Hrayr Toukhanian

Hrayr Toukhanian, Director of ‘Assignment Berlin’ Film Based on Life of Tehlirian, Dies


DETROIT — Film director and editor Hrayr Toukhanian died on August 15, 2023. He was 91.

He was born in 1933 in Beirut, to the late Bedros and Eugenie Toukhanian and the husband of the late Sona (Dabanian).

He leaves children Peter (Nicole) Toukhanian and Maral (Mark) Mamassian; grandchildren Hripsime (Eric), Maral, Arevik (Nicholas) and Maxine Sona and great-grandchildren Vahe and Rose. In addition, he was the brother of Sebouh (Maureen) Toukhanian, Seta (Dr. Ohan) Tabakian and the late Hourig (Robert) Jacobs.

He was best known as the producer, director and editor of the 1982 film “Assignment Berlin,” starring Eddie Mekka. The film was based on the story of Soghomon Tehlirian, who assassinated Talaat Pasha in Berlin in 1923, to avenge the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman government.

The film was one of 20 showcased at the Florence film Festival.

In addition, he won many awards, including the coveted Gold Medal award of New York International Film Festival for his documentary, “Heart of a Nation.”

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The Tekeyan Cultural Association honored Toukhanian about eight years ago for having directed and produced “Assignment Berlin.”

In recognizing Toukhanian for his dedicated services to the Armenian cause for justice, Edmond Azadian, the newly elected president of the national Tekeyan association, said “tonight we honor a talented man for his professional talent and dedication we emphasize for the pioneering venture in perpetuating Soghomon Tehlirian’s immortal deed and serving the entire Armenian community without any distinction.”

A private funeral has taken place.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations are to St. John Armenian Church or World Medical Relief.