The Trial of Soghomon Tehlirian

The Trial of Soghomon Tehlirian

He executed Talat Pasha in Berlin and was found not guilty of murder. Here are the entire trial proceedings... Most of it has not been edited after scanning, but I am putting it online already.


	The Presiding Justice of the District Court, Justice Lehmberg, opened
the proceedings at exactly 9:15 A .M. The presence of the three defense
attorneys and the defendant was noted, and the two interpreters, Va/ian
Zakarian and Kevork Kaloustian, took the oath.
	Subsequently, the jurors were chosen by balloting and each one took
an oath stating that he would give his verdict as his conscience dictated.
	Then, the presence of the witnesses and the expert witnesses was

THE PRESIDING JUSTICE (addressing the witness and expert
wttnesses)—In this trial, you will be heard as witnesses or as expert
witnesses. The subject matter of this trial is already familiar to you. I
would like, however, to bring to your attention the importance and the
sanctity of taking the oath. You should be aware that our laws provide
for severe punishment for those who either inadvertently or intentionally
give false testimony after taking the oath. Furthermore, any information
you give pertaining to the defendant or your association with him has to
correspond to the truth.
	Therefore, I will now ask you to leave this courtroom and wait to be
called in. We will probably decide that some of the witnesses need not be
present today; consequently I would request that you please stay close to
the door.

All the witnesses exit from the courtroom. The following expert
witnesses take their seats;
Dr. Tbiel, regional assistant physician, Berlin — Fri edenau.
Dr. Schmilinsky, privy sanitation counselor, Charlottenburg.
Dr. Schloss, physician, sanitary warden 7.
Dr. Stormer, court physician and privy medical counselor, Berlin.
Dr. Hugo Liepmann, psychiatrist distinguished professor at Berlin
	University, and privy medical counselor, Berlin.
Dr. Richard Cassirer, neurologist and professor at Berlin University
Prof. Dr. Edmund Forster, psychiatrist and chief physician of the
	University Neurological Clinic of Mercy Hospital, Berlin.
Dr. Bruno Haake, neurologist, Berlin.
Mr. Barella, royal gunsmith and expert on firearms, Berlin.
Dr. Phil P. Pfefer, French interpreter, Bertin—Friedenau.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the members of the court and to the defense at-
torneys) — After reading the indictment, I intend to examine the defen-
dant in as much detail as possible and hear Mrs. Taint, merchant
lessen, servant Dembickj, police officer Gnass, Chief of Police Schultze,
Advisor to the Court Schultze, Dr. Schloss, Mr. Hareila, and also the
eyewitnesses to the incident. Secondly, I shalt question only those
witnesses who knew the defendant and associated with him while he was
in Berlin and Paris; namely, Mrs. Stetlbaum, Mrs. Dittmann, Miss Lola
BeitensOfl, the teacher, Mr. Apelian, Mr. Eftian, Mr. Terzibashian, Mrs.
Terzibashian, and the recently subpoenaed Samuel Vosgantan.
	VON GORDON — We agree.
	PRESIDING JUSTtCE — Hence, I would like to ask the defense at-
torneys to refrain, if possible, from alleging any further evidence, other
than what has already been mentioned.
	VON GORDON — It is clear that we can only make a decision on this
matter later on in the trial. This case involves a very complicated issue.
On the one hand, we are obligated to protect the rights of the defendant
and, on the other hand, we also feel obligated to protect the interests of
the German government.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then I shall be satisfied with the witnesses on
lists one and two for today, and, tomorrow, I shall examine those who
were subpoenaed in writing on May 30th or before. Therefore, nineteen
witnesses remain for today.
	Perhaps it would also be advisable to designate a lunch break. How do
the jurors feel about this? (Jurors agree) We will take a short break at
1:30 and tomorrow morning we shall examine the rest of the witnesses.
Successively we shall also hear the expert witnesses, Professor Dr.
Cassirer, Dr. Stdrmer, privy counselor Dr. Liepmann, and Professor
	VON GORDON — We request the names of Dr. Lepsius and His Excel-
lency General Liman von Sanders be added to the list of expert witnesses.
We also request that these two expert witnesses be heard as experts on the
whole Armenian Question.
	Evidence will be introduced at this trial, gentlemen of the jury, that is
foreign to you and to us; therefore we need a key in order to understand,
especially, the character of the Armenians. For this purpose, the most
qualified individual is Dr. Lepsius who has lived for an extended period
of time there and has personal knowledge of the events that took place.
Also His Excellency, General Liman von Sanders who, as we all know,
has lived in Turkey for many years, not only during the war but before as
	We bad planned to call, as an expert witness, the former German Con-
sul to Aleppo. Syria, Mr. Roessler, who presently is in Eger. He sent me
a telegram from there, stating that he could come as an expert witness if
the Foreign Office gave permission. The Foreign Office had initially
given permission; however, as of last night, they would not allow the
Consul to come and be heard as a witness. As to the questions that we
could have asked the Consul, we are in the process of corresponding with
him and we hope to have this matter resolved today.
	DISTRICT ATTORNEY — I would like to point out that the incident in
question did not take place in Armenia, but rather in Berlin. In my opi-
nion, it is not necessary to hear the testimony of such expert witnesses on
Armenia. However, since the defense attorneys have already invited ex-
pert witnesses, they have to be heard according to the provisions of our
penal code. We cannot object to that. However, I would like to request
that the evidence not be expanded to matters which, in my opinion, have
no relation to the issues that are before us.
	VON GORDON — We shall try, as much as possible, to limit our
evidence to the issues. But I beg of you that nothing be left out. Believe
me, gentlemen, it is in the interests of the German government that
nothing be left out.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — This Court has decided that Professor Dr. Lep-
sius and His Excellency General Liman von Sanders will be heard as ex-
pert witnesses. They both have the right to be present throughout this
	(Professor Dr. Lepsius and General Liman von Sanders enter the
	I would like to inform the two gentlemen that, at the request of the
defense counsels, they will be heard as expert witnesses.
	I would like to repeat that witnesses Sister Tora von Wedel, Sister Eva
Elvers, Sister Didzum, Mrs. Scbbiker, writer Aram Andonian, Lieuten-
ant Ernest Barakine, Captain Franz Karl Endress, and Vice-Prelate
Balakian will be heard tomorrow. Therefore they may leave today, but
they must be here at 9:00 MM. tomorrow. The other witnesses have to be
here today.
	Now we will open the proceedings by putting the defendant on the
stand and begin the questioning about his background.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is it true that you were born on April 2, 1897 in
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What line of business were your parents in?
	DEFENDANT — They were merchants.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where did they live?
	DEFENDANT — In Pakarij.
	DEFENDANT — When I was only two or three years old, they moved to
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How many brothers and sisters did you have?
	DEFENDANT — Two brothers and three sisters.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Until 1915, were they all living with your
	DEFENDANT — All except one of my sisters who was married.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where did you go to school?
	DEFENDANT — In Erzinga.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — For how long?
DEFENDANT — About eight or nine years.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you successfully graduate?
DEFENDANT — Yes, successfully.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were your parents~in a good financial position?
DEFENDANT — Yes, very good.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did they suffer any losses as a result of the
World War?
	DEFENDANT — Until the massacres, our family did not suffer any
tosses. But business had slowed down a little.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was one of your brothers a soldier?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, one of my brothers was a soldier.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where did he fight, on which front?
	DEFENDANT — He did not go to the front; he was in Kharpert, south
of Erzinga.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is Kharpert in Armenia?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, in Asian Turkey.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In 1915, was your brother at home?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, in 1915, he was home on leave when the
massacres started.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did the massacre at Erzinga come as a corn-
ptete surprise to you or were there already signs of it?
	DEFENDANT — We thought that there would be massacres, since news
was circulating that people had been killed.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What were peoples’ thoughts about the
massacres? What was said? What was the cause of them?
	DEFENDANT — Massacres had taken place all along. From the time I
was born and from the time my parents settled in Erzinga. they always
used to tell us that massacres bad taken place.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Previously as well? When did these massacres
take place?
	DEFENDANT — In 1894 there were massacres in Erzinga.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were there warnings prior to the 1915
massacres? Was the reason for the impending massacres known?
	DEFENDANT (misunderstands the question) — At the time, I had not
yet been born.
	DEFENDANT — We always lived in constant fear that the massacres
would take place, but we knew nothing about the reasons.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were the people fearful of such massacres?
DEFENDANT — For years they lived in fear and, for a long period of
time prior to the massacres, they were afraid these would take place.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you hear anything as to the reasons for the
massacres in the conversations you had at home or on your own?
	DEFENDANT — I did not understand the question.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were any reasons for the massacres mentioned
in conversations at home?
	DEFENDANT — It was mentioned that the new Turkish government
would take measures against us.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Perhaps the Turkish government argued that
military exigencies demanded it. Generally speaking, what was said
regarding the matter?
	DEFENDANT — At that time, I was still quite young.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — But, at the time, you were already 18 years old.
	DEFENDANT — At that time, they would tell me that there were
religious and political reasons.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I feel it would be worthwhile to include these
events, prior to the incident, in your examination of the defendant.
	DISTRICT ATTORNEY — I feel that it would be best if we set this aside
and read the indictment.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (after consulting his associates) — This court
would like to hear from the defendant in detail how these massacres
came about and what his family went through. Let the defendant relate
bit by bit and let what he says be translated later.
	DEFENDANT — In 1914, the war started and the Armenian young men
were conscripted into the army. In May 1915, word spread that alt
schools were to be closed and that the leaders of the Armenian communi-
ty and the teachers were to be sent elsewhere in groups.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were they assembled at certain gathering
	DEFENDANT — I do not know. They were assembled and taken away. I
was quite fearful. I did not want to go out of the house. These groups
had already been taken away when news was spread that those previously
deported had been killed. Later, we received a telegram that there was
only one survivor, Mardirossian, from among those deportees.
	In the early part of June, an order was issued for the people to get
ready to leave the city. We were all told that money and valuables could
be given to the government for safekeeping. Three days later, early in the
morning, the people were taken out of the city.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In large groups?
	DEFENDANT — As soon as the order was issued, on the outskirts of the
city, they divided the people into groups and marched them off in
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was there an order to take with you what you
	DEFENDANT — It was impossible to take everything with us since we
did not have a horse or an ox. We were able to take only what we could
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you have a cart to take your belongings?.
DEFENDANT — We had a horse, but they took it as soon as the war
started. We then bought a donkey.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was the donkey to carry all your belongings?
Did you not have a cart?
	DEFENDANT — We had an ox cart.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How many days did you walk?
	DEFENDANT — I do not know. The very same day that we left town,
my parents were killed.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where were you being taken?
DEFENDANT — Toward the south.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Who accompanied the caravans?
	DEFENDANT — Gendarmes, cavalry, and other soldiers.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In large numbers?
	DEFENDANT — They were all along the road on both sides.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What about the front and rear of the caravan?
	DEFENDANT — Just on the sides.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was that so no one would get away?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did your parents, brothers and sisters die?
	DEFENDANT — As soon as the group had gone a little distance from
the city, it was stopped. The gendarmes began to rob us. They wanted to
take our money and anything else of value that we had.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Therefore, even the soldiers were robbing the
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What reason was given for those acts?
	DEFENDANT — Nothing was said about that. It is inexplicable to the
whole world, but in the interiors of Asia Minor it is possible.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Therefore, such things were happening withou€
the reasons being understood?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, they were.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did this happen to other nationalities?
	DEFENDANT — The Turks only treated the Armenians in this manner.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did your parents die?
	DEFENDANT — While we were being plundered, they started firing on
us from the front of the caravan. At that time, one of the gendarmes
pulled my sister out and took her with him. My mother cried out, “May I
go blind.” I cannot remember that day any longer. I do not want to be
reminded of that day. It is better for me to die than describe the events of
that black day.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - However, I want to point out to you that, for
this Court, it is very important that we hear of these events from you.
You are the only one that can give us information about those events.
Try to pull yourself together and not lose control.
  DEFENDANT    I cannot say everything. Every time I relive those
events . . . They took everyone away . . . and they struck me. Then I saw
how they struck and cracked my brother's skull with an axe.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Your sister, the one whom they pulled and took
with them, did she return?
 DEFENDANT - Yes, they took my sister and raped her.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did she return?
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - Who cracked your brother's skull with an axe?
  DEFENDANT - As soon as the soldiers and the gendarmes began the
massacres, the mob was upon us too and my brother's head was cracked
open. Then my mother fell.
  DEFENDANT - I do not know, from a bullet or something else.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Where was your father?
 DEFENDANT  I did not see my father; he was in another group ahead
of us, but there was fighting going on there too.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - What did you do?
 DEFENDANT - I was struck on the head and fell to the ground. I have
no recollection of what happened after that.
 PRESrDING JUSTICE   Having fallen, did you remain at the site of the
DEFENDANT - I do not know how long I stayed there. Maybe it was
two days. When I opened my eyes, I saw myself surrounded by corpses.
All the members of the caravan had been killed. Because of the darkness
I could not distinguish everything. At first I did not know where I was
then I began to realize that I was surrounded by corpses.
PRESIDING JUSTICE - Among the dead, did you find the bodies of
your parents, brothers, and sisters?
DEFENDANT   I saw my mother's body; she had fallen face down. My
brother's body had fallen on top of me. I could not ascertain anything
PRESIDING JUSTICE   What did you do when you opened your eyes
and stood up?
DEFENDANT - When I stood up I realized that my leg was injured and
my arm was bleeding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did you have a wound on your head?
DEFENDANT - I was first struck on my head.
PRESIDING JUSTICE - Do you know what kind of instrument they
wounded you with?
DEFENDANT - When they started the massacres, I put my head in my
hands so that I was not able to see what was happening. I only heard
PRESIDING JUSTICE - First you said it was the guards, gendarmes,
and cavalry soldiers who attacked you, but then you said the mob attacked
you. What do you mean by this?
DEFENDANT - The Turkish population of Erzinga.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - Then the Turkish population was there and
took part in the robbery?
  DEFENDANT   All I know is that when the gendarmes started the
massacres, the Turkish population fell upon us.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - Then, after one or two days, you regained
consciousness and found yourself under your brother's body. Were you not
able to determine if your parents' bodies were there too?
  DEFENDANT - All I saw was my older brother's body on top of mmine.
  DISTRICT AlTORNEY   I believe it was your youngest brother whose
head had been split open with an axe.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Was it your younger brother's body?
 DEFENDANT - No, my older brother.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - But did you see your younger brother being hit
by an axe in front of you?
 PRESIDING JUSTICE   Have you seen your parents since that day?
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - And what about your brothers and sisters.
 DEFENDANT - No, I have not seen them either.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Then, are they lost withoilt a trace?
 DEFENDANT - As of today, I have not found any trace.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - What did you do, finding yourself helpless and
without any means?
 DEFENDANT - I went to a village in the mountains. An old lady took
me to her family's home but, when my wounds healed, they said they
would not hide me any longer as it was contrary to-the orders of the
government and those who harbored Armenians would be put to death.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Were the ones who took you into their home
 DEFENDANT - No, they were Kurds.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Where did you go from there?
 DEFENDANT   Those Kurds were very kind people. They advised me
to go to Persia. They gave me old Kurdish clothes as mine were torn and
bloodstained. I burned mine.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - You were deprived of everything. How did you
manage to get by?
DEFENDANT - On barley-bread.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - How long did it take for your wounds to heal?
 DEFENDANT - Twenty days or a month.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - After that, where else did you find refuge for
an extended period of time?
DEFENDANT   First, I stayed with the Kurds.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - For how long? The 19lS massacres took place
in June.
 DEFENDANT - I stayed with the Kurds of Dersim for two months.
 During that time, I was joined by fugitives from whom I learned that
 there had been massacres in Kharpert. The three of us together escaped
 from village to village through the mountains. There were days when all
 we had to eat was grass. One of my friends died along the way from
 eating poisonous grass. My second friend was quite educated. He used to
 say: "If we continue to walk on like this, we will surely reach Persia and,
 from there the Caucasus.'' We decided we would cross the mountains
and get to Persia.
  We used to sleep during the day and walk at night. We had walked for
approximately two months when we arrived at a place where we came
across Russian soldiers. We were wearing Kurdish clothes but no shoes
or hat. They arrested us and began to question us. My friend, by speaking
in French and English, was able to communicate to the Russians that
we were survivors of a massacre. They let us go in the direction of Persia
but would not allow us to cross into the Caucasus. I arrived in Persia
where there was no war. I became ill and stayed in Salmasd. My friend
continued on to Tiflis. Later on, I went there as well and stayed for a
 PRESIDING JUSTICE   What were you doing in Tiflis?
 DEFENDANT _ As soon as I arrived there, I went to the Armenian
2hurch, where I was given food, clothing, and money. Before departing,
ny friend took me to an Armenian merchant. I lived with him and worked
in his shop.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE   How long did you stay there?
 DEFENDANT _ I was in Tiflis a little over a year.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Then where did you go?
 DEFENDANT _ We heard that the Russian army had captured Erzinga,
so I decided to go back to look for my family and rdatives. Furthermore,
I knew we had money hidden at home so I wanted to get that money.
However, the Armenian merchant tried to dissuade me.
PRESrDING JUSTICE - When did you arrive in Erzinga.
DEFENDANT _ At the end of 1916.
PRESIDING JUSTICE   What did you find there?
DEFENDANT _ When I arrived there I found all the doors of our house
shattered. One side of the house was demolished. When I went into the
house I passed out.
PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did you lose consciousness?
DEFENDANT _ Yes, I lost consciousness.
PRESIDING JUSTICE   Did you stay in that condition for long?
DEFENDANT _ I cannot say how long I was unconscious.
PRESIDING JUSTICE    What did you do when you regained con-
DEFENDANT   After regaining consciousness, I found two Armenian
families, the only survivors in the entire town. They had beconpe
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - In other words, you found only two families
left from the entire Armenian community, who had become Islamized.
Now, when the Russians captured Erzinga, did they convert back to
Christianity and did they feel they were Christians? Was this all that was
left of the Erzinga population?
 DEFENDANT - Yes, these were the only two families. Here and there,
there were a number of individuals, altogether about twenty, but only
these two families.
 P~ESIDING JUSTICE - Did you find any belongings at home?
 DEFENDANT - Yes, I found a few items. The rest had been destroyed
and burned. I also found the hidden money.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did you know about that from your parents?
 DEFENDANT - My two brothers, my father, my mother, and I knew
where the money was hidden; my sisters did not know.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - How much money did you find?
 DEFENDANT - I found 4800 Turkish gold pieces.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did you take the money?
 DEFENDANT   Of course.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Where did you go after that?
 DEFENDANT - I stayed a little longer there. I was hoping that there
would be other deportees who had escaped. I was hoping that I would
perhaps come across one of my relatives.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - How long did you stay in Erzinga?
 DEFENDANT - Approximately a month and a half.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Where did you go from there?
 DEFENDANT   To Tiflis.
 PREsIDrNG JUSTICE - What did you do there?
 DEFENDANT - I went to school to learn Russian.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - What school was that?
 DEFENDANT - An Armenian school called the Nersisian Academy.
They had begun special classes for the exiles and refugees to attend.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did you learn Russian there?
 DEFENDANT - As much as it was possible to learn in five months. I
recall I could not learn very much. My mind was elsewhere. I could not
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Later on did you learn French too?
 DEFENDANT - Yes, but not as much as I would have wished.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - How long did you stay in Tiflis?
 DEFENDANT - Approximately two years.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - When did you leave Tiflis?
 DEFENDANT - In 1919, probably in February.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Where did you go?
 DEFENDANT - To Constantinople.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - What did you do there?
 DEFENDANT   I put an advertisement in the paper, thinking that I
 could find relatives of mine who might have survived and fled from
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - At that time a revolution had already taken
 place in Constantinople. How long did you stay in Constantinople?
  DEFENDANT - Almost two months.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - Where did you go from there?
  DEFENDANT - Salonika, Greece.
  DEFENDANT - To Serbia.
  DEFENDANT - Back tO Salonika.
  DEFENDANT - To Paris.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE   Did you plan to settle down somewhere?  What
 was the reason for this wandering?
  DEFENDANT - I wanted to study, but my mind was all confused. I did
 not want to settle down in one place, since I had no special calling.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did you attend school and were you studying in
 Salonika and Serbia?
  DEFENDANT - No. In Salonika, I stayed with relatives to recieve
 medical attention.
  PREsrDING JUSTICE   What disease did you have?
  DEFENDANT - A nervous breakdown.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE   How many times did you suffer repetitions of
the nervous breakdown, which you had the first time when you saw your
home again?
  DEFENDANT - I had two when I returned to Erzinga and saw my
home, but I cannot specify what sort of breakdowns they were. Every
time I pictured the massacres, I would have a breakdown.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did YOu have such nervous breakdowns when
you were in Constantinople, Salonika, and Serbia?
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - When did you arrive in Paris?
  DEFENDANT - In 1920.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE   The beginning of 1920?
  PRESIDING JUSTICE   Did you have a lot of contact with people in
Constantinople, Salonika, and Serbia?
  DEFENDANT   Yes, mostly with my relatives.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE    Did you discuss the massacre with your
 relatives and other refugees and, by so doing, was your memory of it
  DEFENDANT   Yes, I used to talk about the massacres a lot.
  PRESIDING JUSTICE - Who was considered responsible for these
 barbaric acts?
 DEFENDANT - I found out who the authors of these acts were from
the newspapers, while I was in Constantinople.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Prior to that, did you know who the person
responsible for these massacres was? At home who was considered the
 DEFENDANT - I did not know anything about it.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Then did you come to the conclusion that
Talaat Pasha was the author of the massacres?
 DEFENDANT - When I was in Constantinople, I became convinced
that he was the person responsible from reading the newspapers.
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - When you were in Constantinople, did you
receive any information as to the whereabouts of Talaat Pasha at that
DEFENDANT - I thought he was hiding somewhere in Constantinople.
PRESIDING JUSTICE - Did you make up your mind, at that time, to
take revenge against Talaat, as the one guilty for your family's sad
 PRESIDING JUSTICE - Fine, I think it is time the indictment is read.
 DEFENSE ATTORNEY VON GORDON: I would also like to ask the defendant
whether or not he had read in the newspapers that Talaat Pasha had
been condemned to death for these massacres by the Court Martial in
 DEFENDANT - Yes, I had read that. I was also in Constantinople
when Kemal, one of the authors of the massacres, was hanged. On that
occasion, it was written in the papers that Talaat and Enver were also
condemned to death.
VON GORDON - How many Armenians were living in Erzinga?
DEFENDANT - Roughly twenty thousand.
VON GORDON - In June 1915 was there an order or were arrangements 
made for the Armenians to be taken out of town in groups?
DEFENDANT - Yes, such an order was given.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY - Was this an order from the Vali [governor-
general] or was it from the military authority?
VON GORDON - During this period, a state of siege had already been
DEFENDANT - It was said that the orders came from Constantinople.
VON GORDON - What was the length of the caravan? Was it one hour's
walk from beginning to end?
DEFENDANT - I do not know; maybe it was five hours.
VON GORDON - Was the entire population removed and deported,
and did you find only two families and a few individuals on your return
to Erzinga?
 NIEMEYER - Would you please ask the defendant whether he was

aware that, in 1908, the Armenians, having united with the Young
Turks, especially with Enver and Talaat Pashas, brought about a revolu-
tion and entrusted their national aspirations to them but then became ter-
ribly disappointed when they saw that the Young Turks behaved worse
than Sultan Hamid?
	DEFENDANT — In 1908, I was too young to understand such things,
but later I was told that young Armenians had worked with the Young
Turks and had become quite disenchanted when 40,000 Armenians were
massacred in Adana in 1909.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I would first like to have the indictment read.
CLERK — A student in Mechanical Engineering, Soghomon Tehlirian,
born April 2, 1897 in Pakarij. citizen of Turkey, Armenian-Protestant,
who was residing at 37 Hardenbergstrasse in Charlottenburg with Mrs.
Dittmann and since March 16, 1921 is in the City Jail, is accused of:

Intentionally and with premeditation assassinating the former Grand
Vizir, Talaat Pasha, on March 15, 1921 in Charlottenburg.
According to Article 211 of the Penal Code this isa crime of homicide.
In view of the above mentioned facts, the incarceration continues.
Berlin, April 16, 1921

3rd State Court, Criminal Department No. 6.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the interpreter) — Please relate to the defen-
dant that the indictment accuses him of killing Talaat Pasha with

(The defendant remains silent)
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — If you were obliged to give an answer to this in-
dictment, would your answer be in the negative or in the affirmative?
DEFENDANT — Negative.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — But, prior to this trial, you thought differently.
You admitted that you had premeditated that act.
	DEFENDANT — When did I say that?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Fine, you do not want to admit that today. Let
us follow the events since your arrival in Paris . . But, on various occa-
sions and at various times, you have admitted that you had decided to
kill Talaat Pasha.
	VON GORDON — Would you please ask the defendant why he does not
consider himself guilty?
(The Presiding Justice directs the same question to the defendant)
	DEFENDANT — I do not consider my self guilty because my conscience
is clear.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Why is your conscience clear?
DEFENDANT — I have killed a man. But I am not a murderer.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — You say that you have no pangs of conscience,
your conscience is clear. Do you not reprove yourself? But ask yourself,
did you want to kill Talaat Pasha?
	DEFENDANT — I do not understand the question. But I have already
killed him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What I want to say is, did you have a plan to
kill him?
	DEFENDANT — I had no such plan.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When did the idea first occur to you to kill
	DEFENDANT — Approximately two weeks before the incident. I was
feeling very bad. I kept seeing over and over again the scenes of the
massacres. I saw my mother’s corpse. The corpse just stood up before me
and told me, “You know Talaat is here and yet you do not seem to be
concerned. You are no longer my son.”
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (repeats those words to the jury) — So what did
you do?
	DEFENDANT — I woke up all of a sudden and decided to kill that man.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When you were in Pads and Geneva or at the
time you caine to Berlin, had you already made that decision?
	DEFENDANT — I had made no decision whatsoever.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you have a general idea that Talaat Pasha
was in Berlin?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you spend the whole year 1920 in Paris?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What were you doing there? Did you learn
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Nothing else? Were you pursuing any techi\ical
	DEFENDANT — No, I had no other occupation.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — But did you intend to pursue those studies in
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was your purpose in going to Geneva to
facilitate your coming to Berlin?
	DEFENDANT — I wanted to see Geneva at least once.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you with a compatriot of yours in Paris?
Tell us how you arrived in Geneva and then Berlin.
	DEFENDANT — In Paris, I went to the Swiss Embassy to obtain the
necessary visa to go to Switzerland. There I met an Armenian who was a
citizen of Switzerland and owned a home in Geneva. I asked him how I
could obtain a visa. He told me that it would facilitate matters if I claim-
ed his home in Geneva as mine, since be was on his way to Armema. I
agreed. He gave me a letter of introduction to give to his landlady, and
thus I was able to obtain a visa for Switzerland. I left Paris for Geneva

on November 21st. I stayed in Geneva for a little while and then came to
Berlin. In early December of 1920 I was already in Berlin.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What steps did you take to come here?
	DEFENDANT — I had a visa attached to my passport.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Initially, did you have a visa for merely a short
stay in Germany?
	DEFENDANT — Only for eight days.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — After arriving here, what section of Berlin did
you go to?
	NIEMEYER — May I ask a few personal questions of the defendant?
Do you know what country you are a citizen of? On March 15th, did you
know what country you were a citizen of? Do you know what country
Talaat is a citizen of? Are you aware that from February 1921, Turkey
and the Armenian Republic had been at war and that the fighting
reached its peak between March 1 and April 1, 1921, extending over an
area of 120,000 square meters?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, I know.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How do you know?
	DEFENDANT — It was written in the newspapers.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The state of war between Armenia and Turkey
had existed only since March 1. This incident occurred on March 15. Did
you read about it in between those dates?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, I read about it in the newspapers.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When did the war start?
	DEFENDANT — At the end of 1918. The Turks came as far as Tiflis.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was there an official declaration of war?
	NIEMEYER — Yes, total.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Therefore, starting on March 1st, were the
Bolsheviks and the Young Turks fighting side by side against Armenia?
Were you aware that Moscow had given its blessings for the Turco-
Bolshevik attack against Armenia and had sent Enver Pasha to com-
mand the front?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, I knew that as well.
	DR. LIEPMANN — Would you please ask the defendant whether he saw
his mother in a dream or was he partially awake at the time?
PRESIDING JUSTICE — I shall get to that later. First you had a permit
to remain here for only eight days. Then did you obtain a permit to re-
main here permanently?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, I filed a petition.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — At the beginning of January did you move to
DEFENDANT — In December.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — You informed the police department in
ianuary. Did your compatriot, Mr. Apelian, reside in the same building?
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then did you change your residence?
DEFENDANT — Almost two weeks ago.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — On March 5th, you moved to Mrs. Dittmann’
building. Why?
	DEFENDANT — When I saw my mother in my dream, I decided to kill
Talaat. For this reason, I also changed my apartment.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you, we might say, preparing to commit
the act?
DEFENDANT — The second day after my mother instructed me what to
do, I told myself I had to kill Mm.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — From that moment on, was it your intention to
implement that decision?
	DEFENDANT — When I moved to my new residence, I forgot
somewhat my mother’s instructions.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You forgot about it? I thought that was the
very reason you changed residences, because your mother had
reprimanded you for having become indifferent.
	DEFENDANT — I began to deliberate. I asked myself how I could kill a
human being.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You asked yourself how you could kill Talaat
	DEFENDANT — I told myself that I was unable to kill a human being.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I do not understand this too well. A little while
ago, you replied that, from the day your mother appeared to you, you
decided to move to Hardenbergstrasse. Does this mean you knew that
Talaat Pasha lived across from you?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then was it your intention to live near him?
	DEFENDANT — After hearing the words of my mother.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — At that time you made a decision. What was
that decision?
	DEFENDANT — That I wanted to kill him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Tell me, please, is it true that prior to this you
had already verified that Talaat Pasha was living in Berlin?
	DEFENDANT — Yes. About five weeks before I had seen him.
	DEFENDANT — On the street. He was coming from the vicinity of the
zoo with two or three other men. I heard they were speaking Turkish.
They referred to one of their number as “Pasha.” I looked back and saw
that the man was Talaat Pasha. I followed them until I came to a movie
theater. From the entrance to the theater I saw one of them depart but,
prior to doing so, he kissed the hand of Talaat and called him “Pasha.”
The other two entered a house.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you intend to kill Talaat Pasha at that mo-
	DEFENDANT — No, I did not. But I felt bad. I entered the theater and,
while watching the movie, all I could see were the pictures of the
massacres. I left the theater and went home.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Therefore, as you said, all this happened four
to five weeks prior to your moving to Hardenbergstrasse?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is it not true, therefore, that even before this,
you knew Tataat Pasha was living in Berlin?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The reason I asked this question is because the
defendant on another occasion stated that he had come to Berlin to study
and also because he knew that Talaat was living in Berlin.
	VON GORDON — The statements made by the defendant today corres-
pond to his last statement. That is, two weeks prior to the incident, the
appearance of his mother’s spirit made him decide to kill Talaat and for
that reason he moved to Hardenbergstrasse.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — From that moment on did you make it your
business to stalk Talaat Pasha?
	DEFENDANT — No, when I moved to my new apartment, I had already
decided to continue with my ordinary routine.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then, were you physically able to engage in
your everyday work and continue your studies with Miss Beilenson?
	DEFENDANT — I tried to advance in my studies. While I was under the
care of Professor Cassirer, I felt so bad and weak that I could not work
at my studies much. Consequently, I told Miss Beilenson that I could not
continue to take lessons from her inasmuch as I needed a rest. In fact I
was not studying during this latter period.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you continue your relationships as usual
with your fellow Armenians until March 15th?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did your mother appear to you on that occa-
	DEFENDANT — The massacres and especially certain scenes from the
massacres often appeared before my eyes. As for my mother, a few times
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When did you have your visions, during the
	DEFENDANT — No, at night.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What were your reasons for seeking the services
of Professor Cassirer at that time?
	DEFENDANT — I was feeling very bad.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Here in Berlin you also suffered from a nervous
disorder, ~S that not so?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, on a few occasions.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When was the first time?
	DEFENDANT — I cannot say for sure.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When was it that you had a dizzy spelt and an
employee of the bank took you from Erusalemerstrasse to your home?
	DEFENDANT — That was my first attack in Berlin.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — At that time were you still living on Augsburg-
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did the first attack come on?
	DEFENDANT — I was walking along Erusalemerstrasse. I do not
remember whether I fell down in front of the door or in the street. When
I came to, I saw a crowd had gathered around me. Someone had given
me medication. An officer asked me where I lived and accompanied me
to the subway. I took the subway and, after reaching my house, I again
passed out on the stairs.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Why did you go to Prof. Cassirer? Was it
because of these attacks or did you have another illness?
	DEFENDANT — I went to be treated.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you tell your friend Mr. Apelian about
passing out and was it on his advice that you went to see Prof. Cassirer?
We shall elicit this evidence from the witnesses themselves.
	VON GORDON — A little while back, a remark was made which was not
clear to me. Did I understand the defendant correctly, that after having
rented an apartment on Hardenbergstrasse, to be near the residence of
Talaat Pasha, the defendant forgot the reason for his move, as he said,
because he could not envisage killing a human being? In short, did the
decision which he had made after the appearance of his mother’s spirit
stay firm or did he forget about it after a while and carry on with his
usual business because he thought it was not right to kill?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant stated that he was hesitant.
	DEFENDANT — Yes, I was irresolute. When I felt sick I thought of
following my mother’s instructions. However, when I felt better, I would
tell myself that I could not take a human life.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Therefore, the defendant continued with his
regular daily life, even though it was somewhat difficult for him to do so.
Did you notice any change in your relationships with your friends? By
the way, who were your friends?
	DEFENDANT — Terzibashian, Eftian, Kaloustian, and Apelian.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (turning to the interpreter) — Were you a friend
of his too?
	PRESIDING Jusrc~ — Since January, besides taking private lessons in
German from Miss Beilenson, what else did you do?
	DEFENDANT — I visited Armenian families and went to the theater and
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I believe you also took dancing lessons, right?
DEFENDANT — Since January.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is it true that you had an attack during one of
your dance classes?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is it true that you suffered such an attack in
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Other than these two attacks, one during the
dance class and the other in the street, did you have any others?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, at home.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Only at home? Not in the streets?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What else did you do to pass the time?
	DEFENDANT — I had a very close relationship with Terzibashian, Ef-
tian, and Apelian.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you go to the theater?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, but I used to go to the movies more often.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did you keep busy during an average day?
	DEFENDANT — In the mornings I studied languages and then had my
classes with Miss Beilenson.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where did you have your meals?
	DEFENDANT — I did not go to any particular restaurant as such.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you also have lessons in the afternoon?
	DEFENDANT — My classes were mostly in the afternoon.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In addition to language, did you pursue any
technical studies?
	DEFENDANT — No, I just concentrated on learning languages.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What newspapers did you read?
	DEFENDANT — When I visited Armenians, I read the Armenian papers
they had.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you read any other foreign papers?
DEFENDANT — On a few occasions I came across Russian papers and I
read them.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Let us go back to the month of March when
you moved into Mrs. Dittmann’s apartment building. How was your
relationship with your farmer landlady, Mrs. Stellbaum?
	DEFENDANT — I had a very good relationship with her.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you satisfied with Mrs. Dittmann?
	PRFSIDI NO SUSTICE — How did it come about that you committed this
	DEFENDANT — It was because of what my mother told me. I was
~hinkiflg about that and on March 15th I saw T~~t...
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where did you see him?
	DEFENDANT — While I was walking around in my room, I was reading
and I saw Talaat leave his house.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you see him leave the house?
	DEFENDANT — First I saw him on the balcony of his apartment. Then,
he left the house. When he stepped out of the house, my mother came to
my mind. I again saw her before me. Then, I also saw Talaat, the man
who was responsible for the deaths of my parents, my brothers, and my
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You also saw your relatives before your eyes
and thought that Talaat Pasha was responsible not only for their deaths
but also for the deaths of your fellow nationals. Did you know perhaps
that Talaat was going to leave the house?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then what did you do?
	DEFENDANT — The minute I saw him step out of the house, I took my
pistol, ran after him, and shot him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where did you keep your pistol?
	DEFENDANT — With my underclothes in a trunk.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was the pistol loaded?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How long had you had that pistol?
	DEFENDANT — I bought it when I was in Tiflis in 1919 and brought it
with me. I had heard that if the Turks returned and did not find Germans
there, they would again carry out massacres.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — As Talaat left the house, did you again have the
vision of your mother?
	DEFENDANT — I cannot say for sure. When I saw him, I saw my
mother and dashed out to the street.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When you went outside, did you see Taint on
the opposite sidewalk?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, he was walking in the direction of the zoo.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you approach him and did you deliberately
cross }-Iardenbergstrasse?
	DEFENDANT — No, I ran along the same side of the street as my apart-
ment building. When I caught up to him, I crossed the street and was
Upon him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you see his face? Did you talk to him?
	DEFENDANT — I did not speak to him. I walked past him on the
sidewalk and then I shot him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are you sure that you passed him first? Did
you shoot him as he was walking toward you or did you approach him
parallel from the back and fire at him?
	DEFENDANT — By the time I approached Talaat Pasha I was already
behind him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then you shot him from the back?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you aim at his head?
	DEFENDANT — I came very close to him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you hold the barrel to his head?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then what happened?
	DEFENDANT — I only know this much. I cannot be any more specific.
Talaat Pasha fell to the ground, blood gushed from his face, and a crowd
was standing all around him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you see anyone accompanying Tataat?
DEFENDANT — No, I did not see anyone.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you not see his wife either?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What did you do after the killing?
	DEFENDANT — I do not know what I did.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You escaped. Do you not remember that you
fled the scene?
	DEFENDANT — I do not remember running away. All I saw was blood
flowing and that there was a crowd around him.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you flee after seeing that?
	DEFENDANT — When I saw the crowd standing around me, I figured
they might beat me. That is why I ran away.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you apprehended right next to the body
or was it after you ran away?
	DEFENDANT — I do not know how it happened.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You had run quite a way toward Fazanen-
strasse. Is that not true?
	DEFENDANT — I do not know.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You threw your pistol away, is that not true?
	DEFENDANT — I do not know.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — What feeling did you have, seeing Talaat Pasha
dead before you? What were your thoughts?
	DEFENDANT — I do not know what I felt immediately after the inci-
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — But after a while you must have realized what
you had done.
	DEFENDA~ — I realized what I had done after they brought me to the
poliCC station.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then, what did you think of what you had
	DEFENflA>~~ — I felt a great satisfaction.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — How do you feel about it now?
DEFENDA~ — Even today, I feel a great sense of satisfaction.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You are aware, of course, that under normal
circumstances, no one has the right to be his own judge, no matter how
much one has suffered.
	DEFENDANT — I do not know. My mother instructed me to kill Talaat
Pasha since he was guilty for the massacres and I was under this compui-
siofl so entirety that I did not realize that I should not have killed.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — But did you know that our laws prohibit the
killing of human beings?
	DEFENDANT — No, I do not know that law.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is there a rule of vendetta among the Arme-
	NIEMEYER — At the time the crowd was beating you up and while you
were bleeding, you said something. Do you remember what you said to
the crowd in order to justify your act?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — His testimony would seem to indicate that he
did not run away. He only saw the blood and the crowd and he was ar-
rested on the spot. Do you remember whether or not someone from the
crowd spoke to you or did you say anything to any one of those who
grabbed you and were beating you? Did you justify your action to them?
	DEFENDANT — I told them that I was a foreigner, the victim was ~
foreigner, and therefore why should the Germans get involved in
something that did not concern them?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You supposedly told the crowd that you knew
what your were doing, that it was no toss to Germany.
(Defendant repeats his last remark)
	NIEMEYER — Did you know that such an act would be punishable in
Germany? I would like an explanation.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — That point has already been explained. The
defendant has been incarcerated from the day he committed the crime.
There is no contradiction whatsoever between the testimony he has given
today and the confession he has previously given.
	VON GORDON — On which floor of 34 Hardenbergstrasse did you live?
Talaat Pasha lived at 4 Hardenbergstrasse — that is, in the house be-
tween Schiflerstrasse and Onezebegstrasse.
	DEFENDANT — I lived on the first floor.
	VON GORDON — On March 15th you saw Talaat Pasha leave his
house. You took your revolver, put on your hat, descended the stairs,
and came out to the street. At that time, as far as I can tell, Talaat Pasha
must have already gone some distance past (nezebegstrasse.
	DEFENDANT — I told you already that in order to catch up with him, I
	VON GORDON — In that case you walked over some plants in the mid-
dle of Hardenbergstrasse. Were you ahead of Talaat?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant has aiphatically denied that he
approached Talaat from behind.
	VON GORDON — Please put the question again to the defendant.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Explain this matter again.
	DEFENDANT — I went ahead of rataat Pasha and waited for him.
When he passed me, I fired.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — That sounds quite feeble-minded to me. Talaat
Pasha could Have seen you and could have suspected that you were con-
triving to do something against him. That was really a foolish move. Are
you sure you did not approach Talaat from behind?
	DEFENDANT — I did not think of such things.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — There are two possibilities. Either you ap-
proached Talaat Pasha from behind or you went ahead of him. We are
still unable to determine whether or not Talaat Pasha passed you.
	VON GORDON — From what the defendant has testified, I understand
it to mean that Talaat passed the defendant. This is what the defendant
has repeatedly stated. Did you see Talaat’s face?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, while I was walking on the other side of the street,
before I crossed over to the side on which he was walking.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — We shall see what the other witnesses testify on
this point.
	DISTRICT ATTORNEY — In answer to a question put by one of the
defense counsels, the defendant stated that he was aware Talaat Pasha
had been sentenced to death in Constantinople. It is true there was such a
verdict, but it is essential for me to clarify that the verdict was rendered
when the control of the city of Constantinople was in the hands of a dif-
ferent government. Turkey had lost the war and Constantinople was at
the mercy of the British Navy. I leave it to the court to determine what
value that death sentence had. I would like the defendant to answer a
question. He said that he had found his brother’s body. Did he bury his
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant fled. His life was in danger.
	DISTRICT ATTORNEY — The defendant also testified that he received
medical treatment. Does he have wounds or scars on his body?
DEFENDANT — Certainly.
	DISTRICT ArrORNEY — I request that such be confirmed later on. I
would like the defendant to be asked again the following question: How
did he know that person was Talaat? Had he seen him before or did he
recognize him from the pictures he had seen?
	DEFENDANT — No, I had never seen him. I recognized him only from
pictures in the newspapers.
	DISTRICT ATrORNEY — The defendqnt testified that the massacres
took place just outside the city limits of Erzinga. I am informed that,
after the caravan had gone quite a distance from Erzinga, armed Kurdish
bandits attacked the caravan in a pass and even many Turkish gendarmes
were killed trying to protect the caravan. Would the defendant please
answer whether or not they were attacked by Kurdish bandits?
	DEFENDANT — I was told that it was the Turkish gendarmes who
opened fire on us.
	NIEMEYER — I hope the matter of these Kurdish bandits will be
	DISTRICT AttORNEY — It seems quite strange to me that the defen-
dant was able to find a place on Hardenbergstrasse in such a short period
of time.
	NIEMEYER — I believe we can resolve the question of the Kurds this
way. The principal modus operandi of the Turkish massacres was to arm
the mountainous Kurds, the arch-enemies of the Armenians, as gen-
darmes to watch over the Armenians.
	DEFENDANT — There are various types of Kinds. Some were the
enemies of the Armenians, while others were quite friendly to them.
	NJEMEYER — The defendant stated that he found refuge among the
Kurds. Thus there are good Kurds and bad Kurds. This is evident from
the defendant’s statement that the Kurds were very hospitable to him.
But there are also Kurds who are friendly with the Turkish government.
	DEFENDANT — The majority of the Kurds worked for the government.
	WERTHAUER — How old were your parents when your father died?
	DEFENDANT — My father was fifty-five; my mother, fifty-two or fifty-
three; my brothers, twenty-eight and twenty-two; one sister, twenty-six
or twenty-seven; another, sixteen and a half; and the youngest fifteen.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was your married sister deported together with
her husband and child?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, they left together but, in the caravan, they were a
little apart from each other.
	WERTHAUER — The defendant stated today that, except for his
brother’s body, he did not see the corpses of any of his relatives.
However, he had told me something else before. Perhaps there was a
misunderstanding. I would like to ask him whether or not he saw one of
his sisters disappear into the far-off brush and whether or not he again
found that sister?
	DEFENDANT — I saw my mother fall, my dead brother, and other
Corpses. i could not verify any others, as I was trying to escape.
	WERTHAUER — You testified that in Erzinga there were 20,000 Arme-
nian Christians. What other nationalities were there?
	DEFENDANT — There were some 20,000-25,000 Turks living in Erz-
	WERTHAUER — Were notices posted on the walls instructing the
Armenians to leave their houses or were oral instructions to this effect
given? How were 20,000 Armenians informed in such a short time? As I
understood, it all happened during the course of one morning. A few
moments ago, I understood that the orders were given for the Armenians
to leave the city. How did this happen?
	DEFENDANT — The Armenians living in the city and in the surround-
ing areas were gathered together and taken out of the city. Those left
behind were driven out later.
	WERTI-IAUER — Was the order from the government9
	DEFENDANT — Yes, we were told that the order came from Constan-
tinople; it was Talaat Pasha’s order.
	WERTHAUER — At the time were you told that the order had come
from Talaat Pasha?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, that is what was said. That was the news that was
	WERTHAUER — Would you please ask the defendant whether the
schools were closed in February, whereas he remained in Erzinga until
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant has already told us that the
schools were closed a month before the incident.
	DEFENDANT — Two or three months before the incident.
	WERTHAUER — Would you please ask him whether the money he
found at home was in gold coins?
	DEFENDANT — It was gold coins.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was that money sufficient to last you all this
	WERTI-IAUER — The amount was 4800 Turkish gold pounds; one
Turkish pound is worth 20 gold marks.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are you stilt living on that money?
	VON GORDON — When they dragged away your younger sister, did
you hear her cry out?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, I heard her cry and my mother saw her too. My
mother came next to me and cried out, “May I be struck blind.”
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are there any questions to be directed to the
	DISTRICT ArrORNEY — I would like one more explanation. How did
the defendant bring that money into Germany?
	DEFENDANT — I had same in my pockets and the rest in my suitcase.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — If there are no other questions, let us start call-
ing some of the witnesses.
Witness Nicholas Jessen (a merchant from Charlottenburg District
of Berlin, Protestant, 40 years old) takes the oath.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you an eyewitness?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Would you relate to us what you saw?
	WITNESS — On Tuesday, MarcH 15th, at 11:00 o’clock in the morning,
I was walking along Hardenbergstrasse going toward Wittenberg Square
to see various customers. I am a representative of a meat packing com-
pany. Ahead of me, a man wearing a grey Ulster coat was walking slow-
ly.	All at once this defendant passed me going at a brisk pace. He put his
hand in his pocket
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where were you going? Were you walking on
the right-hand sidewalk?
	WITNESS — Yes, I was going toward the zoo.
	PRESIDtNG JUSTICE — During that time, did the defendant walk past
you on the sidewalk?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he take the revolver out of his pocket?
Which pocket?
	WITNESS — I am not certain of the details. I believe he took the
revolver out of his right breast pocket. In any case it was a revolver. He
took it out of his pocket and fired at the victim’s head, at close range,
from behind. The victim immediately fell forward, hitting the ground
and cracking his skull. The defendant threw the revolver aside and tried
to escape. A woman was walking a little way ahead of the victim; she also
fell unconscious. First I lifted the woman up, thinking she too was in-
jured. Then I started running after the defendant and I apprehended him
on Fazanenstrasse. Naturally a crowd gathered and the people started
mercilessly hitting the defendant. One man, in particular, kept hitting the
defendant’s head with a key. Others were shouting, “Catch the
murderer.” I took the defendant to the police station next to the zoo.
There the defendant asked for a cigarette. A crowd also formed at the
police station and began to beat the defendant.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are you altogether certain that the defendant
walked past you on the sidewalk?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — And he fired at the nape of the victim’s neck?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he not perhaps cross over from the op-
posite side and, after letting Talaat Pasha pass him, fire from the back?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he see the victim’s face from the front?
	WITNESS — No. I have to contradict that. The defendant advanced at
a fast clip and, without saying anything, took out the revolver and fired
at the nape of the victim’s neck.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he fall to the ground immediately?
WITNESS — He fell forward.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did the defendant not wait at all?
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he flee immediately?
WITNESS — Yes. He entered Fazanenstrasse and headed in the direc-
tion of Kantstrasse.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In which direction was the woman walking?
WITNESS — The woman was walking ahead of the victim.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was she not walking next to him?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was she accompanying the victim?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — And she fainted?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was there anyone else close by the victim?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you the first to get to the victim’s body?
	WITNESS — First, I lifted the woman up.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was it only then that you noticed the victim
was already dead?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — At that time did others arrive on the scene?
	WITNESS — A furniture truck was passing by then and a man came out
of a villa with his servants.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are there any other questions to be directed to
this witness?

