A scientific conference titled “The First Secular Parliamentary Republic in the East: Values and Heritage” was held in the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin yesterday. The conference was organized with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Germany and dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the ADR (1918-1920).
Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Germany Ramin Hasanov and coordinator of the German Foreign Ministry for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia Michael Siebert addressed the participants with a welcoming speech.
The diplomat, in particular, said that by proclaiming the first democratic republic in the East 100 years ago, Azerbaijan became a secular state, where religion was separated from the state, women were endowed with rights and national minorities became full citizens of the new country. The German community was also granted rights. First university, opera and ballet emerged in the East. The Ambassador thanked the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for the support in organizing the conference.
Siebert recalled that there is no anti-Semitism and xenophobia in the country today, as in the distant years. Tolerance and ethnic diversity reigns in the state. "The Silk Road, including the railway from Baku to Kars and further to Europe, is very important for Germany, and Azerbaijan plays a big role in it," the speaker noted.
A documentary about the history of ADRs was shown to the participants.
Advisor to the director of the Heydar Aliyev Center, Rashad Karimov, spoke about the history of the formation of the ADR, its traditions, its inherent novelty. He stressed that for the first time the Azerbaijani language was given the status of the state.
The first university in the history of the Azerbaijani people was created, embassies began to open after the de facto recognition of the ADR League by the Nations at the Paris Peace Conference.
Karimov also spoke about the restoration of the Azerbaijani tricolor as a state one a decade later. He also recalled that this happened in Nakhchivan for the first time on the initiative of National Leader Heydar Aliyev, who in those years was chairman of the Supreme Majlis of autonomy.
Researcher at the Free University of Berlin, Enrico Zivard, in his report noted the need to study history. "One, who does not know his history, cannot understand this day," the scientist cited the German quote.
Head of the International Relations Department of ANAS, Ph.D. Nargiz Ahundova told about the diplomatic mission of the ADR at the Paris Peace Conference, about the difficulties on the way to Paris, especially the artificial obstacles in obtaining a French visa. The scientist spoke about the multinational composition of both the population of the ADR and its parliament. She paid special attention to the German community of Azerbaijan and the attention paid by the leadership of the first republic to the Azerbaijani Germans.
Leading researcher at the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Ph.D. Lamia Gafarzade, in her report highlighted the achievements of ADR in the field of culture, education, and the observance of human rights in the country. She recalled the national composition of the ADR parliament, its truly democratic character.
Head of the Department of History of Azerbaijan at the Humboldt University, Professor Eva-Maria Auch shared her understanding of the term "friendship of peoples" in the context of Azerbaijan-German relations.
Associate Professor at the University of Potsdam, Matiyas Dofnfeld, noted in his report that representatives of various nations, religions and trends peacefully coexist in the country today thanks to the policies laid down by the prominent politician, Heydar Aliyev. He spoke about a series of international humanitarian forums held in the Azerbaijani capital, inter-civilizational dialogue events, which testify to the attention of the country's leadership to this topic.
The author of the architectural and tourist guide Heike Maria Jochenning presented her work to the audience. It includes descriptions of Icherisheher, the city center, historical monuments. She admitted that she particularly admired the entrance to the palace of the Shirvanshahs, made by stone carvers. Jochenning told about the architects who worked in Baku and turned the city into one of the most beautiful corners of the world.