Kerch – Graveyard for Georgian Soldiers
14 April, 2011

From 100 to 200 thousand ethnic Georgians fell in the Kerch Battle during the Second World War. Practically, every Georgian family was bereft of their loved ones – fathers, sons, brothers, cousins, uncles and friends. The anti-German attitude was firmly perpetuated right after that. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – Right at the beginning of the War between the Soviet Union and the Fascist Germany a big number of Soviet soldiers defected to the German side. They mostly represented

various Soviet nations forcefully dragged into the USSR, including Georgia. As it was already noted, those nations were encouraged by the idea of losing the War by the Soviets to Germans because that seemed to be a harbinger of getting themselves free from the Russian violence. It was also said that the ruling communist elite were well aware of the situation, and were trying to nurse hatred and sense of revenge against Germans in the hearts and minds of the Soviet people.
SM – I have already told you that the Soviet authorities had declared dead and unaccounted for the defected Soviet soldiers. This was a good reason to develop the sense of revenge in the minds of the Soviet people who were left in the rear. The second part of that ‘project’ was thousands of killed Georgians who lost their lives in the battle of Kerch planned by the Soviets very stupidly and unprofessionally. The Kerch operation was headed by the Soviet (ethnic Georgian though) General Constantine Leselidze – lionized into the rank of a hero, who in fact actively participated in the 1921-1922 carnage of people.
GJ – As far as my knowledge of this part of history goes, nowhere had as many Georgians died as in the Kerch operation. Kerch of the Crimea was even named the grave-yard for Georgians.
SM – That was the worst-planned war operation. Nothing was provided for – neither the supplies nor the facilities in the rear. The death toll is fluctuating between 100 to 200 thousand people, and we are talking only about ethnic Georgians. Practically, every Georgian family was bereft of their loved ones – fathers, sons, brothers, cousins, uncles and friends. The anti-German attitude was firmly perpetuated right after that. Serious geopolitical issues and great patriotic ideals were no longer an issue. Moreover, when you are a soldier with a rifle in your hand to fight for Stalingrad, Moscow, Ukraine or Belarus, and the war goes on and on interminably, you stop thinking about your beloved motherland of Georgia and the benefits it can receive from your war efforts. But those soldiers knew very well that their lives were actually at stake and the death was imminent. What happened was that they no longer had any desire and readiness to defect to Germany because each and every one of those soldiers had a relative or a friend who was killed by a German bullet. Hence there was the only option left for a Georgian soldier – if death was inevitable then only a heroic death that would become a Georgian warrior and not a coward. Indeed, for a Georgian soldier, commitment to heroism was something very natural. After all, he represented a military culture of a millennium-old history. Let’s now get back to reality.
GJ – An attempt to enter the Caucasus was made by the Germans although the WWII battles mostly took place on the territory of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus . . .
SM – Indeed, in 1941 the German army approached the Caucasus and they crossed the border in Apkhazeti (Abkhazia) and Svaneti. General Shtemenko who at that time served in the General Staff of the Soviet Army remembers in his memoirs that Stalin one day said that Churchill had categorically demanded the admittance of the British army into the Caucasus. That was the time when the Soviet troops were retreating disorderly. Stain declared that he might be compelled to admit the British troops to Georgia if the situation were not improved in favor of the Soviet forces. The British army would proceed to Georgia via Iran and Azerbaijan. This would certainly have happened only with the purpose of preventing the Hitler forces from entering Georgia. Meanwhile Stalin knew very well that the Bolsheviks would never see Georgia again if the British army was admitted to Georgia (Continued in the next article on the same page).

