During the Great Patriotic War not even one bomb was dropped on Baku, it's residents didn't die under artillery fire, but the Azerbaijani capital became one of the main cities that helped to achieve the Great Victory.
Nazi Germany tried to take over it, but the Red Army and ordinary residents of Baku were able to defend it. There were several reasons for Germany's desire, and the main among them was Baku's fuel, which used in 80% of Soviet aircrafts, tanks and ships.
A lot of films about Azerbaijan's and Baku's contribution to the Great Victory were made. One of them was broadcasted today by Ukrainian Inter TV channel. It was shot in the framework of "Our Victory" marathon.
Modern Baku is an incredibly beautiful and hospitable city of lights. During the Great Patriotic War it was a front-line city, because Nazi army tried to cut off Soviet army supplies. Soviet people and Nazism fought for Baku and its oil.
Severely wounded people with contusions, pneumonia were brought to Baku from the frontline. They required not only treatment, but also long-term rehabilitation. Hospitals were organized in schools, since there were not enough places in city hospitals - wounded were brought from all fronts.
Participant of the defense of Baku, Daria Romanenko, who was 19-years-old in 1919, told TV channel about these events. "Soldiers couldn't even stand, so we had to take care of them. I took care of one senior lieutenant, he even proposed to me. But they all had to return to the front once they got better," she recalls.
Factories worked for 12 hours a day, while the oil workers worked non-stop in three shifts - during the war, Azerbaijan produced 75 million tons of oil. While Nazis were advancing, one third of all Azerbaijani wells had to be shut down and prepared for destruction, and their personnel was transferred to Turkmenistan.
Resident of Baku Leonid Perevitsky, who was a teenager during the war, told channel oil workers had to work even at night. "What oil workers did is a heroic feat. If it wasn't for Azerbaijan's fuel, we wouldn't win," he said.
680 thousand Azerbaijanis were sent to the front. Among them was Adela Agakishieva, who was sent to the front in 1941 and returned home in 1945. As a nurse of the 1st Ukrainian Front, she liberated Ukraine, but she doesn't like to remember those terrible events. "So many people have died there! It was very difficult - a lot of our people died," she said.
350 thousand residents of Azerbaijan didn't return from the front. Here, they are remembered and honored. Baku doesn't have the status of a hero city - but for those who love this city and know its history, Baku is still a hero.