Sandro Akhmeteli (Part Four)
03 March, 2011
Sandro Akhmeteli (Part Four)

At some point in time, Sandro Akhmeteli’s behavior was clearly arrogant and haughty, but when the year of 1937 had arrived – the year of atrocious and arbitrary repressions – Akhmeteli was reminded of all his ‘sins’ and he was executed. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – I have read somewhere that Sergo Orjonikidze himself kept Sandro Akhmeteli under his wings. I wonder if this is true.
SM – It becomes clear that after 1932, Sergo Orjonikidze protected many

people who were arrested and repressed by Stalin. As it seems, starting from the years between 1933 and 1934 the ideal attitude towards the notion of communism and Soviet system of government was severely diminished in hearts and minds of communist leaders like Sergo Orjonikidze, Abel Enukidze, Mamia Orakhelashvili and even Philipe Makharadze. They were no longer the blind adherents of Bolshevism. They clearly saw that the Soviet regime was the dictatorship of Stalin’s blinded faithful bunch of limited entourage rather than the ‘dictatorship of proletariat’ as it was ideally qualified before. I can’t exactly say that they suffered terrible pangs of conscience because of this, but history remembers many cases of them protecting the art workers at various occasions. There was another reason: those old Georgian Bolsheviks knew that the new wave, the new generation of Georgian Bolsheviks headed by Lavrenti Beria were undermining the life and careers of those old Bolsheviks and their relatives. Indeed, for Beria the old guard was his competitor and clearly unacceptable nomenclature. Therefore, the persons punished by Beria often needed protection provided by that old guard. This was a typical intra-party confrontation between the old and new generations. 
GJ – Was that a confrontation rather than the pangs of conscience?
SM – Yes, it was. This is why at some point in time, Sandro Akhmeteli’s behavior was clearly arrogant and haughty, but when the year of 1937 had arrived – the year of atrocious and arbitrary repressions – Akhmeteli was reminded of all his ‘sins’ and he was executed. During the Bolshevik rule personal lives of scientists and art workers were somehow intertwined with political processes. Take for example the participants in the so called ‘Case of Veterinarians’ – on the one hand they were talented professionals and on the other they were the enemies of the communist rule and the Bolshevik ideology by their birth and social status. When the Bolsheviks started relentless fight against their enemies, they found out that there were many astute intellectuals among the adversaries of the Soviet regime. It was discovered that a very big part of Soviet intelligentsia (intellectual professionals) were the enemies of Soviet Authorities. For them, the Soviet regime, the Bolshevik politics and the Communist ideology were unacceptable forms of ruling a society and they knew it from the very beginning of the inception of those notions. It was a new and weird form of tyranny and violence. Their mentality rejected the entire situation – an anti-liberal and tyrannical rule (Bolshevism, Fascism) in the country.  Under the slogan of Bolshevism, the Russian Empire which was no longer ruled by the Romanov dynasty but by the Bolsheviks invaded Georgia once again. For Georgia Bolshevism, in addition to many other calamities, was a new way, a new model of the Russian occupation. Most of the repressed people in Georgia were the representatives of high-level intellectuals who loved their country, and being the ardent patriots of their motherland, they felt themselves living in an occupied land.
GJ – This probably meant that they were ready to fight for their occupied motherland with a weapon in their hands if Georgia needed their help.
SM – Many of them had already fought for the freedom and independence of Georgia at various times.
GJ – Do you mean the heroes like General Giorgi Mazniashvili
SM – Yes, I do.

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