(No further questions)

Witness Boleslav Detnhicki (a servant from Charlottenbnrg
District of Berlin, 32 years old) takes the oath.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Would you tell us what you know about the in-
	WITNESS — I was walking on Hardenbergstrasse on my way home to
have lunch.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — In which direction were you walking?
WITNESS — I was going toward the zoo.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — On the right side of the street?
	WITNESS — Yes. The defendant reached me at the corner of Fazanen-
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you walking on the sidewalk?
	WITNESS — Yes, the defendant reached me three or four steps away
from the victim. All of a sudden I heard an explosion. I thought a tire
had blown out nearby. But then I saw a man fall down in front of me and
another began to flee.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he start to flee right away?
	WITNESS — Yes, immediately. And, I started to run after him. The
defendant entered Fazanenstrasse from the left side but a number of peo-
pie were in front of him in the street and he could not escape. The witness
who just testified was the one who apprehended him. From there we took
the defendant to the precinct station next to the zoo.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are you sure that the man who passed you was
the defendant?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did the defendant see the victim from the front
or did he move up on the victim from the back?
	WITNESS — The defendant went up to the victim from behind, took
the revolver out and fired at him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he pass you, coming on the sidewalk?
	WITNESS — Yes, he made a slight turn, looked at the balcony of one of
the buildings, walked up to the victim, and fired.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — After the incident, did you hear the defendant
make any exclamatory remarks?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did people ask him questions? Did he justify
his actions?
	WITNESS — “He was a foreigner,” he said. “I am a foreigner too.
There is no loss.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where did he utter those words?
	WITNESS — At the guard house.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he stay next to the victim’s body?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Right after firing his revolver, did he throw it
away and flee?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — And did you run after him?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you notice if there was a woman walking
either alongside the victim or a little ahead of him?
WITNESS — No, I did not notice that.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then there was no one immediately next to the
	WITNESS — No, there was no one.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then you saw the victim walk calmly down the
	WITNESS — Yes, very calmly.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — And there was no one next to him?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then were you and Mr. Essen the first ones to
get to the body or were there others?
	WITNESS — We were the first ones.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are there any other questions to be directed to
the witness?

(No further questions. The questioning of the next witness, Talaat
Pasha ‘s widow, was considered superfluous because it came to light that
the statements, according to which she was the woman who, at the time
of the murder, was with Talaat Pasha and had fainted, were incorrect.)

Witness Paul Schultze (Chief of Police, Charlotteuburg District of
Berlin, 47 years old) takes the oath.

PRESIDING JUSTICE — What do you have to say about the incident?
	WrrNrss — On the day in question, I was informed by telephone that
a homicide had been committed on Hardenbergstrasse and that the
murderer had been apprehended. I went to the scene of the crime and
saw the victim on the sidewalk. The area was cordoned off by the police.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you not carry out any investigation at the
scene of the crime?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you concentrate your attention on the vic-
tim or on the defendant?
	WITNESS — I was busy with the corpse. I took all his personal belong-
ings from his pockets. I did not see the culprit again.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The indictment against the defendant was bas-
ed then on what the witnesses told you and was not a result of any in-
vestigation on your part. Is that correct?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are there any questions to be directed to the
	VON GORDON — Where was the body? Was it between Fazanenstrasse
and Steinplatz or between Steinplatz and Gnezebegstrasse?
	WITNESS — Right in front of 17 Hardenbergstrasse, between Fazanen-
strasse and Joacbimstalerstrasse, and closer to Fazanenstrasse.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Any other questions?

(No further questions)

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Mr. Interpreter, would you please inform the
defendant that two witnesses have just testified that he did not walk past
the victim but that he walked behind the victim on the sidewalk and,
after passing a few people, reached Talaat and shot him from the back.
	DEFENDANT — The incident occurred just as I described it to you. I
walked past the victim and then shot him from the back.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — That does not correspond to what these
witnesses have testified.
	VON GORDON — Perhaps the defendant was so excited at the time that
he does not remember well.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Perhaps you do not recall definitely how it hap-
pened. The two witnesses stated you shot the victim from the back
without walking past him.
	DEFENDANT — I crossed the Street and fired from the back.
	voN GORDON — I would like to ask the Presiding Justice whether the
witness Resch is present, as his testimony is çssential.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Let one of the officers check and see whether
witness Rescb has arrived.
(Witness Resch had not arrived yet.)
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I would like to bring to the attention of the
preceeding two witnesses, Mr. Jessen and Mr. Dembicki, the fact that the
defendant has given testimony which is contrary to theirs.
	The defendant indicates that he crossed the street and was ahead of
Talaat. He allowed Talaat to pass him. Then the defendant walked past
you both on the right-hand sidewalk and shot Talaat from the back.
	JESSEN — Perhaps the defendant is fight. However, the defendant
walked past me twenty meters before the spot where Talaat was shot.
Perhaps he crossed the alley next to the Music School.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then, in that case, did he reach Talaat some
distance ahead?
	DEMBICKI — He approached the victim on the sidewalk of Harden-
bergstrasse and reached him on Fazanenstrasse.
	JESSEN — I asked the defendant immediately why he had shot the
man. He replied, “I am an Armenian. He is a Turk. It is no loss to Ger-
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I believe the defendant probably made that
statement later.
	lESSEN — I asked him why he had shot the man. Then I searched him
to see if he had another gun or perhaps a knife. He then said, “I am an
Armenian. He is a Turk. It is no loss to Germany.” He made this state-
ment some five minutes after the act.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — There is still a discrepancy in these statements.
But they are not conflicting. Both statements could be true.
	VON GORDON — For me the question is quite clear. Witness Resch’s
statement corresponds to what the defendant said and is contrary to the
testimony of Jessen and Dembicki
Witness Captain Guass (Police Department, Charlottenbur
District of Berlin) takes the oath.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What do you know about the incident? Did You
examine the body and arrange for it to be removed?
	WITNESS — I was informed on Tuesday, March 15, at noon that a
Turk had been shot on Hardenbergstrasse. The culprit was apprehended
and beaten.
	A day later, I examined the body of the victim and found a bullet hole
above the left eye. One could put one’s finger into it. I looked with some
skepticism at the hole above the left eye. I could not see any injury what-
soever in the back of the head, even though it was covered with blood.
	In the afternoon I summoned the guilty party. Unfortunately, we had
difficulty communicating with each other. I beard that he had admitted
killing the victim because he considered the victim responsible for the
deaths of his parents. I asked him if he spoke German and how he had
killed the victim.
	I held the revolver in my hand and asked the defendant to show me
how he had committed the crime. I held the gun in front of my head and
asked him if that is how he had fired. He said no, and indicated that he
shot from the back. He did not want to say anything more than that.
	In the District Attorney’s office, he asserted he had committed the
crime because he believed the victim to be responsible for his parents’
deaths. Through further investigation we were able to ascertain that the
defendant had come from Geneva at the beginning of March to Berlin-
Schdneberg and was living at 51 Augsburgerstrasse.
	WITNESS — Yes, in January. In March he changed his residence. I
tried to determine the reason for his moving but I could not ascertain any
valid reason. At 37 Hardenbergstrasse — the defendant’s high, ground-
floor apartment — faced directly onto the victim’s apartment. Thus, the
defendant had the opportunity to keep the victim under house
	On the day of the incident, a witness declared that he was walking on
Hardenbergstrasse, while the defendant was coming from the opposite
direction. At the Music School, the defendant crossed the street. Also, a
woman was walking ahead of the victim. The defendant approached the
victim, took the revolver out of his coat pocket and, without any hesita-
tion, fired. The victim immediately fell to the ground. The defendant
bent over him to make certain he was dead and then escaped.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — On that occasion, do you remember if you in-
terrogated witness Resch, who has not arrived yet in this courtroom? Do
you remember if you had any discussion as to whether the defendant shot
from the back or whether he allowed him to first go past and then shot
	WITNESS — I do not remember if it was witness Resch or not who
stated that he perhaps saw that the defendant came upon the victim from
the front or from the back.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What does that mean, “from the front or the
	WITNESS — That he fired at the victim from the back.
	NIEMEYER — I believe both perceptions are reconcilable. When one
crosses the Street, it is only natural that he would fall behind a person
~a1kiflg on the other side. This is true even if, at the time one person
started crossing the street, both were walking parallel to each other. This
is especially likely when you consider that Hardenbergstrasse is a very
wide boulevard. In my OpifllOfl the defendant walked past the victim.
	WERTI-{AUER — The defendant did not live on the ground floor, but
rather the first floor.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — He previously said the first floor. Me probably
meant to say the high, ground floor
Witness Dr. Schloss (42 years old, Charlottenburg, Seventh
Sanitary Division) takes the oath.

	WITNESS — On March 15th word reached the Seventh Sanitary Patrol
Unit from the Sanitary Division of the zoo that a crime had been com-
mitted on Hardenbergstrasse. I went there. The street had been closed
off by the police. The victim had a bullet hole in the back of his head. I
did not feel it necessary to conduct a detailed examination. So much
blood had gushed out from the opening that I could not see much more. I
have nothing more to add.

(The witness is excused)
witness Dr. Schtnulinsky (Medical Advisor, Charlottenburg, 63
years old) takes the oath.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — On March 15th you performed an autopsy on
Talaat Pasha with Dr. Till. Would you give us the results of your ex-
	WITNESS — We found a large circular opening in the back of his head.
The wound contained countless pieces of pulverized bone. Upon dissec-
ting, we discovered that the brain had become totally black and was
bathed in blood. The back of the head was completely smashed and so
much blood had gushed to his brain that death was instantaneous. In all
probability. he also suffered a heart attack a split second later.

(The witness is excused)

Expert witness Mr. Barella (royal antis maker and munitions ex-
pert, Berlin) takes the oath.

Mr. Barella examines the revolver.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (looking at the defendant) — Did you use this
weapon to kill Talaat Pasha
	DEFENDANT — I cannot be certain.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You had the weapon for a considerable period
of time; you must be able to recognize your revolver.
	DEFENDANT — It locks as though it is the same as mine.
WITNESS — Its barrel has a diameter of 8-9 mm. Itis a weapon of-
ficially approved for use by the German Army. It is an automatic and is
capable of firing eight bullets without reloading. It is war surplus and
was made in 1915 by the Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrik. The
bullets are from army stores.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Can you tell whether or not the weapon has
been used extensively?
	WITNESS — It is fairly new. In any event, it has been well kept.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (looking at the defendant) — Have you used the
weapon at any other time?

	(No more questions are directed to the witness)
Witness Elizabeth Stellbattm (landlady at 51 Augsburgerstrasse in
Berlin, 63 years old, Protestant) takes the oath.

	WITNESS — The defendant lived in my building. I have only com-
plimentary things to say about him. He was very well behaved and
modest. I have no maid and, therefore, I do all the housework. The
defendant always did whatever he could to make my job easier. For ex-
ample, he used to polish his own shoes. In every respect, he was decent
and modest.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was he ever sick?
	WITNESS — I-fe became sick just before Christmas, a few days after he
had moved in. For that reason he was late in reporting his new address to
the police. From the very first day, I wanted to let the police know where
he was, but he had to report personally. On account of his illness he was
	It was a few days after he had moved in. I was in the kitchen when I
heard someone fumbling with his keys. I thought to myself that it was
probably my new tenant and that he still was not used to using the key. I
came to the door and when I saw the defendant he looked odd to me. I
thought he was drunk. He greeted me, but I thought he was quite
	He went to his room and I entered my apartment. I listened, expecting
him to turn on the gas heater. I heard him use the washbasin and then I
heard him sit in the armchair and then there was quiet. I stood outside his
door listening, but all was quiet.
	The next day I did not hear anything about what happened the night
before and I told my other tenant, Mr. Apelian, that Tehlirian had been
drunk the night before. I asked him to tell the defendant that I would not
tolerate drunks in my house. I understood Mr. Apelian talked to Mr.
Tehlirian about it.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he seem to be sick at any other time?
	WITNESS — He was very nervous and could not sleep. Whenever
anyone asked him how he was, he always said the same thing.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you know which physician he used to go to?
	WITNESS — Yes, Professor Cassirer. I recommended a doctor to him
specializing in nervous disorders who lived somewhere on Potsdamer-
strasse. I do not know the exact address. Acquaintances of mine had told
me about him. He was not Dr. Haake in any case.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What else car you tell us about him? Was he
	WITNESS — Very neat.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you know that he took dancing lessons?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did other Armenians come to visit him often?
WITNESS — Only one person, Levon Eftian.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he often go out with Mr. Apelian?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you not surprised when he suddenly mov-
ed elsewhere?
WITNESS — Of course I was.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — What did you say about it then?
	WITNESS — He wanted to stay with me until May 1st. So I told him, “I
thought you were going to stay with me until May 1st.” He told me that
his doctor had recommended that he should look for a room with
sunlight, as gaslight was bad for his health. I believed what he said
because he was a very nervous person. He moved on March 5th. His
roam was next to mine and I could hear everything that went on in his
room. At night he seemed to have nightmares.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he seem normal to you? Was he in posses-
Sian of his faculties?
	WITNESS — He was never impolite. He was very kind and polite. I
have only nice things to say about him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you not know anything about his epileptic
seizures? Once, as he entered the building, he supposedly fell down.
	WITNESS — Yes, that is the incident I described previously.
PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the interpreter) — Would you please tell the
defendant that this witness did not testify against him. She only said that
she had seen him sick on one occasion.
	(Looking at the attorneys) Are there any other questions to be asked of
the witness?
	VON GORDON — Did the defendant play any musical instruments?
	WITNESS — Yes, he always played his mandolin.
VON GORDON — Did he ever sing?
	WITNESS — Yes, he used to sing very melancholy tunes. He always had
the mandolin in his hands and, when he was alone, he used to walk back
and forth in the room with it in his hands.
	VON GORDON — While he was playing his mandolin, did he frequently
turn the gas lights off?
	WITNESS — Yes, once while the other gentleman was in his room, I
went to his apartment and opened the door as I wanted to speak to him. I
noticed that both of them were sitting in the dark, smoking and playing
their musical instruments. They told me that a better mood was created
in the dark.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was it more mystical?
	DR. LLEPMANN — The witness said that the defendant was very ner-
vous. What did she mean by that? Was he very serious?
WITNESS — Yes, he was very serious. He was always serious.
DR. LIEPMANN — More sad than jovial?
	DR. LIEPMANN — Was he not full of life like others of his age?
	WITNESS — Many times I wondered why he was so depressed.
	DR. LIEPMANN — Was he lost in thought? Did it seem as if he was
preoccupied with something else?
	WITNESS — No and, besides, I did not have that much contact with
	DR. LIEPMANN — What do you mean when you say that he was ner-
vous? Do you mean that his mind wandered?
	WITNESS — Yes, many times he would talk out loud to himself, mak-
ing me think there was someone with him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In the daytime too?
	WITNESS — No, at night.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The expert witness is asking whether he was
often absent-minded.
	DR. LLEPMANN — Did he keep much to himself? Was he reserved?
WITNESS — Yes, he was always reserved and serious. As soon as he
came home, he would pick up the mandolin and play.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he ever speak about the future to you?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever ask him why he came to Berlin?
	WITNESS — He said he came to study and, indeed, the second day
after his arrival he had already found a woman language teacher.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — While he was staying with you did you ever
notice a significant change in his emotional state . .
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — . . or in his manner of living?
	WITNESS — No, he always remained the same. But there were times
when I heard him whistle; after all, a man cannot be sad all the time. In
general, he was a serious, unique sort of person.
	VON GORDON — Did he ever tell you about his past? Did he speak
about the loss of his parents?
	WITNESS — No, a few days after he left me, he came to obtain papers
to take to the police department to notify them of his change of address.
At that time I asked him about his past, and he told me how he had
returned home and found everything in ruins. He also told me his
parents, sisters and older brother were killed and he was the only sur-
vivor, but that he could not relate the story definitively. This is alt he told
me then. He cut the conversation short. I noticed he did not want to talk
about it any longer.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you notice him getting very emotional as he
related his story?
	WITNESS — Yes, yes. As it was, he only told me this much and only
because I asked him to.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you wish to establish the reason for his
	WITNESS — No, no. His friend was still living with me. He said he
wanted to speak with him; then he told about his room and at that time I
asked him.

(No other questions are directed to the witness)
Witness Mrs. Dittmarnt (landlady at 37 Hardenbergstrasse in
~~arIOttC~~hurg District of Berlin) takes the oath.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant lived with you for a few weeks.
can you tell us something about his behavior and conduct?
	WITNESS — He was a kind, modest, quiet, and clean young man. He
kept everything in order. On the morning of March 15th, the day the in-
cident occurred, the maid came in to tell me that the defendant was in his
room crying. I told the maid that maybe there was a death in his family
and that it was best if we left him alone. I could not help him since he did
not understand me.
	A little while later, I thought I would go up to see how he was doing. I
was surprised to find him sitting in his room, drinking cognac.
	He remained in his room for some time and then left. After he had
gone, I went up to his room and saw that the bottle of cognac, from
which he had drunk, was still on the table.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you know perhaps when he bought the bot-
tle of cognac?
	WITNESS — The maid told me the same morning.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How much of the bottle had he drunk?
	WITNESS — Almost one third. It was a three-quarter liter bottle of
French cognac.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What else did he eat the same morning?
	WITNESS — Like any other day he had his cup of tea.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you have any suspicion as to what he was
going to do?
	WITNESS — Not at all. It was only when the maid came to tell me,
“Mrs. Dittmann, our gentleman has been killed.” I responded “What
are you crazy or something?” Later, I heard that he had killed someone.
At first, I did not want to believe it.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did the defendant appear to have his usual
comportment that day, or would you say that he was suffering deep
down inside and seemed absent-minded?
	WITNESS — One of his friends came one day and told me that the
defendant was sick and needed a room that had sunlight.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When the defendant came to you, did you
flOtice anything peculiar about him?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The whole time he stayed with you, did you
flotice anything peculiar?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he study?
	WITNESS — Yes, he rarely went out.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he have any visitors?
	WITNESS — None at all.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he play a musical instrument?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he seem nervous to you?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he seem hesitant?
	WITNESS — He would not look me straight in the eye. He would get
confused. He was always apprehensive and shy.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was he frightened of anything?
	WITNESS — He had a frightened took.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he seem to suffer from deep emotions?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he ever get incoherent, giving wrong and
confusing answers to simple questions?
WITNESS — No, I cannot say that he did.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever notice that he looked sick?
WITNESS — No, but he said that he was nervous and sick.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever notice if he had epileptic seizures
white he was in your building?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Therefore, in conclusion, you only have com-
plimentary things to say about him.
	WITNESS — Yes, he was a very proper young man.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the interpreter) — Would you please tell the
defendant that this witness also te~tified in his favor?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the defendant) — Who went with you to rent
the apartment?
	DEFENDANT — The president of the Armenian Students’ Association
of Berlin.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is he here today?
	DR. CASSIRER — I would like to verify whether the defendant
remembers why he was crying on March 15th and whether he bought the
cognac that day.
	DEFENDANT — I bought the cognac the day before, as I felt weak. I
had a shot that evening and another the next morning with my tea.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you have a lot to drink the day of the inci-
	DEFENDANT — No, I only drank a little bit with my tea.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ask the maid for a glass?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, I needed a glass to measure a shot.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant insists that he drank very little.
Did he cry that same morning?
	WITNESS — Yes, I beard him.
VON GORDON — Was it not, perhaps, a sad song you heard?
	WITNESS — It is possible. They do have such sad songs. But I thought
he was crying.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the defendant) — Do you remember if, on the
morning of the incident, you were crying or humming songs?
	VON GORDON (to the witness) — Did you yourself see the defendant
open the bottle of cognac or was it the maid who told you that she saw it?
When did you see it? Was it around seven or eight o’clock?
	WITNESS — It was after mne.
	VON GORDON — Then did he go out? When did he return?
	WITNESS — He did not come back at all.
	VON GORDON — I-fe must have returned since you said that it was
seven or eight o’clock when he left the house.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The timing may fit.
	WITNESS — It was approximately eleven o’clock when he left. After he
had his tea, he remained in his room. It was after eleven o’clock when I
went up to put his room in order.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you perhaps hear an unusual commotion
prior to his leaving and did you think he was crying? After the defendant
left, did you see that one-third of the cognac bottle had been emptied?
	WITNESS — I do not know.
	VON GORDON — Do you know if the bottle was opened that morning?
	WITNESS — The maid would know that better than I.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the defendant) — Had you bought the bottle
and drunk from it the day before?
	DEFENDANT — I had the battle opened where I bought it.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you drink a little with your tea that eve-
	DEFENDANT — Yes, I drank some with my tea.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you drink a glassful in the morning too?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant denies having drunk the cognac
from a glass. I cannot understand that.
	DEFENDANT — First I measured it in the glass and then poured it into
the tea.
	VON GORDON — Had you noticed whether or not the defendant tried
to read German and practiced his German?
	VON GORDON — Did he take lessons from you?
	WITNESS — No, but he had homework. He said he was taking lessons.
	PRESIDING JusTicE — Did you see his revolver?
	D~. LIEPMANN — Did the defendant seem annoyed or depressed?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was he hesitant?
	WITNESS — Yes, he was hesitant. (Smiling) At least I thought he Wa
quite hesitant.
	PREStDING JUSTICE (to Mrs. Stellbaum) — Did you ever see the defen.
dant’s revolver while he was staying with you?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you know that he had the revolver in thg
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did the defendant have a lot of persons
	WITNESS — No, he had a trunk which he always left open.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever open the trunk?
	WITNESS — It was open. He had opened it and put it in the closet.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the defendant) — Where did you keep yorn
	DEFENDANT — It most likely was in the trunk.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Even when you were at Mrs. Stellbaum’s?
	DEFENDANT — It was in my trunk.
	WITNESS — I did not see it; he only had a piece of hand luggage.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Itis surprising that you have often looked in
the trunk, but not seen the revolver.
	WITNESS — I cannot say that I looked in the trunk often.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Mrs. Stellbaum, you are under oath. Have you
not seen the revolver at least once?
	WITNESS — Not even once.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The witness may be excused.

	(No more questions were directed to the two witnesses, Ste//baum aria
witness Loin Beilensofl (private tutor from Berlin, 21 years old)
take the oath.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you teaching the defendant German?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Can you tell us something about his comport-
ment and habits?
	WITNESS — Since January 18th, I have been giving lessons to the
defendant. At the beginning, he used to be well prepared for his lessons,
but later Ofl he became absent-minded.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he tell you that he was sick and was seeing
a physician?
	WITNESS — Later on. He told me that he had seen Professor Cassirer,
that the professor had prescribed medication and that he had found it
very difficult to study. On one occasion during our lessons, I noticed that
he could no longer read and did not know what he had written. It was
clear to me that he was sick. I told him that I saw no point in continuing
with the lessons. Thus the lessons were interrupted.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Approximately when was that?
	WITNESS — In February.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — He started the lessons on January 18th. When
did he terminate them?
	WITNESS — ApproximatelY February 20th. In any event, it was during
the latter half of February.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he later resume the lessons?
	WITNESS — He came once and told me that he was not feeling well. It
was easy to see that he had an emotional trauma. He always looked sad.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he ever speak about his sadness?
	WITNESS — Only once, when I asked him about his homeland. He told
me that he no longer had a homeland and that all his immediate family
had been killed. This answer so clearly reflected his suffering that I did
not wish to pursue the subject any further.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you not ask him any further questions?
	WITNESS — Yes, I saw him one more time on either the 27th or the
28th of February.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How was he doing in his studies?
	WITNESS — At the beginning he was learning very well. As time went
by, he became more and more absent-minded. Even he kept saying, “1
cannot understand a thing.”
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is it possible that he might have terminated
his studies the first part of March?
	WITNESS — Yes, it is possible.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Possibly a few days before March 5th, after
changing his apartment?
	WITNESS — He never came after moving. He only came when he we1
living on Augsburgerstrasse.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — It looks as though there was a reason he chang.
ed apartments and terminated his studies
	WITNESS — I do not know. In March, maybe a week or so before the
incident, he called me by phone to tell me that he had changed apart-
ments and that he wanted to resume his lessons as soon as he felt better.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then he must have terminated his studies in the
latter part of February?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the defendant) — Was it after you had your vi-
sion that you terminated your lessons or did you have other reasons for
doing so?
	DEFENDANT — I terminated my lessons because I was weak and sick. I
called my teacher after I changed apartments to tell her that it was my in-
tention to resume my studies as soon as I felt better.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then your vision had nothing to do with the
termination of your studies?
	DEFENDANT — I stopped studying on account of my poor health.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — While you were with Mrs. Dittmann, did you
not get bored?
	DEFENDANT — Why should I have gotten bored?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Because you no longer had any studying to do.
	DEFENDANT — My lessons never gave me much pleasure anyway.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — But if you had been taking lessons, at least they
would have provided a change of pace for you. How did you pass your
time when you were with Mrs. Dittmann~
	DEFENDANT — I often visited my Armenian friends.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you practice your German?
DEFENDANT — After getting up in the morning, I used to read Ger-
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was it a textbook? Did you have any other
German books?
	DEFENDANT — No, just my textbook.
	VON GORDON — Had you advanced in German enough so that, say,
you could read your indictment and understand it without too much dif-
	DEFENDANT — I can read printed much easier than handwritten

