8 May is celebrated as Victory in Europe Day. By reference to 8 May 1945, it’s celebrated to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe- so, the end of fascism in Europe.
Indeed, the term Victory in Europe Day existed as early as September 1944, in anticipation of victory. On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin. Germany’s surrender, therefore, was authorized by his successor, Reichsprasident Karl Dönitz. The administration headed by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg Government. The act of military surrender was signed on 7 May in Reims, France and on 8 May in Berlin, Germany.
As the Soviet representative in Reims had no authority to sign the German instrument of surrender, the Soviet leadership proposed to consider Reims surrender as a “preliminary” act. The surrender ceremony was repeated in Berlin on 8 May, where the instrument of surrender was signed by supreme German military commander Wilhelm Keitel, by Georgy Zhukov and Allied representatives. Since the Soviet Union was to the east of Germany, it was 9 May Moscow time when the German military surrender became effective, which is why Russia and most of the former Soviet republics commemorate Victory Day on 9 May instead of 8 May.
Azerbaijan, as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics, entered World War II with the whole Soviet Union, on June 22, 1941. German command gave the great consideration to oil pools of Baku and set a task to take Baku and oil and gas area of Baku under their control in the course of the Battle of the Caucasus.
More than 600,000 people of the total population of 3.4 million people were conscripted from Azerbaijan to the Red Army during World War II. In order to fighting fascism in Europe more than 300,000 Azerbaijanis lost their lives.
In Azerbaijan Victory day over fascism is commemorated not on 8 May, but 9 May, as in all former Soviet Union republics. But, 8 May has a different connotation. It is marked as date of occupation of its historical Shusha city by Armenian armed forces in 1992.
Formerly center of historical Karabakh khanate, and for this reason, with its valuable monument of national architecture and medieval urban art, Shusha has an exceptional place for the people of Azerbaijan and also a great economic, political and cultural significance. As result of occupation, Shusha city and 30 villages of Shusha region were destroyed, 195 innocent civilians were killed, 165 were wounded and 58 persons still remain missing. More than 24.000 inhabitants of Shusha were subjected to ethnic cleansing. At the same time, in Shusha more than 170 buildings with the status of architectural monument, 160 cultural and historical monuments, mosques, rare manuscripts including “Imarat of Panah khan complex” and library, Khan palace and Karvansaray, Yukhari and Ashagi Govharaga, Saatli Mosques, Mausoleum of Vagif, Natavan’s House and many others were destroyed and subjected to the vandalism.
The occupation of Shusha was part of Armenia’s systematic policy of occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan. As a result of this policy, Armenian armed forces occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan, conducted notorious ethnic cleansing against more than one million Azerbaijanis in the seized lands and committed serious war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted 4 resolutions (822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 884 (1993)), all condemning the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and reaffirming respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the inviolability of its internationally recognized borders. In those resolutions, the Security Council also confirmed Nagorno-Karabakh region as a part of Azerbaijan, and demanded immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Other notable international organizations as UNGA, EU, NATO, PACE, OSCE, OIC and others have adopted a similar position.
Disregarding the position of the international community and violating the international law, Armenia still refuses to withdraw its armed forces from occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
So, for Azerbaijan 8 May is not marked as a day of the end of fascism, but a day of resurrection of fascism. Today Armenia stays as the only example of officially fascist State not only in Europe, but in the world.
It’s weird. How could the 300,000 Azerbaijanis who have lost their lives to save Europe from fascism 70 years ago, predict that one day their homeland would be a victim of Armenian fascism, and the Europe could only observe this escalation of fascism in its neighborhood?