The Armenian-Nazi Collaboration in WW II
By Ayhan Ozer*
To validate a spurious genocide allegations, the Armenians curry favor with the Jewish people, and manipulate the Holocaust tragedy to gain some undeserved recognition from this uniquely Jewish experience. Historical evidences point to a devious Armenian collusion with Hitler to exterminate the Jews during WW II. Today, no matter how much the Armenians try to conceal this heinous episode from the public knowledge the Armenian conspiracy with Hitler is in the history books– indelibly. Soon it will be in the public conscience too.
In early 1930s, when Hitler ascended to power, he began cultivating the Armenians to use their long-standing and strong anti-semitic feelings in his plans and policy. The Armenians, through their publications, radio broadcasts and meetings supported and cheered the Nazis on their attacks on Jews. Alfred Rosenberg, who was to become later Hitler’s Minister of the Occupied Territories, declared that the Armenians were Indo-European, or Aryans, which honored them and put them in the same league with the Nazis. In Hitler’s foreign policy the Armenians fitted very nicely too. Hitler’s future invasion plans of Russia provided a golden opportunity for the Armenians to liberate what they considered to be “Historic Armenia” from the Soviet as well as the Turkish rule.
The short-lived Armenian Republic established in 1918 in the southern Caucasus by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (TheDashnaks) was conquered by the Russian Bolsheviks in 1920, and ceased to exist. This time, the Dashnaks saw a good opportunity in the collaboration with the Nazis to regain those territories. To that end, on December 30, 1941 they formed a battalion of 8,000-strong known as the “812th Armenian Battalion of Wehrmacht” under the command of Dro (Drastamat Kanayan), a seasoned guerilla leader who had fought against the Turks in the Eastern Turkey before and during the Turkish War of Independence following World War I. Later, he became the supreme commandant of the Armenian army in the short lived Armenian Republic, and in 1920-1921 he organized a wide-spread genocide against the Azeri and the Turkish populations in the region. This is documented in the book World Alive by the U.S. Naval officer Robert Steed Dunn who was an eye-witness to those Armenian atrocities. Lieutenant Dunn was the Intelligence officier of Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, the American High-Commissioner in the region and also a de facto American Ambassador in Turkey. Between 1919-1921 lieutenant Dunn traveled extensively with Dro and his army in the region, and both made several contacts with the Russian Bolsheviks, the Turkish and the Armenian National forces. With this historical perspective, this new task assigned to Dro by the Nazi leadership after a quarter of century later seemed to be a break to fulfill his dream of conquest.
This alliance alarmed Turkey and the Turkish Jews. The British Ambassador in Ankara reported to London that “The Armenians [in Turkey] are extremely fruitful ground for German activities, and these non-Muslim elements with their pre-Kemalist [i.e. Ottoman period] mentality are always viewed with mistrust by the Turkish authorities.”
(Public Record Office, Foreign Office document: F.O 371/ 30031/ R5337)
This infamous 812th Battalion later developed into a so-called “Armenian Legion” of 20,000-strong with the efforts of Alfred Muradian, a German-Armenian, and by Armik Jamalian, the son of the Arshak Jamalian, the Foreign Minister of the short-lived Armenian Republic. The troops of this Legion were trained and led by the SS and its Security Division S.D., and they joined the Nazi Einsatz Gruppen in the invasion of the Crimea and the North Caucasus. These Armenian Battalions rendered valuable services to the Nazis as police units for internal security duties in the occupied territories. It was their duties to round up the Jews and the other “undesirable” elements, and organize the death marches to the concentration camps.
Pursuing those familiar utopic dreams, and shrewdly manipulated by the Nazis, the Armenians foolishly tied their lot to Hitler, and praised him lavishly in the Armenian-language daily Hairenik on September 17, 1936:
“… and came [to power] Adolph Hitler after herculean struggles. He spoke to the racial heart strings of the German, opened the fountain of his national genius…”
Then, in August 19, 1936 the same daily Hairenik published the following:
“Sometimes it is difficult to eradicate these poisonous elements (the Jews) when they have struck deep root like a chronic disease, and when it becomes necessary for a people (the Nazis) to eradicate them in an uncommon method these attempts are regarded as revolutionary. During a surgical operation the flow of blood is a natural thing. Under such conditions dictatorship seems to have the role of a savior.”
