Stalin in present Georgia / Stalin im heutigen Georgien

Stalin monument on Gori central square. So much damage in Gori - but this guy survived...

Dan Bilefsky writes about a Stalin impersonator of Azeri background living in Georgia. He gets a lot of attention and even benefits from local Georgians as well as, in present days, the russian occupants:

In Georgia, a Reverence for Stalin (New York Times)

Eine deutsche Übersetzung gibt es hier:
Wie der Tyrann Josef Stalin in Georgien weiterlebt (Die Welt)

Paul A. Goble reports on the revival of Stalin cult in modern Russia. He cites Irina Karatsuba, a historian at Moscow State University, saying: "“In certain new textbooks,” ... the Soviet dictator’s actions “are presented as ‘an effective instrument without which industrialization and collectivization would have been impossible and without which the country would not have won the war and preserved its sovereignty – and [for the Kremlin and many ordinary Russians] sovereignty is ‘our all.’” The article is to be found here:

The New Stalin Cult (New York Times)

Josef Joffe of german magazin "DIE ZEIT" compared in a commentary, published end of August 08, red with white tsars, i.e. Stalin with Putin. The subtitle says it all: "Stalin lesen heißt Putins Kaukasus-Strategie verstehen." (Reading Stalin means understanding Putin's strategy in the Caucasus.") The Kremlin's policy towards Georgia reminds him of the crisis over West-Berlin in the days of the so called Cold War, when the Soviet Union proved the West. "Außerdem geht es Putin, wie einst Stalin, nicht bloß um Einfluss, sondern um Herrschaft. Wer sich wie Georgien nicht unterwirft, wird portioniert und einverleibt – siehe die Anerkennung Abchasiens und Südossetiens, die Pufferzonen und die Einnahme der Hafenstadt Poti." (Besides, Putin isn't after only influence, like Stalin. Countries which don't knuckle down, will be portioned out and annexed - see the acknowlegement of independence of Abkhasia and South-Ossetia, the buffer-zones and the taking of the seaport Poti.)

So why do we see the statue of Stalin not only in Gori - on the central square right in front of town hall (and in quite a number of villages)? Isn't it insane hailing to Stalin, exactly the man who is responsible for the drawing of borders that cause so much pain to the Georgia of today? Not to mention the terror and the many lifes it cost?

Lenin's and Stalin's busts, seen on Tbilisi antique basar

For Georgians, the answer is easy. First, he was in their eyes the strongest dictator of the Sovietunion. A Georgian ruling over Russia and half of the world. Second, the less educated and elderly generation remembers a rather secured life, with free electricity, gas and water, garanteed employment and so on. (As long as one didn't open one's mouth.) Third, there hasn't been a time yet when people could have worked up on their history. Unlike in Germany, the archives aren't opened up (partly due to the fact, that a lot of information is to be found rather in Moscow than in Tbilisi).

According to "Mitteldeutsche Zeitung", Tbilisi plans a "Museum on Russian Aggression": "Medien in Tiflis zufolge plant Georgien als Folge des August-Krieges mit Moskau ein «Museum der russischen Aggression». Unter anderem soll dort auch ein Denkmal für Sowjetdiktator Josef Stalin (1878-1953) zu sehen sein, das jetzt noch im Zentrum seiner georgischen Geburtsstadt Gori steht. Auch wenn Stalin ethnisch Georgier gewesen sei, habe nach dem Südkaukasus-Krieg eine solche Statue im öffentlichen Raum eines freien Georgiens nichts mehr zu suchen, sagte ein Regierungssprecher laut Medien in Tiflis. " (According to media, Tbilisi plans a "Museum of Russian Aggression" in consequence of the war in august. Among other exhibits, the monument of Soviet Dictator Josip Stalin (1878-1953) will be seen there, which still stand in the center of his birth-town Gori. Even if Stalin was an ethnic Georgian, a statue of this kind should not to be found in public places after the war in the south caucasus, says a speaker of the Georgian government."

Well, it's time this awareness spreads. Showing Stalin's bust isn't just folklore.

Here's a video documentary of Stalin and his crimes by History Channel:
part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5
part 6
part 7
part 8
part 9

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