(No more questions are directed to the witness Beilenson)
Witness Yervaut Apelian (Secretary of the Armenian Consulate,
erilfl, 23 years old, Armenian-Apostolic) takes the oath. Not
related to the defendant by blood or marriage.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you live in Mrs. Stellbaum’s building on
~~gSbUrgerstr~se with the defendant and did you become friends?
	WITNESS — Yes. Last year, in the middle of December, I met the
defendant through mutual friends. They introduced him to me and asked
me whether I could find lodging for him in the same place where I stayed,
siflCC he was a fellow Armenian and did not speak German. He desired to
be with his countrymen. So I talked to my landlady and she said she
would rent a room, which she had never rented out before, to my friend
until May 1st. The defendant came over the next day. This was in
December, after Christmas. At that time I was taking dancing lessons
with dance-master Friedrich so I convinced Tehlirian to come with me to
these lessons. The classes started in November. We used to take dancing
lessons every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. This is, the three of us,
Tehlirian, Eftian, and I. These private lessons continued for almost three
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What else did you do? Were you taking care of
business at the Consulate? Did you go out every day?
	WITNESS — Just in the evenings.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you with the defendant every day?
	WITNESS — We lived together. One day I was alone with him. He said
he wanted to get into the technical field. I did not pursue the matter with
him. One day, during our dance lessons, he passed out. I helped him up
and he regained consciousness. He was out for five or ten minutes. After
coming to, he wanted to return home.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he fall down like that at any other time?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was it this incident that prompted him to go
and see a physician?
	WITNESS — Yes. He went to Dr. Haake, who examined him. I do not
know what happened after that, since I was not there.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you a witness to any other fainting spells,
besides the one that took place during the dance class?
	WITNESS — I believe he had the same sort of attacks a number of
times. Once it happened on the staircase. But, I was not a witness to
these. I only heard about them from him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he complain of headaches?
	WITNESS — Yes. He said be had a headache and a wound on his head.
I cannot say exactly when he complained of this. It was sometime in
January before the attack on the dance floor.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did the defendant pass his time? Did he
take lessons? Between the middle of January and the middle of
February, did he take lessons from Miss Beilenson? How often were
these lessons?
	WITNESS — I believe three times a week.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he study at home too?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Had you noticed any other symptoms of ill-
ness, like nervousness or absent-mindedness?
	WITNESS — Yes, he was very sensitive. He would get offended at the
slightest remark. However, in general, we got along well.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you know anything about his past life? Did
he tell you what happened to him in Turkey?
WITNESS — Yes, he told me that he had lost his whole family.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — When did he relate that to you?
WITNESS — It was some time ago. I cannot give the exact date.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Had you talked about who the person responsi-
ble for the fate of his relatives was?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he mention the presence of Tataat in Berlin
or what he ought to do to him?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Had he told you of his intention to move in
with Mrs. Dittmann before doing so?
	WITNESS — No, he had not told me where he was going to move.
However, one day he asked me to tell Mrs. Stellbaum that he wanted to
move because his physician had told him that the gas heater was
detrimental to his health.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then he had also given you “health reasons”
as his excuse for moving?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he tell you that he had found an apartment
on Hardenbergstrasse?
	WITNESS — No, I did not know where it was. We were not such close
friends any longer.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he have other friends? For example, did
Mr. Eftian visit him?
	WITNESS — Yes, the three of us were together quite often.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Just prior to his moving, did you notice a
change in his comportment or manners, or did he always behave the
	WITNESS — He was the same.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When he told you he was going to move, did
you not raise any objections?
	WITNESS — I asked him the reason for his moving.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — And did he give his health as the reason?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you know that the defendant had a
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he have a suitcase?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever look in his suitcase?
	PRESIDING JusTICE — What is your opinion — do you think he had
his revolver with him when he was residing at Augsburgerstrasse?
	WITNESS — That I do not know.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he not ever talk to you about his intentions
to kill Talaat Pasha?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Had the defendant not told you he had seen
Talaat in the street?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Yet you were together quite often, were you
	WITNESS — Yes, I wondered about that after the incident. However,
we never discussed politics.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I do not see that this is a matter of discussing
politics. Did you know that Talaat Pasha was living on Hardenberg-
	WITNESS — No. As I said before, Tehlirian never spoke to me about
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — He never spoke to you about Talaat?
	PRESIDINQ JUSTICE — Did the defendant have any friends besides
you, Eftian, and Terzibashian?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Can you tell us anything as to what motivated
the defendant to act as he did, or can you tell us anything about this inci-
	VON GORDON — Had you heard about his having fainted in the middle
of Erusalemerstrasse?
	VON GORDON — When was that? In January? February? Before or
after the incident at the dance?
	WITNESS — I believe it was in January.
VON GORDON — Did Tehlirian tell you that?
	VON GORDON — Is it the custom among the Armenians not to speak at
all or to speak very little about these massacres?
	WITNESS — They speak about them, but not often.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — These events are already a thing of the past.
	VON GORDON — When you speak of the massacres, what in particular
do you discuss the most?
	WITNESS — We speak about what happened to each of our families.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you not know yourself that Talaat was here
in Berlin? And had the defendant not ever told you that?
	WITNESS — No, I never spoke with him about these topics.
	VON GORDON — When the defendant told you that he wanted to
move, could you tell from his conversation whether or not he had already
rented a room, or was he just telling you that he intended to move?
	WITNESS — All he told me was that, by Saturday. he would be out.
	VON GORDON — But did the defendant not tell you that he was
dissatisfied with his place and that is why he wanted to get out?
	WITNESS — No, he did not say that.
	VON GORDON — Did you not get the feeling that he had already found
a place? Otherwise he could not state so emphatically that he would be
out by Saturday, which he did.
	VON GORDON (addressing Mrs. Dittmann) — Could you tell us Mrs.
Dittmann, when the defendant came and rented a room from you? Was
that room already vacant? Did he move in the same day or a few days
	MRS. DIrrMANN — He moved in Sunday morning. It was a few days,
approximately 3 or 4 days, after he had rented the place. The room was
not vacant until then.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the interpreter) — Would you please tell the
defendant that Mr. Apelian has testified that he had knowledge of three
fainting spells and that he gave health reasons for moving from Augs-
burgerstrasse. (This statement is translated.)
	VON GORDON (to the witness Apelian) — How many people were tak-
ing dancing lessons?
	WITNESS — About 60 to 70 people.
	VON GORDON — Did the defendant try to talk to the girls? Was he
withdrawn or daring?
	WITNESS — On the whole, he was not forward. He never danced with
any one particular girl. He was hoping to improve his German by striking
up conversations with different ones.
	DR. LIEPMANN — It sounds quite strange to me that, after all the
defendant had gone through, he did not speak to you, his friend, about
the massacres.
	WITNESS — One day we were reading Professor Lepsius’ book an
Ajlnena. The defendant snatched the book away from me, saying, “Do
not..~ let us not open old wounds.”
	DR. LIEPMANN — Are you trying to tell us that the defendant was
avoiding the topic of the massacres and did not wish to revive their
	WITNESS — The defendant took the book out of my hands and said,
“Let us put the book away and have some fun.”
	PROFESSOR CASSIRER — Do you know whether there was anything in
particular that caused the defendant to pass out on the dance floor?
	WITNESS — No, all he told me was that he did not feel well and he
wanted to go home.
	PROFESSOR CASSIRER — When he fell to the floor, did he cry out or
just mumble? Could you make out any of the words be mumbled?
	WITNESS — He did not cry out; he started mumbling.
	PROFESSOR CASSIRER — Was the defendant trembling?
	WITNESS — Yes, he was also foaming at the mouth.
	PROFESSOR CAssIRER — Was the foam colored?
	PROFESSOR CASSIRER — How long did he tremble like that?
	WITNESS — At least ten minutes.
	PROFESSOR CASSIRER — Did he regain consciousness right away?
	DR. FORSTER — You say that there was not any particular reason for
the attack. Is it not possible that, without your knowledge, the defendant
may have recalled the massacres for one reason or another just prior to
having had the attack?
	WITNESS — I do not know. All I know is that he did have a number of
these fainting spells.
	PROFESSOR CASSIRER — The witness states that he does not know the
cause but there must have been a definite reason for the attack. Is it not
possible that, right before its onset, the defendant may have “seen” cor-
pses lying all around him and thus recalled the massacres? Are you
familiar with something of this sort having happened?
	WITNESS — No, but he once told me that, prior to having fainting
spells, he would smell a certain pungent odor and then he would fall.
	DR. STÔRMER — May I remind you that you told me at the Armenian
Consulate that the fall began with a loud sharp cry?
	WITNESS — I cannot be certain if it was a cry or mumbling. In any
event he would stumble and fall. I cannot say any more than that.
Witness Levon Eftian (Berlin, 21 years old, Armenian-ApOstolic)
takes the oath. Not related to the defendant by blood or marriage.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When did you come to Berlin from Paris?
WITNESS — In February 1920.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Since then have you been living with yo~
	WITNESS — Yes, I am staying with my brother-in-law, Mr. Terzi.
bashian, who resides at 75 Oranienstrasse.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Does your brother-in-law have a tobacco shop
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Does your sister, his wife, also live there?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — And is your sister from Erzinga?
	WITNESS — No, from Gartn.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is it true that you have had frequent contaci
with the defendant in Berlin?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you take dancing lessons along with th
defendant from Master Friedricb?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you visit the defendant white he was living
at Augsburgerstrasse?
	WITNESS — Two or three times.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did the defendant visit you and your relative
at your home on Oranienstrasse?
	WITNESS — Yes, he used to come at least once a week.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he talk to your relatives?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you notice whether or not he was sick 0
suffered attacks?
	WITNESS — He used to always tell us that he had a nervous disorder
He was always sad.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What did he complain of? In what way was th’
sickness apparent? Could you tell by locking at him that be was disturb
ed, melancholic, and sad?
	WITNESS — He was always sad.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was he happy while taking dancing lessons?
	WITNESS — It was mainly to boost his morale that we took him to th
dancing lessons anyway. Furthermore, it was an opportunity for him Ii
improve his Gennan.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Why was he sad? Was it his disposition?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he ever speak about the sad memories of
his past — the loss of his sisters, brothers and parents? Did he speak
about the massacres?
	WITNESS — My sister would often broach the subject, but the defen-
dant did not want to talk about it.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When did your sister return to Berlin?
	WITNESS — About a year ago.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you lose many relatives in the massacres?
	WITNESS — My parents were also killed in the massacres. I came to
Constantinople in 1912 and went to school for three years, until 1915.
When the war broke out, I could not return to my hometown but I heard
that the deportation had already started. It was only later that I learned
that my parents and relatives had become victims of the massacres and
only my two brothers and my sister had survived.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where were your parents massacred?
	WITNESS — In Garin.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When did the massacres take place?
	WITNESS — Between 1915 and 1916, I do not know the exact date.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you hear about these massacres from your
brothers and sister?
	WITNESS — My sister was in Garin when the massacres took place. She
was an eyewitness.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you know anything concerning the nervous
disorder of the defendant?
	WITNESS — I have heard about his attacks but was never present when
they occurred. I have also heard that he was melancholic.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Other than the incident on the dance floor,
were you present at any time when the defendant lost consciousness?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did the defendant ever tell you that he had
these fainting spells from time to time?
	WITNESS — Yes. He told me that he was weak. He told me in detail
how he passed out in the street several times.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you know that the defendant did not want
to stay any longer with Mrs. Stellbaum?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did that sudden move surprise you? After all,
he was living with your countryman Apelian?
	WITNESS — The defendant told me he wanted to move because his
room did not have an electric heater.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you remember when he told you this?
	WITNESS — Just prior to his moving.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then did he move right away?
	WITNESS — He moved about a month later.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — He moved at the beginning of March to Flax.
denbergstrasse. When did he talk to you about moving?
	WITNESS — The first part of February.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — He told you in early February that he wanted to
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you know anything about the incident h~
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you know that Talaat Pasha was in Berlin?
	WITNESS — It never occurred to me.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Even if you did not know personally, had yoj~
not perhaps heard rumors to that effect?
	WITNESS — Such rumors were going around in Constantinople.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Since you came to Berlin from Paris at the end
of January 1920, have you been in Berlin the whole time?
	WITNESS — In 1918, right after the armistice, it was rumored that
Talaat Pasha was in Berlin. But no one knew for sure.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the interpreter) — Would you tell the defen-•
dant that this witness has testified that he was not an eyewitness to any of
his fainting spells; that every week they would see each other and that the
defendant avoided the subject of the massacres in general.
(It is translated)
	VON GORDON (to the witness) — Was Talaat Pasha considered the on-
ly responsible party for the Armenian tragedy in your circles? I cannot
understand bow it is that none of the Armenians tried to verify whether
or not Talaat was in Berlin. Did anyone care? After all, this should have
aroused the greatest concern. Rumors were circulating recently that
Talaat Pasha was in Berlin. Had you only heard about this in Constan-
	WITNESS — I did not know that Talaat Pasha was in Berlin.
	DEFENDANT — I did not know that either.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the defendant) — But you saw Talaat in the
street in Berlin. Why did you not mention this important fact to your
	DEFENDANT — I was afraid they would laugh at me.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Why would they laugh at you? After all, was
Tataat not considered the author of the massacres in general? Tcr-
zibashian, it seems, wanted to discuss them with you and talk about
Tataat. Why did you not mention it to him?
	DEFENDANT — The subject of Talaat never came up.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Why did you keep it a secret?
	DEFENDANT — I had no special interest in it.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — But we are interested in knowing why you did
not mention it.
	DEFENDANT — If I were to mention it, they would ask a lot of ques-
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then the reason you kept it a secret was so that
they would not get inquisitive and bother you with questions?
	DEFENDANT — I was in such poor physical condition that I did not
want to discuss the subject.
Witness Mr. Schultze (privy counselor to the court and Assistant
Chief of Police, Charlottenburg District Court, Berlin, 53 years
old, Protestant) takes the oath.

	WITNESS — I wonder if it is essential to bring out here all that the
defendant said during his first interrogation. I would propose that we not
get into that.
VON GORDON — We agree.
	DISTRICT ATrORNEY — I would appreciate it if we could hear
	(The Court decides to listen to the testimony of Schultze. After taking
the oath.)
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You were the first one to interrogate the defen-
dant. We would appreciate it if you could tell us what you learned from
the defendant.
	WITNESS — I remember the answers of the defendant quite distinctly.
Without any difficulty, he confessed that he had killed Talaat Pasha
deliberately and with premeditation. When I asked him for his reasons,
he said that Talaat was responsible for the massacres of his relatives, or
at least some of them. He told me that he had come to Berlin specifically
to kill Talaat and avenge the murder of his relatives.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When had the defendant made up his mind to
kilt Talaat?
	WITNESS — The defendant told me that he had made up his mind in
Turkey. He had purchased a revolver and had been looking for Talaat’s
residence. Having located it, he rented a room across from the victim’s
house. From this vantage point, he kept Talaat’s residence under
surveillance and when, on the day in question, the defendant saw Talaat
leave the house, he grabbed his revolver and followed his victim. So that
there would be no mistake, he walked past Tataat, then turned around
and looked the victim squarely in the eye. After convincing himself that
this was Talaat, the defendant shot the victim from the back. This is
what the defendant told me.
	PRESIDING JUSTtCE — Did you take all possible precautions during the
interrogation to prevent any misunderstanding?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the interpreter) — What do you have to say
about this? Is the testimony the truth?
	ICALOUSTIAN — Yes. However, the defendant was in no condition to
think straight at the time.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was the interrogation conducted on March
	KALOUSTIAN — The defendant’s head was still bandaged
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to witness Schultze) — Does the testimony you
have just given correspond to the record of the March 16th interroga-
	VON GORDON — The defendant had a fever at the time.
	SCI-IULTZE — The defendant did say that the crowd had attacked him
and he had a head wound. However, at the time I interrogated him. he
seemed to be quite calm and collected.
	PRESIDING JUSTiCE (to the defendant) — On March 16th did you con-
fess that, in 1915, ever since you managed to escape the massacres, you
had already decided to kill Talaat Pasha?
	DEFENDANT — I do not remember ever having said anything like that.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you deny having confessed that you had
planned to kill Talaat for a long time?
	DEFENDANT — No, how could I possibly have said that?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You must have said it because that is what the
interpreter translated during the interrogation.
	DEFENDANT — Maybe I said something like that, but I do not
remember because my head was injured and bandaged on account of the
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — So you wish to say that it is probably because
your bead was injured at the time. From a legal point of view, it makes a
significant difference whether you decided to kilt Tataat on March 1st,
fourteen days before the incident, or whether you decided to kill Talaat
years ago, bought a revolver back then, and came to Berlin in order to
carry out your well thought out plan. There is a basic difference. Were
you not aware of what you were saying at the time of the interrogation?
	DEFENDANT — I do not remember what I said on that day. I have just
been told that.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to witness Schultze) — Did you pursue this line of
questioning with the defendant and did he give these responses to your
	WITNESS — No, the defendant just confessed and told me the whole
story of how he had rented the apartment opposite Talaat’s house in
order to keep an eye on him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant says that even today but does
not admit having bad that plan in mind and having prepared to execute it
for several years now.
	WITNESS — As it is recorded in the transcript, the defendant confessed
that he had come to Berlin as much to study German as to seek revenge.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is there any reason why we should read the
	VON GORDON — There is no need. I would like to ask the defendant if,
satisfied with what he had done, he said, “I did it. I certainly did it
because I had sworn to do it.” With this inner gratification he answered
every question in the affirmative. Did you say, “I had planned this for
years and I am happy I did it?”
DEFENDANT — I do not know.
	NIEMEYER — The interrogation was carded out with the help of an In-
terpreter. Such an interrogation could have been conducted in a confused
manner. Either the interrogator was allowed to speak freely and then the
interpreter translated by summarizing what was said, or the interregator
asked short precise questions which were translated for the defendant
and then relayed to the interrogator. We are experiencing a similar situa-
tion today. However, thanks to the skill of the interpreter, everything is
working out smoothly, as if we were getting the answer directly from the
defendant. The interpreter, Mr. Zakariantz, seems to be taking the
wards out of the defendant’s mouth. He is doing an extremely competent
job. Usually, when the services of an interpreter are required, it is a stow,
choppy, step-by-step process. I would like to know in what manner the
interrogation took place?
	WITNESS — As far as I remember, I allowed the defendant to speak
calmly and relate how the incident took place. Only then did I ask
specific questions. This was the general format. I cannot remember the
details. In any event, I allowed him to speak calmly and I assigned the in-
terpreter the task of directing the questions and then translating his
answers for me. I asked questions about his motives as well.
	VON GORDON — Could you tell us whether the interpreter was very ex-
cited? Do you recall his mood?
	WITNESS — On the contrary, it seemed to me that the interpreter was
enjoying his work.
	VON GORDON — Did he not speak excitedly about the defendant?
Please describe it for us.
	WITNESS — The interpreter was completely calm. He had brought
sweets and pastries and offered them to the defendant. I asked him,
“Why have you brought sweets to this murderer?” He replied, “What
do you mean murderer? Me is a great man and he has our admiration.”
	VON GORDON — This statement is very important.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — We still have the following witnesses to ex-
amine: Mr. and Mrs. Terzibashian and the two physicians, four
altogether, if the defense attorneys do not call any others
	VON GORDON — I am sorry we are not in a position to make a decision
on that today. In tight of the defendant’s interests we consider that im-
possible. We can deliberate on that matter tomorrow morning.
	DR. STôRMER — I have received an open letter from the vice-president
of the Medical Council requesting my presence at a meeting tomorrow
morning. I shall have to leave by 10:00 A.M. tomorrow. I am also suffer-
ing from a pinched nerve and I intend to go to the doctor and get an in-
jection to kill the pain. If not, I cannot sit here any longer. My coming
tomorrow is doubtful.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I would suggest that we postpone this matter
until we find out what we can learn from the other four witnesses.
	VON GORDON — We shall reserve the right to ask for additional
evidence, though we shall do so in the hope that such demands not be
prevented by the court employing forceful measures.
	NIEMEYER — Is it not possible for Dr. StOrmer to give his view alone
and comprehensively, while the other physicians wait and give their
testimony later on so that we can get the whole medical picture concern-
ing the defendant from alt five expert witnesses at one time?
	VON GORDON — We have to be prepared and fresh to be able to cross-
examine the expert witnesses, and I am sure it will take considerable
PRESIDING JUSTICE (to Dr. Stbrmer) — Can we do it this way?
	DR. STÔRMER — Since I am here I shall do my duty. However, I can’t
say what condition I shall be in tomorrow.

(A half-hour recess is called)


Witness Vahan Zakariantz (interpreter and merchant, 38 years
old, Armenian-Apostolic, Wilmersdorf, Berlin) takes the oath.
Not related to the defendant by blood or mamage.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You are a member of the executive body of the
German-Armenian Friendship Club, and you met the defendant when he
came to the Armenian Consulate, is that correct?
	WITNESS — No, I met the defendant at the Persian Consulate. I work-
ed for the Persian Consulate at the beginning of the war. One day I was
asked by my superior to assist the defendant. He had come to inquire
about the procedure to follow in order to stay as a resident in Germany. I
told him what documents he needed and how to get in touch with the
Police Department.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he ask for your help again?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever have occasion to speak to him
	WITNESS — Yes, he had gotten hold of my address.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did the defendant live on Augsburgerstrasse?
	WITNESS — I did not know where he lived as I had never visited him.
He told me he was sick and needed a physician who specialized in ner-
vous disorders. He was not satisfied with the physician he was seeing. He
wanted a specialist.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you then take him to Professor Cassirer?
PRESIDING JUSTICE — When was that?
	WITNESS — I do not remember exactly. I assume the Professor can tell
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What was the Professor s diagnosis?
WITNESS — That Tehlirian was an epileptic, but that he should not be
informed of the fact.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you present when the Professor examined
the defendant?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you also present at subsequent examina-
	WITNESS — I was present on two occasions.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Had the defendant told you that he had an
epileptic seizure once, in the street?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Would you please tell us what he told you
about the incident?
	WITNESS — That he passed out on Erusalemerstrasse in front of a
bank and that some passersby had helped him up and brought him by
subway to his residence.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he describe his condition to you in detail?
	WITNESS — He could not recall it.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Has the defendant ever spoken to you about his
immediate family?
	WITNESS — No, but I was present when he told Professor Cassirer that
the first time be lost consciousness was when he returned and found his
home destroyed.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — On this occasion did you talk about the
massacres with him?
	WITNESS — No, as a general rule I did not discuss the massacres, par-
ticularly with others who, like him, bad suffered from them. In general, I
prefer not to excite people.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever speak to the defendant about the
massacres or what happened to his relatives?
	WITNESS — No, because I knew he had suffered and I did not want to
revive those painful memories.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did you know that?
	WITNESS — Professor Cassirer told me that the defendant had lost
consciousness when thinking about the massacres.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you maintain a friendly relationship with
the defendant while he was living at AugsburgerstraSse?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you know Mr. Eftian and Mr. Ter-
	WITNESS — I have known Mr. Terzibashian for some time.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — Now then, you helped the defendant twice
while he was going to Professor Cassirer. Were you ever present when
the defendant had epileptic fits?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is that why you cannot tell us anything about
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you know that Talaat Pasha was here in
	WITNESS — No, I was not aware of it personally, but it was written in
the newspapers that he was living in Germany.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What newspapers are these?
	WITNESS — I cannot remember now. I read French, Armenian, Ocr-
man, Russian, and Persian newspapers. In one of these newspapers I
read that Talaat was most likely living in Germany.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When a member of the Armenian communitj
encounters Talaat or another Turk in the street, would that not be suchi
startling event that news of it would spread like wildfire among thu
Armenians? Did the defendant never tell you that he had seen Talaat?
	PRESWINC JUSTICE — Can you tell us anything about the defendant’i
physical condition?
	WITNESS — I have seen the defendant quite infrequently. He waj
always dejected and had a vacant stare.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Have you had any other contact with him?
	WITNESS — Once we exchanged a few words.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you include the defendant in any soda
gatherings or outings?
	DEFENDANT When we were at Professor Cassirer’s, I told him I ha~
fallen after having seen my family’s house in ruins and that, ever sina
then, I have had these attacks.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The witness also stated that he personally hai
never seen the defendant during any of the latter’s attacks.

	(No more questions are asked of the witness)

	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the second interpreter, Mr. Kaloustian) —
Would you please tell the defendant that this witness testified that the3
met at the Persian Consulate and he helped him obtain permission to sta)
in Berlin, that he took the defendant on two occasions to Professai
Cassirer, and that there was no discussion between them about tht
witness Kevork KaIonStiaI’ (interpreter and merchant, TI yeatS
old, ArfllC~~ian.APOStOlIC~ Berflfl) takes the oath. Not related to
the defendant by bROOd or marriage.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Can you tell us anything about the defendant
or the incident in question.
	WITNESS — The defendant would come to my store and buy things.
This is how I met him.
	PRrSIDINO JUSTICE — Exactly when did your meeting occur?
	WITNESS — Three or four months before the incident.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Dm1 you have any conversation other than that

of a merchant and cuStomer?
	WITNESS — The defendant told me that he was ill. I suggested that he
buy ~hoCO1atC to give him strength and he did. He also told me that, as
as he got well, he meant to continue with his studies.
	PRESIDING JUSTiCE — When did this conversation take place?
	WITNESS — Three or four months before the incident. That is all I can
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Had the defendant told you that whenever he
had an attack, he v~ou1d lose consciousness?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Had you met the defendant prior to his coming
to your store?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then you saw him in your store for the first
	WITNESS — Yes, in my store.
	PRESIDING juSTICE — Did you see each other often?
	WITNESS — He tnight have come another time to my store.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever visit him at his residence?
	PRFSIDINCI jUSTICE — Can you tell us anything about his way of life in
	WITNESS — No, the next time I saw him was v~’hen I acted as his inter-
preter in Court during the preliminary hearing.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — One of the witnesses testified that, in your eyes,
the defendant is a great man. Would you consider him a great man?
	WITNESS — In my estimation he is a great man.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you lose members of your family in the
	WITNESS — My parents were killed in Aintab in 1896.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you an eyewitness to that massacre?
	WITNESS — Yes, in 1896. 1 was five years old. It is very fresh in my
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were both your parents killed at that time?
WITNESS — My father, mother, grandfather, a brother, and an uncle
I saw my father killed.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — These events took place in 1896. Could You
have so sharp a memory as to remember what happened when you were
only five years old?
	WITNESS — Yes, it is easy to remember because the events were so ter.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Could you have kept such a clear memory of aU
	WITNESS — These stories have been repeated so often that they have
always stayed fresh in my mind.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then you also felt an inner glow of satisfaction
that this act had been committed and it was perfectly logical to you that
one could have done such a thing.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you consider the confession of the defen-
dant before the judge to be accurate and correct?
	WITNESS — No, I did not consider it correct then for the simple reason
that the defendant was in no condition to be interrogated. His head was
injured and bandaged at the time. He said he did this and that, that he
killed Talaat. When he was asked whether he killed with premeditation,
he answered yes.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Therefore you are confirming what is recorded
in the transcript of the confession of March 16th. But you were under the
impression that the defendant gave answers for the sake of giving
answers. Did you raise this objection at the time of the interrogation?
WITNESS — Yes, that is why I purposely did not sign the transcript.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (examines the transcript) — Indeed, the inter-
preter has not signed said transcript.
	VON GORDON — Did you refuse to sign the transcript?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The transcript bears the names of Tehlirian and
a few others, but not that of the interpreter.
	WITNESS — I told the interrogators that the defendant did not know
what was going on, did not understand what he was saying, and that we
should not interrogate him right then.
	VON GORDON — Were you under the impression that the defendant
had a fever?
	WITNESS — I do not know. I did not examine him. I read later on in
the newspapers that he had a fever. AlIT know is that he had the bandage
around his head and seemed to be satisfied. He kept saying, “I killed
him. I killed him.”
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was there any discussion about your not sign-
ing the transcript? Did the interrogator ask you to sign the transcript?
	WITNESS — I told the interrogator that I could not sign the transcript
because I was not sure that the defendant understood the questions or the
answers that he gave.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — There is grave doubt as to the validity of the
contents of this transcript in terms of its acceptability as evidence.
	NIEMEYER — It is impossible to accept this document as a transcript
This IS not the transcript of the interrogation since it has not been
~~kflOw1edged that the interpreter interpreted what is included in these
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In any case, you met the defendant in your
store and, other than during the interrogation, you had no other contact
with him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the defendant) — Do you recall that the
witness did not want to sign the transcript?
DEFENDANT — I do not remember.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are there any more questions to be directed to
this witness?

	(There are none)

Witness Mr. Friedrich (dance Instructor) takes the oath.

	VON GORDON — I believe there is nothing Mr. Friedrich can add tc
what has already been established — namely that the defendant toak
dancing lessons from him and that he had a fainting spell. We wijj
dispense with asking any questions of this witness.

(Witness is excused)
witness Mr. Terzlbashlan (tobacconist, 29 years old, Catholic,
Berlin) takes the oath. Not related to the defendant by blood or

PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you know the defendant?
WITNESS — Yes. I have known him since December 19, 1920.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is that when the defendant came to Berlin from
paris and, through Mr. Eftian, met you and your family?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The defendant knew Mr. Eftian from Paris, is
that not right?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You have a shop located at 75 Oranienstrasse,
is that not so?
	WITNESS — Yes, I have a tobacco shop.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Are you and your wife Armenian?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Have you been in Berlin since 1914?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were you an eyewitness to the massacres?
	WITNESS — No, I was not there when they took place.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Even the earlier massacres?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How about your parents?
	WITNESS — My father is in Constantinople and my mother has already
passed away from natural causes. But my relatives and friends were all
killed in Garin, in my homeland.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Have you had frequent conversations with the
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Have you spoken about past events, about the
	WITNESS — No, we never spoke about that. Neither my wife nor I
cared to discuss the subject.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is it very disturbing to you to discuss this horri-
ble topic?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is that the reason you did not discuss it?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you know that Talaat was in Berlin?
	WITNESS — Yes, just as the others did.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — When did you find out about it?
	WITNESS — In 1919, after the war.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you tell the defendant that Talaat was
	WITNESS — No, the subject never came up.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What can you tell us about the defendant’s
	WITNESS — He came and told us that he was not well, he was sick. He
wanted to be examined by a physician.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he see a physician?
	WITNESS — Yes, he went with a friend.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he go to Professor Cassirer?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ever see him when he was suffering
epileptic fits?
	WITNESS — No, but the defendant told us that he was very sick. A
couple of times my wife prepared meals for him and on occasion he took
medication while visiting us.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then was he under the care of a physician?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is there anything about the way the defendant
looked that caught your attention?
	WITNESS — No, I cannot say there was.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Was he happy and carefree or rather sad and
	WITNESS — Sometimes he was happy and sometimes he was sad. But
overall he was more often sad than happy.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he ever tell you about his dancing lessons?
	WITNESS — Whenever he came to visit us, he was usually with Mr. Ef-
tian, who was also taking dancing lessons.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Had you ever been with the defendant other
than at your home?
	WITNESS — No, only at my home.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How large is the Armenian community in
	WITNESS — I do not know.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Does it comprise a hundred persons?
WITNESS — Almost.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you have social gatherings? Do you help
each other out?
	WITNESS — Yes, certainly we help each other.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then you know most of the people in the
Armenian community.
	WITNESS — I know many, but not the majority.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Has the defendant ever told you that he saw
Talaat in the street?
	WITNESS — No, he never told me that.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — During the period you saw the defendant, did
you notice a change in him?
	WITNESS — No, I did not notice anything.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did he tell you why he moved to Hardenberg-
stras se?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you ask him?
	WITNESS — Yes, he said he did not like his old quarters. He was sick
and needed a better room.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the attorneys) — Are there any questions still
to be directed to this witness?

(No further questions)

Witness Mrs. Christine Terzibashian (wife of the precedj,~
witness, 26 years old) takes the oath. Not related to the defendu
by blood or mamage. Interrogation with the help of an Inta

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you have any information pertaining to th’
	VON GORDON — This witness has information pertaining to the Arm0
nian massacres. Questions should be asked as to whether she was in be
homeland during the war and where she was living.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Where are you from.
	WITNESS — Garin, Eastern Anatolia.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is that where you were born?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were there deportations of Armenians fran
	WITNESS — In July 1915 the population was gathered together and ww
were told that it was necessary to leave the city.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were notices posted in the city informing tin
Armenians that they had to emigrate?
	WITNESS — The police officers and city officials first informed flit
well-to-do Armenians. They were told that it was necessary to evacual4
the city as it was in direct tine of military operations. The we1l-ta-d~
Armenians were informed eight days before the evacuation. The rest
heard about it an hour before it happened. We soon found out that thin
was a lie and that the Armenians were the only ones who were being
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were all the Armenians of the city evacuated
one time?
	WITNESS — At four separate times.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were there four groups?
	WITNESS — Yes, four groups were evacuated within eight days.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were those who were left behind aware of what
had happened to the others?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were the groups told where they were going?j
	WITNESS — We were told we were going toward Erzinga.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In which group were you?
	WITNESS—In the second.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Would you tell us in your own words hOW
many persons were evacuated? How did it happen? How far did you adj
vance? What happened?
	WITNESS — All together there were 500 families. My immediate family
consisted of twenty-one personS, only three of whom survived.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — How large was the entire group?
	WITNESS — 500 familieS.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did your relatives meet their death?
	WITNESS — We put as many of our possessions as possible in three ox
carts we had rented. We took food and money with us as we thought we
were going to Erzinga. There were my father and mother; my three
brothers, the oldest of whom being 30 years old; three boys, the youngest
one being six months old; one of my married sisters with her husband
and six children, the oldest of whom was 22 years old. I saw with my own
eyes how they all died. Only three of them managed to escape death. I
swear to you that the orders to deport the Armenians came from Con-
	WITNESS — As Soon as WC left the city limits and were in front of the
gates to the Garin fortress, the gendarmes came and looked through all
our belongings for arms. They took knives and umbrellas and other
things. We marched on to the next city, Papert. When we were at the city
limits, we were forced to march over corpses of people who had recently
been killed. My legs were covered with the blood of the corpses I stepped
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were these the bodies of the people who had
left Garin in the first group?
	WITNESS — No, they were the inhabitants of Papert. We then arrived
in Erzinga. They had promised to give us shelter, but they did not allow
us to stop or to drink water. All the oxen and cows we had with us were
taken away and driven up into the mountains.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did the massacre in which your relatives
were killed take place?
	WITNESS — They separated about 500 of the boys in their teens. One
of them was my brother - But he slipped away from the group and came
to us. We dressed him ~p as a girl so he could stay with us. The other
youths were massacred.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What happened to those who were separated?
WITNESS — After they tied them all together, they pushed them into
the river.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How do you know that?
	WITNESS — i saw it with my own eyes.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You saw them being pushed into the river?
	WITNESS — Yes, they were pushed in and the current was so strong
that they all drowned or were swept along by it.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Those who were left, what did they do?
	WITNESS — We all shouted and cried. We did not know what to do.
But they would not even allow us to cry. They pushed us all forwar~
sticking bayonets in our backs.
	WITNESS — Thirty gendarmes and a detachment of soldiers.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did they strike you now and then?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What happened to the other members of yo~
	WITNESS — We carried whatever we could with us until we came to
Malatia. There they took us up a mountain and separated the men from
the women. They took the men a distance of ten meters from the women,
so that we could see with our own eyes what was happening to them.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What happened next?
	WITNESS — They were killed with axes and thrown in the river.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Were the men and the women really killed in
this manner?
	WITNESS — Only the men were killed this way. When it grew
somewhat dark, the gendarmes came and selected the most beautiful
women and girls and kept them for themselves. A gendarme came and
wanted me as his woman. Those who did not obey were pierced with
bayonets and had their legs torn apart. They even crushed the pelvic
bones of pregnant women, took out the fetuses and threw them away.

(Major commotion in the courtroom)

WITNESS — I swear to you this is true.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did you escape?
	WITNESS — They split open my brother’s head. My mother dropped
dead upon seeing this. A Turk came toward me and wanted to take me as
his woman; because I would not consent, he took my son and killed him.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How did you escape?
	WITNESS — I noticed smoke in the distance. I walked toward it and
there I found my brother and his pregnant wife who was having labor
pains. They told us we had to leave that night. My brother and I were
forced to leave his wife there because she was pregnant.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — How many of you were left when you reach-
ed Samsek?
	WITNESS — Approximately six hundred people.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — And from your family?
	WITNESS — My father, two brothers, and I.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Then you also arrived at Samsek?
	WITNESS — Yes. There my father became ill. An order was issued for-
bidding sick people from being taken along. Rather, they were to be
thrown in the river. They came and took my father from the tent. But
later my brother brought him back. That very night be died.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — What happened to your two brothers?
	WITNESS — They are alive.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is all this realty true? You are not imagining it?
	WITNESS — What I have said is the truth. In reality, it was much more
horrible than it is possible for me to relate.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did you remain in Samsek?
	WITNESS — I could not stay in Samsek. We had to go to Soorooch
They took us to a mountain and took whatever else that was left in our
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — At the time, who was thought to be the person
responsible for this terror?
	WITNESS — Talaat Pasha was the one who gave the orders and the
soldiers forced us to kneel and cry out “Long live the Pasha,” because
the Pasha had permitted us to live.


