Georgia in the Aftermath of World War II
05 May, 2011

Right after 1945, every positive idea like patriotism, sense of dignity or family relationships went through a definite sublimation. The consequence of the World War II, in its every aspect, was destructive for Georgia which had no reason at all to celebrate the victory. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – And why was that?
SM – The Ukraine used to be a member of the United Nations in the years between 1945 and 1990, but it was in no

way more independent a country than Georgia. Just compare these figures: in those years, 95 percent of Georgia’s school-age population went to Georgian-language schools whereas 80 percent of the same segment of population in the Ukraine went to Russian-language schools. A totally new reality occurred after the Second World War. Nobody was interested any longer in the acts of the League of Nations. Moreover, during the entire period of the USSR’s existence Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Rumania and Albania were rendered as non-Soviet member countries. On the other hand, Bulgaria for example was just as much a Soviet colony as Georgia or the harshness of the Soviet regime was more acutely felt in Rumania than in any Soviet republic proper, let’s say, in the Baltic Sea coast republics. The bloody regime of the brutal Soviet accomplice Nicolae Ceau escu will long be remembered by the history. Another example: in 1956 the Soviet Army accomplished one of its goriest and cruelest punitive acts in Hungary, not in Georgia or anywhere else.
GJ – But in 1956 the gory punitive act took place in Georgia too, didn’t it?
SM – That’s what I meant exactly – that year, only 100 people died in Tbilisi, whereas in Hungary the death toll went up to thousands. As Churchill had noted, an Iron Curtain fell from Baltic to Mediterranean. Those who found themselves within that Curtain (east side) were the Warsaw Treaty block countries – East European nations or Soviet republic – they all were under the Stalinist repressive regime, which felt itself totally unrestricted in its power of repression.  
GJ – The Regime which became stronger and harsher after the War. . .
SM – Yes, the USSR was stronger and much more self-confident thanks to the victory in the War, now even equipped with the nuclear power. The Soviet Union had never parted with the idea of global dominance, but whatever the territory and the country the Soviets managed to maintain after the War, they turned it into a more monolithic, vicious and brutally violent country than it used to be before. In the Soviet republics (there were 15 of them), including Georgia, had completely disappeared the anti-Russian and anti-Bolshevik ideology. Right after 1945, every positive idea like patriotism, sense of dignity or family relationships went through a definite sublimation. The consequence of the World War II, in its every aspect, was destructive for Georgia which had no reason at all to celebrate the victory. Any sort of victory, even the victory of fascism would have been less painful for Georgians than being on the side of the victorious Stalin. Let all other nations judge themselves whether Stalin was a bigger disaster for them or fascism, whether the German occupation was worse or not compared to the Russian occupation, but as a Georgian historian I would like to declare with all my sense of responsibility that the fascist occupation could not have been more disastrous than the Russian invasion. The Georgian soul and body had never been damaged, neither spiritually nor materially, as much as it was hurt in the long years of Soviet occupation.

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