Lavrenti Beria

The Victory of the National Policy of Lenin and Stalin

The Fifteenth Anniversary of Soviet Power in Georgia

Source: The Communist International, February 1937, Vol. XIV, No. 2
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

THE fifteen years of Soviet power in Georgia represent splendid pages in the new history of the people of Georgia.

Under the banner of the national policy of Lenin and Stalin, the peoples of Soviet Georgia in close collaboration with the peoples of the whole of the Soviet Union are successfully and victoriously building socialism.


The national policy of tsarism was a policy of colonization and Russification, of merciless peoples oppression and exploitation of enslaved.

In its policy of conquest in the South and East, Russian tsarism dug deep with its preying claws into the body of the peoples of Georgia. With the backing of the princes, nobles and landowners of Georgia, at the expense of concessions to them of the right to exploit and plunder the masses, tsarism strove to consolidate and maintain its rule in Georgia.

The enslaved peasantry of Georgia rose up time and time again against the oppression and violence of the landlords and tsarist autocracy. In 1812-13 the peasants rose up in Cachetia; in 1841, in Guria; in 1857, in Mingrelia; in 1858, in Imeretia.

The tsarist generals, princes and landowners organized a bloody bacchanalia to suppress the revolutionary uprisings of the peasants.

“The insurgent villages”, wrote General Yermolov, the governor of Georgia, “were devastated and burned down, the gardens and vineyards were cut down to the roots, and for many years to come these traitors will not return to their original state. Extreme poverty will be their punishment.” [1]

Waves of revolutionary struggle by the toilers of Georgia rose up with new forces against the autocracy, when the working class of Georgia and the Trans-Caucasus came onto the scene of class struggle.

The years 1902-05 were years of constant unrest, uprisings of the peasants and strikes by the workers.

Vorontsov-Dashkov, governor of the Caucasus, was compelled in “a most loyal document”, addressed to the tsar in the year 1907, to admit the extreme stubbornness with which the toiling masses of Georgia were fighting for their emancipation against the autocracy, the landowners and capitalism.

“At the time of my arrival in this region”, wrote Vorontsov-Dashkov, “the revolutionary movement, obviously connected with the movement throughout the empire, had taken on dimensions dangerous to the state. I immediately placed Tiflis under martial law. At the same time part of the Tiflis province and the whole of the province of Kutais were in the throes of unrest among the peasant population, accompanied by the destruction of the estates of the landlords, the refusal by the peasants to render services, refusal to recognize the village authorities, the forcible seizure of private lands, mass felling of trees in the grounds of governmental and private country villas.... In Tiflis, Baku and other towns in these parts strikes by workers of all trades, including domestic workers, took place almost every day. . . .”

“As a result of the general strike of postal, telegraph and railway workers, the province of Kutais was completely cut off from Tiflis. All railway stations within its confines were seized by armed revolutionaries. The Surama tunnel was blocked up by two engines dispatched from opposite ends, for the purpose of preventing the movement of troops from Tiflis. . . .”

“At the slightest action taken, the rural governing authorities were subjected to raids, and their property burned down by crowds of peasants. Meetings and demonstrations have been taking place throughout the villages, and the idea of the equality of the classes, the abolition of capitalism, and changes in the existing system of government openly propagated. . . . Various repressive measures were adopted by the governing authorities of the Caucasus against the movement among the Georgian rural masses described above. Ever since 1902, troops have been sent to Guria time and time again, penalties were inflicted on the rural councils, and agitators were arrested and exiled to distant parts. . . .”

This is how the really scared tsarist satrap reported the revolutionary movement of the Georgian workers and peasants.

Even a satrap like Vorontsov-Dashkov was compelled, in a strictly secret letter addressed to the Tsar, to recognize the extreme hardship of the economic conditions of the Georgian peasantry, apparently trying to justify himself in the eyes of the Tsar and to lay the responsibility for the revolutionary events taking place in Georgia onto his predecessors in the governorship of Georgia and the Caucasus.

“The abolition of feudal rights in the confines of the Trans-Caucasus and especially in Georgia”, he wrote, “was conducted in conditions especially advantageous to the landlords, and disadvantageous to the peasantry; moreover, . . . . it increased the land service of the peasants for the landlords above the average existing in the feudal days. . . The fiscal contribution to the state is collected, legally or illegally. . . . If part of the peasant lands becomes overgrown with trees, it is turned over to the item covering fiscal contribution on state forests; if another part of the peasants’ land finds itself under water owing to a river changing its course, it comes under the heading of state fishing rights. . . . Things have come to such a pass that the nut trees grown by the villagers themselves in their own yards come under the heading making them liable to state contributions.

“The peasants, with a total area of land twice as large as the area under private ownership, pay twenty times more than the private owners in monetary taxes alone.”

