Says Mother's Ghost Ordered Him To Kill -nyt19210603

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Armenian on Trial in Berlin for Murder of Talaat Pasha Reveals Vision.


Case Regarded as One Against German Rule in Near East -- Liman von Sanders Attends.

JUNE 3, 1921

Copyright, 1921, by The New York Times Company.
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
BERLIN, June 2, -- "I am not guilty because my conscience is clean. A fortnight before this deed the scenes of the massacre of Erzerum reappeared to me. I saw my mother, brother and ravished sisters lying as corpses. Suddenly the dead body of my mother stood up, placed itself before me and said: You know that Talaat Pasha is here. You are utterly indifferent. You are therefore not my son. I then become suddenly awake and reached a decision to kill Talaat."

That was the dramatic defense today of Salomon Teilirian 24 an undersized, swarthy pale faced Armenian at his trial for the shooting and killing of the Young Turk leader. Talaat Pasha in March of last year in thronged Hardenberg Street, the fashionable West End section. There Talaat a refugee and condemned to death a Turkish was criminal, lived incognito as plain Herr Ali Saly Bey.

Berlin's most picturesque and most sensational criminal trial in years is in reality the case of the massacred Armenian people versus the Turkish and German war leaders who perpetrated, ordered and condoned the many massacres.

Berlin's entire Armenian colony turned out for the occasion today. There were many in the courtroom an those unable to gain admission besieged the street entrance.

Berlin's most famous criminal lawyers are defending the young Armenian murder and with them is associated one of the foremost, German international law authorities, Privy Councilor Niemeyer, of Kiel. The damning German angle to the Turkish war atrocities in Armenia was patient to all present, but counsel for the defense announced they would do everything possible to protect "Germany's legitimate interests." The defense of Teilirian is that he acted in a brainstorm.

Witnesses summoned included General Liman von Sanders German Commander in Chief in the late Turkish Empire.

Talaat's attractive young Turkish widow, fashionably attired in modern black silk mourning, was also present. A half dozen professional German alienates completed the picture.

As Teilirian was narrating, through an Armenian interpreter, the Turkish atrocities in Armenia, his Oriental temperament got the better of him and he shrieked, "Rather will I die than again live through the black days when my mother and sisters were outraged and murdered and my father and brother were butchered. I won't discuss it further."

Finally persuaded by the presiding German Judge, the accused told the following story:

In 1915 the Armenian populace of Erzerum was suddenly alarmed by the news that the Turkish Government planned violent measures. Shortly afterward the populace was herded together and driven off in columns under the conduct of Turkish soldiers. After being robbed of their money and belongings the massacre, in which my family were victims, took place. After I had seen my brother's skull split. It was hit on the head and lay unconscious probably one or two days.

"In a neighboring village an aged Kurdish woman gave me some food and old Kurdish cloths in exchange for my blood-covered Armenian garments, but she feared to conceal me any longer. After two months of wandering I reached Russian territory in the Caucasus. I wandered about in Russia and Persia until I heard of my home town being freed again, I returned there and found only two Armenian families still living.

"My paternal house was deserted and devastated. I knew my father had buried some gold in the ground so I searched and found 4,800 Turkish pounds. Then I went to Tiflis and remained there two years until the beginning of 1919. I went then to Constantinople, then to Saloniki and to Serbia, back to Saloniki and then to Paris, where the Persian Consul gave me a pass to Geneva where the German consulate gave me a vise to Berlin.

"I accidentally recognized Talaat on the street, found out where he lived, rented a room in a house opposite and then observed him." Then followed his dramatic story of his murdered mother's ghost inspiring the shooting.

The pain taking German Justice must now decide whether the brainstorm was bona fide?? or whether Teiliran made his long journey from Armenian to Berlin with infant to kill Talaat.

A hard copy of this article or hundreds of others from the time of the Armenian Genocide can be found in The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From The American Press: 1915-1922