Arshavir Shiragian

12 April , 1973

Arshavir Shiragian was born in Constantinople and grew up around ARF members. As a teen, during the Armenian Genocide, Shiragian was entrusted with delivering messages and transporting weapons for the party.

Shiragian was recruited to take part in the ARF’s Operation Nemesis, which sought to punish Turkish officials guilty of organizing and carrying out the Armenian Genocide.

His first target was the traitor Vahe Ishan (Yesayan). According to Shiragian’s memoirs, Ishan was “a traitor who was despised by his countrymen, his relatives, and eventually by his own children” and “helped to draw up the list of prominent Armenians who were arrested and deported in 1915.” Shiragian assassinated Ihsan on March 27, 1920 in Constantinople.

Shiragian was assigned the task of assassinating Sait Halim Pasha (Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1917), who was in exile in Rome. On December 5, 1921, Shiragian assassinated him in a taxi. Along with Aram Yerganian, Shiragian was then given the task assassinating both Jemal Azmi, governor of Trebizond during the Genocide, and Behaeddin Shakir, a founding member of the Committee of Union and Progress (Ittihad), both of whom were in Berlin.

On April 17, 1922, Shiragian and Yerganian confronted Azmi and Shakir, who were out walking with their families. Shiragian killed Azmi and wounded Shakir. Yerganian then ran after Shakir and shot him dead.

Shiragian eventually married, and he and his wife, Gaiane, moved to New York in 1923, where they had a daughter, Sonia. He was active in public life and the Armenian community in the New York/New Jersey area.

In 1965, Shiragian published his memoirs, Կտակն էր նահատակներուն (It Was the Legacy of the Martyrs). The memoirs were published in English as The Legacy: Memoirs of an Armenian Patriot, in 1976, translated by Sonia Shiragian, and published by the Hairenik Press.

Shiragian died in 1973, in New Jersey. He was 73.

In Armenian