31 March 1918 Genocide

The dismemberment of the Azerbaijani people and the division of the historical lands of Azerbaijan began with the Treaties of Gyulistan and Turkmanchai, signed in 1813 and 1828. The national tragedy of the divided Azerbaijani people continued with occupation of their lands. As the result of implementation of this policy, a very rapid mass resettlement of Armenians in Azerbaijani lands took place. The policy of genocide became an integral part of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands.Inspired by dreams of creating a “Greater Armenia”, Armenians, not even concealing their intentions, carried out a series of large-scale bloody actions against Azerbaijanis between 1905 and 1907. Hundreds of settlements were destroyed and razed to the ground; the thousands of Azerbaijanis were barbarically killed. Taking advantage of the situation followed the World War I and the February and October 1917 Revolution in Russia, Armenians began to pursue the implementation of their plans under the banner of Bolshevism. In 1918 the leader of the Russian Bolsheviks Vladimir Lenin appointed Stephan Shaumyan the extraordinary Commissar of the Caucasus and sent him to Baku. The Bolsheviks seized power in Baku and created conditions for the Armenian armed formations to realize their secret purposes. On March 3, began the mass slaughters of the Azerbaijanis. By the acknowledgements of Stephan Shaumyan, 6000 armed soldiers of the Baku Soviet and 4000 armed men from “Dashnaksutyun” party took part in the massacre of the peaceful Azerbaijanis.


During the three days of the massacre, the Armenians attacked the Azerbaijani quarters with the help of the Bolsheviks and killed both children and the elderly. A German by name of Kulner, who had witnessed the horrible events of those days, wrote in 1925: “The Armenians rushed into the Azerbaijani quarters, killed, sabred, bayoneted everybody, and made holes in them. Several days after the massacre 87 corpses of Azerbaijanis excavated from a pit provided evidence that their ears, noses, genitals had been cut and their bodies bayoneted and sabred. The Armenians pitied neither the children, nor the old.”

In general, in two massacres in the Transcaucasus in the first half of the 20th century (1905-1907, 1918-1920) about 2 million Azerbaijanis and Turks were killed, wounded and driven from their homes by the Armenians.Inthe March massacre a pit was found in Baku with the corpses of 57 Azerbaijani women with ears and noses cut off and with bellies torn open. There were cases when young women were nailed to the wall, the city hospital where 2000 people had found shelter was burned completely.The Armenians had installed machine-guns in various places of the city in order to shoot the people trying to escape.Avanes Apresyan, an Armenian officer, one of the active participants in the massacre of the Azerbaijanis in the provinces of Irevan, Sharur-Dereleyez, Surmeli, Kars and in other territories, in his memoirs titled, “Men were like this”, writes that they achieved their goal with the help of the English and Russians and murdered 25,000 Azerbaijanis in the March massacre only in Baku.The genocide of the Azerbaijanis by the Dashnaks was not limited to Baku only. Within a brief period of time, the Armenians committed massacres in Shamakhi, Guba, Irevan, Zengezur, Karabakh, Nakhchivan and Kars.

In March-April of 1918 about 8000 civilians were slaughtered in Shamakhi. The majority of the Moslem monuments of culture, including the Friday Mosque of Shamakhi, were set on fire and buarnt.

28 villages in the province of Javanshir and 17 villages in the province of Jabrail were completely burned, and the population slaughtered.

On April 29, 1918, a group of refugees, mainly women, children and old people, 3000 in number, encountered an ambush of armed Armenians and all were murdered.

The armed Armenian formations set on fire several villages in the province of Nakhchivan, completely destroyed 115 Azerbaijani villages in the province of Zengezur, 3257 men, 2276 women, and 2196 children were killed. In all, 10,068 Azerbaijanis were murdered and disabled, and 50,000 became refugees in this province.

In the province of Irevan 135.000 Azerbaijani residents of 199 villages were murdered and the villages were completely destroyed. Then the Armenian armed formations attacked Karabakh, and 150 villages in the Nagorno-Karabakh were destroyed and the population of these villages was ruthlessly murdered (materials of the Extraordinary Investigation Commission, the government of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic).

In May 1920, over 12,000 Azerbaijanis were murdered in Genje by the Armenians, along with the XI Red Army of the Soviets.


During March slaughters Armenians fired at and destroyed many old buildings, including Juma and Thazapir mosques, also Ismailyya building which is considered one of pearls of the world architecture.

75 villages in Shamakhi and 115 villages in Zangezur provinces were completely destroyed and all property of peaceful Muslim population was looted. Only in Guba province the Armenian armed groups burned 122 villages, killed 60 men, women and children and injured 53 persons. In general, in that period about 700 people were massacred in the whole Azerbaijani territory.


Within last period, there were recently found evidences ascertained mass slaughter committed by Armenians during March events in 1918 in Guba province. Innumerable found human bones are visual evidences of the Armenian vandalism. There was created "Massacre Memorial Complex" as a respect to the memory of those persons killed there in the period of March incidents. The recently opened Memorial Genocide Museum at the Azerbaijan Republic Military Prosecutor’s Office also plays significant role in informing the international community about historical truths of the country, including massacres and manslaughters committed by the Armenian nationalists against our people.

The events evidenced that Armenian nationalists did not give up their notorious purposes, massacred civilians by cruel methods and falsified the history converting facts to their own use to curtain the crime committed.