The Georgian Emigrés (1921-1941)

     David Marshall Lang (excerpt from the book”A Modern History of Georgia”/NY/1962)







After Orjonikidze's death and Makharadze's recantation, there was none of Stalin's old associates among the Georgian Bolsheviks who could question his omniscience or bring up the various unsavoury episodes in his revolutionary past. At the same time, the Georgian Menshevik government in exile in Paris continued to present a certain nuisance value. Karlo Chkheidze had died in 1926, and Noe Ramishvili, the forceful Minister of the Interior in the Zhordania government, was struck down in Paris in 1930 by a Georgian assassin reputedly in the pay of the Soviet government. Most of the émigré ministers, however, were distinguished by their longevity, one or two venerable octogenarians being alive even today.

For some years after the fall of independent Georgia, until 1933, the Georgian Mensheviks were able to maintain their legation in Paris; the International Committee for Georgia, the president of which was Monsieur Jean Martin, director of the Journal de Genève, kept up a running fight against the admission of the Soviet Union to the League of Nations, which nevertheless took place in 1934.

The importance which Stalin attached to the activities of the Georgian émigrés was displayed in 1938, when the Soviet embassy in Paris brought effectual pressure to bear on a pusillanimous French government to ban a celebration of the 750th anniversary of the Georgian national poet Shota Rustaveli, which was to have been held at the Sorbonne.

With the rise of Nazi Germany, a number of Georgian exiles joined the Fascist movement. A Georgian Fascist Front was formed, the nucleus of which consisted of a nationalist organization called Tetri Giorgi or White George, after the patron saint of Georgia. The leaders of Tetri Giorgi included General Leo Kereselidze and Professor Mikhako Tsereteli, the former Kropotkinite anarchist, who had in the meantime won a high reputation in the German universities as an expert on the Sumerian and Hittite languages.


See also:


The Soldiers of Georgia in Polish Service (1923 - 1939)   by Dmitri Shalikashvili


Georgian Legion: Georgians on the Wrong Side of World War 2   by Andrew Andersen


Leuville-sur-Orge : a Little Georgia 25 Kilometers away Southward from Paris   By Eva Csergo


The Family of Amilakhvari      by Andrew Andersen


The Tale of Two Legions in World War II      by Edward L. Bimberg