Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 26
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Garegin Nzhdeh, an Armenian “hero”, nationalist and Nazi collaborator, is one example of someone who has not and perhaps can not be prosecuted, someone of power and position that has managed to avoid justice, even after his death, Rabbi Israel Barouk wrote in his article published by the Jerusalem Post.
“In 2016, a statue was unveiled at the center of Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan. The unveiling took place amidst significant fanfare, attended by Armenia’s president, government ministers, ruling party leaders and members of parliament. It is a statue of Garegin Nzhdeh – an Armenian nationalist, revolutionary fighter, and war hero. He also happens to be a Nazi collaborator,” says the article.
Nzhdeh created the infamous Armenian Legion, approximately 30,000 men, and made them available to the Nazi command during World War II, noted the author.
“As part of German Wehrmacht, the Armenian Legion fought in the Crimean peninsula and in the Caucasus, as well as in southern France, further assisting the Nazis by rounding up Jews and other ‘undesirables’ behind the German army as it swept across Russia, and organized death marches to concentration camps,” says the article.
Beyond the statue, a square and metro station in Yerevan are also named after Nzhdeh and his “legacy” is taught to children in Armenian schools, according to the article.
It is taught that he fought for the country, and any sins he committed are ultimately inconsequential, or worse, justified, wrote Barouk.
“Deputy Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament Eduard Sharmazanov even called Nzhdeh “a national hero” and a “patriot” who “fought for Armenian independence”. The fact that Nzhdeh is heralded as a great Armenian hero, despite that he was a Nazi, is one issue, but that today, this fact can still be overlooked, even by the Armenian President, is even more worrisome,” says the article.
“Government-celebrated Nazi war criminals should be an oxymoron, especially for a country that asks the world to recognize a genocide of their very own people. I suppose it is unsurprising to mention that the Anti-Defamation League found that 1.3 million out of 2.2 million adults in Armenia hold anti-Semitic beliefs, making Armenia the second most anti-Semitic country in Europe,” noted the author.
Whether a Nazi is living or dead, it is too late for their victims, said Barouk adding that no amount of time or nationalistic coverups can erase what was done to so many innocent people.