ^ Horne, edited by Robert Gerwarth, John. War in peace : paramilitary violence in Europe after the Great War. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199654913.
  7. ^ Newton, Michael (2012). Age of Assassins: A History of Conspiracy and Political Violence, 1865-1981. Faber & Faber. p. 273. ISBN 0571290469.
  8. ^ "The Punishment - of those responsible for the Armenian Genocide". HyeEtch Armenian History. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Two 'Young Turks' Murdered in Berlin" (PDF). New York Times. April 19, 1922. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Arshavir Shiragian Memoir Published in Italy". Asbarez. September 30, 2005. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  11. ^ Karentz, Varoujan (2004). Mitchnapert = Citadel : a history of Armenians in Rhode Island. New York: IUniverse, Inc. ISBN 0595306624.