Victims of Communist Repressions – Writers’ Case (Part One)
10 February, 2011
Victims of Communist Repressions – Writers’ Case (Part One)

Anybody who intended to travel abroad had to acquire special recommendations for submitting them to Soviet authorities. Otherwise they would not be allowed to embark on the trip. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – Millions of innocent people fell victim to Bolshevik repressions. Their numbers grew even further during Stalin’s rule. There were real people, true stories and tremendous human pains beyond those trivially stated figures. I will try to recollect some of those cases. 
SM – Yes, let

us bring back to memory some of those causes celebres in order for all of us to better imagine the way the communist repressive machine was functioning using its special mechanisms and ideology. Between the years of 1920 and 1930 the young Soviet professionals of various fields were massively directed to Germany in pursuit of good education, enhancement of qualification and scientific research.  Measures like this were not yet prohibited at that time. One of the youth was a well-known Georgian writer Grigol Robakidze. He wrote in German too and was quite an authority in the European literary circles.
GJ – I would like to throw in more information about him. Grigol Robakidze had received classic education. Having graduated from the Kutaisi (Georgia) Classical School, he went to Tartu (Estonia) University, then to Leipzig (Germany) University which he graduated from with doctoral degree. It was Nietzsche’s works that had a tremendous influence on him. Having returned from Germany, he became one of the leaders of Georgian symbolists. Together with other talented Georgian writers, he founded the literary fraternity of Tsisperi Kantsebi (Blue Horns). That was the association of symbolist writers of Georgia. Just like European symbolists, they were trying to escape the existent reality in search for unreal world; they expressed opposition to the current situation in the country, elevating the power of word per se to the highest possible degree and creating the utmost musical sounding of their poetic lines. The Soviet writers deemed their works as futile and tasteless and started to persecute them. In 1917, the Association of Georgian writers was founded with active participation of Grigol Robakidze.
SM – In the years between 1918 and 1921 Grigol Robakidze was a dynamic participant in the literary life of the independent Georgia. In 1919 he represented Georgia in Paris as member of the parliamentary delegation to the Peace Conference. Following the Bolshevik occupation of Georgia and its factual annexation by Soviet Russia, he got involved in national-liberation movement being permanently persecuted by the Bolsheviks. Robakidze was a member of several European literary associations. There was a decision made in 1960 to nominate him for the Nobel Prize, but he passed away. He died in emigration in Geneva and was buried there. Later, his remains were reburied to the Leuville Cemetery of France – burial ground for many prominent Georgian political emigres.
GJ – It sounds very strange that the Bolsheviks had allowed the emigration of a person who was not ‘trustable’ at all . . .
SM – Anybody who intended to travel abroad had to acquire special recommendations for presenting them to Soviet authorities. Otherwise they would not be allowed to embark on the trip. Grigol’s guarantors were famous Georgian poets, the founders of the ‘Blue Horns’ literary order Paolo Iashvili and Titsian Tabidze.
GJ – How did that weird Soviet rule affect Grigol and his friends?
SM – In 1933, after Hitler’s coming to power in Germany the relationship between the Soviet Union and Germany became strained. The Soviet government demanded the return of Specialists, students and famous public figures. (To be continued in the next article on the same page.)

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