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How Georgia Destroyed Jewish Quarter of Tskhinvali

How Georgia Destroyed Jewish Quarter of Tskhinvali
Источник: Joint press-center RUO

As it is known, these days the president of Georgia Michael Saakashvili visited Jerusalem where he had a number of meetings with a management of Israel: with the president Moshe Katsav, prime minister Ehud Olmert, the speaker of Knesseth Daliay Itsik.

During his public speech in Knesseth, M. Saakashvili paid attention to "26-century friendship of Georgian and Jewish people" and declared that in due time Tskhinvali was "a city of Georgian and Jews" and also that Jews in Tskhinvali were true patriots of Georgia.

The words are beautiful and pathetic. It is clear that M. Saakashvili to the full exploits psychological archetypes. Motives of such statements of the Georgian president are clear - he wishes to draw to his side both management of Israel and international Jewish diaspora. It is reasonable, because everyone wants that his country has more friends. However besides beautiful words it is necessary to pay attention to concrete matters, the real facts. And the reality, unfortunately, is so that it does not change even one closes his eyes.

South-ossetic Jews, whom M. Saakashvili for some reason calls "Georgian" though they equally purely commanded Ossetic language, made significant contribution to the development of the city and South Ossetia in the whole. There was an ancient Jewish quarter in Tskhinvali - one of the most picturesque parts of Old Tskhinvali. Hardworking and skilful masters, handicraftsmen and dealers lived there for a long time.

Certainly, after appearance of new buildings and expansion of city Jews lived not only in the Jewish quarter, but it kept the name as a part of the historical past of a city life. Up to the unmotivated armed aggression of Georgia in 1991 the life there ran over.

One may ask why we regretfully speak about those days in the past? Why there is no more life in Tskhinvali Jewish quarter, where did graceful houses of unique architecture with charming groove of ancient masters on facades and platbands disappear to?

It’s difficult to speak about it but there’s no other way out. All that beauty was destroyed by direct rocket-artillery fire in 1991 - 1992 when the Georgian armed forces having broken resistance of a handful of defenders of Tskhinvali occupied dominating heights over east part of the city which adjoined the Jewish quarter and shot it by direct fire.

Hundreds people died in those rainy days. The Jewish quarter was destroyed. Thousands left their houses in pursuit of peace and safety for themselves and their children. The state of things became even more tragical when in the summer of 1992 armed cap-a-pie up armies of the State Council of Georgia supported by tanks broke through defense of a city and for time made themselves at home in that part of city where there’s also a Jewish quarter.

Fortunately, it continued only for some days but for during that period they burnt everything that they found on the way not having saved ancient houses of the Jewish quarter. All that time old stayed in Tskhinvali together with their Ossetic brothers mourning over innocent victims of the Georgian aggression and praying about peace in the wounded by the Georgian rockets and shells synagogue. Alongside with others citizens of Tskhinvali he showed big personal courage meaningly remaining in the city under rafale of Georgian armies, taking risk every minute…

Then people saved themselves together, helped each other notwithstanding the difference of religion and nationality. Knowing all these it is difficult to describe indignation in occasion of Michael Saakashvili's hypocritical maxims in Israel. He thinks that nobody will know how Georgia treats Jews in reality and what it made with Jewish quarter of Tskhinvali. Sufferings of this small quarter deserve the same alarm as suffering of thousand Jewish quarters in the Europe in the thirtieth-fortieth years but in this case a role of fascist Germany belongs, unfortunately, to Georgia.


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