Georgia's Stalin museum still provides the Soviet version of the dictator's biography – The Guardian
05 August, 2015
Georgia's Stalin museum still provides the Soviet version of the dictator's biography – The Guardian
The Guardian has published an article about Joseph Stalin’s museum in Gori, a small town in central Georgia and the birthplace of the Soviet dictator.Despite the fact that USSR dissolved decades ago, the museum still feeds visitors the glossed-over version of its ruler’s biography, not mentioning anything about his crimes and cruelty. The article also features locals’ and foreigners’ opinions of him. It turns out that for many visitors, Stalin’s museum is a place of pilgrimage.
geotv.ge
Joseph Stalin’s museum in
Gori

“Vera Shalamberidze leaned against a statue of Joseph Stalin and smiled for the photo. “Let me take another,” urged her husband, Zurab. Behind them, other Russian tourists were snapping pictures next to the cramped brick hovel in this small central Georgian town where the Soviet dictator was born in 1878.

The house is now one of the main attractions of Gori’s Stalin Museum – a place where visitors can still experience the Soviet version of his life story, without any mention of the millions of people that he killed. “Maybe he made some mistakes,” said Zurab, whose family is originally from Georgia. “But every coin has two sides and we respect him as a strong leader who created a great empire and won the Second World War.”
geotv.ge
Stalin's sculpture in museum

Unsurprisingly not everyone shares that view. “We looked everywhere for mention of Katyn,” says Przemek, a Polish student, referring to the Stalin-ordered massacre of 22,000 Polish officers and officials in 1940. “The guide said nothing about Stalin’s crimes,” adds Gaby Schulder, a German tourist. “It’s impossible to imagine anything like this in Germany for Hitler.”
geotv.ge
The hall of the museum

Historian Lasha Bakradze, who has long campaigned for an alternative exhibition about Stalinism to be built alongside the sanitised version, is unequivocal. “It is an embarrassment,” he says. Now Bakradze is advising officials as the Georgian government attempts once again to update the nearly 60-year-old museum. Past efforts to show the other side of Stalin – including his deliberate starvation of Ukraine and the great purges of the 1930s – have crumbled because of resistance from admirers of the dictator on the Gori town council.
geotv.ge
Stalin's office furniture

For Bakradze, the conflicting views are a sign that Georgia is still struggling to come to terms with its past – even as it seeks closer ties with the west. “We still don’t know how to deal with Stalin, or with our Soviet history,” he says.

The details of that history are stark: at least 30,000 Georgians were either executed or imprisoned during Stalin’s rule. Yet for some people the story of a poor boy from tiny Georgia who took over mighty Russia still has an intoxicating pull. “I always toast Stalin,” says farmer Giorgi Mazmishvili. “We need a strong man like him again.”
geotv.ge
When the previous staunchly pro-western Georgian government of President Mikheil Saakashvili removed a huge statue of the dictator from the main square in 2010, there was outrage. Pro-Stalin rallies are often accompanied by denunciations of Georgia’s EU and NATO membership hopes.

These are minority views. But amid renewed tensions with Russia – and with Vladimir Putin doing much to revive the dictator’s reputation – how people see Stalin has become a “matter of identity”, says opposition MP Giorgi Kandelaki, who was closely involved in earlier de-Stalinisation campaigns under the previous government.
geotv.ge
Photo courtesy Stalinmuseum

Bakradze goes further, arguing that the future of Georgia’s new democracy depends on educating people better about their Soviet past. “Only if we understand every aspect of totalitarianism will we develop a proper understanding of the rule of law,” he says. At the moment, schools barely touch Georgia’s Soviet history, doing little more than cover Stalin’s second world war victory over Hitler.

The Georgian government already has good material for a new exhibit on the alternative Stalin narrative – including death sentences personally signed by him for at least 3,600 Georgians. They are in old KGB files held by the interior ministry and on display in its private museum.
geotv.ge
Photo courtesy Stalinmuseum

Officially, these archives have been publicly available since 2011, when Georgia passed a so-called lustration law, aimed at removing Soviet sympathisers from power and opening up old records. The private museum holds plentiful examples of KGB abuses and even the desk from where Stalin’s notorious secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria, ran the purges. The goal is to “get the ugly truth out”, says Omar Tushurashvili, the archives director, a former KGB officer. “Only names are blanked out,” he says, to protect identities.

Although many documents have been published, several former government officials said some sensitive files have been held back. Among them, the sources said, are details of at least 22,000 Georgians who were reportedly working as KGB informers when the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991. The list is thought to include many priests from Georgia’s powerful Orthodox church. “We were worried about a backlash when we already had a lot to deal with,” said one past official. “Looking back now, that may have been a mistake.”
geotv.ge
Photo courtesy Stalinmuseum

Tushurashvili denied they held any files on past informers, saying they were either destroyed in a 1992 fire at the archives or taken to Russia before the Soviet collapse. But activists question why parts of the lustration law itself are still secret. He says they are planning a public museum to display material from the archives, but it is not clear when it will be ready.

