The first massacre of innocent Jews before the Holocaust

At the beginning of the 20th century drastic social and political processes developed in the Caucasus. The First World War left a deep mark on the history of this region. Unprepared for the World war, Russia  suffered huge loss of life and financial damage.
A socio-political downfall led to the total collapse of the Russian empire. After the fall of the Russian monarchy, the Caucasus entered a new stage of social and political processes. In this historical period the provinces of Azerbaijan also experienced all the burdens of the First World War. 
The Armenian nationalists, moving on the verge of the "Armenian question" and consumed by the mythical idea of the creation of the "Great Armenia", organized several rebellions in Eastern Anatolia at the end of the 19th century. They did not reach the goal and transferred their myth to the Caucasus. At the turn of the 20th century, after confiscation of the properties of the Armenian-Gregorian church, they showed their true face and organized acts of terror targeting high-ranking officials of the Caucasian administration. Governor of Transcaucasia Prince Grigory Golitsyn was wounded in an assassination attempt organized by the Armenian Dashnaks in 1903, the Baku governor M. Nakashidze was assassinated in 1905. 
 During the World War I the Armenian nationalists, in particular the Dashnaks, carriers of evil and death, put their efforts
in realizing the "Armenian issue" - the formation of  the "Great Armenia" in six provinces of the Ottoman Empire. During these years, the Armenian military detachments showed hatred towards civilians, conducted horrendous crimes in Eastern Anatolia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, murdered women, children and old men. But the Armenians could not realize their mythical plans during the military operations on the Caucasian front. The "gray" nature of the Armenian nationalists worried not only the Russian generals, but also the governments of the Western countries, who pegged them as potential terrorists. 
  After the October coup, the separatist Armenians, disillusioned with the actions of both the Russian Empire and the leading Entente countries in resolving the "Armenian issue", decided to use the new political forces in the region. The Dashnaks conspired with the Transcaucasian Commissariat (November 11, 1917 - early January 1918), moved to the South Caucasus in order to clear the territories for the creation of the "Great Armenia" and started preparing for a new crime in the region - the genocide of the Azerbaijani people. To this end, they elaborated a plan focusing on the total armament of the Armenian population in the region.
 On the instructions of the Transcaucasian Commissariat the Armenian villages, communities and gangs were provided with rifles and cartridges from the Tbilisi arsenal. At the end of 1917, they plundered and killed Azerbaijanis in Elizavetpol and Irevan 
provinces, while Muslims were not allowed to own guns.
    During this period, the Bolsheviks tried to expand their social base and contributed to the Armenian robbery and violence, focusing their attention on the "Armenian question". Collaborator of the Dashnak-Hnchak clique, Armenian Bolshevist communist politician Stepan Shaumyan, became the ideological inspirer of the Dashnak atrocities in Baku. Pulling out the thesis on the establishment of the Soviet power in the region, Shaumyan and his gang subjected to genocide as many as 12,000 Azerbaijanis in the spring and summer of 1918 in Baku and the districts of the Baku province. After the Baku genocide Shaumyan told the survivors of the March hell: "We had to destroy all of you."
  During this period Dashnaks conducted brutal crimes against the innocent Azerbaijani people in Shamakhi and Guba regions. On the instructions of Stepan Lalayan and Tatevos Amirov, Armenian gangster groups murdered more than 16,000 civilians in Shamakhi. The Armenian atrocities in Shamakhi were so terrible that the Baku Council decided to arrest Lalayan for this crimes, but Stepan Shaumyan, threw his weight behind dangerous criminal Lalayan and freed him from arrest. Similar atrocities were committed by Armenian gangs in Guba region, where a Dashnak detachment under the command of Hamazasp Srvantsyan was raging.
The bloody events in Guba began before Hamazasp's invasion, where the population was notable for its ethnic diversity. Originally known as the "ethnographic museum" of Azerbaijan, Guba was distinguished by its multi-confessional and multiethnic population, where the Turkic Azerbaijanis, Lezgins, Mountain Jews as well as representative of Shahdag groups – Khynaligs, Gyryzs, Budugs - and other ethnic groups lived together peacefully. Guba civilians united their forces, opposed the Dashnak military and defeated Muradyan’s gang. The unfolding events in Guba mixed the cards of  Shaumyan and his supporters. They  decided 
to punish the Guba people for their courage and fortitude. The hit squad of Hamazasp was sent to Guba. 
