German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, at a meeting with visiting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Berlin, made a provocative and highly irresponsible statement that was received with delight by Armenian nationalists and "Artsakh" separatists:
"We are concerned about the unstable situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The status quo cannot last; a long-term solution for the benefit of the people must be found. A peaceful solution must be achieved in terms of the territorial integrity of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the self-determination of the citizens of Nagorny Karabakh. However, all these principles are of equal importance," said the German Chancellor.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, while receiving Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Berlin, allowed himself to put support for territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Armenia and some kind of self-determination of "Nagorno Karabakh citizens" on the same level. Understandably, such a statement was made at the instigation of the "main patrons" of the authorities in Yerevan and the Armenian "Artsakh" separatists in Europe, France, with whom Germany acts in tandem on many political issues.
But in making such a statement, Mr Stolz seems to have forgotten that support for the "self-determination" of citizens of a particular nationality by one of his predecessors as Chancellor of Germany has once in history led not only Germany, but also the whole world, to disaster.
Today, few people remember that in reality, World War II and the bloody expansion of Nazism in Europe began with support for ethnic separatism. It all began with the break-up of Austria-Hungary resulting in the formation of several new states, among them Czechoslovakia. Apart from Czechs and Slovaks, ethnic minorities, particularly Germans, lived here. The border areas of Bohemia, especially the Sudetenland, were densely populated with them.
It was particularly among the Sudeten Germans that a separatist movement got particularly strong in the 1930s with its demand for a "miatsum" analogy - the unification of the areas of the Czech Republic inhabited by Germans with Germany. The Sudeten German secession movement was supported and financed by the Nazis, headed by Adolf Hitler, who came to power in Germany in 1933.
In 1938 the Sudetenland crisis escalated sharply. "At the behest of Berlin, the Sudetenland separatists began their protests and Adolf Hitler began to ultimatumatically demand the annexation of the Sudetenland of Bohemia to Germany. And naturally, the German Nazis were primarily focused on the "self-determination of Germans living in the Sudetenland". How is this demand different from the largely similar demand of "self-determination of Armenians living in Nagorno Karabakh"? Nothing!
What happened then is well remembered by everyone. Trying to "conciliate" Hitler, the Western powers took his and the separatists' claims to task and, by means of the infamous Munich Agreement, launched a re-drawing of borders in Europe, allowing Germany to annex the Sudetenland.
Naturally, this only whetted the Nazis' appetite. After a very short time, the remaining Czechoslovakia was divided and occupied. At the same time, the remaining territory after the annexation of the Sudetenland was incorporated directly into the Third Reich as a completely powerless so-called "protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia".
And in 1939, just a year after the Munich Agreement, the same Hitler launched aggression against Poland. Using the issue of the "rights of the Germans" living in the Polish "Danzig Corridor" and in the city of Danzig as a pretext. Thus, it was the support of separatism that ignited the flame of World War II, in which literally entire countries and millions of people were burned.
The sinister analogies are still visible to the naked eye today. In retrospect, the cause of the current bloody war in Ukraine, which many call "the first stage of the Third World War", was separatism. The separatist movement in the former Soviet Union began not somewhere, but in Karabakh and with the same demand for "miatsum" or "self-determination" for Armenians living in Nagorny Karabakh, or in Armenian nationalist terminology "Artsakh", in the form of their "reunification with Armenia".
The separatist conflicts and wars in Samachablo (so-called "South Ossetia"), Transnistria and Abkhazia were then sparked by analogy and along the lines of "Artsakh" separatism; a separatist movement began in Ukrainian Crimea, which entered a "hot phase" in 2014, when Russia used the local separatist movement to annex the peninsula. The separatism in the Ukrainian Donbass, which erupted "on a wave of euphoria from the annexation of Crimea to Russia", and Russia's support for it, ignited a bloody conflict there, which has developed into the current war between Russia and Ukraine in 2022, with no end in sight.
Mr. Stoltz is hypocritically "helping" Ukraine, even though he is actually sabotaging military aid to Ukraine. But he should realise that by supporting separatism in the form of concern for some kind of "self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh citizens", he is only in fact inciting further war in the Caucasus and in Ukraine. A war that started by supporting separatism. With such irresponsible statements, Stoltz is also provoking new conflicts, making other sovereign countries potential targets of aggression.
Fortunately the German leader's gaffe was soon corrected on the official page of his chancellery. But it is not a speck of heaven, and Chancellor Scholz's pandering to his French colleague's anti-Azerbaijani invectives will not remain without consequences, both for bilateral German-Azerbaijani relations and for the interests of German business. Nor for the German-Turkish relations. Incidentally, millions of Turks (over 6 million) living in Germany respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Those of them who have German citizenship are German patriots, and it would never occur to them to demand any kind of "self-determination".
Why then is Chancellor Stolz, forgetting the disaster to which the initiatives to support separatism and border redrawing in the relatively recent historical past led Germany, again trying to step on the same rake? Besides, by selectively supporting separatism it is demonstrating its obvious biased and unfriendly attitude towards Turkish countries and peoples? For example, neither Chancellor Stolz nor any other politician of the German government has ever supported the movement for self-determination of the Kanaks living as a powerless French colony in New Caledonia ...
The fatal outburst of "Artsakh" separatism in 1988 with the demand for "miatsum" is only 50 years separate from the similar "Sudetenland" separatism of 1938. And it is very strange that many people have forgotten this. Including in Germany.
As for the Sudeten German separatists, not only them but all Sudeten Germans, their fate was sad. After World War II in 1945 all Sudeten Germans were deprived of Czechoslovak citizenship by the Czechoslovak authorities and deported.
By the way, unlike them, Azerbaijan insistently offers Karabakh Armenians to accept Azerbaijani citizenship and stay in their homes as full citizens of Azerbaijan. But provocative incitement by irresponsible politicians on the illusion of 'self-determination' can make such an opportunity for Karabakh Armenians problematic. Especially if such demands for "self-determination" threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
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