Bakradze believes it is not too late for Georgia to change and open up more, pointing out that, even as it battles Russian troops in its own backyard, Ukraine is considering its own lustration law – and is looking partly at Georgia for lessons.
geotv.ge
In the meantime, however, thousands of tourists are likely to visit the Stalin Museum each year to see displays which have barely changed since 1979. They pay the equivalent of £3 for a guided tour of his personal armoured rail coach, a walk round one of Stalin’s death masks, and hundreds of reverential paintings and photographs chronicling his rise.

A small exhibit was added a few years ago about the gulag prison camps. But, buried under the stairs without a sign, it is barely even a token gesture. Curator Keti Akhobadze admits that for many visitors this is a place of pilgrimage. “We had a big group of Cubans here the other day and they sung the Marseillaise next to Stalin’s statue,” she says”, the article reads.

Source: The Guardian
Print
Other Stories
Georgian designers who participate in TBFW 2018
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2018 kicks off tomorrow, on the 1st of November and will last for 5 days, until the 5th of November.
Tusk of elephant Grand successfully removed in Tbilisi Zoo
Surgery of the elephant Grand in Tbilisi zoo was successful and is over now. Elephant can walk now but specialists still observe its condition.
International fashion exponents meet Georgian designers MBFW Tbilisi
If you’re interested in fashion then you should definitely add a new event to your agenda. Namely Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi that takes place from 1 to 5th of November.
Maryam d'Abo - James Bond Girl with Georgian roots
Giorgi Kvinitadze was a commander-in-chief of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
Elephant to undergo surgery in Tbilisi Zoo
The elephant Grand is about to undergo the hardest surgery today on the 31st of October.
Best places to celebrate Halloween in Tbilisi
Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October. It evolved from the Celtic holiday of Samhain which took place at the beginning of winter.
Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze to get marry on the 11th of November
Son of the richest person in Georgia Bera Ivanishvili and the Georgian model Nanuka Gudavadze plan to get married on the 11th of November.
8-year-old girl killed in Gori - suspected murderer detained
The man suspected of killing the 8-year-old girl (with the initials I.N.) was detained today, on the 26 of October.
Audrey Hepburn with Georgian Emmy Award winner
Some photos keep whole stories. Especially one that are taken with famous people.
New clip by Bera Ivanishvili - Time machine
The richest man in Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili is very much involved in politics, but we cannot say the same about his children, especially about Bera.
Olivia Wilde and Lea Michele in David Koma dresses
Recently, InStyle has organized the fourth annual InStyle Awards.
Gregory Pekk and Marcello Mastroianni and their friendship with Georgians
Leila Abashidze was a famous Georgian actress. She was sometimes referred to as "Mary Pickford of the USSR".
Georgian singer Sofia Nizharadze’s sexy outlooks
Sofia Nizharadze is a Georgian singer. She represented Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song "Shine reaching the 9th place.
Beautiful Georgian Model Tamta Shedania tells her story
The model of Elite Model Look Georgia (an international modeling contest) Tamta Shedania worked with various Asian and European modeling agencies.
Ghanaian Eudosia Andoh – Everyday life in Tbilisi in photos
Eudosia Andoh has been living in Tbilisi for three and half years and has been travelling in different parts of Georgia.
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 ended
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 came to an end. The event has been widely reported in the international press such as Vogue, Marie Claire, ELLE, Harper's Bazaar, etc.
Tbilisi Fashion Week continues – What’s new?
Tbilisi Fashion Week continues. Foreign tourists, designers, models and special guests attend the event.
The first day of the Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 has officially commenced.
Sophia Loren, Ornella Muti and their friendship with the Georgians
Georgia has numerous artists popular to the international public.
Tbilisi Fashion Week kicks off
Tbilisi Fashion Week is going to commence on the 18th of October. The slogan of the fashion week is “We Must Take Care of Nature”.
Georgian model Ana Akhvlediani becomes a mother
Georgian model Ana Akhvlediani became a mother. Ana Akhvlediani married to Giorgi Beraia in July, 2018. The couple has a daughter.
What do wives of the rich Georgians wear?
Famous Georgian faces pay great attention to look gorgeous when they appear in public or upload photos on social network.
Saddam Hussein’s Georgian Personal Advisor
A-83-year-old pilot Darwin Rukhadze from Georgia used to serve as a personal advisor of Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq.
What makes Japan so similar to Georgia?
Japanese people know Georgia and the Georgians well enough thanks to the Georgian Sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze, also known as Tochinoshin.
Top 5 most beautiful Georgian models
Georgian models take part in popular international catwalks, photo shoots, fashion weeks and shows. They are very successful in Georgia as well as worldwide.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
13.11.2018
14.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.7166
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
4.0131
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30