Azerbaijani veterans of the Second World War have appealed to Pope Francis over Armenia’s advocating fascist ideas at the state level and glorification of Nazi criminals in the country. Following is the text of their letter to Pope Francis.
As we know, You are going to visit Armenia on June 24-26, 2016. We wish You a successful visit for the sake of peace, welfare and prosperity in our region. At the same time, we would like to draw Your highest attention to the ongoing events in Armenia that threaten the ideas of peaceful coexistence and are contrary to Your holy mission.
While Azerbaijan and Vatican demonstrates to the world a bright example of cooperation for the sake of dialogue between civilizations and religions, Armenia advocates racist ideas at the state level.
In 2015, on the eve of 70th anniversary of the historical victory over fascism, we – veterans of the World War II raised alarm about the glorification of Hitler’s Nazi accomplices by Armenia. It was not only about the blasphemous glorification of Nazi felons in Armenia, but also at the international information and cultural realm.
With pain in our hearts, we would like to draw your attention to the fact, how Armenia uses all the resources for bleaching the accomplices of Hitler and Himmler, leaders of the Armenian punitive legion SS Drastamat Kanayan and Garegin Ter-Harutiunian, known as the generals Dro and Nzhdeh.
Briefly, we recall that these “national heroes” of Armenia are responsible for the death of tens of thousands people in Ukraine and Poland, crimes against Jews and other “undesirables” to the fascist ideology, mass killings in concentration camps of Hitler. The reports of Armenian legion approve the extermination of over 20,000 civilians in Western Crimea alone.
Today, it is extremely cynical that Armenia has created the main “front” for glorification of Nazi criminals on the territory of neighboring Russia, the country, which cherishes the memory of millions who were killed by Nazis.
Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan personally took part in the ceremony of perpetuating the memory of a Nazi criminal in the centre of Yerevan. A year before that together with the leaders of the countries affected by fascism, Sargsyan participated in the Victory Parade in Moscow, and “commemorated” the victims of the World War II in Yerevan in May 2016.
Today, the world condemns any form of fascism. On the 17th of December, 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.
In paragraph 4 of the document, it is stated 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” organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement participants in national liberation movements”
In Armenia, which has joined this resolution, a large-scale cult is being created around those who swore to the fascist regime and responsible for the death of millions, including the representatives of the Armenian people.
Moreover, we are surprised by the lack of any reaction to it by the international community. In the case of other countries, they always react to such issues. We do not understand Armenia’s special right to behave this way. Armenia mints commemorative coins, shoot films in honor of Nazi criminals Dro and Nzhdeh. There is a square and subway station named after Garegin Nzhdeh in Yerevan.
There is a street named after Drastamat Kanayan. In addition, there is also a monument to Nazhdeh in the centre of Yerevan, next to the complex of government buildings and the headquarters of the ruling party of Armenia.
Isn’t that insulting the memory of the dead? Is not that a cynical mockery of the victims of fascism?!
We, the people who survived all the pain of the war against fascism, lost comrades in the battles, with an aching heart, have to see the creation of the halo of heroes around Nazi criminals. We are indignant of Armenia’s actions which are a direct challenge to the entire world.
We are confident that being faithful to the blessed memory of those who were killed in the fight against fascism, you will make every effort against the common evil as the fascist ideology cultivated by Armenia.
We hope that our voice will be heard by your Holiness. We sincerely ask you to influence the Armenian leadership in order to prevent attempts to rehabilitate and glorify Nazi criminals, in particular the dismantling of the monument to the accomplice of Hitler, the general of fascist army Garegin Nzhdeh.
With respect and hope for understanding on behalf of all veterans of the World War II of Azerbaijan:
Dadash Rzayev, Chairman of the veteran organization of the Republic, member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council of the CIS, Member of the International Advisory Committee for Reserve officers and the Committee. Major General in reserve
Tofig Agahuseynov, Member of the presidium of the veteran organization, a war veteran, Colonel General in reserve, awarded the Order of the Red Star
Agadadash Samedov, A war veteran, awarded the Order of “Glory” three degree
Maria Rzayeva, A war veteran, awarded the Order of Patriotic War 2rd degree
Alexander Gretchenko, A war veteran, captain of 1st rank, awarded the Order of “Glory”
Irina Gadimova, Blockaded Leningrad, teacher at the University
Ismayil Farajov, A war veteran, chairman of the veteran organization of Nasimi district
Gara Sariyev, A war veteran, professor
Sofia Jafarova, A war veteran, colonel of police in retirement
Ismayil Ibrahimov, A war veteran, academician, member of the presidium of veterans’ organizations of the Republic, hero of Socialist Labor
Bahadur Huseynov, A war veteran, member of the presidium of veterans’ organizations of the Republic, Major General in retirement
Jalil Khalilov, Deputy Chairman at veterans’ organizations of the Republic, PhD in Political Science, Associate Professor of the Academy of State Service under the President of the Republic, member of the Coordination Council of the CIS, Member of the International Advisory Committee of the reserve officers and the provision, Colonel in reserve, a war veteran
Lev Mohin, A war veteran
Vasiliy Shevchov, A war veteran
Atabala Hajiyev, A war veteran, awarded the Order of Lenin