Valerian (Valiko) Shakiashvili ვალერიან (ვალიკო) შაკიაშვილი

* 1930

  • “When my mother died, my uncle was not allowed to bury her in the common cemetery. Only a few people followed the procession, because it was dangerous to attend the funeral of a traitor's wife. Previously, the funeral procession was led by a red flag. This flag was kept in our house, because it was turned into a collective farm building, at that time they didn't even give us that flag. 20 years after her death, we moved my mother from the original grave to the new cemetery with the help of my uncle”.

  • “My uncle used to come at night and bring us some food. He was afraid during the day. My mother was bedridden, my father was imprisoned. They took away our vineyard, garden, house, they left us nothing, they threatened to exile my mother as well. We were separated from our mother, I don't know when she died. My uncle begged my mother not to curse them [the communists], otherwise the neighbors would say everything and make him miserable too. Years before, my uncle, a former Menshevik, escaped being shot for not surrendering his weapons.”

  • “Let me tell you about the construction on which I spent 4 years of my life. It was in the Altai region, at the confluence of the Irtysh and Obi rivers, uranium had been discovered there. Stalin was alive then, so construction began on 300 km territory all at once: a bridge was being built, a track was being built, a new city was being built. Such a gigantic construction could only be done by Stalin, tens of thousands of people died, but it was nothing for him. There were women's colonies, we were flirting with them from the bridge. They brought in timber on ships, that were later emptied by female prisoners... They were being punished for letting the Nazis live in their own houses when they came, which was not their choice, but after the war, KGB told them that They must have poisoned the Germans. These prisoners were not even allowed to correspond.”

  • “My relationship with “normal” children was very difficult, because since I was the son of a traitor, they avoided me, like a leper, and because of this reason, we fought each other many times. Once I made my teacher angry about something and she told me that she would send me to my father - I was in the second grade and I still remember it clear as a day, it remains a bitter memory to this day.”

  • “They took us to an orphanage by force. My mother was alive, but she was bedridden and on the verge of death. We lived in 3-4 different places, I don't remember very clearly. The main thing was that, according to the order, the children of the people convicted under this article were not to be placed in the same orphanage, they were not to see each other at all, this was Yezhov's order. I was going to write a book, but I got very nervous with each new piece of information and then gave up.“

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    Uplistsikhe, 23.06.2023

    duration: 01:32:34
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Son of a Georgian kulak

Valiko Shakiashvili, 2023
Valiko Shakiashvili, 2023
photo: Natáčení

Valerian (Valiko) Shakiashvili was born on January 1, 1930, in the village of Kardenakhi, Gurjaani municipality. Both parents were Georgian. His father was a winemaker, who first became a victim of the dekulakization policy, and then was executed during the Stalinist repressions. Separated from his parents and brothers, Valiko spent many years under the label of the son of an “enemy of the people”. Valiko spent his childhood in an orphanage, where he was treated badly because of his status. In 1943, he was taken from the orphanage to a professional technical school (ФЗУ) and taught the profession of an assistant steam engine driver. He loved history at school, but after that his career developed in the direction of architecture. After that, he spent another 5 years in the state school. After graduating, he was taken to the army. In the army, Valiko spent several years in Siberia, where he was part of a railway construction unit. After returning from the army, he started working in Gori, where he worked for 40 years. He remembers well the history of the construction of the Roki Tunnel. This was a very evil idea of Soviet Russia to strain relations between Ossetians and Georgians in Georgia. Nowadays, Valiko Shakiashvili lives in Uplistsikhe with his family. He has been researching the history of his family for years and was going to write a book about it, but he couldn’t find the strength in himself, he was very nervous. Despite this, he is always ready to help organizations like the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) in researching of history of Soviet crimes.