The mass murder of Jews was coded by then German bureaucracy as the "final solution of the Jewish question". The European Jews were killed in the ghetto, concentration camps, during the "death marches" and as a result of mass executions.
During this auspicious International Holocaust Remembrance Day event January 28th 2017, the Holocaust was discussed by scholars from around the world in the context of studying the proclivities of man and man’s ability to rationalize horror, such as the atrocities of the Nazis. The role of Azerbaijan as a haven for Jews escaping the Nazis was discussed in detail, but also discussed were the horrors to come, ones that befell Jewish and Muslim (and other) Azerbaijanis alike with the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Holocaust is a tragedy of my people, a tragedy that has long been a taboo subject. That is why the bloody and barbaric act of genocide in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly is my personal pain, my personal tragedy.
What does the Holocaust and Khojaly have in common? Although very different, it is important to note that Israeli President Reuven "Ruvi" Rivlin touched upon the Khojaly in his speech to the UN General Assembly at the event dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Today, the close bilateral relations of Israel and Azerbaijan—owing much to the hundreds of thousands of Jewish Azerbaijanis who left during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, only to return to a free and prosperous Azerbaijan—provide an inter-religious, geopolitical, and cultural map for how Jews and Muslims can and do act toward one another and how they can and do coexist.
The names and geography of the towns and cities involved represent much more than a point on the map. In a historical sense, they have evolved into symbols of cruelty and inhumanity—Babi Yar, Lidice, Oradour, Khatyn. In the early 1990s, for the Muslims, Christians, and Jews of Azerbaijan, another name was added to the list—Khojaly. The tragedy that transpired in the small Azerbaijani town of Khojaly was also a crime against humanity. Armenian armed forces, like the Nazis before them, committed unspeakable atrocities and barbaric acts.
Khojaly, a town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, still occupied today by the now quasi-independent Armenia, was home to nearly 25,000 Azerbaijanis. On a February day in 1992, the roads from Khojaly to surrounding Azerbaijan were cut off and blockaded by Armenian forces and troops of the former USSR intent on the ethnic cleaning of the Azerbaijani population. The only option for the Khojaly population was to flee the town on foot, a treacherous journey.
On the eve of February 25, 1992 Armenian armed forces began the final takeover of the area. Khojaly residents were told that if they evacuated they would be g ranted safe passage – they were soon to discover that this was a horrific act of deception. As the entire town’s population began to flee Khojaly, Armenian armed forces and members of the No. 366 Soviet motorized rifle regiment confronted the townspeople with fierce gunfire. The terrified and unarmed population, including woman and children, were slaughtered.
As a result of the barbaric atrocities of the Armenian armed forces, 613 people were killed and 487 people were crippled. Eight families were exterminated, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one parent. Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage, and the fate of 150 people remains unknown. Civilians were shot at close range, scalped, and burned alive. The elderly, children and women who were captured were subjected to unprecedented torture, abuse and humiliation…incidentally atrocities similar to that of ISIS today.
Khojaly act of genocide was not only directed against the Azerbaijani people. It is, directly, a crime against humanity.
The month of February of each year the wounds of the Azerbaijani people are renewed. Their wounds are renewed because of every victim had a story, a family, a childhood, a future cut short in this massacre which has been perpetrated by Armenians in their own homes. The moral losses of the victims and their relatives in Azerbaijan will be doubled this year for the first reason of the 25th anniversary of the commemoration of the Khojaly genocide, the second for the impunity of the offenders of this crime.
Today the people installed in the administrative machinery of Armenia like Serj Sarkissyan (the current president, Seyran Ohanian (former defense minister), Robert Kocharian (former president) and dozens these types of government men attended directly in the extermination and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in the Mountainous Karabagh, occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The emergence of a new international legal doctrine, "crimes against humanity," intended as a vaccine against the recurrence of similar genocides by replacing impunity with institutionalized redisributive justice.
Israeli authors Amir and Arye Gut, in the search of truth in the feature-documentary novel “PAIN”, have talked about the mass killings committed in an Azerbaijani town. The authors of the novel “PAIN” have unmasked terrorist leaders of the contemporary Armenia, based on the testimonies of citizens of Khojaly who have been living witnesses of this bloody killing.
The Israeli authors have pictured the sorrow and tragedy of the Azerbaijani people with great heart-ache. The authors have sent a message of warning to the world about the nasty intentions of the Armenian terrorists who are disseminating death and horror, who have destroyed tangible and cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani history, but could not destroy the pure and bright feelings of the sons of the Homeland, which inspires them for a great mission – to protect their historical lands.
With this demonstration we could make comparative analyzes between the Armenian nationalist dashnaktsutyun party (the Armenian Revolutionary Federation) and the totalitarian populist party of Hitler in Nazi Germany. There were irrationality and racism, which constitute shared characteristics in the acts of the Armenian leaders of the dashnaktsutyun party as these have committed by Hitler.
Regarding the Jewish genocide, a related aspect of the problem is the relationship between the German state apparatus and the Nazi party. The promulgation of the Nuremberg laws clearly illustrates the nature of this hatred behavior, in which the party desiderata were significant primarily in the administration of state affairs. The laws were drafted in Nuremberg, revised repeatedly by the intervention of Hitler and his party ideologues, and then announced by Hitler to the Reichstag in Berlin. After seizing power, the Nazis restructured the German state so that a hierarchy of party functionaries gained ultimate control of the main operations of the nation.
Said current Armenian President Serj Sargsyan to British journalist Thomas de Waal 25 years ago, “Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us, they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that stereotype.”
It is impossible to imagine international acceptance of prominent Nazi war criminals, especially those, who bragged about their crimes as respectable politicians. Shouldn’t the perpetrators of Khojaly be held to the same standard?