This exploitation of the toiling masses of the peasantry was supplemented by the arbitrary acts of the nobles, princes, officials and police.

Bribery and violence were the rule in the rural courts and rural governing bodies. Together with the officers of the tsarist police, the Georgian landowners flogged, tortured and mercilessly exploited the toilers.

The countless punitive expeditions and exaction of penalties were accompanied by bestial cruelty and violence. In the interests of colonizing the country, German colonists, Greeks from Anatolia, Turkish Armenians and Russian dissenters were increasingly allowed to settle in Georgia.

Out of the total expenditure of the rural bodies, amounting to 4,670,000 rubles, 57 per cent was spent on the upkeep of the police, and only 4 per cent on national education. The policy of Russification was carried through the schools. There were few schools, and the system of teaching in the schools was on an extremely low level.

The direct result of this policy of tsarism was that the bulk of the population was illiterate.

“Tsarism deliberately cultivated patriarchal-feudal oppression in the outlying regions, in order to keep the masses in a state of slavery and ignorance. Tsarism deliberately settled colonizers on the best spots in the outlying regions in order to force the natives into the worst areas and to intensify national enmity. Tsarism restricted, and at times simply did away with, the native schools, theatres and educational institutions in order to keep the masses in intellectual darkness. Tsarism frustrated the initiative of the best members of the native population. Finally, tsarism suppressed all activity on the part of the populace of the border regions.” [2]

But while the tsarist autocracy was establishing a bloc with the national bourgeoisie, princes, nobles and landlords of Georgia, so as to stabilize its oppression of the toiling masses of the enslaved nationalities, by trying to inflame enmity between the different nations, the advanced representatives of the working class and toiling masses of Russia and Georgia established a close international fighting alliance against the autocracy, against capitalism.

The foremost proletarians of Russia heartily greeted the heroic struggle of the workers and peasants of Georgia and the Caucasus against tsarist autocracy, and offered them their support.

The following decision was passed by the Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks) in connection with the revolutionary activities of the peasants in Georgia in 1905:

“Bearing in mind

“1. That the special conditions of the social and political life of the Caucasus favored the creation there of the most militant organizations of our Party;

“2. That the revolutionary movement among the majority of the population of the Caucasus both in the towns and in the villages has already reached the stage of a popular uprising of the whole people against the autocracy;

“3. That the autocratic government is already sending troops and artillery into Guria, and is preparing to mercilessly crush all the most important centers of the uprising;

“4. That the victory of the autocracy over the uprising of the people in the Caucasus, facilitated by the fact that the population there is composed of different nationalities, will have the most harmful consequences for the success of the uprising in the rest of Russia;

“This Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., therefore, in the name of the class-conscious proletariat of Russia, sends warm greetings to the heroic proletariat and peasantry of the Caucasus and instructs the central and local committees of the Party to adopt the most energetic measures to spread information concerning the state of affairs in the Caucasus in the widest possible manner, through pamphlets, meetings, workers’ conferences, exchange of views in circles, etc., and also for timely support to the Caucasus by all means at their disposal.” [3]

In their support of the unstable throne, the governor and the tsarist generals, in collaboration with the Georgian princes and nobles, and helped by the treachery of the Georgian Mensheviks and nationalist parties, mercilessly meted out punishment against the toiling masses of Georgia, against the revolutionary workers, suppressing any action on their part with fire and sword. The tsarist government spread the bones of the best revolutionary representatives of the Georgian people all along the long road from Georgia to Siberia.

Such was the “national policy” of the tsarist autocracy.


During the years between the victory of the October Socialist Revolution in Russia and the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia, the latter country suffered almost three years of the rule of the Menshevik nationalists.

Not only did the Menshevik rulers of Georgia not provide the toiling masses of Georgia with freedom, not only did they not bring about the economic and national-cultural regeneration of Georgia, but, on the contrary, they disorganized the economic life of the country which was weak enough as it was, they caused the healthy shoots of culture which had developed among the people themselves to decay, they betrayed and sold the Georgian people to the imperialists of the West, with their support of the oppressive hand of the princes, nobles, landlords and kulaks in Georgia. Under the rule of the Mensheviks, the Georgian people against experienced severe suffering.

While appealing for “democratic liberties”, the Mensheviks at the same time openly and cynically betrayed the interests of the Georgian people to the bourgeoisie and imperialists.

“I know”, said Noy Jordania, the leader of the Menshevik government, “that enemies will say that we are on the side of the imperialists. That is why I must say most forcibly here: I prefer the imperialists of the West to the fanatics of the East.” [4]

And the Mensheviks preferred the imperialists of the West to the revolutionary liberation of the toiling masses, which was coming from the East.

The Mensheviks concealed their mercenary conduct in favor of the imperialists of the West, under cover of “democratic” talk about the “independence” of Georgia.