The daily Hairenik dated August 20 exposed the following bigotry:
“Jews being the most fanatical nationalists and race-worshippers, are compelled to create an atmosphere of internationalism and world-citizenship in order to preserve their race. As the British use battleships to occupy lands, the Jews use internationalism or communism as a weapon…”
The September 25, 1936, Hairenik Weekly, an English language organ of the Armenians (edited in Boston) denounced Zionist aims, and adopted a strong anti-Jewish and pro-Arab view, and printed the following:
“.. the type of Jews who are imported to Palestine is not anything to be proud about. Their loose morals, and their vices… and on top of all, their communist activities were the cause of most of the Arab criticism.”
The August 9, 1935 issue of the Hairenik Weekly published a vitriol about “the Jewish controlled film industry”, then ascribed the massacres of the Jews by the Greeks and Armenians in Salonica to the Jewish love of gain.
The May 10, 1935 issue of the Hairenik Weekly quoted the vice-Mayor of Bucharest, Romania as saying: “The Armenians have helped us Romanians not to become slaves of the Jewish elements.” Romania was one of the foremost anti-Semitic country where the hatred for the Jews reached hyperbolic dimensions.
Starting in the summer of 1942, a twenty-five years old Armenian by the name Suren Begzadian Paikhar organized and led the Armenian National Socialist (Nazi) movement called Hossank (Lightening), which gained a considerable following among Armenian youth in German-occupied Europe and to some degree in Turkey too. On December 15, 1942, these Armenian-Nazis and their supporters in Germany coalesced into the Armenian National Council under the direction of professor Ardeshir Abegian, and the vice-president Abraham Chulkandanian, and several old Dashnak guerillas, like Vahan Papazian and Karakin Nezhdeh, who were the veterans of the Turkish wars in the Eastern Anatolia after the World War I. Blessed by Alfred Rosenberg, this organization spew forth anti-Semitic and racist vituperations through the broadcasts of the Radio Berlin, and their weekly journal Armenian, published until the end of 1944, and edited by Viken Shant, son of the another well-known Dashnak leader Levon Shant. Suren Begzadian Paikhar and some Hossank followers worked as commentators/ announcers in the French and Armenian radio services of the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda under Goebbels. In those programs Paikhar was usually introduced as the Fuhrer of the Armenian people. (Patrik von zur Muhlen, Zwischen Hakenkreuz und Sowjetstern – Dusseldorf, Droste, 1971, pp. 105-106)
The Armenian general Karekin Nezhdeh also founded the racist Armenian Tseghagron movement, through which the Armenian youths flocked to the SS and the other elite Nazi military forces. (Karekin Nazhdeh by James Mandalian – The Armenian Review I, 1958)
Other Armenians living in France and Germany joined the 58th Panzer Corps, and the Ostlegion of the Wehrmacht’s 19th Army, based in Lyon, France. The Dashnaks and the Hossank Armenian-Nazis worked closely with Admiral Canaris, who was the chief of the the German Military Intelligence (Abwehr), and his principal agent Hans Pickenbrock, the chief of the Branch No: 1, who was in charge of spying to obtain military information, as well as with Dr. Paul Leverkuhn, a key agent in Istanbul and the Director of the Istanbul Substation (KO-Nebenstelle) of the “War Organization Middle East” (Kriegsorganisation Naher Osten) from July 1941 until August 1944. This organization administered a major Nazi intelligence network, not only in Turkey but throughout the Middle East. The Armenian nationalists actively worked in those Nazi organizations to hunt down the Jews, and cooperated with Reichspropagandaleiter in spreading the Nazi propaganda in Turkey and in the Middle East. In these efforts they enlisted the support of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who was a close ally of Hitler.
During the early years of World War II, Germany was sweeping through the Western Europe, and all the prognosis for the outcome of the war were in favor of Germany. As the Armenian ethics always dictate fawning on the victor, they calculated -or, miscalculated- that it was about time to commit themselves entirely to Hitler’s victory. They summarily formed a “provisional” Armenian government as a dress rehearsal for their soon-to-be-realized aspirations. However, in 1943 the fate of the war began shifting from Hitler to the Allies. The Armenians, the perennial political chameleons, summarily renounced their allegiance to Germany, and did an about-face, this time groveling before the Allies.
* Ayhan Ozer is an engineer by profession; he holds an MSc degree from the Technical University of Istanbul.