The other side of the story (1)

Read / lees in : Nederlands

Yanar Dag / Absheron peninsula / Azerbaijan
For Armenians they saved a nice and warm place.

After we indulged ourselves in Baku in everything forbidden in Iran we attempted to see a bit more of Azerbaijan. That turned out to be not so easy given the weather conditions (heavy fog) on most days. Against better judgement we drove off to Quba, in the north close to the border with Russia, hoping the fog would clear and we’d be able to venture into the mountains. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, but we were able to visit a monument and museum dedicated to the Armenian genocide in Quba. A sensitive subject, and I have to be careful what I write because I still have to drive through Turkey. But I don’t want to leave it unmentioned here either.


A little history

Genocide Museum / Quba / Azerbaijan
The piramides are really just the entrance and the exit, the museum is built under the ground.

In 2007 the Azeris wanted to build a football stadium in Quba, and during the excavations they discovered, much to their surprise, a mass grave. Following the discovery they started an in-house investigation which led them to the conclusion that almost 140 people were buried on this spot. Therefore they decided not to build the stadium but a museum instead. In the museum, that opened it’s doors in 2013, they’ve got a collection of documents, pictures and other proof they fabricated found which demonstrate that the Armenians slaughtered the peace loving population of this area. As commissioned by the bolsheviks. During the construction of the museum the number of victims of this Armenian genocide in Quba has been adjusted to almost 17.000, all from Quba and the surrounding villages. All this allegedly happened during the March Days-uprise of the muslims against de bolsheviks in Baku in 1918.

So, is this all true?

Quba / Azerbaijan
Bones and skull in the excavated hillside.

To be honest it’s quite difficult to find out what really happened. The Armenians are said to have committed these crimes shortly after they themselves were the subject of a brutal genocide. At the same time we can safely assume that the Russians have had enough opportunity during the Sovjet era to rewrite history by destroying or falsifying evidence. I also find it remarkable that almost 90 years nobody knew about this Armenian genocide in Quba. But during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, that’s still ongoing, it was  discovered all of a sudden. The football stadium has never been built, not here nor on another location. As far as I can find out the club, Spartak Quba, doesn’t even exist anymore. The wiki regarding this massacre starts with a warning that they’re not so sure about it either. Only the lonely planet and our guide in the museum have no doubts whatsoever. What is beyond reasonable doubt, is that the hatred for Armenians runs deep in Azerbaijan. Anyway, when I’m in Armenia I’ll ask around. Maybe we’ll hear the other side of the story.

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