With regard to the arrival in Georgia of the German troops of occupation, the Menshevik government of Georgia made the following statement on June 13, 1918:

“The Georgian government informs the population that the German troops who have entered Tiflis have come at the invitation of the Georgian government itself, with a view to defending the borders of the Georgian democratic republic, in full accordance and on the instructions of the Georgian government.” [5]

The independence of Georgia became out and out deception; actually the arrival of German troops in Georgia meant that it was occupied and seized in its entirely by the German imperialists. As Lenin said, “It was an alliance between German bayonets and the Menshevik government against the Bolshevik workers and peasants.”

After the German revolution in November, 1918, the Germans were compelled to quit Georgia. Their place was taken by the English army of occupation.

The Mensheviks pretended that the English occupants had also been “invited” by the Georgian government for the purpose of defending the borders of the Georgian Democratic Republic and in “full accordance” with, and on the “instructions” of the government.

On December 22, 1918, on the occasion of the entry into Georgia of the English troops of occupation, the government of Georgia sent the following note signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, E. Gegechkori to the chairman of the English Mission, Colonel Jordan:

“1. The Georgian government does not consider it necessary to introduce foreign troops on Georgian territory in order to keep order, as the government itself has sufficient forces at its disposal for this purpose.

“2. If the introduction of troops is for any other purpose, the Georgian government categorically declares that such cannot take place without the agreement of the Georgian government.”

In reply to this lying, sham declaration by Gegechkori, the chairman of the English Mission, Jordan, wrote the following to the Menshevik government on December 23, 1918, the following day:

“Acting on instructions received by me from General Thompson, Commander of the allied forces in Baku, I would ask your Excellency to set aside accommodation for one brigade of infantry, one brigade of artillery and 1,800 horses, and also suitable accommodation for Headquarters. I am sure that my request will be granted and that every assistance will be afforded to the entrance of the allied troops. I shall be very much obliged if you will send me a car and an officer tomorrow to show me the accommodation which you have set aside for the allied troops.” [6]

This is how the British command talked to the “Independent” Georgian government of the Mensheviks, knowing full well that Gegechkori’s “objections” against the introduction of British troops had been made merely to pull wool over the eyes of the toilers of Georgia and that the Menshevik government would agree with pleasure to the entry into Georgia of units of a British army of occupation.

As we know, this was the case.

The “independent” rulers of Georgia actually were the bribed puppets, who danced to the tune of the agents of the English imperialists.

“When a life-and-death struggle is raging between proletarian Russian and the imperialist Entente, only two possibilities confront the outlying regions:

Either they join forces with Russia, and then the toiling masses of the outlying regions will be emancipated from imperialist oppression;

Or they join forces with the Entente, and then the yoke of imperialism is inevitable. There is no third solution.” [7]

During the period of its rule in Georgia, Georgian Menshevism brought to its logical culmination its long road of treachery and betrayal of the working class and toiling masses, began by it during the years before the beginning of the struggle for the Soviet government.

On April 28, 1918, in the Trans-Caucasian Seim, one of the leaders of the Georgian and Russian Menshevism, Iraklii Tseretelli, said:

“When Bolshevism originated in Russia, and when the hand of death was raised there over the life of the state, we fought with all the strength at our disposal against Bolshevism, for we understood that a blow delivered against the Russian nation and the Russian state was a blow against the whole of democracy. We fought there against the murderers of the state, the murderers of the nations, and we shall fight here against the murderers of the nations with the same self-sacrifice.” [8]

These flowery phrases of Tseretelli signified that the Mensheviks preferred a bloc with the whiteguards, the avowed enemies of the Soviet government, to any sort of rapprochement with the Bolsheviks.

Indeed, at a conference of representatives of the reactionary Kuban government and whiteguard armies, held on September 25, 1918, in Yekaterinodar, at which Generals Denikin, Alexeyev, Romanovsky, Dragomirov and Lukomsky were present, E. Gegechkori, the Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Menshevik government, made the following frank declaration:

“On the question of our attitude to the Bolsheviks, I may state that the struggle against Bolshevism within our boundaries is a merciless one. We are crushing Bolshevism with all the means at our power as an anti-state movement which menaces the integrity of our state, and I think that in this respect we have already given a number of proofs which speak for themselves. . . . At the same time I consider it my duty to remind you that the services we have rendered you in the struggle against Bolshevism should also not be forgotten. . . . We are now all aiming our blows at the one spot which at the present moment is a hostile force both for you and for us. . . .” [9]

By acting as the lackeys of the Western imperialists, by entering into a bloc with the whiteguards against the October Socialist Revolution, by supporting the acts of oppression undertaken by the bourgeoisie, princes, nobles and landowners in Georgia, the Georgian Mensheviks strengthened capitalism and doomed the working class and the toiling masses of peasants in Georgia to heavy torture and exploitation.

