"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Armenian Assassination Squads

Last summer, I noted even then the forthcoming flood of books on the centenary of the Great War, which we will observe this August. I have since had a chance to read several of them, and another one arrived in the mail only last night to my delight; I will write about it in due course.

But there are anniversaries within anniversaries, and so next year we will commemorate the centenary of the Armenian genocide, about which, as noted earlier, numerous solid studies have been published in the last decade. To start off the centenary year, Transaction Publishers will, in January 2015, publish a related study on a little-known aspect of the aftermath of the genocide: Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy, Sacred Justice: The Voices and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis (Transaction, 2015), 363pp.

About this book we are told:
Sacred Justice is a cross-genre book that uses narrative, memoir, unpublished letters, and other primary and secondary sources to tell the story of a group of Armenian men who organized Operation Nemesis, a covert operation created to assassinate the Turkish architects of the Armenian Genocide. The leaders of Operation Nemesis took it upon themselves to seek justice for their murdered families, friends, and compatriots.
This book includes a large collection of previously unpublished letters that show the strategies, personalities, plans, and dedication of Soghomon Tehlirian, who killed Talaat Pasha, a genocide leader; Shahan Natalie, the agent on the ground in Europe; Armen Garo, the center of Operation Nemesis; Aaron Sachaklian, the logistics and finance officer; and others involved with Nemesis.
The author tells a story that has been either hidden by the necessity of silence or ignored in spite of victims’ narratives. This is the story of those who attempted to seek justice for the victims and the effect this effort had on them and on their families. Little has been written about Operation Nemesis. As we approach the centennial anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, it is time.

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