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Georgia: Stalin Museum

Mission accomplished image

Stalin Museum | Georgia | Asia

[Visited: May 2005]

Among the several places that can be visited in and around Gori, the Stalin Museum is almost inevitable. Gori is the birthplace of the late Soviet leader, and even though he ruled his country with an iron fist, soon after his death the museum was erected. I decided to visit mostly out of curiosity. Even though Georgia is an independent country now and communist times have finished in this part of the world, the town remains proud of its infamous inhabitant. Stalin is prominently present in Gori, in street and square names, in statues, and obviously in the museum. The building prominently sits on one side of a wide boulevard.

Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin Museum: the main building and his birth house in the foreground

After looking at the building and its surroudings, I went inside and found a guide who was English speaking. A stereotype of the Russian woman, the older woman led me to the first floor, and started a monologue that would only stop after she finished the tour. She just didn't stop explaining and talking, and it was hard enough to ask questions. In the exhibition, Stalin is clearly portrayed as a hero, a man who did nothing than good. He founded trade unions, industrialized the country, led it to victory in World War II, and these facts are displayed abundantly.

Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin Museum: front side with couple on its doorstep

But there is not even an indication at what cost these achievements were accomplished. Those who played a crucial role in his life, but who for some reason or another didn't fit in with him anymore, are simply left out. After the museum, the guide showed me the original birth house of Stalin, and even the bed in which he was born. To preserve the house, the Georgians built a temple-like structure around it. On the other side of the museum is his railway carriage in which he always travelled, since he was afraid of flying. We went inside, and the interior was surprisingly well preserved.

Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin Museum: his birth house under a temple
Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin Museum: arched hallway
Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin's statue in Gori (not part of Stalin Museum)
Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin Museum: the railway carriage he used to travel to Potsdam can be visited
Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin Museum: Dutch present to the Soviet leader
Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin Museum: present given to Joseph Stalin by Italian women
Picture of Stalin Museum (Georgia): Stalin Museum: his conference room inside the railway carriage

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