“There is no doubt,” said Noy Jordania, “that every state, within the bounds of-bourgeois society, will in one way or another serve the interests of the bourgeoisie. The Georgian state can also not avoid this at all. To get rid of this is pure utopia, and we are not in the least striving after such a situation.” [10]

And the Georgian Mensheviks faithfully served the interests of the bourgeoisie.

All their talk about socialism was mere bluff to deceive the toiling masses.

“You think,” said Noy Jordania, “that if the government is a Socialist one, it must bring about socialism. That is the view of the Bolsheviks. . . . We think otherwise. We say that when socialism is established in other countries, then it will be established here also.” [11]

By the autumn of 1920, the economic crisis in Georgia was at an extremity. The supplies left in Georgia by the former tsarist army had all been used up. The majority of the factories and works were not working. Railway transport had completely broken down. The Georgian village was experiencing ruin and poverty. The head of the government, Noy Jordania. was compelled to admit the following:

“A short time ago we said that we were racing towards catastrophe in the economic sense.... But now this supposition has already justified itself. Now each of us is most acutely feeling the effects of bitter reality. We have already arrived at the catastrophe.” [12]

Accordingly, by that time the enormous supplies left behind in Tiflis by the former Russian army had been completely consumed.

The Assistant Minister of Labor, Eradze, speaking at a Congress of Railwaymen in Georgia in 1920, said:

“Today the working class of Georgia is passing through a severe, acute economic crisis. Their poverty and need are extreme, and henceforth we can expect a rapid, severe process of physical degeneration among our class. Not a single democratic class or group in our society is in such a hopeless position as the workers in the towns.” [13]

This is how Mr. Eradze summed up the results of the Menshevik policy in Georgia.

The toiling masses of Georgia replied to this treacherous policy of the Mensheviks by an uprising.

In the years 1918, 1919, 1920, waves of uprisings against the rule of the Mensheviks, led by the Bolshevik organizations, rose high in Georgia. The peasants of Guria and Mingrelia, the peasants of the districts of Gorrisk, Dushetia, Lagodekh, and others, and of the Kutais and Lechhum counties rose up in revolt, as did the peasants of Abhasia. In 1920, the toiling masses of South Osetia rose up in arms. There were strikes among the basic masses of the workers of Tiflis, Kutais, Poti, Chiatur and other towns.

The Menshevik government used fire and sword against the revolutionary activities of the workers and peasants of Georgia.

Noy Jordania tried to justify the treacherous, bloody struggle against the revolutionary activities of the toiling masses in the following way:

“Although you should not have been surprised at the peasant revolts against us,” said Jordania, “we have so far forgotten Marxism and fallen victims to the muddled outlook of the Socialist Revolutionaries that up to now many of us regard these insurgents as revolutionaries, and reluctantly agree to adopt repression against them. It is time we returned to Marx and stood firm guard over the revolution, against peasant reaction.” [14]

And so by hiding behind loud phrases, by falsifying Marxism, and under the banner of whiteguard, interventionist counter-revolution, the Mensheviks meted out punishment to the revolutionary workers and peasants.

“It is night. Fire is visible on all sides,” so runs the diary of Jugel, the Menshevik punitive expedition leader, former chief of the “people’s” guard, who led the suppression of the peasant uprisings, “they are the homes of the insurgents burning. All around us the Osetin villages are alight. With my soul at rest and a clear conscience I gaze upon the ashes and clouds of smoke.” [15]

Such was the “national policy” of the Mensheviks.

During the period of Menshevik rule in Georgia, the country was visited by Karl Kautsky, MacDonald, Snowden, Vandervelde, and other leaders of the Second International. They hypocritically called the bacchanalia and demoralization of Menshevism, its treachery in favor of imperialism, and the oppression of the toiling masses, a “socialist paradise”. But these loud phrases of the leaders of the Second International could not cover up the disgraceful collapse and bankruptcy of Georgian and international Menshevism, as witnessed in Georgia.

The Georgian Mensheviks are the foulest, most perfidious traitors to the Georgian people. They tore Georgia away from revolutionary Russia, and together with the Dashnak and Mussavatists of the Trans-Caucasus, converted it into a jumping-off ground for foreign intervention and bourgeois-whiteguard counter-revolution against the Soviet government.

The Mensheviks inspired and organized the reactionary forces of the nobility, the princes, the clergy and the bourgeoisie against the revolutionary movement of the workers and peasants of Georgia. The Mensheviks pursued a policy of brutal national jingoism and set the peoples of Trans-Caucasus one against the other. The organized bloody drives against the national minorities of Georgia, the Osetins, the Abkhasians, the Armenians and the Adjarians. The Georgian Mensheviks, together with the Mussavatists and Dashnaks, were the organizers of the Zamhora pogrom of revolutionary soldiers. They treacherously fired on a meeting of the workers of Tiflis in the Alexander Gardens. Together with the Dashnaks, they organized blood-letting fratricidal war between the Georgians and Armenians.

