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“Georgians are a lazy, dirty, tricky, fiercely proud, and recklessly brave people” – George Kennan Diaries
27 February, 2015
Foreigners-georgia.blogspot.com publishes an interesting story from famous politician's diary. George Frost Kennan (1904 – 2005) was a highly influential American diplomat and historian, who had played a crucial role in crafting the US foreign policy in the wake of the World War II. His writings inspired the Truman Doctrine and the U.S. foreign policy of "containing" the Soviet Union.

Visiting various parts of the USSR and closely acquainting with the Soviet regime. In 1936 he paid a visit to Georgia,
jotting down his perceptions into his journal that he had kept throughout his long career.

“Transcaucasian filth is the filth of the Orient. Compared to it, Russian filths seems earthy and wholesome.“


Kutais and Tiflis were too much alike to be described separately. They are essentially oriental cities, cities of the Near East. Host sunshine, dust, overcrowding, intense street life, poverty, disease, and deceit seemed to be their main characteristics.

The Georgians are a lazy, dirty, tricky, fiercely proud, and recklessly brave people. They never seem to work unless they have to. The Transcaucasus is the spiritual home of the drug store cowboy[*]. The streets are packed with loafers at all hours of the day.

Transcaucasian filth is the filth of the Orient. Compared to it, Russian filths seems earthy and wholesome.

“Tiflis and the entire Transcaucasus seem to be rampant with corruption, speculation, and crookedness.”


The Georgians claim to have acquired their trickiness from their dealings with the Armenians. However this may be (and to the outsider it seems an idle question), Tiflis and the entire Transcaucasus seem to be rampant with corruption, speculation, and crookedness.

“The Armenian he hates virulently, and the Russian he holds in contempt.”

The pride of the Georgian is well known. He looks down on all the neighboring races, with the possible exception of the Turk, for whom he has a certain respect as a fighter. The Armenian he hates virulently, and the Russian he holds in contempt.

Although the Georgian nationalists do not like Stalin, they have every reason to be thankful to him. They are still the only remaining independent people of any importance in the Soviet Union. This is borne out by thousands of little indications: by the faces and behavior of the people, even by the number of loafers and beggars in the Tiflis streets.

Since the [Sergei] Kirov murder [on 1 December 1934], Moscow’s grasp on the Transcaucasus has begun to tighten up. It is doubtful whether Stalin, in the face of the consolidation of his power and his economic successes in Russia, will be willing to tolerate much longer the laziness, the backwardness, the corruption, and the defiant, romantic nationalism of his compatriots.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the term "drugstore cowboy" referred to a young man who loitered in or around a drugstore for the purpose of meeting women.
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