UN resolution against Nazi glorification bad news for Armenia

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

The UN has passed a resolution that condemns the glorification of Nazism.

The Russian-drafted resolution titled “Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” was passed on November 7 with 121 votes.

This is a very inconvenient resolution for Armenia that has a track record of glorifying Nazis. The country holds in high esteem its Nazi collaborators of the WW2, especially Garegin Ter-Harutyunyan known as Garegin Nzhdeh, who collaborated with the Third Reich and was involved in Holocaust, based on documented evidence.

In 2016, the former Armenian authorities unveiled a monument to Garegin Nzhdeh as the “hero of the national liberation movement” in the center of Yerevan, opposite one of the government buildings. In addition, a street and a metro station are named in honor of Nzhdeh in Armenian capital. Armenians also have built memorial and tombstones to honor their most famous Nazi activist Garegin Nzhdeh.

This, despite the fact that there is plenty of empirical evidence of Nzhdeh’s service in the Waffen-SS and his involvement in Nazi crimes.

The glorification of Garegin Nzhdeh had long been a source of concern for Russia that had an important role in the fight against Nazi Germany.

In May 2019, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its concern over Garegin Nzhdeh’s glorification in Armenia. In its report “On the situation with the glorification of Nazism”, the ministry said that “the former ruling Republican party of Armenia took steps to perpetuate the memory of such an ambiguous nationalist politician as Garegin Nzhdeh, for whom there is information on his collaboration with the Third Reich.”

Furthermore, in the 12-volume encyclopedia “The Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945”, published by the main editorial board of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Garegin Nzhdeh is described as a Nazi collaborator who recruited over 30 agents of Armenian nationality in Bulgaria, participated in their training and transfer to the rear of the Red Army for acts of sabotage during the Great Patriotic War. Nzhdeh also participated in the Holocaust of the Jewish population of Europe; in 1942, he organized the Armenian Legion who fought against the Soviet Union, the article published in the encyclopedia’s Volume 6 reads.

Armenia’s current authorities have refused to demolish Nzhdeh’s monument erected in Yerevan in 2016.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev confronted Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan over Garegin Nzhdeh’s glorification in Armenia, during his speech at meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State in Turkmenistan on October 11, ahead of discussions for preparations for the Victory Day.

Aliyev said it was inadmissible to turn Nazi accomplices into “national heroes”.

It should be noted that Garegin Nzhdeh was former general of the Dashnak army that was responsible for massacring hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis and Jews in Azerbaijan back in 1918.

Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94 

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