	NIEMEYER — From the commotion it is evident that the witness’
statements sound incredible. But officially we have before us thousands
of similar reports. However, so that no one wilt have the slightest doubt
as to the veracity of the witness’ testimony, I would request that the two
expert witnesses, Professor Dr. Lepsius and His Excellency Liman von
Sanders be interrogated concerning the organization of the Turkish gen-
darmes and soldiers at that time.
	VON GORDON — I knew of the massacres before this but not in such
detail. In view of the striking testimony, I think we can dispense with
calling any other witnesses to testify about the massacres. However,
before we all listen to the two expert witnesses, I would request that a
remarkable personality, Bishop Balakian, who has come from Man-
chester to Berlin, be allowed to testify later on. He not only saw and lived
through the horrors of the massacres, but he can also tell us why the
Armenians look upon Talaat Pasha as the person responsible for them.
Whether he actually is guilty is another matter.
	DISTRICT ATr0RNEY — I also feel it would be appropriate to listen to
the two expert witnesses on the general relationships that existed between
the Turkish police and the guards.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the interpreter) — Would you tell the defen-
dant that this witness testified in detail about the massacres.
	DEFENDANT — I understood what she said.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — That is natural.
Expert Witness Professor Dr. Joltannes Lepsius (author, 62 y
old, Protestant) takes the oath.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You know what this case is all about. I wo
appreciate it if you did not go too far back, but rather concentrated a
the following: Were barbaric acts committed during the Armcnj
massacres of 1915 to the extent that we have been told? From
research you have done and from the personal experiences you have h
is the testimony of the witnesses and the defendant credible? What w
the composition of the bodies of guards who were supposed to prot
the Armenians during the deportation?
	WITNESS — The plan for the deportation of the Armenians was decid
ed upon by the Young Turk Committee. On this Committee were Tal
Pasha as the Minister of the Interior and Enver Pasha as the Minister o
War. Talaat gave the orders and, with the help of the Young Turk Cam
mittee, implemented the plan. Already by April 1915 the deportation
general exile had been decided upon. It affected the entire Armeni
population in Turkey with a few exceptions, about which I shall testi
Just before the war, the Armenians in Turkey numbered 1,85O,OOO~

There is no such thing as an absolutely accurate demographic census in
country like Turkey; however, this figure corresponds to the statistics o
the Armenian Patriarchate in Constantinople.
	The Armenian population lived in two geographic areas: Europe
Turkey (Constantinople, Adrianople, Rodosto) and Asiatic Turk
(Anatolia, Cilicia, Northern Assyria, Mesopotamia). The majority of th
Armenians lived in Eastern Anatolia on the Armenian plateau, in s
vilayets, which once comprised their country, Armenia. These &
vilayets are: Garin, Van, Paghesh, Diyarbekir, Sepasdia, and lchar
[Erzerum, -Van, Bitlis, Diyarbekir, Sivas, Kharput or Mamuret-ul-AZIZT
A large fragment of Armenians lived in Western Anatolia, opposite Con-
stantinople on the southern edge of the Sea of Marmara, and in Southern
Anatolia, in Cilicia, all along the Taurus Plateau up to the Gulf of AleRt
andretta, which is the northern border of Assyrian territories. A portioflt
of these territories belong to the Armenians. It is their country, called
	By order of the highest officials of the Turkish government, the totaU
Armenian population of the areas I have just described was deported tC~
the northern and eastern edges of the Mesopotarnian desert: Deir-ez-ZOQ1
Zor, Rakka, Meskene, Ras-ul-Ain, and as far as Mosul.
	Approximately 1,400,000 Armenians were deported. What is thC~
significance of this deportation?
	In a document signed by Talaat Pasha we find the following statC’~
inent: “The destination of the deportation is annihilation.” These orders
were carried out to the letter.
	pursuant to this order, of all the Armenians who were deported from
Eastern Anatolia southward, only ten percent reached their destination;
the ~~mainiflg ninety percent were killed, except for women and girls who
were sold by the gendarmes or were abducted by the Kurds or died of ex-
haustiofl and hunger.
	Of those Armenians who were driven to the edge of the desert from
Western Anatolia, Cilicia, and northern Assyria, a sizeable number,
~~aching into the hundreds of thousands, was assembled into camps.
These groups were systematically starved and periodically massacred.
	When more groups of Armenians were brought to the stations and
there was no room to keep them, they were taken in groups into the
desert and slaughtered.
	The Turks indicated that they learned this system from the British,
who proceeded in a similar way with the Boers of South Africa. They
would segregate all the Boers in various locations and keep them apart
from the rest of the population.
	The official government explanation for the deportation was that these
were precautionary measures. However, authoritative individuals
blatantly declared that their purpose was to annihilate the whole Arme-
nian population.
	What I have just said is supported by the official documents of the
German Foreign Office, as well as the documents of the German Em-
bassy in Constantinople and documents of German Consuls. I have
published all of this in a book.
	You have heard two persons, Tehlirian and Mrs. Terzibashiafl, testify
as to what they suffered and saw during the deportations. There are over
a hundred published articles by Armenians who, like the defendant, were
eyewitnesses to the massacres. They describe in graphic detail their in-
dividual experiences. Most of these articles are in German. Others were
published in Great Britain and the United States. The accounts contained
in these articles are not much different from what you have heard from
Tehtirian and Mrs. Terzibashian. There is no question as to their authen-
	One would have to ask the following question: “How is it possible to
kill millions of people in such a short time?”
	This was possible in the most savage of conditions, as was brought out
during the proceedings of the Military Tribunal set up in Constantinople
to try Talaat and his comrades and associates. The Court consisted of a
Division Commander, as its president, three generals, prominent during
the war, and a captain. Of the five charges brought against the Young
Turks, the first dealt with the Armenian massacres. On July 6, 1919, the
Military Tribunal pronounced a guilty verdict, sentencing to death the
leading perpetrators of the genocide — Talaat, Enver, Jemal and ~
	The responsibility of carrying out the orders for the massacres was id
to the Valis [governors-general of the provinces], Mutasarrifs (governor
of the provinces], and Kaymakams [governors of the districts]. Those oI
ficials who refused to carry out the orders were immediately relieved a
their duties. For example, Jelal Pasha, who was the Governor of ~
vilayet of Aleppo, refused to carry out the orders for deportation. }5
was relieved by direct orders of Talaat and sent westward to Konya. 1.5
behaved in the same manner there. He refused to obey the orders and ~
fact helped the Armenians, protecting those who remained and fit
deportees as well. He was again relieved of his duties, but this time It
was not given another government position. He was one of the mu
widely known and fair Valis Turkey had. Another governor, Rasbid Bej
of the vilayet of Diyarbekir, executed two subprefects who refused tj
carry out the orders. These orders not only affected government o~
ficials, but Turkish citizens as well. The Commander of the Third Dlvi
sion issued an order that any Turk found assisting an Armenian would U
shot in front of his house, and the house burned to the ground. AJN
government officials found helping Armenians would be relieved of thj
posts and tried before a military tribunal for their crimes.
	About 1,400,000 people of the original 1,850,000 Armenians I
Turkey took part in the forced march to the deserts of Deir-ez-Zor. 114
leaves 450,000 persons — of these, 200,000 were not affected by tIj
deportation or the massacres, principally because they were from $4
larger cities of Constantinople, Smyrna, and Aleppo. ‘I
	A leading figure responsible for saving the Armenians of Aleppo
the German Consul Roessler, the very same person whom the EnteU~
press castigated as the organizer of the massacres.
	General Liman von Sanders, as he will testify, intervened on behalf
the Armenians and saved them in Smyrna. So did Marshal von der 0
	When Marshal von der Ooltz arrived in Bagdad and found out that
Armenians in Bagdad had been deported to Mosul and from di
together with the Armenians of Mosul, were to be marched to
Euphrates, that is, to certain death, he asked the Vali of Mosul to for
the deportation. Marshal von der Golts submitted his resignation U
finding out that the Vail had received new orders to carry out the de
tation. Enver Pasha had to write to the Marshal requesting him to C
tinue in his duties, promising that the Armenians would not be touch
In the letter written by Enver, we find the following statement: “Y
responsibilities do not include interfering in the internal affairs
	In Constantinople, our diplomats prevented the deportation of
Armenian people of that city. Permit me to digress a little. We read q
0ftefl that one of the reasons for the Armenian massacres was that the
merchant class of Armenians had fleeced the Turks and thus the enraged
Turkish population had risen spontaneously against the Armenians. First
0f all, there is sufficient proof to indicate that neither the 1895-1896
massacres nor the recent ones stemmed from spontaneous popular agita-
fionS. In both instances, it was the orders of the Turkish government that
were being carried out.
	Furthermore, whether in 1895-1896 or in 1915, it was this very same
class of Armenian merchants living in Constantinople, Smyrna, and
AIeppO that escaped the massacres, partly because they were able to pay
ransom. On the other hand, the entire rural Armenian population of
Eastern Anatolia, which comprised 80 percent of the total Armenian
populatiOfl~ as well as the tradesmen, who were mostly Armenians, were
sent to the desert and annihilated.
	The remainder of the Armenians in Turkey — 250,000 persons from
the eastern vilayets — were saved by the advancing Russian army and
found refuge in the Caucasus.
	At that time the Russians had advanced to the western shores of Lake
Van. When they turned back, they took the Armenians to the Caucasus
with them. However, it could hardly be said that they did so out of love
for the Armenians because, when the Russians later recaptured these
same territories, they would not allow the Armenians to return to their
	Yanushgevich, head of Nikolai Nikolayevich’s staff and the com-
mander of the Caucasian front made an announcement that communities
of Kurds and Cossaks would be established in the territories captured by
the Russian army and from which the Armenian population had been
evacuated, in order to set up a wide military zone against the Turks.
Milukov, head of the Russian cadets, made an emotional speech, strong-
ly rebuking the Russians for pursuing the very same objective as the
Turks had, namely “an Armenia without Armenians.”
	In any case, the advancing Russians saved 350,000 Armenians but did
not allow them to return to their homes. Even now they live in a very
Small territory in the Caucasus. For years, they lived on the verge of star-
vation and suffered enormously.
	One is naturally forced to ask oneself, historically speaking, how these
events came to take place. I shall try briefly to answer this question.
	The Armenian Question is not a self-generating plant but has its roots
rather in European politics.
	The Armenian people are the victims of the conflicting political in-
terests of the Russians and the British. The rivalry of these two countries
Staued in the East with the Crimean War and the Conference of Berlin of
	In the political chess-game being played by London and Petersburg,
the Armenians were the pawns who were sometimes moved forward azg~
sometimes sacrificed. “Humanitarian reasons or “Protection of ti~
Christian Minority” were only pretexts employed to achieve politi~
	When, in 1895, Abdul Hamid, under pressure from Russia, Fran~
and Great Britain, signed the document granting reforms to the Arn~
nians and other Christian minorities and at the same time responded uj
carrying out certain Armenian massacres, Lord Salisbury declared
as far as Great Britain was concerned, the Armenian Question no longq
	Prince Lobanov informed the Sultan that he had no reason to wan~p
because Russia did not take these reforms seriously. The Sultan got th~
message. The 1894 massacre of Sasun, as a result of which a thousand
Armenians were killed, prompted Great Britain, France, and Russia to
call for a plan of reforms. In 1895-1896 Abdul Hamid moved his forcq
into Sasun again and massacred 100,000 Armenians. The 1915-1918
massacre, which was preceeded by the 1913 reforms, brought the numbu
of Armenian victims to over a million.
	The steps of the ladder— 1894, 1895, and 1915—1,000, 100,000, and
1,000,000 — are like the marks on a thermometer which the world should
look at with shame. In the world history of massacres, it is unlikely that
there is any parallel to this series of massacres. In the interim, in 1909N
there was the Cilician massacre which claimed some 25,000 Armenia~
victims.	1
	In spite of Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin, which the six great Euro~
pean Powers signed, in spite of the 1878 Treaty of Cyprus, whereby Hri~
tam assumed responsibility for overseeing implementation of reforms fo~
the Christians and the Armenians, in spite of the signature of the Su1tan~
on the Anglo-Franco-Russian plans guaranteeing reforms for the Arme~I
nians, not one of these Great Powers raised a finger to save the Annc4
nians or at least try to punish the murderers.
	To this date, the Armenians have been nothing more than a means to.
an end for the political aspirations of Great Britain, Russia, and France.
And it is because of these games, especially those played by Great BritauL
and Russia, that first the Sultan and then the Young Turks looked upoiV
the Armenians as the most dangerous political tool the European cowl-
tries could use as an excuse to interfere in Turkey’s internal affairs.
	Germany, as the publication of our official government documents.
will verify, since the Treaty of Berlin has pursued a benevolent and pro’
dent policy with reference to the Armenian Question. And, in return, WC
have been castigated all over the world as the nation which has instigated>
alt the atrocities of the Sultan and the Young Turk government.
	Abdul Hamid concluded that “the Europeans aroused the Bulgarians
and we lost Bulgaria. Now they are trying to arouse the Armenians SO
that they can take Eastern Anatolia from us. Thus, bit by bit, they will
oismember us.” This has resulted in the Armenian massacres and
samid’s maddening desire to persecute the Armenians.
	The question of the Armenian reforms remained in the political plans
of the Great Powers. In 1913 there was again talk for reform. While the
Russian and German diplomats were earnestly negotiating, the British
pulled out. Eventually the discussions led to reforms which the Sublime
Porte agreed to, and which satisfied the Armenians. Two European In-
spectors General were assigned to supervise the implementation of these
reforms. However, the matter never reached that stage. The war broke
out and the two reformers were recalled.
	I was in Constantinople in 1913 and I could see that the Young Turks
were enraged that the European Powers again kept talking about reforms
for the Armenians. They were all the more disturbed when, thanks to the
agreement between Germany and Russia, this issue was settled to the
satisfaction of the Armenians. The Young Turks said: “If you Arme-
nians do not denounce these reforms, something will happen that will
make Abdul Hamid’s actions look like child’s play.” The leaders of both
groups had become friends and helped each other out during the elec-
tions. During the first few months of the war, relations between them
seemed amicable until the evening of April 24, 1915 when, to the com-
plete surprise of everyone in Constantinople, 235 Armenian intellectuals
were arrested, jailed, and then sent to Asia Minor. During the next few
days, a couple hundred more were added. Altogether 600 people were in-
volved. Of this group only 15 survived. Practically all of the Armenian
intellectual leaders in Constantinople were wiped out in this manner. A
member of Parliament, Vartkes, a close personal friend of Talaat, had
stilt remained exempt. He went to Talaat and asked him what was hap-
pening. Talaat’s answer was: “While we were weak, your people pushed
for reforms and were a thorn in our side; now we are going to take ad-
vantage of our favorable situation and disperse your people so that it will
take you 50 years before you talk again about reforms. ‘ Vartkes
answered, appropriately enough, “Then it follows that the work of Ab-
dul Hamid is to be continued?” Talaat answered, “Yes.”
	Their deeds surpassed their boasts. The evidence brought out during
the trials held by the Turkish Court-Martial in Constantinople, and cor-
responding to the report published in the official Turkish journal
Takvim-tyekayi, shows that the deportation was decided upon by the
YOung Turk Committee and that Talaat was the most influential member
of the Committee. In fact, he was its very soul. He ordered the annihila-
tion and did nothing to prevent it.
	It is also possible to submit official written proof based on German
an~ Turkish documents.
	My purpose in testifying thus today is to show you that the diplomatic
games of the European Powers first led Abdul Hamid and later the
Young Turks to become suspicious of the Armenians and, furthermore,
led them to conclude that the only solution was the annihilation of the
	This uprooting and annihilation of the Armenians took a thousand
and one forms. You have already heard a few examples from
	WERTHAUER — You stated that the diplomatic games of the Russians
and the British contributed to the annihilation of the Armenians. Why?
	WITNESS — Because these diplomatic maneuvers created a fear among
the Turks that the Great Powers were striving for an independent
Armenia and that this would be a threat to the existence of Asiatic
	WERTI-JAUER — It used to be said previously that the reason for the
massacres was the fact that the Armenians were Christians whereas the
Turks were Mohammedans, and the hatred between these two peoples
was centuries old.
	WITNESS — The dream of a Pan-Islamic and Pan-Turanic state, in
which there was to be no role for the Christians, originated with Enver
Pasha and the Young Turks’ Committee.
	WERTHAUER — If I understand you correctly, as in “Pan-German” or
“Pan-Russian,” then similarly by the concept “Pan-Turkic” they meant
the annihilation of all non-Turkish elements?
	NIEMEYER — Is not the case as follows? Nations once subjugated by
the Turks rose up one by one and became liberated from Turkish
hegemony, leaving the Armenians as the only Christian nation still under
Turkish rule. And in order to prevent the Armenians from doing the
same it was decided to annihilate them. Is this view accurate?
	WITNESS — Yes, Count Metternich, who was the German Am-
bassador in Constantinople in 1918, wrote in a report dated July 30th as
follows: “The Armenian Question is finished. The gang of Young Turks
is eagerly preparing itself for the moment when Greece will turn against
Turkey so that the Greeks can be annihilated as well, just like the Arme-
Witness His Excellency General Otto Liinatt von Sanders (66 years
old, protestant) takes the oath.

	WITNESS — In addition to Dr. Lepsius’ testimony, Itoo would like to
0ffer a few comments from a military point of view.
	in my opinion, we should divide into two categories the events which
have taken place in Armenia, generally referred to as “The Armenian
Massacres.” First, in my opinion, is the order of the Young Turks to
deport the Armenians. We can hold the government fully responsible for
the preparation of this deportation and partially responsible for all of the
~~bsequent events. Second, we have the war and the fighting that took
place in the Armenian territories. Initially, the Armenians defended
themselves against the Turks, contrary to the Turkish orders to disarm,
and, as has been proven beyond doubt, some joined the Russians and
fought against Turkey. Naturally, it is understandable that the victors in
such a war would be accused of massacring the vanquished.
	I believe these two categories are distinguishable and have to be
	The government ordered the deportation of all Armenian inhabitants
of the Armenian territories, or the Eastern Anatolian provinces, as a
strategic military move.
	I wish to stress the fact that all the captains and officers up to the rank
of general in the Eastern Provinces were Turks. Some of you are aware
of the fallacious rumors that have been circulated concerning the
presence of German officers in these provinces. What I said is what these
captains and civil officials have reported in Constantinople; the carrying
out of the orders issued thereupon for deportation fell into the worst
	It is also essential to mention that, prior to the war, the Turkish police
force was extremely efficient. It consisted of 85,000 troops and a special-
ly selected brigade. Most of these people were drafted into the army and
separated into various brigades and in their place an auxiliary police
force was created. It certainly did not represent a select class. It consisted
mostly of criminals or the perennially unemployed. Discipline among
these people was understandably very lax. We should keep this in mind
when we bear testimony relating to the atrocities committed against the
	It was not the Turkish army or the Turkish police force that attacked
the Armenians, but rather a temporary supplementary police force
created because of the exigencies of the time. Furthermore, we should
remember that the economic situation was so dismal that not only many
Armenians, but thousands of Turkish soldiers as well died of the lack of
food supplies, disease, and other consequences of poor organization in
the Turkish government. In my division alone, after the battle of
Galipoli, thousands died of malnutrition. I feel all of these points shawd
be kept in mind.
	We should also not overlook the fact that many Turks were fighti118
under the banner of a “Holy War” and thus felt that the more severely’
they acted with the Armenians, the Christians, the more benevolent their
actions were. This is especially true of the subordinate officials. me.
Kurds, who have always been enemies of the Armenians, committed
numerous atrocities against the Armenians as well.
	As far as I know, the German government did whatever it could at the
time, conditions permitting, to help the Armenians. However, we should
also recognize that it was a difficult task for the German government. x
know personally that our Ambassador, Count Metternich, continuously
protested against the policies and measures taken against the Armenians..
	I can say without hesitation, as Dr. Lepsius was good enough to stress,
that there was not a single German officer involved in any of the actions
taken against the Armenians, contrary to the many suspicions entertain-
ed with regard to us. The fact of the matter is that we intervened
whenever and wherever we could.
	I should mention that I personally never received any orders signed by
Talaat. The orders I received were signed by Enver and they generally
had little significance. These orders were generally incomprehensible or
totally impracticable. For example, I once received an order to remove,
all Jews and Armenians from the German officers’ staff. It goes without
saying that the orders were never carried out, since we needed them as in-
terpreters. Very often we received such nonsensical orders.
	In February 1916, I had the opportunity to oppose the orders of tlw
Governor of the vilayet of Adrianople to expel the Armenians and Jews
from Adrianople. I got word about this from the Bavarian senior deputy,
Witmar. I went there and looked into the matter. Our representative was,
the Austrian Consul. My on-the-spot investigation verified the fact that
the Governor had ordered the deportation. I went to Constantinople
and, with the help of Consul Count Metternich and the Ambassador’s
Consul Palavichin, the orders were withdrawn.
	On another occasion I went to Smyrna. The governor of the province
had 600 Armenians taken out of bed and put in wagons to be deported. I
went to see the governor and told him that if another hand was raised
against the Armenians, I would order my soldiers to kill his police of-
ficers. Thereupon, the order was withdrawn. This is the truth. Dr. Lcp
sins mentions this incident in his book.
	This is approximately what I know through personal experieflct. V
would like to stress that I have never set foot in Armenia. I have ne~’d.
been close to Armenia and the Turkish government has never listened tO 2
my views nor have they asked for my views on any of the measures takCO4
against the Armenians. On the contrary, everything was dODC~
clandestinely so that we would not have any knowledge of their internal
political relationships.
	Some of the most libelous reports of the world press have stated that
German officers, and I think the same applies to all German officials,
took part in the planned deportation of the Armenians. On the contrary,
in accordance with our duty we intervened whenever we could to assist
the Armenians. In my district, except for the examples cited above, the
2srmenians were few and scattered far and wide.
	I cannot say what the role of Talaat was as concerns the issuing of
orders. As far as I know the principal order pertairnng to the deportation
of the Armenians was given on May 20, 1915. In any event it was the
result of a decision of the Young Turk committee and it had the
unanimous approval of the ministers. The implementation of the orders
was left to the Valis, the lower echelon officials, and especially the horri-
ble police force.
	In any event, I consider it my duty to state that, in the five years I was
in Turkey, I never saw an order signed by Talaat against the Armenians
and neither can I testify whether or not such an order was ever issued.
Witness Bishop Krikorts Balakisn (Vicar from the Annenian.
Apostolic Prelacy in Manchester, England, who has come to
Berlin for the trial) tskes the oath. The witness speaks halting Ger.
man. No interpreter is needed.

	WITNESS — I have no information either pertaining to the incident h~
question or concerning the defendant. I have never met him.
	I was in Berlin when the war broke out and in September 1914 1 left to
return to Constantinople. Some six to seven months later, on April 21,
1915, I was arrested and deported along with another 280 Armenian in-
	We were on a train for 36 hours until we arrived at the outskirts of
Enguri. There, 90 from our group were deported to Ayas; the remaining
190 were taken in carts to Changere, a day’s trip from Enguri. From
there in small groups of 5, 10, 15, 25, persons were taken back to Enguri
and killed. Out of the 190 people, only 16 escaped death.
	In Changere, there were forty Armenian families consisting of 250 per-
sons who spoke Turkish only. They were businessmen quite naive when it
came to politics. These 250 persons and the 16 intellectuals were to be ex-
iled to Deir-ez-Zor, according to the telegraphic orders of the Minister of
the Interior.
	The Governor of Kastamouni, Reshad Pasha, refused to obey the
orders of the Minister of the Interior. He was immediately replaced. His
lieutenant was Ionus Bey, Secretary of the Ittihad Committee. He
wanted to carry out the orders to deport us. We were able to buy him off
by paying him 800 Turkish gold pieces. We were thus able to stay there
until February 1916.
	A new director was sent to Kastamount to replace Reshad Pasha. He
was formerly the Vail of Enguri, where, as we heard at the time, he was
responsible for the deaths of 82,000 Armenian men, women, and
children. The new Vali followed Minister of Interior Talaat Pasha’s
orders to the letter and had us exiled to Deir-ez-Zor, even though the
Armenians were quite peaceful and could not speak their mother tongue;
they just spoke Turkish.
	We were informed that for political reasons the government wanted to
get all the Armenians out of Asia Minor. First they took 48 men. The
women were also to be driven along with them. They asked us if we
wanted to have the women and children with us. I advised against it. We
later learned that all the women and children were killed.
	During the forced march to Deir-ez-Zor, we went through villages and
cities where countless Armenians gave up their lives: Choroum,
Boghazliyan, Kayseri, Tomarza, Hajin, Sis, Kars, Bozar, Osmaniyc,
Hassanbeyli, and Islahiye.
	For example, 43,0~ Armenian men, women, and children were
massacred between Yozgbat and Boghazliyan. We heard constant
rumors that we were to be executed as well, even though the official word
used was “displacement.” In reality, displacement was a policy of exter-
mination. Our group had money, altogether some 15,000-16,000 gold
pieces~ and we believed that this money would be our salvation.
“BakShiSh” LtiP or bribe] is a very strong inducement in Asia Minor. We
hoped that we could do with money what we could not do by any other
means. We were not wrong. The reason I am stilt alive is because of
	It goes without saying that they did not take care of us. We were
hungry and, whenever we came to a river, they would not allow us to
quench our thirst. We stayed two days without any food whatsoever.
They would not allow us to buy any food. They would never allow us to
sleep, and yet we were content. We thought that we would be very for-
tunate if they did not kill us.
	When we came to the bloodiest city, Yozghat, we saw a couple hun-
dred skulls of women and young girls in a gorge located four hours’
distance from town. With us was a police captain, Shukri, who had led
us (we were 48 men and 16 police officers on horseback). I asked him
whether it was true that only men were being killed and that women and
children were being spared.
	“If we only killed the men, he replied, “and not the women and
children, then, 50 years from now, we would have a couple million
Armenians. So we also have to kilt the women and children; thus we wil
no longer have an external or an internal problem.” (Please forgive me, I
have not spoken any German for four or five years now. For this reason,
I cannot speak it fluently. Since 1901, I have been an Armenian clergy-
man. I know the conditions of my people in Armenia and I am well ac-
quainted with Turkish politics.) The captain went on to explain that all
the Armenian women and children had been killed, except for the ones in
the cities. That had been prohibited.
	In 1895-1896, Sultan Abdul 1-Iamid had ordered the Armenians in the
cities to be killed. The European nations, the entire civilized world had
become aware of this and began to object. The plan now was not to allow
anyone to survive; thus, there would be no witnesses to appear in a court-
room. But, thank God, there are still a few survivors.
	The captain explained to us calmly and in detail that 14,000 men had
been taken from Yozghat and the surrounding villages and been killed,
and their bodies had been put into wells. The surviving members of their
families were told that the men were sent to Aleppo, Syria, that they were
well and that the government had been asked to give orders for the
members of their families to come and join them in Aleppo. These
families would find living quarters ready for them there. Furthermore,
the government had decreed that anything that was moveable could be
taken in carts with them to Syria.
	On the basis of this order, families started packing everything they had
of value, including carpets, silverware, gold, jewelry, and all other
moveable possessions. They loaded these into their carts and set out for
Syria in a caravan. On the road from Yozghat to Boghazliyan the captain
told me that, as a commander of the gendarmes, he personally gave the
orders for 40,000 Armenians to be killed. He went on to say, “Now the
women were thinking that their husbands were alive and made prepara-
tions to join them. There were approximately 840 carts; of these, 380
were oxcarts and the rest horse drawn. Many women and children were
forced to go on foot. There were some 6,400 women and children being
deported to Aleppo.”
	I asked the captain why such things had been done. He explained that
if the women and children were exterminated in the cities, then we would
never be able to find out where they had hidden their gold and other
valuable possessions. That is why we allowed them to pack all their
valuables. Once they had reached a valley some four hours outside of
town, the 25-30 Turkish women who were with the caravan began to
search each Armenian woman and child and take their jewelry and
money. Since there were 6,400 women and children, it took the Turkish
women four days before they were through searching. Once the sear-
ching was over, it was announced that a new directive had been received
from the government to the effect that the women would now be allowed
to return to Yozghat, their home.
	On the way back — an hour’s distance — there was a vast plain. The
carts and coachmen had already been sent back. The women asked why.
They were told that a new directive had come allowing them to return
and that they did not need any carts, since it was only a four hour trip to
	The captain told me this personally. He did not continue talking thus;
as in this case, I always would ask him questions to get answers from
him. I believed I might benefit from what I heard.
	Now when the women wished to return to Yozghat, many gendarmes
were sent to the provincial villages and the villagers were called upon to
engage in “the holy war” (Jihad). Some 12,000 to 13,000 villagers came,
armed with axes and other iron implements. They were allowed to kill
them all and take with them only the prettiest girls.
	VON GORDON (interrupting) — We have heard much testimony
already, I would like you to get to the essential points.
	WITNESS — Please ask me questions.
	VON GORDON — When you were in Changere, did you go to the Vail
with one of your professors and did you request him to do something on
your behalf? Did he not show you a telegram that he had received from
Tataat Pasha asking him a certain question?
	WITNESS — Let me continue for a couple of minutes, then I shall
answer your question.
	The indiscriminate killing of all the Armenians having taken place, I
asked the captain if he had any regrets. Tasked him whether or not he felt
responsible to answer to God, to mankind, and to what we call civiliza-
	The captain replied that he felt no responsibility whatsoever. He was
only obeying orders given to him from Constantinople. He indicated that
he was only a captain and had been ordered to kill everyone because a
‘‘Holy War~~ had been declared.
	The captain continued by saying that when a soldier kills someone in
wartime, he is not responsible for his actions. He said that he acted ac-
~ording1y. When the massacre was over with, he told me he said a prayer
and absolved his soul.
	I said fine, but the fighting in such a case is against the men and that a
holy war is not to be declared against innocent women and children.
(In answer to von Gordon’s question)
	One day, when I was with Mr. Diran Kelekian, the editor of the
Turkish newspaper Sabah and a professor at the Turkish University in
Constantinople, he asked me, “Would you like to go with me and visit
the Vice-governor, Assaf Hey?” I told him that it would be better if we
kept under cover. He told me to have no fear as the Bey was a former stu-
dent of his who respected him. He had discussed the Armenian Question
with the Hey many times.
	We then went to visit Assaf Hey, who was the former Vice-governor of
Osmaniye in Cilicia. He welcomed us very politely. We asked him what
we could do to get to Constantinople. He said, “My dear professor,
whatever you want to do, do it. Do it quickly; otherwise it will be too
	We naturally asked him why it would be too late. We told him we had
not heard that the massacres had already begun in Asia Minor and we did
not know what was happening two hours away. Assaf Bey replied by say-
ing that he could not say anything to others, but he said, “You are my
teacher (Mr. Kelekian) and you (turning to me) are a clergyman, you can
keep the secret. I trust you! He showed us a telegram which I read. I can-
not recall the exact words, nor can I testify whether it was authentic or
not. But I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of a telegram shown
to me by the Vice-governor. The telegram read: “Telegram us directly
and immediately the exact figures of how many Armenians have been
killed and how many are still alive. Minister of Interior Talaat.”
	At first, I was unable to comprehend the meaning of the telegram as I
could not imagine that a whole nation would be massacred. No such
thing had happened before in history. Mr. Kelekian asked the Hey the
meaning of the telegram. He replied, “You are supposed to be in-
telligent. You are an editor-in-chief. The telegram means: Why are you
waiting? Kill them all.”
	Mr. Kelekian broke down and began to cry. He said, “I have YOung
children who are not old enough to take care of themselves. There is
nothing else for us to do except for you (referring to me) to come with ‘The
to church and give me my last rites.~~
	Assaf Bey told us to do our best to be in Constantinople in two weeks’
time. He told us he would remain in his present position for another fif-
teen days and then he would resign. He said he was in Osmaniye in 1909
and had been accused of partaking in the 1909 massacres of the Arrne.
nians in Adana and managed to save his skin only after a lot of difficul
Iy. He said he did not want to have anything further to do with any
massacres. He said that one day all the top leaders would leave Turkey
and people like him would be held responsible for these massacres and
perhaps be hanged.
	JUROR — What signature was on the telegram?
	WITNESS — The telegram was signed “Talaat.” I saw it with my own
	VON GORDON — Who helped you escape? Was it the Russians, British,
Turks, or French? Who?
	WITNESS — That is a disastrous story and the events that I endured for
five years would take me weeks or even months to relate to you.
	VON GORDON — We would appreciate it if you would summarize those
events for us.
	WITNESS — I fled from Islahiye to Ayran-Bagche. When I arrived at
the Amanos mountain chain, I came across a group of German architects
and engineers who were working on a tunnel. They were very polite
toward me especially when they discovered that I had done my studies in
Germany and spoke German. They told me that I had to shave my beard,
remove my frock and dress as a European. I stayed with them for four
months. There were 8,000 Armenians working under the protection of
these German engineers. But when the orders came to deport these
Armenians as well, they were killed between Bagche and Marash. I fled
again, this time to the Taurus mountains, where other German engineers
were working on a tunnel, and I found refuge among them. The Chief
Engineer, Leutenegger, was very good to me. However, as soon as the
Turks discovered my identity, I fled to Adana. In Adana I found other
Germans and again I remained with them for five months. I was in the
main office under the protection of Chief Architect Winkler. I was given
a German uniform and I passed as a German soldier.
	I would like to express my deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks, here, to
those German engineers who granted me aid and comfort in my time of
	When the Entente soldiers took Damascus and were marching toward
Aleppo, the Turks in Adana were telling the Armenians that they did not
want to let us live so that we would not, along with the Entente powers,
j~ugh at them and cause them harm. They wished to massacre a few
thousand Armenians, who were still living in a Turkish warehouse in
Adana, in the mountainous areas of Sis and Hajin.
	~~mmoning all my energy I tried to save myself from these barbaric
acts and get to Germany.
	With my German uniform, I joined other German soldiers and officers
and went with them by train to Constantinople. i stayed in hiding in
Constantinople until the Armistice was signed in 1918. In November
1918 1 left Turkey and came to Paris to try to relate to the world the
atrocities that were committed against the Armenians.
	VON GORDON — His Excellency General Liman von Sanders left some
doubt in our minds. He testified that Talaat Pasha was not the person
responsible for these acts, rather the responsibility fell on those groups of
irregulars who were in charge of carrying out the deportation. This point
of view, as I understand it, is contrary to the views of the Armenians and
Dr. Lepsius. I would like to ask the witness the following question: Is
there any question in the mind of the Armenians that Talaat was per-
sonally responsible for the massacres?
	WITNESS — Not only is there no doubt of that in the minds of the
Armenians, but it is also the truth. I am a member of the Synod of the
Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. As such, I had the opportunl-
ty, over a long period of time, to get to know the workings of the Turkish
government. Of course, I knew Talaat personally. He had overwhelming
influence. He did everything with the knowledge of the government.
Whenever we, as representatives of the Armenian Patriarchate, had to
request something from him, Talaat would tell us: “You do not have to
go to the other ministers, you may come directly to me. You do not have
to put anything in writing. You just come and tell me about it and I shall
take care of it.” He acted as if all of the responsibility fell on him alone
and he did not have to give an accounting to anyone.
	NIEMEYER — Are you aware that Talaat said, “I have done more in
one day than Abdul Hamid did in 30 years to resolve the Armenian Ques-
tion.” I understand this statement is well known among the Armenians.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Me you familiar with this quotation?
	WITNESS — I did not understand the question.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — (repeats it)
	WITNESS — What Talaat did had never happened, not only in the past
30 years but in the past 500. In 1915, I was in Changere and, in the month
of September, the whole of Anatolia was emptied of Armenians who
were then massacred. A Turkish colonel came from Erzerum, the
Turkish-Russian front, and stopped in Changere on his way to Constan-
tinople. He told me: “We did what our Sultan was unable to do. We
completely wiped out a historic nation in two months!”
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Did this notion pretty much prevail among the
Turks and the Armenians as well?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Is it then true that at the hands of Talaat the
Armemans suffered greater losses in fifteen months than in all previous
years combined?
	WITNESS — Yes. But I personally never heard Talaat make the state-
ment that was mentioned a few moments ago.
	VON GORDON (to His Excellency Liman von Sanders) — Your Ex-
cellency, you implied in your remarks that the responsibility far the
massacres should be with the lower echelon officials.
	WITNESS — I said the lower echelon officials were responsible for
the extreme horrors of the massacres, not for the deportation orders.
	VON GORDON — In refutation of this point, I would like to present five
telegrams from the Vice-governor of Aleppo, Syria.
	(von Gordon wishes to put said telegrams on the court table)
	VON GORDON — I would like to read two of these telegrams as proof
of this point. Professor Lepsius has examined these telegrams.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — You would be anticipating the evidence if you
were now to read these telegrams.
	VON GORDON — At least I would like to mention the contents of these
telegrams. The telegrams prove that Talaat personally gave the orders to
massacre alt the Armenians including women and children. Originally
the order was given to spare only those children who were too young to
remember what had happened to their parents. However, in March 1916
this order was rescinded as it was felt that these children could, in the
future, turn out to be a dangerous element in the community.
	The witness Andonian can testify to the authenticity of these
telegrams. He obtained them directly from the office of the Vice-
governor of Aleppo after the British occupation. Then he placed them at
the disposal of the Armenian Delegation.
	I personally feel it is important, essential in fact, that the Jurors accept
the defendant’s belief that Talaat was the responsible party and the
author of the Armenian Genocide. If the Jurors are willing to accept this,
then I am willing to waive the reading of these telegrams.
	DISTRICT ATTORNEY — I feel that the motion should be denied. Even
though great latitude was granted to discuss this subject, nevertheless, it
is not the purpose of this body, nor is it within its competence, to come to
a historic decision pertaining to the guilt or innocence of Talaat and the
extent of his involvement in the massacre of the Armenians. The essential
point is that the defendant believed that Talaat was the responsible party
and thus the motive becomes fully clear.
	NIEMEYER — It should also be added that Talaat had the highest posl-
tion in the Turkish government. He was a representative of the govern-
ment, the Grand Vizir. He was responsible for all of the acts taken by the
government. Any other point of view is out of the question.
	VON GORDON — In view of the position taken by the District Attorney
and the effect it has bad on the jurors, I would like to cancel my motion
to have these telegrams read into the record.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I believe that takes care of this point.
	JUROR EWALD — I would like to ask a question of witness Balakian.
You said you went to see the Vali. Was he a governor or a mayor? Did
you see the signature of Talaat on the telegram?
	WITNESS — Yes, I saw it with my own eyes.
	VON GORDON — The Vail has the position of Chief Authority; he is
the top official in the provincial government. 1-Ic is the Governor-
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I would like to ask again if there are any other
witnesses to be interrogated?
	WERTI-IAUER — I would like to bear the expert witnesses today~
DR. STöRMER — I would be very grateful if I could testify today. I
assure you I will be brief.
	NIEMEYER — I would like to request that we hear all the medical
testimony today.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I would like to ask the defendant if he wishes us
to examine any other witnesses.
	DEFENDANT — I would like author Aram Andonian to testify.
PRESIDING JUSTICE — The jurors believe that at the time of the inci-
dent you were convinced that Talaat Pasha was the author of the

(Hereupon, the defendant announces that he agrees that the interroga-
tion of other witnesses can be dispensed with.)

Expert Witness Dr. Robert StOrmer (Privy medical counselor to the
Court, 51 years old, Protestant, Berlin) takes the oath.

