Monument to Armenian Hitler
At the end of May, Yerevan hosted the installation of a monument to Garegin Nzhdeh, who was a collaborator and actively cooperated with the military leaders of Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic War. At the time, the Moscow authorities, the expert community and the media did not react to such a shocking event. Vestnik Kavkaza became the first Russian news agency that drew attention to the open glorification of a Nazi criminal, while certain media buried their heads in the sand, preferring to ignore such an outrageous fact.
Vestnik Kavkaza made an appeal to the whole of Russian society to sound the alarm and not turn away from such a serious problem as the glorification of any manifestations of fascism and extremism, even and especially when it happens in a country that is a strategic partner of Russia. And we are happy that our voice was finally heard. Vestnik Kavkaza presents the article of the 'Russian Planet' project, which relates that the Russian State Duma also paid attention to this problem.
State Duma MP Maxim Shingarkin (LDPR) has prepared an inquiry addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, with a request to use diplomatic measures against the leadership of the Republic of Armenia and remind them about the inadmissibility of glorification of Nazi collaborators. The reason for this was the installation of a monument to the collaborationist, Hitler's accomplice Garegin Nzhdeh, in Yerevan. Previously, a square and a subway station have also been named after him.
"Processes such as the installation of a monument to collaborators, Hitler's accomplices, resemble the Ukrainian events. There, as you may recall, everything began with the glorification of the executioners of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. It is especially strange to observe these processes in friendly, brotherly Armenia, where internationalism is strong; in the country that gave us the brilliant Marshal Baghramyan, whose military talent made a great contribution to the victory. Unfortunately, Nazism is raising its head in many former Soviet republics, and the consequences of flirting with radical nationalism could be severe," Maxim Shingarkin explained.
The MP also noted that Armenia is seeking international recognition of the Armenian genocide, the victims of which were up to 1.5 million people, and the Nazis and their accomplices were also condemned at the Nuremberg trial for genocide. According to Shingarkin, it is necessary to be careful in choosing national heroes, especially those who have tarnished themselves by collaborating with the military and political leadership of the Third Reich.
On May 28th, the Day of the First Republic, the center of Yerevan hosted an official ceremony of the installation of the monument to Garegin Nzhdeh, one of the founders of the Tseghakron-nationalist ideology. The aim of Tseghakron is to unite the Armenian people across the entire territory of their historical homeland into a united Armenian state. In Armenia, Nzhdeh is called a hero of the national liberation movement of the early 20th century. Everything would be fine, but Nzhdeh actively cooperated with the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War.
It is well known that during World War II Nzhdeh was in the Caucasian bloc of emigré organizations of the Caucasian peoples on the platform of support for Germany and its armed forces as liberators of the Caucasus from "Soviet occupation". In 1942 he formed units from captured Armenian Red Army soldiers in the Wehrmacht. On December 15th, 1942, Garegin Nzhdeh became one of the seven members of the Armenian National Council, established by the Germans. According to historians, Armenian militarized formations led by Nzhdeh, created in Germany, took an active part in operations to capture Crimea and attacks on the Caucasus.
Drastamat Kanayan, known under the name of General Dro, assisted him in the creation of the infamous 'Armenian Legion'. As Austrian historian Erich Feigl pointed out in his works, Dro paid a visit to Himmler in December 1942. "Dro had practice and experience of killing without feeling any remorse, Himmler was very impressed," Feigl writes. "Neither Dro nor Himmler cared about the fact that they sent people to death. About 30 thousand Armenians responded to the call of Dro and joined the Nazis." Nevertheless, today in Armenia, which is considered to be a close ally of Russia, a massive cult of General Dro and Nzhdeh has been created.
At the end of the war, Garegin Nzhdeh was arrested and sent to Moscow, to the inner prison of the Ministry of State Security at the Lubyanka. He was transferred from the Lubyanka to Yerevan prison in 1946. Nzhdeh was accused of counter-revolutionary activity, primarily of participation in the "anti-Soviet" uprising in Zangezur, as well as the mass killings of communists during this uprising. On April 24th 1948 the Special Council of the Ministry of State Security sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
"It's hard to imagine, but Russia did not react to the installation of a monument to Nazi henchmen. And considering Armenia's total dependence on Russia, one phone call of Lavrov to the president of Armenia would be enough. I remember how my Armenian friends told me about the constant work carried out by the US Embassy in Yerevan, literally attracting young people using cola and cookies. Russia couldn't even allocate three hundred (!) dollars a month in order to support the only Russian bookshop in Yerevan. The store was forced to shut down ... What can I say about our "wise men from the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry?" the president of the 'Patriot' Fund Vladimir Fedorov noted.
According to the head of the scientific sector of the Russian Military-Historical Society, Yuri Nikiforov, to install a monument to Garegin Nzhdeh today means to rehabilitate him in the eyes of public opinion. At first glance it seems that the collaborators were guided by certain ideas about the welfare of their homeland, Armenia, but actually it is something that is called by believers a deal with the devil. And it is useless to play with him – he will still trick you.
"It is obvious that you can go too far, while rehabilitating collaborators in the eyes of certain nations. To look at it this way, why there is only a monument to Garegin Nzhdeh, let's install monuments to all of them, the entire lineup, from ordinary participants of the collaborationist movement and to its leaders. It can go on forever ... Then we will begin to install monuments to fascist dictators. And who are they, they are simply the same collaborationists, who couldn't find anything better than to work under Hitler and start to fight together with him. I'm sure that, for the most part, the Armenian nation will never betray the memory of the common victory over fascism, of our friendship, of our common contribution to the creation of a huge and great state," Nikiforov concluded.