Stalin’s birthplace in Georgia

Georgians blame the Soviets for all sorts of things and statues of Lenin have long since disappeared. Stalin, of all people, is still on his pedestal here and there. “He might have been a bastard, but he was our bastard,” comments another traveller. The veneration for Georgia’s “greatest son” takes on monumental forms in his birthplace of Gori. The house where he was born, a tiny hut, is roofed over by a kind of modern temple, and the ostentatious museum behind it celebrates his victories against the “Whites” and against Hitler. Solemnly, one circles his death mask before admiring the gifts from communist parties from all over the world…. Grotesque.

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Backpacking trip Middle East and Caucasus 2008
Tbilisi and around
One more toast …
Start of war
Borjomi and Vardzia