The hearts of the toilers of Georgia are filled with tremendous hatred towards the Menshevik traitors.

It is the lot of the miserable remnants of the Mensheviks today to wander, in emigration, around the backyards, ante-chambers and back entrances of the agents of the imperialists in the West.

On February 25, 1921, the Georgian people, supported by the Russian proletariat and the workers’ and peasants’ Red Army, overthrew the rule of the Mensheviks and set up a Soviet government, and, under the banner of Lenin and Stalin, took the high road to victories in the field of socialist construction.


In the fifteen years that the Soviet government has existed in Georgia, the toilers there have achieved tremendous successes in building the economic and national-cultural life of their country. These successes are the triumph of the national policy of the Bolshevik Party.

The establishment of Soviet power has led to a stormy growth of economic and cultural construction in Georgia.

Georgia has changed from a colony of Russian tsarism, “a country more agrarian even than Russia” (Lenin), and has become an advanced industrial and agrarian republic.

While capital investments in the industry of the U.S.S.R. during the First Five-Year Plan amounted to 506 per cent of the figure for the whole of the restoration period, in Georgia in industry alone it was 934 per cent. The increase in capital investments for 1934 throughout the Soviet Union was 19.4 per cent and for Georgia 32 per cent. In 1936, the increase in capital investments in industry is to be 17.7 per cent, and for Georgia 38.4 per cent.

While for the whole of the Soviet Union the production of electrical energy in 1934, as compared with 1913, rose by 1,331 per cent, the figure for the same period of time for Georgia was 2,259 per cent.

While the total production of the whole of industry in the Soviet Union amounted in 1935 to 542 per cent of the 1913 figures, for Georgia it amounted to 1,908 per cent.

The total production of the whole of Georgian industry in 1935 rose to 473 million rubles and in 1936 will amount to 600 million.

During the First Five-Year Plan, capital investments in the national economy of Georgia amounted to 700 million rubles, while during the year 1935 alone, 401 million rubles were invested. The plan for 1936 provides for capital investments in Georgia to the amount of 616 million rubles.

During the fifteen years that the Soviet government has existed in Georgia, a number of entirely new branches of industry have been built up. The share of industry in the general production of the national economy of Georgia has increased to 74.9 per cent.

The industrial and economic development of Georgia is being built up on the basis of a powerful supply of electrical power. By the end of 1935, the capacity of the electrical power stations of Georgia was 105,000 kilowatts, and in 1936 it will increase to 162,000 kilowatts, as against 8,000 in 1913.

Only under the Soviet government have the rich resources of hydro-electrical power obtainable from the headlong rush of the mountain rivers been widely exploited.

The Chiatura manganese industry has been technically re-equipped. The Soviet government has already invested 45 million rubles in the manganese industry, and will invest another 17 million in 1936. Last year 1,180,000 tons of manganese were obtained.

With the Chiatura manganese as a base, a large ferrous-manganese works has been erected in the town of Jugeli (Zestafony).

The old Tkvibula coal mines have been reconstructed. New Tskvarchela coal mines have been equipped by the Soviet government.

Large oil refineries have been erected in Batum, which deal with three million tons of crude oil per year. Considerable work is being undertaken to discover oil deposits in the Shiraka steppes of Georgia.

The earth in Soviet Georgia is rich in the most varied kinds of minerals. A coal and ore industry has been constructed and is developing on a wide scale. The rich earth of Georgia has been put to the service of socialist construction, among other things, barytes, lithograph stone, diatomites and marble being prepared. In 1935-36, the production, of arsenic, molybdenum has been undertaken. In 1936, a start has been made with the building in Kutais of a huge works for the production of fertilizers.

Light and food industries have been created on a large scale. The value of the output of light industry increased from 2,155 thousand rubles in 1923-24 to 87,557 thousand in 1935, in other words, increased 40 times.

The value of the output of the food industry increased from nine million rubles in 1928 to 71 million in 1935; 90 per cent of the total production falling to the share of the factories and works built since the Soviet government was established.

Twenty-three million rubles were invested in the forestry and timber industries of Georgia during the First Five-Year Plan, while 41 million rubles have been invested in them during three years of the Second Five-Year Plan alone. In Zugdidi the important Ingursk paper works is under construction, its annual productivity to be 24,000 tons of various kinds of high-class paper.

Altogether, daring the period that the Soviet government has been in power in Georgia, a total of 117 different kinds of industrial enterprises have been constructed and completely re-equipped; and they represent 96.7 of the total {ands invested in the industry of Georgia.

