Russian communists mark Stalin’s 141st birthday
Due to the pandemic, the Stalinists canceled the traditional march
In the Georgian city of Gori, where Joseph Stalin was born and spent his childhood, local communists and representatives of society «Stalinist» celebrated the 141st anniversary of the birth of the Soviet «the leader of the nations». At the same time, due to the restrictions associated with the pandemic, a relatively small number of people gathered on the territory of the Stalin house-museum..
«Stalinists» laid flowers at the monument to the Soviet leader and again appealed to the local authorities with a demand to restore another, six-meter monument to Stalin, which was erected on the central square of the city during his lifetime, in 1952, and dismantled in June 2010. Then the authorities announced that they would move the monument to the territory of the Stalin house-museum, but it is still in one of the warehouses..
It is noteworthy that in 2013 the Georgian parliament adopted amendments to the law «Freedom Charter», according to which, persons promoting communist and fascist symbols will first receive a warning, and in the event of a repetition of this offense – will be fined approximately $ 600. As the initiators of the amendments stated then, the reason for the amendments to the existing law was the more frequent restoration of monuments to Joseph Stalin in Georgia. Voting to amend «The Freedom Charter» turned out to be one of those rare cases when the opposition and the ruling power deputies took a single position. Parliament of Georgia adopted the bill in the second hearing by 83 votes to 3.
Unlike in previous years, this year the traditional procession from Stalin’s house-museum to the central square, where the six-meter figure of the Soviet leader had previously stood, was canceled..
Joseph Dzhugashvili in his mother’s memories
According to the official version, Joseph Dzhugashvili was born in 1879 in Gori, in the family of a shoemaker and a day laborer. About fifteen years ago, handwritten memoirs of his mother Ekaterina (Keke) Geladze, which she dictated two years before her death, in 1935, were discovered in Georgian archives. These memoirs were not published during the Soviet era. Some historians do not exclude that since, according to official data, a copy of the document was not sent to Moscow, Stalin was not aware of their existence..
According to these records, before the birth of Joseph, two boys, George and Mikhail, were born in the Dzhugashvili family, who died in infancy. The mother recalls that her third son – Soso was a weak child who was constantly ill, ate poorly, and preferred meat dishes. «lobio» – georgian bean dish.
Keke also describes the atmosphere of domestic violence and the problems that Joseph’s father’s alcoholism created. – Vissarion, or «mad Beso», as it was called in Gori.
The memoirs, the authenticity of which some historians doubt, end with the period of Dzhugashvili’s study at the Tbilisi Theological Seminary, where he entered against the will of his father, but at the insistence of his mother, who, according to several sources, in the last years of her life more than once expressed regret over the fact that that her son never became a priest.
Tourism and morality
Political scientist Alexander Mikiashvili considers it a sad fact that when meeting with foreigners for many Georgian citizens it is often an unpleasant surprise that abroad their country, first of all, is associated with the name of Stalin. The expert partly sees the reason for the fact that since Georgia was part of the USSR, all the achievements of its citizens, such as the indisputable leadership of women in chess for decades, the primacy of men in various types of combat sports, achievements in science and art, as well as Georgian wines and kitchen – all this was presented abroad as if under «Soviet umbrella». Another reason, according to Mikiashvili, lies in the ineffective popularization of the country’s image by the relevant government departments..
«In the case of Gori, you can’t go anywhere – the most famous native of this town will always be Joseph Dzhugashvili, but the fact that Georgia as such is still associated with Stalin is partly the fault of our authorities. For example, I think that for more people in the world it is more interesting than Stalin that wine has been made in Georgia for the past 8 thousand years, and that the most ancient traces of wine from cultivated grapes on ancient pottery were found in Georgia, that this particular country is home of wine», – Mikiashvili believes.
Expert Zaal Anjaparidze believes that the existence of Stalin’s house-museum «rests primarily on issues of moral and moral order», especially for the country and society, declaring aspiration to the Euro-Atlantic structures and, accordingly, respecting Western values.
«If in Germany they opened “house-museum of Adolf Hitler”, I think there would be no shortage of tourists. However, this would run counter to Germany’s policy of a final break with the Nazi past and its relics. By the same standards, one can approach the Stalinist Museum in Gori and admiration for «the leader.» The existence and operation of the Stalin Museum, even for the purpose of the tourism business, does not really fit in with the law in force in Georgia banning Soviet symbols», – noted the expert in a comment for the Russian Service «Voices of America».