The book of Khachatur Dadayan – a fruit of 6 years of research – has a number of features and layers. In it, for the first time, an attempt was made to consider the complex of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations from the point of view of what the Armenians did for Baku.
A goal of the book was to also tell the truth about the wonderful community that founded and developed the city’s oil industry, numerous branches of production, trade, culture, education, and health care. But in exchange for turning Baku into a city, the community received extermination.
In September-November 1918, in just two months, the Turks and Azerbaijanis killed about 30 thousand Armenians in Baku. It was a genocide, a pre-planned and carried out mass crime which has no statute of limitations. The reader of the book will read about the horrific pictures of the genocide of Baku Armenians and will find out about where the roots of the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations grow from.
Meanwhile, for the international recognition and condemnation of the Baku genocide, there is a very serious reason. At the end of 1918, representatives of the United Kingdom, France, and the United States established the Control Commission to determine the amount of material damage and recognized Turkey as a compensation respondent. The compensation sum is huge – about £3.5 billion if accounted for inflation.
This book has another feature – it is of a self-cognitive character. After all, it is well known: “A people without history is the same thing as a child without parents. He has to start all over again, and from this dough, you can bake anything. This child can be instilled our own worldview, our own way of thinking. So deprive them of the past, the national spirit!
Do not destroy their historical monuments openly, but do not reconstruct them either. Allow time to destroy them! So, you can depersonalize whole nations. At first, they lose their history and traditions, and then, we form them at our discretion, in the way that benefits us.”
If we do not want to become depersonalized, dissolve, and want to preserve our distinctive appearance, then yes, we must base ourselves on our history and be able to learn from it. This is a warning book. We urge our compatriots to reflect on the fate of the nation and homeland, as well as their responsibility for them.
Because in the modern world, the “peaceful” conquest of some countries by others through economic expansion and information wars does not stop even for a minute. Can we face these challenges? Undoubtedly: the key to this is in our hands. It is our spiritual unity.
While working on this book, we experienced the deepest regret for one reason: for any researcher, the word “inaccessibility” is deadly, and many archival documents that could have filled the shortcomings of the work were not available to us.
These testimonies are in Ankara and Baku, Tbilisi and Berlin, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Paris and London… However, we managed to enrich the Russian edition with new factual material.
“Armenians and Baku”, Khachatur Dadayan, July 2007. Link for online reading of the book: Armenians and Baku (in Russian)