More than half-century has passed since the death of Ioseb Jughashvili, better known in the whole world as Josef Stalin. He died on March 5, 1953, and many Soviet people at that time took it as a personal tragedy. However, throughout the following decades Stalin’s name started associated with the most dark and gory period of the Soviet era, which was often compared to Nazi Germany.
But despite millions of people had vanished in concentration camps, the Stalin period was treated by many as the time of order and progress.
Still many continue to think so.
In Georgia some people, mostly of older age, are proud that Stalin was born here. They still keep Stalin’s portraits at homes, some have private museums dedicated to the Leader of All People. They continue to live in the Soviet Union in their hearts at the least.
Ushangi Davitashvili, 80, created his own private museum of Stalin in the yard of his house shortly after Stalin’s death in 1953. Now Davitashvili has more than ten Stalin’s statues, busts and portraits of different sizes in his “museum,” 2009
The country itself too keeps signs of the past times. In Stalin’s hometown Gori there still is his museum and at the central square, also bearing his name, stands one of the few publicly open Stalin’s monuments.
Stalin’s monument at the main (Stalin’s) square of the leader’s hometown Gori, 2008
Now the memory of the Soviet times is gradually slipping away. People sell Soviet times portraits and medals at flea markets. If only fifteen years ago every tailor’s and cobbler’s workshop had large Stalin’s portrait hanging on a wall, now you can hardly see such images anywhere.