Statement by SovLab

Soviet Past Research Laboratory is extremely concerned about an opinion regarding Stalin expressed by His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi and Tskhum-Abkhazeti1. He repeated a cliché created by the Soviet totalitarian system, i.e. the Soviet leader was ‘special’. He said: “Stalin is an outstanding person; such people are rarely born. He understood the importance of Russia … I think that he was a believer, especially in the last period of his life”.
Soviet Past Research Laboratory, as the organization which studies the Soviet totalitarian past and has been working on political, legal and moral understanding of responsibility of the Soviet legacy, considers such statement unacceptable due to several reasons:

  1. The statement is a falsification of historical facts: it is enough to revise the number of Communist regime victims. Representatives of Georgia clergy destroyed as a result of mass repressions were among those.
  2. Any attempt to rehabilitate the name of Joseph Stalin is disrespect and humiliation of millions of repressed people and their descendants.
  3. It is impossible to establish in Georgia a democratic and people-oriented society if we do not rethink properly and free ourselves from the Soviet totalitarian past. Such statements, unfortunately, are only inhibiting this process.

Given the enormous authority of the Catalicos Patriarch of Georgia, it is highly undesirable, especially considering the recent political decision to restore Stalin’s monument, to spread myths praising the Soviet dictator.
For the democratic development of the country, we once again emphasize the importance of fundamental research and analysis of the Soviet period in Georgia.

We urge scientists, politicians, the Media and the whole Georgian society to research and understand the crime committed by the Soviet system and thus pay tribute to the memory of Stalinism victims.

Tbilisi, 01/08/2013



interview in russian:    

extract of the interview in Georgian: