By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani veterans have turned to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asking him to help demolish a monument to Nazi accomplice and ultranationalist Armenian ideologist Garegin Nzhdeh in Azerbaijan's Khojavand city in Karabakh, local news sources have reported.
In an appeal to Lavrov, the Presidium of the Organization of War, Labor and Armed Forces Veterans of Azerbaijan said that "it’s extremely important to demolish" the monument to Nzhdeh located in the Azerbaijani city of Khojavand, once occupied by Armenia and currently in the zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers.
Manifestation of disrespect
“The presence of such a monument on the territory of Azerbaijan is unacceptable and unacceptable not only from the point of view of the values of our state and people, but also taking into account universal and moral values,” the appeal said.
The veterans said that the bright memory of the courage of the Soviet people is still revered in Azerbaijan, and May 9 remains one of the most revered public holidays.
"We, people who have gone through all the hardships of the war against fascism, who have lost comrades in these battles, are watching with pain in our hearts the glorification of Nazi criminals. We are outraged by the actions of Armenia, which are a direct manifestation of disrespect for the memory of those who died for our once common Motherland, for all peace-loving humanity,” the veterans added.
They expressed confidence that the efforts must be united in the fight against the common evil in the form of the ideology of fascism promoted by Armenia to remain faithful to the blessed memory of the victims of the Great Patriotic War.
"On behalf of all veterans of the Great Patriotic War of Azerbaijan, with respect and hope that we will be understood correctly,” the appeal said.
They recalled Lavrov that in their previous appeal on the eve of the 76th anniversary of the historic Victory over fascism, the Azerbaijani veterans of the Great Patriotic War, expressed concern at attempts to represent the Armenian puppets of Hitler's Nazism as heroes.
"That appeal dealt with the shameless glorification of Nazi criminals both in Armenia and in the information and cultural space of Russia, which honors the memory of millions of people killed by the Nazis,” said the appeal.
Russia's Armenian diaspora promoting Nzhdeh
“With pain in our hearts, we brought to your attention that Armenia is using Russian resources to justify the leaders of the punitive Armenian SS Legion Drastamat Kanayan and Garegin Ter-Harutyunyan, also known as Generals Dro and Nzhdeh. In the media, Nzhdeh, who was an accomplice of the Nazi regime and a friend of Hitler and Himmler, is equated with heroes,” the appeal noted.
The veterans stressed that a presentation of "Conversations with Garegin Nzhdeh, or Monument to 125th Anniversary of Nzhdeh" book was held in Moscow.
"The paradox is that, according to the event organizers, ‘Nzhdeh's ideas are more relevant today than ever and should be actively promoted in modern society’. In 1948 Nzhdeh was sentenced to 25 years in prison as a war criminal and died in 1957 in the Vladimir Central Prison. He wasn’t acquitted, since the court upheld the previous sentence,” reminded the appeal.
The veterans said that Russia's Armenian diaspora annually organizes visits to the grave of Nzhdeh in Vladimir city to honor the memory of the fascist executioner and questioned the construction of a memorial complex at the cemetery to the Nazi accomplice.
“We express our deep gratitude to you for not ignoring our last year's appeal. As you can see from the answer we received, a certain amount of work was done with representatives of local Armenians. Apparently, as a result of this work, an attempt to perpetuate the memory of this Nazi killer in Russia was prevented last year,” the appeal authors noted.
However, the appeal added that two weeks after the celebration in Armenia of the 71st anniversary of the Victory over Nazi Germany, a solemn ceremony of unveiling a monument to Garegin Nzhdeh took place in central Yerevan. The ceremony of perpetuating the memory of the fascist murderer was personally attended by former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, "who stood next to you a year ago at the parade timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Victory over fascism in Moscow”, said the authors.
UN resolution against Nazi glorification
They noted that at Russia's initiative, UN General Assembly adopted resolution 70/139 on the "Fight against the glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to the escalation of modern forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance".
The veterans stressed that paragraph 4 of the document states that the UN General Assembly "expresses deep concern about the glorification in any form of the Nazi movement, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen SS, including the construction of monuments and memorials and public demonstrations in order to glorify the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, as well as through the announcement or attempts to declare the members of this organization and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition, collaborated with the Nazi movement and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, participants in national liberation movements”.
The appeal noted that the cult of worshipping persons loyal to the fascist regime who became the perpetrators of the massacres of Soviet soldiers and civilians, including representatives of the Armenian people themselves, is widespread in Armenia, which joined this resolution and posing as a strategic ally of Russia.
“We are surprised that Russia itself, which has always reacted to similar incidents in other countries, doesn’t react to this in any way, and we don’t understand why Armenia, where commemorative coins are minted and films are made in honor of the Nazi criminals Dro and Nzhdeh, is given special privileges for such behavior,” the authors said.
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