Jamilya Alekperova: "Azerbaijan cherishes memory of war"
The international forum titled "Great Victory achieved through unity: the feat of partisans and underground workers in the Great Patriotic War" will start its work on April 25 in Bryansk. Azerbaijani journalist Jamilya Alekperova is one of the permanent participants of this international event. On the eve of opening of the forum, Jamilya plans to visit a memorable obelisk in Bryansk with the name of her great-grandfather, who died in the first year of the war in the battles on the territory of the Lugansk region, carved on it.
- What was the motive for you to visit your native places connected with the name of great-grandfather, who died during the Great Patriotic War?
- It's a holy mission for me. For a long time I knew that my great-grandfather died in the first year of the war near Lugansk, but did not know the circumstances of his death and where he's buried. I also did not know that there is a small monument in the Bryansk region, in the village of Khalevich of the Novozybkovsky district, to the Red Army soldiers, including my great-grandfather, Vasily Ivanovich Rebenok.
Then, I firmly decided to visit this place and get my great-grandfather included in the "Immortal Regiment" lists. For me, this is the only possible solution to preserve the memory of a man who gave his life for a better future for all of us.
Many thanks to my friends from Moscow, the North-South Center, the Sodruzhestvo press club, the Bryansk searchers, and all those who helped and assisted me in addressing that issue. Believe me, these are not formal words of gratitude, I am touched to tears by such an attitude towards an ordinary person's request to help restore the memory of her ancestor.
- You are a regular participant of the "Great Victory achieved through unity" forum. What do you get from communicating with colleagues from other countries in the format of this international site?
- This is a forum of like-minded people, a meeting of people who cherish the memory of the Great Victory. It is very unfortunate that every year it is more difficult for our veterans to get to the venue of the event. But they got a lot of spirit, like many years ago.
Now the increasing number of young people, guys from search groups, historians and journalists take part in our event. There is a passing of the torch to a new generation. Therefore, it is always interesting for me to take part in such meetings. It;s not just a meeting with like-minded people, it always has a special atmosphere.
- What does Azerbaijan feel about the events of the Great Patriotic War?
- I think the answer is obvious. Every fifth citizen of Azerbaijan took part in the Great Patriotic War with weapons in his hands. During the war, Azerbaijani oil workers provided the Soviet Union with 80% of its oil and oil products.
128 natives of Azerbaijan were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Everyone knows these figures, but not only heroic deeds are behind them, but also the grief of irreplaceable loss. 300 thousand citizens of the USSR from Azerbaijan were killed during the war.
Every year Azerbaijan holds a solemn ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Great Patriotic War. President Ilham Aliyev lays a wreath to the monument of the two-time Hero of the Soviet Union, Major-General Hazi Aslanov, meets with veterans. It is no exaggeration to say that Azerbaijan cherishes the memory of the war.
And this is not only a state, but also a family tradition. I was brought up to have the respect for our common memory of the great war.