To Maria Zakharova: In for a penny, in for a pound or why Moscow not speaks much about glorification of Nazis by Armenia

Fri 12 January 2018 12:26 GMT | 16:26 Local Time

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The law recently passed in Latvia caused an uproar in Moscow, where it was described as "blasphemous".

From the statement of spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Maria Zakharova in connection with the law of Latvia "About the status of the participant of the Second World War":

"The planned course of official Riga to rewrite history is, unfortunately, already well known to us. Cynically insulting the memory of 150,000 Soviet soldiers who heroically gave their lives for the liberation of Latvia, the political leadership of this country actually equalized the status of World War II participants who fought on the side of fascist Germany and their accomplices with the soldiers of the anti-Hitler coalition. It is obvious that this law introduces an even greater split in society, playing into the hands of forces interested in fomenting xenophobic sentiments and ethnic hatred in the Latvian society.

"We are outraged by this latest blasphemous legislative act. The frank mockery over the course and outcome of the Second World War is absolutely unacceptable and will have serious consequences for Russian-Latvian relations.

"We have urged the international profile structures (the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe) to give a principled assessment of this flagrant step by the Latvian authorities. "

"Double occupation", or "Plague on both your houses"

Nazism, no matter what self-proclaimed "lofty ideals"  it is hiding behind, is one of the varieties of extreme chauvinism and racism. And, beyond all doubt, it is an absolute and unconditional evil, said Zakharova.

“Therefore, I do not want to believe that by equalizing the rights of veterans who fought on both sides of the front, Latvia, as a country that considers itself a victim of double - German and Soviet-occupation, seeks to justify this evil,” Zakharova said, adding, however, that whatever is behind the motives of the Latvian government, it would be better for it to express its position with regard to Nazism and its monstrous essence.

“However, it never happened after the adoption of a very controversial law," Zakharova said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry today calls upon the world community, all international organizations to "give a principled assessment" to the Latvian law equalizing veterans. This is absolutely understandable.

But what prevented the foreign policy department of the Russian Federation from recalling Armenia’s glorification of Nazi henchman Garegin Nzhdeh by erecting in the center of Yerevan his monument to which the Armenian president lays flowers every year in a deep bow?

And what is more blasphemous in relation to the memory of millions of victims of the war - to recognize possibly forcibly mobilized Latvian soldiers as veterans, or to turn the Armenian ideologist of Nazism and fascism into a legend?

During the Second World War, Garegin Nzhdeh not only collaborated and supported the Nazis. He vehemently agitated the captive Armenians to join the armed struggle against the USSR.

And this is he, the man whom the Armenian public is now trying to present as a philosopher, the developer of the ideology of national existence, who said the following words: "Whoever perishes for Germany, perishes for Armenia".

Nazi archives contain a memorandum of the main ideologist of Nazism, Alfred Rosenberg, who met Nzhdeh in 1934, after which, six months later, a report that recognized the 'Aryan origin of Armenians' by studying the anthropology of the Armenian people was submitted to Hitler.

That is, Nzhdeh, at the behest of his heart, turned to Hitler even before the Second World War.  Nzhdeh officially contacted the Nazi occupiers and negotiated with them in Sofia in 1941, and after a while, actively recruited volunteers with Gestapo’s support.

Having established connections with the leadership of Nazi Germany, Nzhdeh mostly met with Reichsminister Rosenberg, participated in the Caucasian bloc, created on the platform of support for Germany as the future "liberator of the Caucasus from Soviet domination".

On December 15, 1942, Garegin Nzhdeh became one of the seven members of the Armenian National Council created by the Germans.

Armenian paramilitary groups led by Dro and Garegin Nzhdeh were trained by the SS instructors and took an active part in operations to occupy the Crimean peninsula and undertake offensive against the Caucasus.

In 1944, with the approach of the Soviet army, Nzhdeh was hiding in Sofia, where he was arrested by representatives of the Soviet authorities.

The archives of the Ministry of National Security of Armenia preserve Nzhdeh's letter dated September 1944, that is, immediately after the arrest:

"The Soviet army came, and what I expected happened.
... They forgot, all Armenians forgot that only through my efforts they did not suffer the fate of the Jews, and for four years they all only enriched. Diaspora, once again you forced me to experience the bitterness of shame. Shame on you!".

Imagining himself "the Fuhrer of the Armenian people", he left behind a "legacy" to the young Armenian generation - the manuscript "My Credo" (an analogy with Hitler's "Mine Kapf").

