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Press-releases

Two rare original photos have been discovered by the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute

24.03.2010

The unpublished photos show the panoramic view of Shushi - Armenian cultural center of Karabakh, after the 1920 massacre and destruction. The photos were taken from different points; in one of them the church of St. Amenaphrkich Ghazanchetsots surrounded by ruined houses and buildings with unique Armenian architecture is depicted and the second photo illustrates burned and ruined Armenian quarter of the city with Kanach Zham Church. These photos are unique documentation of the Armenian pogroms and horrific brutalities in Shushi took place in March of 1920.

At the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century Shushi was one of the important cities of the South Caucasus and had important role in the Artsakh Armenians political and cultural life. On March 23, 1920 ruling Musavat party of Azerbaijan organized pogroms in Shushi and surrounded villages. Khosrov bek Sultanov, who was appointed the governor of Karabakh region by Azerbaijan government, implemented the state sponsored plan of the elimination of the Armenians by organizing the massacres of the local Armenian population and the robbery and burning of the Armenian quarter. The Tatar battalion with Muslim population of the city exterminated more than 10,000 Armenians as well as destructed and burned the Armenian quarter of the city.

Only several thousand Armenians could survive in this horrific massacre, as they had succeeded to escape from the town. Once prospering city, with the majority of Armenian population was turned into ashes. The demographic image of Shushi was sharply changed after this atrocious day and the city lost its Armenian population and identity. During Soviet years Shushi was continuingly presented as a historical and cultural centre of Azerbaijanis. In 1960-1970 by the initiative of Heydar Aliev (the first secretary of the Central Committee of Azerbaijani SSR in1969-1982) the ruins of Armenian quarter as the tragic memory of 1920 disaster and the obvious evidence of the presence of the Armenian culture and Armenian tragedy were erased.


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