Dali Chitadze დალი ჩიტაძე

* 1934

  • “I was just making up fairy tales and I believed it [that my father was alive]. When mother was asking, they were telling her that he had been exiled for 10 years without the right to correspond, and exactly after 10 years, [according to the report] he died. A man named Tarasi Maskhulia told my mother that he saw a person with this name and surname on the hospital list at the Finnish border. Enterocolitis, which was written as a diagnosis, along with inflammation of the lungs, metallurgists often have - we also believed that since the Karelia-Finland metallurgical center was being built, he was there. I had some fairy tales in my head until the last minute."

  • “My mother used to say: I was so happy in Zestaponi, I was afraid that something bad would happen. The community was also gathered like this, but then Noe Kalandadze (director of the factory) was shot, Iliko Nizharadze was shot. Here [in the Troika protocol] the terrible word " Расстрелять" was written about my father. My father was accused of spying for Germany, because he was an electro-metallurgist by education and worked with the famous firm Siemens. Father knew French very well, he used to say to mother that he first thought in French and then translated into Georgian. As the only person who knew French, he helped Siemens a lot. At that time [when they were arrested] I was with my grandmother in Shemokmedi, I was three years old, I only vaguely remember my father's pants and legs”

  • “Makvala Mrevlishvili writes about my grandmother - virtuous and quiet, who loved her husband very much. In the end, a very difficult situation arose: Shio was killed, she was left with three children, she did not know Georgian, she actually had no home and no funds. No one would pay her dead husband's salary. A prominent journalist Bukhnikashvili wrote that a woman dressed in black with three children was often seen at the grave, she did not say anything and did not scratch her face, but she was talking to her dead husband. Then she asked to see the house, and the soldiers brought her into the messy house, from where she went to the Kvishkheti to her children, but she could not help herself - she hoped that the children would be raised by their aunt and she poisoned herself”

  • “In 1906, a terrorist sneaked into the gymnasium, placed a gun in the window or in the attic and shot the police chief. He was wounded in the leg, but armed Cossacks still broke into the school where the meeting was held, they came to Shio, who asked them what they wanted, but they stabbed him with a bayonet... Because Shio was a school inspector, and a bomb was thrown from his building, in fact, he was accused of being a terrorist. The story is still a mystery, despite the fact that the newspapers of that time are full of reports about it. Father was 5 years old then, a big funeral was organized, the coffin was carried through the whole city, while the children were at the country house in Kvishkheti.”

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    Tbilisi, 06.07.2023

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Daughter of an “enemy of the people”

Dali Chitadze, 2023
Dali Chitadze, 2023
photo: Natáčení

Dali Chitadze was born in 1934 in Tbilisi, in the family of Vasil Chitadze and Ksenia Sadradze. Her father, Vasil Chitadze, one of the founders of Georgian metallurgical production, became a victim of Stalinist repressions in 1937. The assassination of her grandfather, prominent Georgian teacher and public figure, Shio Chitadze, became one of the most high-profile cases in Georgia at the beginning of the 20th century. It is strange, but Dali Chitadze never felt from those around her that she was the daughter of an “enemy of the people”. Moreover, according to her, when people found out that she was Shio Chitadze’s granddaughter and Vasil Chitadze’s daughter, they treated her better. In 1957, the family received a document stating that Vasil Chitadze was not executed and actually died in 1946 from enterocolitis. Nevertheless, nowadays Dali Chitadze is convinced that these reports were false and that her father was really executed in 1937. Despite his past, Dali Chitadze had quite a successful career. From 1958 until her retirement, she worked in the thermal engineering department of “Tbilisi City Project”. Nowadays, she lives in retirement with her family and seldom recalls the story of her family’s repression.