And in his letter to the Soviet commander Voroshilov, the "hero" of the Armenian people wrote:
"... when I returned to my cell, I found out that my belongings had been transferred to another bed ... This was the forerunner of the inquisition over me. It was followed by the most terrible torture, which only the sadistic mind can invent, to make it clear that I am not closing my eyes: I was deprived of the right to wear stockings and a hat. I had a fever, I asked to call the doctor, but they didn’t, I fainted from extreme nervous tension. ... I declare myself a martyr. "

Today, the chauvinistic Armenian national ideology with a racist bias formed by Nzhdeh is the ideological bias of the ruling republican party of Armenia and the Armenian government itself.

The racist ideology under the name "Nzhdeism" is included in the curriculum of the secondary and higher schools of Armenia, and the ruling party of Armenia, headed by President Serzh Sargsyan, considers Nzhdeh to be their ideological leader.

The Government of Armenia funded the publication of the book "Garegin Nzhdeh and His Teaching" and a film about him estimated at $ 7 million and starring Russian actors Chulpan Khamatova and Mikhail Efremov.

Is this state policy of Armenia, the country that supports terror at the state level, not an example of extreme disrespect for the memory of the millions who died in the struggle against fascism in World War II, their relatives, veterans who shed their blood in the name of victory over fascism?

Dual approach

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia for some reason prefers to keep silent about all this, and when it mentions, it does it only in a form of a slight bewilderment.

From the statement of the Spokesperson of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova in connection with the erection of the monument to Garegin Nzhdeh (the only statement on this topic):

"Everybody knows our attitude to the Great Patriotic War, as well as to any forms of revival, heroization and any manifestations of Nazism, neo-Nazism, extremism. These attitude is fixed in international documents. For us it is not clear why this monument was erected in Yerevan, because we all know about the immortal feat of the Armenian people in the times of the Great Patriotic War and the World War II.

"Of course, for us the main indicator of the official position of Yerevan on the issue of preserving the historical truth about the Great Patriotic War is the attitude to the May 9 holiday - the day of a common Victory for us all. Armenia is also a co-author of the UN General Assembly's resolution 'Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance’. In addition, when the resolution was adopted at the 70th session of the General Assembly, it was the Armenian delegation that voiced the joint statement of the CSTO member states in support of this important initiative.

"We proceed from the fact that this is precisely the official position of Yerevan and the Armenian people.

"As before, without binding to any political conjuncture, we will regularly give our assessment to things incompatible with the memory of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War. There are things that should remain unshakable - this is our basic attitude. "

... a memorial plaque in memory of Nzhdeh was erected last summer in the city of Armavir, Krasnodar.
City residents were outraged that the name of the Nazi collaborator stood in line with the heroes of the Great Patriotic War, angry letters were sent to various instances. The scandal lasted only a couple of days, then it was somehow quietly brought to nothing.

Another interesting fact: on November 19, the program "Forecasts with Veronika Krasheninnikova" of the "Zvezda" TV channel, which is considered the official TV company of the Russian Defense Ministry, aired a story about the propaganda of fascism by the Armenian authorities.

Here is a quote from the program: "It's hard to believe, but Yerevan also glorifies the accomplices of fascism. So, in May 2016 a monument to Garegin Nzhdeh was erected in Armenia. This is an Armenian bandera ... In 1942, Nzhdeh asked the Third Reich to turn Soviet Armenia into a German colony. It was he who created the Armenian SS legion and persuaded the POWs of Armenians that anyone who perishes for Germany dies for Armenia. "

In addition, during the program, the presenter pointed to the logo of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and asked: "Does it remind you of anything?", And she replied: "It reminds the symbols of the Third Reich."

Already the next day, November 20, the video of the program was removed from the official page of the channel on Youtube.

Against this background, Armenia's voting for the resolution adopted by Russia at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly looks more than hypocritical.

Unambiguous position

Azerbaijan, whose people made a great contribution to the victory over fascism, supported this resolution, and this position is quite natural. By the way, in previous years Azerbaijan acted as a co-author of the above resolution.

More than 600,000 Azerbaijanis fought during the World War II, 300,000 of them died in battles. More than 440,000 people wounded at the front received treatment in Azerbaijan, as a rear, numerous refugees and internally displaced people from the occupied territories of the USSR, including a large number of Jews, also found shelter here.

Today, Azerbaijan is waging a decisive battle against all forms and manifestations of terrorism, aggressive separatism and racial discrimination in words and in deeds.

Strongly rejecting double standards and approaches, Azerbaijan firmly and openly declares its position of rejection and fight against these dangerous threats from all international rostrums.

This position of Azerbaijan is unambiguous, firm and unshakable, and does not depend on any political trends or the forces from which emanate.

The original text has been published at 1news.az.

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