By Elman Abdullayev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Ethiopia – This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. 75 years ago world defeated evil that threatened the very existance of our globe.
Azerbaijan’s contribution to victory over fascism is considered as key and strategic. With the population of approximately 3.5 million in 1941, more than 600 thousand of Azerbaijan’s sons and daughters participated in the war, half of them fell in the battlefields for our common cause. Their graves are spread all over Europe, from the Volga River to Berlin. For the courage shown during the war years, over 130 citizens of Azerbaijan were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, more than 170 thousand of our soldiers and officers were awarded various medals.
The 77th, 223rd, 336th, 402nd and 416th national divisions, formed from Azerbaijani conscripts and volunteers, passed glorious path from the Caucasus to Berlin. The heroic sons of our people bravely fought for the liberation of Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Stalingrad, Sevastopol, Odessa and hundreds of other settlements. Many Azerbaijanis also fought as members of the resistance in France, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and Yugoslavia and participated in their liberation. Their memory will always live in our hearts, their heroism and valor are true example of patriotism.
The victory was achieved not only on the battlefield but also at home. The true heroism was the selfless service and dedication of the people of Azerbaijan, who worked days and nights for the sake of victory. Azerbaijan’s oil played an exceptional role in achieving Victory in World War II. More than 70 percent of oil, 80 percent of gasoline, 90 percent of engine oils used by the Soviet Union during the 1941-1945 war was produced in Azerbaijan. Our country played important role in providing fuel for 7,000 combat aircrafts in the skies over Germany during the capture of Berlin. Four out of five Soviet aircrafts, tanks and trucks used in the course of the Second World War ran on fuel produced in Baku. In a very short period of time, Azerbaijan set the production of ammunitions and armaments as well as hosted industrial enterprises relocated from the war zones.
Without this potential, defeating fascist Germany would be very difficult. It is not coincidence that Nazi Germany was aiming to capture Baku. In this case, the Soviet army would be cut off from much-needed fuel. As it is well known that one of the major reasons that impeded Nazi advancement was shortage of fuel. Oilmen in Baku demonstrated true heroism, they worked very hard to reach record level of oil production, much higher than the average level of production.
More than 7 thousand tons of donated blood, different provisions, food and warm clothes were sent to the front by the people of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan mobilized all its resources for sake of the Victory over fascism.
Many Azerbaijani names were remembered in the history for bravery and their glory reached us today and will continue living in the hearts of upcoming generations.
The national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev paid full attention to the problems of WWII veterans, took care of them, and took important steps to resolve their social issues. By the decision of national leader May 9 – Victory Day is celebrated in Azerbaijan since 1994. As national leader emphasized in one of his speeches dedicated to Victory Day: “History today must know that the merits, activities and role of Azerbaijan in the Second World War were great.”
President Ilham Aliyev continues the policy of Great Leader and every year on May 9 celebrates Victory Day with WWII veterans, constantly supports and provides them with social protection. President of Azerbaijan considers Veterans of World War II as the pride of our people. Heroism demonstrated during the war years is remembered with great respect by entire Nation.
This is the reason why our people are sensitive towards attempts to falsify the history, glorification of fascism, and attempts to rewrite the history. This poses a great threat not only from the point of view of distorting history, but especially it represents threat to future generations. Therefore, we, international community, must tirelesly work to make the truth available to new generations and keep revealing the facts on how our ancestors fought for the better future of our children.
The glorification of fascism has no place in our world. The world community has repeatedly opposed the glorification of the Nazis and called for an active struggle against these dangerous tendencies. Unfortunately, even today, 75 years after the end of World War II, the glorification of fascism is taking place both in the world and the post-soviet space.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, speaking at the session of the Council of Commonwealth of Independent States, reminded the Heads of States and Governments of the glorification of nazi collaborator Garegin Nzhdeh in Armenia. President, appealing to international community, condemned the glorification of fascism in Armenia.
As President Ilham Aliyev stressed, “unfortunately, the glorification of fascism is taking place in the CIS, particularly in Armenia, where the former authorities erected the monument to the fascist executioner and traitor Garegin Ter-Harutyunyan in the center of Yerevan (capital of Armenia), who served with the German fascists under the nickname of Garegin Nzhdeh”.
Fascism, Nazism, racism or any other forms of discrimination should not be tolerated by our civilized world. Collective struggle must be waged against such tendencies.