Transport in Georgia by rail, water, road and air is also developing: 200 kilometers of new railroad have been constructed; 183 kilometers of main railway lines have been electrified. A new port is under construction on the Black Sea coast, at Ochemchira; 4,462 kilometers of paved main roads and improved roads have been completed; 50 motor routes connecting district centers with the railway stations, and serving to connect the different towns, stretch over a distance of 2,590 kilometers. In 1935 there was a regular service of Soviet airplanes flying over eight air routes.

The national policy of Lenin and Stalin of industrializing the national republics and raising them to the level of the foremost republics in the Soviet Union is embodied in all this great work of industrial construction in Georgia.

By mastering the advanced technique of the industry built up, by raising the productivity of labor on the basis of socialist competition, “shock” methods and the application of Stakhanov methods of work, under the leadership of the Bolshevik organizations of Georgia, the working class that has grown up is successfully fulfilling and overfulfilling the tasks set by the Party and the government.

The successes of Soviet Georgia are also tremendous as regards the improvement and socialist reconstruction of agriculture.

On the direct instructions of Lenin and Stalin, irrigation works have been widely developed. The Soviet government has irrigated over 100,000 hectares of land.

The swampy lands of the Kolhida plain lay untouched for centuries and were a hotbet of malaria fever. It was only the Soviet government which set about draining the Kolhida swamps. Forty-five million rubles have already been expended in the fulfillment of this task; 16,837 hectares have already been drained, and part of this area is being used to establish plantations of tea and citron fruits.

The total sown area in Georgia has grown from 738,000 hectares to 947,000 during the last fifteen years.

A tremendous piece of work is being done by the Bolsheviks of Georgia in connection with the development of valuable and technical cultures. The total area under tea plantations before the revolution amounted to 894 hectares. In their struggle to make the Soviet Union an independent country as regards tea, the Bolsheviks of Georgia have increased the area under tea plantations to 34,000 hectares in the year 1935. During the last three years the harvest on the tea plantations has been doubled. In 1935 over 12.5 million kilograms of green tea leaves were collected on the plantations. The tea industry of Georgia can now produce tea which is in no way inferior to Ceylon tea.

Before the revolution, the area under citron cultures did not exceed 500 hectares. By the year 1935, this area had already increased to 3,280 hectares. Last year Soviet Georgia gave the Land of Soviets about 200 million citron fruits. By decision of the C.C. of the C.P.S.U. and the Council of People’s Commissars of the U.S.S.R., the area under citron fruits in Georgia must be increased to 20,000 hectares by 1940. The Bolsheviks of Georgia have started a struggle for the fulfillment of this task, and there is not the slightest doubt that it will be successfully fulfilled. And Soviet Georgia will give the toilers of the Soviet countries not millions, but thousands of millions of citron fruits!

There are also the valuable cultures like eucalyptus trees, ether bearing plants and others. During the last two years alone, about one million eucalyptus trees have been planted, and by 1940 no less than ten million, trees will have been planted.

Georgia provides the highest grades of export tobacco—“trapezund” and “samsun”. In 1935 the tobacco plantations covered approximately 20,000 hectares; for purposes of export and for the production of high grade cigarettes, 15,875 tons of high class tobacco from Georgia and Abkhasia were collected and dispatched to the Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov and other tobacco factories in the Soviet Union.

One of the most important branches of agriculture in Georgia is the cultivation of grapes. When the Mensheviks ruled Georgia, there was a decline in this sphere. Phylloxera destroyed whole hectares of vineyards. During the last few years the reduction in the area of vineyards has been stopped, and an increase has begun. During the period 1932-35, up to 4,000 new vineyards have been established. Cuttings from American vines have been planted over an area of 690 hectares. The total area of vineyards today is over 39,000 hectares. The grapes cultivated in Georgia supply the country with the best, high-class wines.

During the last five years alone new gardens have been laid out over an area of 12,000 hectares, the total area reaching the figure of 50,000 hectares. In the year 1935 over 21,000 tons of different kinds of fruit were delivered to the state.

Silk-worm production in Georgia is an important branch of economy, and has begun to flourish rapidly. In 1935, the silk growers of Georgia overfulfilled their plan, producing 2,552 tons of high quality cocoons.

By carrying out the instructions of the Party, the Bolsheviks of Georgia brought about a change in the development of live-stock breeding in 1934-35, and this branch of economy is rapidly rising. The plans covering the increase in the number of heads of cattle, large and small, were overfulfilled in 1935.

Advanced technical methods are being embodied in the agriculture of Soviet Georgia. Agriculture is being mechanized.

Thirty seven machine and tractor stations have been set up in the various districts of Georgia; 1,710 tractors and tens of thousands of different types of agricultural machinery are at work on the socialist fields.

Two hundred and fifty four state farms, including 117 large ones, have been set up in Georgia.

In the agricultural enterprises (in the state farms, machine and tractor stations, and so on) 26,000 permanent agricultural workers are engaged.

The tremendous work performed in Soviet Georgia to reconstruct agriculture is the embodiment of the national policy of Lenin and Stalin.