Other Stories
Tako Natsvlishvili at Victoria’s Secret casting 2018
Tako Natsvlishvili participated in the Victoria Secret’s 2018 casting on the 29th of August, in New York. The Georgian model was among Victoria’s Secret finalists in 2017.
International Festival of classical music to be held in Batumi
At the end of this week an International Festival of classic music will kick off for the 6th time in Batumi, Georgia’s beautiful seaside city.
Georgians who beat the world record
There are many Georgians among the world recordsmen. Georgians managed to beat the world record for 78 times to date. Today we explore four of them.
Jenny Brunt speaks about Georgia with Georgian Journal
Jenny Brunt is among the most famous models worldwide. She used to be on the covers of different international magazines in the 1990s.
Tako Natsvlishvili wearing Pain de Sucre - photographed by David Bellemere
Tako Natsvlishvili is a 19-yeal old model from Georgia. She has recently been photographed by a prominent French photographer David Bellemere.
Former Georgian plastic surgeon who owns a restaurant in New York
Maia Acquaviva is a Georgian former surgeon, who worked in one of the clinics here in Tbilisi, but decided to go to the USA and start a business there.
David Beckham first saw Victoria Adams in Tbilisi
Tbilisi is truly a magical city. It brings many people and cultures together, even connects future spouses. Do you think we are joking? Not at all.
Georgia should be at the top of every travel destination list – says German photographer about Georgia
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Georgia tomorrow and possibly as a result of this visit the German media is currently writing a lot about Georgia.
Alexander Julakidze - Georgian pianist based in Jerusalem
A well-known Georgian pianist Alexander Julakidze has successfully participated in a variety of piano competitions. He currently lives in Jerusalem, Israel contributing to Georgia’s popularity all over the world.
Anna Kendrick in David Koma’s dress
The readers of the Georgian Journal will definitely have heard about David Koma, a young and talented Georgian designer based in London.
Medical tourism increases in Georgia
In the first quarter of 2018, Georgia was visited by 13 900 foreigners for medical and recovery purposes. The level is 61.2 % higher than the same period in 2017.
Rebellious and successful Georgian model based in Barcelona
Remember we told you a story this week about a Georgian model Paloma Anastasia Mikadze, who currently is based in Barcelona and is quite successful there?
Georgian Rubik’s Cube solver Vako Marchilashvili breaks the Guinness World Record
Vako Marchilashvili is a young Rubik’s Cube solver from Georgia. He participated in “Georgia’s Got Talent 2017 “and introduced his genius abilities to the Georgian public.
Turkish born Georgian sisters sing a beautiful song
There are many Georgians, who live in Turkey, but maintain Georgian culture and heritage.
What types of transport can Georgia offer tourists?
Train, subway, bus, mini-bus, taxi and airplane – these are the types of transport that Georgia can offer tourists.
Chris Botti to perform in Georgia
American trumpeter Chris Botti arrived in Georgia yesterday. Today the musician is due to perform with the Georgian singer Nani Bregvadze.
Georgian schoolchildren create Robot “Vano”
Georgian students from the Guivy Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi have created a robot named Vano.
Khatia Buniatishvili performs with the Estonian Festival Orchestra at the Proms in London
On the 13th of August, Paavo Järvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London during its famous Proms season.
Paloma Anastasia Mikadze, an Instagram star from Georgia
Anastasia Mikadze is a Georgian social network star from Georgia. She shares her ideas about fashion, interior design and healthy lifestyle with hundreds of followers on Instagram.
Georgian lifeguard who saved life of nearly 700 people
Gocha Bilvanidze, the Head of the Maritime Rescue Service has been with the organization for eight years now. He has saved the lives of around 700 people during that time.
Children of Georgian migrant to the USA Parten Chikviladze (Peter Chiglo) visit Georgia
A 16-year Parten Chikviladze from Racha (the western part of Georgia) left Georgian 1913 for America, never to return back.
 Surprising proposal by a Georgian Soldier
The video of a Georgian Cadet Soldier’s proposal to his girlfriend has gone viral on the social media. He proposed to her in the presence of other soldiers in front of the Academy.
The 10th anniversary of the 2008 war through a young graphic designer’s eye
A 23-year old Nika Chalakhshasvhili is a graphic designer from Georgia. He has created some interesting illustrations to express his protest against the Russian occupation of Georgian territory:
Georgian policewomen: stereotypes and reality
The number of female members in the Security Forces is increasing year after year.
Georgian entrant who got top marks in two subjects
Devi Oniani is a graduate of the 55th Public School, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
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