(A special appeal is made to the expert witnesses, reminding them of the
	WITNESS — Gentlemen, at the request of the District Attorney’s office
and with the help of the interpreter present today in Court, I was able to
talk to the defendant about his life as welt as give him an extensive
physical examination. I analyzed alt of the pertinent factors required to
come to a final conclusion, which I am ready to communicate to you.
	I concluded that the defendant is an epileptic and that this has had a
decided effect on the act he has committed.
	I would like to summarize for you what I have learned from the defen-
dant about his life. He was born in Erzinga, the son of a merchant. There
is nothing in his childhood of any interest from a medical point of view.
He had never been seriously ill until 1915, when he witnessed the
massacres. He told me, in a very emotional state, the circumstances
under which his parents, brothers and sisters became victims. Shuddering
with horror, he recalled the moment when a Turk struck his brother on
the head with such force that it was split in two.
	The defendant also received injuries to his head, left arm and knee.
The shocking effect of all these killings, plus his wounds and sufferings,
caused him to suffer fainting spells. He remained for three days under
corpses; he lost consciousness, coming to only because of the horrible
stench arising from the corpses — a stench which has remained ingrained
in his mind forever. He tells me that any time he reads anything horrify-
ing or whenever he recalls the massacres, the stench from the corpses
penetrates his olfactories and he cannot seem to overcome it.
	Subsequent to the massacres, he spent some time wandering until he
found refuge among some mountainous Kurds. He insists he had his first
epileptic fit in 1916 but that he cannot be any more specific about it. In
1917 he returned to Erzinga and found the city deserted and his home in
ruins. He then suffered his second epileptic seizure. I asked him to
describe this seizure to me in detail. He suddenly felt weak and lost con-
sciousness. He lay on the ground helpless and, when he regained his con-
sciousness and strength, he felt thirsty and wanted to sleep. He then told
me that he dug for the money left in the house until he found the gold
pieces his parents had hidden. He used this money to travel to Europe,
but before that, in 1918, he went to Tiflis and was hospitalized, suffering
from intestinal disorders which were probably due to typhoid fever. I
cannot state with any certainty that is was typhoid as the defendant was
unable to describe his illness to me in detail so that I could come to a
definite conclusion. He then went to Europe and in December 1920 mov-
ed from Paris to Geneva and from there to Berlin. First he lived at 51
~ugSbUrgerstrasst with Mrs. Stdllbaum and then, in early 1921, he
moved to 37 Hardenbergstrasse. I visited his apartment to determine for
myself whether or not he could check on the movements of Talaat. The
apartment was on the ground floor and, from there, one could keep an
eye on the balcony of the apartment in which Talaat resided.
	I asked the defendant detailed questions pertaining to his seizures and
the frequency of the attacks. He told me that he had seizures very ir-
regularly. For months he would not have any and then he would feel very
weak and dizzy. In Paris, over a period of ten months, he had four at-
tacks but each time, realizing his physical condition, he would come to
his senses so that he did not get hit by a car or meet with any other acci-
dent. Subsequent to feeling weak, he always had the same sensation and
smelled the stench of corpses. Others have told him that his whole body
trembled during these seizures. First he senses the stench; then his body
starts trembling and he loses consciousness. The third phase occurs upon
awakening: he feels pain in his legs and arms. He feels exhausted. In this
condition he feels very thirsty and then he falls into a deep sleep.
	In Paris he had four such seizures. In Geneva, none. In Berlin, many,
one of which occurred on Erusalemstrasse. This attack took place near a
subway station; a bank employee took him to his house and left him on
the doorstep. The defendant then climbed the stairs alone and got to his
room. His landlady, Mrs. Stellbaum, thought he was drunk and noticed
a wound on his cheek, but then it became clear that he had not been
drinking as there was no smell of alcohol. He immediately went to bed
and felt like throwing up.
these details. I have diagnosed him as an epileptic. Even without that, his
body is weak. His physical examination showed that he had liquid in his
lungs and, even though our conversation was carried out in calm sur-
roundings, one could observe a strong shaking and trembling of his
body. Our conversation was very calm. There was no excitement either
on his part or on mine. Including the interpreter, there were three of us in
a small room and no one bothered us in any way.
	His reflexes were normal except for those of his eyes’ focusing mem-
brane. His urine analysis showed a significant excess of albumin.
	All these findings have no effect on free will. But they do allow us to
conclude that the defendant is a sick man physically. The interpreter did
such an excellent job that I feel, even though we could not communicate
directly, that I could understand his emotional state. Whenever the
defendant spoke of the massacres, I had the impression that what he said
came straight from the heart. I can unequivocally state that the defen-
dant has suffered an extreme emotional shock and that whenever he
became morose, as described by his two landladies, he turned the lights
off, preferring darkness to light, and played his mandolin. All these
reflect a turbulent emotional state.
	It is necessary to take all these factors into consideration to reach a fats
verdict with regard to the defendant. This does not constitute merely the
memory of a horrible massacre and the death of his family; rather, the
defendant’s behavior reflects justifiable compassion. His childhood, his
faith in humanity, and his confidence in justice have been totally
destroyed. It is my firm conviction that the defendant suffers from
epilepsy and that this has complete domination over his feelings.
	However, this epilepsy, which stems from emotional factors, is also
characterized by a persistence rare in such cases. Steadfastness, balance
of perception, the decision-making process, and the bringing of an idea
to fruition are all tied in with this epilepsy.
	People suffering from this same sickness, with very few exceptions, see
to it that they carry out whatever they have set their minds to. This ex-
plains why once his mind was made up, the defendant pursued his enemy
with few digressions and decided to implement his plan of action in the
best possible way.
	One episode can have a decided effect on one’s thinking. The defen-
dant has stated that his mother would appear over and over again in his
dreams. On one occasion his mother took on a physical appearance
before him and told him: “What, you still want to call yourself my son?
Talaat Pasha is in Berlin and you are doing nothing to kill him and
avenge my death.”
	I certainly had to ask myself if this was not a delusion of the senses.
But after a detailed cross-examination, I was able to verify that what the
defendant experienced was not a delusion of the senses, but a living men-
tal picture. He does actually see his mother in her physical form. He not
only sees her in his dreams but even white he is awake. This happens
quite often with people who are suffering from epilepsy.
	So we see that this sickness has had an undeniable effect on the defen-
dant. Nevertheless, if one were to say that he could not exercise his fret
will, then it goes without saying that there should be a direct correlation
between his behavior and his sickness. I did not find this to be true.
	But I accept as fact that his sickness has altered his entire personalitY
and has brought forth a stubborn, persistent, irrepressible desire to see ta
the realization of his plans. However, at the time of the killing, he was
exercising his free will since he was not subject to any fits at alt then.
	I do not deny that on the day of the killing he was quite enraged and
felt dejected; he had drunk brandy to induce courage. When be had
finished the surveillance from his room, he grabbed his revolver and.
rushed out to the street. He described to me in detail that he was con-
vinced the man was Talaat Pasha and that he shot him from the back
because, otherwise, he would have drawn attention to the gun and botch-~
ed the assassination. The defendant used extreme care to aim the revolver
at the area between the hat and the top of the overcoat. This was the
realization of a long-premeditated plan. Thus, considering the fact that
the killing, which took place in the daytime, had no close relationship to
an epileptic seizure and even though the horrible events he experienced in
Armenia had an effect on his behavior, nevertheless, I can only come to
the conclusion that he still had his free will.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the defendant) — Did those scenes appear to
you in bodily form?
	DEFENDANT — Yes, it seems to me that I saw the corpses in actual
body form.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Do you still insist that you did not commit the
killing deliberately at the time?
	DEFENDANT — When I saw Talaat Pasha leave the house, I
remembered what my mother had told me.
	VON GORDON — Does the defendant deny that he committed the crime
with deliberation?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Yes. (To the interpreter) Would you please tell
the defendant that Dr. Störmer feels that he was responsible for his acts.
(This is translated for the defendant)
	VON GORDON — Did the defendant admit that he had had that much
	WITNESS — No. It was his landlady, Mrs. Dittmann, who said so.
	JUROR — Perhaps, due to his intoxicated condition, there was an in-
terruption in his thinking; he may have relived the horrible experience he
endured and thus suffered an epileptic attack.
	WITNESS — Yes, I thought of that too. Certainly, when the occasion
to commit the homicide presented itself, he was understandably under
the influence of a deep inspiration. Nevertheless, in a psychiatric sense,
the inspiration was not of a delusional nature.
	WERTNAUER — Supposing he had suffered an epileptic seizure that
very morning, would you still be of the same opinion?
	WITNESS — I tried in every possible way to discover from the defen-
dant if he had had such an attack. I asked him if he had had a sleepless
night . . He told me that he had perspired all night
	WERTHAUER — That is not at all what I was driving at. If it were
possible to establish that the defendant had suffered an epileptic attack
that night, in that case, would you still be of the opinion that the defen-
dant would have been responsible for his actions?
	WITNESS — If he had suffered an epileptic attack, certainly that would
have had an effect on his free will; nevertheless, he would still have had a
Controlled free will.
	JUROR — Is it not possible that the defendant might have suffered an
epileptic attack and not been aware of it?
	WITNESS — Yes, that is quite possible. We see the same thing happen.
ing in our insane asylums.
	JUSTICE LOCKE — Would the defendant have free will in the interval
between the attacks or would it be a question of the degree of control?
	WITNESS — Yes, he would have free will but to a lesser extent. Many
years ago I was asked the same question in a case similar to this. I gave
the following example: I compared the defendant to a volcano. An
epileptic attack with all its concomitants — shaking, total loss of con-
sciousness, weeping, rolling on the floor — resembles the eruption of a
volcano, while that phase of epilepsy in which only the painful, difficult
aspect manifests itself — the dogged pursuit of an idea — can be com-
pared to the interval between volcanic eruptions. I cannot find a better
example than this.
	JUSTICE LOCKE — In between epileptic attacks would the patient be
mentally distressed?
	WITNESS — Very rarely. Only in the most advanced stages of epilepsy
will there be mental disturbance.
	JUSTICE LOCKE — Hut did you not testify that the defendant had suf-
fered emotional shock and that this too had affected his behavior?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — The expert witness did say that but, never-
theless, he does not conclude that it explains the incident of March 15,
	WFRTHAUER — For us the critical point is the psychological conse-
quence of the epileptic state.
	NIEMEYFR — The expert witness was unable to tell us what the defen-
dant’s psychological state was at the moment of the murder
ExPCfl Witness Professor Dr. Liepinarnt (privy medical counselor
to the Court from the University of Berlin, 58 years old) takes the

	WITNESS — I base my diagnosis on today’s testimony as well as on
three detailed physical examinations of the defendant, which were car-
ried out last week while be was in prison.
	I would like to preface my testimony by stating that I found the defen-
dant to be a man of rare sincerity. He did not resort to any histrionics.
On the contrary, he was very reserved. There is a certain resignation
about him, such that, no matter what happens, he no longer has any in-
terest in living. 1-fe made sure that I understood this. This information
was not voluntarily given to me, rather I had to pry it out of him.
	It is perfectly clear that we are not dealing here with the act of an in-
sane person. It is also clear that the act was not committed while the
defendant was in a confused state of mind, such as during an epileptic at-
tack. Generally speaking, I do not think the concept of epilepsy is the
magic word giving us the key to the subconscious mind of the defendant.
On the contrary, we have to delve into an area we are not too well ac-
quainted with — the pathology of the person s mind. Having undertaken
this, I must state that I take a different view than that of my esteemed
colleague, Dr. Störmer.
	As I see it, the problem is twofold: the occurrence of severe
psychological shocks and their after effects, particularly in the case of
persons so disposed, as well as the doctrine of “compulsive precept.”
	If an individual in excellent health has endured a severe shock, no mat-
ter how fierce the mania, it passes in due course of time. Sometimes it
can take a week; in other cases, months. Nevertheless, given time, it sub-
sides. But there are individuals with more sensitive personalities, who are
entirely diverted from their normal course by the severe shock. The effect
of such shock does not diminish in intensity; rather, fatefully, it is inten-
sified in the psyche.
	The recollection of this profound psychological experience is called a
‘‘compulsive precept.’’ It becomes buried in such personalities and it
gradually enslaves the person. It dominates the personality of these in-
dividuals. It is always present; it always comes out, forcing the person to
submit to its authority.
	I will now try to prove to you, in detail, that Tehlirian was under the
influence of such a compulsive precept and that he was unable to free
himself from the memory of the severe shock he had endured.
	First, I would like to point out that the terrible events which led to the
loss of Tehlirian’s family also forced him to digress from his normal pat-
tern of life. This was a serious psychological wound which prevented the
defendant from ever regaining his psychological equilibrium.
	Let us not forget that the defendant was seventeen years old when be
lost his equilibrium. In the succeeding six years, from 1915 to 1921, he
wandered restlessly from place to place. He found sanctuary first with
the Kurds. Then he stayed for an extended period of time in Titus
without any steady or definite work. He had taken initial steps to con-
tinue his education but, even according to him, he was never able to con-
centrate and steadfastly pursue his schooling. He then returned to his
birthplace, went back to Titus, from there to Constantinople. Salonika,
Paris, Berlin . . . without finding any peace of mind, without finding an
aim in life. Thus, we can believe him when he says that he could never
concentrate on any one thing and that his memory began to weaken.
	We can easily accept the fact that he was suffering from a
psychological disorder which affected both his senses and his mind.
However, first and foremost, he was seized by this “compulsive
precept.” I believe him when he says that in public or whenever he was
with friends he would temporarily forget those horrible experiences but
that, whenever he was alone, they would come alive again and make him
very depressed. Furthermore, I believe him when he says that those
recollections took physical form; he could see them and smell the stench
of the corpses.
	However, I do not feet it is essential for us to determine to what degree
these visions took physical form. Studies made during the last few
decades have shown that the visions or sensory delusions of those who
suffer from serious psychological disorders do not necessarily seem en-
tirely physical. What is more essential is to determine the effect these vi-
sions have on the psyche.
	What are the effects of these psychic shocks on the defendant? As to
the seizures then, I cannot, strictly speaking, accept them as epileptic in
nature. They are epileptic only in a broad sense. If they were epileptic,
the defendant should have exhibited, among other symptoms, biting of
the tongue and lips. These did not occur in the defendant’s case. He has
not had a lack of urinary control either. In most cases, he has not bled
after falling, as quite often happens with epileptics.
	In my opinion, the attacks were not epileptic in nature but rather men-
tal breakdowns. These seizures were not caused by physical impulses in
the brain but rather by severe psychic shocks. The two instances show,
beyond the shadow of a doubt, that we are dealing here with mental
breakdowns. I shall elaborate on them a little later.
	I differ from my esteemed colleague, Dr. Stdrmer, in that I do not see
two forces operating on the defendant side by side: physical epilepsy as
well as psychological disorder. In my opinion, these attacks are the ex-
pression of severe psychic shock. These are nervous breakdowns and
their significance is that they reflect a severe injury to the psyche.
Therefore, once the entire recollection of the calamity was upon him and
once it criss-crossed any other thought or feeling and appeared in
phySiCal form — seeing his mother — we have the singular creation of
“compulsive precept.”
	No matter what we asked Tehlirian — Did he consider himself compe-
tent to commit the killing? Did lie consider himself competent to play the
role of judge? — his answers were always the same, i.e., that his mother
had obligated him to perform the act of killing and hence there was no
further question as far as he was concerned. I asked him whether or not
being a Christian presented an obstacle to him. He told me he was well
aware that Christianity prohibits killing but after seeing a vision of his
mother he knew that he was on the right track. His vision of his mother
was an all-powerful force, thus making any further argument pointless.
	After having said all this, I must say that in the case of the defendant,
a psychotic has committed an act under psychological pressure. There~
were motives of suffering which put pressure on the defendant and
limited his free will. I emphasize my use of the word ‘‘pressure” and not
	I am, personally at least, ready to state that only the psychological
freedom of his will was substantially confined. There is no question that
Tehlirian isa mentally disturbed person at the mercy of the ‘‘compulsive
	Unfortunately, the new penal law concerning partial responsibility is
not yet in use. I conclude that the defendant is completely incapable of
accepting responsibility and it also does not seem that he was under the
influence of an inevitable force. Therefore, in my opinion, he is not sub-
ject to Article 51 (which requires that he be responsible for his acts) but is
very close to it because he would have had to exercise a moral effort to
resist and not succumb to the pressures bearing upon him.
	One wonders if the defendant committed the crime with premedita-
tion. I will avoid making judgment on a legal issue. But I feel obligated
to picture the circumstances under which, I think, the defendant found
himself. I must state that for all patients who suffer from a compulsive
precept its emergence is linked with extremely severe emotional agitation.
I must also admit the following: when the defendant used to recall the
massacres and Talaat, he would become very emotional and, at such
times, it would not be possible for him to reflect on the consequences and
his motives in a detached manner.
	The reason for my concluding that the defendant is suffering from
“agitated emotional epilepsy” which, strictly speaking, is not epilepsy
but rather involves mental breakdowns, is that the defendant’s first at-
tack came as a result of a severe psychic shock brought on by the visit to
his home, the view of the ruins — in short, a very deep emotional ex-
perience. Thereafter, as he relates, each subsequent attack would begin
with the scene of the massacres and the stench of the corpses. In each
case we have the manifest remembrance of a traumatic experience.
Primarily on the basis of this, I come to the conclusion that the defen-
dant was suffering from “emotional epilepsy” — that is to say, mental
or nervous breakdowns.
	The hallucination of smelling the stench of the corpses, which really
occurs in patients suffering from actual epilepsy, does not have a local,
provocative, and demonstrative significance in this particular case.
Expert Witness Dr.Richard Cassirer (neurologist and professor at
Berlin University, 43 years old) takes the oath.

	WITNESS — I shall give my opinion based on two examinations of the
defendant, which I performed in February, before the incident, as well as
on the impressions I have received during this trial. I have not seen the
defendant since the second time I examined him.
	The defendant first came to my clinic on February 5th and the second
time on February 18th. Through an interpreter he described his illness to
	He was born of healthy parents. There is no family history of epilepsy.
He did not relate to me particularly significant things concerning the
drastic emotional upheavals he had endured. He told me that he had his
first attack in 1917 and the second a year later. Subsequent ones occurred
every three to four months and then the attacks began to take place more
frequently; that was the reason why he had come to see me.
	He told me he would feel uncomfortable at the beginning of the at-
tack, tremble, smell the revolting stench of corpses, and then lose con-
sciousness. The defendant told me from the beginning that he did not
bite his tongue, he did not have uncontrolled urination and, as others
have told him, he would foam at the mouth.
	My examination did not indicate any disorder of the nervous system. I
had his blood and urine analyzed, but the results were negative. On the
basis of the foregoing, I concluded that the defendant was suffering from
epilepsy and based my diagnosis on the fact that the attacks were becom-
ing more frequent and the defendant sensed a pungent odor, which often
precedes an epileptic seizure. If I am not mistaken, I then prescribed him
medication which I knew would affect the normal functioning of his
brain. Having taken this medication, the defendant felt exhausted and
that is partially the reason why he discontinued his studies.
	Nevertheless, as a result of the testimony that I have heard in court to-
day, I cannot maintain my diagnosis of “epilepsy.” At the present time I
am more inclined to the view that the defendant is not suffering from
epilepsy, but rather he is experiencing emotional upheavals which are
closely related to his psyche.
	As a result of the experiences gathered from the World War, we are in
a better position today to recognize the nature of these convulsions. We,
thus, have been able to realize how severe emotional shocks, occurring
all at once, can give rise to convulsions in the case of persons so disposed,
which we diagnose as convulsions due to mental breakdown or emotional
	Based on this same evidence, I conclude, as has Professor Liepmann,
that the defendant is suffering from emotional epilepsy. The primary
basis for this diagnosis is that the defendant’s total psychological being
has been subjected to drastic change. This psychosis is evident not only in
the manifestation of convulsions, which for the most part are combined
with provocations, but in other symptoms as well. Psychic astasia has
given rise to irregular mental phenomena — for example, the appearance
of his mother in his dreams. Of course, we do not have an actual trance
but rather a conscious dream directive which is not present when he is
fully awake. In conjunction with this, we also have dispositional aberra-
tions: for example, as many have testified, the defendant invariably suf-
fered from depression. The defendant made a very significant statement
when he said, “When I feel bad my mother appears to me.” What this
means is that whenever the defendant was tired, exhausted, or being con-
sumed by grief and memories, he would have the delusion. This cir-
cumstance of seeing his mother is strictly a psychotic one.
	For this reason, I conclude that the defendant has become quite
psychotic. And this illness stems from the influence of the most severe
psychological shocks imaginable. Furthermore, this psychosis has
manifested itself as a persistent occurrence of mental breakdown in the
form of emotional epileptic seizures which in themselves are signs of very
marked damage to one’s psychological equilibrium.
	In this sense, the defendant’s emotional experience has triggered the
behavior leading to the act. In the case of the individual so disposed,
when faced with his parents’ murderer, the notion of taking revenge
ripened in the defendant.
	It is because of this heavy damage to the psyche that the defendant did
not take into consideration a whole series of inhibitions which would
have restricted any normal person from committing the act. I conclude,
as well, that there are certain normal motives which in the defendant
gave rise to the idea of committing such an act. But besides these normal
motives, there are also various sick motives which made the killing possi-
ble; that act would not have taken place if he had had his normal inhibi-
tions. I am also certain that there is no question but that the defendant
was in a confused state of mind.
	I am convinced that certain basic, extreme factors played an important
role in the defendant’s execution of the act. Even though I do not want to
insist that the defendant, at the time of the killing, was in a state where
responsibility for his actions was totally absent (as is required by Article
51), I feel the defendant was very close to being in such a state. We
psychiatrists are unable to draw the boundary line categorically and
	WERTHAUER — Do you have any basic doubts that the defendant
committed these acts by his own free and conscious will?
	WITNESS — I have no doubt whatsoever that his free will was not
totally absent.
	WERTHAUER — You have no doubt whatsoever that his free will was
not absent?
	WITNESS — I insist that his free will was not totally absent.
	WERTHAUER — I would like to ask the following: Is there any doubt,
from a medical point of view, that his free will was absent?
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — In other words, you have no doubt that his free
will existed. Is it possible to determine what the defendant’s psychologi-
cal condition was at the time of the killing?
	WITNESS — It is not possible to determine that. We can only surmise.
Expert Witness Professor Dr. Edmund Forster (psychiatrist, pro.
fessor at Berlin University, and chief physician of the Neurological
Clinic at Berlin University, 42, years old, Protestant), representing
Dr. Bonhöffer, takes the oath.

	WITNESS — In essence, I concur in the opinion of Dr. Liepmann and
Professor Dr. Cassirer, both authorities in their field. However, it seems
to me that there are still a number of points which require clarification.
	Having heard all of the sufferings of the defendant, one has the feeling
that it is perfectly comprehensible that he had to kill Talaat, whom he
considered to be a murderer. This brings us to the first question. Would a
normal person have done the same? This is not necessarily true. It is one
thing for a normal person, under the same circumstances, to think “I am
going to kill Talaat.” Yet, it is altogether something else for one to
perpetrate the act. Other Armenians, who suffered the same hardships
and perhaps had the same thought of revenge, did not in fact commit the
crime. The crime, by itself, certainly does not prove that the perpetrator
of the crime was ill. The second question is the following: Does it
necessarily follow that anyone who has suffered the same horrors
becomes sick in the mind as a result? This is not so either. On this point I
might be able to give a precise opinion, since I worked in a danger zone
throughout the war. Experience has shown that the human being can
withstand unimaginable horrors without becoming psychologically
disturbed. Even though, to a layman, this might sound incredulous, ob-
jective statistics have shown that there has been no increase in the
number of psychologically disturbed people as a result of the war,
whereas only those who were disposed to mental illness have
demonstrated increased frequency of symptoms as a result of the war.
	I am in agreement with the previous expert witness that, in the case of
the defendant, we are unquestionably faced with a psychologically
disturbed person. Consequently, it is quite possible for him to react in an
extreme way to horrible events. Again, I am in agreement with Professor
Liepmann and Professor Cassirer that what we have here is not real
epilepsy, but rather emotional epilepsy.
	From my two detailed examinations of the defendant and the
testimony of the witnesses, I concluded that the convulsions demonstrate
only emotional epilepsy. The defendant had never had such convulsions
prior to the shattering emotional experiences he endured. The defendant
recalls his frightful experiences. He talks, in no uncertain terms, of see-
ing the corpses and sensing their stench. He then has the convulsions, but
he does not shriek or have spasms, which are symptoms characteristic of
normal epilepsy. He shakes, moans and groans, and then falls down.
This is the order of these attacks. He relives those terrible days so vividly
that he loses consciousness. He recalls whatever events he has experienc-
ed so vividly that he feels the emotions he would feel if the events were
actuallY taking place. This order is the same as that which occurs in the
case of a starving person. First, he salivates when he thinks about a piece
of meat freshly fried. In this case, the same effect occurs in the imagina-
tion as would occur if he were really to eat that piece of meat.
	However, not everyone who has suffered such frightful events has
such attacks. Only persons predisposed to psychological illness are sub-
ject to them. Furthermore, only those who are mentally sick undergo a
change in their basic personality on account of such recollections and
similar compulsive precepts. I am further inclined to concur with Pro-
fessor Liepmann that, as a result of these deeply embedded ideas, a
change has taken place in the personality of the defendant, and such
change has occurred in the manner described by the ingenious German
psychiatrist, Karl Wernicke.
	The defendant can no longer claim his “dghts.” His kinsmen are
dead. He told me that his life no longer has any meaning for him. I ob-
jected by saying, “Is it not true that you could get married and pursue a
profession?” “Why should I get married?” he replied. He does not want
to obtain justice by himself. He does not want to take revenge. But the
compulsion of his sick mind asserts itself over and over again, as do his
mother’s demands. He repeatedly wavers because the act of killing is
quite distasteful to his nature. He repeats insistently, “I am not a
murderer, my mother told me to do it and I had to do it.” His whole per-
sonality has changed. I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that we are
dealing here with a sick personality, who has been drastically affected by
emotional shocks and committed the punishable crime as a result of their
influence on him.
	So the question is this: Do the provisions of Article 51 apply to this
case? That there are unusual motives is undeniable. In the case of
psychological illnesses brought about by compulsive ideas, it is not possi-
ble to give a simple “yes’’ or ‘‘no~~ answer to the question, “Is heor ishe
not psychologically ill?”
	Every fanatic, every individual, who follows the directive of’ a domi-
nant idea is something of a psychologically sick person in the clutches of
a compulsive idea. Contrary to the strict definition of the word “sick,”
what we have here is a matter of degree.
	To give a simple ‘‘yes~~ or ‘‘no’’ answer to the question “Was the
malady of the defendant severe enough for the provisions to fit it~ “ is
very difficult. Undoubtedly it is a matter of opinion where the line is to
be drawn. I am generally inclined to restrict the parameters ofArticle 51,
because the law definitively requires that there be a total absence of free
will. With the incident in question, we are faced with so many difficult
indications pertaining to the excessive effect of a compulsive idea on the
defendant that we can at least say that the provisions of Article 51 come
very close to fitting the present case. I am even inclined to say that frt
will was totally absent. The question whether or not we have “fun-
damental doubt” is not very appropriate. I have no fundamental doubt
as to the illness of the defendant; I only have doubt as to how my medical
judgments can be translated into a legal opinion. But, after all, that is
not my task; it is more the task of the jury to interpret my medical
testimony in determining the legal implications of the question.
	VON GORDON — Do you think it is perhaps possible that, after this
outburst, the defendant’s epilepsy, his emotional epilepsy, wilt disappeai~
and he will no longer suffer from emotional epileptic convulsions?
	WITNESS — I do not think so. At least, it is not possible to predict
that. But experiments have shown that similar compulsive ideas eventual.
ly diminish in intensity as the individual goes into another environment
which has no relationship to the causes of these compulsive precepts.
However, the minute he meets an old acquaintance and reflects on past
incidents, he would have a relapse.
Expefl Witness Dr. Bnxno Hake (neurologist) takes the oath.

	WITNESS — In view of the detailed medical testimony already
presented to you, I can be quite brief. On February 4th of this year I first
saw the defendant in my clinic, with his interpreter, whom I recognized
in court as Mr. Apelian. I was under the impression then that the defen-
dant was suffering from epilepsy and I made a note to that effect in my
notebook. But today I am of the opinion that the defendant is suffering
from emotional epilepsy as a result of a psychological shock. I would like
to add that, from my point of view, an emotional epileptic, such as the
defendant, is unable freely to control his will under the constraint of such
mental images. I would therefore like to take this point a little further
than the previous expert witnesses and give an affirmative answer to the
question, “Was there a total tack of free will?”

(No more questions were put to the expert medical witnesses. It was
decided not to cross-examine the French interpreter, expert witness Pro-
fessor Pfefer.)

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Perhaps it can be generally stated that there
shall be no more new evidence presented and no further cross-
examination of any witnesses
	WERTHAUER — The second penal senate of our Supreme Court has
held that when a general stipulation is made, in effect, all motions or re-
jection of motions previously presented are no longer in effect. For this
reason, I shall not make such a general stipulation; rather, I shall
stipulate on each motion as it arises.
	VON GORDON — I too agree with that.
	DEFENDANT — I am in agreement.

(The trial is recessed until nine o’clock Thursday morning)


Presiding Justice Lehmberg convenes the court to session at 9:15 A.M.

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — We will continue with the trial. All the ques-
tions required to bring about the verdict are present.
	The de facto evidence, to the extent it is mentioned in the writ of ac-
cusation, has been exhaustively reviewed.
	That being so, I would like to read the questions that I have drawn up:
	1. Is the defendant Soghomnon Tehlirian guilty of having intentionally
killed Talaat Pasha on Charlottenburgstrasse on March 15, 1921?
	This question pertains to unpremeditated killing. The second question
pertains to premeditated killing. The second question shall be answered
only if an affirmative answer is given to the first question.
	2. Did the defendant commit the crime with premeditation?
After this comes the third question, which is to be answered only in the
event that the answer to the first question is affirmative and the answer
to the second question is negative.
	3. Are there extenuating circumstances?
	Are there any gaps to be filled pertaining to these questions? If not, I
shall recognize the District Attorney.
	VON GORDON — All the witnesses suggested by us have come here.
They should be officially informed that we have refrained from question-
ing them. In addition, Mr. Vosganian, who was going to testify concern-
ing the background of the defendant and his family, has arrived here
from Serbia. Also I am informed that Armin Wegner, whom we had ask-
ed to testify and who had taken pictures at the time of the massacres, has
placed himself at our disposal. However, in compliance with the wishes
of this court, we feel we do not need additional proof; we already know
what we needed to know.
	JUROR — Mr. President, we have present, here in the audience, an In-
dian who has said that all those fights and killings were caused not by
economic factors but rather religious ones.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Gentlemen, that has no direct bearing on the
homicide; however, in order to make it possible for the motives to be
revealed in all their depth and in order to understand the tremendous im-
pressions generated by those horrible events, I gave a lot of leeway to ob-
tain an overall picture of what happened. Therefore, I do not feel it
necessary to concern ourselves with those matters again today.
	VON GORDON — Your Honor, if members of the jury wish, I feel we
should supply all the information necessary to satisfy them. I should thus
like to recall Professor Lepsius as an expert witness.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Dr. Lepsius has already expressed his opinion
in detail.
	JUROR — In a general sense we are satisfied with the proof presented
thus far; we would like elucidation only on this particular point.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Nevertheless, I am opposed to listening to any
testimony today which, to my way of thinking, is not germane to the
issue before us.
	VON GORDON — We have heard that certain foreigners have talked to
a number of the jurors on this subject and, if members of the jury would
like further clarification, we should try to fulfill their desires.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Whether it was for religious or other reasons
one of the witnesses also indicated that these measures were con-
sidered by the Turkish government to be indispensible . . these are all
tangential to the issue before us.
	VON GORDON — Perhaps you will allow me to say a few words on this
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I would prefer that you cover this topic in your
summation. I would now like to thank all the witnesses who have come
here. The participants in this trial have abstained from calling any new
witnesses. Naturally, those who wish may remain and listen to the con-
clusion of the trial.
	I will now call upon the District Attorney to present his opinion con-
cerning the guilt of the defendant.
	DISTRICT Arr0RNEY — Members of the jury, it is not the legal im-
plications of this criminal case which give it special significance and ex-
plain the intense interest being shown in it, not only in our country, but
in other countries as well. To account for such attention we have to look
at the other aspects of this case. In view of its psychological causes, the
incident takes us back to events that took place during the World War.
This case has, as its root, the bloody and savage events that took place in
Asia Minor and it is as if we again have to hear the thunder of the World
War. Furthermore, it is the personality of the victim of the act that gives
the latter an added significance. From a nameless and unknown mass of
people, a hand rose up and struck down a human being who held the
reins of his country in band while it was involved in a world struggle. He
was the faithful ally of the German people and together rode the waves
of fortune.
	However, gentlemen of the jury, these recollections and impressions
cannot obligate the accusor and the judge to dismiss the incident and let
the perpetrator of the incident go free. We must view the matter solely
from the point of view of penal justice, as the law demands.
	From a legal point of view, the case is quite simple. On March 15,
1921, the defendant shot and killed Talaat Pasha on Charlottenburg-
strasse. The aim was well taken. Death was instantaneous and there is no
doubt that the defendant wanted to kill. He committed the act inten-
tionally. Did the defendant not testify that he still felt gratified in having
successfully committed that act? The commission of a homicide is
punishable under German law. The perpetrator has to be punished where
a human being’s life has been taken. In the eyes of the law, it makes no
difference whether the victim was a German citizen or not. According to
Article 3 of the Penal Code, the law applies throughout Germany for any
crimes committed within its borders.
	Gentlemen of the jury, the defendant made several remarks that were
peculiar from a number of points of view when he was apprehended right
after the commission of the act and found himself surrounded by an
angry mob. He said, “This is no loss to Germany. lam an Armenian. He
is a Turk.” What he meant by that was that they were foreigners and,
therefore, that the act was of no concern to Germany. This exclamation
has no significance at alt in terms of penal justice. Whether or not the
victim and/or the perpetrator of the crime were citizens of Germany has
no bearing. According to our laws, the defendant has to be punished if,
of course, there are no circumstances which would make this an ex-
cusable homicide. I shall get to this later.
	First and foremost we should clarify the point as to whether or not this
was a premeditated crime. The law distinguishes between a premeditated
and non-premeditated crime. The punishment for the former is very
severe — the death penalty. For the latter, that is a killing committed at
the time of emotional distress, the penalty is less severe.
	Likewise, I can accept a familiar fact: where the perpetration of the
crime is done with definite deliberation and premeditation, when the act
is committed under calm and clear circumstances, with consciousness of
the rational implications and motives of the act, of the means and conse-
quences of committing the crime, as well as of the moral absolutes to
avert the act. In other words, the first type of killing is one in which the
defendant can take into consideration all these factors. Furthermore, he
is able to assess the pros and cons of the act and then reach a decision on
the basis of these purely rational considerations.
	Iask you, “Did the defendant commit this act following such delibera-
tion?” Naturally I also have to ask a second question: “What factors led
the defendant to commit this act?”
	There is no question in my mind that what we are dealing with here is a
political assassination. The defendant’s motives were political hatred and
political vengeance.
	A graphic picture of events that took place in far-off places unfolded
before you. Without a doubt, horrid events took place; dreadful events
befell the Armenian people. Undoubtedly, horrible things happened to
the defendant and his family. Also there is no doubt that a brutal fate af-
flicted his very essence; all of his relatives were subjected to death and he
was forced to be an eyewitness to all of this. The defendant, because of
what he had seen and suffered, became vengeful. When he became
vengeful is something I will get into a little later.
	It is also quite clear that the defendant held Talaat Pasha to be the
responsible party for the acts. The defendant looked upon Talaat as the
person who struck down his compatriots, his parents and relatives, and,
indeed, himself. Furthermore, the defendant looked upon Talaat not
merely as the Minister of Interior who, because of his position, would
presumably be held politically liable for the acts committed during his
tenure in office, but also as personally and morally the author of the
above mentioned offenses.
	Gentlemen of the jury, the determination of these motives is sufficient
to judge Tehlirian’s act from the penal-legal point of view.
	But the examination of the witnesses went into the question of whether
Talaat was really the personal and moral author of these crimes. Even
though, in my opinion, it makes no difference whatsoever, from a legal
point of view, whether or not Talaat was the author or whether the
defendant’s notion that Talaat was the author corresponds to the truth,
nevertheless, since the witnesses did expound on this point, I feet
obligated to comment.
	Gentlemen of the jury, it is patently clear and witnesses have so in-
dicated, that the Armenians and their friends are convinced of Talaat’s
responsibility for the crimes committed against them.
	However, gentlemen, this is not an impartial view. It would have been
easy for us to bring a whole series of witnesses to give an altogether dif-
ferent picture of what took place. I have personally spoken with many
Germans who were in Turkey and were close to scenes of the incidents in
question, and they have an altogether different grasp of what happened
than what you have heard here. They stated that there is no basis even for
saying that the government of Constantinople had decided to annihilate
the Armenians; rather it was the considerations of governmental and
military security — perhaps misunderstood — which motivated Talaat to
issue the order for deportation, the result of which, to be sure, had fatal
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (interrupting) — I would appreciate it if you
would not dwell at length on this matter which was not the topic of
discussion during cross-examination of the witnesses. Moreover, men-
tioning incidents which others have discussed has nothing at all to do
with the case before us.
	DISTRICT ATTORNEY (continuing) — Nevertheless, I can make use of
the testimony to the extent that there was a difference between the
statements and the point of view of the two expert witnesses. I find that
the testimony of Dr. Lepsius, though detailed and interesting, is never-
theless deficient in that it ascribes, in my opinion, a systematic and plan-
ned nature to the crimes committed against the Armenians. It is not hard
to see that he came to this conclusion, not on account of what he saw and
experienced in Turkey, but in light of evidence that has more recently
been uncovered. For that reason I think I am correct in giving more
weight to the testimony of General Liman von Sanders, who was in
Turkey, held an important position and was close to the scene of the
events that took place. General von Sanders testified explicitly as to the
difference between the understanding behind the order given in Constan-
tinople to deport the Armenians and the manner in which the deporta-
tion was carried out. The government in Constantinople had received
word that the Armenians were thinking of betraying the government and
plotting with the Allied Powers. It was decided that, as soon as the op-
portunity was ripe, they would attack the Turks from behind and create
an independent Armenia. Thus, for defensive and military reasons, the
government in Constantinople considered it necessary to deport the
Armenians. As to the character of these deportations, we should take in-
to consideration, gentlemen of the jury, that Asia Minor is not exactly a
place in which conditions characteristic of civilized peoples prevail. I feel
I should be careful in howl put this, i.e., those conditions which we were
used to before the war. The tradition in Asia Minor has always been one
of savagery and bloodshed, and our expert witnesses testified that, in
1915 a “Holy War” had already been declared. When people belonging
to different nationalities and of different faiths saw that all the Arme-
nians were being deported to one place by the Turks, they looked upon
this naturally as an invitation to battle and attacked them. And this is
how the beastly instincts of men came forth, causing tooting, killing, etc.
The expert witness testified further that during the deportation the
soldiers who were guarding the caravans were no longer members of the
regular select military, but rather “gendarmes,” actually vagabonds
who, on their own initiative, committed the killings known to us all.
	I feel it essential to make this digression to show that the testimony
presented here does not identify Talaat as personally and morally respon-
sible for the killings. The various documents that they wished to call to
our attention do not convince me otherwise. As District Attorney, I
know, for example, that exactly the same sort of documents appeared
during our period of revolutionary upheavals, bearing the signatures of
prominent persons. After the war, as they later insisted, it was shown
that the signatures had been forged. Finally, the verdict of the tribunal in
Constantinople against Talaat, mentioned in this court, cannot convince
me of his culpability. I do not know if the tribunal had all of the evidence
before it. It is possible; however, we must not forget that whenever a
government falls, the members of the succeeding government look upon
the members of the former government as criminals. I hardly need re-
mind you of the alacrity and upheaval with which a new government
came into power in Turkey, that the government of the Young Turks was
friendly to the Central Powers, while the new government, on the con-
trary, was forced to side with the Allied Powers. Therefore, as I in-
dicated earlier, we are unable to tell whether or not the tribunal of Con-
stantinople acted justly in condemning Talaat. I repeat, the testimony of
the witnesses did not, in the least, implicate Talaat morally for the kill-
ings of the Armenians.
	To turn to the homicide. As I indicated, the motive of the defendant
was to get revenge through killing Talaat, who he was convinced was the
instigator and perpetrator of the massacres of the Armenians.
	Gentlemen, this motive of revenge is not an ignoble one by any means;
on the contrary, it is an easy one to comprehend as long as human beings
are able to love and hate.
	Later on, when I ask whether the defendant acted with premeditation,
it will be easy to see how motives of revenge made his premeditated kill-
ing. When you consider carefully how the defendant, after seeing his
parents’ house in Erzinga in ruins, scoured Europe until he came to
Berlin and found Talaat, it will not be difficult to conclude that he was
possessed by a fanatical, revengeful idea that drew him like a magnet to
the home and doorway of the victim.
	Thus, in my opinion, the statement he made when he was first inter-
rogated is absolutely truthful. I have no doubt whatsoever that it cor-
responds to the truth. At the time the defendant said, “As soon as I saw
my parents’ home in ruins, I wanted to avenge their deaths. In order to
do that, I went and bought a pistol
	Gentlemen, I do not want to dwell on this point any further. There
may be doubts about this. In point of fact, the defendant himself
retracted his statements to that effect, saying they had been made when
he was weak of mind and under the immediate influence of shock caused
by killing. But I would like to emphasize a statement which the defendant
made to the police inspector and repeated in this courtroom. According
to his statement, the first time he thought of killing Talaat was fourteen
days before the actual killing. Therefore, we can see how the defendant
followed through his intention to the end, with a certain plan and
weighing all the factors. We see how he left his previous lodging; how he
justified that on health grounds; how he followed him and found out at
what time Talaat normally left his house; how, on March 15th, he put his
pistol in his pocket, followed Talaat and then passed in front of him to
make sure it was Talaat Pasha; how he let the victim pass him so he
would be behind him again and how he fired upon him from behind. The
aim was well taken; death was instantaneous.
	For further proof that this was a premeditated crime, let us look to
another statement he made to the police. In answer to the question Why
did you not fire when you were facing him?,” he said, “1 might not have
succeeded. He would have tried to defend himself; he might have moved.
and I could not be sure that my shot would kill.”
	Gentlemen of the jury, we also see from the evidence that this crime
was committed intentionally and very calmly. You recall how he threw
his pistol away and tried to escape. When he was caught and beaten, he
said, “The person I killed is not German. I am not German. You Ger-
mans have no reason to be saddened on account of this incident. It does
not concern you at all.”
	Taking all these circumstances into consideration, we can only con-
clude that the killing was carried out in a perfectly coldblooded manner;
it was well thought-out and deliberated upon in advance.
	Now let us took at the defendant’s temperament. Was the defendant
hat-tempered or easily provoked? The evidence is to the contrary. He
was a gloomy and calm man, wrapped up in himself. He was not one to
dance with joy or have fits of passion. On the contrary, he was one who
kept his thoughts to himself to a point where he would calmly analyze
them and take action.
	Thus, in my opinion, it is possible to consider it a totally objectively
proven fact that the basic signs of a truly premeditated killing did exist.
However, all this would not be sufficient to subject the defendant to
punitive measures. We should also determine whether or not there are
any extenuating circumstances which, as I said at the outset, would allow
the defendant to go unpunished. Here is where Article 51 of the German
Penal Code applies; it says that a homicide should go unpunished when
the defendant committed the act unknowingly or when he commits the
act under the influence of mental anguish that he no longer has control
over his free will. Therefore, when the case concerns the act of an in-
dividual subject to severe emotional turmoil, the law does not recognize
the killing to be punishable; rather, it treats it as an unfortunate accident
—	just as if, for example, someone were to be killed by the kick of a
horse. Under these circumstances, according to the law, there is not a
culpable party and, as such, there are no punitive measures to be taken.
Hence, what we have to figure out is whether or not there were any such
circumstances in the case of the defendant.
	Gentlemen, it goes without saying that if all the expert witnesses were
to give the same opinion, then the Court would naturally be obligated to
make a decision in accordance with their conclusion. Unfortunately,
however, in this case, we do not have a unanimity of opinion on the part
of the expert witnesses. Consequently, the Court itself is required to
decide whether or not the dispositions of Article 51 are applicable.
	You heard three of the expert witnesses testify that those dispositions
do not apply to this case. It is true that the defendant is an epileptic, sub-
ject to convulsive attacks. However, that circumstance in itself is still not
sufficient, because the defendant was deprived of his free will only dur-
ing these convulsive attacks, while he was a normal individual at other
times. For this reason, every time it is said the defendant is an epileptic,
the Court and the expert witnesses ask the following question: “Did he
have a convulsive attack at the time he committed the crime or im-
mediately prior?” If not, then be acted as a normal person.
	The first three expert witnesses were of this opinion while the latter
two explained that at the time of the commission of the cnme the defen-
dant was not accountable for his actions.
	It is then up to the Court itself to decide. Therefore, it is essential to
examine the personality of the defendant as revealed by his behavior dur-
ing the trial. I am convinced that his behavior in Court demonstrated to
us that we are dealing with a highly intelligent person. His answers were
decisive and always to the point. We should have seen some peculiar
behavior, but this was totally absent. The defendant has lived a life like
anyone else his age. His economic situation was such that he was not ab-
solutely obligated to seek employment. He visited his relatives and
friends and took dancing lessons. His landladies describe him as a calm
and modest person. Thus, from all the evidence, we can see that, except
for the times when he was suffering from epileptic attacks, he was a men-
tally competent person. Consequently, I feel we must concur with the
three expert witnesses who denied the applicability of Article 51 to this
	Gentlemen, presumably you are aware that a new penal code will be
forthcoming in the near future as a result of judicial reforms; its rough
draft has already been prepared. That penal code prescribes the death
penalty for premeditated murder, but it recognizes extenuating cir-
cumstances which make it possible to change the death penalty to
another and milder penalty. However, the laws, as they stand today, do
not recognize extenuating circumstances. Though I know that will sound
quite severe to some of you, yet I am obliged to request that you find the
defendant guilty of having comitted premeditated murder.
	We should not consider only the defendant, but also the victim. We
should remember that a man’s life was taken in his prime. His death is
mourned by his widow and relatives. He was looked upon as a great
patriot and an honorable man at least by his compatriots and co-
	Finally, gentlemen, those circumstances favorable to the defendant
will be taken into full consideration by the appropriate body if and when
a decision is made as to whether he should be forgiven for his act.
	In conclusion, I propose that you give an affirmative answer to the
questions put to ~Od by this court, and find the defendant guilty of hay-
ing killed Talaat Pasha with premeditation.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Would the interpreter please inform the defen-
dant that the District Attorney has asked the jury to find the defendant
guilty of premeditated homicide?
Defense Attorney Adolf von Gordon (privy legal counsejor, Berlin).