Before the revolution there was an acute land hunger in Georgia. Tens of thousands of peasants could find no outlet for their labor, and to avoid dying of starvation went to earn their livings far beyond the confines of Georgia. Today, as a result of the growth of industry and the development of agriculture, with the introduction into agriculture of valuable and technical cultures, an insufficiency of labor power is already making itself felt, while the intensive conduct of agriculture has created all the conditions necessary for a prosperous life for the collective farm peasantry.

The Bolsheviks of Georgia achieved all these successes in the development and improvement of agriculture through creating and strengthening the collective farming system. On January 1, 1936, 70 per cent of the peasant farms of Georgia were in collective farms. The collective farms are growing and gathering strength on the basis of the Stalinist statutes governing agricultural artels. With every year that passes their incomes are growing, and the value of the work day is rising. In Georgia there are already a number of collective farms whose total income, is over a million rubles. These are “millionaire” collective farms.

In these collective farms the value of each work day for the individual collective farmer has increased from 15 to 20 rubles; the average income per family belonging to the collective farm has reached the figure of from 8,000 to 12,000-15,000 rubles a year; while if the income from their kitchen gardens is taken into account, many hundreds of collective farmers in 1935 found themselves with an income of from 20,000 to 25,000-30,000 rubles, and certain individual families as much as 40,000 rubles.

The collective farming peasantry of Georgia are well fed, prosperous and happy. The collective farmers are full of song as they work on the tea; citron, tobacco, vine and other plantations.

The towns of Georgia are growing and being planned and beautified. During the last two years alone, 1934-35, 93 million rubles have been spent on municipal works and housing in Tiflis, and in 1936, 66 million rubles will be spent. Places like Kutais, Poti, Chiatura, which have become industrial towns, are also being planned and beautified.

The capitals of the autonomous republics and regions—Batum in Adjaria, Sukhoum in Abkhasia and Stalinir in South Osetinia—are being similarly dealt with. There is not a single regional and industrial center in Georgia where similar activity is not going forward.

Georgia is the health resort of the Soviet Union. There are such excellent health resorts on the Black Sea coast and in the mountains of Georgia as Borjom, Abastuman, Tshaltubo, Gulripsh, Gagri, Cobuleti, Bakuriani, Akhtala, Java, Bakhmaro, Shovi, Mahinjauri, Zeleny Mys. Thousands of toilers come to Georgia from all corners of the Soviet Union to restore their health.

Considerable work has been carried out to reconstruct and improve these health resorts. Tshaltubo, a health resort renowned throughout the whole of the Union, has been rebuilt. In 1936 building operations will begin on a new health resort, Mendji, where the waters are in no way inferior to those of Matsesta and Kislovodsk.

A total of more than 70 million rubles has been invested in the building of health resorts in Georgia during the period of the existence of the Soviet government.

Soviet power has ensured the real blossoming of the culture of the peoples of Georgia, culture national in forma and socialist in content.

Soviet Georgia will meet the twentieth anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution as a country where everybody is literate. Universal, compulsory, elementary education for children has been introduced. Today, 614,000 scholars are studying in the elementary and secondary schools of Georgia. There are 19,000 teachers working in elementary and secondary schools.

Under tsarisni there was not a single university in Georgia, but under the Soviet government 19 universities have been opened. In almost all these educational institutions the teaching is carried on entirely in the Georgian language.

During the period of the existence of the Soviet government, the universities in Georgia have trained 14,000 people of working class and peasant origin as engineers, agronomists, doctors, teachers, economists and others qualified to carry on the task of socialist construction.

Education is carried on in the native language in the schools and educational institutions of Georgia. The Russian language is also taught in the schools of Georgia.

There has been a big development of scientific research work under the Soviet government. One hundred and twenty of the most varied scientific research institutions have been set up, and the work of many of these institutes are of great scientific value for the whole of the Soviet Union.

Art and literature are flourishing. The Rustaveli and Mardjanishvili State Theaters have produced a number of highly artistic plays, which have advanced them to the ranks of the best theaters in the Soviet Union. In Georgia today 47 theaters are open, of which threequarters are conducted in the Georgian language.

The Soviet government organized a cinema industry in Georgia. A cinema factory has been constructed in Tiflis. The State Cinema Industry of Georgia has produced 80 Soviet films.

Physical culture is developing on a broad scale. On January 1, 1936, 110,000 sportsmen passed the Ready for Labor and Defense test and were presented with the badge known as the G.T.O. The sportsmen of Georgia have established a number of records covering the Soviet Union. During the 15 years of the existence of the Soviet government in Georgia, over 35 million books have been published. The works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin have been published in hundreds of thousands of copies in the Georgian language.

Writers and poets are growing up in Soviet Georgia. In their works they depict the problems and the heroic story of socialist construction. Soviet artists, architects and sculptors are growing up, who are enriching Soviet culture with new works of art.

