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Azerbaijan in the Second World War

Empty hopes of the patriots. Azerbaijan national legion.


Between azerbaijanians together with the Soviet patriots, and people, which considering a fascism larger evil than bolshevism also have joined struggle against it, there were also those which in the future victory of Germany above the Soviet empire wrongly saw independence of Azerbaijan.

The majority of the political figures which were compelled from the country, having saved from persecution of authorities after violent sovietisation of Azerbaijan, hoped for that, that Germany will put the end of empire of communist elite, will create conditions for restoration of national freedom of the Azerbaijan people. There were much people thinking so among the population of Azerbaijan and among the Azerbaijan soldiers of Soviet army.

Could not up to the end suppress a vote of the protest against injustice and humiliation of national pride inside the people. Though not long have passed from terrible repression of 30-s` years, there were forces trying incorporate and to be organized against totalitarian mode. In spring of 1941 the illegal antisoviet, national group was organized under the direction of the student Suleyman Iskandarov, which has put before itself the purpose to unit all patriotic forces on struggle for clearing of a native land. But this group existed not long, it have opened and destroyed, have shot its active members. But attempt to struggle against a mode proceeded, the new groups were organized. One of them was illegal organization “Ildirim”, working from 1943 among the students. This organization created on the initiative of the student Gulhusseyn Abdullayev (Husseynoglu) seriously criticized national policy of the Soviet government and communist party, searched for means and opportunities for wide propagation. In activity of this organization participated Ismikhan Rahimov, Haji Zeynalov, Aydin Vahidov and others. From 1944 group of the young workers having created illegal, international organization, conducted propaganda with appeals to lift revolt and to overthrow an existing antihuman mode.

There were people, which purposely have got in captivity and passed to the party of germans for active struggle against the Soviet empire. The military expert, major, graduate of the Moscow Military Academy Abdurrahman Fatalibayli Dudanginski (Abo bay) in the beginning of war on Baltic in the first battles has passed to the parties of Germans, in November, 1941 having written the letter to Hitler has expressed desire to struggle against the Soviet Union and England. In some years Dudanginski wrote that, we could not battle for Russia and for the Soviet Union, which trampled down the tradition of our fathers and enslaved our people.

Having convinced, that the war with the Soviet Union will be long, the fascists have decided to use 3,6 millions (including more than 150 thousand azerbaijanians) captives soldiers and officers for achievement of the purposes. From August, 1941 have begun to group of captives in national and religious attributes. Fascist government has used influence and skill of the political refugees for conducting works with the prisoners, to assure them that devoted service to Germany in interests of their peoples.

Much earlier more in Germany was studied the purposes of the Azerbaijan political emigration. In Berlin worked the committee of a party Musavat, under a management Hilal Munshi. In Berlin were published the books by Mammad Amin Rasulzadeh “Some of a note about the Azerbaijan Republic”(in 1933), “The Modern Azerbaijan literature”(in 1936), “A problem of Azerbaijan” (in 1938) and under his editions the newspaper “Istiglal” (Independence, 1932-1934) and magazine “Gurtulush” (Rescue, 1934-1938). M. A. Rasulzadeh and Kh. Khasmammadov, sharply resisting to him, in autumn of 1941 were invited to Germany by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this country. In the beginning of 1942 in Berlin was organized “National Committee of Azerbaijan” under the direction of M. A. Rasulzadeh. As M. A. Rasulzadeh has noted, this committee ” worked on bases of struggle of national Azerbaijan was to accept by the German management”. In the program of committee was written that, the purpose of this organization are ” to protect the national rights of Azerbaijan, to struggle for independence of a native Land, for friendship of the Caucasian nations and to ensure close cooperation with Germany”. The positions of the Azerbaijan party were reflected in the special memorandum in negotiation, which were held in October 7, 1942 in hotel “Adlen”. The basic conditions (only 12 items) of this memorandum were: rescue azerbaijanians from fascist death camps, use them basically at civil works, creation of national army, assignment of azerbaijanian officer the chapter of this army, use of this army only on east front, maintenance to national parts first enter Azerbaijan after exile of the Soviet army from these places etc. The chief of the ministry of East Rosenberg did not consider to possible work with national committees, which were sure that, the recognition of independence of these nations is the important condition for cooperation them with the German government. By his advice Hitler, having refused to work with committees, has decided to organize “Group of communication” (Vtubindunqstav) on functions connecting part between national legions and army headquarters. Into the Azerbaijan group of communication entered F.Dudanginski, A. Atamalibayov and F. Amirjan (Daryal).