	Gentlemen, the District Attorney mentioned that if you declare the
defendant Tehlirian guilty of premeditated murder and thus lay the foun-
dation for the implementation of the death penalty, it would not be a
serious matter since the President of our Republic will undoubtedly grant
him a pardon.
	I do not consider this a permissible way to influence you. If you find
the defendant guilty, he will be sentenced to death and none of us is in a
position to tell what decision the President of our Republic will take with
regard to a pardon. What we should do here is consider the evidence, not
speculate whether or not the defendant will be pardoned.
	I was glad to welcome, in the person of the District Attorney — in a
way a colleague — a supporter; but a supporter, not of Tehlirian but of
Talaat Pasha, reporting on what this person or that one had told him.
Gentlemen, I will not follow him in that direction. I reject that procedure
	I have a whole arsenal of telegrams with me and indeed there is a
witness sitting in this Courtroom who says, “Those telegrams are
authentic. I got hold of them.”! already made this point during the trial.
I made a proposal and then withdrew it because it is essential for us to
determine, not whether Talaat was guilty of killing the Armenians but
rather whether the defendant and other Armenians were convinced that
Talaat was the guilty party.
	You have demonstrated that you believe the defendant in this regard.
And if, during the trial, there were any doubts, they were eliminated by
the testimony of Bishop Balakian, who said, “My professor and I, hav-
ing been exiled together, went to the Vali (district-governor) of
Changere. We asked him to help us. He showed us a telegram in which
Talaat asked, ‘How many of the deportees are alive and how many are
dead?’ “ We all understood the meaning of this. This was the only in-
stance when the question of Talaat’s guilt was brought before you. We
refrained from presenting any other evidence on this point. Suffice it to
say that within a few months, of the 1,800,000 Armenians living in
Turkey, 1,400,000 were deported and 1,000,000 of the latter were killed.
I will let you decide whether or not this massive and systematic deporta-
tion was possible without directives from the top. Was the Turkish
government really too powerless to take any type of preventive
measures? Do you believe that? I certainly cannot.
	As a third preliminary observation, the District Attorney mentioned,
with some hesitation and anxiety, the statement attributed to the defen-
dant made the day following the incident in question. These statements
purportedly proved that the defendant had premeditated this killing —
that the defendant had decided to kill Talaat right after the massacres
when he saw his parents’ home in ruins.
	Gentlemen, we should not consider insubstantial evidence. Seated
before you is the gentleman who served as an interpreter during the first
interrogation of the defendant. The interpreter considered him a great
man and he himself was so enraptured by what happened as to consider it
a great event. You heard him testify that he found the defendant in a
state of emotional shock. He was suffering from fever, he was wounded,
beaten, and exhausted to the extent that he answered every question in
the affirmative. “Yes, just leave me atone. I know what I have done and
what I have done is good. Now I don’t want you to bother me anymore.”
The interpreter further testified that he was asked to translate these
statements of the defendant. He told them, “If you had asked him ques-
tions in the negative, he stilt would have answered by saying yes.” When
the interpreter was then asked to sign the defendant’s statement, he said,
“I shall not sign this because it is not perfectly accurate.” Thus, we
should only consider evidence presented in this courtroom as the
Presiding Justice has already instructed you to do.
	The defendant was born in Pakarij and came to Erzinga when he was
four years old. This city, one of the largest in the region, is 100 to 150
kilometers west of Garin, on one of the two branches of the Euphrates
River which extends nearly as far as Erzerum. There is along, wide valley
here which is the way southward, in the direction of the Middle
Euphrates and toward the desert, to which Armenians were to be exiled.
	In Erzinga, there were some 20,000 Armenians and approximately
25,000-30,000	Turks. The defendant’s parents were middle-class. His
father was a fairly successful merchant. His parents had accumulated
modest savings. They were a large and peaceful family. They had suf-
fered somewhat from the war but, until June 1915, everything was quiet
and orderly.
	Then the disastrous news came from Constantinople that the Arme-
nians were being deported. An announcement was made: “You should
get together everything that you can carry within a few days, as you will
be deported.” On June 10th, the deportation began. First the rich and
the well-to-do, who had horses and carriages, were deported. This was
the first group. The defendant and his parents were in the second group.
The defendant is not in a position to testify as to how large that group
was. There were many other groups that followed these. Outside the city
limits they were joined by the Armenians rounded up from the neighbor-
ing villages. The defendant was unable to see the end of the caravan; he
walked in the middle of the caravan with his fifteen year-old sister. I
believe his sixteen year-old sister was with him as well. His twenty-six
year-old sister and her child were there too. In addition there were his
two brothers, who were twenty-two and twenty-four years old respective-
ly, and finally his mother and father, who were fifty and fifty-five ye~s
old respectively. Thus the whole family walked with their oxcart.
	They had not gone very far before they were attacked. Who attacked
them? The gendarmes did — General Liman von Sanders described them
as they were then — as well as mobs of Kurds, Turks, and others. Eirst
they took any weapons the Armenians had, even to the point of taking
their umbrellas; they then took their money, gold, and food. They took
the most precious possession of the women to satisfy their bestial pas-
sions. Young girls, among whom were the defendant’s fifteen and Sixteen
year-old sisters, were dragged into the bushes. Their parents and the
defendant who were in a ditch heard their shrieks and realized what was
happening to them. They never saw the girls again. The defendant was
able to see the corpse of one of his sisters when he regained con.
sciousness. What about his brother? His twenty-two year old brother’s
head — and this was the most shocking sight — was split in two by a
gleaming axe. Even to this date, the defendant sees this horrifying image
when he loses emotional control. Before his eyes he saw his mother fall,
probably hit by a bullet. The others disappeared without trace, even
though the defendant constantly tried to determine their whereabouts by
means of missing persons advertisements.
	The defendant was unable to see more than this as he too was hit from
behind on the head by a blunt object. Doctors, even now, can establish
the existence of the resulting wound. This horrible blow is the only thing
he still remembers. He fell to the ground unconscious and it was evening
when he regained consciousness. Surrounded by thousands of corpses,
he discovered he had been struck by a bullet in his arm and by a sword in
his knee. The scars of those wounds are still visible. In the semi-darkness
he was able to determine where he was and even tried to find the bodies
of his parents, brothers, and sisters. There was not a single survivor of
the massacre in his vicinity. He tried to find sanctuary by escaping from
that place. He went to the mountains, which he knew quite well. A kind
Kurdish woman gave him shelter until his wounds healed. He then con-
tinued his escape until finally, after a month’s wandering, he reached the
borders of Russia. He was apprehended by the border patrol and then
released. He was hospitably received by the Russian Armenians, who
helped him get to Persia where he was able to find employment with a
merchant and earn his livelihood.
	Gentlemen, this horrible massacre is so incredible that at first we had
doubts as to whether or not the gentlemen of the jury would believe the
defendant’s testimony. And actually a few days ago, opponents publish-
ed a sensational booklet, entitled The Secret of the Murder of Talaat
Pas/za, that was tasteless. There is, of course, no secret here since the
issue is all together simple and nothing there merits credibility. “The
young Armenian,” the booklet states, “had assumed the responsibilitY
to kill Talaat Pasha” (it implies that there was a major Power behind
the event). The booklet also states, “It has been a tool of the barbaric
fanaticism which characterizes its race who acted without thinking and
without knowing what he was doing. His moving story as to how Turks
carried away his parents obviously aims at getting the sympathy of the
judges.’’ Had the author of that booklet been in this room yesterday and
iistened to the testimony given by Mrs. Terzibashian, he certainly would
have gone away with a strongly felt need to take back his words.
	We would like to introduce here even more extensive evidence. Present
in the courtroom are two German Sisters of Mercy who were in Erzinga
at that same moment and who sent reports to our Foreign Ministry on
the events taking place there. I refrained from questioning those
witnesses since it was sufficient that three weeks after those events, our
witness, Mrs. Terzibashiafl, coming from GarTh, meaning the east, pass-
ed through Erzinga in an equally large caravan and went through the
gorge of Kemakh. I would not wish to repeat any of the words she used
to describe those horrible events. She already told us about the corpses of
the caravans that passed before her. She told us how men and children
were thrown into the river. All of this substantial evidence corresponds
exactly to the testimony of Tehlirian and that is why I am mentioning this
here. What Tehlirian told us here is the truth and not a ‘‘sensational
	In 1917 the Russian Revolution occurred. Having captured Oarin
(in the province of Erzerum), the Russians advanced as far as Erzinga.
The defendant, who was living and working in Persia at the time, heard
of the advance of the Russians and decided to return to Erzinga to see if
any members of his family were alive and generally to check out the
situation there. He arrived in Erzinga and saw his parents’ home in ruins,
but still there was sufficient evidence to remind him of the loved ones
with whom he had lived and spent his youth. He remembered his happy
home as it used to be and when he looked at the ruins, he recalled the
events of the massacre and fell unconscious.
	There, for the first time, he suffered what later were diagnosed as
epileptic convulsions. These fits came on with more frequency later, ac-
companied by the stench from the corpses, mental images of the
massacres, emotional upheavals, nervous weakness, and fainting spells.
	What did he see when he came to Erzinga? Out of 20,000 Armenians,
three families were left, who were saved only because they had become
Mohammedans, plus a few individuals scattered here and there.
Altogether, there were some twenty Armenian survivors.
	Gentlemen of the jury, these are impressions that one can never forget.
The defendant then remembered that his parents had hidden their hard-
earned savings. He began to search for whatever was left. Everything in
their home was stolen or broken, but over 4,000 gold pieces were still
there, buried. He took the money for himself and his family in the hope
that one or more members would be found, and gave it to one of his
relatives in Serbia for safekeeping. That relative is here; we had asked
him to come to testify about the defendant’s family. However, we no
longer need to interrogate him. After a month, the defendant went from
Erzinga to Tiflis with the Russian Army, which was withdrawing to the
border. There he again engaged in commerce and it was there that he
bought his pistol, in 1918.
	As was already mentioned, the defendant went back to Erzinga in
1917; that is, two years after the massacres. He remained in Tiflis until
1919. Then, the situation in Turkey having changed, he went to Salonika
and from there to Serbia, not to see his relatives or for pleasure, but to
find suitable work for himself. He then returned to Salonika and, in the
early part of 1920, he went to Paris to learn French, as this was the of-
ficial commercial language in Turkey. He remained in Paris for ten
months and studied very diligently. He was able to read French papers
and converse in French very well, considering the short period of time he
had studied it. He then decided that a commercial career, with all the
traveling, did not suit him and he felt it would be better if he were to go
to Berlin and learn to become a machinist. He wanted to go directly from
Paris to Berlin, but he was told that it was very difficult to obtain a visa.
An elderly Armenian told him that it would be easier if he went to
Geneva, where he had a home and by pretending to be a Swiss resident,
he would be able to obtain a visa from the German Consulate to travel to
	tehlirian thus went to Geneva and from there to Berlin on an eight-
day visa. The visa was extended in Berlin, as he was told it would be
when he was in Geneva.
	He had with him the address of the Armenian Consulate in Berlin as
well as other addresses. It was recommended to him to stay at the
Tiergarten Hotel, which he did for a few weeks. Tehlirian then visited his
friend from Paris, Mr. Eftian, who is present here as a witness. He met
Mr. Eftian’s sister, Mrs. Terzibashian and her husband Mr. Ter-
zibashian, the tobacconist. They looked for a room for the defendant
and introduced him to Mr. Apelian who lived on Augsburgerstrasse.
Apelian was happy to see that a countryman of his was renting a room in
the same building and because the defendant did not speak German,
Apelian assumed the responsibility of helping him. Mrs. Stellbaum, Mr.
Apelian’s landlady, rented a room to Tehlirian until the month of May.
The defendant moved in and lived a normal life, like any young man.
	He concentrated on studying German and eventually began to meet
other Armenians. He seemed to be preoccupied and grieved; so his
friends tried to amuse him and, at the same time, provide him with a
suitable opportunity to learn German. The three of them then began to
take dancing lessons. Tehlirian did not wish to meet any girls; on the con-
trary, you heard testimony about how naively and simply he spoke with
women, apparently to practice German, even then showing a certain
	Other than this, during his free time, he preoccupied himself with
music. He played the mandolin and sang sad Armenian songs. In other
words, there is no hint of his having had any other purpose than to im-
prove his German in order to be able to pursue college-level studies. His
teachet+ has already been cross-examined here. According to her,
Tehlirian seemed to be an extremely diligent and somewhat timid young
man. During the last few lessons, however, he began to lose control and
could not concentrate on his studies. He had gone to Professor Cassirer,
a psychiatrist, because he was having relapses of epileptic attacks. The
professor had prescribed medication which had a soporific effect on him.
Nevertheless, he continued his studies until February 26th, after which he
studied on his own from a German book every morning. In short he
steadfastly pursued his goal of obtaining a higher education in Germany.
	It is interesting to note, as was stated by all witnesses, that he was ex-
tremely taciturn and reserved when it came to expressing his deepest per-
sonal sufferings. Whoever has suffered a really deep tragedy invariably
does not talk about it with pleasure. Thus, Tehlirian hardly ever spoke
about the tragedy to Apelian or Terzibashian. Whenever he was obliged
to speak about it, as, for example, with Professor Cassirer, he would on-
ly touch upon the subject. He had also mentioned it another time to his
teacher when they came across the word “birthplace” in a translation ex-
ercise, whereupon the defendant said, “I no longer have a birthplace. My
whole family was wiped out.” As a rule, however, he would speak freely
on the subject only to his one female friend, Mrs. Terzibashian, who had
lived through the same horrors and fully understood him.
	Thus you see a certain ever-present reserve. Once, when he saw Dr.
Lepsius’ book in Apelian’s hands, he grabbed it from him, saying,
“Leave old wounds alone. Let’s go out.”
	Gentlemen of the jury, you do not see before you a man who has tried
to cling to the memory of those horrors. On the contrary, he has tried to
escape them by speaking as little as possible about such matters. As a
result, he has suffered, of course, twice as much internally.
	During this period, an incident occurred which pierced the tranquility
like a bolt of lightning. This was the defendant’s encounter with three
Turkish-speaking individuals on Hardenbergstrasse. Two of them called
the third, who was walking between them, “Pasha.” Tehlirian’s atten-
tion was drawn to this individual; he looked at him more closely. He
compared him to the picture he had seen of him and came to the conclu-
sion that this must be Talaat Pasha. He saw one of the two other
gentlemen enter the house at No. 4 HardenbergstrasSe with Talaat
Pasha, while the third reverentially took leave of them. Tehlirian con-
cluded that Talaat lived there. This happened in the middle of January of
this year.
	It is interesting to note that Tehlirian did flat speak to anyone about
this incident. He did not want to become emotionally agitated and did
not feel the need to speak to anyone on the subject.
	This encounter did not make him decide to kill Talaat. That is why he
did not do anything further. The deep feelings he experienced then pass-
ed. He remained calm, and thoughts of vengeance did not occur to him.
	He carried on as before until five to six weeks later, when he saw a
dream, materially almost like a vision. His mother’s corpse arose before
him. He told her, “I saw Talaat.” His mother answered, “You saw
Talaat and you did not avenge your mother’s, father’s, brothers’, and
sisters’ murders? You are no longer my son.”
	This is the moment when the defendant thought, “I have to do
something. I want to be my mother’s son again. She cannot turn me
away when I go to be with her in heaven. I want her to clasp me to her
bosom like before.” As the doctors explained, the dream ended when he
woke up.
	It is quite evident that such visions play an altogether different role in
the lives of spirited Easterners than they do in the lives of us Westerners,
who look upon such things from a philosophical and medical point of
view. I remind you of the passage from the Holy Bible which reads:
“And the angel appeared to him in his dream.” A similar apparition or
corporeal vision is what had the decisive effect on Tehlirian. The very
next morning he goes to work without mentioning a thing to his coun-
tryman Apelian. He finds the President of the Armenian Students’
Association, who speaks fluent German, and with his help goes to Mar-
denbergstrasse deliberately, not, as the District Attorney put it, because
he was “drawn like a magnet” — to rent a room from which he can keep
an eye on Talaat. He finds such a room on the ground floor of 37 Har-
	In this connection, we also have to consider his illness which
necessitated his procuring a sunlit room with electricity rather than gas.
Since the room at 37 Hardenbergstrasse satisfied all these conditions, he
rented it on March 3rd, the day after he had the vision of his mother. But
since the apartment would not be vacated until March 5th, the defendant
was obliged to stay for the intervening two- to three-day period in his old
room. Thus, after renting the new apartment, the defendant went to
Apelian and told him, “Listen, on Saturday, I am moving to my new
apartment.” He sacrificed the one month’s rent which he had paid in ad-
vance for his old apartment. He made that sacrifice in order to obtain a
new apartment. His thoughts were, “I have decided to kill Talaat, so I
have to be near him.” At that moment, the defendant wanted to kill
	Here I differ substantially from the District Attorney with regard to
the following. You heard the Presiding Justice repeat a question to the
defendant after the latter said something. The defendant did not unders-
tand the question the first time. Tehlirian replied, saying that after he
had already moved into his new apartment, it occurred to him that he
was a Christian — incidentally, the Armenians are among the earliest
Christian peoples — and that there existed a commandment against kill-
ing. Having realized this, he became totally disinclined to commit a
violent act and he abandoned the decision reached a little earlier. He then
had the doubt which he described so eloquently: “When I felt ill and pic-
tured the terrible massacres, I would resolve to kill Talaat. But when I
felt better and was able to control my emotions, it was clear to me that I
must not kill him.” All the doctors agreed that there was nothing incred-
ulous in what the defendant said. They said, “It was difficult to get
anything out of this man.” We, the three defense attorneys, can confirm
that. When he is unable to say something with a clear conscience, he wilt
not say it. It is very difficult to penetrate his inner self and obtain infor-
mation, especially information favorable to him. Therefore, one should
believe whatever he says.
	There are, however, external circumstances which corroborate
Tehlirian’s testimony that when he moved into the new apartment, he no
longer held to his original notion of killing Talaat. All the time he was
there he did nothing in that direction. For example, he never asked the
guard at which times Talaat used to leave the house. He did not even in-
quire if Talaat actually lived in the house. In short, Tehlirian continued
to live and work at an ordinary pace — he improved his German, he
played his musical instrument. The medication prescribed by Professor
Cassirer had weakened him, so he was obliged to discontinue his classes.
He called his instructress telling her that he hoped to resume his lessons
within a few days. During that initial ten-day period, one cannot speak
of any preparatory work against Talaat.
	We now come to the day in question, March 5th. his landlady testified
that, on the same morning, he drank his tea with a little more cognac
than usual. The bottle of cognac had been purchased the day before. The
amount in it on March 5th should be taken into consideration. The maid
testified that one-fourth or one-third of the bottle had been drunk and
not one-third of a liter. This, as was finally determined, is true. The
testimony of the expert witness Dr. Stdrmer that the defendant had been
drinking in order to get up courage is totally in error. He drank cognac
with his tea because he had an upset stomach. He poured the cognac into
a shot glass to measure the proper amount and then mixed it with his tea.
He was only taking care of his health.
	The idea that the defendant was drinking cognac at nine o’clock the
same morning to get up courage does not stand up under scrutiny. Real-
ly, how could Tehlirian know that Talaat would appear on the balcony
and then go into the street that morning, when he had not seen Talaat for
the past ten days? How could he foresee that? No connection can be
established here.
	Welt then, at eleven o’clock, Tehlirian saw Talaat standing in the
sunlight on the balcony. He too opened his window. He walked back and
forth across the room reading and translating from his German text-
book. At that instant, seeing what appeared to be a happy man calmly
enjoying the sun’s rays on the balcony, the blood surely rushed to his
head. But even then, Tehlirian rejected the notion of killing Talaat.
	Talaat went back to his room from the balcony and, for all practical
purposes, the matter was over for the day.
	But then, all of a sudden, a quarter of an hour later, Talaat left his
house. Tehlirian was standing at the window and saw him leave. All the
horrors of the massacres came over him. He recalled his parents, rushed
over to his trunk, took out his revolver, threw on his coat, grabbed his
hat, rushed down to the street, darted toward Talaat, and fired.
	As to whether he fired from the front or the back, that does not con-
cern me.
	Gentlemen, according to the District Attorney, all this proves
premeditation. In my opinion, at that instant, an emotional storm over-
came that man.
	Subsequently, he did not throw away his revolver, as the District At-
torney stated, like a man who does not want to look at all suspicious;
rather, he let the revolver drop from his hand, like a man who says,
“Now I have paid my debt.” Naturally, he fled to get away from the
passersby but was quickly apprehended.
	Five seconds after the incident, Tehlirian said, “This does not concern
the Germans. He is a foreigner and lam a foreigner.” He repeated this. I
am not inclined to find anything premeditated in this entire occurrence.
	Gentlemen, this is the incident. This is what happened prior to the inci-
dent. This is the man. Now, I in turn shall give my legal opinion on the
question, “How is the act to be judged?”
	I want to put aside, for the time being, the principal question: “Is he
responsible for his act or not?” Then naturally, I have to ask the next
logical question: “Was the incident committed with premeditation?”
Certainly there is no question that the act was committed knowingly.
	Gentlemen, there is a point which the District Attorney did not suffi-
ciently emphasize. Briefly, the wording used by the District Attorney —
“He who willingly kills . .“ — is not correct. The proper legal question
to ask is, “Did the defendant commit the homicide with premeditation?”
	The highest court of this country — as the Presiding Justice will cer-
tainly tell you later on, when he gives instructions to the jury — has
rendered a decision, discussed in the eighth volume, wherein it is very
clearly pointed out that there is a distinct difference between our present
law and its predecessor, Prussian Law. Under Prussian Law, the perti-
nent question was whether the decision to commit a crime came about as
a result of deliberation.
	Thus, under this prior law, when the decision to commit a crime was
reached fourteen days before the crime was committed, then, without
any qualification, it was considered a premeditated crime.
	This is not the case today. In fact, the present law is exactly the op-
posite of the previous law. The highest court categorically considers the
time of the commission of the crime to be decisive.
	Therefore, it is not important to know when the decision to commit a
crime was reached. To judge whether there was premeditation, all we
have to weigh and determine is whether, at the time of the commission of
the act, there was premeditation or whether the defendant was acting out
of passion and under the influence of strong emotional and mental
	I do not want even to attempt to answer this. In my opinion, the
answer lies in the very essence of the act. I do, however, want to em-
phasize that the highest court of this land has very explicitly explained
the difference between deliberation and emotion (v. 42, p. 261).
	Gentlemen, in all good conscience, I was obliged to discuss the matter
of premeditation. Yet, I am opposed to the idea to a certain extent
because we, the defense attorneys, shall ask you, with a clear conscience
and strong conviction, to give a negative reply to the question: “Is the
defendant guilty of committing the act of homicide?”
	You know — and the Presiding Justice will tell you — that the first
question starts with the following words: “Is he guilty of . .
Separate questions wilt not be put to you as to whether he committed the
act while deranged, etc. The emphasis is on the word “guilty.” Your
answer to the question of “guilt” will also be your answer to the question
of whether the defendant was responsible for his actions at the time he
committed the act.
	We heard a whole series of opinions from the psychiatrists with regard
to the question of ‘‘responsibility.”
	The disruption in the normal functioning of one’s emotions is discuss-
ed in the law in terms of the absence of free will. Really, gentlemen, it
was extremely interesting to see how the psychiatrists developed their
theories before our very eyes, with the noticeable exception of Dr.
Stormer, the private consultant to the Court who, prior to coming to
testify, had already come to a final conclusion and put it in writing.
Apart from him, all the others were facing the question for the first time
in Court and were even debating with themselves. You certainly must
have had the same impression.
	Dr. Stormer, our very experienced court doctor, but nevertheless not a
psychiatrist, had come to the conclusion that what we had here was a
case of simple physical epilepsy. He based his testimony on this Convic-
	You all know that epilepsy, to a limited degree, affects emotional
stability. And yet Dr. Stormer asks the following question: “Is this the
type of epilepsy that affects emotional stability to the extent that free will
is completely lost?” His answer is as follows: “Free will is diminished
but not completely lost.”
	Subsequently, Professor Leipmann expertly presented a different
point of view; namely, that the epilepsy in this case is not physical. The
epilepsy did not result in the malfunctioning of the central muscular
system and was not a disease of individual nerves. Rather, it was the
result of a strong psychic impression which caused the present condition
similar to physical epilepsy.
	To a certain extent, the impressions left on him by prior incidents,
especially the one when he returned to his family’s home, made the
defendant physically ill. Professor Liepmann states that the defendant
was, to an extent, enslaved by this image, his memories, and whatever
emanated from those memories. He was further bound by the ap-
pearance of his mother and the instructions she gave him.
	Professor Liepmann states that Tehlirian lived under constant
pressure. He would feel sick whenever the mental images in his memory
were revived and the stench of the corpses became real to him. In addi-
tion he was under great pressure, a very compelling force. He was an
emotionally sick person with a minimal sense of responsibility.
	But this elderly, cautious doctor comes to the conclusion that there
was not a total lack of free will. “At the least,” he says, “at the least,
speaking for myself, I have to say that I cannot come to any other con-
	Therefore, as a doctor, he is obliged to take positive factors into ac-
count. He cannot say, “I take into account extremely unlikely
possibilities. He has to have positive medical proof on which to base his
diagnosis. Thus, as a psychiatrist, he cannot come to any other conclu-
sion. However, in a cautious manner he adds: “On my part, I cannot
conclude differently; however, there is only a hair’s breadth separating
the defendant’s condition from the total lack of free will.”
	Professor Cassirer, in essence, Caine to the same conclusion.
	The remaining psychiatrists also rejected Dr. Stormer’s view that ill
this case we are dealing with epilepsy, and that the epilepsy had an effect
on the defendant’s emotional stability. They all came to the conclusion
that emotion, emotional turbulence, was the root cause of his conditiOn.
Professor Cassirer spoke about a “delusive distortion of reality.” He
pointed out that every time the defendant feels sick, he relives his
memories with increasing intensity; he concluded that, as a result, there
is a basic factor of illness which comes close to bringing Article 51 in play
	With this in mind, the whole responsibility falls on your shoulders and
rightfully so. Gentlemen, I can generally state to you that the role of ex-
pert medical witnesses and, for that matter, of all expert witnesses, is on-
ly to provide assistance to the judge. They help us come to a decision but
it is the judge who has the last word.
	Nevertheless, we have progressed another step. Another High Court,
the Military Tribunal, has rendered two very interesting decisions concer-
fling this matter. In the fourteenth volume of their decisions, the follow-
ing is stated:

With reference to Article 51 of the Penal Code, the role of
medical expert witnesses ends when they have presented and
analyzed their opinions as far as they concern mental illness. It
is not for them to decide whether, because of the mental illness,
there is a lack of free will or, which amounts to the same thing,
whether the defendant is responsible for his actions and should
or should not be convicted. The decision on this matter is the
sole responsibility of the court.

	A decision in the same vein can be found in the seventeenth volume,
which states:

The medical expert witnesses will make investigations to find
out whether the mental condition of the defendant at the time
of the commission of the act was disturbed or not. Whether or
not the defendant was responsible for his actions is a legal ques-
tion and it is for the judge to decide.

	But really we do not have to come to any such decisions because, as I
have already mentioned, you are basically free to make up your own
minds. Even where mental illness is concerned, we are not at all bound by
the opinion of the expert witnesses.
	On the question of free will, which is an issue in this case, we have a
new twist, in that the expert medical witnesses cannot provide us with an
answer. Professor Forster pointed out that medical science generally
does not recognize the existence of free will.
	The question of free will, as is well known, is one of those which has
been debated the most, not only by philosophers but by theologians as
welt. Naturally our penal code does not admit any reference to this mat-
ter, concerning which it is impossible to conduct any experiments. The
concept of free will is accepted as a fundamental principle of that code
based upon the observation of practical everyday life. The law makes the
assumption — and it must do so for the stability of society — that a
mature and mentally sound individual should have enough will power to
resist the impulse to commit an act that is punishable according to our
jurisprudence and that he should act according to a general concept of
right and wrong.
	I now turn to the matter I had referred to earlier and asked you to
bear in mind. Professor Forster, having given his personal opinion and
having gone farther than the others, said, “In any event, there is the ex-
isting of essential doubt.” I strongly emphasize that the highest court in
our nation has stated in numerous decisions what is self-explanatory,
that the issue can never be presented as follows: “Might there possibly
have been such a disturbance inhibiting the free exercise of will power?”
Rather, one should come to an affirmative answer from the opposite
direction; namely, “that the individual is completely responsible for his
	Even the slightest doubt as to whether free will really existed at the
time of the commission of the homicide should be sufficient to justify a
verdict of “not guilty.” If the reasons for the verdict were demanded,
it would not be sufficient to make the negative assertion that cir-
cumstances had not been brought out that would cast doubt on the ex-
istence of free will. Thus, it would be absolutely necessary to prove the
opposite; namely, “This man was responsible for his actions.”

	It would seem to me, gentlemen, that the Highest Court has given us
direction concerning another essential issue as well: When is there lack of
free will? Such direction has been given very clearly, more precisely than
the physicians have indicated, since the medical profession does not
generally recognize the existence of free will.
	I quote, word for word, one of the decisions of the Highest Court:
“There is lack of free will when, as a result of derangement from illness,
certain after-images or sensations of foreign influences prevail upon the
free will so strongly that a rational, prudent decision becomes impossible
to make. Therefore, only when the totality of mental forces, the entire
ego, is the author of the decision to commit an act is it possible to find
the ego responsible for the act, in terms of that totality.”
	Again, “Where a compulsive precept is the totally dominant force on
an individual such that it is solely responsible for the act, while other in-
fluences remain in the background, then it is not the whole ego that is
directing the action but a diseased portion of it.”
	Assuming that you agree with this point of view, tell me, can you
categorically insist that the defendant, the moment he saw Talaat leave
the house and the moment he made his decision, took the revolver from
the trunk, darted out to the street, and attacked him, can you insist that
at that moment he was perfectly capable of controlling his psychic drives
to render a decision, or was it merely images of his deceased mother and
the memories of his persecuted people churning in his mind that were
responsible for putting the revolver in his hand? I consider it out of the
question to categorically insist on the opposite view.
	The physicians leave you in a difficult situation. They leave you with
the responsibility of giving an answer. Two of the physicians stated:
“No, it is not possible to state precisely that he was responsible for his
	I believe what I have stated is sufficient for you to decide the path you
have to follow, faced with this infinitely difficult problem.
	Ordinarily, I know that it is possible to state the following: Here we
have a regrettable and tragic incident; an individual is a guest in our
country, Germany, and lo and behold, he is killed.
	In the present times, there is fighting going on in every corner of the
world. The fighting between the Turks and the Armenians continues to
this day, with blood flowing everywhere. The District Attorney has
already mentioned this point. Under these circumstances, it is easier to
accept the act that took place in Germany.
	Every person should be of the conviction that during Talaat’s govern-
ment a sea of blood was spilled, that of at least ore million Armenians —
children, women, the elderly, healthy and brave males. If, on Harden-
bergstrasse, one more drop of blood was added, we have to console
ourselves by saying that it is our destiny to live in these awesome times.
	I am far from making a final judgment on the man — Talaat. I have
already stated what was possible to state objectively. However, I do want
to add one other thing. Certainly, Talaat, like his friends, yearned for the
extermination of the Armenian people in order to establish a solely Turk-
ish Empire. Of course, in order to achieve this end, he used means which
seem intolerable to us Europeans. Perhaps it is unfair to say that in Asia
where human life has a lesser value, such atrocities are comprehensible.
	Is it not, after all, in Asia that we find representatives of different
world views and where, first and foremost, the Buddhists, with special
love, spare human and even animal life? But, nevertheless, I would per-
sonally not hold Talaat responsible, because I have to take into account a
higher point of view. This is a theory expounded by two prominent
Frenchmen, Gustave Lebon and Henri Barbusse, on the atrocities of the
World War.
	The theory is as follows: Behind the individual perpetrators are certain
spirits or demons which push them on. They implement concepts which
might be just or unjust as well as mass impulses which move people
around as if they were pawns. Those perpetrators feel that they are tak-
ing these actions according to their own volition but, in reality, they are
doing so under pressure.
	No matter how extreme the action might be, as is the case here, we
must not be narrow-minded and place the responsibility on one unfor-
tunate individual.
	A really horrible fate has befallen us and a small part of that fate is the
incident that took place on Hardenbergstrasse. But it would be far more
atrocious if a German court worsened that fate by using our calm and
deliberate judicial process against this man who has already been sub-
jected to unparalleled sufferings.
	It is my hope, gentlemen of the jury, that his concept will be deeply im-
planted in your hearts, to help you come to the infinitely difficult deci-
sion, which is now left to your conscience.
	Our job as defense attorneys is a modest one, that of a tnidwife, to
help you in the formulation of your decision.
Defense Attorney Johannes Werthauer (privy legal counselor,

	Gentlemen of the jury, you will be given instructions wherein you will
find the question pertaining to the homicide. Will your answer be “Yes”
or ‘No?’’ That is the point to be decided on here.
	Since I am confident that your answer to the question of premeditation
will be in the negative, I consider it unnecessary to speak further on this.
Thus I shall only address the question pertaining to the homicide.
	The way the question is worded provides the basis for a negative
answer. The question does not ask whether or not the defendant killed
Talaat Pasha; rather, it asks whether the defendant is guilty of killing
Talaat Pasha. This difference is paramount; when you retire to the jury
chamber and when you return from there, that should be apparent in
your answer. The difference should be foremost in your mind during
each stage of your deliberation. That corresponds with German law.
	The German law pertaining to this particular point is an old law. It was
formulated more than fifty years ago, but it is still good law. If any
criticism is made of criminal trials in Germany, it is not a criticism of the
law which, in itself, is good, but of its application.
	I do not think there is any need to change that law and, in my opinion,
the changes the District Attorney mentioned will not improve the ap-
plication of our laws in the final analysis. The present law is adequate if
everyone will just perform his duty.
	There is a general consensus that the defendant will be set free. The
difficulty is that some of you might think as follows: the defendant has
killed someone; does not the law demand that he be sentenced for his
act? We are judges of German law. We have sworn to see to it that justice
prevails. Therefore, according to the law, we must not set murderers
	I will tell you that such a conclusion would be wrong and I say that
from the point of view of the law itself.
	According to our German law, the defendant has to be set free. This is
the consensus and, incidentally, this is what the law demands in this case.
It remains for me to explain this to you in simple terms.
	The defense has no intention of obtaining an unfair decision and thus
tarnishing German justice, of which you, as well as we, are represen-
	The whole world is watching us, and the decision that you wilt render
will be such that perhaps thousands of years from now it will still be
regarded as a wise and just decision.
	Therefore, even the function of the defense counsel has to give way
before the responsibility to humanity, which is not to confuse you so that
you can render a just decision.
	But when you have an inner conviction that the defendant should be
set free and when the lawyer is here to tell you that this feeling is in com-
plete compliance with even the strictest interpretation of the law, then I
as defense attorney have the obligation to explain these things to you in
order to eliminate the apparent difficulties before you.
	I already mentioned that the jury instructions ask: “Is the defendant
guilty?,” and I repeat that involved in the word “guilty” is a whole set of
circumstances that run the whole gamut of the penal code.
	Our penal code has both general and specific sections. The latter per-
tain to types of crimes: homicide, fraud, larceny, etc. An article in this
section states: ~‘He who intentionally kills a human being . . is to be
found guilty of homicide.” But there is a general provision of the law
which occurs before the specific section dealing with separate crimes and
which applies to all items in the specific section; therefore it is not
repeated each time.
	The second article of that general section states that no one can be
punished for a crime when no punishment has previously been
designated for such a crime. The punishment for designated separate of-
fenses appears in both the general and the specific sections. The general
section contains only a few articles essential to our purposes today and,
as you have already learned from the discussions, they constitute the
separate and debatable points which are subject to your consideration.
	Article 51 of the general section specifies that, under certain cir-
cumstances, there is no punishable action, even if an individual has com-
mitted one or another of the offenses enumerated under the specific sec-
tion of the law, such as larceny, murder, etc. That is the article that per-
tains to the mental condition of the author of the crime.
	Two articles later occurs another article that explains imperative self-
defense. Imperative self-defense we understand to mean defending
oneself against an attack. However, the third paragraph of that article
goes on to explain that, even if there is an absence of the circumstances
for imperative self-defense, yet because of the experiences of terror and
panic suffered by the defendant, he might have crossed into the realm
delimited by the concept of self-defense. Under these circumstances, he
should also be set free.
	Later on, I will come back to these two articles, as they are the only
ones which will bear directly on your decision.
	As was already pointed out, the first sentence of Article 51 states that
no punishable crime has been committed if the author of an act was in an
unconscious state during its commission, or, as the second sentence of
the same article adds, if he committed the act at a time of mental turmoil.
	Therefore, in the same article we have two different concepts fused —
a serious loss of consciousness and impairment of one’s mental capacity.
Certainly, there are instances when both factors are present. That is pro-
bable in our case. What I mean to say is that the two factors mentioned
in Article 51 are so clearly evident in the present case that the defendant
can justifiably be set free not just on one, but on two grounds.
	As was already mentioned, doubts can arise concerning such matters.
To the question: “Has an incident really taken place which is already in
the past and which no one personally saw or experienced?” Each of you
can give an affirmative or a negative answer. But the answer could also
be the following: ‘‘I do not know.~~
	For example, if one asked whether such and such had ever been in-
vented, one could answer: “Yes, Tam certain of it.” Another could em-
phatically state: “There is no such thing.” A third may, in turn, confess:
“I do not know. lam not interested in that sort of thing.” The very same
could apply in our case.
	We should always keep in mind that jurisprudence is not witchcraft,
but rather the application of man’s rational mind. To go beyond this real
boundary is to embark on the wrong path.
	The simpler and clearer our approach to the case, the easier it will be to
come to a decision. This young man’s act took place on March 15, 1921.
Does Article 51 come into play in this case? Was there a lack of con-
sciousness or was there an impairment of his mental faculties at the time?
	The defendant has already testified. So have the witnesses. The expert
witnesses have already expressed their opinions. You have heard
everything of significance that pertains to this case. You now have to
make your decision.
	It is possible that you will say: “The defendant was totally sane.” It is
also possible that some of you might say: “He was not sane. His mind
was deranged.” But it is also possible that some of you may conclude:
“We do not know. That remains doubtful in our mind.”
	A decision of our High Court concerning a similar case was already
cited here. The High Court, of course, renders correct as well as incorrect
decisions. But if one of its decisions is correct in its essence, then it would
be possible to include that decision here not because the High Court is an
authority — generally speaking, in the realm of law there are no other
authorities beyond the authority of that which is right. However, if a
decision rendered by the High Court is correct and if our rational human
judgment tells us that it is so and that the decision is objectively correct,
then we can utilize such a decision as a basic condition, without any
	The decision of the High Court is as follows:

If the absence of responsibility has definitely been accepted as a
foundation that would abrogate any punishment, then, accor-
ding to Article 266 of our Code of Penal Proceedings, it would
not be sufficient to make a determination that the act was done
intentionally, without giving an explicative argument. Thus it
would be essential to determine that none of the conditions
specified in Article 51 applied to the author of the act.
It is not enough to determine that the litigation has not provid-
ed us with any basis to admit a condition of irresponsibility. On
the contrary, however, it has to be positively determined that
the author of the crime, during the commission of the act, did
not fall under the categories of Article 51.
Therefore it would be necessary to establish positively that the
disturbing influence did not exist at the time the crime was com-
mitted. But if there is any doubt whatsoever that such in-
fluences might have existed, then the defendant must be set

That is the direction given to us by the High Court, to which no serious
challenges have been made as of yet, because the decision is truly in ac-
cordance with sound human judgment.
	Therefore, on the basis of this litigation, if you should have no doubts
that on March 15, 1921 at 11:00 o’clock, when the defendant fired the
bullet he was totally in possession of his free will — that he did not lack
free will as a result of impairment of his consciousness or deranged men-
tal capacity — then you will have to say: “We do not have any doubts.”
But if you should have any doubts at all on that score, then you have to
set the defendant free.
	If there are some among you who feel “It is absolutely certain that the
defendant must not have been in complete control of his mental
capacity” and if others among you feel “We have doubts whether or not
he was in control of his essential mental capacity,” then you are both of
the same mind and that will be sufficient to have the defendant acquit-
	An affirmative answer can be given only by those of you who have no
difficulty in stating: “We declare that, at the time of the commission of
the act he was in complete control of his mental capacity, as stated in
Article 51. His free will was in no way interfered with, either by serious
impairment to his mental capacity or because he was in an unconscious
	With your permission and in order to facilitate your decision-making
process, I would like to fill certain gaps in the expert medical witnesses’
	It is important to analyze the psychological feelings of Tehlirian at the
instant he fired the shot. It is also important, for a few minutes, to ex-
plain to you the very essence of this action, motivated psychologically by
external factors and committed physically by the given person. In other
words, in reality, at what point did unconsciousness and impairment to
his mental capacity set in?
	The expert medical witnesses should have explained to you that, accor-
ding to the theory prevailing at present, the activities depending on the
will stem from the impressions that are present in one’s head. These im-
pressions are transmitted from the cerebrum via paths to the spinal mar-
row, which commands the arm to rise, the eye to see and focus, and the
hand to squeeze. This is the normal function of the brain. But if the nor-
mal functioning of the will is disturbed as a result of any unhealthy
phenomenon, or if consciousness ceases in the cerebrum for an instant,
then, under these circumstances, free will no longer exists. Un-
consciousness and derangement of the mental capacity have eliminated
free will.
	Even though my colleague von Gordon has already read it to you, I
would like again to cite an important passage:
According to Article 51, free will is understood to be the ability
of man to organize his will in a new, singular and perfectly
distinct manner, concisely and finally, on the basis of various
motives constituting the progress of the will and the forms of
impressions or feelings that oppose or assist that progress. In
other words, a ‘‘decision~~ which is the expression of the
authority or reign of one’s entire personality with regard to the
particular aspect of progress of the spirit.
That capacity must not be simply limited or diminished, but
totally missing, because it is not possible to subject separate
emotions, accentuated by means of feeling and impressions, to
the authority of the whole and make them the general will of’
the Ego without difficulty.
Self-determination is tacking in the absence of the capacity to
concentrate all the energies of the spirit so as to embrace
separate motives and to mold them creatively into a singular
volition with a new content. Nevertheless, a decision of the will
is not made simply by virtue of the fact that the Ego governs the
different motives and unites them; rather one or another of the
motives becomes dominant and a decision is produced which
controls the Ego.
The technique of shaping the will here is, of course, the same as
it is in the process of self-determination except for one dif-
ference, i.e., no longer is the Ego, as the total of all the mental
abilities, in control nor does it determine the will. Rather, one
of the separate elements of the will constitutes the deciding fac-
Free will is lacking if, as a result of pathological impairment,
certain impressiofls or feelings exert such strong control over
the will that a free, rational determination of the will becomes
impossible. Only if the entirety of mental abilities, the whole
Ego, is the maker of the decision, is it possible to attribute the
act stemming from that decision to the Ego.
	With this quotation, I have revived one of the most difficult legal and
medical issues. However, I am convinced that it is possible to go over this
issue in such a way that anyone with a healthy judgment will understand
and agree with the reasoning involved.
	You saw that our jurisprudence is entirely in accord with the finding
that if, in the cortex or in the central nervous system, there is some part
which has become diseased or there are senseless alien images in the cor-
tex which adversely influence the normal process of the operation of the
will power, then that individual no longer can exercise his free will. In
that case, there are pressing images which, to a certain extent, absolve the
accused of responsibility for his actions.
	After these legal explanations, you will be able, quite straightforward-
ly, to make an assessment of the present case.
	Let me add something that has been so often repeated that it’s part of
our daily language: “He is having dizzy spells.” What this means is that,
at a particular moment, an individual’s free consciouness is disturbed. In
that condition, a man will do something which he would not otherwise.
	Allow me to remind you of another decision of our 141gb Court. A
man with a contrary disposition goes to church. The priest gives a ser-
mon which runs counter to the convictions of the individual. He listens
more and more intently and finally he becomes irritated to the point
where, unable to control himself any longer, he shouts out, “Be quiet!
What you are saying is a lie.” That individual is taken to court for having
disrupted the sermon. However, he is set free because, as a result of what
the priest was saying, his consciousness had been disturbed and the blood
had gushed to his brain in such a way that at that particular moment he
was no longer in control of his wilt power.
	Now, all that has been stated during the trial concerning the defendant
can be reduced to a few essential points. It can serve as the fulcrum for
your decision as to whether he was in control of his free will on March
15th at 11:00 o’clock.
	The disagreement among the expert witnesses does not concern you,
because your decision must be based on your own conclusions and not
those of the various physicians.
	If you wish to make an objective judgment on the disposition of the
defendant’s Will and his inner feelings at the time of the act, then you
should consider the fact that he belongs to a Southern race. The
Southern races, as is evident, are more easily excitable than the unemo-
tional ones of the North. Besides that, you should also take into con-
sideration what the District Attorney has already mentioned, that
Armenia has a bloody history.
	It is well known that wherever the Turks have set foot, they have car-
ried a bloody flag with them. In 1683 the Turks even reached the gates of
Vienna. If they had come to Germany, there would not be much left in
this country either. There is a history of bloodshed among these South-
ern peoples, not only in the case of the Turks but also in that of the
	Then you heard that the defendant had suffered from typhoid. You
know that if someone has contracted typhoid or malaria, often such a
person cannot be considered normal for several years.
	We also heard that the defendant drank more cognac than was
customary for him on account of a stomach ailment or for some other
reason. Consequently, in this regard too, his mental balance was not
completely normal.
	Objectively it can be added, as was stated in this courtroom, that at the
time of the incident the Armemans and the Turks were in an officially
declared state of war. Whenever these two nations encountered one
another, they confronted each other as enemies and, to a certain degree,
looked upon it as their right to treat each other as warring parties. When
the defendant said, “He is a foreigner. I am a foreigner. This does not
concern Germany, he should have merely added the following: “We
are in a state of war with one another.~~
	You also heard that a sentence of death had been brought against
Talaat. A decision of a court is either recognized or not recognized. If we
do not wish to recognize a decision of another court, then we can not de-
mand that other courts recognize our decisions. The decision of the death
penalty for Talaat was rendered by a court-martial. I am personally op-
posed to military tribunals and court-martials. It is my personal feeling
that if a proper court is convened, then it is no longer necessary to have
special courts set up. Nevertheless, wherever we have military tribunals
and court-martials, we undoubtedly also have honest judges who render
just decisions. I do not have the slightest doubt that those high-level and
educated judges, who meticulously examined and tried the criminals of
Constantinople, rendered just decisions.
Moreover, it is certainly inexcusable to state that the decision was
rendered under pressure from British warships. I have never heard of
British judges being influenced in such a manner. One can speak either
for or against the British, but we must not forget that British justice has
served as an example to be followed for all time and in numerous coun-
tries. Therefore, it would be erroneous to state that the court-martial in
Constantinople rendered its decision under pressure from British war-
It would be more correct to examine the basis of that decision. It
would then be quite evident that, as one of the witnesses here proved, the
charge concerning the massacre of the Armenians and the four other
charges were brought forth and, on the basis of these five points, the
defendants were convicted and given the death penalty.
One of these defendants was in Constantinople at the time of the trial.
Lie was apprehended and executed. I am as opposed to the death penalty
as I am opposed to murder. And I do not believe the problem of murder
wilt be solved as long as we have the death penalty. I am of the general
opinion that killing should not be permitted under any circumstances.
	Subsequent to that trial, Talaat was forced to escape and hide under an
assumed name so that the death penalty handed down against him would
not be executed.
	I have no doubt as to the justness of the decision. That decision holds
Talaat responsible for his misdeeds. But that decision also has an effect
on the Armenians. Even a reasonable Armenian will say to himself:
“This man has been condemned to death. Therefore, he is the author of
the crime and deserves the death penalty.”
	Then, we also have to consider the concept of self-defense. Those in-
dividuals, Enver and Talaat, lived in Germany under assumed names. It
was stated in this court that they were the “guests” of Germany. I shall
categorically reject that statement. I do not believe that the German
government would allow such criminals who have fled from and aban-
doned their country to be “guests,” to hide here under assumed names.
	Is it not true that one of those individuals just recently fled from Ger-
many too? According to the papers, Enver has again gone to Russia to
forge new projects with the Bolsheviks, one of whose aims is to wage war
against the Armenians and annihilate them. If Talaat, as he of course
wished, had followed Enver, most probably new atrocities would be
committed against the Armenians within a few weeks.
	If an individual, as a liberator of his people, kills a man who engages
in dangerous and criminal activity against that people, certainly this is
how he would reflect on it: “This man is an enemy to the Armenian peo-
ple. If he leaves Germany and, like Enver, joins the Bolsheviks, our
women and children shall be massacred again.” In this sense, we find
that the concept of imperative self-defense is relevant to the defendant’s
act. Though unacceptable in terms of our jurisprudence, nevertheless the
concept of imperative self-defense exists here in the broad sense of the
word. In any event, the defendant certainly felt fear upon confronting
Talaat again.
	Having explained this objectively, let us now examine the testimony of
the expert witnesses. You heard the debate among the expert witnesses on
the question of epilepsy. The expert witnesses are assistants to the judge;
they should state only that which, based on their expertise, can aid in the
pursuit of justice.
	If, as a result of the collapse of a house, an individual is killed, it could
be said that the architect was responsible for the death of the individual.
But I would never leave it up to the expert to determine whether the ar-
chitect was responsible for the individual’s death. That is not his job. He
can only say whether the house was constructed property or improperly.
After all, other factors could be responsible for the collapse of the house.
Similarly, the expert medical witnesses cannot say whether or not Article
51 is applicable in this case, because it is the psychologist who must
answer the question of unconsciousness at the time of the killing and not
the expert medical witness.
	The job of the physician is to explain the causes of disease and not its
influence on the individual. When the matter concerns illness, I have to
ask the physician and then he can tell me all that he knows of his field.
However, he does not have the right to interfere in the realm of the jurist.
Does Article 51 come into play in this case? This is a question which, in
my opinion, does not concern the expert medical witness at all.
	I have to confess that, for practical reasons, we, the defense attorneys,
often ask the physicians during judicial proceedings whether their opi-
nion pertains only to the defendant’s illness or to the influence that the
illness has had on his will as well. In this connection, they are often asked
whether or not Article 51 is applicable.
	I personally would never ask the latter question. If the Minister of
Justice, upon assuming his new post, were to ask me what would be his
first act, I would reply: “Prohibit the practice of asking medical experts
whether or not Article 51 must or can be applied in a particular case and
forbid the medical expert to answer that question.” The responsibility of
the physician, given his abundant store of medical knowledge, is to ex-
amine and describe, in the minutest detail, the physical condition of the
individual. He has nothing to say about the question we are deciding
	You heard the expert medical witnesses, with the exception of Dr.
Stdrmer, state that they do not readily discuss that question because
physicians have different views about will, its limitation, etc., than
lawyers. Nevertheless, each of them did give an answer to the question
without taking any responsibility for the judicial answer. Some of them
answered no to the question; others, yes. Only the first witness positively
stated that it was impossible to apply Article 51. I do not wish to demean
Dr. Stdrmer. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for him. But
his opinion is not practical, as I am sure you also noted.
	Dr. Störmer’s diagnosis of epilepsy was wrong. He diagnosed a
physical epilepsy, while all the other physicians and, I think, all of us, do
not doubt that the defendant suffered from psychological epilepsy. The
first expert witness did not completely research the causes of
psychological epilepsy and, as a result, made an inaccurate diagnosis. I
accept that his opinion was carefully and exactly thought out, but that
does not stop me from saying that it is incorrect. One can present a
detailed analysis but arrive at a very wrong conclusion, while another can
give the right diagnosis on the basis of a half-hour examination.
	Dr. Stdrmer’s colleagues explained why his opinion was incorrect, do-
ing so in a most proper fashion. These expert witnesses tell us that the
defendant suffered from psychological epilepsy; that is as a result of
psychological disturbances, he suffered physically from epileptic attacks.
	It was already stressed quite precisely that we do not know whether the
defendant suffered from an epileptic attack the night before the killing or
even that very morning. Such attacks can come and go without the pa-
tient knowing whether he has had an attack, and it is only after the attack
that the patient feels weakened or some such thing. In answer to my
question “Can you state whether or not the defendant suffered an attack
the night before the incident?” Dr. Störmer answered plainly, “No, I
cannot determine that. The defendant did not say whether he had an at-
tack. I do not know if he had one or not, but it is possible, of course, that
he could have.
	Therefore, what one of the associate justices wished to add to the
medical testimony is extremely important; namely, that such attacks can
take place without the defendant being aware of them. In that case, the
mental reaction to such an attack can last for a long time, for days even.
Therefore, it is not essential that such an attack have taken place right
before the killing, the night before, or the very morning of the incident.
	We beard about an actor who experienced epileptic attacks. One day
he just did not go to the theater; he left town and disappeared, and no
one knew where he had gone. He was in a condition to buy a train ticket,
travel somewhere, and go to a hotel, yet did not know what was transpir-
ing on account of his epileptic state. He lacked a whole set of mental and
psychic prerequisites for having such knowledge, obviously because of
serious impairment of his consciousness.
	The Associate Justice asked Dr. Stormer: “Do you know perhaps if an
epileptic attack took place prior to the killing or not?” That question
contains the most essential point of the case. And when Dr. Stdrmer
responded by saying, “No, I do not know,” he had fully stated his opi-
nion as far as I am concerned.
	The other expert witnesses looked at the problem in a much broader
tight, not any more diligently but, rather, scientifically.
	In any case, you know that the defendant had received a serious blow
on the head, and that on the morning of the killing, because he was not
feeling well, he drank cognac.
	According to the physicians, the defendant was suffering from psycho-
logical epilepsy and had experienced nervous breakdowns. Such esoteric
explanations, in themselves, cannot impress anyone, but what the physi-
cians wish to convey by them is intrinsically correct.
	The expert witnesses explained that during the 1915 massacre, which
claimed his family among its victims, the defendant regained con-
sciousness after receiving the blow to the head and smelled the stench of
the corpses. Later on, whenever he remembered those incidents, he
always smelled the same stench. This, according to the physicians, was a
sign that the defendant was suffering from inner turmoil, so that
whenever the scenes of the massacre were revived in his memory, he no
longer had control over himself.
	If I am in complete control of myself, I do not get the sensation of
smelling a corpse by smelling an inkstand. But if I know that the ink-
stand was used to kill an individual and if, when smelting the inkstand, I
think I am really smelling a corpse, then I am no longer in control over
my free will.
	As you know, there are such things as “attacks of dizzy spells” and
there are individuals who feel that they are prone to having “dizzy
spells.” When they climb a mountain, they have to hold on to some-
thing, even though they are in no actual danger of falling. In the same
sense, there are certain fantasies which cannot be repelled. For example,
a person looks out a window and constantly thinks he has to jump out.
In that case, it is best for him to close the window and get away from it.
Who can really say that the individual, if he is psychologically disturbed,
will not jump? Psychological impulses cannot be resisted. The expert
witnesses nicely explained this to us; we can take their word for it.
	Now, each one of you is asking himself: “What happened in the
psyche of the defendant? What constraining images took possession of
him?” The defendant himself gave the best explanation — seeing Talaat.
When the defendant came to Berlin, he was not thinking of killing
Talaat. He was not thinking of Talaat even after he had stayed here for a
month. But then, one day, as he was crossing Hardenbergstrasse, he saw
three Turks and noticed how one of them bowed to the other and called
him “Pasha.” Comparing the man in front of him with pictures he had
seen in newspapers, he recognized that the “Pasha” was Talaat. At that
instant, Talaat became for him what is called a “red flag.”
	He saw the same man the morning of the incident. Talaat came to the
street. What images were crossing the defendant’s mind as he picked up
the revolver, went down to the street, and fired the bullet? These were
surely linked with the person of Talaat.
	It was not my intention to bring politics into this courtroom, but I
have to point out that it was the District Attorney who broached the sub-
ject by saying certain things about Talaat. If the District Attorney had
refrained from doing so, then I would not feel obligated to give my own
opinion of Talaat:
	It was mentioned that this was a killing of an “ally” of Germany. That
is not correct. Talaat and his Committee were the allies of our previous
Prussian-German military government. The Young Turks have never
been the allies of the German people. However, because it was stated in
this courtroom that Talaat was the ally of Germany, I cannot let the op-
portunity pass and, indeed, feel it is my personal obligation to stress that
those Young Turks were never the allies of the German people.
	It is true they overthrew the old Turkish government and were in con-
trol of the government for some ten years, at the cost of untold human
lives. It is also true that the previous German government had allied itself
with them. But the German government had also allied itself with Lenin
and Trotsky and had helped them cross over from Germany to Russia to
start a revolution. That same government had asked Haze if he knew of a
few revolutionaries or anarchists in our country whom it would be possi-
ble to instigate to bring about a revolution. But to say that Tataat was an
ally of the German people is totally unacceptable to me under any cir-
	It is possible that Talaat, as an individual, was a decent fellow. But he
was a member of a militarist cabinet. A militarist is a person who is op-
posed to justice. The militarist is not an individual who is a member of
the military by calling. It is possible to be an officer or a soldier, wear a
uniform, use weapons and, at the same time, not be a militarist. The of-
ficer or soldier himself can uphold the principles of right and justice and
perform his duties as a member of the military at the same time. On the
other hand, there are countless militarists who have never put on a
uniform. They sit at a desk, write articles, and fiercely defend the flag of
brute force. The militarist is a man who believes in brute force, not a
man who believes in justice. The latter places justice above everything
else in the world. If he is a believer, right after God comes justice and
next in line for him is man. If he is not a religious person, then man, as a
saint, takes first priority in his eyes.
	The militarist thinks differently. He is a man who believes in force and
justice has meaning for him only to the extent that it is possible to “ac-
commodate” it, as expressed in the common phrase, “to military exigen-
	You will find militarists all over the world. They are not unique to any
one nation or country. They form a caste, a united and homogenous
class, consisting of those who believe in the right of force, as opposed to
the ranks who believe in justice.
	At the present, we ourselves are also suffering frightfully from the
militarists who are bound to a decided influence across the Rhine. Who
knows how much we will endure at the hands of these people who believe
in the use of force? We too have had our share of militarists. We sent cer-
tam persons to Turkey to give the Turks military training, which we had
no business doing. We saw militarists in Russia and now it is the
Bolsheviks, the real militarists, who are running the government.
	We find militarists everywhere. They look like human beings. They
have brains, but the part of their brain that represents justice is missing.
Just as there are well-trained animals that wilt never be able to have
human feelings, so too there are militarists who stand ready to oppose all
nations. They believe in war and force. It is these believers in brute force,
and not the Turkish people, who annihilated the Armenians.
	The order to deport a whole nation is the most monstrous act the
militarist mind could conceive. If, as was emphasized in this courtroom,
the Committee of Young Turks believed that the regular gendarmes were
at the front fighting and that only the irregulars were left as gendarmes,
then it had no right whatsoever to give the order for the mass deporta-
tion. And if, nevertheless, the Committee gave the order and entrusted
the task of deportation to such persons, then it is responsible for the con-
	I would put the matter the other way around. Certainly the gendarmes
were guilty of the crimes they committed on the roads, but they were not
as guilty as the man sitting in Constantinople who charged such untrust-
worthy persons with the responsibility of carrying out the deportation.
	I believe in the idea that the private individual never has the choice of
deciding whether he wants to go to war or not. Once war has been
declared, that individual is obliged to go to war whether he likes it or not.
When the fortunes of war turn against his people and he is taken
prisoner, the enemy must bear in mind that it is not the prisoner who
brought about the war; rather he has acted as the representative of his
people according to his obligation. Every prisoner is a saint because he is
a representative of his people who has been forced to go to war in defense
of his home and his fatherland and now, because of the misfortunes of
war, has been taken prisoner.
	He who swears at a prisoner or raises a hand against him, in my opi-
nion, no longer has a place in the society of decent human beings. In each
prisoner I respect the representative of his people, who has been fighting
for his fatherland and has had the misfortune of becoming a prisoner.
The government of Constantinople should have borne this in mind.
	Even if the Armenians had allied themselves with another country and
even if a misguided leader of the Armenians had joined the Russians and
thus committed treason, nevertheless the Young Turks knew that there
were thousands of innocent women and children who knew nothing of
such occurrences. Furthermore, the first condition of the order for the
mass deportation should have been rigorous arrangement for the care of
women, children, and those men who had nothing to do with their
	If I were not generally opposed to capital punishment, I would con-
sider the death penalty fair under any circumstances for the individual
who, for “military exigencies,” gives an order without shouldering the
responsibilities for its repercussions on the innocent.
	I consider it simply nonsensical when, outside this courtroom, it is said
that the reason for the deportation was that the Armenians had become
allies of the Russians and that “military exigencies” required such ac-
	If you look at a map of the Caucasus and the Ararat region, you will
see vast expanses larger than Germany. An unfortunate people has lived
there for over 2,000 years. South of it, on one side, stretches a vast fertile
plain which has always excited the appetite of conquering nations and,
on the other side, is a horrid desert. Above that area are the mountain
passes which have always been under the control of others. Whoever has
control over these mountain passes also has control over the whole
region. The Armenian peasants who living in this area have been booty
for those invading from either the east or west.
	For over 500 years, Armenia has been divided into three segments.
One race after the other has dashed across Armenia. The same races that
laid waste to Asia proper and Hungary and advanced as far as the Rhine
River — marauders like Attila, who continue to live in our childhood
memories — also invaded Armenia in a most horrid manner to annihilate
its people.
	It was a population consisting largely of artisans and farmers that the
Young Turk government attacked. When we speak of the Young Turk,
we mean the old Turk; the latter means one who believes in brute force, a
	The reasons for the Armenian massacres were not only religious, but
political as well. We have already heard testimony concerning the
political motivations. On August 1, 1914, when the World War broke
out, the members of the Young Turk Committee thought they could now
settle their accounts with the Armenians, since none of the Great Powers
could help them any longer. We heard from Dr. Lepsius how, on prior
occasions, one or the other of the Great Powers had always helped the
Armenians. International treaties had been concluded to improve the lot
of the Armenians and guarantee their rights so as to allow them to
become a full-fledged nation. But, lo and behold, the World War broke
out and the Young Turks had an opportunity to solve the Armenian
problem once and for all. But this was not the only motivation for the
massacre. We heard testimony concerning two Armenian families who,
having been spared from deportation and massacre, remained in Erzinga
and had to convert to Mohammedanism to stay alive. This indirectly pro-
vides the answer to a question from one of the jurors. There was also
religious hatred and fanaticism. They wanted to massacre the Christians,
they wanted to have only Moslem Armenians left because they hoped
that, according to the teachings of the Koran, it would facilitate the im-
plementation of the old Turkish concept of the use of brute force.
	The old Ottoman Empire, with all its conquests, rested on the concept
of military power and this concept is irreconcilable with the teachings of
the Old and New Testament and probably even with the correct inter-
pretation of the Koran. Above all, in terms of its content, it is irrecon-
cilable with the principle of “love thy neighbor as thyself.’’
	Thus, the Young Turks took advantage of the opportunity to an-
nihilate the only Christian people living within the Empire, close to one
of its distant borders. They did not dare do this to the Armenians in Con-
stantinople. However, they did it to those in the interior by means of
orders sent to the governors of those provinces. We have, right here in
our hands, the copies of the orders the Young Turks gave to wipe out the
Armenian nation. They further gave orders that those governors who
were friendly to the Armenians were to be sent elsewhere and, if that was
not effective, were to be dismissed from office.
	Thus, we have before us the killing of an entire nation, the respon-
sibility for which falls on the Committee of the Young Turks and par-
ticularly on their most influential minister, Talaat Pasha.
	At 11:00 o’clock on March 15, 1921, the defendant was weighing the
numerous atrocities suffered by his people for more than a thousand
years. The defendant was well acquainted with the story of his people. In
addition, in 1915, he was personally involved in persecutions in which all
the Armenians of his city were massacred a half hour’s distance beyond
the city limits. The shocking experience of this massacre had had a signif-
icant influence on the defendant’s inner self. All that he had experienced
appeared before his eyes on the morning of March 15th.
	Think of the story of William Tell. Gessler makes fun of and jeers at
the people. He erects the sign of slavery. He forces Tell to shoot an arrow
at an apple placed on his son’s head. The project is of the same type as
the one executed by the old Turks, those who believe in force. What
passes through William Tell’s mind passes through Tehtirian’s as well.
Of all the juries in the world, which one would have condemned Tell if he
had shot his arrow at Gessler? I ask you, is there a more humanitarian
act than that which has been described in this courtroom?
	Tehlirian is the avenger of his people, of the one million Armenians
who were killed. He is the one who is standing up to the author of those
massacres; he is facing the man who was responsible for the annihilation
of his people. Is this not an irresistible impulse? Do we need the image of
his mother in order to have medically acceptable coercive images? Now
we do have that image as well. The defendant is also the representative of
his family, his mother. His mother tells him: “You are no longer my
	All these impressions fill the defendant’s head as he picks up the
revolver and descends to the street. He descends as the representative of
justice versus brute force. He descends as the representative of humanity
versus inhumanity, of justice versus injustice. He steps forward as the
representative of the oppressed against the collective representative of
the oppressors; for the one million killed against the one who, along with
others, is to blame for those crimes. He stands as the representative of his
parents, his sisters, his brothers, his brother-in-law, and, finally, as the
representative of his sister’s two-and-a-half year old child.
	The Armenian nation, from thousands of years ago down to its
youngest child, stands behind Tehlirian.
	Tehlirian carries with him in his thoughts the flag of justice, the flag of
humanity, and the flag of vengeance to uphold the honor of his sisters
and relatives. With all these thoughts in mind he confronts the one per-
son who violated his family’s honor, destroyed the well-being and hap-
piness of millions of people, and physically annihilated a whole nation.
	The defendant became a psychologically disturbed person. You,
gentlemen of the jury, have to decide what went on in his mind at the
time of the killing and whether he was in control of his will.
	Gentlemen, I am firmly convinced that, even before I uttered a word,
you had already come to the conclusion: “It has not been proven that he
was in control of his will.” If my humble words have added anything, it
is to give the legal basis so that you would know how to judge this case
	Please observe, gentlemen, that humanity is attentively awaiting your
decision. Simply decide the following: “He is not guilty. The rest does
not concern us.”
Defense Attorney Kurt Niemeyer (privy legal counselor and pro-
fessor at JOel University Law School).

	Gentlemen of the jury, there is just one question which we must
answer, because it is the one and only question facing us. That question
is as follows: Is Soghomon Tehlirian guilty of having committed
murder? Must he be beheaded to pay for the incident of March ~
Each of you personally has to solve two problems
	First, you have to reconstruct what is real in itself, corresponding as
much as possible to the truth, and that has to be done in terms of the pro-
visions of our Penal Code. Second, you have to calculate what meaning
your judicial activity has. The latter is of two kinds.
	The Penal Code consists of many articles other than the few mention-
ed previously. The articles are composed of paragraphs. The paragraphs
are composed of sentences; the sentences, of phrases; the phrases, of
words; and the words, of syllables. Before and after each article and
within it are an endless multitude of things which we call “legal strings.”
	There is no perception or interpretation of judicial codes or articles of
laws which logically cannot be defended. If the issue were merely that,
then I would not have the honor of being here, I would not have the con-
fidence of my colleagues and of the friends of the defendant who are
relying on me to defend Soghomon Tehlirian.
	My duty is to explain, as a teacher, the essence of a jury trial. It is the
purpose of the law to recognize interrelationships between and impart
living meaning to dead articles. For the most part, we can do that in a
way that corresponds to the philosophy of life, the philosophy of govern-
ment, the philosophy of the community, and the universal well-being of
	Trial by jury is one of the oldest methods of trial. The Germans, the
Romans, and the British started their judicial systems with the jury trial.
The Roman judge and the German “Schoffe” were jurors, ordinary men
without any expertise in the law. The lawyer was only the administrator
of the trial.
	Even though correct understanding of the logic underlying strict,
definite, two-edged legal concepts and articles is necessary for technique,
interpretation, preparation, and instruction, it cannot be the final and
definitive factor in the pursuit of justice. This is the raison d’etre of a
jury trial — to look at both sides of a question. That is, on the one hand,
to evaluate the essence of the incident through one’s own free con-
templative powers, independently of the rules of formal proof; and, on
the other hand, to evaluate the meaning of the disposition of the law.
	Now I shall speak briefly about individual technical matters and only
to the extent I consider absolutely necessary. I shall speak on the rela-
tionship of the act. I shall not address the question of whether the act was
premeditated or not. I shall not speak about extenuating circumstances. I
shall say next to nothing about a pardon which would correct the in-
justice we could commit here. I have no doubt in my mind that, at the in-
stant the incident took place — this is the only object of concern — no
deliberation occurred even if before that minute deliberations had taken
	In my opinion, the question of whether the defendant is capable of giv-
ing an accounting of himself has already been touched on. I say this for
two reasons. One is that the medical expert witnesses, especially Dr.
Stdrmer, who spoke the most unfavorably concerning the defendant,
categorically stated: “As to his psychological state at the time of the
commission of the act, that I do not know. No one can know that.” Pro-
fessor Cassirer stated the same. If no one knows that, then no one should
decide the matter as he would if he did know.
	The second reason is that the defendant committed his act without any
play. It would have been so much more understandable if the defendant
had pursued Talaat longer. He might have found better opportunities to
kill Talaat than the one which presented itself to him on Hardenberg-
strasse. However, I do not want to get into any more details on this. In
my opinion, it has already been established that, at that instant, there
was no premeditation and that the defendant was not in control of his
free will.
	I will put the greatest emphasis on the following article of the law, on
which you will base your decision: “He who intentionally and with
premeditation kills a human being will be punishable by death.”
	Assume for a moment that you answer the question in the affirmative.
Assume that Tehlirian’s head fell under the executioner s axe and finally
assume that, under different circumstances, someone filed a lawsuit
against the executioner for having killed with premeditation. After all the
article says: “He who intentionally and with premeditation kills a human
being will be punishable by death.”
	Gentlemen of the jury, you must find the executioner guilty of the
crime, stating in your decision, “Yes, he is responsible for the death.”
Forty years ago there was a professor of law, here in Berlin, who serious-
ly insisted that this is what the law required.
	There is, however, a small matter that has to be taken into considera-
tion. Our Penal Code does not state categorically, in many of the ar-
ticles, that punishability is dependent on illegality and the cognizance of
	Add the word “illegal” to the aforementioned article so that it reads:
“He who illegally and intentionally . . Now we have the correct word-
ing of the article. There is perfect agreement that, in order for an act to
be punishable, it has to be an illegal act. Furthermore, there has to be
cognizance of illegality. That the defendant acted objectively, not accor-
ding to the law but contrary to it — and therefore illegally — may seem
indubitable at first glance; yet it is not indubitable.
	Indeed, when the incident took place, the Turks and the Armenians
were at war, and the two nations, from the standpoint of international
law, were enemies. Therefore, is it not beyond a doubt that Article 4 of
the German Constitution should be taken into consideration in this in-
stance? According to that article, the basic canons of international
justice constitute part of German law. Those basic canons of interna-
tional law pertaining only to particular governments can likewise count
among the basic, generally-recognized canons of international law.
However, I do not need to dwelt on this at length. What can be discussed
in this case are the factors limiting the defendant’s cognizance of illegali-
ty — factors conditioned by his nationality.
	The people of the East have a different approach than we do to the
question of the legality or illegality of an action. In delving into
Tehlirian’s soul, particularly to determine cognizance of illegality, we
would have to understand that, for the Eastern peoples, including the
Armenians (even though the latter have been Christians since roughly
300 A.D.), law, religion, and morals are one and the same.
	Each Turkish sect has a different religion. The Persian Shiites have a
Shiite system of justice because, for them, only the Koran is valid
without the Sunna tradition (just like the Protestants, who feel that only
the New Testament is valid without the Old). The Haneffi Turks accept
the Koran as well as the Sunna. Hence, their concept of law is different
because they have a different creed, a different religion.
	This is also true of the Eastern Christians. Religion — and this is both
cause and effect of the essence of the present case — has become for
them truth and reality of life in a much different sense than what we find
in Europe
	Islam is much more strongly and practically a quality of life; it is much
more truth and reality than Christianity has ever been anywhere, at any
time, with the exception of those segregated religious communities in
which religion and life are one and the same thing.
	The Armenians are a particularly religious people. Their rites, their
firm reliance on religion, even to their daily customs are to a certain ex-
tent similar to the Islamic washing and daily prayers. The Armenians live
entirely by religious directives, and I cannot refrain from saying that
there are some nasty anecdotes about the Armenians which are circulated
around like cheap money and have given the Armenians a bad reputa-
tion. For example, “One Greek can sell three Jews. One Armenian can
sell three Greeks” and other similar comments exist.
	There is a Persian anecdote (the Persians know the Armenians the
best) which says, “Get your bread from a Kurd but sleep in an Armenian
home.” What this means is that the Persian, being a Muslim, cannot
take bread from a Christian Armenian so he takes it from his co-
religionist, the Kurd. But he will not accept the hospitality of his co-
religionists because the Armenian will not steal. Security of ownership
and scrupulous respect for the possessions of others are nowhere else as
evident as among the Armenians.
	In reply to the question of the Presiding Justice as to whether or not he
felt guilty, the defendant said, “No.” When he was asked “Why don’t
you feel guilty?,” the defendant answered, “My conscience is clear.”
For the defendant, judicial and moral right are one and the same. He
cannot even think that what could be morally right might be judicially
wrong. He cannot conceive that what is morally correct can make him
eligible for the death penalty.
	I am thoroughly convinced, and I think all of you should be too, that
the “clear conscience” that the defendant unquestionably has, despite
his admission that he committed the act, protects him from all the conse-
quences. Judicially, this clear conscience means the rock-firm knowledge
that he has acted in the right, in no way contrary to the “true,’’ ‘‘real”
right, which is the only thing that has value for him.
	The defendant’s psychological make-up, the major impact the
massacres had upon him, and then the complete devastation that they
wrought on his psyche — this inner self of his — are closely related to the
close family ties that exist among Armenians.
	The Armenian family relationship is a particularly warm one. The
defendant’s uncle’s son, who came yesterday and was going to be inter-
rogated today, unfortunately cannot testify about that. But you do not
need to doubt it; the expert witnesses here can attest to the fact that the
Armenians have a wholesome family life. I am sure you remember the
defendant’s expression when he replied to a question put to him as to
whether or not his relationship with his parents and his family was good.
I do not know. You may or may not remember a characteristic jolt that
showed up on his face. The interpreter did not say any more. I believe
that expression indicated, in a frightfully sad way, the special relation-
ship he had with his martyred family.
	With this we come to the relationship of the defendant to his people
who, for him, are a continuation of his family. The Armenians are a
large family. They were a great power. Subsequently, within the Turkish
Empire, they have always been a large and patient family. When na-
tionalities began separating from the Empire — in 1820 the Greeks
became independent with the help of all the European nations; in 1840
the Egyptians; later the principalities of the Danube; the Bulgarians, the
Rumanians; the Serbs; the Black Mountain people, and the Albanians —
the Armenians remained quiet and patient. The Sublime Porte could not
and did not have any complaint with regard to them. And because the
Armenians were such a law-abiding and constructive element, they were
given a National Constitution as early as 1860, which was quite signifi-
cant in terms of the coincidence of religion, politics, and nationality in
the East. When the Balkan nations were everywhere breaking their
chains, the Armenians remained patient because they hoped that reforms
would be carried out later on their behalf: their property and security
would be guaranteed and they would be granted a degree of self-rule.
Thus, they remained quiet and peaceful.
	The situation changed only after the Berlin Conference of 1878, when
alt the other nationalities received something and the partition of Euro-
pean Turkey was already a reality. Turkey began to grow apprehensive
that the Armenians, being the only nationality left within its borders,
would turn out to be a danger to the security of Turkey.
	Without any provocation from the Armenians, the Turkish govern-
ment organized the first horrid persecutions and massacres. The Arme-
nians had given them no reason. It was after these massacres that the
Armenians began to organize. They established Committees in Paris and
Geneva in order to bring about reforms that were promised them in Arti-
cle 61 of the Treaty of Berlin.
	Then it all began. I do not want to pursue the course of events in great
detail. In 1899 I was in Constantinople on two occasions and I was ter-
ribly shaken up at what I heard from eyewitnesses about the massacres
that had taken place in August 1896. When, on March 16th, I read of the
incident that took place on Hardenbergstrasse, three different images
came to mind and, for a long time, I was unable to erase those impres-
sions. I had seen none of these scenes with my own eyes, but they were
right before me as if I had witnessed those scenes myself.
	On August 26, 1896, when the Armenians had prepared a plan for
revolt about which the Turkish police had informed the government,
Sultan Abdut Hamid did nothing to quetch the revolt, which would have
been a very easy thing to do. On the contrary, he was glad to hear of such
a revolt. The government organized goon squads which received orders
to kilt all the Armenians they found in the streets starting at noon on
August 26. German women and children described the killings to me.
The most typical scene was that of the goon squads — bare-chested,
wearing their loose trousers, and accompanied by a police officer — at-
tacking the Armenians. The latter fell on their knees, extended their
hands hopefully to heaven with their heads bowed and allowed them to
kill. Ninety percent of those killed received head wounds.
	The second picture is related to the way Talaat Pasha came to power in
1909. Talaat and a few of his political friends had come to see the Grand
Vizir, who was waiting for them. With his hands in his pockets and a
lighted cigarette dangling from his mouth, the Sultan looked at Talaat
and said, “What is this you are doing? You know of course that we do
not like it.” At that instant, there was the sound of a shot, and the one
who wanted to get rid of Talaat fell dead with a bullet wound in his neck.
	We come now to the third scene, which took place on March 15, 1921.
We all know about the incident. We can be opposed to it, but this is not
like an ordinary trial. It takes us beyond the confines of this courtroom
and obliges us to widen our horizons. Try to understand other na-
tionalities, other peoples, other circumstances, and be fair to them.
	We of the Third District Court and this jury are obliged to maintain a
broad view of this case and to render a well thought out decision which
will be recognized for its justice and humanitarian quality.
	With this in mind, I do not believe you will condemn Soghomon
Tehlirian to death. If you condemn him to death, we know what will
happen. He will declare steadfastly with a clear conscience and noble
conviction: “If this is what you want, Jam ready to die.” He will put his
martyred head on the scaffold, his mother will appear to him and aid
him, and he will have an enviable death. One might even wish him such a
death. If he were to be set free, that would not revive his parents, his
sisters, and his brothers. It would not make him well again; he Wilt never
be normal like other people.
	In conclusion, I would like to repeat the words of Defense Attorney
von Gordon. You cannot hold Tehlirian responsible for his actions. He
did what he had to do. He did that which he could not avoid doing.
Whether the compulsion that drove Tehtirian should be called a diabolic
or a moral force, whether it emerged out of a healthy or diseased mind, is
a matter which you will have to determine.
	When you take all factors into consideration, it will be essential for
you to consider the interrelation between the various aspects of the case
presented in this courtroom and to ask yourself the following questions:
What will be the result of my decision? What will be its consequences,
not from a political or other such point of view, but with respect to
supreme justice or to charity, which is what we live for and which makes
life worth living?
District Attorney GoIInick

