Translated by Arpena Sachaklian Mesrobian, compiled and with an Introduction by Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy
Eliza was born in Cilicia into a family of merchants and parish priests. Although her family lost their ancestral home in Aintab during the Hamidian massacres of 1895-1896, they vowed not to be caught unaware again, enabling them to resist the Turkish mobs at the siege of Dortyol during the Adana massacres of 1909. These life-and-death struggles began the family’s lifelong affiliation with the ARF and Eliza’s charter membership in the ARS. After her marriage to Aharon Sachaklian, who had become a naturalized American citizen, Eliza and her husband left their families in Cilicia and emigrated to the United States where they raised their three children and became active participants in Armenian community affairs.
After World War I, Aharon became the financial and logistics officer for Operation Nemesis, a secret campaign to liquidate the Turkish leaders responsible for the Armenian Genocide. If Eliza knew of his involvement, she never let on.
Although the massacres interrupted Eliza’s formal education, which ended in the fourth grade, she remained a voracious reader and wrote not only her own memoirs but a biography of her husband as well. Eliza was also a talented singer and a choir mainstay into her 90s. In 1990, she was honored with the Prelacy’s Mother of the Year Award, at which event, at the age of 98, 99, or 100 (her actual birthdate is unknown), she gave a rousing speech supporting Armenian unity.
Based on Eliza Sachaklian’s original memoir, this book was prepared for publication by her daughter and grand-daughter, Arpena Sachaklian Mesrobian and Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy. It should be read together with Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy’s Sacred Justice: Voices and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis.