Victims of Communist Repressions – the Writers’ Case (Part Three)
17 February, 2011

Poet Titsian Tabidze gave his wife Nina Maqashvili the letter to hand it over to his friends. He was sitting at home motionless for two months waiting for Bolshevik executioners to come and take him. The KGB officers came around finally to capture the poet. They tortured him but could not break his soul. Titsian refused to collaborate with Bolsheviks. He refused to apologize on behalf of Paolo Iashvil. Titsian was shot as others. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.


– The suicide (token of his protest against Bolsheviks) committed by eminent Georgian poet- symbolist Paolo Iashvili, one of the founders of ‘Blue Horns’, triggered a massive scandal within the international literary circles. The situation in general was not very favorable for the Soviet authorities from the political stand-point. The communist government had certainly made an attempt to rectify the state of affairs.
SM – Yes indeed! As I said, Lavrenti Beria was given an assignment to do the job. 
GJ – What position did Beria occupy at that time?
SM – Beria was a communist party boss of the entire South Caucasus. He summoned to the carpet the then very young (38) poet Titsian Tabidze and demanded from him to write an article interpreting Paolo’s suicide as the result of the poet’s spiritual depression, not otherwise. As if Paolo Iashvili had humbly reasoned about his mistakes and criminal action against the Soviet power, and having not been able to handle his new regretful position, he committed suicide in an attempt to atone for his former erroneous anti-soviet behavior and attitudes.
GJ – I will never believe that Titsian Tabidze had agreed to that outrageous communist proposal.
SM – Of course he did not! He curtly dismissed the request. Beria was promising Titsian (as a compensation for collaboration) the post of the head of Georgian Writers Association, very high salary, a chauffeured car for personal use, special country houses and every possible amenity to enjoy for the rest of his life. None of those temptations had any effect on Titsian Tabidze. Then Beria warned him that with this refusal he was signing his own death warrant. Beria still gave him some time to think and reason once again. The poet returned home, went to his desk and wrote to other members of the ‘Blue Horns’ order the following: My brethren, our fraternity is asking for sacrifice to be made immediately. Some of us will have to carry the burden and face the inevitable . . . Giorgi Leonidze has already tasted the bitterness of his brother’s demise. 
GJ – Poet Giorgi Leonidze’s brother had already been executed by the Bolsheviks, hadn’t he?
SM – Yes, that is true! Titsian Tabidze then continued to write: Valerian Gaprindashvili is badly inflicted with tuberculoses and he will never survive the torture; Nikolo Mitsishvili and Razhden Gvetadze are imprisoned and thus deprived of any relevant action; Kolau Nadiradze is the only person who happens to be Paolo’s neighbor and the only man who might take care of his family. So there is only me out there who can take the pains, and I am ready to bear my cross. There is one thing I am asking of you to do though: As soon as you learn the news of my arrest, please go to various newspapers and run denouncing articles on me. Just reject me to save yourselves somehow. Let anybody who does not do as I say be regarded a traitor of our fraternity’s cause. That will be seen as my betrayal. You have to survive and help my daughter Neeta survive and grow. This is your brother Titsian Tabidze writing to you. Poet Tizian Tabidze gave his wife Nina Maqashvili the letter to hand it over to his friends. He was sitting at home motionless for two months waiting for Bolshevik executioners to come and take him. The KGB officers came around finally to capture the poet. They tortured him but could not break his soul. Tizian refused to collaborate with Bolsheviks. He refused to apologize on behalf of Paolo Iashvil. Tizian was shot as others. 
GJ – Misfortunes will never end once they start coming . . . The Georgian society does not even know the whereabouts of his beloved poet’s grave. One of the most brilliant representatives Georgia’s national poetic thought and rhyme is buried among thousands of victims of the gruesome communist regime, somewhere in the common grave, never identified and buried with deserved honors. Titsian Tabidze is writing in one of his poems dedicated to Paolo Iashvili: ‘A friend of ours has compared us to the diamond uncut; we might break but we have plenty of guts’. (To be continued in the next article on the same page).

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