	Gentlemen of the jury, there was one thing the defense attorneys did
not tell you; namely, that the judge is obliged to render a judgement ac-
cording to the provisions of the law. The judge has to come forth with a
well reasoned decision. He simply has to verify that the judgement com-
plies with the law and that the punishment is justified according to the
rule of law. The judge cannot say, “Yes, the jndgement complies with
the law, but I do not want . . the penalty.” He cannot say that because
the law is supreme. Certainly it is possible to have a case about which an
individual can say, “The law is not all encompassing. There is a rigidity
in it that is hidden.”
	I am in complete agreement with the first defense attorney that, at the
time of the killing, there must have been deliberation. It is also true that a
killing, no matter how carefully planned out, no matter with what
deliberation and premeditation, cannot be considered premeditated if, at
the time of the killing, it was not done with deliberation.
	In light of the opinions expressed by the expert witnesses, I also agree
that the defendant was quite possibly suffering from a disease which af-
fected his psychological equilibrium, and seeing the supposed author of
his misfortunes severely agitated him. If you are of this opinion, then
you have to give an affirmative answer regarding the unpremeditated
nature of the killing.
	The second defense attorney told you a number of things. I am in
agreement with some of them, but not with all. Of course, you are ac-
quainted with the great poet Heinrich Heine. At every opportunity,
Heine would revolt against certain principles inimical to life which he
ascribed to the Christian dogmas. In contrast, he praised Greek
Hedonism. Now one of the poet’s famous critics said that as Heine grew
older and more radical he began to divide the world into two groups: the
lean Nazarenes and the fat Greeks.
	I could not help thinking about this comparison when I was listening
to the remarks of the second defense attorney about militarists and
militarism. It would seem that the second defense attorney divides all of
humanity into mititarists, from whose brainsa devil had removed those
portions containing justice, compassion, and humanity and the rest of
the human race, which still retains all these qualities.
	In my opinion, this analysis is indeed somewhat radical and very one-
sided and artificial; diversity of life does not allow for such a cut-and-dry
division. In any event, I will permit the defense attorney to maintain his
view on this point; however, I must resolutely oppose him on another
	He did not like it when I labeled the deceased the faithful ally of the
German people. I have to repeat that the Turkish people fought side-by-
side with the German people and that they unquestionably can be
classified as an ally of the Germans. I do not think it is honorable to deny
the past after a certain point, whatever one’s political leanings. I have to
object in the strongest terms to the defense attorney’s classifying the two
representatives of this Turkish policy, Talaat Pasha and Enver Pasha, as
criminals who abandoned their fatherland.
	I am happy, however, to state that I agree with the defense attorney on
another point; namely, that what is essential in our jurisprudence is
sound human judgement. It is my hope, gentlemen of the jury and I have
no doubt that, in spite of the bewildering array of scientific, technical,
legal, and medical testimony that was presented to you, this considera-
tion has remained uppermost in your minds. As long as you put sound
human judgement above all else, you will be able to discover the truth.
Defense Attorney von Gordon

	Gentlemen of the jury, just a few words. The District Attorney has
reproved us for not having told you one thing; namely, that the judge has
to pass sentence in accordance with the law. Certainly, gentlemen of the
jury, I would be ashamed to state that which is totally self-explanatory.
(Commotion in the courtroom)
	Then the District Attorney stated that the punishment to be rendered,
which is the death penalty in this case, should not be named. That point
of view is absolutely false. Given that our laws demand the death penalty
for certain types of crimes, it is essential that you look to see what type of
a crime is committed so that the punishment will correspond to the
crime. What the District Attorney has said would be a misapplication of
the law, already rejected by our Supreme Court in time of war.
	Prior to the war, the Supreme Court reassessed thousands of concepts
relating to penal and civil law and, in the light of this reassessment, revis-
ed the Penal Code with great care. The advent of the war forced these
laws to be set aside. Again the Supreme Court had to analyze these ideas
and, in the process, it forged some new concepts. I can read for you a
decision wherein our Supreme Court, with bold sincerity, admits that
previously even it had viewed various concepts in narrower terms and
that even it had learned quite a lot from environmental circumstances,
historical events, and life in general.
	You too, gentlemen of the jury, have to be constantly aware that you
cannot render a decision which is intellectually honest but contrary to
your conscience, because it is not possible for us that injustice be justice.
No conceptual game must ever produce a result, a decision which all
sound thinking people feel is objectively unjust.
	Now let us go on to a third matter which the District Attorney touched
upon. I will leave the essence of this argument to my distinguished col-
league; I merely wish to present briefly my point of view regarding it.
	You, the District Attorney, spoke of bow we should not deny the past
and should remember how the Turkish forces fought side-by-side with
us. I am in complete agreement with you on this point. However the
Turkish people are not guilty for the atrocious massacres; they too con-
demned them as any rightful-thinking person would.
	The systematic extermination of the Armenians was not owing to a
zealous outburst on the part of the Turkish people. On the contrary, it
was a carefully deliberated and carefully planned political-administrative
decision of the ruling circles which was carried out by rogues, that is to
say, the Turkish gendarmes, of whom a sufficiently revealing portrait
was presented in this courtroom.
	The Turkish people are above all that and we shalt faithfully remember
what they were to us and what we were to them in the most difficult of
times. But, that is not the issue before us.
Defense Attorney Werthauer

	According to Article 190 of the Penal Code, when information
disseminated about an individual concerns his punishable act, the truth
of the statements or rumors is considered verified if the culprit has been
officially condemned for the action. And, on the contrary, the truth is
not considered verified if the targeted individual had been set free before
the rumors about him began to circulate.
	On June 10, 1335 (according to the Turkish calendar), a Court-
Martial, made up of the most distinguished judges, condemned Talaat
Pasha and Enver Pasha, along with Jemal and Nazim, as the authors of
an ignoble crime; namely, the extermination of the Armenians and the
punishing of the innocent. This verdict is legal. And it is incorrect and
contrary to German jurisprudence to say that I am guilty of slander iden-
tifying these persons as criminals. In fact, they have been legally con-
demned for having committed the basest of crimes.
	Thus, to make such reproachful remarks to me indicates a lack of
knowledge of our German jurisprudence.
	These criminals have abandoned their country. They have lived here
under assumed names. I do not know whether they enjoyed the protec-
tion of one or another mititarist government. I cannot say anything at all
on the matter because, contrary to what the District Attorney said, I do
not want to inject politics into this case.
	Subsequently, the District Attorney stated that the Turkish people
stood beside the German people as loyal allies. This is true and no one
has stated anything to the contrary. The Turks are also brave soldiers.
The Turkish people, however, are not to be blamed for the war any more
than the German people are to be blamed for it.
	According to the treaties between the Germans and the Turks, the
peoples of these countries had no say whatsoever in the declaration of
war, which was fought without regard to the people’s wilt. The people
only had a duty to perform.
	Individuals like Talaat Pasha, Enver Pasha, and others are the issue
here not because of the declaration of war, but because they im-
plemented a deportation, which resulted in the commission of crimes
against the Armenians, the likes of which cannot be found in human
	Gentlemen of the jury, I have already told you that, as a result of the
ignominious massacres, your decision may be remembered thousands of
years from now.
	I am personally unable to comprehend how politics can be mingled in-
to this case. All politics stop when we are faced with the basest of human
crimes, and I fail to understand how anyone can utter a word in support
of the orders for the deportation. After all, the German people also are
being unjustly accused of having issued similar deportation orders. Only
an outright and categorical denial of these principles, an unreserved con-
demnation of such criminal orders, can secure us the respect which, in
my opinion, we rightly deserve.
	I was not stating something new when I said that militarists, those men
who believe in brute force, who certainly should not be confused with in-
dividuals in the military, can be found in every nation on earth. I am
amazed that the District Attorney finds anything new in my comments.
	Those who suffer from the vicious acts of militarists, as the German
people have suffered, will agree that the sole responsibility for such acts
ties with the militarists. And those who hate the militarists and wish to
uproot them from our society are acting justly. However, we are not
talking about annihilating or uprooting people, rather it is the direction,
the principles, and the concepts of the militarists that concern us here.
	Human beings, created in the image of God, are holy; the militarists,
devoted to brute force, use these individuals to commit cruel and brutal
actions. The militarists are not part of the people. They do not have any
country, they do not belong to any nation, and they do not have any
human feelings. They only understand brute force and the ultimate aim
of their use of force is to suppress justice.
	We saw this force come into play in the case before you, in which pro-
ponents of the opposing views met face to face. On the one hand, there
was the representative of brute force, and, on the other, the represen-
tative of the oppressed who sought justice.
	Gentlemen of the jury, this is the picture I wanted you to have before
your eyes. Indeed, when the representative of justice found himself face
to face with the representative of brute force, the former lost control of
himself and no longer knew what he was doing. The Court has to render
a just verdict. The defendant deserves justice. As we, the defense at-
torneys, have mentioned, we are neither begging for mercy nor asking
for an emotional judgement; rather, we want what the Penal Code
prescribes for the act the defendant committed.
	Under the present circumstances, the Penal Code prescribes a negative
answer to the question that is presented to you, because at the instant the
defendant descended to the street and pointed his revolver at the victim,
he was not guilty. And he was not guilty because his will was not free and
sound; rather, it was under a certain influence.
	As I have already told you, it was not the defendant who descended to
the street but the centuries and the millions who were killed. It is indeed
possible to state that the defendant was carrying the banner of the honor
of his entire people, the banner of the tortured innocent victims, and the
banner of his massacred family.
	How often you are forced to pass judgement on a husband who, upon
returning home, finds his wife committing adultery and kills her! Who
would even imagine condemning such a man?
	But the defendant’s case does not regard marital infidelity. His sisters
were raped, his brothers and family were killed, his whole family was ex-
terminated. The defendant raised the banner against the one criminal
guilty of all those vile crimes, a man who was caught in the act and con-
demned. The defendant saw the murderer, lost control of his rational
mind, took aim, pulled the trigger, and another human life, unfortunate-
ly, was taken.
	This is what you have to examine carefully, bearing in mind the
medical testimony, bearing in mind the requirement of justice, but,
above all, bearing in mind that a well thought-out decision is expected of
	We, the defense attorneys, have only one wish and, on this point, I
think we can come to an agreement with the District Attorney. Let your
feelings be your guide without any reservation, making sure that the
justice you render is based on our jurisprudence. With that in mind, we
all yield to your best judgement, whether your decision be in the negative
or the affirmative. There is one danger which I want to point out. We
would not want you to think that because a human being has been killed,
the defendant has to be found guilty. If you were to come to such a con-
clusion, you would be disregarding the whole general section of the Penal
Code, which has been constructed, indeed, with perfect fairness.
	The example of Heinrich Heine, which the District Attorney mention-
ed, does not affect me at all, primarily, I guess, because the District At-
torney is a better poet than I. (Commotion in the courtroom)
	The policies of our government, the government that signed the treaty
with Talaat Pasha and Enver Pasha, do not concern me either because,
prior to the signing of that treaty, no one asked for my opinion and, for
that matter, no one asked for the opinion of the German people. All this
belongs to the past.
	The one thing that would affect me is if you were to confuse right and
wrong. For example, if you were to ask, “Did the defendant kill. . .? “
rather than the question which the law requires, “Is the defendant guilty
of killing . .?“ After all, what the District Attorney wants is for you to
answer the former question, while what we want is for you to answer the
latter question.
	We would respectfully urge that you follow our request rather than
that of the District Attorney.
Defense Attorney Niemeyer

	I want to draw your attention to and touch on the political aspects of
this case, which the District Attorney already alluded to.
	Our Presiding Justice indicated on the first day of the trial that this
case should not be treated differently from any other case. Thus, this
case should not be analyzed differently from any other case. In other
words, this should not be looked upon as a political trial.
	I hope that you bear witness to the fact that the defense attorneys have
tried to do everything within their power not to turn this into a political
trial. I use the word political trial in its common vulgar sense. If we had
behaved differently, the course of events would have been different. But
this would not have served justice and would not have corresponded to
the essence of German life.
	If you only knew the type of evidence that we could have brought to
this trial, you would have commended us for our restraint. However, I
am obliged to make a comment in response to what the District Attorney
	During the war, German military and other establishments, both in
this country and beyond its borders, passed over in silence and then tried
to cover up the atrocities committed against the Armenians. This was
done in such a manner as to imply that our German government actually
condoned these atrocities.
	Certainly, up to a point, individual Germans tried to put an end to the
atrocities, but to the Turks the implications were clear. They thought,
“It is impossible for these events to take place without the consent of the
Germans. After all, we are their allies and they are so much stronger than
	Therefore, in the East and all over the world, we Germans have been
held responsible with the Turks for the crimes committed against the
Armenians. There is a wealth of literature in the United States, Great
Britain, and France whose purpose is to show that the Germans were
really the Talaats in Turkey.
	If a German court were to find Soghomon Tehlirian not guilty, this
would put an end to the misconception that the world has of us. The
world would welcome such a decision as one serving the highest prin-
ciples of justice.
	PRESIDING JUSTICE (to the interpreter) — Indicate to the defendant
that his three defense attorneys have asked that he be set free. Ask the
defendant if he has anything to say on his own behalf.
	DEFENDANT — I did not understand what the defense attorneys said.
But I am convinced that whatever they have said suffices. I have nothing
to add.
Instructions to Jury

	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Gentlemen of the jury, it is now left to me to in-
struct you with the essential judicial counsel, and I would like to perform
that duty of mine with a few short comments.
	It is the essence of our Penal Code that a normal person is in posses-
sion of his free will. Article 51 states that there is no punishable crime if
the author of an act, at the time of commission of the act, was in an un-
conscious state, or if his mental capacity was temporarily impaired,
depriving him of free will.
	Free will exists when an individual is capable of logically using his
mental faculties to regulate his actions, his instincts, his abilities, his in-
ner drives. If such a capability is impaired or is absent, then there is a
lack of free will. The law thus requires that you confirm the existence of
a condition in which the formation of free will has not only been made
difficult but, in fact, has been rendered impossible.
	Therefore, you have to ask yourselves whether the defendant’s epilep-
sy and the other factors mentioned in the testimony of the expert medical
witnesses created circumstances that deprived the defendant of the full
use of his mental faculties when, on March 15, 1921, he committed the
	If you are convinced that a significant portion of his consciousness or
certain segments of his mental capacity were impaired to the extent that
he was no longer able to formulate his free will, then you are obliged,
under Article 51, to reject penal-legal accountability and set him free.
	This is the first matter that you have to examine, since the question
that is put to you starts with the words, “Is the defendant guilty .7”
	If you find that the circumstances were such that he was not responsi-
ble for the consequences of his acts, or if you find that the psychological
turmoil he suffered did not mitigate total responsibility for the act, but
that these events were such that they diminished his mental capacity, then
you have the responsibility to continue your deliberations to find out
whether or not there is evidence of an intentional act.
	It is not essential for me to speak at length on this point.
	You have to ask yourself whether or not the defendant wanted to kill
Talaat Pasha. Did the defendant know that he was killing a human be-
ing? The fact that he committed the act is unimportant. If you find that
the defendant wanted to kill and that he knew what he was doing, then
you have to find him guilty, that is, of course, if you do not consider Ar-
ticle 51 to be decisive.
	Deliberation, which obliges you to give an affirmative answer to the
question of premeditated killing, is not the same thing as an intentional
killing. Premeditation has a broader meaning. Subsequently, you have to
be convinced that, at the instant of the homicide when the bullet reached
the victim, the defendant was performing the act with deliberation. You
can come to this conclusion if you can tell yourself, “He was not suffer-
ing from internal turmoil. He was still able to weigh the pros and cons.”
But if you accept that internal turmoil existed, eliminating the possibility
of calm deliberation, then you have to give a negative answer to the ques-
tion of premeditation.
	There is another matter that has been raised in this case, and that is
that the defendant was not cognizant of the illegality of his act.
Gentlemen of the jury, in my opinion, you do not have to deal with that
question. The awareness of the illegality of an act is one of the essential
ingredients of an intentional killing. That has nothing to do with the con-
cept of the intentionality of the act. What you have to examine is whether
or not the defendant knew that he was killing an individual and that he
wanted to kill him.
	I now draw your attention to the fact that the death penalty is ap-
plicable only to a premeditated killing, whereas, in the case of an un-
premeditated killing with mitigating circumstances, the minimum penal-
ty is six months’ imprisonment.
	I ask you to go to work and decide the answers to the questions that
have been presented to you.
	You have to choose from among you a foreman who will be responsi-
ble for your orderly deliberation and voting.
	You know, of course, that the law requires a two-thirds majority for a
“Guilty” decision. The law also requires that the decision be declared in
the following manner: “Yes, with more than seven votes.” Therefore, at
least eight of you have to vote “Yes” in the present case in order to find
that there was legal-penal accountability and that Article 51 is inap-
	If you give an affirmative answer to the question of intentionality,
then you have to answer, ‘‘Yes, with more than seven votes.’’ You have
to give the same answer to the question of deliberation, saying, “Yes,
with more than seven votes.”
	If you find that there are mitigating circumstances, then the law only
requires a simply majority vote, and it would suffice for you to answer,
“Yes, with more than six votes” or simply “Yes.”
	I now affix my signature to the question sheet.

	The members of the jury then retire to deliberate.
The Verdict

	After an hour’s deliberation, the members of the jury return and the
foreman of the jury declares:

	I avow with honor and clear conscience to the verdict of the jury:
	“Is the defendant, Soghomon Tehlirian, guilty of having intentionally
killed a man, Talaat Pasha, on March 15, 1921, in Charlottenburg?”

Signed:	Otto Reinecke, Foreman of the jury.
	(There is a great deal of commotion and applause in the courtroom)
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — I now sign the verdict and I ask the clerk to do
the same and read the verdict out loud.
	(The secretary reads the verdict and it is translated for the defendant)
	PRESIDING JUSTICE — Therefore, the following sentence is issued:
	“The defendant is acquitted at the expense of the state treasury.
(Renewed commotion and applause) In accordance with the decision of
the jury, the defendant is not guilty of the punishable act with which he
has been charged.”
Then the following decision is announced:
	“The order of imprisonment as regards the defendant is hereby annull-
	(The defendant is congratulated by his defense attorneys, his com-
patriots, and the pub/k in attendance.)


	THE ENGLISH translation of the original trial
proceedings in The Case of Soghomon Tehlirian is being published for its
historic as welt as current relevance: it introduces the first ease during
which the details and horrors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 were in-
troduced as evidence to justify political violence in the face of neglect by
world governments.
	This is the first in a series of publications incorporating the proceed-
ings of recent trials of Armenian political prisoners around the world
who have, as Tehtirian did in 1921, forced the Armenian Cause onto the
streets and courts of world capitals.
	Soghomon Tehlirian, a survivor of the Turkish genocide of Armenians
in 1915-1917, assassinated Talaat Pasha in Berlin on March 15, 1921. Ta-
laat, Minister of Interior and mastermind of the Genocide, had fled Tur-
key to seek refuge in Germany where he continued to labor for his Pan-
Turanian schemes.
	The assassination was the result of a decision by the Armenian Revolu-
tionary Federation to seek justice for the 1.5 million Armenian victims of
the first genocide of the twentieth century. This was done only after it be-
came evident that no acknowledgement of the genocide was to be made
nor legal action taken against the Turkish state or against individuals
personally responsible for the crime. Several other assassinations of top
Turkish officials responsible for the planning and execution of the geno-
cide followed.
	Tehlirian’s trial on June 2-3, 1921 documents the facts and reasons for
his action. Over six decades later, those same facts — compounded by
Turkish denials — have motivated a new generation of survivors to use a
variety of means in seeking justice and retribution for the Armenian peo-

Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Varantian Gomideh
Los Angeles

~1ttPfl Ut

	On March 15, 1921, Talaat Pasha,
President of the Committee of Union and Progress (the par-
ty of the Young Turk movement) and the Grand Vizir of
Turkey, died of a bullet wound, in Berlin.

	In 1943 TalaaVs remains were exhumed in Berlin and sent
by Hitler to Istanbul for permanent buriaL

	Today, Talaat Pasha rests in a mausoleum constructed on
Liberty Hill in IstanbuL

	Today, in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, one of the prin-
cipal avenues bears Ta1aat~s name.

	IT WAS April 1960 when Zaven called to In-
form me that Soghomon Tehlirian had been taken ill and was
recuperating at the University of California Hospital in San Francisco.
	That evening we went to visit Soghomon. We found him seated on the
edge of his bed talking to his wife, wearing striped pajamas rather than
one of the usual colorless hospital overalls. He seemed to be in good
spirits and was embarrassed that we were seeing him ungroomed and at a
time when he was in frail condition.
	Here was this usually dapper, impeccably dressed, proud individual
unshaven, uncombed, seated barefoot in his crumpled pajamas.
	To cover his embarrassment and in order to prevent us from making
innocuous queries as to his condition, he questioned us as to our school-
ing, research, work and in a rather offhanded manner dismissed his
hospitalization as an over-reaction on the part of his family and an un-
necessary precaution on the part of his physician.
	It was not long before he directed his attention to me and in a sardonic
manner asked, “When are you going to translate my autobiography?”
That took me back two years, when in one of my weekly visits to the of-
fice of George Mardikian Enterprises, Inc. where Soghomon worked, he
autographed for me his recently published book and, handing the book
to me, he asked whether I would translate it for him from Armenian to
	I had at the time expressed my fear that, because my command of
Eastern Armenian was inadequate, I could not translate the book com-
	He had continued that he did not expect a literal translation, but rather
one that would be sufficient for his purposes — namely, for William
Saroyan to read the translation and extract from it those sections which
might serve as the basis for a novel on “the incident in Berlin.”
	This subject was discussed numerous times in the ensuing two years,
however, I did not feel I could change my stated position. I was not the
right person for the job.
	Now we were in the hospital and the subject was again at the forefront
of Soghomon’ s thoughts. He continued, “The reason I want you to
translate it is because my trial is included in it and only an attorney can
appreciate the nuances of the trial.”
	In order not to prolong the agony, I replied, “I am willing to translate
the section that relates to the trial, but someone else has to translate the
	Soghomon got down from the bed, sat in an armchair, and to my
astonishment said, “Then why don’t you translate the transcript of my
	“What transcript?” I replied. “Are you telling me that in 1921 in Ger-
many they took a verbatim transcript of a trial?”
	“Of course,” he continued. “How else do you think I recall all the
details of the trial?” He turned his gaze to his wife and then looking at
me continued, “We have a copy of the transcript at home. Anahid will
give it to you. Why don’t you read it, and in a day or two you can come
back and we will discuss it.”
	We had barely visited him for ten minutes, but he seemed very tired.
As we left, his wife was imploring him to return to bed.
	Zaven and I returned to Berkeley. I spent an uneasy night. Over the
years, in all those hours I had spent with Soghomon, he never told me of
the existence of the “transcript.” Or had he and I never realty listened to
one another? What was so important about it?
	I recalled that only nine months before, when my father was visiting us
from Ethiopia, I took him to San Francisco to pay a courtesy call to Mr.
George Mardikian. While my father was talking to Mr. Mardikian I was
in the adjoining room talking to Soghomon. Almost an hour had gone by
before my father came looking for me. I introduced him to Soghomon as
Soghomon Melikian (a pseudonym he used to evade the Turks). I had
never used his pseudonym before and I wanted to correct myself, but
they were having such a good time together that I refrained. Soghomon
kept telling my father how he was keeping an eye on me and that the
Armenian people needed more attorneys to pursue the Armenian Case.
My father reiterated that he was glad one of his sons had chosen a career
that could be of service to “our people.”
	My father was a stickler for punctuality. I had to remind him that we
were late for our next meeting. We left Soghomon’s office and as we
descended in the elevator, I told him, “You of course know that you
were talking to Soghomon Tehlirian.” He immediately pushed the
emergency button and stopped the elevator between floors. I could not
believe my eyes. My father was not one who did anything in haste. “Take
the elevator up,” he told me in no uncertain terms.
	We reentered Soghomon’s office. My father went up to him and said,
“1 apologize for not recognizing you. May 1. .“ and he kissed
Soghomon on both cheeks. My father was not one to show such outward
emotions, I was told to reschedule our appointment. My father and
Soghomon spent an hour talking.
	That night in Berkeley, I thought of how the name of Soghomon
Tehlirian had evoked such strange behavior in my father. I also recalled
how often friends of Soghomon had warned me not to talk to him about
the “incident.” Respecting his wishes I had never asked him for details.
In fact in my conversations with Soghomon everything that related to his
past was centered on his stories of life in Yugoslavia, Algeria, and
France, events that took place subsequent to the “incident.”
	I woke up early the next morning and waited until a respectable hour
before calling Mrs. Tehlirian to ask her when I could pick up the
	The doorbell rang. It was Zaven. He told me that Soghomon had pass-
ed away in his sleep.
	Not knowing what else to do, I sent a cable to my father in Ethiopia in-
forming him of the passing away of Soghomon. A week later, I received
a letter from him telling me how all Armenians in Addis Ababa closed
their shops and attended religious services in memory of Sogbomon
Tehlirian. Armenian communities around the world had done the very
same thing.
	From one of Soghomon’s colleagues I eventually obtained the
transcript of the trial and translated it, as I had promised him I would
	The “Trial of Soghomon Tehlirian” is taken from the pages of
history. It is not a legend. The events which led to the trial are
documented in Tehhirian’s biography.
	RECENT ARMENIAN history provides many
examples of trials of political prisoners. During most of the last century
Armenia was occupied by foreign powers: Ottoman Turkey and tsarist
RusSia MmefliaflS sought liberation from oppression and exploitation
thtough successive waves of struggles. It was only natural that many of
the struggling Sons and daughters would end up in the prisons of the oc-
cupiers; a few were fortunate to be charged formally and tned in courts
of law. Whether under Ottoman or tsarist Russian saw, many such trials
became forums, sometimes the only legal ones allowed, to air Armenian
political grievances and articulate claims. As such, political trials capture
the essence of the conflict between governments and their subjects; the
legalized form of repress~Ofl — the legitimation of inequality and the
criminalizatiofl of the search for 3ustice — through the use of courts
helps raise fundamental issues regarding power and its legitimacy.
	The trials of captured fedayees during the armed struggle at the turn of
the century against Ottoman Turkish misrule, the trial of leaders of the
Armenian Revolutionary Federation leaders in the 1910’s in Russia aTO
the most prominent such events preceding the Genocide. The Genocide
of Western ArmenianS under Turkish administration in 1915-1917 forced
the creation of a Diaspora; it also changed the character of the Armenian
struggle against the Turkish state, whether the one that planned and ex-
ecuted the Genocide or its successors since the founding of the Republic
of Turkey that have condoned and covered it up. The sovietization of the
short-lived Armenian Republic in Eastern Armenia in 1920 produced a
new situation there too; the hegemony of power by a single party and the
subjection of Mmcniafl interests to larger Soviet ones has also produced
a ne’~ type of resistance in Soviet Armenia. Both developments have
claimed new victims; the imprisonment and legal proceedings against
some of these constitute a ~~ntiflUiflg chapter in the long history of
political trials.
	The strategy of governments to isolate individuals by charging them
with crimes and making examples of them has only helped crystallize
issues and galvanize support for the oppressed and the weak; it has also
created extremely charged and dramatic situations where the weight of
governments against an individual could have only created heroes.
	None of the Armenian politkal trials can claim to have produced the
dramatic impact which was caused by the trial of Soghomofl Tehliriafl in
Berlin in 1921 following his assassination of Talaat Pasha; and no one
has been more of a hero than Soghomofl Tehliriafl for having committed
that crnne, particularly when his trial ended with a not guilty verdict,
thus fulfilling, if only partially, the need for justice felt by survivors of
the Genocide and their offspring.
	Soghomon Tehlirian was born in Pakarij, near Erzinga in Western
Armenia. His family and most other Armenians he knew were among the
victims of the deportations and massacres which he witnessed and surviv-
ed accidentally. Ta]aat Pasha was the Minister of Interior, later Grand
Vizir of the Ottoman Empire, and one of the triumvirate in the Ittihadist
(Committee of Union and Progress) government that assumed dictatorial
powers in the Ottoman Empire immediately preceeding and during the
First World War. Talaat Pasha was the main architect of the policy of
extermination of Armenians. Upon the defeat of the Ottoman Empire
and the escape of the Ittihadist leaders, a new Turkish government found
him and the other leaders guilty of the charge of massacres against Arme-
nians during court-martial proceedings in Istanbul. Talaat and the
leading figures were already in Europe; no government in Europe was
willing to bring them to justice. ‘Whether seen as the implementation of
the death penalty imposed in absentia by the Turkish government against
Talaat or an execution by one in the name of a murdered nation the act
of Tehlirian on March 15, 1921 in Berlin and his subsequent trial on June
23, 1921 were seen as acts of justice.

	The assassination of Talaat was the first in a series of such acts of
justice against the organizers of the Genocide. It was preceeded only by
the execution of Khan Khoyski, prime minister and minister of foreign
affairs of Merbaijan; the act was committed by Aram Yerganian and
Misak Garabedian in the spring of 1920 in Tiflis. Khan Khoyski was,
along with his minister of interior Jivanshir, responsible for the
massacres of Armenians in Baku. On July 19, 1921 Misak Torlakian
brought to justice Jivanshir in Constantinople. In December of the same
year a youthful Arshavir Shirakian implemented the death penalty upon
Said Halim Pasha, the prime minister under whose supervision the
deportations and massacres had been implemented. Arshavir Shirakian
then joined Aram Yerganian in Berlin and on April 17, 1922 executed
Behaeddin Shakir and Jemal Azmi, the two leaders of the “Special
Organization” that was in charge of the execution of the Genocide.
	Three months later, Stepan Dzaghigian assassinated Jemal Pasha, the
second member of the Ittihadist triumvirate. Jemal was in Tiflis then and
cooperating with the Bolsheviks. Dzaghigian was supported in this most
daring act in front of the Cheka building by Bedros Der Boghcsian and
Ardashes Kevorkian. Soon after, a young Armenian executed the third

‘According to Soviet Armenian sources, the terrorist was an Armenian soldier in the Red
member of the Lttihadist dictatorship, Enver Pasha, who was then in
Russia pursuing his Pan-Turafliafl dreams under new colors.
	Soghomon Tehlirian and Misak Torlakian were apprehended and tried
publicly in Berlin and Rome, respectively. Both were acquitted. The pro-
ceedings of the trial of Soghomon Tehlirian reveal the trauma of
genocide, as lived by individuals and families, in fact by a whole nation.
For reasons still unclear, testimony presented was limited to supporting
the defense argument that Tehlirian acted alone to bring to justice, com-
pelled by the haunting memories of the destruction of his family and
mass murders. It is highly improbable that the execution in series of
those primarily responsible for the genocide and the superb organization
required to track down protected fugitives and to punish them could
have been incidental.
	The series of acts were, in fact, the Armenian Nuremberg. In his
memoirs, Tebllrian relates his brief stay in Boston, preceeding the act
that made him the most respected Armenian hero of modem times for
survivors of the Genocide:

	Here in America too our people were following with intense interest
events in Armenia. Armenians were most tortured by the fact that the
Turkish butchers had escaped punishment. At the start of the war A1lied
leaders had made solemn promises that members of the Ottoman govern-
ment were going to be held personally responsible for the massacres. The
war ended, the Allies were victorious; yet those responsible for the Arme-
nian Holocaust remained unpunished and were even protected.
	Within the American Armenian community the idea that Armenians
must bring those leaders to justice by their own means had matured. ... It
is necessary to add that this attitude was common to Armenians
everywhere: Armenians were disturbed by the position of the Allies. A
whole nation had been butchered with such cruel methods and, despite for-
mal statements, the Allies had done nothing.... Naturally, the Armenian
Revolutionary Federation could not remain indifferent and was thinking of
bringing those leaders to justice. The Ninth World Congress of the ARF in
the spring of 1919 had discussed the matter. And here in America I realiz-
ed, that what had become an obsession for me had been transformed into
an actual project and under the leadership of Armen Garo much
preliminary work had already been accomplished)

	Indeed, the Ninth Congress had also complied a list of the 101 most
important criminals and passed it on to the Miles, with the expectation
that an international court of justice would bring them to justice.3 The

‘According to Soviet Armenian sources, the terrorist was an Armenian soldier in the Red
2soghomon Tehlirian, VerhishuPflfler jRemembraflCes], Cairo, 1956.
‘Armenian Review, 3(1982) and 4(1982).

ARE or Dashnaktsutiun, a party that had a legacy of strnggling against
the Ottoman and Russian despotisms, had adopted assassinations as part
of its tactics since its founding in 1892. It had been argued that in
despotic societies particularly cruel and lawless officials can add substan-
tially to the misery of the people; and since the system protected, in fact
produced, such individuals, popular justice must be implemented to pro-
tect the larger public from state terror.
	It was not surprising, therefore, that the ARE took the initiative to
organize the “special task” or the Nemesis project. Tehlirian and the
others were given guidance, assistance, and continued financial and
logistical support by a tightly knit network of researchers and tacticians.
The group, which included Hrach Papazian and Shahan Natali, designed
strategy, located the criminals, selected the targets ensuring that the most
important leaders be punished first, and secured funds and weapons.
	The project came to a halt with the punishment of the top leaders
among the lttiliadists.

	The proceedings of the Tehlirian trial were first published in German
in 1921 (Berlin) under the title of Der Process Tataat Pascha [The Trial
of Talaat Pasha], with an introduction of the German health official, Ar-
mm T. Wegner, who had witnessed and photographed the Genocide.
Soon after, the volume was translated to Armenian and published by the
Mekhitarist Congregation of Vienna (Vienna, 1921). A Spanish transla-
tion by Bedros Agopyan appeared in Buenos Aires in 1973 under the title
Un Proceso Historico [A Historic Trial]. In 1980 a French translation,
with appendices, appeared in Paris under the title of Jucticier de
Genocide Atrndnien [The Vindication of the Armenian Genocide]. A se-
cond Armenian translation was published in Beirut, Lebanon in 1981,
edited by Haroutiun Kurkjian; released under the title of Tehlirian: Ar-
tarahaduytse [Vindication], this second translation is the most com-
prehensive collection of documents on the case yet. This volume is the
first English translation of the proceedings of the trial.
p~esiding Justice of the District Court	Dr. Lehm berg
Associate justice of the District Court	Dr. Bathe
Assistant Justice of the DIStTICt Conrt	Dr. LachS
~~~0rdiflgSeCretatY	warmburg
District Attorney	oollnick
Wilhelm Grau	mason,NaWCfl,neatBtTltn
Rudo!f Grosset	mercbant,BCrnbw(MaTk)
KurtBarte)	jeweler, Berlin
Adolf Xuhne	landlord,BCrtinBankov
OttoEwdld	1~~~j0r~,ChartOttenburg
otto Wagner	~00~~r,Cbar1otteflbUrg
OttoBiflde	locks,
OttoReiflecke	~
Eugene de Price	paiflteT, wiimetsdotf Berlin
Albert BeIüflg	pharmaCiSts ~h~rlotteflbUrg
Hermanfl Goide	locksmith, ChaTlOttCflbflt&
Robert HetSP	brick manufacturer, ~har1otteflbUrg
j~IjusFurCh	1~~~j0rd,charlottenbur~
August shiesener	butcher, Deg€1
Dr. A dolf von Gordon	privy legal counselor, Berlin
 Dr. Johanfles Werthcluer	privy legal counselor, Berlin
 Dr.KurtNielfleYer	priVylCgalCOlIflSelori
	Professor of Law, Kohl University

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