  Before entering the city, it robbed, destroyed and set on fire everything and everyone in Guba, murdered women, children and old men. Hamazasp explained his hatred for the inhabitants of Guba as follows: "I am from Erzerum and for a long time I fought against the Turks. I am a hero of the Armenian people and I protect their interests.  I'm not going to establish my authority here. I was sent here to avenge Muradyan's broken detachment, and I was ordered to cut out all Muslims from the sea to Shahdag as was done 
in Shamakhi."
 Because of the armed attack conducted by the Armenians during the first five months of 1918, more than 16,000 people were brutally killed in Guba, 167 villages were completely destroyed, and some 35 of them do not exist anymore. Only in the first two days of May, 1918, Hamazasp's thugs killed as many as 1,700 Turks-Azerbaijanis, 1,200 Lezgins and more than 300 Tats in Guba and neighboring villages. According to the diverse range of official materials and eyewitness testimonies, up to 3,000 mountain Jews were killed by the gang groups along with the Muslims.  
     A total of 15,036 Mountain Jews lived in Guba before the genocide, 20% of them were murdered. In his researches, professor Rovshan Mustafayev wrote about these atrocities, pointing out that not only materials collected by the Extraordinary Investigative Commission under the chairmanship of A. Khasmamedov testify to the discovery of the names of murdered innocent Jews. Reliable factual materials preserved in the personal archives of the Jews who had survived the tragic events of the early 20th century also bear evidence of the crimes of the Dashnak gangs against the mountain Jews. Honorable pensioner Yakov Ilich Abramov keeps valuable materials that testify to the criminal atrocities committed by Hamazasp's criminal collaborators against the Jews of Guba region in May 1918, in order to realize the mythical idea of Armenians - the formation of the "Great Armenia", which has never existed in the Caucasus. 
    These valuable materials were miraculously saved during the years of totalitarian dictatorship of Stalin. The above factual materials are mute witnesses of the bloody crimes conducted by the Dashnak Hamazasp in the Shimi Valley, where his partners carried out mass executions of the Jews of Guba. This murder can be called the first awful massacre of Jews before the Holocaust. The Jewish community of the Republic of Azerbaijan possesses facts proving mass murders of mountain Jews by the Armenian nationalist gangs between 1918 and 1919. In search of the truth, exposing the genocide against the peaceful population committed by Hamazasp's gangs in Guba, the Jewish community prepared an Appeal to the Institute of Human Rights of the National 
Academy of Sciences. The document in particular says: "During the genocide, Jews were killed by Hamazasp's collaborators for the sole reason of not being Armenians. "The list of victims identified by the Institute for Human Rights, features 104 names. It is a guilty verdict of Dashnaks, who committed outrages and bloody crimes in Guba region in 1918 in the name of the mythical idea of "Great Armenia". 
   In order to realize the mythical idea, the Armenians continued to murder civilians - old people, women and children. Dashnak Andranik committed a genocide against the Azerbaijani people in the summer and fall of 1918 in Zangezur. After he was expelled from the country, Dashnaks Garagen Nzhdeh and Drastamat Kanoyan (nicknamed Dro), who carried out "ethnic cleansing" in Eastern Anatolia during the First World War, continued to murder the rest of civilians in Zangezur. During this period, not only 
the Armenian gangs of Dashnaks  - Dro, Andranik and Nzhdeh - plundered and murdered civilians of the Ararat Republic because the Dashnak government also organized a planned and targeted "ethnic cleansing" against the Muslims of the South Caucasus. Today, the leadership of Armenia is lauding the executioners Andranik, Dro and Nzhdeh. The last two Dashnaks, thirsting for the blood of peaceful, innocent people, took sides with Nazi Germany during the Second World War. They organized groups of collaborators who destroyed civilians in Ukraine, Crimea, the North Caucasus, only because these people did not serve 
their racist ideas. Having heroized these executioners, the leadership of the Republic of Armenia thereby does not hide its admiration for racism and Nazism. The mono-ethnic Republic of Armenia pays tribute to Nazi criminals at the official level. 
  After the "ethnic cleansing" in the late 20th century in the Armenian SSR, the nationalist forces who came to power in the Republic of Armenia acquitted the racist collaborator of Nazi Germany Nzhdeh on March 30, 1992. To perpetuate the Armenian model of fascism - "tsegakronizm", the ruling power of Armenia on May 25, 2016 erected a monument to the executioner Nzhdeh  in the center of the capital city Irevan. In such a manner, the rulers of Armenia demonstrated their fascist, nationalist and neo-political bias, which is the main ideology of the ruling party of Armenia and guidance for the younger generation.
Dr.Mehsati Aliyeva
Arye Gut