Aliheydar Garayev
Aliheydar Garayev Agakerim oglu (June 20, 1896 - April 24, 1938) also spelled as Aliheydar Qarayev, was a Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

, People's Commissar of Justice of Azerbaijan SSR, People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs of Azerbaijan
Minister of Defense (Azerbaijan)
The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani government ministry, associated with the Azerbaijani military. The ministry is responsible for keeping Azerbaijan defended against external threats, preserving its territorial integrity, waging war on behalf of Azerbaijan , and the...

 after occupation of Azerbaijan by 11th Red Army on April 28, 1920.

Early life

Garayev was born in Shamakhi
Shamakhi or Shamakhy is a rayon of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and a town in the rayon. It is the historical center of the region of Shirvan.The town is west of Baku. It has more than 20,000 inhabitants, among them Azerbaijanis and Russians...

, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

. Having completed Shamakhi Realny School, he taught at a Russian school in Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

. He then entered the Novocherkassk
Novocherkassk is a city in Rostov Oblast, Russia, located on the right bank of the Tuzlov River and on the Aksay River. Population: 169,039 ; 170,822 ; 178,000 ; 123,000 ; 81,000 ; 52,000 ....

 Polytechnic Institute and was involved in student revolutionary activities. In 1917, he chaired the Shamakhi Workers and Soldiers Council. During 1918-1920, Garayev was leader of faction Hummet in Azerbaijan representing social-democrats. After occupation of Azerbaijan by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 on April 27, 1920 he was member of the Interim Azerbaijan Revolutionary Committee, Baku Revolutionary Committee, People's Labor Commissar, People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs of Azerbaijan and briefly headed the Baku City Executive Committee
Baku City Executive Committee
Baku City Executive Committee was the main administrative institution of Baku during the Soviet period. Bakgorispolkom was headed by the presidium and consisted of the Chief Architecture Department and Town-planning Council...


Overthrowing ADR government

Garayev was the Bolshevik leader who facilitated arrival of the Red Army in Azerbaijan and overthrow of the government of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was the first successful attempt to establish a democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world . The ADR was founded on May 28, 1918 after the collapse of the Russian Empire that began with the Russian Revolution of 1917 by Azerbaijani National Council in...

. He was one of the people along with Bolshevik activist Chingiz Ildyrym
Chingiz Ildyrym
Chingiz Sultanov Ildyrym oglu better known as Chingiz Ildyrym, was a Bolshevik revolutionary, innovator and the first People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs of Azerbaijan after occupation of Azerbaijan by 11th Red Army on April 28, 1920.-Early life:Ildyrym was born to the family of a...

, who passed on the ultimatum to the Azerbaijani Parliament
National Assembly of Azerbaijan
The National Assembly , also transliterated as Milli Majlis is the legislative branch of government in Azerbaijan. The unicameral National Assembly has 125 deputies: previously 100 members were elected for five-year terms in single-seat constituencies and 25 were members elected by proportional...

 to surrender and transfer all authority to Bolshevik forces. While lobbying for arrival of Bolshevik troops in Baku, Garayev convinced the ADR government that with establishment of Soviet regime in Azerbaijan, the Red Army will crash the Armenian rebels in Karabakh
The Karabakh horse , also known as Karabakh, is a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse. It is named after the geographic region where the horse was originally developed, Karabakh in the Southern Caucasus, an area that is de jure part of Azerbaijan but the highland part of which is currently...

 region of Azerbaijan. However, when the Bolsheviks came to power, Zangezur
Zangezur may refer to:* Syunik, alternative name of an Armenian geographic-historic region, nowadays one of the provinces of Armenia* Kapan, former name of a city in Armenia...

 was transferred to Armenian SSR. After establishment of the Soviet regime in Azerbaijan, Garayev lobbied for arrest and execution of one of founders of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and Chairman of Azerbaijani National Council
Azerbaijani National Council
Azerbaijani National Council was the first delegated legislative body of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic from 27 May 1918 to 17 June 1918 and again from 16 November 1918 to 3 December 1918...

, Mammed Amin Rasulzade
Mammed Amin Rasulzade
Mammad Amin Rasulzade was an Azerbaijani statesman, scholar, public figure and one of the founding political leaders of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan...

 but was cut off in the meeting with Stalin who declared that Rasulzade had saved his life twice and that he would go free. In response to Garayev's earlier chant in front of the members of Azerbaijani parliament that he would get everyone executed, Rasulzade had responded that the very Bolshevik government which Garayev defended would execute him in the future.

Activities in Soviet Azerbaijan

From 1921 through 1931, Garayev held various administrative positions in the Soviet government. He was editor is a number of magazines and journals such as Khalq Qazeti, Kommunist (January–May 1922) and others. He personally authored many Bolshevik propaganda articles in Azerbaijan such as Who needs mourning? targeting abolishment of religious practices in the republic. While People's Commissar of Justice, he convicted and imprisoned many Azerbaijani intellectuals. Garayev is infamous for his political intrigues. He would determine the individuals who had sympathies for Azerbaijani nationalism working in press and had them arrested. In Azerbaijan, he's regarded as a corrupt Bolshevik guilty of crimes against his nation.

A Woman's Club in Baku was named after Aliheydar Garayev in 1920's which was involved in movement for education and emancipation of women. After independence of Azerbaijan, the street named in honor of Aliheydar Garayev was changed to Ahmad Javad street.


On recommendations from Lavrentiy Beria
Lavrentiy Beria
Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was a Georgian Soviet politician and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and Deputy Premier in the postwar years ....

 to Stalin, Aliheydar Garayev was arrested and charged with espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 and preparations for counter-revolutionary activities in the years preceding the Great Patriotic War. He was executed by firing squad
Execution by firing squad
Execution by firing squad, sometimes called fusillading , is a method of capital punishment, particularly common in the military and in times of war.Execution by shooting is a fairly old practice...

 on April 24, 1938 on Stalin's orders.


Garayev had been awarded with Order of the Red Banner of Labour
Order of the Red Banner of Labour
The Order of the Red Banner of Labour was an order of the Soviet Union for accomplishments in labour and civil service. It is the labour counterpart of the military Order of the Red Banner. A few institutions and factories, being the pride of Soviet Union, also received the order.-History:The Red...

 for his contributions to Bolshevik movement during his terms in office.

See also

  • Azerbaijani Army
  • Ministers of Defense of Azerbaijan Republic
    Minister of Defense (Azerbaijan)
    The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani government ministry, associated with the Azerbaijani military. The ministry is responsible for keeping Azerbaijan defended against external threats, preserving its territorial integrity, waging war on behalf of Azerbaijan , and the...

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