In December 22, 1941   Hitler has given the order on organization together with other national parts special military parts of Caucasian moslems. These hired military parts were formed by moslem prisoners, including azerbaijanians of camps of military captives in Poland. In searches of the Azerbaijan prisoners, rescue them from correct death (before thousand azerbaijanians were destroyed, wrongly thought that they are the Jews), and in association them in national military parts active participation accepted M.A. Rasulzadeh and other political refugees. The book by M.A. Rasulzadeh ” The Three-colour banner” was popularly among the soldier of a national part. The large educational work with the soldiers of these parts order Abdulali bay Amirjan, Nuru pasha, Israfil bay Isarafilbayov, Maryam khanym Amirjan etc.

The most part of military captives were suitable for a military service. Many of them wanted to battle in structure of national military parts against the Soviet Union. The large influence has rendered to them that Stalin has named of captives ” Enemies of the mother Land”, their families have sufferred to persecution. But the fascists have shown themselves as the friend of moslems and turks. For effective work with them in Germany have invited mufti (the religious figure) of Guds (Yerusalem) Al-Husseyn. The order was given up to military parts, that at capture of Caucasus to not suppose humiliation national and religious feeling of the population. The commander of tank army, taking part in battles on Caucasus, the general fon Markisen pointedly accepted islam and made a religious service – namaz in mosque.

With the help of the political refugees Germans selected azerbaijanians from camp of military captives “Telsit”, which was in Kenigsberk and carried them in camp “Shelesi”. After military training under a management of the German officers knowing turkish language they were sent in the military part “Bergman”, which was in Bavaria for preparation to battles in mountain conditions. As other national parts of the militarian subdivision organized by azerbaijanians were badly armed and did not pass enough military preparation. German officers with contempt have named the soldiers of these parts “as the soldiers of the second grade”.

In summer of 1942 the militarians connection organized from Caucasian moslems took part in battles on the Caucasian front. The military parts “Aslan”, “Boz Gurd”, “Javad khan”, “Gorkhmaz”, “Donmaz”, “Vatan”, etc., which had more than 7000 soldiers, courageously battled for clearing of Caucasus from the Soviet empire. They accepted active participation in a capture of Mazdok and such strategic heights as Elbrus and Kazbek. Many people have met with pleasure these parts. Thousand soldiers of the Soviet army from Caucasuses send to their parties. Number passing in the party of Germans turks and caucasians there was approximately one million people, including 150 thousand azerbaijanians. The German command highly have estimated battle abilities of the Azerbaijan parts, many soldiers and officers were awarded by a medal “Infantri Sturmabsikhen”.

In connection with a capture in a hand the initiative and transition in a contour approach of the Soviet army in Caucasus and Stalingrad, these parts were compelled to recede with the large losses and took part in persistent defensive battles Germans in Crimea.

After rout of Germans armies in Caucasus and on coast Volga have begun the oppressions of national parts. The reason to this was desertion Russian, Armenian etc. legioners. And in each Azerbaijan batallion, in which were till one thousand soldiers, were left till 300 men. Other soldiers till different pretexts were sent in camps of captivе.

But fascist government soon began trusts that, without the help of the local peoples it will be very difficult to conquer of these territories, and ostensibly only by representation of some hopes to these peoples it is possible to influence to the soldiers of a different nationality, which serve in the Soviet army. Hitler has agreed to some concessions. At the end of 1942- beginning of 1943 in Berlin passed assembly of the representatives of the peoples of the Soviet Union, including azerbaijanians. Hitler with the purpose of study of a history, psychology, culture and training of personnel for management of the puppet state – ” Great Turkistan”, which creation was planned, has organized special structure “Uniform organization of the Turkestan workers” in Drezden. In May, 1943 was created the Turkish foot division (number 162). Military connection made from Caucasian moslems was divided in two parts – Azerbaijan legion and Legion of Northern Caucasus.

