Kaspi school hosts guests to visit museum of repression
In 2016, with the financial support of the Presidential Reserve Fund of Georgia and with the help of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the museum of repression called “The Footsteps of the Past” was established in the Gymnasium of Kaspi - a little town in Shida Kartli (region of Georgia). The school was established in 1994 and is located in a building of a former militia barrack.
In 1921, the Soviet Russian Red Army invaded the Democratic Republic of Georgia and installed a communist regime in the country. In the years between 1924 – 1941, more than 270,000 Georgians were killed and 200,000 were deported from their homeland.
Among the occupied lands a little town of Shida Kartli Kaspi had its own story of repression. During the Soviet times the Soviet Police department, located in the center of the city, took many victims for the regime as a result of repressions, execution protocols, denounces, one-sided accusations and private revenges.
The school administration extensively contributed by retrieving the information on the victims. As for the pupils, they gathered all the data and made presentations to the guests of the museum.
The opening ceremony took place on September 20, 2016 where exponents (archived banners, documents and photographs) of victims of Political Repression were presented.
“It is very important for our future generation to know the dire consequences of the Soviet occupation; that a government cannot develop without peace, freedom, the rule of law and democracy. Based on these values, the Presidential Reserve Fund made a decision to support this very important project” – stated the head of the Presidential Administration Mr. Giorgi Abashishvili while attending the opening ceremony.
In the near future the museum is planning to create short movies through which the young generation will be able to learn more about the repressions taking place during the Soviet times; Every guest will be invited to examine the museum and the teachers themselves will be the guides.
Below you can find an interview with Nino Niparishvili – a civic education teacher at the Gymnasium of Kaspi:
How did an idea of building the museum come up?
The idea of building the museum was born by the chief of the archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs -Ivane Jakhua. He is an inhabitant of Kaspi. Other than this, we have done many projects about totalitarianism. The idea of establishing the museum became stronger, after visiting Polish schools. During our study tour we attended classes of history and civic education delivered in historical places. Why not? We had a resource, we had to do it.
Why is it important to have these types of museums in schools?
It is very important to have the museum in the school. Students have an opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge and have emotional perception towards Stalin's repressions. There is a line of occupation 15 minutes away from the museum. Meetings, trainings and lessons, which will be held there, Moreover, it will provide opportunities for students to analyze what is totalitarianism, democracy and liberalism.
What are your future plans in this regard?
For the future we have planned to invite experts, schools, universities to the museum of repression. There will be integrated lessons held. Step by step the archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will send us the films on Soviet repression which will be shown in the museum.