June 25, 2010

Where Was Tavarish Stalin?

He was looking proud from the wall in my grandmother's room and also at my cousin's grandfather's place. Than his photos were gone even before my father died.

Before my grandmother liked to talk about him. Once she told me how Stalin has asked somebody to sing Georgian Song "Gafrindi Shavo Merckhalo". For my grandmother, this request from a man like Stalin, who "was very discipline, and was obeying the rule of law and principles", was nothing less than a sign of his heroism and endless love to his home country Georgia. Even thought I haven't heard anything he did positive for Georgia, except making this request, some people from old generation are still proud that he was born in Georgia, he was half Georgian and he was a "good" dictator who did nothing for Georgia.

One day my grandmother talked with me about his discipline, for example how he wore always same cloth. Then she told me too, that Stalin's son was captured by the Nazis. They were asking him to exchange his son, who was from his first Georgian wife and by the way regular soldier, in one German Officer. My grandma underlined "regular soldier" and looked to me with bright open eyes. For her it was sign of justice, fairness, that Stalin's son was regular soldier and fought in the front line, and that his father, Mr. big boss of Soviet Union didn't even know about it. Her voice rosed and she looked to me very proud about the "impressive" words Stalin answered the Nazis: "We don't exchange an officers in a regular soldiers." So his son was killed.

My skin was shivering. I could understand why my grandmo liked so much his decision, how she viewed the story, but I hated it. Whenever somebody would mention Stalin, my thoughts were going to his young son, who was imprisoned and who never received respect and love from his father, even not a word of farewells. Maybe he hoped and waited. How does it feel? For my grandmother Stalin was a hero, because she believed in his fairness and discipline. My heroes save a life, do everything to save their kids, try all their best to be good to people. Sacrificing people's life to their pride and authority doesn't feel like justice to me. Now a days presidents and governments of some countries, do all they can to get their people back safe when they are indengeured somewhere in this world.

Later I read Nodar Dumbadze's Novels, who not directly blames communism, but writes about the mother who comes back after long being in cibiria imprisoned for no good reasons. Then I read also how Stalin treated ethnic minorities in Georgia and also across the Soviet Union. For instance he made Abkhazian people leave their country. It makes me angry.

I'm sorry, but only because he was half Georgian and a head of Soviet Union won't make me like him. I am glad that Georgian government remove in Gori the statue of him. Especially after the war with Russia in August 2008, hero of Soviet Union, representing occupations, exiles and killing and imprisoning people, has no place in Georgia. When Russian wappens were firing on Gori, Stalin was standing there as a welcoming magnet.

For weird resons Stalin is still honored in Abkhazia itself, also some people from old generation across Georgia belive in his goodness, but maybe it will take time to relearn history and look back with an open eyes.
By morning, the statue was long gone — a relief to Georgia’s leadership, which has been increasingly intent on moving the 20-foot monument since a 2008 war with Russia. It was a different matter for many citizens in Gori, however, whose claim to fame during the Soviet era was the brick house here where Josef Stalin was born, and where older Georgians still revere him.

For me Stalin's statue and his being or not beeing is irrelevant matter, but Georgian people and government have right to express their anger and make a clear point where tavarish Stalin belongs in their mind.
Whom to honor now? Let's honor peace, respect, and human kindness.


  1. Dear Khatia,

    "For weird resons Stalin is still honored in Abkhazia itself"
    how did you come to that idea I don't know. But well maybe you are not aware that Abkhazians don't like Stalin as he was doing worst thing as decreasing Abkhazia's status to autonomy under Georgia in Soviet times.
    Because of him we are still having problems with Georgia.

    "In 1921, Abkhazia and Georgia became Sovietized. On 31 March 1921, an independent Soviet Republic of Abkhazia was proclaimed. On 21 May 1921, the Georgian Bolshevik government officially recognized the independence of Abkhazia. But the same year, under pressure from Stalin (Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili) and other influential Georgian Bolsheviks, Abkhazia was forced to conclude a union (i.e., confederative) treaty with Georgia. Abkhazia still remained a full union republic until 1931, when its status was downgraded, under Stalin's orders, from that of Union Republic to that of an Autonomous Republic within Georgia. This act of incorporation of Abkhazia into Georgia was conducted without the approval and against the will of the Abkhazian people and caused mass protests in Abkhazia. Thus the creation of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic within Georgia was not the result of the granting by the Bolsheviks of autonomous status to one of the republic's minorities, as it is often alleged, but was rather the forced convergence of two neighbouring states by the incorporation of one of them, Abkhazia, into the other, Georgia."

  2. How you know "Abkhazia was forced to conclude the union". Any evidence of that or you just repeat what you have heard?

  3. Dear Guest,
    Do you have any doubt that Abkhazia was forced to conclude the union?
    Do you think Abkhazia's status has voluntarily downgraded to the autonomy under Georgian SSR?
    It is obviously commented almost every sources from all over the world.
    From 1917 to 1921 and then later to 1931 we see different kinds of relations with Abkhaz and Georgian authorities, relations are based on equal state status. On those times Georgian's has requests for the unification with autonomy rights for Abkhazia, but Abkhaz People's Council , do not accept it , anyway later soviet regime came and Georgia SSR recognise the Abkhazia SSR as independent . After Stalin's order for downgrading Abkhazia's status to autonomy under Georgia SSR , Georginization became more clear after that. Together with Stalin and Beria periods , There were thousands of ethnic Georgians has migrated to Abkhazia, Abkhaz language schools has been closed, alphabet has changed,etc.

    What kind of evidence you want? Those are obvious truths of the history and written in most of the international sources.

    Well ,if you have a different idea about those please share your ideas..

    Best Regards

  4. @ Alper
    I've never been in Abkhazia and of course I may have wrong impression how people think there, but I do know what majority is thinking there about Stalin (From a book which is written from Abkhaz perspective). it means I know why most people think that Stalin was thir enemy and consequently don't like him.

    However some online conversations, photos, links, proud feelings connected to Stalin's Dacha in Abkhazia and etc. made me think, that some people do somehow respect this dictator. (I can't imagine Chingiz Khan having memorial home or statue in Georgia from Georgians or in Europe from Europeans, but Chingiz Khan statue does exist somewhere in his homeland).

    Especially if we consider that homes of ethnic Georgians will be destroyed, but everyday somebody will take care that Stalin's belongings in Abkhazia survive... I come to conclusion, that there are some people in Abkhazia, who are proud of Stalin and/or at least respect his memory.

    I don't promote destroying anything, even not Stalin's Dacha. BUT if nation takes good care of it, promotes it as a main attraction and the same time doesn't mind destroying homes of regular civilians, who didn't harm anybody ... This facts confess something, don't they?

  5. yes i do have doubts, and if you want to prove contrary you should provide some evidence. There were bunch of abkhazian commited bolsheviks allies of Stalin and Beria who helped them do what they did in Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia.
    Talking about the georgianization in the Soviet era is even funny coz, what differentiated Stalin from Lenin was Stalins understanding of nation. Stalin wanted to have Soviet Union not as an union or federation but as an unitary state where all peoples, including Georgians, would be assimilated into one nation.

    As for the Alhapbet, what was the alphabet Abkhazian where using before the Geogrian was introduced? How long did they use the Georgian alphabet? what was the next alphabet after Georgian alphabet was abondened? Do you have answers to these questions? if you do, could you please explain what was going on there? thanks..


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