Germans do not send on concessions in negotiation neither group by M. A. Rasulzadeh, nor group by Kh. Khasmammadov in a question of a recognition of independence of Azerbaijan. М. А. Rasulzadeh could not agree and had not agreed with an idea that his native land at a victory of the fascists will be colony in structure of the puppet state dependent on Germany. In the beginning of August, 1943 М. А. Rasulzadeh acting before Azerbaijan legion, has opened the purpose of the fascists in organization of these military parts. He has told: “… I trusted on the Germans, for our independence counted on them. But, it is vain! To me their true intention is already clear. It is naivety in clearing of slavery to hope to the country, which having conquered the independent states transforms them into the colonies”. Such open anti-fascist introduction infuriated the German government and it required of M. A. Rasulzadeh to leave Germany.

Some political refugees, officers of Azerbaijan`s legion considering necessary to agree with realities continued connection with the German government. In November 6-9, 1943 in Berlin`s hotel “Kaiserhot” was held “The Azerbaijan national congress” of the representatives Azerbaijan turks abroad. The chapter of the ministry “East”- Rosenberg personally took part in congress. In the resolution of congress it was marked that, the participants of congress have deep hope about restoration of independence of Azerbaijan as a result of the Second World war. And first its condition is the destruction of our eternal enemy. Such position suited the German government.   In autumn of 1943 under protectorate of Germany in Berlin was created emigratory “The Azerbaijan government”. In the chapter of government stood Fatalibayli Dudanginski (Або bay). His assistant was Fuad bay Amirjan. Israfil bay Israfilbayov, professor Jabbar Aliyev and etc. were the members of this government. The German government has recognized of the Azerbaijan emigratory government. This government worked till winter of 1944. And М. А. Rasulzadeh, at the end of 1944 illegally having returned to Germany in Munhen has organized political structure of “The Azerbaijan Democratic Association”. The “old” and “new” emigrants not as could not will unit.

And when the destiny the most German state was decided, the fascists on the initiative SS have created under the direction of the general Vlasov, who else in 1942 has passed in their party, political organization so-called “Committee of Rescue of Russian Peoples”(CRRP), which purpose was creation in territory of the Soviet Union the state without the communists. In December of this year was created Russian Army Rescue (RAR). Political structure “The Caucasian Council” at this time was formed also. Azerbaijan here was presented by A. Atamalibayov. Council has agreed to accept the offer SS (October, 1944) enter structure of CRRP only under condition of a recognition of independence of the Caucasian countries. This condition became the reason to the termination of negotiation. Soon inflame CRRP and RAR.

When Berlin was in an encirclement by troops of the allies, in March 17, 1945 fascist government of Germany has recognized independence of all nations of the USSR. In first half of 1944 Azerbaijan legion was in the south of France. In middle of August the troops of the allies has begun approach from the south of France in northern and north – western direction. With the German troops Azerbaijan legion has receded in north of Italy. In autumn of 1944, when legions were disbanded, was organized military connection under the name “East Turkish Military Force” (ETMF) under command of shtandartan furer SS Kharun Ar-Rashid bay. In December of this year fascist government has decided to unit weakened Northern Caucasian, Georgian, Azerbaijan and Armenian military parts under the name “The Caucasian Military Force”. But azerbaijanians have refused to battle together with the armenians in one part and asked to include their part in association ETMF. The SS army headquarters has decided to include Azerbaijan legion in the Northern Caucasian military structure.

On an ending of the war the Azerbaijan military parts were placed in territory of the neutral countries. About one thousand azerbaijanians were occupied in the different countries of Europe, three thousand – in Turkey and 500 were sent to protectorate& of the Egyptian king. Number of the people of the Caucasian nationality, which Germans handed over Red Army has made three thousand.

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