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Memory dismantled2010-02-01 18:29
The 65th year after the WWII victory was darkened by a new barbarous act of the Georgian authorities. After Kutaissi memorial, on January 27 local authorities in Dioknisi village of Ajaria initiated dismantling of the monument in honor of the perished warriors to stock it in the basement of a kindergarten. Andrey Nesterenko, Spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated Moscow "was concerned over the new fact of contempt for the memory of warriors who died in the Great Patriotic War by the Georgian authorities" remarking that "the most unbiased evaluation will be made by living protagonists of those hardest years and battles they took part in. I mean Georgian citizens and
relatives of the warriors perished in these battles".
Thus official Tbilisi is openly pursuing a policy aimed at destruction of the memory about Georgia's participation in the Great Patriotic War on the side of the Soviet Union. It will be remembered that less than a month and a half ago, on December 19 2009 the Warrior Glory Memorial was exploded in Kutaisi two days before the pre-announced term with a view to avoid massive protest actions. The explosion was carried out in violation of security norms and resulted in two deaths - of a woman and her 8-year-old daughter - and several casualties.
Movement for Fair Georgia leadership considers the act of state vandalism in Dioknisi another attempt of local authorities to please Saakashvili. According to Peter Mamradze, the party's secretary general, foreign press is extremely negative over all this. "The mayor of a Norwegian town questions: isn't Nazism being reborn in Georgia? Israeli press is extremely negative too", - he remarks.
However there is a different understanding of the situation. Ramaz Sakvarelidze, a Georgian politologist thinks this is struggle against "Soviet epoch", not historical memory, going on in the country. This is his comment for Pravda.ru: "Someone simply sticks to the fact that two monuments to the 1941-45 heroes were pulled down. But there is no heroization of Nazism like in Baltic states or in Ukraine. No one praises Hitler regime here. It's dismantling of Soviet monuments. There is a belief that getting rid of the Soviet heritage will be viewed as aspiration for freedom and democracy in the West that Georgia esteems so much".
Well, we have already written about terrible crimes of the Soviet authorities in the territory of Georgia like construction of practically all existing economic infrastructure - from motorways to electric power stations. It's clear that Saakashvili's supporters are not crafty enough: it's common knowledge that during WWII the so-called Georgian government in exile was in close cooperation with Hitler's Germany which resulted in formation of over 20 battalions of the so-called 20,000 "Georgian legion" in wartime. Besides Wehrmacht and its additional units comprised several Georgian units: from Tamara subversion group, Bergman battalion that took part in operations in Caucasus to military and working groups. However, the collaborationists had a predictable future in store for them: after the victory they were all extradited to the Soviet government.
Here we must not forget about heroic Georgians that fought for the right cause. The country must be proud of the fact that the rebellion of a battalion of Soviet army prisoners from Georgia in April-May 1945 is often referred to as "Last Battle of Europe". And it will take a lot of time to tell about exploits of Georgians that served in the Red Army: suffice it to recall Sergeant Meliton Kantaria who raised the Victory flag over Reichstag. After all there were nearly 700,000 Georgian citizens fighting against fascism and this figure can't be compared with the number of traitors.