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Osik Moses-Ohanian


E-Mail: moses{at}



  • 2008 Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics and History, California State University Northridge
  • 2012 Master’s in History, California State University Northridge
  • 2000-2014 Editorial Assistant at the Einstein Papers Project


Titel und Abstract des Dissertationsprojektes

“The Assassination of Talaat Pasha in 1921 in Berlin. A Case Study of Weimar Judicial Practices”

The 1921 assassination in Berlin of Talaat Pasha, former Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, and the handling of the subsequent trial of his assassin, Soghomon Tehlirian, is a topic that has not received sufficient and proper attention from academic historians.
Although a few books and articles have been published on the subject, the authors of these works—mostly non-historians—have mainly relied on minimal, recycled, and outdated material. Several factors have contributed to this deficiency: the sensitive relationship between Turkey and various Armenian political parties; the political situation in Germany at the time of the trial and, subsequently, until its reunification in 1989; the scarcity of primary archival documents; and more importantly, the absence of the necessary skills required to properly collect, research, transcribe, translate, and interpret archival sources pertaining to this complex topic.

The topic, however, warrants the attention of a trained historian, interested in the topic and proficient in the requisite skills (knowledge of German, Turkish, and Armenian history; as well as the mastery of the required languages). An objective and well-researched historical analysis of the background to the assassination, and the ensuing involvement of the German police, judiciary, and media will require thorough and systematic archival research.

With the reunification of Germany, archival materials unavailable for a long time to scholars outside the Soviet sphere of influence are now much more accessible. Only two original documents had been used by the mid-1980s by one German scholar (Tessa Hofmann. See footnote 1). During my research in Berlin archives, I discovered two more dossiers that shed much light on the trial proceedings and on the way the German judiciary and the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office) dealt with the problem at hand.
Nevertheless, many unanswered questions still need to be addressed. Their proper answer requires extensive research on the papers of the state prosecutor, the three members of the defense counsel, and most importantly, files in the Auswärtiges Amt, Landesarchiv Berlin, Bundesarchiv, Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, The British National Archives in Kew, and several more.


  • 2014 Paper presented at the Third International Graduate Students' Conference on Genocide Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, with the title of: “Deportation of the Jewish population in Palestine during World War I”



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Sonstige wissenschaftliche Aktivitäten/Mitgliedschaften

  • Member of The Association for Documentary Editing