Simon Japaridze

* 1921

  • After captivity I was in Hungary, we were guarding wheat bereaved from the Count Zichy , oh my God what paintings were thrown around, the pictures were about meter high, when the Count was robbed, thieves took frames. There was a woman who asked me to give pictures, if I knew that the paintings were such precious, I was so stupid not to take couple of them. The church where the wheat was kept belonged to Zichy, he also had big two floor house, his workers had little houses with at least 3 rooms. The house where I lived with my friend had 5 rooms, the owner provided food. I stayed there until wheat was kept there, then I again was sent to my military unit.

  • 150 people from Gurjaani were sent to Baltics, the region was recently occupied. Later I was wounded and taken captive in first in Riga then sent to Polland. Conditions were terrible, they were throwing dead from the 5th floor, falling on the ice with knocks, amazing how I managed to survive. Typhus started to spread, the toilet was about 100 meters away from the building, I still wonder how I managed to come down from the third floor with fever 40 C. and reach the toilet. There were 8 Georgians, some from Telavi, others from Samegrelo, we helped each other and thus survived

  • Some Germans helped convicted, not all of them were cruel. There was a case when Murusidze and other guys escaped from the camp, they were caught, shot and buried. Probably Murusidze was only slightly wounded and appeared on the top while burial, he managed to emerge from the ground. A German soldier who was guarding the place was scared at the beginning, but then took him to the water, washed him and helped to escape.

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    Tbilisi , 16.05.2013

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“All Germans that were former captives were sent to sanatoriums for rehabilitation, Stalin sent everybody to the mines”

Japaridze Simon
Japaridze Simon
photo: Pamět národa - Archiv

Was born in November 02, 1921 in Chiatura. His father Valerian Japaridze was a director of a gymnasium, mother Vera Gamkrelidze was a teacher. Simon had one sister and a brother. He finished school in Gurjaani. In 1940 he was conscripted into the army and sent to Latvia, while he was serving the war broke out in 1941, the same year he was taken captive and sent to prisoners camp in Krushina (Poland) where he stayed till the war was over. After liberation he continued to serve in the army and stayed in Hungary for one year. Simon returned to Tbilisi in 1946 and entered to the Agriculture Institute. He graduated in 1951 and started to work at Anaseuli Institute of Tea and Subtropical Cultures in Sokhumi. He married Liana Ochaleishvili in 1952, she was an English teacher at Russian school. In 1953 his daughter Marina was born. Marina got education in Sokhumi and later worked as an English teacher in Russian school like her mother. In 1992 the family arrived to Tbilisi due to conflict situation between Georgian and Abkhaz people, though after Eduard Shevardnadze’s call for return they went back two week later. Afterwards the family had to run from Gulripshi with the boat arrived from Batumi; Certain period of time they have been living with Simon’s sister, later they moved to the Mining Department Building where he lives until now. Currently he is alone, his wife died in 1996 and daughter in 2012   He does not have any documents or photographs as he was not able to take anything from Sokhumi