The old generation of intellectuals have linked their fate fast with the toiling masses of Georgia; and together with them, shoulder to shoulder, are working to build up socialism. They have rallied around the Soviet government, around the Communist Party.

During the fifteen years of the existence of the Soviet government in Georgia new and strong forces of Soviet intellectuals have grown up from among the workers and peasants. These new forces, brought into being by the Soviet government, are filled with unbounded loyalty to it.

When the tsarist autocracy called up the sons of the toilers of Georgia to join the army, it sent them into distant parts of the Empire, fearing to leave them armed in their native towns and villages. Today, Soviet Georgia has its own national divisions which are the faithful fighting units of the mighty, glorious workers’ and peasants’ army of the great Land of Soviets.

In all this we have the embodiment of the national policy of Lenin and Stalin, under whose banner the toiling masses of Georgia liberated themselves from the yoke of tsarism and the Menshevik rulers, and are confidently marching along the road to a happy, joyful life.

The steadfast realization of the national policy of Lenin and Stalin ensures that the peoples of Georgia and the Trans-Caucasus live in staunch friendship and peace. Instead of the former national strife, inflamed by tsarism and the Mensheviks, friendship and collaboration flourishes among the peoples of Georgia.

The autonomous republics and regions which go to make up the Georgian Republic—Soviet Adjaria, Soviet Abhasia and Soviet South Osetinia—are growing and gathering strength.

Great is the friendship among the toiling peoples of Georgia, great is the friendship between the toiling peoples of Georgia and the peoples of Azerbaidjan and Armenia.

Comrade Molotov, the head of the Soviet government, said the followabout this friendship between the peoples of Soviet Caucasus:

“In the Trans-Caucasus, with its many nationalities, where, for a long time a fierce struggle raged between the toilers of different nationalities, a struggle inflamed in every possible way by the capitalists and henchmen of the tsar, we have brought about a situation where this struggle has been finally eliminated and where, in place of this struggle the lives of all the toilers of the Trans-Caucasus are flourishing in an atmosphere of peace.”

A big part in achieving these successes was played by Comrade Ordjonikidze, Comrade Stalin’s comrade-in-arms, under whose leadership the Bolsheviks of Georgia and the Trans-Caucasus consolidated and organized the Soviet government and routed the Mensheviks and those who deviated on the national question, educating broad masses of the toilers in the spirit of proletarian internationalism.

The deviators on the national question tried during the first years after the Soviet government was established to turn the Bolshevik organizations of Georgia from the right road. The national-deviation current in the ranks of the Communist Party of the Bolsheviks of Georgia constitutes an opportunist current which reflected the pressure upon various strata of the Party organizations by kulak-bourgeois-nationalist and Menshevik elements. The national-deviation current, having taken the road of struggle against the correct national policy of the Party, lowered itself to the platform of Georgian Menshevism. The national-deviation current was jingoism on the offensive reflecting the great-power bourgeois nationalism of the Georgian Mensheviks and national democrats. The national-deviation current reflected the interests and demands of the nobles, landowners and kulaks of Georgia.

Only by mercilessly crushing the national-deviation current did the Communist Party of Georgia ensure that the national policy of Lenin and Stalin would be successfully carried out, leading the work of socialist construction in Georgia, and educating the masses in the spirit of internationalism.

In the struggle for these victories of socialist construction, the Bolshevik Party of Georgia has become strong and has rallied still closer around the C.C. of the C.P.S.U. and Comrade Stalin.

Under the banner of the national policy of Lenin and Stalin, under the wise leadership of the Bolshevik Party, the toilers of Georgia are confidently marching forward to new victories for socialism.



1.  Records of General Yermolov during the period of his governorship of Georgia. Printed in 1868.

2.  Stalin, The Policy of the Soviet Government on the National Question in Russia. 1920.

3.  Resolution of the Third Congress.

4.  Stenogram of the First Session of the Constituent Assembly, January 14, 1920, p. 5

5.  See the newspaper Borba (Struggle), June 13, 1918, No. 92.

6.  Documents and Materials on the Foreign Policy of Trans-Caucasus and Georgia, Soviet Publication, Tiflis, 1919.

7.  Stalin, The Policy of the Soviet Government on the National Question in Russia (1920).

8.  From the stenographic report of the session of the Trans-Caucasian Seim, April 26, 1918.

9.  Documents and Materials On the Foreign Policy of Trans-Caucasus and Georgia.

10.  N. Jordania, Two Years. Reports and Speeches, p. 111.

11.  Speech in the Georgian Parliament, June 16, 1918.

12.  Speech at an economic conference.

13.  Archives of the Trade Union Movement, No. 3, Item No. 280.

14.  N. Jordania, Two Years, p. 119.

15.  Jugel, The Heavy Cross.