Azerbaijani great leader Heydar Aliyev, who was born in a simple, hardworking family, went down in history as a winner in the struggle to save the Azerbaijanis, Director of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, MP, academician Yaqub Mahmudov told Trend.
“National leader Heydar Aliyev’s life and activity, as opposed to other great personalities, fell on the period of two different social and political systems and in both periods he was able to rise to the highest level in his political activity,” he said.
Mahmudov stressed that for the first time in the Soviet period Heydar Aliyev got engaged in the rather difficult and honorable work - the personnel nationalization in the State Security Committee.
"Heydar Aliyev graduated from the Baku State University,” he added. “When we studied in the first year, the group in which he studied graduated from the Baku State University.”
“During that period, Heydar Aliyev worked in the State Security Committee,” he said. “We understood well the importance of that for all of us. Then, when he became chairman of the State Security Committee, we were glad that, as opposed to the 1920s and 1930s, nobody could eliminate us any more because we had such a defender.”
Mahmudov also recalled a story involving Heydar Aliyev.
"In 1958-1959, I was the secretary of the student All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (Komsomol). One of the talented students distributed leaflets condemning the Soviet power. We all were afraid that this young man would be eliminated. I was told to hold a closed Komsomol meeting.”
“During that period, Heydar Aliyev worked in the State Security Committee,” he said. “He also participated in this meeting. Various statements were made. One group demanded to ease this young man’s lot, another group - to expel him from the university.”
“Heydar Aliyev spoke at the meeting for about an hour in connection with the youth issues,” Mahmudov said. “This was very instructive speech. By the words voiced in conclusion, he saved this young man. Heydar Aliyev said that he saw that the majority was sensible youth there, with enough power to educate this young man. Only then we realized that the activity of this brave Azerbaijani in such an organization as the State Security Committee meant salvation from the threat of the elimination of millions of our children."
The academician added that in 1969, when Heydar Aliyev came to power, a 50-year-anniversary of the Baku State University was marked.
"Frankly speaking, we were surprised by the speech of the president at the jubilee event in his native language,” Mahmudov said. “Then our intelligentsia realized that the president intended to revive Azerbaijan and was moving towards development in this direction."
The academician also witnessed how the great leader patronized the national revival of the Azerbaijanis in the late 1960s-1970s.
During that period Mahmudov worked as a scientific editor of History Editorial office in Azerbaijan Soviet Encyclopedia, which was one of the main centers of national revival.
The academician stressed that the employees who worked in Encyclopedia, headed by great thinker Rasul Rza and the progressive intelligentsia who gathered in the Encyclopedia during that period took rather brave actions.
“During that time, employees of the Encyclopedia raised such issues as the decisive role of the Turkic ethnos in the formation of the Azerbaijanis, the occupation of Northern Azerbaijan by Tsarist Russia, the progressive role of the public figures of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in Azerbaijan’s history, the objective assessment of the work of the public figures of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and occupation in April 1920,” he said.
"I also did not forget that the enemies who didn’t want Azerbaijan’s national revival tried to badmouth us,” Mahmudov said. “Without paying attention to all this, in March 1971 the great leader entrusted me with such a position as scientific deputy editor-in-chief in the Encyclopedia. During those years, we were able to print Azerbaijan’s historical maps for the first time thanks to his support. After a short period of time, we were called "nationalists", "bourgeois ideologists", "enemies of Soviet power and enemies of Russia".
Mahmudov also said that the son of Stepan Shaumyan, who committed the March genocide in 1918 against the Azerbaijanis, Levon Shaumyan was brought to Baku. During that time, Shaumyan was the first deputy editor-in-chief of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia.
"Ill-wishers made every effort to badmouth the Azerbaijani intelligentsia, but they could not achieve their goals," Mahmudov added.
Mahmudov said that thanks to Heydar Aliyev, employees who worked in Encyclopedia and a big group of intellectuals, as well as he himself, not only were not prosecuted by the State Security Council, but were able to avoid punishment in the party.
"I was in Azerbaijan’s districts situated on the frontline, inspiring young people in Kerkijahan, Khojaly, Gubadli, Lachin,” Mahmudov said. “Every young man said that Heydar Aliyev would save us from this disaster and urged to bring him to power. Heydar Aliyev is a man who ranks with such well-known political figures as Ataturk, Jawaharlal Nehru, George Washington, Bismarck, Charles de Gaulle."
The historian added that the National Academy of Sciences, which is the flagship of Azerbaijani science, and its numerous team have always felt the care and attention of national leader Heydar Aliyev.
"Despite during the first days of Heydar Aliyev’s coming to power the country was in a military-political crisis, he met with members of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan and listened to their opinions,” he said. “He took effective steps to solve social problems of scientists. He proudly stated that the path passed by the academy is a brilliant page in the history of the Azerbaijanis. At the Institute of History of the academy special attention is paid to comprehensive research of political and state activity of national leader of Azerbaijanis at the academic level."
He said that for this purpose the Institute conducts research, there is a department for studying Heydar Aliyev’s heritage.
The academician stressed that modern Azerbaijan is achieving more success in creating a democratic, legal and secular country.
"Azerbaijan’s statehood was forever saved from enemies,” he said. “For all this, our grateful people are indebted to Heydar Aliyev. The great statesman of the modern period, President Ilham Aliyev, successfully developing Heydar Aliyev’s ideas, ensured the steady rise of the Republic of Azerbaijan and turned our country into one of the advanced countries."
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