17. The Most Depraved of the Turkish Monsters of the Armenian Genocide
Cemal Azmi, known as “The Butcher of Trebizond”, might have been the most abhorrent of Operation Nemesis’ targets, and the one who most deserved its brand of lethal karma. He was a founder of the Teskilat-i-Mahsusa (Special Organization), a unit created to suppress dissent and separatism in the Ottoman Empire. Azmi was the governor of Trebizond province when the Armenian Genocide began in 1915. An enthusiastic participant, he massacred Armenians by the tens of thousands. He was particularly vicious towards Armenian children and women, and had thousands of them drowned in the Black Sea. Witnesses testified that he had turned a local hospital into a “pleasure dome”, where he indulged in sexual orgies with young Armenian girls before he murdered them.
Azmi gleefully reminisced about it, and told an acquaintance: “Among the most pretty Armenian girls, 10 – 13 years old, I selected a number of them and handed them to my son as a gift; the others I had drowned in the sea“. After the war, he fled to Germany, and the organizers of Operation Nemesis eventually tracked him down in Berlin. His execution was assigned to Aram Yerganian, an activist who had already killed one of the retribution campaign’s targets. In addition to Azmi, Yerganian was also tasked with the execution of another genocide accomplice, Dr. Behaeddin Shakir. Arshavir Shirakian, another Armenian revolutionary, was assigned to Yerganian as his partner.