Stalin Statue Sparks Controversy

Uploaded by TheVJMovement on 25.01.2011

Stalin, or "Man of Steel" [in Russian], was born Iosif Dzhugashvili in Gori, Georgia, in 1879.
He was the Secretary General of the Soviet Union's Communist Party from 1922 until 1953.
While commander-in-chief, Stalin personally directed the war against Nazi Germany
and helped bring the Allies to victory in World War II.
Georgians who fought in World War II still consider him to be an idol.
The whole world knows who Stalin was. Nobody did as much for his homeland as he did.
All my life and youth, I was at the forefront. I was the military.
Do you know about World War II? So he was its leader.
What else do you want?
According to Georgia's national archives, Stalin's wartime leadership resulted in the death
of 27 million Soviet citizens. During Stalin's time in power, approximately 3 million prisoners
were executed for either political or criminal offenses.
Stalin personally signed 357 proscription lists, which condemned to execution some 40,000 people.
Despite this, like those who participated in the war,
older Georgians share a nostalgia for their hero.
They remain proud of Stalin and say that he was
not guilty of repression or crimes against humanity.
Russian writer Felix Chuyev wrote a book, "140 Interviews with Molotov"
[the Commissar of Foreign Affairs for the Soviet Union]. In it, he asked Molotov what he thought about reprisals.
Molotov replied, "That was the young Soviet government, which had both internal
and external enemies. The Soviet Union defeated them and sent them to prison.
It was not repression. It was a struggle against the enemies of the government."
On November 2, 1952, a six-meter-high bronze monument of the leader was erected
in the center of Gori. After the Russia-Georgia war in 2008,
when Russia occupied 20 percent of Georgian territories,
authorities in Tbilisi made it a goal to purge the country of its Soviet monuments,
symbolically breaking free of Moscow's dominance,
especially as Stalin had played a decisive role in engineering the 1921 Red Army invasion of Georgia.
We can't have in our country a museum of occupation and at the same time
the monuments of those people, who initiated the arrival of occupier forces and the occupation of Georgia.
We have no right to have monuments of people who fought against the occupation,
and at the same time the monuments of people who organized the machine
which bombed our country, defeated the best part of our society
and made an attempt to re-enslave Georgia.
Eventually, after 60 years, authorities in Georgia tore down the statue of Stalin in Gori.
While there was protest, representatives of the local government say this decision was made
at the request of the people. Unlike the older generation,
younger residents are less concerned about the removal of the statue.
They blame Stalin for the occupation of Georgia and say that he is guilty for the death of millions.
If we speak about it from today's position, especially after the 2008 war,
I think that the government's decision was right and there is nothing terrible about it.
Stalin was guilty and, after the August war, there is no place for his memorial.
Especially on this square, where so many Georgians died.
It is clear that he is a historical figure, but the place for history is in the museum.
The Gori municipal government moved the monument to Gori's Stalin Museum,
which houses documents and the dictator's death mask. It's the house where Iosif Dzhugashvili
was born and grew up. In place of Stalin's statue in Gori,
a memorial of Georgian heroes who died in the Georgia-Russia war in August 2008 will be erected.
A new monument will also be dedicated to the millions of Soviet citizens
who died at the hands of Stalin.