Collaboration with Nazi Germany – another way to escape USSR
07 April, 2011

Had the USSR lost war with the fascist Germany, Georgia and other Soviet republics would have felt optimistic about the possibility of reinstating their statehood and national independence.   Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – Right from the moment of direct confrontation between Germany and USSR the Second World War entered a new phase of its development. Involvement of the Soviet Union in the War had given a hope to the republics, annexed by Russia and forcefully incorporated into the

USSR, to get rid of the Soviet violence. As it seems, Georgians were also nursing the same idea. 
SM – I have already told you that there were many Georgians at that time in Germany who fought under the German flag.  To be more specific, their number would approximately fluctuate between 30 to 80 thousand people. 
GJ – I have heard that the Georgian battalions were functioning in the German armed forces under the names like Tamar-1, Tamar-2, Ilia Chavchavadze and Shota Rustaveli. There was also a division called Bergman, complete with Armenians, Azeris, Chechens, Ukrainians and Georgians of course.
SM – Yes! And most of them were former Soviet prisoners of war and the forcefully recruited people for the Soviet Army, who took the German side from the very first days of the War. They had not died in gas chambers and concentration camps in general but fought valiantly as the soldiers of the Hitler army, dying as heroes in the battlefield.
GJ – They certainly died in battles against the Soviet Union, didn’t they?
SM – They sure did. There is a document of the United States Congress dated 1945 which evaluates the fight of Georgians on the side of Germans not as a fact of collaboration with Fascism but as a patriotic struggle of Georgians for the reinstatement of Georgia’s national independence. When a Georgian man was fighting under the German flag he was fighting for a cause of defeating and destroying the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) – the biggest and the worst enemy of Georgia – and restoring the independence of the motherland. Germany and Fascism was only a tool for achieving that great goal exactly like it was a tool for Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Ukrainians and others. Nobody can blame you in any wrongdoing when your nation is facing genocide and you are trying to avert it. In this particular case, most of the Georgians were more interested in Georgia’s survival than in any big-scale global issue like perennial fight between the good and the evil. If we try to be fair enough here, we might conclude the following: in case you are not interested in what is going to happen to your own country, you can hardly be concerned about those global issues. If you don’t love your own nation and family, your own children and your neighbor (The Bible: love your neighbor as you love yourself) how could one believe that you are worried about the fate of the mankind. You should first be hurting for your own family and nation and only after that start thinking of the mankind and the global problems. For example, an ethnic Georgian, loving his country as a patriot of his nation had no way to love the Soviet Union as much as Georgia, and if he did, he probably was very seriously brainwashed and frightened to death into loving the so called ‘Soviet Motherland’, or he simply was a Georgian with no self-respect. My statement could easily be corroborated with the help of the analysis made by Colonel Merab Kvitashvili, an ethnic Georgian who served as the officer of the British intelligence during the Second World War.
GJ – What kind of analysis is making Colonel Kvitashvili?
SM – In 1941 he prepared a report for Winston Churchill about Georgia in which the author of the report concluded that Georgia would take the side of the party which managed to enter Georgia first (continued in the next article on the same page)

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