Tinatin Japharidze თინათინ ჯაფარიძე

* 1978

  • “Without understanding the past, in my opinion, there will be no future either. This was the past of our worst, totalitarian state. The Pantheon, the memorial cemetery will be there [on the territory of Batumi mass graves], or the museum—these will all be places where we will go, bring our children, and tell them that this was brought about by Stalinism. This is the state that was built with so much blood, misery, and the suffering of people—it is a symbol of Stalinism. This must not be repeated; we must know what a totalitarian state is. We need to understand what it means to have a leader who doesn't step down until he dies his biological death”.

  • “In the late 1920s, they had a huge Great Dane named Lord at home. One fine day, Lord was walking in front of their house on what is now Vazha-Pshavela Street, then Karl Marx Street. The city communal service assumed Lord was a stray dog and took him away. My grandmother, children, and the French governess immediately ran to the Batumi City Hall building and entered the office where Viktor was having a meeting. They shouted that "the Lord has been arrested." Imagine a city council meeting in late 1920s Soviet Georgia. All those present were terribly tense because they did not understand who the lord was that had been arrested. Everyone was very scared and tried to find out who the Lord was. Viktor calmed everyone down and explained that the 'imprisoned' lord was the dog, and finally, after the meeting, they went there and got the dog back”.

  • “Repressions in Adjara affected many people, not only the elite. The first operation was the Kulak operation, primarily targeting the Kulaks, the peasantry. The definition of a Kulak is a peasant who used hired labor on the farm, and there were very large farms in Adjara. I know of cases where, if they were not shot, people were punished by the confiscation of their property and exiled for ten years. I have two relatives whose ancestors were exiled, and none came back alive. So, many people were shot during the Kulak operation. Special attention was given to people who had close relatives abroad, in Turkey, and there was repression in this regard as well. The intelligentsia itself became a victim of repression... I think no one escaped this terror.”

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The Soviet Union is the most difficult past of Georgia

Tinatin Japharidze, 2024
Tinatin Japharidze, 2024
zdroj: Natáčení

Tinatin Japaridze was born in Tbilisi in 1978. She is a historian with a background in archives. In the interview, Tinatin tells us about her great grandfather, Viktor Chedia, who was repressed. Tinatin herself became interested in this issue as a child, because her grandmother, the daughter of Viktor Chedia, constantly told her father‘s stories. Repressions in Adjara affected many people. According to Tinatin Japaridze, it is wrong to think that the target was only the elite - the great terror also killed many peasants. Special attention was paid to people‘s contacts abroad: in a word, not a single layer could escape the repressions. Tinatin Japaridze started her research in the 2000s, which she considers to be the merit of the Internet. Seeing her grandfather‘s documents in the digital database of the repressed motivated her to continue her search. When she heard in 2019 that the mass grave of the Great Terror was discovered in Batumi, she hoped that she would also find the grave of her great grandfather. According to her, without understanding the past, there will be no future. The Soviet Union is the most difficult past of Georgia, and it is necessary to have a memorial place where people can come and tell the next generation what a tragedy Stalinism brought, what was communism, totalitarianism and what is happening in a country where a small group has unlimited power.