How History Was Written Under Stalin

How History Was Written Under Stalin

Recently, attacks on Georgia have become more frequent in the Russian-language media. The scheme of the attacks is old and has been unchanged since the Russians have first put foot in the region, with the obligatory elements of incitement, mainly Georgia against Armenia.

Why is this particular vector of incitement, Georgia to Armenia, chosen? The answer is simple! Because Georgia easily succumbs probably due to its direct participation in the falsifications of the history, culture, and architecture of Armenia.

It seems to me that any falsification along with elementary lies is completely pointless, especially in the field of archeology, history, and culture. Science and IT are developing rapidly, and all lies and falsifications are being very quickly revealed.

Well, let those who lie or are going to lie think about it, and if Georgia is really following the footsteps of Turkey and Azerbaijan and is trying to write a new ancient history for itself, then this is its chance to look ridiculous in the near future.

In the first part of Stanislav Tarasov’s article “Stalin is being resurrected in Georgia”, some archaeological finds in Historical Armenia are mentioned, regarding which very controversial and contradictory statements are being made in Georgia. It comes to the point that academic circles in Georgia claim that Georgian writing appeared two hundred years earlier than the Phoenician.

This statement is akin to how Georgia declared at the celebration of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia that Georgia was celebrating the 2000th anniversary of the official baptism of Georgia – that is, Georgia claims to have adopted Christianity at the time of the birth of Christ.

What is the purpose of this? According to Tarasov, the goal of Georgia is to claim its rights to certain lands that historically have nothing to do with it.

Well, this is quite possible, especially given the Georgian claims to its supposedly ancient belonging to European culture. As Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said: “… we must show that Europe needs us with our values, our past.”

In my opinion, in the recent history of Georgia, the new history began to form in the days of Saakashvili who appropriated the flag of Cilicia. Most likely, this may mean that tomorrow, we will witness claims on some Georgian heritage in Cilicia.

Let me remind you that the ancient Georgian alphabet and the system of Georgian writing were created and written down by Armenian scholar and the creator of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots. I also recall that until relatively recent historical times, this fact, as well as other facts – for example, the commitment of Georgian church architecture to Armenian culture and much more – haven’t been even doubted.

The Georgian and Armenian peoples have always lived in peace, harmony, and benefit to each other.

The falsifications of the region’s history have been periodically carried out, following the old, mediocre, and incapable imperial scheme called “divide and conquer”, but the most active phase of falsifications of the history of Armenia has been carried out during the Soviet years both in the USSR, including Azerbaijan and Georgia, and in Turkey, and it continues even today.

Tarasov’s article is essentially a roadmap for fraud, which is being quietly and unobtrusively offered to the Georgian authorities. This will certainly lead to a conflict of interests between Armenia and Georgia, which Russia naturally intends to play on.

The second half of Tarasov’s article, on one hand, sheds light on the insidious plan of Stalin’s falsifications and on the other reveals all the prospects of a Stalinist status for modern Georgia.

For us, the second part of Tarasov’s article is valuable in that we get a clear idea of how history has been written during the time of Stalin, particularly by Stalin himself who set out to Georgify the history of the Ancient World.

Essentially, we have in our hands the fact of falsifications in the USSR which, apparently, are being carried out at the present time under the direct control of Russia that replaced the Soviet Union nearly 30 years ago.

And therefore, it will be correct to note this fact in ourselves and transmit it to others as it is.

P.S. By the way, judging by Russian media, the Kremlin is preparing an invasion of Georgia by its old plan. Thus, the Kremlin will try again to solve all the issues in one fell swoop, including the Georgian question, the issue of Artsakh, and even the issue of Nakhichevan.

That is, the occupation of Georgia will update the project called the USSR which no one wants to invest in today. But go ahead and try to explain it to the Kremlin that lives in captivity of its ephemeral fantasies which may well lead to bloodshed well beyond the region.

Vigen Avetisyan

Honorary Academician Stalin and Georgia

For many, the statement that Joseph Stalin after the Great Patriotic War, putting forth territorial claims before Turkey, began to stimulate Georgian historians to create a scenario of a new vision of Georgia on the regional map will probably look surprising or strange.

The basic foundations of the report of the Georgian delegation at the Versailles Conference in March 1918 fit into it. On March 19, 1945, the USSR denounced the Soviet-Turkish treaty of December 25, 1925, proposing negotiations to conclude a new treaty, but with some changes.

The Kremlin insisted on the return of the territories transferred to Turkey under the “unfair” 1921 treaty. It was planned to achieve from the Turks the recognition of the borders of 1878 and the return of 26 thousand square kilometers, of which 20.5 thousand were intended for transfer to Armenia and the rest to Georgia.

The Politburo decided to prepare a “historical justification” of the claims, which the party authorities of Georgia and Armenia were actively engaged in. And almost immediately, disputes arose between the parties on who the lands should belong to.

So, the People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the Armenian SSR prepared a historical report substantiating the transfer to Armenia of the areas of Alashkert, Erzurum, Van, and Bitlis, which had been under the control of the Ottoman Empire after 1878. Tbilisi opposed this approach.

According to Russian researcher Boris Ilizarov who has studied some books from the personal library of Joseph Stalin filled with his personal notes, the “leader of the peoples” had actively wedged into the historical discussion.

On the pages of Sh. Amiranashvili’s “The History of Georgian Art” published by the publishing house “The Art of Labor” in the early 1950s, Stalin emphasized with a blue and then a red pencil that “the Caucasus is one of the world centers where metals, including iron, have been smelted for the first time” and that “iron is a product of the Kartvelian tribe of the Chalybes”.

Stalin also liked the position of the author who combined the Georgian pantheon of pagan gods with the pantheons of other nations of the Ancient East and connected the history and culture of Georgia with the most ancient cultures of the world – the cultures of Sumer, Assyria, Babylon, Ancient Rome, Greece, and Phoenicia.

And he did not agree with the opinion of historian-orientalist and archaeologist B. Piotrovsky who hinted that the problem of the ethnonational belonging of the state of Urartu was falsified by nationalist Georgian historians.

Stalin supported the thesis outlined in the textbook “History of the USSR” published under the editorship of A. Shestakov back in 1937. The thesis stated: “Urartu is the founder state of present-day Georgia.” In later editions of this textbook, the leader with his own hand corrected and inserted individual pieces of text, tying the state of Urartu to Georgia.

And in the textbook “History of Georgia” edited by Janashia, the Iberians were assigned the Urartian territory along with Lake Van, while the Armenians were pushed into Assyrian territory in the middle reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates.

By the way, among the surviving books of the Stalin library, only one was found that was related to the ancient history or culture of Armenia – the Armenian folk epos “David of Sasun” with an honorific inscription from the translators.

In general, we mostly know about the peoples who lived in the Caucasus in the era of Antiquity and the early Middle Ages from archeology. There also are ancient authors, Greek and Roman. But these are crumbs – it is difficult to get something new from them without archeology.

Stalin worked on the geopolitical project of Greater Georgia. The question of how he saw the future of the USSR in this configuration remains open. But he was preparing for major decisions. But what is Georgia of “the Zurabishvili era” preparing for today, writing for itself a new ancient history?

Stanislav Tarasov, August 20, 2019

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