Description of Georgia By Marco Polo

Near the Georgian border there is a spring from which gushes a stream of oil in such abundance that a hundred ships may load there at once.

This for burning oil is not good to eat but it is good for burning and as a salve for men and camels infected with itch or scab. Men come, from a long to fetch this oil and in all theneighborhood no oil is burnt but this. In Georgia there is the King who always bears the name of David Malik, that is to say King David. He is subject to the Tartars.

In former times all the kings of this country were born with the sign of an eagle on the right shoulder. The Georgians are a handsome race of daughty warriors, good archers, and good fighters on the battlefield. They are Christians and observe the rule of the Greek church.They  wear hair cropped in clerical fashion.

This is the country through which Alexander could not pass when he wanted to go to the north, because the way is narrow and dangerous. On one side is the sea. On the other are high mountains and forests impassable on horseback. This narrow pass between the mountains and the sea runs for more than four leagues, so that a few men could hold against all comers. This is why Alexander could not pass. And I should le you know that Alexander had a tower and fortress built here, so that the natives could not sally out to attack him. This was called the Iron Gates It is the place where Alexander Book relates that he shut in the Tartars between two mountains. In fact they were not Tartars, but people called Comaniansand various other races besides, because there were no Tartars at that time.

The country has villages and towns in plenty. Silk is produced here in abundance , and silken fabrics and cloth of gold woven here are the finest ever seen. There are also the best goshawks in the world. There are ample supplies of everything, and commerce and industry flourish. The whole country is full of high mountains and narrow passes which are easily defensible, so that I can assure you that the Tartars have never been able to achieve complete dominion over it. Among these mountains are woods in which the only trees are box-trees.

There is a monastery here called St. Leonard’s, notable for the following miraculous occurrence. You must know that there isa great lake formed of whater that issues from a mountain just beside the church of St. Leonard. And in this water no fish is found, big or little, at any season of the year, except that they begin to appear on the first day of Lent and continue every day throughout Lent till HolySaturday, that is the eve of Easter. During all this period there are fish in plenty; best at every other season there is not one to be found.

This country looks out over two seas. To the north lies the Black Sea, to the east that called the sea of Baku or the Ghel or Ghelan, which is some 2,800 miles in circumference and is strictly speaking a lake, because it is completely surrounded by mountains and land and has no connection with the main sea – which lies in fact twelve days’ journey away. It contains many inhabited islands, with fine cities built on them. The inhabitants are refugees from the power of the Great Tartar, when re rode as a conqueror through the he kingdom or province of Persia, whose cities and districts then had a system of government by the  commonalty; they sought refuge in these islands and among the mountains in the hope of finding safety there…

In this country is a fine city of great size named Tiflis, surrounded by subordinate towns and townships. The inhabitants are Christians (that is, Armenians and Georgians) besides a few Saracens and Jews, but not many. Silk and mony othr fabrics are woven here. The inhabitants live by their industry and are subject to the Great Khan of the Tartars.

You must know that we mention only the two or three principal cities of each province. There are many others which it would be tedious to enumerate, unless they are remarkable for some special curiosity. But  some that we have omitted, which are situated in the places above mentioned, will be dealt with more fully below.

So much for what lies north of Armenia.

Useful Idiots

The phrase ‘useful idiots’, supposedly Lenin’s, refers to Westerners duped into saying good things about bad regimes.

In political jargon it was used to describe Soviet sympathisers in Western countries and the attitude of the Soviet government towards them.

Useful idiots, in a broader sense, refers to Western journalists, travellers and intellectuals who gave their blessing – often with evangelistic fervour – to tyrannies and tyrants, thereby convincing politicians and public that utopias rather than Belsens thrived.

In part one John Sweeney looks at Stalin’s Western apologists.

In 1952 Doris Lessing, a British writer who has since won the Nobel Prize for Literature, was part of a delegation visiting the Soviet Union.

Her memories of the trip are clear and unforgiving:

“I was taken around and shown things as a ‘useful idiot’… that’s what my role was. I can’t understand why I was so gullible.”

She was not the only one. The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw and American journalist Walter Duranty were some of those people who also visited the Soviet Union.

They mingled with political leaders, were escorted into the countryside by Joseph Stalin’s secret police, and returned home to speak and write of ‘a land of hope’ with ‘evils retreating before the spread of communism’.

However as stories mounted of mass murder and starvation in parts of Russia and the Ukraine, reporters such as Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge investigated and reported on ‘the creation of one enormous Belsen’.

Duranty responded with an article in the New York Times headed ‘Story of the famine is bunk’, and got an exclusive interview with Stalin.

Soon after, Jones died and Muggeridge’s career nose-dived. Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer.

How can intellectual curiosity transform into active promotion of a dangerous lie? Why so many ‘useful idiots’?

In part two he explores how present day stories of human rights abuses across the world are still rewritten.

Useful Idiots: Captive Minds, Empty Heads by Michael Weiss

The BBC World Service recently broadcast a two-part investigative documentary, hosted by John Sweeney, on the useful idiot, a concept that Lenin didn’t invent so much as expropriate to denote the semi-witting accomplices of Western imperialism.  Although more frequently employed in the service of deriding apologists of the totalitarian system Lenin created, the phenomenon to which useful idiocy alludes is transferable to any and all modern tyrannies.  (The closely related concept of ‘fellow traveler’ is not nearly as fungible because it still retains the definition Trotsky intended in Literature and Revolution—that of being a halfway-there Bolshevik whose political future was as yet undecided by historical circumstances.)  The Sweeney documentary examines the Soviet Union, Red China, apartheid South Africa, and Ba’athist Iraq, and while all interviewees and case studies are well chosen, one is still left feeling unenlightened as to the etiology of this troubling condition. What causes useful idiocy, and how is it that so many sufferers are eventually cured?

A common precipitant is a broad ideological sympathy with the long-term goals of a tyrannical state matched by an incuriosity about measuring its touted claims with tangible reality. Very often this isn’t entirely the sympathizer’s fault as the state makes every effort to mask its deformities and keep the fantasy in tact. “I was taken around and shown things,” a very candid Doris Lessing tells Sweeney. “I can’t understand why I was so gullible.” The Potemkin dupe may have begun with Catherine the Great, but it is a more rampant species in the twentieth century. None has grimly excelled or exceeded the category better than Maxim Gorky.

Lenin’s favorite novelist had spent the formative early years of the Soviet Union on the isle of Capri and thus counts as something of a Westernized observer to his native Russia. After being welcomed home by an ingratiating Stalin, then badly in need of writers who hadn’t been arrested or shot, Gorky paid a visit to the notorious penal colony at Solovki in order to see how counter-revolutionaries were being rehabilitated by the state. The wretched reality of the place been masked in advance—with well-fed guards dressed up as prisoners—save for one minor oversight. Within three hundred yards of where Gorky and his retinue had alighted, a ship docked at Popov Island was being loaded up by a visibly bedraggled gang of real inmates. Of this infamous episode in useful idiocy, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn writes:

Where can this disgraceful spectacle—these men dressed in sacks—be hidden?  The entire journey of the great Humanist will have been for naught if he sees them now. Well, of course, he will try hard not to notice them, but help him! Drown them in the sea? They will wail and flounder. Bury them in the earth? There’s no time. No, only a worthy son of the Archipelago could find a way out of this one. The work assigner ordered, “Stop work! Close ranks! Still closer! Sit down on the ground! Sit still!” And a tarpaulin was thrown over them. “Anyone who moves will be shot!”

This crude deception may have gone unnoticed by Gorky (though it’d be good to know what he thought those human-shaped objects under the tarpaulin were), but the unscripted encounter that followed left little to the airbrushed imagination. While touring the children’s quarters, he was cornered by a fourteen year-old prisoner who proceeded to tell him of the day-to-day horrors of Solovki being kept from view. Gorky, writes Solzhenitsyn, left in tears, only then to register in the visitor’s book his ecstatic praise for the “vigilant and tireless sentinels of the Revolution.” (The boy was later shot.)  Gorky had managed to work himself out and then back into a fantasy within the space of minutes or hours. How?  We can see the self-preservation instinct easily enough in his decision: He knew that popularizing what he’d been told would result in his own imprisonment or death. But, like all artists in a patronage system, Gorky probably also felt that his reputation rested on catering to certain level of expectation. The very fact of his celebrity under Stalinism was proof enough against his possessing the courage needed to put that celebrity to good use. Gorky went on to author a famously bad book about the White Sea-Baltic Canal, built wholly by slave labor and to little economic benefit to the state, that argued in favor of the rehabilitation of enemies of the people, a claim, needless to say, never borne out by Soviet parole statistics.

Gorky is an extreme case since he was granted relatively unrestricted access to the Soviet Union. Yet for most Western comrades eager to see exactly what they’d come to see in the workers’ paradise, their powers of deduction seldom make it through customs. And for those who did return unimpressed or horrified, posterity owes them a great deal of credit for peering beyond an illusion or cretinous euphemism to provide much needed evidence against interest. “All right, I see all the broken eggs,” the Romanian fellow traveler Panait Istrati was given to remark to his minders in tour of Russia in 1927. “Now where’s this omelet of yours?”  The resentment that accrues in a certain type of personality that senses it is being flattered or taken advantage of, as if by a conjurer’s trick, is an indispensable expedient in curing useful idiocy.  Not by coincidence, the greatest example of a dupe turned skeptic of Communism was himself an amateur magician.

Edmund Wilson toured the Soviet Union in 1936 for the purpose of writing a book whose problematic premise advertised itself in the very title, Travels in Two Democracies. The first half was devoted to the United States, the second half to its imminent wartime ally. Wilson, who during the Depression had advocated the state ownership of the means of production—“tak[ing] Communism away from the Communists,” as he put it in Herbert Croly’s New Republic—described Moscow as “the moral top of the world where the light never really goes out.” By that he did not refer to the interrogation lamps in the Lubyanka.  Such progressive fever was followed and enabled by a literal one. Having taken ill on his sojourn, Wilson spent some time in a hospital, which experience led him to write favorably about the Soviet health care system. Still, the great critic was capable of some lucidity. Wilson spotted the early contours of Stalin’s personality cult, at one point joking to the photographer Paul Strand at a Moscow travel agency that “Comrade Stalin has just stepped out of the toilet,” “Comrade Stalin is at home with a severe headache.” A professional apprehension of bad writing also gave him the ability to see what an orchestrated deceit the Moscow Show Trials were and to guess correctly that Stalin was behind the murder of state functionary Sergey Kirov, whose assassination curtain-raised the Great Terror.  Though Wilson would go on to write To the Finland Station, a brilliant intellectual survey of socialist thought that hewed closely to a determinist conception of history, his overall impressions of the Soviet Union were sufficiently cold that the authorities informed him that he needn’t apply for a visa again.  (He still admired Lenin, however, earning him a stern rebuke from his friend and correspondent Vladimir Nabokov, who described the founding Bolshevik as “a pail of the milk of human kindness with a dead rat floating at the bottom.”)  After Travels in Two Democracies came out, Wilson repudiated Communism tout court, spending the remainder of the thirties persuading—or failing to persuade—the New York smart set that Russia hadn’t “even the beginnings of democratic institutions” and was instead subject to “totalitarian domination by a political machine.”  He took his rejection of state power so far that he ineptly applied the moral lessons of Stalinism to the American Civil War, comparing the Kremlin mountaineer to another perceived dictator working on behalf of a better tomorrow: Abraham Lincoln.

Of course, domination by a political machine, or a single politician, is precisely what some people liked about Stalinism. Another mutation of the useful idiot gene, found especially among members of the left-wing intelligentsia, evinces a secret lust for gangsterism or brutality.  Malcolm Muggeridge’s friend and biographer Richard Ingrams tells Sweeney of how the famous journalist made an abortive attempt to emigrate to Russia in 1932 only to realize upon arrival that he was far off the mark of utopia. When Muggeridge complained that people were being arrested and killed willy-nilly in Moscow, this vice was swiftly transmuted into a virtue by his relative, Beatrice Webb, co-author with her husband Sidney of Soviet Communism: A new civilisation?, whose subsequent editions dropped that tremulous question mark.  According to Ingrams, “Malcolm thought that actually she was quite keen about that because she would like to have the same power…. The idea that if people disagreed with you or made a lot of trouble, they could disappear – from her point of view, that was quite nice.”  And of the myriad ways in which Alger Hiss disappointed Whittaker Chambers during their common stint as Soviet spies was to say about all those “liquidations” in the motherland, “Joe Stalin certainly plays for keeps.” This not only underscored Hiss’s raw ignorance of the Marxist diminution of the role of the individual in history, it also indicated a wolfish satisfaction with how opponents were dispensed with in undemocratic regimes.

“If only I could do that!” is the most sadistic motive in a useful idiot’s tool-kit.  However, masochism can also play a part, particularly in the age of sacred terror. Those who want to hurt themselves are very more likely to want to hurt others like themselves. Is it a coincidence that the British journalist Yvonne Ridley converted to Islam after being taken hostage by the Taliban, and then wrote enviously of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s terrorist-murders of fellow Jordanians who were ‘collaborating’ with the West?  Now, as if to embody the truest marriage between the captive mind and the empty head, Ridley presents on the Iranian state-controlled Press TV, the mullahs’ answer to CNN, which forces all women presenters and guests to don a hijab. This channel, which has a bureau in London, once featured excerpts of an interview with Maziar Bahari, the Newsweek journalist who was jailed and tortured in Tehran for 118 days for doing his job—covering the June 2009 presidential “election.” Bahari explained to Sweeney that he was under severe duress, blindfolded and on his knees, when this charade of journalism took place and that many of the questions his interviewer asked in fact came from his interrogator. As for the Green Revolution, Press TV considered the democratic protesters who were bludgeoned and shot and arrested the true instigators of violence.

By nice coincidence, one of the surest psychological safeguards against useful idiocy is the ability to diagnose oneself with just this sort of latent predisposition toward violence and to find a healthier outlet for it. George Orwell once told Arthur Koestler that when he lay in the bath in the morning he thought of tortures for his enemies, which is about what one would expect to hear of the inventor of Room 101’s paralyzing torments. Yet Koestler’s reply was more revealing still coming from the creator of Nicholas Salmanovich Rubashov: “That’s funny, because when I’m lying in my bath I think of tortures for myself.”

Finally, there is simply the matter of a mendacious or mercenary character, which judges lying as more expedient or profitable than telling the truth. Mendacious ideologues won’t ‘break’ simply because evidence and argument don’t matter to them; theirs is a metaphysical politics that typically worsens with age. In this category we find Jean-Paul Sartre once saying that even if all the worst disclosures about the gulag could be verified, they should be shut up because knowledge of them would drive the French proletariat into a state of despair.  More recently, Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, has described Gaza as a ‘concentration camp’ where there currently exists ‘a humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur’, doing so just back from a trip to the Hamas-run littoral where she was photographed patronising a well-stocked food shop.

As for the mercenary tendency of the useful idiot, it is perhaps worth recalling that paid agents were considered the lowest form of “illegals” by even the unscrupulous theorists of Russian intelligence. The NKVD and the GPU preferred their spies to be romantic radicals, New Dealers and antifascists needing that extra little push to become accomplices of the Kremlin. One such case was that of Laurence Duggan, a State Department official who began passing sensitive documents to his Russian handler in 1936 after a much belaboured ‘recruitment’ effort. But when the purges of so many ‘Trotskyite-fascist’ elements who yesterday were considered great heroes of the Revolution stirred Duggan’s conscience, he decided to quit the double life altogether. A cynic might conclude that buying him off would have been easier, but in fact he took grave offense at the insinuated offer to do so.  Cultivating principled useful idiots has always been a higher priority for tyrannies than investing in hirelings, not just because the former don’t charge for their services but because they’re not going to take their business to a higher bidder or provide bogus material to keep a nice sinecure going. Moscow Centre discovered to its chagrin a few months ago the risk that accompanies such compensation. The use value was negligible while the only real idiot was Russia herself.

Landslide – interviews with descendants of Titsian Tabidze

The Soviets were a menace to Georgian poet Titsian Tabidze’s generation. As his daughter and granddaughter recount, the legacy continues.


I do not know what to expect when I climb the dark stairs to the former home of Georgian poet Titsian Tabidze on a cold March afternoon. The building is situated on an elegant street in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia, not far from Freedom Square, scene of multiple revolutions. As I climb, I wonder whether the walls resemble the prison in which Titsian had been confined before his execution during the 1937 purge of Georgian intellectuals.

Child of the fin d’siècle, Titsian and his friends (Paolo Iashvili and Galaktion Tabidze) were inspired by literary modernist movements across the world, and formed their own in the years following the 1917 Revolution. They called themselves the Blue Horns. The name signaled a love of feasting and life, as imbibing from horns was a custom at Georgian feasts. For a few brief years, Titsian played a leading role in making the ambition of the Georgian avant-garde to transform the poetics and politics of their time appear within reach.
Titsian’s generation of poets saw its most brilliant representatives die, almost without exception, before full maturity. Already in 1925, Titsian prophesied his own death in an elegy to his friend and fellow poet Sergei Esenin:

My friends, if our heads roll
somewhere into a deep pit, may
the world know: among the poets,
Esenin was the brother of us all.

Like every poet with a conscience in Russia at that time, Esenin had been infected with enthusiasm for the revolution. Propelled to despair, Esenin had killed himself shortly after returning to Moscow from a sojourn in the Caucasus. Although they died twelve years apart, the reasons for Esenin’s and Titsian’s deaths are hardly unrelated. Titsian could not have known for certain that his head was destined to roll “into a deep pit,” as were those of his fellow poets, Paolo Iashvili and novelist Mikhail Javaxishvili. But already in 1925 he could detect signs boding disaster.
Luckily for us, fear did not keep Titsian from writing. If anything, fear emboldened him with greater clarity and courage. If he was going to die anyway, Titsian knew he had little to lose by honesty.

In the poem “Gunib,” Titsian protested a double treachery: first the Russian colonization of the Caucasus, which resulted in the brutal subjection of Chechens, Daghestanis, and other indigenous mountain peoples, the effects of which are still felt today. Titsian and his people were directly implicated in the second, the aid that Georgians, including poets such as Grigol Orbeliani, provided by serving in the Tsarist army, participating in conquest, and helping subdue the mountaineers. “Gunib,” named after the site where the colonial war was officially decided in Russia’s favor, reads, in part:

But this battle moves even me to ecstasy.
I don’t want to be a poet drunk on blood.
Let this day be my penitence.
Let my poems wash away your treachery.

Georgian literary modernity was liquidated by the Soviet state from the nineteen thirties onwards. The first casualty was Titsian’s close friend Paolo Iashvili. Knowing he was doomed to be executed, Paolo brought a hunting gun with him to a meeting in the Writer’s Union in downtown Tbilisi and shot himself. Even more than Esenin’s, Paolo’s suicide was a statement. If he had to die, Paolo decided, let it not be silently, in forced labor camps or prison, cursed by the state.

Those who survived Stalin’s regime, like Titsian’s cousin Galaktion Tabidze, were no less wracked by despair; Galaktion ended his life at the age of sixty-nine by jumping out the window of a Tbilisi psychiatric hospital. Only one Georgian fully escaped the despair that enveloped the times: novelist Konstantin Gamsakhurdia, Titsian’s one-time rival for the love of his wife Nina. Gamsakhurdia, however, had to write novels glorifying Stalin, never producing poetry comparable to the other modernists.

Russia’s Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak had been so taken by Titsian’s poems that he translated many into Russian, garnering fame for his friend. One of the poems Pasternak helped make famous in Russian runs:

I don’t write poems; poetry writes me.
This poem walks with my life.
A poem is a landslide which carries me away
and buries me alive.

At the top of the stairwell, I knock; the woman who opens the door has a question in her eyes. Who am I? Has she forgotten she lives in a museum? It turns out they have not had a visitor for years. As museums go, Titsian Tabidze Museum is unconventional in that it is the private residence of Titsian’s descendants, home of his daughter Nitka, now eighty-four, and his granddaughter, Nina (named after his late wife). The Titsian Tabidze Museum is more shrine to this legacy than institution.

Nitka and Nina sit across from me at a large mahogany table in the center of the room. Despite three decades that divide them, the resemblance between mother and daughter is striking, and the fact that they are both wearing blue silk only heightens it. In the early decades of the twentieth century, Tbilisi was a cultural capital, and Titsian’s home was its epicenter. Luminaries flocked from all over the world to pay their homage to the poets of Tbilisi’s avant-garde. This was the table, Nina explains, behind which Osip Mandelstam and Boris Pasternak sat with their wives when they came for visits. Almost every major Georgian and Russian of the twentieth century has sat at this table, Nina announces, proud of her grandfather’s literary connections. So I begin with these.

Guernica: Can you talk about Titsian’s friendship with Boris Pasternak?

Nina Tabidze: In 1931, Pasternak came to Georgia to stay with Paolo Iashvili. He had met him in Moscow. When Titsian saw him, he knew at once that they would be friends for life. When Titsian was taken away by the KGB to be shot, Pasternak sent a telegram to the Tabidze family. He wrote: “My heart is torn in two by this news. I wouldn’t be able to endure it, if I didn’t have a family of my own.” Pasternak supported Tabidze’s wife, Nina and her daughter Nitka, when they were in financial straits, by sending all the royalties from his translations of Georgian poets to Nina, who had helped him in his translations of Baratashvili when he was in Tbilisi. He also dedicated Ne ia pishu stikhi [I don’t write poetry], his book of translations from Titsian and other poets, to Nina.
Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize you know, in 1958, and though he was forced to refuse it at the time, his son Evgeny accepted the prize thirty years later. So they had money from this prize and used it to help us survive.

In 1945, Pasternak came to Tbilisi for the jubilee of Baratashvili’s birth. When he arrived at the airport, he said that he would not go anywhere unless he was taken directly to Titsian’s house to see Nina. The officials assented to his request. It was through Pasternak’s influence, partly through his insistence on reading his translations of Titsian’s poems in public, that Titsian was gradually rehabilitated. Pasternak traveled to Georgia for the last time in 1959. At the train station when he was saying goodbye to Nina he said to her, “Nina, find me a home in the Caucasus. I want to stay there for the rest of my life.” That was the last time Pasternak saw Georgia. He died one year later.

Nina also visited him many times in Peredelkino. Pasternak died in the arms of Nina and of his own wife, Zinaida. The friendship between the Pasternak and Tabidze families continues even to this day. When times were hard for us, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Pasternak family sent us money. Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize you know, in 1958, and though he was forced to refuse it at the time, his son Evgeny accepted the prize thirty years later. So they had money from this prize and used it to help us survive.

Titsian was also close friends with the Russian writers Andrei Bely, Konstantine Balmont, Osip Mandelstam, and Sergei Esenin, all of whom visited him here in Tbilisi, and who sat at the table we are now sitting at.

Guernica: What was his friendship with Esenin like?
Nina Tabidze: He had a very special friendship with Esenin, who came to Georgia for the first time in 1921. In 1924, he wrote a poem called “To the Poets of Georgia” in his own blood. In this poem, he called upon his readers to remember him and the Blue Horns together. Esenin was a blond-haired, pale-faced man, and when Nitka saw him, she immediately called him “Zolotaya Monet” [gold coin] because his hair was like gold. The nickname stuck. Even to this day, there is a framed gold coin hanging in the Esenin Museum in Ryazan [Esenin’s native city], in honor of Nitka’s epithet.

Titsian wrote a poem about Esenin as well. Usually, when Titsian wrote poems, he would tuck them away inside his books and wait a few months, after which he would return to them and revise them. The Esenin poem, however was published right away.

Titsian went to his daughter’s bedside one night and whispered in her ear: “Something bad may happen to me soon. I want you to know, Nitka, that your father never did anything to make his daughter ashamed.”

Guernica: It is said that even to this day no one knows where Titsian was buried.

Nina Tabidze: That is the truth. I hope some day we will find his grave, but at this point it’s a mystery. He was shot in a trench, three days after his arrest. The only thing he has which resembled a grave is a plaque on Nina Tabidze’s grave. The plaque gives her husband’s name. Nina is buried in Didube cemetery.

Guernica: What do you know about the circumstances of Titsian’s arrest?

Nina Tabidze: It happened after his best friend Paolo Iashvili was taken into custody. Nitka received a phone call from Paolo soon after he disappeared forever. He begged her not to leave his daughter without someone to look after her. Nitka was young at the time, only sixteen. She did not fully understand what Paolo meant, but it is clear now that he knew he was going to die.

Titisan was summoned to an interrogation with Beria, who told him to sign a document denouncing his friend as an American spy. Tabidze refused. They let him go home, but Titsian knew that he would not be let off as easily as that. During those days, Titsian went to his daughter’s bedside one night and whispered in her ear: “Something bad may happen to me soon. I want you to know, Nitka, that your father never did anything to make his daughter ashamed. Always remember, Nitka, that your parents behaved with dignity and refused to betray their friends.”

Then at 3 A.M. on October 10, 1937, Titsian was arrested. None of his family ever saw him again. In the room next door, a clock is frozen on the hour that he was taken away.

As soon as the museum was opened, the sparrows returned again.

Guernica: So could it be said that, strictly speaking, Titsian did not die for his poetry, but rather for his loyalty to his friends?

Nina Tabidze: Yes, he was a very brave man. He was taken away and killed in 1937, but we only learned about the circumstances of his death—that he was tortured and that he died so soon after being arrested—many years later, after the fall of the Soviet Union, and after the archives were opened. At the time, all they said was that he had been sent to a gulag “without the right of correspondence.” For over ten years they maintained this lie. Both Nina and Nitka continued to believe that Titsian was alive somewhere far away in Siberia. When Nitka entered the university here in Tbilisi, she chose the Russian department, because she hoped this would enable her to search for her father in Russia.

Nitka Tabidze: [who had been listening quietly until this point]: All my teachers gave me 5’s [A’s] because they knew whose daughter I was and they wanted to help me find my father. It didn’t matter whether I studied or not, they all gave me the highest grades possible.

Nina Tabidze: [smiling at her mother] After Titsian was taken away, this apartment was turned into a communal apartment. Every family was allotted one room. But the people living here were Georgians. They respected Titsian’s memory. No one ever took anything that belonged to him from these rooms.

Until Titsian was taken away, sparrows used to live on the roof of this building. They made a nest which Nitka gathered. It is preserved in the room next door. After Titsian was arrested, the sparrows stopped coming. Nina once discovered a poem Titsian wrote soon before his death. In the poem he writes that the sparrows will stop coming to the window. It seems that he foresaw the fate that awaited him. This museum was finally opened on April 9, 1985, exactly one week and ninety years after his birth. As soon as the museum was opened, the sparrows returned again.

April was a significant month for the Tabidze family. You know the poem “I Don’t Write Poems. Poetry Writes Me”?

Guernica: [nodding]

Nina Tabidze: Well then you know that he wrote in that poem, “I was born in the month of April.” His niece also died in the massacre of the Georgian people on April 9, 1989.

When father was taken away, mother did not show her grief. Without her strength, I might have given up.

Guernica: How did he meet Nina?

Nina Tabidze: Nina had been reading Titsian’s poems a long time before she met him. She used to read the journals published by the Blue Horns everywhere she went, even when she went to the dentist. However, they did not meet until Titsian moved to Tbilisi. One day, he was walking down Rustaveli Avenue with the Russian poet Konstantin Balmont. Titsian had helped Balmont translate Shota Rustaveli’s [epic classic] “The Knight in the Tiger’s Skin” into Russian for the first time. Balmont passed by an attractive young girl who happened to be Nina. He went up to her and asked her if he could read a poem to her. That was their first acquaintance. After that, they met in a local café. Konstantine Gamsakhurdia was courting Nina at the time. He had given Nina a bouquet of roses. One day someone walked up and snatched the roses from Nina’s hands. Titsian saw this, and as he never went anywhere without a rose in his breast pocket, he went up to Nina, took the rose from his jacket, and placed it on her breast. Then, one day, Nina got sick with tuberculosis. She was sent to a sanatorium to recover. Titsian sent her telegrams every day, and sometimes even more than once a day. That was how they fell in love.
Nitka Tabidze: When father was taken away, mother did not show her grief. She refused to despair and showed no signs of fear. Without her strength, I might have given up. Mother kept us strong.

გიორგი კეკელიძე საბჭოთა კულტურის შესახებ


The Demand for Explanation
Now that more than 60 years have passed since the military defeat of Nazi Germany, one might have thought that the name of its leader would be all but forgotten. This is far from the case, however. Even in the popular press, references to Hitler are incessant and the trickle of TV documentaries on the Germany of his era would seem to be unceasing. Hitler even featured on the cover of a 1995 Time magazine.
This finds its counterpart in the academic literature too. Scholarly works on Hitler’s deeds continue to emerge many years after his death (e.g. Feuchtwanger, 1995) and in a survey of the history of Western civilization, Lipson (1993) named Hitlerism and the nuclear bomb as the two great evils of the 20th century. Stalin’s tyranny lasted longer, Pol Pot killed a higher proportion of his country’s population and Hitler was not the first Fascist but the name of Hitler nonetheless hangs over the entire 20th century as something inescapably and inexplicably malign. It seems doubtful that even the whole of the 21st century will erase from the minds of thinking people the still largely unfulfilled need to understand how and why Hitler became so influential and wrought so much evil.
The fact that so many young Germans (particular from the formerly Communist East) today still salute his name and perpetuate much of his politics is also an amazement and a deep concern to many and what can only be called the resurgence of Nazism among many young Germans at the close of the 20th century and onwards would seem to generate a continuing and pressing need to understand the Hitler phenomenon.
So what was it that made Hitler so influential? What was it that made him (as pre-war histories such as Roberts, 1938, attest) the most popular man in the Germany of his day? Why does he still have many admirers now in the Germany on which he inflicted such disasters? What was (is?) his appeal? And why, of all things, are the young products of an East German Communist upbringing still so susceptible to his message?
The context of Nazism

“True, it is a fixed idea with the French that the Rhine is their property, but to this arrogant demand the only reply worthy of the German nation is Arndt’s: “Give back Alsace and Lorraine”. For I am of the opinion, perhaps in contrast to many whose standpoint I share in other respects, that the reconquest of the German-speaking left bank of the Rhine is a matter of national honour, and that the Germanisation of a disloyal Holland and of Belgium is a political necessity for us. Shall we let the German nationality be completely suppressed in these countries, while the Slavs are rising ever more powerfully in the East?”

Have a look at the quote immediately above and say who wrote it. It is a typical Hitler rant, is it not? Give it to 100 people who know Hitler’s speeches and 100 would identify it as something said by Adolf. The fierce German nationalism and territorial ambition is unmistakeable. And if there is any doubt, have a look at another quote from the same author:

This is our calling, that we shall become the templars of this Grail, gird the sword round our loins for its sake and stake our lives joyfully in the last, holy war which will be followed by the thousand-year reign of freedom.

That settles it, doesn’t it? Who does not know of Hitler’s glorification of military sacrifice and his aim to establish a “thousand-year Reich“?

But neither quote is in fact from Hitler. Both quotes were written by Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx’s co-author (See here and here). So let that be an introduction to the idea that Hitler not only called himself a socialist but that he WAS in fact a socialist by the standards of his day. Ideas that are now condemned as Rightist were in Hitler’s day perfectly normal ideas among Leftists. And if Friedrich Engels was not a Leftist, I do not know who would be.
But the most spectacular aspect of Nazism was surely its antisemitism. And that had a grounding in Marx himself. The following passage is from Marx but it could just as well have been from Hitler:

“Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew — not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Jewry, would be the self-emancipation of our time…. We recognize in Jewry, therefore, a general present-time-oriented anti-social element, an element which through historical development — to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed — has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily dissolve itself. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Jewry”.

Note that Marx wanted to “emancipate” (free) mankind from Jewry (“Judentum” in Marx’s original German), just as Hitler did and that the title of Marx’s essay in German was “Zur Judenfrage”, which — while not necessarily derogatory in itself — is nonetheless exactly the same expression (“Jewish question”) that Hitler used in his famous phrase “Endloesung der Judenfrage” (“Final solution of the Jewish question”). And when Marx speaks of the end of Jewry by saying that Jewish identity must necessarily “dissolve” itself, the word he uses in German is “aufloesen”, which is a close relative of Hitler’s word “Endloesung” (“final solution”). So all the most condemned features of Nazism can be traced back to Marx and Engels, right down to the language used. The thinking of Hitler, Marx and Engels differed mainly in emphasis rather than in content. All three were second-rate German intellectuals of their times. Anybody who doubts that practically all Hitler’s ideas were also to be found in Marx & Engels should spend a little time reading the quotations from Marx & Engels archived here.
Another point:

“Everything must be different!” or “Alles muss anders sein!” was a slogan of the Nazi Party. It is also the heart’s desire of every Leftist since Karl Marx. Nazism was a deeply revolutionary creed, a fact that is always denied by the Left; but it’s true. Hitler and his criminal gang hated the rich, the capitalists, the Jews, the Christian Churches, and “the System”.

Brown Bolsheviks
It is very easy to miss complexities in the the politics of the past and thus draw wrong conclusions about them. To understand the politics of the past we need to set aside for a time our own way of looking at things and try to see how the people involved at the time saw it all. Doing so is an almost essential step if we wish to understand the similarities and differences between Nazism and Marxism/Leninism. The following excerpt from James P. O’Donnell’s THE BUNKER (1978, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, pp. 261-262) is instructive. O’Donnell is quoting Artur Axmann, the Nazi youth leader, recalling a conversation with Goebbels in the Hitler bunker on Tuesday, May 1, 1945, the same day Goebbels and his wife would kill themselves after she killed their children.

“Goebbels stood up to greet me. He soon launched into lively memories of our old street-fighting days in Berlin-Wedding, from nineteen twenty-eight to thirty-three. He recalled how we had clobbered the Berlin Communists and the Socialists into submission, to the tune of the “Horst Wessel” marching song, on their old home ground.
He said one of the great accomplishments of the Hitler regime had been to win the German workers over almost totally to the national cause. We had made patriots of the workers, he said, as the Kaiser had dismally failed to do. This, he kept repeating, had been one of the real triumphs of the movement. We Nazis were a non-Marxist yet revolutionary party, anticapitalist, antibourgeois, antireactionary….
Starch-collared men like Chancellor Heinrich Bruening had called us the “Brown Bolsheviks,” and their bourgeois instincts were not wrong.

It seems inconceivable to modern minds that just a few differences between two similar ideologies — Marxism and Nazism — could have been sufficient cause for great enmity between those two ideologies. But the differences concerned were important to the people involved at the time. Marxism was class-based and Nazism was nationally based but otherwise they were very similar. That’s what people said and thought at the time and that explains what they did and how they did it.
And now for something that is very rarely mentioned indeed: Have a guess about where the iconography below comes from:

As you may be able to guess from the Cyrillic writing accompanying it, it was a Soviet Swastika — used by the Red Army in its early days. It was worn as a shoulder patch by some Soviet troops. The Swastika too was a socialist symbol long before Hitler became influential. Prewar socialists (including some American socialists) used it on the grounds that it has two arms representing two entwined letters “S” (for “Socialist”). So even Hitler’s symbolism was Leftist.

{There is an interesting comment on the graphic above by a Russian speaker. He points out that the shoulder patch above was specifically designed for Kalmyk troops. My understanding that the Swastika was more widely used in the Red Army than among the Kalmyk troops alone but I have yet to find a graphic illustrating that. As Stalin would undoubtedly have done his best to erase all references to Soviet swastikas after the Nazi invasion, such a graphic may not be easily found.}

Hitler did however give the symbol his own twist when he said“Als nationale Sozialisten sehen wir in unserer Flagge unser Programm. Im Rot sehen wir den sozialen Gedanken der Bewegung, im Weiss den nationalistischen, im Hakenkreuz die Mission des Kampfes fuer den Sieg des arischen Menschen und zugleich mit ihm auch den Sieg des Gedankens der schaffenden Arbeit” (“As National socialists we see our programme in our flag. In red we see the social thoughts of the movement, in white the nationalist thoughts, in the hooked-cross the mission of fighting for the victory of Aryan man and at the same time the victory of the concept of creative work”).
In German, not only the word “Socialism” (Sozialismus) but also the word “Victory” (Sieg) begins with an “S”. So he said that the two letters “S” in the hooked-cross (swastika) also stood for the victory of Aryan man and the victory of the idea that the “worker” was a creative force: Nationalism plus socialism again, in other words.

{Technical note: Translating Hitler into English often runs up against the fact that he uses lots of German words that have no exact English equivalent (I comment, for instance, on Volk and Reich here). I have translated “schaffen” above as “create” (as does Ralph Manheim in his widely-used translation of Mein Kampf — p. 452) but it has the larger meaning of providing and accomplishing things in general. So Hitler was clearly using the word to stress the central importance of the working man. In English, “creative” is often used to refer to artistic activities. That is NOT the meaning of “schaffen”}

And by Hitler’s time, antisemitism in particular, as well as racism in general, already had a long history on the Left. August Bebel was the founder of Germany’s Social Democratic party (mainstream Leftists) and his best-known saying is that antisemitism is der Sozialismus des bloeden Mannes (usually translated as “the socialism of fools”) — which implicitly recognized the antisemitism then prevalent on the Left. And Lenin himself alluded to the same phenomenon in saying that “it is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people” but “the capitalists of all countries.” For more on the socialist roots of antisemitism see Tyler Cowen’s detailed survey here
It should be borne in mind, however, that antisemitism was pervasive in Europe of the 19th and early 20th century. Many conservatives were antisemitic too. Leftists were merely the most enthusistic practitioners of it. We have seen how virulent it was in Marx. Antisemitism among conservatives, by contrast, was usually not seen by them as a major concern. British Conservatives made the outspokenly Jewish Benjamin Disraeli their Prime Minister in the 19th century and the man who actually declared war on Hitler — Neville Chamberlain — himself had antisemitic views.
And Leftism is notoriously prone to “splits” so there were no doubt some Leftists who disavowed antisemitism on principled grounds. Lenin clearly criticized antisemitism on strategic grounds: It distracted from his class-war objectives. So were there also disinterested objections from Leftists? Such objectors are rather hard to find. The opposition to the persecution of the unfortunate Captain Alfred Dreyfus (who was Jewish) by Emile Zola in France is sometimes quoted but Zola was primarily an advocate of French naturalism, which was a form of physical determinism — rather at odds with the usual Leftist view of man as a “blank slate”. And the man who published Zola’s famous challenge to the persecution of Dreyfus was Georges Clemenceau, who is these days most famous for his remark: “If a man is not a socialist in his youth, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 30 he has no head”
But, however you cut it, Hitler’s antisemitism was of a piece with his Leftism, not a sign of “Rightism”.
One more bit of iconography that may serve to reinforce that point:

The “Roman” salute is generally said to have been invented by Mussolini but Musso was a Marxist who knew Lenin well so it is not surprising that Stalin was influenced by Musso’s ideas for a while.
The posters above come via a documentary film called Soviet Story. See here. The film has had a lot of praise from people who should know and it reinforces much that I say above and below here.
Labor unions
Who said this? A representative of the 21st century U.S. Democratic party, maybe?

“As things stand today, the trade unions in my opinion cannot be dispensed with. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions of the nation’s economic life. Their significance lies not only in the social and political field, but even more in the general field of national politics. A people whose broad masses, through a sound trade-union movement, obtain the satisfaction of their living requirements and at the same time an education, will be tremendously strengthened in its power of resistance in the struggle for existence”.

It could well be any Leftist speaker of the present time but it is in fact a small excerpt from chapter 12 of Mein Kampf, wherein Hitler goes to great lengths to stress the importance of unions. The association between unions and Leftism is of course historic and, as a Leftist, Hitler made great efforts to enlist unions as supporters of his party.
A modern Leftist
Let us look at what the Left and Right in politics consist of at present. Consider this description by Edward Feser of someone who would have been a pretty good Presidential candidate for the modern-day U.S. Democratic party:

He had been something of a bohemian in his youth, and always regarded young people and their idealism as the key to progress and the overcoming of outmoded prejudices. And he was widely admired by the young people of his country, many of whom belonged to organizations devoted to practicing and propagating his teachings. He had a lifelong passion for music, art, and architecture, and was even something of a painter. He rejected what he regarded as petty bourgeois moral hang-ups, and he and his girlfriend “lived together” for years. He counted a number of homosexuals as friends and collaborators, and took the view that a man’s personal morals were none of his business; some scholars of his life believe that he himself may have been homosexual or bisexual. He was ahead of his time where a number of contemporary progressive causes are concerned: he disliked smoking, regarding it as a serious danger to public health, and took steps to combat it; he was a vegetarian and animal lover; he enacted tough gun control laws; and he advocated euthanasia for the incurably ill.
He championed the rights of workers, regarded capitalist society as brutal and unjust, and sought a third way between communism and the free market. In this regard, he and his associates greatly admired the strong steps taken by President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to take large-scale economic decision-making out of private hands and put it into those of government planning agencies. His aim was to institute a brand of socialism that avoided the inefficiencies that plagued the Soviet variety, and many former communists found his program highly congenial. He deplored the selfish individualism he took to be endemic to modern Western society, and wanted to replace it with an ethic of self-sacrifice: “As Christ proclaimed ‘love one another’,” he said, “so our call — ‘people’s community,’ ‘public need before private greed,’ ‘communally-minded social consciousness’ — rings out.! This call will echo throughout the world!”
The reference to Christ notwithstanding, he was not personally a Christian, regarding the Catholicism he was baptized into as an irrational superstition. In fact he admired Islam more than Christianity, and he and his policies were highly respected by many of the Muslims of his day. He and his associates had a special distaste for the Catholic Church and, given a choice, preferred modern liberalized Protestantism, taking the view that the best form of Christianity would be one that forsook the traditional other-worldly focus on personal salvation and accommodated itself to the requirements of a program for social justice to be implemented by the state. They also considered the possibility that Christianity might eventually have to be abandoned altogether in favor of a return to paganism, a worldview many of them saw as more humane and truer to the heritage of their people. For he and his associates believed strongly that a people’s ethnic and racial heritage was what mattered most. Some endorsed a kind of cultural relativism according to which what is true or false and right or wrong in some sense depends on one’s ethnic worldview, and especially on what best promotes the well-being of one’s ethnic group

There is surely no doubt that the man Feser describes sounds very much like a mainstream Leftist by current standards. But who is the man concerned? It is a historically accurate description of Adolf Hitler. Hitler was not only a socialist in his own day but he would even be a mainstream socialist in MOST ways today. Feser does not mention Hitler’s antisemitism above, of course, but that too seems once again to have become mainstream among the Western-world Left in the early years of the 21st century. See here for more on that.
But there is no claim that Hitler was WHOLLY like modern democratic Leftists. In ways other than those so far mentioned, Hitler was, as has already been detailed to some extent, more like his Communist predecessors. Ludwig von Mises speaks of those similarities. Writing in 1944 he said:

“The Nazis have not only imitated the Bolshevist tactics of seizing power. They have copied much more. They have imported from Russia the one-party system and the privileged role of this party and its members in public life; the paramount position of the secret police; the organization of affiliated parties abroad which are employed in fighting their domestic governments and in sabotage and espionage, assisted by public funds and the protection of the diplomatic and consular service; the administrative execution and imprisonment of political adversaries; concentration camps; the punishment inflicted on the families of exiles; the methods of propaganda. They have borrowed from the Marxians even such absurdities as the mode of address, party comrade (Parteigenosse), derived from the Marxian comrade (Genosse), and the use of a military terminology for all items of civil and economic life. The question is not in which respects both systems are alike but in which they differ…”
(For those who are unaware of it, Von Mises was an Austrian Jewish intellectual and a remarkably prescient economist. He got out of Vienna just hours ahead of the Gestapo. He did therefore have both every reason and every opportunity to be a close observer of Nazism. So let us also read a bit of what he said about the Nazi economy:)
The Nazis did not, as their foreign admirers contend, enforce price control within a market economy. With them price control was only one device within the frame of an all-around system of central planning. In the Nazi economy there was no question of private initiative and free enterprise. All production activities were directed by the Reichswirtschaftsministerium. No enterprise was free to deviate in the conduct of its operations from the orders issued by the government. Price control was only a device in the complex of innumerable decrees and orders regulating the minutest details of every business activity and precisely fixing every individual’s tasks on the one hand and his income and standard of living on the other.
What made it difficult for many people to grasp the very nature of the Nazi economic system was the fact that the Nazis did not expropriate the entrepreneurs and capitalists openly and that they did not adopt the principle of income equality which the Bolshevists espoused in the first years of Soviet rule and discarded only later. Yet the Nazis removed the bourgeois completely from control. Those entrepreneurs who were neither Jewish nor suspect of liberal and pacifist leanings retained their positions in the economic structure. But they were virtually merely salaried civil servants bound to comply unconditionally with the orders of their superiors, the bureaucrats of the Reich and the Nazi party.

And let us look at the words of someone who was actually in Germany in the 1930s and who thus saw Nazism close up. He said:

“If I’d been German and not a Jew, I could see I might have become a Nazi, a German nationalist. I could see how they’d become passionate about saving the nation. It was a time when you didn’t believe there was a future unless the world was fundamentally transformed.”

So who said that? It was the famous historian, Eric Hobsbawm (original surname: Obstbaum), who became a Communist instead and who later became known as perhaps Britain’s most resolute Communist. Hobsbawn clearly saw only slight differences between Communism and Nazism at that time. And as this summary of a book (by Richard Overy) comparing Hitler and Stalin says:

“But the resemblances are inescapable. Both tyrannies relied on a desperate ideology of do-or-die confrontation. Both were obsessed by battle imagery: ‘The dictatorships were military metaphors, founded to fight political war.’ And despite the rhetoric about a fate-struggle between socialism and capitalism, the two economic systems converged strongly. Stalin’s Russia permitted a substantial private sector, while Nazi Germany became rapidly dominated by state direction and state-owned industries.
In a brilliant passage, Overy compares the experience of two economic defectors. Steel magnate Fritz Thyssen fled to Switzerland because he believed that Nazi planning was ‘Bolshevising’ Germany. Factory manager Victor Kravchenko defected in 1943 because he found that class privilege and the exploitation of labour in Stalinist society were no better than the worst excesses of capitalism.
As Overy says, much that the two men did was pointless. Why camps? Prisons would have held all their dangerous opponents Who really needed slave labour, until the war? What did that colossal surplus of cruelty and terror achieve for the regimes? ‘Violence was… regarded as redemptive, saving society from imaginary enemies.'”

And let us listen to Hitler himself on the matter:

“There is more that binds us to Bolshevism than separates us from it. There is, above all, genuine, revolutionary feeling, which is alive everywhere in Russia except where there are Jewish Marxists. I have always made allowance for this circumstance, and given orders that former Communists are to be admitted to the party at once. The petit bourgeois Social-Democrat and the trade-union boss will never make a National Socialist, but the Communists always will.”
Another quote:
“Of what importance is all that, if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that is unessential; our socialism goes far deeper. It establishes a relationship of the individual to the State, the national community. Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.”
(Both quotes above are from Hermann Rauschning in Hitler Speaks, London, T. Butterworth, 1940, also called The Voice of Destruction. See e.g. here.
Because what he records is so inconvenient, many contemporary historians dismiss Rauschning’s 1940 book as inaccurate, even though it is perfectly in accord with everything else we now know about Hitler. But no-one disputes that Rauschning was a prominent Nazi for a time. He was however basically a conservative so eventually became disillusioned with the brutalities of Nazism and went into opposition to it. Rauschning’s book was in fact prophetic, which certainly tends to indicate that he knew what he was talking about.)

Party programmes
Let us start by considering political party programmes or “platforms” of Hitler’s day:
Take this description of a political programme:
A declaration of war against the order of things which exist, against the state of things which exist, in a word, against the structure of the world which presently exists”.
And this description of a political movement as having a ‘revolutionary creative will’ which had ‘no fixed aim, no permanency, only eternal change’
And this policy manifesto:

9. All citizens of the State shall be equal as regards rights and duties.
10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. The activities of the individual may not clash with the interests of the whole, but must proceed within the frame of the community and be for the general good.
Therefore we demand:
11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.
12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in life and property, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as a crime against the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits whether in assets or material.
13. We demand the nationalization of businesses which have been organized into cartels.
14. We demand that all the profits from wholesale trade shall be shared out.
15. We demand extensive development of provision for old age.
16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle-class, the immediate communalization of department stores which will be rented cheaply to small businessmen, and that preference shall be given to small businessmen for provision of supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.
17. We demand a land reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to confiscate from the owners without compensation any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

So who put that manifesto forward and who was responsible for the summary quotes given before that? Was it the US Democrats, the British Labour Party, the Canadian Liberals, some European Social Democratic party? No. The manifesto is an extract from the (February 25th., 1920) 25 point plan of the National Socialist German Workers Party and was written by the leader of that party: Adolf Hitler. And the preceding summary quotes were also from him (See Vol. 2 Chap. 5 of Mein Kampf and O’Sullivan, 1983. p. 138).
The rest of Hitler’s manifesto was aimed mainly at the Jews but in Hitler’s day it was very common for Leftists to be antisemitic. And the increasingly pervasive anti-Israel sentiment among the modern-day Left — including at times the Canadian government — shows that modern-day Leftists are not even very different from Hitler in that regard. Modern-day anti-Israel protesters still seem to think that dead Jews are a good thing.
The Nazi election poster below is headed: “We workers are awoken” (“Wir Arbeiter sind erwacht”)

There is a fuller decipherment and translation of the poster above here
Other examples of Hitler’s Leftism
Further, as a good socialist does, Hitler justified everything he did in the name of “the people” (Das Volk). The Nazi State was, like the Soviet State, all-powerful, and the Nazi party, in good socialist fashion, instituted pervasive supervision of German industry. And of course Hitler and Stalin were initially allies. It was only the Nazi-Soviet pact that enabled Hitler’s conquest of Western Europe. The fuel in the tanks of Hitler’s Panzern as they stormed through France was Soviet fuel.
And a book that was very fashionable worldwide in the ’60s was the 1958 book “The Affluent Society” by influential “liberal” Canadian economist J.K. Galbraith — in which he fulminated about what he saw as our “Private affluence and public squalor”. But Hitler preceded him. Hitler shared with the German Left of his day the slogan: “Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz” (Common use before private use). And who preceded Hitler in that? Friedrich Engels at one stage ran a publication called Gemeinnuetziges Wochenblatt (“Common-use Weekly”).
And we all know how evil Nazi eugenics were, don’t we? How crazy were their efforts to build up the “master race” through selective breeding of SS men with the best of German women — the “Lebensborn” project? Good Leftists today recoil in horror from all that of course. But who were the great supporters of eugenics in Hitler’s day? They were in fact American Leftists — and eugenics was only one of the ideas that Hitler got from that source. What later came to be known as Fascism was in fact essentially the same as what was known in the USA of the late 19th and early 20th century as “Progressivism”, so Fascism is in fact as much an American invention as a European one. The Europeans carried out fully the ideas that American Leftists invented but could only partially implement. America itself resisted the worst of the Fascist virus but much of Europe did not. The American Left have a lot to answer for. I have outlined the largely Leftist roots of eugenics here and the largely American roots of Fascism here.
So even Hitler’s eugenics were yet another part of Hitler’s LEFTISM! He got his eugenic theories from the Leftists of his day. He was simply being a good Leftist intellectual in subscribing to such theories.
Hitler the Greenie
And Hitler also of course foreshadowed the Red/Green alliance of today. The Nazis were in fact probably the first major political party in the Western world to have a thoroughgoing “Green” agenda. I take the following brief summary from Andrew Bolt:

Hitler’s preaching about German strength and destiny was water in the desert to the millions of Germans who’d been stripped of pride, security and hope by their humiliating defeat in World War I, and the terrible unemployment that followed.
The world was also mad then with the idea that a dictatorial government should run the economy itself and make it “efficient”, rather than let people make their own decisions.
The Nazis — National Socialists — promised some of that, and their sibling rivals in the Communist Party more.
The theory of eugenics — breeding only healthy people — was also in fashion, along with a cult of health.
The Nazis, with their youth camps and praise of strong bodies and a strong people, endorsed all that, and soon were killing the retarded, the gay and the different.
Tribalism was popular, too. People weren’t individuals, but members of a class, as the communists argued, or of a race, as the Nazis said. Free from freedom — what a relief for the scared!
You’d think we’d have learned. But too much of such thinking is back and changing us so fast that we can’t say how our society will look by the time we die.
A KIND of eugenics is with us again, along with an obsession for perfect bodies.
Children in the womb are being killed just weeks before birth for the sin of being a dwarf, for instance, and famed animal rights philosopher Peter Singer wants parents free to kill deformed children in their first month of life. Meanwhile support for euthanasia for the sick, tired or incompetent grows.
As for tribalism, that’s also back — and as official policy. We now pay people to bury their individuality in tribes, giving them multicultural grants or even an Aboriginal “parliament”.
But most dangerous is that we strip our children of pride, security and even hope. They are taught that God is dead, our institutions corrupt, our people racist, our land ruined, our past evil and our future doomed by global warming.
Many have also watched one of their parents leave the family home, which to some must seem a betrayal.
They are then fed a culture which romanticises violence and worships sex — telling them there is nothing more to life than the cravings of their bodies.
No one can live like this and be fulfilled. People need to feel part of something bigger and better than ourselves — a family, or a church, or a tradition or a country. Or, as a devil may whisper, the greens.
The greens. Here’s a quote which may sound very familiar — at least in part. “We recognise that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. “Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger . .
“This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought.”
That was Ernst Lehmann, a leading biologist under the Nazi regime, in 1934, and he wasn’t alone. Hitler, for one, was an avid vegetarian and green, addicted to homoepathic cures. His regime sponsored the creation of organic farming, and SS leader Heinrich Himmler even grew herbs on his own organic farm with which to treat his beloved troops.
HITLER also banned medical experiments on animals, but not, as we know to our grief, on Jewish children. And he created many national parks, particularly for Germany’s “sacred” forests.
This isn’t a coincidence. The Nazis drew heavily on a romantic, anti-science, nature worshipping, communal and anti-capitalist movement that tied German identity to German forests. In fact, Professor Raymond Dominick notes in his book, The Environmental Movement in Germany, two-thirds of the members of Germany’s main nature clubs had joined the Nazi Party by 1939, compared with just 10 per cent of all men.
The Nazis also absorbed the German Youth Movement, the Wandervogel, which talked of our mystical relationship with the earth. Peter Staudenmaier, co-author of Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience, says it was for the Wandervogel that the philosopher Ludwig Klages wrote his influential essay Man and Earth in 1913.
In it, Klages warned of the growing extinction of species, the destruction of forests, the genocide of aboriginal peoples, the disruption of the ecosystem and the killing of whales. People were losing their relationship with nature, he warned.
Heard all that recently? I’m not surprised. This essay by this notorious anti-Semite was republished in 1980 to mark the birth of the German Greens — the party that inspired the creation of our own Greens party.
Its message is much as Hitler’s own in Mein Kampf: “When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall.”
Why does this matter now? Because we must learn that people who want animals to be treated like humans really want humans to be treated like animals.
We must realise a movement that stresses “natural order” and the low place of man in a fragile world, is more likely to think man is too insignificant to stand in the way of Mother Earth, or the Fatherland, or some other man-hating god.
We see it already. A Greenpeace co-founder, Paul Watson, called humans the “AIDS of the earth”, and one of the three key founders of the German Greens, Herbert Gruhl, said the environmental crisis was so acute the state needed perhaps “dictatorial powers”.
And our growing church of nature worshippers insist that science make way for their fundamentalist religion, bringing us closer to a society in which muscle, not minds, must rule.
It’s as a former head of Greenpeace International, Patrick Moore, says: “In the name of speaking for the trees and other species, we are faced with a movement that would usher in an era of eco-fascism.”
This threat is still small. But if we don’t resist it today, who knows where it will sweep us tomorrow?

Lebensraum and the population “problem”
Reading Mein Kampf can be a perverse sort of fun. You can open almost any page of it at random and hear echoes of the modern-day Left and Greens. The points I mention in this present article are just a sampling. I could fill a book with examples showing that Hitler was not only a Leftist in his day but that he was also a pretty good Leftist by modern standards. His antisemitism would certainly pass unremarked by much of the Left today.
Among students of the Nazi period it is well-known that Hitler’s most central concern after getting rid of the Jews was Lebensraum for Germany — i.e. taking over the lands of Eastern Europe for Germans. But WHY did Hitler want Lebensraum (literally, “life-space”) for Germans? It was because, like the Greenies of today, he was concerned about overpopulation and scarcity of natural resources.
Greenie Paul Ehrlich wrote in his 1968 book The population bomb:
“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…”

Hitler shared Ehrlich’s pessimism:

“Germany has an annual increase in population of nearly nine hundred thousand souls. The difficulty of feeding this army of new citizens must grow greater from year to year and ultimately end in catastrophe, unless ways and means are found to forestall the danger of starvation and misery in time… Without doubt the productivity of the soil can be increased up to a certain limit. But only up to a certain limit, and not continuously without end….. But even with the greatest limitation on the one hand and the utmost industry on other, here again a limit will one day be reached, created by the soil itself. With the utmost toil it will not be possible to obtain any more from it, and then, though postponed for a certain time, catastrophe again manifests itself”. (Mein Kampf pp. 121 & 122).

Both Prof. Ehrlich and Hitler were intelligent but overconfident Green/Left ignoramuses who knew nothing of the economics concerned — as is shown by the almost hilarious wrongness of Ehrlich’s predictions — but Hitler unfortunately had the means to do something about his ill-informed theories. He concluded that rather than let Germans starve, he would grab more land off other people to feed them — and the rest is indeed history.
It may be noted that Greenie theories (such as “global warming”) have strong support in academic circles these days. And so it was in Hitler’s day. While he was in Landsberg prison after the “Beer-hall Putsch”, Hitler received weekly tutorials from Karl Haushofer, a University of Munich professor of politics and a proponent of Lebensraum. Interesting to see where academic fears of resources “running out” can lead!
But surely Hitler was at least like US conservatives in being a “gun nut”? Far from it. Weimar (pre-Hitler) Germany already had strict limits on private ownership of firearms (limits enacted by a Left-leaning government) and the Nazis continued these for the first five years of their rule. It was not until March 18, 1938 that the Reichstag (“State Assembly” — i.e. the German Federal Parliament) passed a new Weapons Law (or Waffengesetz). The new law contained a lessening of some restrictions but an increase in others. Essentially, from that point on, only politically reliable people would be issued with permits to own guns. For some details of the very large number of controls in the new law, see here
Wal-Mart hatred
One of the more notable insanities of the U.S. Left in the early 21st centrury was Wal-Mart hatred. Anyone who took Leftist advocacy of “the poor” at face-value might have expected that anything which raises the living standards of the poor (which Wal-Mart undoubtedly did) would be warmly welcomed by the Left. But the converse was the case: Seething hate was what Wal-Mart got from the Left. In the run-up to the 2006 mid-term Federal election, one sometimes got the impression that the Democrats were campaigning against Wal-mart rather than against the Republicans.
Why such extreme fuming? Because Leftists hate anything big and successfuil and Wal-Mart was very big and very successful. And British supermarket chains such as Tesco were also despised by British Leftists — albeit in a somewhat more restrained way. Confronted with either Wal-Mart or Tesco, Leftists suddenly discovered a love of small business — the quintessential bourgeoisie whom Leftists had been loudly decrying ever since Marx!
There was of course no Wal-Mart in Hitler’s day. But there was something very similar — large Department stores. And Hitler hated them. Item 16 of the (February 25th., 1920) 25 point plan of the National Socialist German Workers Party (written by Hitler) sought the abolition of big stores and their replacement by small businesses.
One of the British ex-Marxists at “Spiked” has a comprehensive article on the similarities between the Nazis and the British supermarket-haters of the modern era. A useful excerpt:
“As the Nazi Party attracted considerable numbers of the Mittelstand to its programme, physical attacks, boycotts and discrimination against department and chain stores started to increase. Such street-level chainstore-bashing initiatives “were quickly backed by a Law for the Protection of Individual Trade passed on 12 May 1933”, writes Evans. In a similar way to the current recommendations put forward by the [U.K.] Competition Commission, in Nazi Germany “chain stores were forbidden to expand or open new branches”. Towards the end of 1933, the Nazi Party introduced further moves along the lines currently outlined by the Competition Commission: “Department and chain stores were prohibited from offering a discount of more than three per cent on prices, a measure also extended to consumer co-operatives.”

More Leftist than racist?
Hitler was in fact even more clearly a Leftist than he was a nationalist or a racist. Although in his speeches he undoubtedly appealed to the nationalism of the German people, Locke (2001) makes a strong case that Hitler was not in fact a very good nationalist in that he always emphasized that his primary loyalty was to what he called the Aryan race — and Germany was only one part of that race. Locke then goes on to point out that Hitler was not even a very consistent racist in that the Dutch, the Danes etc. were clearly Aryan even by Hitler’s own eccentric definition yet he attacked them whilst at the same time allying himself with the very non-Aryan Japanese. And the Russians and the Poles (whom Hitler also attacked) are rather more frequently blonde and blue-eyed (Hitler’s ideal) than the Germans themselves are! So what DID Hitler believe in?
In his book Der Fuehrer, prewar Leftist writer Konrad Heiden corrects the now almost universal assumption that Hitler’s idea of race was biologically-based. The Nazi conception of race traces, as is well-known, to the work of Houston Stewart Chamberlain. But what did Chamberlain say about race? It should not by now be surprising that he said something that sounds thoroughly Leftist. Anthropologist Robert Gayre summarizes Chamberlain’s ideas as follows:
“On the contrary he taught (like many “progressives” today) that racial mixture was desirable, for, according to him, it was only out of racial mixture that the gifted could be created. He considered that the evidence of this was provided by the Prussian, whom he saw as the superman, resulting from a cross between the German (or Anglo-Saxon “German”) and the Slav. From this Chamberlain went on to argue that the sum of all these talented people would then form a “race,” not of blood but of “affinity.”

So the Nazi idea of race rejected biology just as thoroughly as modern Leftist ideas about race do! If that seems all too jarring to believe, Gayre goes on to discuss the matter at length.
So although Hitler made powerful USE of German nationalism, we see from both the considerations put forward by Locke and the intellectual history discussed by Gayre, that Hitler was not in fact much motivated by racial loyalty as we would normally conceive it. So what was he motivated by?
Locke suggests that Hitler’s actions are best explained by saying that he simply had a love of war but offers no explanation of WHY Hitler would love war. Hitler’s extreme Leftism does explain this however. As the quotations already given show, Hitler shared with other Leftists a love of constant change and excitement — and what could offer more of that than war (or, in the case of other Leftists, the civil war of “revolution”)?
See here for a more extensive treatment of what motivates Leftists generally.
The idea that Nazism was motivated primarily by a typically Leftist hunger for change and excitement and hatred of the status quo is reinforced by the now famous account of life in Nazi Germany given by a young “Aryan” who lived through it. Originally written before World War II, Haffner’s (2002) account of why Hitler rose to power stresses the boring nature of ordinary German life and observes that the appeal of the Nazis lay in their offering of relief from that:
“The great danger of life in Germany has always been emptiness and boredom … The menace of monotony hangs, as it has always hung, over the great plains of northern and eastern Germany, with their colorless towns and their all too industrious, efficient, and conscientious business and organizations. With it comes a horror vacui and the yearning for ‘salvation’: through alcohol, through superstition, or, best of all, through a vast, overpowering, cheap mass intoxication.”

So he too saw the primary appeal of Nazism as its offering of change, novelty and excitement.
And how about another direct quote from Hitler himself?
“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions”

(Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)
Clearly, the idea that Hitler was a Rightist is probably the most successful BIG LIE of the 20th Century. He was to the Right of the Communists but that is all. Nazism was nothing more nor less than a racist form of Leftism (rather extreme Leftism at that) and to label it as “Rightist” or anything else is to deny reality.
The word “Nazi” is a German abbreviation of the name of Hitler’s political party — the nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei. In English this translates to “The National Socialist German Worker’s Party”. So Hitler was a socialist and a champion of the workers — or at least he identified himself as such and campaigned as such.
There is a great deal of further reading available that extends the points made here about the nature of Nazism and Fascism. There is, for instance, an interesting review by Prof. Antony Flew here of The Lost Literature of Socialism by historian George Watson. Excerpt:
Many of his findings are astonishing. Perhaps for readers today the most astonishing of all is that “In the European century that began in the 1840s, from Engels’ article of 1849 down to the death of Hitler, everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist and no conservative, liberal, anarchist or independent did anything of the kind.” (The term “genocide” in Watson’s usage is not confined to the extermination only of races or of ethnic groups, but embraces also the liquidation of such other complete human categories as “enemies of the people” and “the Kulaks as a class.”)

The book seems well worth reading but is not of course available online. An excellent earlier essay by Prof. Watson covering some of the same ground is however available here. He shows in it that even such revered figures in the history of socialism as G.B. Shaw and Beatrice Webb were vocally in favour of genocide.
We do however need to keep in mind that there is no such thing as PURE Leftism. Leftists are notoriously fractious, sectarian and multi-branched. And even the Fascist branch of Leftism was far from united. The modern-day Left always talk as if Italy’s Mussolini and Hitler were two peas in a pod but that is far from the truth. Mussolini got pretty unprintable about Hitler at times and did NOT support Hitler’s genocide against the Jews (Steinberg, 1990; Herzer, 1989). As it says here:
“Just as none of the victorious powers went to war with Germany to save the Jews neither did Mussolini go to war with them to exterminate the Jews. Indeed, once the Holocaust was under way he and his fascists refused to deport Jews to the Nazi death camps thus saving thousands of Jewish lives – far more than Oskar Schindler.”

“Far more than Oskar Schindler”!. And as late as 1938, Mussolini even asked the Pope to excommunicate Hitler!. Leftists are very good at “fraternal” rivalry.
So unity is not of the Left in any of its forms. They only ever have SOME things in common — such as claiming to represent “the worker” and seeking a State that controls as much of people’s lives as it feasibly can.
Tom Wolfe’s biting essay on American intellectuals also summarizes the origins of Fascism and Nazism rather well. Here is one excerpt from it:
“Fascism” was, in fact, a Marxist coinage. Marxists borrowed the name of Mussolini’s Italian party, the Fascisti, and applied it to Hitler’s Nazis, adroitly papering over the fact that the Nazis, like Marxism’s standard-bearers, the Soviet Communists, were revolutionary socialists. In fact, “Nazi” was (most annoyingly) shorthand for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. European Marxists successfully put over the idea that Nazism was the brutal, decadent last gasp of “capitalism.”

{From the essay “In the Land of the Rococo Marxists” originally appearing in the June 2000 Harper’s Monthly and reprinted in Wolfe’s book Hooking Up}

Other sources on the basic facts about Hitler that history tells us are Roberts (1938), Heiden (1939), Shirer (1964), Bullock (1964), Taylor (1963), Hagan (1966), Feuchtwanger (1995).
The above are however secondary sources and, as every historian will tell you, there is nothing like going back to the original — which is why much original text is quoted above. For further reading in the original sources, the first stop is of course Mein Kampf. It seems customary to portray Mein Kampf as the ravings of a madman but it is far from that. It is the attempt of an intelligent mind to comprehend the world about it and makes its points in such a personal and passionate way that it might well persuade many people today but for a knowledge of where it led. The best collection of original Nazi documents on the web is however probably here. Perhaps deserving of particular mention among the documents available there is a widely circulated pamphlet by Goebbels here. One excerpt from it:
The bourgeois is about to leave the historical stage. In its place will come the class of productive workers, the working class, that has been up until today oppressed. It is beginning to fulfill its political mission. It is involved in a hard and bitter struggle for political power as it seeks to become part of the national organism. The battle began in the economic realm; it will finish in the political. It is not merely a matter of pay, not only a matter of the number of hours worked in a day-though we may never forget that these are an essential, perhaps even the most significant part of the socialist platform-but it is much more a matter of incorporating a powerful and responsible class in the state, perhaps even to make it the dominant force in the future politics of the Fatherland

So Hitler was both a fairly typical pre-war Leftist in most respects and would also make a pretty good modern Leftist in most respects. Aside from his nationalism, it is amazing how much he sounds like modern Leftists in fact. And his nationalism was in fact one way in which he was smarter than modern Leftists. Have a look at the 1939 Nazi propaganda placard below (a Wochenspruch for the Gau Weser/Ems). The placard promotes one of Hitler’s sayings. The saying is, “Es gibt keinen Sozialismus, der nicht aufgeht im eigenen Volk” — which I translate as “There is no socialism except what arises within its own people”. Hitler spoke a very colloquial German so translating that one was not easy but I think that is about as close to it as you can get.

As some modern context for that saying, note that there have now been various psychological studies by Putnam and others (e.g. here) showing that people are more willing to share and get involved with others whom they see as like themselves. That leads to the view that socialism will find its strongest support among an ethnically homogeneous population — which the Scandinavian countries notably were until recently. And ethnic diversity therefore will undermine support for socialism (as in the U.S.A.). And from my studies of them, I have noted that the Scots are a very brotherly lot. There is even a line in a famous Harry Lauder song that says: “Where brother Scots foregather …”. And of course the Scots are enormously socialistic. When Margaret Thatcher came to power on a huge swing towards the Conservatives in England, Scotland actually swung away from the conservatives.
So the “diversity at all costs” orientation and open borders policies of the modern Left are actually very inimical to the socialistic aims of the Left. The modern day Left do not see that their promoting of infinite diversity will undermine support for socialism. Hitler did.
Perhaps the most amazing parallel between Hitler and the postwar Left, however, is that for much of the 30s Hitler was actually something of a peacenik. I am putting up below a picture of a Nazi propaganda poster of the 1930s that you won’t believe unless you are aware of how readily all Leftists preach one thing and do another. It reads “”Mit Hitler gegen den Ruestungswahnsinn der Welt”.

And what does that mean? It means “With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world”. “Ruestung” could more precisely be translated as “military preparations” but “armaments” is a bit more idiomatic in English.
And how about the poster below? It would be from the March 5, 1933 election when Hitler had become Chancellor but Marshall Hindenburg was still President:

Translated, the poster reads: “The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights”
Can you get a more Leftist slogan than that? “Peace and equal rights”? Modern-day Leftists sometimes try to dismiss Hitler’s socialism as something from his early days that he later outgrew. But when this poster was promulgated he was already Reichskanzler (Prime Minister) so it was far from early days. Once again we see what a barefaced lie it is when Leftists misrepresent Hitler as a Rightist. We can all have our own views about what Hitler actually believed but he campaigned and gained power as a democratic Leftist. The March 5, 1933 election was the last really democratic election prewar Germany had and, in it, Hitler’s appeal was Leftist.
There is here (or here) a collection of some of the “peace” talk that Hitler used even after war had begun. Hitler might even be regarded as the original “peacenik”, so vocal was he about his wish for peace. So the preaching of both “peace” and “equality” by the bloodthirsty Soviet regime of the cold war period had its parallel with the Nazis too.
It may be worth noting in passing what a clever piece of propaganda the above poster was. Allied spokesmen such as Winston Churchill seemed to deem it a great insult to refer to CORPORAL Hitler. They seemed to think it demeaned him. Yet Hitler himself obviously did not think so. He seems in fact to have used his lowly military status in the first war to identify himself as a man of the people. He used it to his advantage, not to his disadvantage. It was part of his claim to represent the ordinary working man rather than the German establishment.
But Hitler had his cake and ate it too. By drawing a great Prussian Junker like President Hindenburg into his campaign, he also showed that he had the establishment on his side. It helped to portray him as a SAFE choice. Hindenburg was no doubt disgusted by such use of his name but since he had appointed Hitler, he could hardly complain.
For more Nazi “Peace” and other revealing posters see here

At this stage I think I need to consider some objections to the account of Hitler that I have given so far:

The Left/Right division is at fault
Faced with the challenge to their preconceptions constituted by the material I have so far presented, some people take refuge in the well-known fact that political attitudes are complex and are seldom fully represented by a simple division of politics into Left and Right. They deny that Hitler was Leftist by denying that ANYBODY is simply Leftist.
I don’t think this gets anybody very far, however. What I have shown (and will proceed to show at even greater length) is that Hitler fell squarely within that stream of political thought that is usually called Leftist. That is a fact. That is information. And that is something that is not now generally known. And no matter how you rejig your conception of politics generally, that affinity will not go away. It is commonly said that Nazism and Communism were both “authoritarian” or “totalitarian” — which is undoubtedly true — but what I show here is that there were far greater affinities than that. Basic doctrines, ideas and preachments of Nazis and Communists were similar as well as their method of government.
But, as it happens, the Left/Right division of politics is not just some silly scheme put out by people who are too simple to think of anything better. There is a long history of attempts to devise better schemes but they all founder on how people in general actually vote and think. Most people DO organize their views in a recognizably Left/Right way. For a brief introduction to the research and thinking on the dimensionality of political attitudes, see here
Leftist denials of Hitler’s Leftism: Kangas
Modern day Leftists of course hate it when you point out to them that Hitler was one of them. They deny it furiously — even though in Hitler’s own day both the orthodox Leftists who represented the German labor unions (the SPD) and the Communists (KPD) voted WITH the Nazis in the Reichstag (German Parliament) on various important occasions — though not on all occasions. They were after all political rivals. It was only at the last gasp — the passage of the “Enabling Act” that gave Hitler absolute power — that the SPD opposed the Nazis resolutely. They knew from introspection where that would lead, even if others were deceived.
As part of that denial, an essay by the late Steve Kangas is much reproduced on the internet. Entering the search phrase “Hitler was a Leftist” will bring up multiple copies of it. Kangas however reveals where he is coming from in his very first sentence: “Many conservatives accuse Hitler of being a leftist, on the grounds that his party was named “National Socialist.” But socialism requires worker ownership and control of the means of production”. It does? Only to Marxists. So Kangas is saying only that Hitler was less Leftist than the Communists — and that would not be hard. Surely a “democratic” Leftist should see that as faintly to Hitler’s credit, in fact.
At any event, Leonard Peikoff makes clear the triviality of the difference:
Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation’s economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of CONTROL. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property — so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.
Which sounds just like the Leftists of today.
Some other points made by Kangas are highly misleading. He says for instance that Hitler favoured “competition over co-operation”. Hitler in fact rejected Marxist notions of class struggle and had as his great slogan: “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer” (One People, One State, one leader). He ultimately wanted Germans to be a single, unified, co-operating whole under him, with all notions of social class or other divisions forgotten. Other claims made by Kangas are simply laughable: He says that Hitler cannot have been a Leftist because he favoured: “politics and militarism over pacifism, dictatorship over democracy”. Phew! So Stalin was not political, not a militarist and not a dictator? Enough said.
In summary, then, Kangas starts out by defining socialism in such a way that only Communists can be socialists and he then defines socialism in a way that would exclude Stalin from being one! So is ANYBODY a socialist according to Kangas? Only Mr Brain-dead Kangas himself, I guess. And Kangas fancied himself as an authority on Leftism! Perhaps he was. He certainly got the self-contradictory part down pat.
Other denials of Nazism as Leftist
So the challenge by Kangas is really just too silly to take seriously. More serious is the strong reaction I get from many who know something of history who say that Hitler cannot have been a Leftist because of the great hatred that existed at the time between the Nazis and the “Reds”. And it is true that Hitler’s contempt for “Bolshevism” was probably exceeded only by his contempt for the Jews.
My reply is that there is no hatred like fraternal hatred and that hatreds between different Leftist groupings have existed from the French revolution onwards. That does not make any of the rival groups less Leftist however. And the ice-pick in the head that Trotsky got courtesy of Stalin shows vividly that even among the Russian revolutionaries themselves there were great rivalries and hatreds. Did that make any of them less Marxist, less Communist? No doubt the protagonists concerned would argue that it did but from anyone else’s point of view they were all Leftists at least.
Nonetheless there still seems to persist in some minds the view that two groups as antagonistic as the Nazis and the Communists just cannot have been ideological blood-brothers. Let me therefore try this little quiz: Who was it who at one stage dismissed Hitler as a “barbarian, a criminal and a pederast”? Was it Stalin? Was it some other Communist? Was it Winston Churchill? Was it some other conservative? Was it one of the Social Democrats? No. It was none other than Benito Mussolini, the Fascist leader who later became Hitler’s ally in World War II. And if any two leaders were ideological blood-brothers those two were. So I am afraid that antagonism between Hitler and others proves nothing. If anything, the antagonism between Hitler and other socialists is proof of what a typical socialist Hitler was.
Another difficulty that those who know their history raise is the great and undoubted prominence of nationalist themes in Hitler’s propaganda. It is rightly noted that in this Hitler diverged widely from the various Marxist movements of Europe. So can he therefore really have been a Leftist?
My reply is of course that Hitler was BOTH a nationalist AND a socialist — as the full name of his political party (The National Socialist German Worker’s Party) implies. And he was not alone in that:
Other Leftist nationalists
In the post-WW2 era, internationalism and a scorn for patriotism has become very dominant among far-Leftists, but that was not always so. From Napoleon to Hitler there were also plenty of nationalist and patriotic versions of Leftism.
That was part of what was behind the various diatribes of Marx and Lenin against “Bonapartism”. “Bonapartism” was what we would now call Fascism and it was a rival reformist doctrine to Marxism long before the era of Hitler and Mussolini. It was more democratic (about as much as Hitler was), more romantic, more nationalist and less class-obsessed. The Bonapartist that Marx particularly objected to was in fact Napoleon III, i.e.Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the original Napoleon. One of Louis’s campaign slogans was: “There is one name which is the symbol of order, of glory, of patriotism; and it is borne today by one who has won the confidence and affection of the people.” So, like the original Napoleon himself, the Bonapartists were both very nationalist and saw themselves as heirs to the French revolution. So it was very grievous for most communists when, in his later writings, the ultra-Marxist Trotsky identified not only Fascism but also the Soviet State as “Bonapartist”. That was one judgment in which Trotsky was undoubtedly correct, however!
There have always been innumerable “splits” in the extreme Leftist movement — and from the earliest days nationalism has often been an issue in those. Two of the most significant such splits occurred around the time of the Bolshevik revolution — when in Russia the Bolsheviks themselves split into Leninists and Trotskyites and when in Italy Mussolini left Italy’s major Marxist party to found the “Fascists”. So the far Left split at that time between the Internationalists (e.g. Trotskyists) and the nationalists (e.g. Fascists) with Lenin having a foot in both camps. And both Marx and Engels themselves did in their lifetimes lend their support to a number of wars between nations. So any idea that a nationalist cannot be a Leftist is pure fiction.
And, in fact, the very title of Lenin’s famous essay, “Left-wing Communism, an infantile disorder” shows that Lenin himself shared the judgement that he was a Right-wing sort of Marxist. Mussolini was somewhat further Right again, of course, but both were to the Right only WITHIN the overall far-Left camp of the day.
It should further be noted in this connection that the various European Socialist parties in World War I did not generally oppose the war in the name of international worker brotherhood but rather threw their support behind the various national governments of the countries in which they lived. Just as Mussolini did, they too nearly all became nationalists. Nationalist socialism is a very old phenomenon.
And it still exists today. Although many modern-day US Democrats often seem to be anti-American, the situation is rather different in Australia and Britain. Both the major Leftist parties there (the Australian Labor Party and the British Labour Party) are perfectly patriotic parties which express pride in their national traditions and achievements. Nobody seems to have convinced them that you cannot be both Leftist and nationalist. That is of course not remotely to claim that either of the parties concerned is a Nazi or an explicitly Fascist party. What Hitler and Mussolini advocated and practiced was clearly more extremely nationalist than any major Anglo-Saxon political party would now advocate.
And socialist parties such as the British Labour Party were patriotic parties in World War II as well. And in World War II even Stalin moved in that direction. If Hitler learnt from Mussolini the persuasive power of nationalism, Stalin was not long in learning the same lesson from Hitler. When the Wehrmacht invaded Russia, the Soviet defences did, as Hitler expected, collapse like a house of cards. The size of Russia did, however, give Stalin time to think and what he came up with was basically to emulate Hitler and Mussolini. Stalin reopened the churches, revived the old ranks and orders of the Russian Imperial army to make the Red Army simply the Russian Army and stressed patriotic appeals in his internal propaganda. He portrayed his war against Hitler not as a second “Red” war but as ‘Vtoraya Otechestvennaya Vojna‘ — The Second Patriotic War — the first such war being the Tsarist defence against Napoleon. He deliberately put himself in the shoes of Russia’s Tsars!
Russian patriotism proved as strong as its German equivalent and the war was turned around. And to this day, Russians still refer to the Second World War as simply “The Great Patriotic War”. Stalin may have started out as an international socialist but he soon became a national socialist when he saw how effective that was in getting popular support. Again, however, it was Mussolini who realized it first. And it is perhaps to Mussolini’s credit as a human being that his nationalism was clearly heartfelt where Stalin’s was undoubtedly a mere convenience.
I think, however, that the perception of Hitler as a Leftist is more difficult for those with a European perspective than for those with an Anglo-Saxon one. To many Europeans you have to be some sort of Marxist to be a Leftist and Hitler heartily detested Marxism so cannot have been a Leftist. I write for the Anglosphere, however, and in my experience the vast majority of the Left (i.e. the US Democrats, The Australian Labor Party, the British Labour Party) have always rejected Marxism too so it seems crystal clear to me that you can be a Leftist without accepting Marxist doctrines. So Hitler’s contempt for Marxism, far from convincing me that he was a non-Leftist, actually convinces me that he was a perfectly conventional Leftist! The Nazi Party was what would in many parts of the world be called a “Labor” party (not a Communist party).
And, as already mentioned, the moderate Leftists of Germany in Hitler’s own day saw that too. The Sozialistische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) who, like the US Democrats, the Australian Labor Party and the British Labour Party, had always been the principal political representatives of the Labor unions, on several important occasions voted WITH the Nazis in the Reichstag (German Federal Parliament).
Non-Marxist objections
Objections to my account of Hitler as a Leftist can however be framed in more Anglocentric terms than the ones I have covered so far. In particular, my pointing to Hitler’s subjugation of the individual to the State as an indication of his Leftism could be challenged on the grounds that conservatives too do on some occasions use government to impose restrictions on individuals — particularly on moral issues. The simple answer to that, of course, is that conservatism is not anarchism. Conservatives do believe in SOME rules. As with so much in life, it is all a matter of degree and in the centrist politics that characterize the Anglo-Saxon democracies, the degree of difference between the major parties can be small. But to compare things like opposition to homosexual “marriage” with the bloodthirsty tyranny exercised by Hitler, Stalin and all the other extreme Leftists is laughable indeed.
And it is the extremists who show the real nature of the beast as far as Leftism is concerned. Once Leftists throw off the shackles of democracy and are free to do as they please we see where their values really lie. Extreme conservatism (i.e. libertarianism), by contrast, exists only in theory (i.e. it has never gained political power anywhere in its own right). Conservatives are not by nature extremists. The issue of allegedly conservative Latin American dictators and the evidence that the core focus of conservatism has historically been on individual liberties versus the State is considered at some length here.
Another more contentious point is that many of the conservative attempts at regulating people’s lives are Christian rather than conservative in origin and that Christianity and conservatism are in fact separable. So conservatism should not be blamed for the multifarious deeds of Christians. But to discuss an issue as large and as contentious as that would be far too great a digression here. A discussion of it can however be foundelsewhere.
But Neo-Nazis are Rightist!
A remaining important objection to the account I have given so far is that Hitler’s few remaining admirers in at least the Anglo-Saxon countries all seem to be on the political far-Right. In discussing that, however, I must immediately insist that I am not discussing antisemitism generally. Antisemitism and respect for Hitler are far from the same thing. Although vocal support for antisemitism was in Hitler’s day widespread across the American political spectrum — from Henry Ford on the Right to “Progressives” on the Left — such support is these days mostly to be found on the extreme Left and for such people Hitler is anathema. And the antisemitism of the former Soviet leadership also shows that antisemitism and respect for Hitler are not at all one and the same.
But in the Anglosphere countries Hitler DOES still have his admirers among a tiny band of neo-Nazis and it is true that these are usually called the extreme Right. They normally refer to themselves as “The Right”, in fact. How do I know that? I know that because I in fact happen to be one of the very few people to have studied neo-Nazis intensively. And I have reported my findings about them in the academic journals — see hereand here. But if Hitler was a socialist, how come that these “far-Rightists” still admire him?
Before I answer that, however, I must point out that the description “Far-Right” is a great misnomer for the successors of Hitler in modern-day Germany. As we will see below, modern-day German neo-Nazis are demonstrably just as Leftist as Hitler was. So are American, British and Australian neo-Nazis also Leftist in any sense?
The answer to that is a simple one: They are pre-war Leftists, just as Hitler was. They are a relic in the modern world of thinking that was once common on the Left but no longer is. They are a hangover from the past in every sense. They are antisemitic just as Hitler was. They are racial supremacists just as Hitler was. They are advocates of discipline just as Hitler was. They are advocates of national unity just as Hitler was. They glorify war just as Hitler did etc. And all those things that Hitler advocated were also advocated among the prewar American Left.
That does however raise the question of WHY such thinking is seen as “Rightist” today. And the answer to THAT goes back to the nature of Leftism! The political content of Leftism varies greatly from time to time. The sudden about-turn of the Left on antisemitism in recent times is vivid proof of that. And what the political content of Leftism is depends on the Zeitgeist — the conventional wisdom of the day. Leftists take whatever is commonly believed and push it to extremes in order to draw attention to themselves as being the good guys — the courageous champions of popular causes. So when the superiority of certain races was commonly accepted, Leftists were champions of racism. So when eugenics was commonly accepted as wise, Leftists were champions of eugenics — etc. In recent times they have come to see more righteousness to be had from championing the Palestinian Arabs than from championing the Jews so we have seen their rapid transition from excoriating antisemitism to becoming “Antizionist”.
But the thinking of the man in the street does not change nearly as radically as Leftists do. Although it may no longer be fashionable, belief in the superiority of whites over blacks is still widespread, for instance. Such beliefs have become less common but they have not gone away. They are however distinctly non-Leftist in today’s climate of opinion so are usually defined as “Rightist” by default. So the beliefs of the neo-Nazis are Rightist only in the default sense of not being currently Leftist. They are part of the general stream of popular thinking but that part of it which is currently out of fashion. I say a little more on that elsewhere.
And so it is because the old-fashioned thinking of the neo-Nazis is these days thoroughly excoriated by the Left that they see themselves as of the Right and reject any idea that they are socialists. I can attest from my own extensive interviews with Australian neo-Nazis (see here and here) that they mostly blot out any mention of Hitler’s socialism from their consciousness. The most I ever heard any of them make out of it was that, by “socialism”, Hitler was simply referring to national solidarity and everybody pulling together — which was indeed a major part of Hitler’s message and which has been a major aim of socialism from Hegel on. And things like autarky and government control of the whole of society were attractive to them too so they were in fact far more socialist than they would ever have acknowledged. They don’t realize that they are simply old-fashioned Leftists. Since most of the world seems to have forgotten what pre-war Leftism consisted of, however, that is hardly surprising.
And the neo-Nazis are assisted in their view of themselves as Rightist by Hitler’s anticommunism. The falling-out among the Nazis and the Communists was in Hitler’s day largely a falling-out among thieves but the latter half of the second world war made the opposition between the two very vivid in the public consciousness so that opposition has become a major part of the definition of what Nazism is. And Marxism/Leninism was avowedly internationalist rather than racist. Lenin and the Bolsheviks despised nationalism and wished to supplant national solidarity with class solidarity. Given the contempt for Slavs often expressed by Marx & Engels, one can perhaps understand that Lenin and his Russian (Slavic) Bolsheviks concentrated so heavily on Marx & Engels’s vision of international worker solidarity and ignored the thoroughly German nationalism also often expressed by Engels in particular.
That class-war was the best way to better the economic position of the worker was, however, never completely obvious. The Fascists did not think so nor did most Leftists in democratic countries. Nonetheless, the internationalist and class-based (rather than race-based) nature of Communism did have the effect in the postwar era of identifying Leftism with skepticism about patriotism, nationalism and any feeling that the traditions of one’s own country were of great value. The result of this was that people with strong patriotic, nationalist and traditionalist feelings in the Anglo-Saxon countries felt rather despised and oppressed by the mostly Leftist intelligentsia and sought allies and inspiration wherever they could. And Hitler was certainly a great exponent of national pride, community traditions and patriotism. So those who felt marginalized by their appreciation of their own traditional values and their own community must have been tempted in some extreme cases to feel some sympathy for Hitler.

But what about Hitler’s insanity? There have been many proposed explanations of Hitler’s influence and deeds but nearly all of the social scientific explanations very rapidly come up with the word “insanity” or one of its synonyms (e.g. Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson & Sanford, 1950). Attributing mental illness or mental disturbance to Hitler seems to be the only way that many people can deal with his malign legacy.
Proving a negative is of course notoriously difficult so proving that Hitler was NOT insane is something we can only do probabilistically. As perhaps some initial context however, consider this description of a German country gentleman of Hitler’s day:

“There is nothing pretentious about his little estate. It is one that any merchant might possess in these lovely hills. All visitors are shown their host’s model kennels, where he keeps magnificent Alsatians. Some of his pedigree pets are allowed the run of the house, especially on days when he gives a “Fun Fair” for the local children. He delights in the society of brilliant foreigners, especially painters, singers and musicians. As host he is a droll raconteur. Every morning at nine he goes out for a talk with his gardeners about their day’s work. These men, like the chauffeur and air-pilot, are not so much servants as loyal friends. A life-long vegetarian at table, his kitchen plots are both varied and heavy with produce. Even in his meatless diet, he is something of a gourmet. He is his own decorator, designer and furnisher, as well as architect.”

This apparently pleasant, artistic country gentleman was described in the 1938 edition of the British “Homes & Gardens” magazine — which is now on the net here. It sounds about as good an opposite to the insane Hitler as one could get, does it not? In reality, of course, it is a description of Hitler himself. The story of how the article concerned came to be posted on the internet is here or here.

So we surely do need to look at the plausibility of the “insanity” claim. Do madmen achieve popular acclaim among their own people? Do madmen inspire their countrymen to epics of self-sacrifice? Do madmen leave a mark on history unlike any other? Until Hitler came along, the answers to all these questions would surely have been “no”. And to claim that one of the 20th. century’s greatest diplomatic tacticians was insane is implausible, to say the least. Had he stuck to diplomacy (he had already taken over two countries “without a shot being fired”), he would undoubtedly have died of old age amid near-universal acclaim from a much-enlarged Reich — exactly as Bismarck did before him. But Bismarck was a conservative and Hitler was a Leftist — and therein lay a crucial and tragic difference. See here.
And there have of course been many attempts to make serious psychiatric assessments of the mental health of the Nazi party leadership (e.g. Ritzler, 1978; Zillmer et al., 1989). There were several made immediately after the war. They all conclude that the Nazi leadership was overwhelmingly sane so perhaps it will suffice to excerpt a few comments about just one such study:

“Now the book the Florida State University professor fine-tuned – “The Nuremberg Interviews” – is being heralded for giving the world new insights into the chilling thoughts of Nazi leaders responsible for the Holocaust, the systematic extermination of more than 6 million Jews during World War II…. “There is this kind of inner logic behind the outer madness,” Gellately said of the book’s 33 interviews. “That’s the horror of the thing.” That’s because, Gellately said, for the most part, these Nazi rulers were as normal as next-door neighbors. “I think we all have an idea about what makes the Nazis tick. Some of us think they were demonic or crazy … Really, two people in the book are like that, but they are not the interesting ones,” Gellately said. “Most of the other ones are like you and me. They are well-educated, rational, sensible.” They pour out their thoughts to Dr. Leon Goldensohn, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, who kept detailed notes of his interviews with the war criminals and witnesses awaiting trial in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1946….. “They had a sense of duty, perverted, but they were rational, kind of cold, calculating killers,” he said, “not this emotional, go-out-and-shoot-their-friend-in-the-woods kind of thing. You can’t prove these were guys that actually hated the Jews or actually ever hit anyone”.

So is there an alternative explanation? Is there something other than mental illness that can explain Hitler’s success? If there is we surely owe it to ourselves and to our children to find out. If by dismissing Hitlerism as madness we miss what really went on in Hitler’s rise to power we surely run dreadful risks of allowing some sort of Nazi revival. The often extreme expressions of nationalism to be heard from Russia today surely warn us that a Fascist upsurge in a major European State is no mere bogeyman. What we fail to understand we may be unable to prevent. All possible explanations for the Nazi phenomenon do surely therefore demand our attention. It is the purpose of the present paper, therefore, to explain the rise and power of Hitler’s Nazism in a way that does not take the seductive route of invoking insanity.
So how did Hitler gain so much influence?
I will submit the radically simple thesis that Hitler’s appeal to Germans was much as the name of his political party would suggest — a heady brew of rather extreme Leftism (socialism) combined with equally extreme nationalism — with Hitler’s obsession with the Jews being a relatively minor aspect of Nazism’s popular appeal, as Dietrich (1988) shows. There were nationalist Leftists long before Hitler (Napoleon Bonaparte for one) — as Karlheinz Weissmann shows at length here (PDF) but the usual “all men are equal” dogma of the Left and their Marxist belief in the all-important role of social class usually inhibited 20th century Leftists from being really keen nationalists. Hitler felt no such inhibitions.
And in that he had available the very influential model of the American “Progressives”. They much preceded Hitler — beginning in the late 19th century — but their influence was evident in the thinking and policies of three very notable Presidents — the two Roosevelts and Woodrow Wilson. They too were on the nationalist and racialist side of Leftist thinking (see here) and the almost complete dominance of “Progressive” thinking in American political life of the prewar era cannot have been lost on Hitler. What Hitler added was not so much new thinking or new policies as his characteristic passion. He added passion and an ability to communicate with the average man to what had up until then been a largely intellectual doctrine. So his “Ein Volk” dogma in effect very cleverly substituted the usual leftist dogma with “All GERMANS are equal” — and also, of course, superior to non-Germans.
And Hitler’s nationalism did have the very great appeal of being at least apparently heartfelt. Right from the earliest chapters of Mein Kampf Hitler’s love of his German nation (Volk) stands out. And that his constantly expressed love of his people and belief in their greatness should have earned him their love and belief in return is supremely unsurprising. A book recently released in Germany does make some allusion to that. Excerpt from a review of it:

“A well-respected German historian has a radical new theory to explain a nagging question: Why did average Germans so heartily support the Nazis and Third Reich? Hitler, says Goetz Aly, was a “feel good dictator,” a leader who not only made Germans feel important, but also made sure they were well cared-for by the state. To do so, he gave them huge tax breaks and introduced social benefits that even today anchor the society. He also ensured that even in the last days of the war not a single German went hungry. Despite near-constant warfare, never once during his 12 years in power did Hitler raise taxes for working class people. He also — in great contrast to World War I — particularly pampered soldiers and their families, offering them more than double the salaries and benefits that American and British families received. As such, most Germans saw Nazism as a “warm-hearted” protector, says Aly, author of the new book “Hitler’s People’s State: Robbery, Racial War and National Socialism” and currently a guest lecturer at the University of Frankfurt”

There is a useful review of the English-language version of the book here (or here) — a review which correctly makes the point that the loyalty of Germans to Hitler cannot have been primarily economic. Hitler’s socialist provisions for ordinary Germans were important but primarily functioned as evidence to them of how much Hitler cared for his Volk. It was primarily emotional satisfaction that Hitler gave to Germans.
I will say more about Hitler’s love of his people in connection with my discussion of his antisemitism below but the excitement and involvement that he generated among large numbers of Germans can only really be appreciated by listening to his speeches at rallies. I imagine that even listeners who understand no German would get some idea of the tremendous feeling of excitement that he generated among his hearers. The language of music is universal however so some feel for the era might perhaps be gained by listening to this. It is a recording of Hitler’s personal “Badenweiler” march and appears to be taken from the soundtrack of a 1930s film of a party rally. The Badenweiler would normally be played as Hitler made one of his grand entrances to a rally. Note particularly the crowd sounds in the background. Hitler may not have been much of an artist with paints but he was certainly one of the greatest political artists of all time — dubious accolade as that is. He is already the most remembered personality of the 20th century and seems destined to remain so. What that says about humanity, I will leave to readers to fill out.
{Parenthetically: It is odd in fact how little the “love” feature of Hitler’s appeal is noted. There seems almost to be a universal embarrassment about discussing such a thing. And the embarrassment (or is it fear?) is not confined to discussions of Hitler. Napoleon too created the impression that he had a love-affair with the French (though in his early life he despised them!) and that love was returned in full measure too — and in fact still is! And two other socialistic and dictatorial glorifiers of their own people who managed NOT to come out on the wrong side of World War II — Pilsudski in Poland and Peron in Argentina — remain much beloved in their respective countries to this day too.

And a similar message in more recent times from the ex-communist dictator Slobodan Milosevic to the Serbian people secured him great popularity with them too — a popularity that was only partly damaged by the rain of American bombs that he brought upon his country.
And who can forget the power of the love affair that Ronald Reagan had with the American people (a small example of Reagan’s attitude is here) — a love affair that enabled him to jolt not only the entire American political scene sharply rightwards but in fact jolted the entire world rightwards!
And, going back further in time, the rather extraordinary influence of Disraeli may be noted. He may fairly be said to have transformed English Conservatism and his death was greeted with great expressions of loss nationwide. He too was unstinting in his expressions of admiration for England and Englishness and was famous for the trust he reposed in ordinary English people. And he did so while not for a moment backing down from his pride in his own Hebrew origins! Love between the leader and the led seems to be the great unmentionable of politics generally. Perhaps its power is too frightening for most people even to think about.}

To return to Hitler: Note also that, horrible and massive though the Nazi crimes were, they were anything but unique. For a start, government by tyranny is, if anything, normal in human history. And both antisemitism and eugenic theories were normal in prewar Europe. Further back in history, even Martin Luther wrote a most vicious and well-known attack on the Jews. And Nazi theories of German racial superiority differed from then-customary British beliefs in British racial superiority mainly in that the British views were implemented with typical conservative moderation whereas the Nazi views were implemented with typical Leftist fanaticism and brutality (cf. Stalin and Pol Pot). And the Nazi and Russian pogroms differed mainly in typically greater German thoroughness and efficiency. And waging vicious wars and slaughtering people “en masse” because of their supposed group identity have been regrettably common phenomena both before and after Hitler (e.g. Stalin’s massacres of Kulaks and Ukrainians, the unspeakable Pol Pot’s massacres of all educated Cambodians, Peru’s “Shining Path”, the Nepalese Marxists, the Tamil Tigers and the universal Communist mass executions of “class-enemies”). Both Stalin and Mao Tse Tung are usually “credited” with murdering far more “class enemies” than Hitler executed Jews.
And another aspect of Hitler’s “normality” is that, as he came closer to power, he did reject the outright nationalization of industry as too Marxist. As long as the State could enforce its policies on industry, Hitler considered it wisest to leave the nominal ownership and day to day running of industry in the hands of those who had already shown themselves as capable of running and controlling it. This policy is broadly similar to the once much acclaimed Swedish model of socialism in more recent times so it is amusing that it has often been this policy which has underpinned the common claim that Hitler was Rightist. What is Leftist in Sweden was apparently Rightist in Hitler! There are of course many differences between postwar Sweden and Hitler’s Germany but the point remains that Hitler’s perfectly reasonable skepticism about the virtues of nationalizing all industry is far from sufficient to disqualify him as a Leftist.
Hitler also did not frighten off Christians the way Communists always have. The aggressive atheism of Communism is very foolish if you have a large Christian element in your population — and Hitler was not that foolish. There are a number of notable statements generally quoted in which he paid lip-service to Christianity and his concordat with the Pope is of course well-known. Like Communism, Nazism was really a rival religion to Christianity so any real reconciliation between the two was not ultimately possible but much interim advantage could be gained by temporizing and compromise. And the influence of Hegel was useful in that regard too — as Hegel believed in a guiding spirit behind history. Marx and Engels largely subtracted this spiritual element from Hegel but Hitler did not and the following statement by Hitler is in fact pure Hegelianism while at the same time sounding enough like orthodox Christianity to be thoroughly comforting to Christians:
“In five years we have transformed a people who were humiliated and powerless because of their internal disruption and uncertainty, into a national body, politically united, and imbued with the strongest self-confidence and proud assurance. If Providence had not guided us I would often have never found these dizzy paths. Thus it is that we National Socialists have in the depths of our hearts our faith. No man can fashion world history or the history of peoples unless upon his purpose and his powers there rests the blessing of this Providence.”

For more on the Hegelian background to Hitler’s thinking, see here. It seems clear that Hitler did believe in God but any claim that he was himself in any significant sense a Christian is of course absurd — as anybody who has read Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (chapter headed “Triumph and Consolidation”, subsection “The Persecution of the Christian Churches”) will be well aware. For those who do want to explore that issue further, however, I have put together a short document here.
A democratic Leftist!
But Hitler was not a revolutionary Leftist. He fought many elections and finally came to power via basically democratic means.
It is true that both Hitler and Mussolini received financial and other support from big businessmen and other “establishment” figures but this is simply a reflection of how radicalized Germany and Italy were at that time. Hitler and Mussolini were correctly perceived as a less hostile alternative (a sort of vaccine) to the Communists.
And what was that about election campaigns? Yes, Hitler did start out as a half-hearted revolutionary (the Munich Putsch) but after his resultant incarceration was able enough and flexible enough to turn to basically democratic methods of gaining power. He was thenceforth the major force in his party insisting on legality for its actions and did eventually gain power via the ballot box rather than by way of violent revolution. It is true that the last election (as distinct from referenda) he faced (on May 3rd, 1933) gave him a plurality (44% of the popular vote) rather than a majority but that is normal in any electoral contest where there are more than two candidates. Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher never gained a majority of the popular vote either. After the May 1933 elections, Hitler was joined in a coalition government by Hugenburg’s Nationalist party (who had won 8% of the vote) to give a better majority (52%) than many modern democratic governments enjoy. On March 24th, 1933 the Reichstag passed an “Enabling Act” giving full power to Hitler for four years (later extended by referendum). The Centre Party voted with the Nazi-led coalition government. Thus Hitler’s accession to absolute power was quite democratically achieved. Even Hitler’s subsequent banning of the Communist party and his control of the media at election time have precedents in democratic politics.
Even the torturous backroom negotiations that led to Hitler’s initial appointment as Kanzler (Chancellor, Prime Minister) by President Hindenburg on January 30th, 1933 hardly delegitimize that appointment or make it less democratic. Shirer (1964) and others describe this appointment as being the outcome of a “shabby political deal” but that would seem disingenuous. The fact is that Hitler was the leader of the largest party in the Reichstag and torturous backroom negotiations about alliances and deals generally are surely well-known to most practitioners of democratic politics. One might in fact say that success at such backroom negotiations is almost a prerequisite for power in a democratic system — particularly, perhaps, under the normal European electoral system of proportional representation. It might in fact not be too cynical to venture the comment that “shabby political deals” have been rife in democracy at least since the time of Thucydides. Some practitioners of them might even claim that they are what allows democracy to work at all.
The fact that Hitler appealed to the German voter as basically a rather extreme social democrat is also shown by the fact that the German Social Democrats (orthodox democratic Leftists who controlled the unions as well as a large Reichstag deputation) at all times refused appeals from the German Communist party for co-operation against the Nazis. They evidently felt more affinity with Hitler than with the Communists. Hitler’s eventual setting up of a one-party State and his adoption of a “four year plan”, however, showed who had most affinity with the Communists. Hitler was more extreme than the Social Democrats foresaw.
The only heartfelt belief that Hitler himself ever had would appear to have been his antisemitism but his primary public appeal was nonetheless always directed to “the masses” and their interests and his methods were only less Bolshevik than those of the Bolsheviks themselves.
Hitler’s Post-election Manoeuvres
It is true that Hitler proceeded to entrench himself in power in all sorts of ways once he came to rule but reluctance to relinquish power once it is gained is not uncharacteristic of the far Left in a democracy. In the early ’70’s, for instance, Australia had a government of a very Leftist character (the Whitlam government) that tried to continue governing against all constitutional precedent when refused money by Parliament. Because Australia is a monarchy with important powers vested in the vice-regal office, however, the government could be and was dismissed and a constitutional crisis thus avoided. It may also be noted that the Whitlam government presided over a considerable upsurge of Australian nationalism. It was literally a national socialist government. Unlike Hitler, however, it was very anti-militaristic (particularly in the light of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam fiasco) and did not persecute its political opponents. Australia has, after all, inherited from its largely British forebears very strong traditions of civil liberty.
Among other far-Left democratic governments that have been known to cling to power with dubious public support the government of Malta by Mintoff and Mifsud-Bonnici springs to mind. On a broader scale, the use of gerrymanders by democratic governments of all sorts also tends to entrench power. Democratically-elected governments are not always great respecters of democracy. The post-war Liberal Democratic (conservative) government of Japan never had a majority of the popular vote and ruled for over 30 years only by virtue of a gerrymander. Yet it has generally been regarded as democratic. None of this is said with any intention of excusing Hitler or drawing exact parallels with him. The aim is rather to show roughly in what sort of company he belongs as far as his attitude to democracy is concerned. In other words, like many democratic politicians he was a reluctant democrat (surely more reluctant than most) but his coming to power by democratic means still cannot be ignored. It meant that he had to be fairly popular and this affected the sort of person he could be and the policies he could advocate. As sincerity in a politician is hard to feign successfully, for maximum effectiveness (and Hitler was a very effective leader) he more or less had to be the sort of person who had a genuine feeling for his own people and who thus would not want to make war on large sections of them (unlike Stalin, Pol Pot and Li Peng of Tien Anmen Square fame). This meant that the great hostility which seems to be characteristic of the extreme Leftist had to have another outlet. Hitler was simply being an ordinary European of his times in finding the outlet he did: The Jews.
Hitler’s Socialist Deeds
When in power Hitler also implemented a quite socialist programme. Like F.D. Roosevelt, he provided employment by a much expanded programme of public works (including roadworks) and his Kraft durch Freude (“power through joy”) movement was notable for such benefits as providing workers with subsidized holidays at a standard that only the rich could formerly afford. And while Hitler did not nationalize all industry, there was extensive compulsory reorganization of it and tight party control over it. It might be noted that even in the post-war Communist bloc there was never total nationalization of industry. In fact, in Poland, most agriculture always remained in private hands.
For more details of how socialist the German economy was under the Nazis, see Reisman. Excerpt:

“What Mises identified was that private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced essentially to that of government pensioners.

The Conservatives and Hitler
And what about the conservatives of Hitler’s day? Both in Germany and Britain he despised them and they despised him. Far from being an ally of Hitler or in any way sympathetic to him, Hitler’s most unrelenting foe was the arch-Conservative British politician, Winston Churchill and it was a British Conservative Prime Minister (Neville Chamberlain) who eventually declared war on Hitler’s Germany. Hitler found a willing ally in the Communist Stalin as long as he wanted it but at no point could he wring even neutrality out of Churchill. Not that Churchill was a saint. In 1939 Churchill exulted over the Finns “tearing the guts out of the Red Army” but, despite that, he later allied himself with Stalin. Like Mussolini, he was something of a pragmatist and saw Hitler as the biggest threat. Churchill therefore, despite his opposition to all socialist dictators, retreated eventually to the old wisdom that, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. His basic loathing for both Hitler’s and Stalin’s forms of socialism is, however very much a matter of record.
Parenthetically, it should perhaps be noted that the lessons of history are seldom simple. The fact that the British Prime Minister who actually declared war on Hitler was a (mildly) anti-Semitic English jingoist — Neville Chamberlain — is something of an irony. Churchill was soon called upon to replace Chamberlain at least in part because Churchill’s opposition to Hitler was seen as more heartfelt and consistent.
In keeping with the fundamental opposition between Churchill’s English conservatism (Rightism) and any form of socialism, it might also be noted that German monarchists were among Hitler’s victims on “the night of the long knives”.
Nor is Hitler’s going to war uncharacteristic of a social democrat (democratic Leftist). Who got the U.S.A. involved in Vietnam? J.F. Kennedy and L.B. Johnson. And who got the troops out? Richard Nixon. I am not, of course, comparing the Vietnam involvement with Hitler’s Blitzkrieg. Kennedy and Johnson were, after all, only mildly Leftist whereas Hitler was extremely Leftist. All I am pointing out is that there is nothing in social democratic politics that automatically precludes military adventurism.
Perhaps the only thing that does at first sight support the characterization of Hitler as a Rightist is his nationalism. As already noted at considerable length above, there were plenty of Leftist nationalists before Hitler (including Friedrich Engels) but there generally does seem to be a psychological association between political Conservatism and nationalism/patriotism (Ray & Furnham, 1984). This presumably flows from the fact that Leftists generally seem attached to their well-known doctrine that, in some unfathomable way, “all men are equal”. They seem to need this philosophically dubious doctrine to give some intellectual justification for socialist (levelling) policies. If all men are equal, however, then it surely follows that all groups of men/women are equal too. Leftism and nationalism have therefore some philosophical inconsistency and a wholly consistent Leftist would — like Trotsky — have to deny nationalism. Thus only the conservatives are normally left to promote and defend nationalism with any vigour. Since nationalism is just another form of group loyalty, however, and group-loyalty seems to be a major and virtually universal wellspring of human motivation (Brown, 1986; Ardrey, 1961), this normally leaves conservatives in principal charge of some very powerful emotional ammunition. In wartime, as we have seen, even Leftists can become patriotic but mostly they are at least half-hearted about it (though Hitler’s predecessors on the American Left were far from half-hearted about it).
The great difference between Hitler’s nationalism and Anglo-Saxon nationalism was, of course, that Hitler was much more aggressive. The American Progressives were satisfied with the conquest of Cuba, the Philippines and central Panama while the British empire was a slow accretion over several centuries. Hitler, by contrast, wanted it all and he wanted it fast. Why?
There are many answers to that but a major one is the fact that Hitler’s Germany was in a very different geopolitical position to that of the Anglo-Saxon countries — who were all nicely insulated by their sea barriers from invasion. Germany had both the vast and brooding menace of Soviet Russia on one doorstep and the old hostility of a militarily powerful France on another. That Hitler tried to break out of that situation in one fell swoop was simply another instance of his passionate character and his habit of taking big gambles — gambles which had in the past usually paid off. And one hardly needs to mention the desire for vengeance generated by the World War I defeat and its aftermath. And Hitler’s proto-Greenie ideas about Germany’s need for Lebensraum have already been alluded to.
Hitler’s Magic Mix
Nationalism can be a powerfully motivating force but Shoeck (1966) has shown at some length that envy is also a very basic, powerful and pervasive human emotion — and levelling policies such socialism will always therefore have great appeal too — regardless of any spurious intellectual gloss that may or may not be put on them (such as the gloss provided by the “all men are equal” doctrine). Hitler was one of those who felt no need for any great intellectual gloss. The raw emotional appeal of socialism was the principal thing for him.
This emotional rather than intellectual orientation also meant that he felt no need to deny nationalism. He could be as nationalist as he liked. And he did like! He in fact had the brilliant idea of using nationalism to justify socialism: Germans deserved to be looked after, not because of their innate equality with everybody else but because of their glorious Germanness. This was extremely clever and hard to resist. As noted above, nationalism is a heady and universally appealing brew. Thus Hitler’s socialism had a double dose (socialism plus nationalism) of emotional appeal that enabled him, despite his extremity, to come to power by way of a popular vote whereas Communism normally has to rely on bloody revolution and forcible seizure of power. Hitler’s brand of socialism was, then, a cleverer one than most: It had something for everybody. He stole the emotional clothes of both the Left and the Right. With the Nazis you could be both a socialist and a full-blooded nationalist. Hitler was thus simply the most effective figure in showing that socialism and nationalism, far from being intrinsically opposed, could be very successfully integrated into an electorally appealing whole. With the additional aid of Goebbels’ brilliant showmanship, the Nazis simply had it all when it came to popular appeals to the emotions. So Nazism was emotional rather than insane.
In summary, Hitler saw from the outset (Bullock, 1964) that a combination of socialist and whole-hearted nationalist appeals could be emotionally successful among the masses, no matter what he personally believed. If the basic message of the Left was “We will look after you” and the message of the Right was “We are the greatest”, then Hitler saw no reason why he could not offer both nostrums for sale. He did not trouble either himself or the masses with details of how such offers could be delivered.
Nationalism as an Exciting Novelty
Something that seems generally to be overlooked is that the three countries with the most notable “Fascist” (national socialist) movements in the early 20th century (Germany, Italy and Spain) were all countries with fragile national unity. Germany and Italy had become unified countries only in the late 19th century and Spain, of course, is only nominally unified to this day — with semi-autonomous governments in Catalonia and the Basque country. Right up until the end of the Prussian hegemony in 1918, Germans saw themselves primarily as Saxons, Bavarians, Prussians etc rather than as Germans and the contempt for Southern Italians among Northern Italians is of course legendary.
So the fierce nationalism of the Fascists (though Franco held himself above the Spanish Falange to some extent) appears to have been at least in part the zeal of the convert. Nationalism was something new and exciting and was a gratification to be explored vigorously. And the Fascists/Nazis undoubtedly exploited it to the hilt. The romance of the new nation was an important asset for them.
So if we regard the creation of large nation states as a good thing (a fairly dubious proposition) the small silver lining that we can see in the dark cloud of Fascism is that they do seem to have had some success in creating a sense of nationhood. A German identity, in particular, would seem to be the creation of Hitler. There was certainly not much of the sort before him.
There are of course differences between the three countries but, in all three, an acceptance of their nation-state now seems to be well-entrenched. This acceptance seems to be strongest in Germany — probably in part because modern Germany is a Federal Republic with substantial power devolved to the old regions (Laender) so that local loyalties are also acknowledged. Spain has moved only partly in the direction of federalism and there is of course a strong political movement in Northern Italy for reform in that direction also.
It is perhaps worth noting that it took a ferocious war (the civil war) to create an American sense of nationhood too.
Nazi Music
This is a difficult subject to broach because musical tastes differ so much from person to person. While there is some music that has near-universal appeal (some of the arias from “Carmen”, for instance), it also seems to be true that no two persons have exactly the same musical preferences and that must obviously influence how Nazi music is perceived and evaluated.
It is also a field that is bound up with emotion so it is both difficult and dangerous to attempt the sort of objective comments that should characterize any discussion of history. I think however that we need to take a stab at it. And I submit that it is a grave omission to neglect music as an element in the historical appeal of Nazism to Germans. Wherever they marched, Nazi formations sang — be they Hitler Youth, brownshirts or the armed forces. And being German, their music was very good. Germany is the home of good music. German-speaking people are responsible for something like two thirds of the classical repertoire — from Bach and Handel to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Wagner, Schumann etc.
As a libertariian, any form of Fascism is anathema to me but I think it was William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) who noted that the Devil had all the good songs. And the Nazis, just because they were German DID have many good songs. There were many Fascist movements worldwide in the first half of the 20th century but none of them were remotely as musical as the Nazis.
So good music had great power to move a musical people and it seems clear to me that music was one of the things that made Germans march for Hitler. Music is however a form of communication that transcends time and space so it seems to me that there is one way that I can support my contention about the importance of music to the appeal of Nazism: I can actually play you some of the music and you can judge it for yourself. I start with the Badenweiler march. This is actually a First World War march but Hitler made it his own. It was normally played only in his presence. It announced his arrival at rallies etc.

The famous song of the S.A. (Brownshirts) was of course the Horst Wessel Lied. It refers to prewar street fighting with the “Reds”. There is no rivalry like sibling rivalry, though after Hitler came to power, many of the Reds simply joined the Nazis.

The English translation is a poor thing but I give it below for those who understand no German.

The flag high! The ranks tightly closed!
SA march with calm, firm steps.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries
March in spirit in our ranks.
Clear the streets for the brown battalions,
Clear the streets for the stormtroopers!
Already millions look with hope to the swastika
The day of freedom and bread is dawning!
Roll call has sounded for the last time
We are all already prepared for the fight!
Soon Hitler’s flag will fly over all streets.
Our servitude will soon end!
The flag high! The ranks tightly closed!
SA marches with a calm, firm pace.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries
March in spirit in our ranks.

The original is much more moving:

Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!
SA marschiert mit ruhig, festem Schritt.
Kam’raden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,
Marschier’n im Geist in unser’n Reihen mit.
Die Strasse frei den braunen Batallionen.
Die Strasse frei dem Sturmabteilungsmann!
Es schau’n aufs Hakenkreuz voll Hoffnung schon Millionen.
Der Tag fuer Freiheit und fuer Brot bricht an!
Zum letzten Mal wird schon Appell geblasen!
Zum Kampfe steh’n wir alle schon bereit!
Bald flattern Hitlerfahnen ueber alle Strassen.
Die Knechtschaft dauert nur mehr kurze Zeit!
Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!
SA marschiert mit ruhig-festem Schritt.
Kameraden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,
Marschieren im Geist in unseren Reihen mit.

Then there is Vorwaerts, Vorwaerts — the terminally inspirational song of the Hitler Youth. It absolutely EXUDES dedication and heroism. The power of it may perhaps be judged from the fact that it is still illegal to play or sing it in Germany today. The words are actually quite simple and that may be the reason why some commenters describe them as banal — but those who sang it certainly did not see it that way. They lived it during the closing stages of the war — displaying great heroism in defending their country. The idealism is probably one of the reasons why those survivors of the Hitler Youth who are still alive today often have warm memories of their time in the Hitler Youth.

I could not find a translation online so I have done a rough translation myself. I have been translating German poetry into English poetry since I was 15 but I don’t have time for that immediately. Hopefully I will get back to that when other priorities permit. Refrain and first verse only in the video above.


Uns’re Fahne flattert uns voran. Our flag flutters before us
In die Zukunft ziehen wir Mann fuer Mann We trek into the future as man for man
Wir marschieren fuer Hitler We march for Hitler
Durch Nacht und durch Not Through night and hardship
Mit der Fahne der Jugend With the flag of youth
Fuer Freiheit und Brot. For freedom and bread
Uns’re Fahne flattert uns voran, Our flag flutters before us
Uns’re Fahne ist die neue Zeit. Our flag is the new time
Und die Fahne fuehrt uns in die Ewigkeit! And the flag leads us into eternity
Ja die Fahne ist mehr als der Tod! Yes the flag is more to us than death

Vorwaerts! Vorwaerts! Forwards, forwards
Schmettern die hellen Fanfaren, Blare the bright fanfares
Vorwaerts! Vorwaerts! Forwards, forwards
Jugend kennt keine Gefahren. Youth knows no danger
Deutschland, du wirst leuchtend stehn Germany, you will brightly stand
Moegen wir auch untergehn. We also wish to go down
Vorwaerts! Vorwaerts! Forwards, forwards
Schmettern die hellen Fanfaren, Blare the bright fanfares
Vorwaerts! Vorwaerts! Forwards, forwards
Jugend kennt keine Gefahren. Youth knows no danger
Ist das Ziel auch noch so hoch, No matter how high the goal
Jugend zwingt es doch. Youth will achieve it

2.) Jugend! Jugend! Youth, Youth
Wir sind der Zukunft Soldaten. We are the soldiers of the future
Jugend! Jugend! Youth, Youth
Traeger der kommenden Taten. Bearers of coming deeds
Ja, durch unsre Faeuste faellt Yes, through our fists fall
Wer sich uns entgegenstellt Anyone who opposes us
Jugend! Jugend! Youth, Youth
Wir sind der Zukunft Soldaten. We are the soldiers of the future
Jugend! Jugend! Youth, Youth
Traeger der kommenden Taten. Bearers of coming deeds
Fuehrer, wir gehoeren dir, Leader, we belong to you
Wir Kameraden, dir! We are your comrades

There is of course much more but the above will hopefully give you the idea. My apologies to any Jewish readers who may be offended by this subsection but Wagner is performed in Israel these days so I think the time has come when music can be judged as music, regardless of its appalling associations.
And Hitler himself loved his music. The photo below shows him in white tie and tails attending the Wagner opera festival at Bayreuth in 1939. There is no doubt of his real devotion to opera — and indeed to classical music generally.

Nazism “Bourgeois”?
Perhaps I should at this stage comment very briefly about the usual Marxist claim that Nazism and Fascism were overwhelmingly “bourgeois” (middle-class) and lacked appeal to the working-class. This is a major stratagem that Leftists use to deny that Nazism and Fascism were in fact “socialist”.
I have always found this claim amusing. As Heiden (1939) and others point out at length, Hitler was a hobo until 1914 so how does a hobo get to lead a middle-class movement? And both Roberts (1938) and Heiden (1939) — prewar anti-Nazi writers — portray Hitler as widely revered and popular among the Germans of their day. As Heiden (1939, p. 98) put it: “The great masses of the people did not merely put up with National Socialism. They welcomed it”.
And few people would know more about the Nazi era than Elie Wiesel. He has noted:

“The fact is that Hitler was beloved by his people – not the military, at least not in the beginning, but by the average Germans who pledged to him an affection, a tenderness and a fidelity that bordered on the irrational. It was idolatry on a national scale. One had to see the crowds who acclaimed him. And the women who were attracted to him. And the young who in his presence went into ecstasy.

And Madden (1987) presents modern-day scholarly evidence derived from archival research to show that Nazis came from all social classes in large numbers. Perhaps most useful is the work of Fischer (1978), who looked at the class composition of the most active and committed Nazi group — the members of the Sturm Abteilung (S.A., Stormtroopers, Brownshirts). He found that “the workers are over-represented in the S.A.” (p. 140). In fact, in the 1933-1934 period, 69.9% of the S.A. were working class compared to 53.2% in the overall German population of that time. The Marxist claim is, then, utter nonsense and, as usual, the opposite of the truth. Mussolini, too, found supporters and adversaries in all social classes (De Felice, 1977, p. 176). And particularly in the early years of Fascism, Mussolini often attacked the bourgeoisie in his speeches!
It is in fact Communist movements that always have bourgeois leaders and mostly bourgeois supporters. The workers usually vote for more moderate Leftists. So once again we see Leftists projecting onto others things that are really true of themselves.
I look at the “class” origins of both German Nazism and Italian Fascism more fully here
Stalin as a National Socialist
As has been mentioned already, Hitler’s strategy for popularity was not lost on Stalin. Quite soon after Hitler invaded Russia, Stalin reopened the Russian Orthodox churches and restored the old ranks and orders of the Russian Imperial army to the Red Army so that it became simply the Russian Army and stressed nationalist themes (e.g. defence of “Mother Russia”) in his internal propaganda. As one result of this, to this day Russians refer to the Second World War as “the great patriotic war”. Stalin may have started out as an international socialist but he ended up a national socialist. So Hitler was a Rightist only in the sense that Stalin was. If Stalin was Right-wing, however, black might as well be white.
It has already been mentioned that in Australia too, socialism and a degree of nationalism have been found to be quite compatible.
Ho Chi Minh as a National Socialist

Stalin showed that National Socialism could be used effectively against another National Socialist but it took Ho Chi Minh’s regime and its Southern extension to demonstrate that National Socialism could even defeat the Great Republic (the United States). That Ho Chi Minh was a socialist is hardly now disputable and it is also clear that he had Vietnamese nationalism working for him in his fight against the American interventionists. Their foreignness made this easy to do. Note that the Viet Cong were formally known as the National Liberation Front. Their primary ostensible appeal was in fact national, though their socialism was of course never seriously in doubt. So the nationalism of Ho Chi Minh’s regime gave it widespread support or at least co-operation in the South as well as in the North. Ho thus stole the emotional clothes of the conservatives as effectively as Hitler did and the magic mix of nationalism and socialism was once again shown to be capable of generating enormous military effectiveness against apparently forbidding odds. So the simple explanation that works to explain Hitler’s amazing challenge to the world also works to explain the equally amazing defeat of the world’s mightiest military power by an relatively insignificant Third World nation. A National Socialist regime has such a strong emotional appeal that it galvanizes its subject population to Herculean efforts in a way that few other (if any) regimes can. It sounds about as crazy as you get to claim that it was Nazism that defeated the U.S. in Vietnam but this once again shows how Nazism has been misunderstood and consequently underrated.
Is Racism Rightist?
If nationalism is no proof of Rightism, what about racism? At least initially, racism and nationalism seem essentially undistinguishable so does not Hitler’s racism make him Rightist? Hardly. The post-war exodus of Jews from the Soviet Union and the tales of persecution that they brought with them are surely proof enough of that. Or was the Soviet Union Rightist too? There is an association between conservatism and racism in modern-day America but Sniderman, Brody & Kuklinski (1984) have shown that this is confined to the well-educated. Among Americans with only a basic education, the association is not to be found. Similarly, general population surveys in Australia and England find no association between the two variables (Ray & Furnham, 1984; Ray, 1984). Any association between racism and Rightism is, then, clearly contingent on circumstances and is not therefore of definitional significance.
Finally, it is clear that anti-Semitism was not a defining feature of Fascism. It was more a defining feature of Northern European culture. Both Mussolini in Italy and Mosley in Britain were Fascist leaders but neither was initially anti-Semitic. It is true that Mussolini was eventually pushed into largely unenforced antisemitic decrees by Hitler and it is true that Mosley was eventually pushed into doubts about Jews because of attacks on his meetings by Jewish Communists (Skidelsky, 1975 Ch. 20) but in the early 1930s Mosley actually expelled from his party Fascist speakers who made anti-Semitic remarks and one of the few places in Europe during the second world war where Jews were largely protected from persecution was in fact Fascist Italy (Herzer, 1989; Steinberg, 1990). Many Jews to this day owe their lives to Fascist Italians.
Distinguishing Hitler from Stalin
Hitler was, however, more Rightist than Stalin in the sense that, as a popular leader, he did not need to resort to extreme forms of oppressive control over his people (Unger, 1965). German primary and secondary industry did not need to be nationalized because they largely did Hitler’s bidding willingly. State control was indeed exercised over German industry but it was done without formally altering its ownership and without substantially alienating or killing its professional managers.
The contempt that Hitler had for Stalin and for “Bolshevism” generally should also not mislead us in assessing the similarity between Nazism and Communism. Leftist sects are very prone to rivalry, dissension, schism and hatred of one-another. One has only to think of the Bolsheviks versus the Mensheviks, Stalin versus Trotsky, China versus the Soviet Union, China “teaching Vietnam a lesson”, the Vietnamese suppression of the Khmer Rouge etc. Similarity does not preclude rivalry and in the end it was mainly competition for power that set Hitler and Stalin on a collision course.
Under Stalin’s wartime innovations, the difference between Nazism and Communism became largely a difference of emphasis. Both Nazism and Communism were nationalistic and socialist but with Communism, socialism was the ideological focus and justification for State power whereas with Nazism, nationalism was the ideological focus and justification for State power.

There always remained, however, one essential difference between Nazi and Communist ideology: Their responses to social class. Stalin preached class war and glorified class consciousness whereas Hitler wanted to abolish social classes and root out class-consciousness. Both leaders, as socialists, saw class inequality as a problem but their solutions to it differed radically. The great Nazi slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer (“One People, one State, one leader”) summed this up. Hitler wanted unity among Germans, not class antagonisms. He wanted loyalty to himself and to Germany as a whole, not loyalty to any class. Stalin wanted to unite the workers. Hitler wanted to unite ALL Germans. Stalin openly voiced his hatred of a large part of his own population; Hitler professed to love all Germans regardless of class (except for the Jews, of course). This was indeed a fundamental difference and substantially accounts both for Hitler’s unwavering contempt for Bolshevism and his popularity among all classes of Germans.

Hitler’s antisemitism and the Holocaust
But what about Hitler’s policies towards the Jews? How do we explain those? Towards the beginning of this paper, I quoted Dietrich’s (1988) conclusion that Hitler’s antisemitism was only a minor part of his popular appeal to Germans. One reason for this view is the important but seldom stressed fact that there was nothing at all odd or unusual about a dislike of Jews almost anywhere in the world of the 1930s. Hitler was to a considerable degree simply voicing the conventional wisdom of his times and he was far from alone in doing so. The plain fact is that it was not just the Nazis who brought about the holocaust. To its shame, the whole world did. That part of the world under Hitler’s control in general willingly assisted in rounding up Jews while the rest of the world refused to take Jewish refugees who tried to escape — just as the world would later refuse many Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees and will in due course refuse to take other would-be refugees from other places. Racial affect is now recognized as universal in psychology textbooks (Brown, 1986) and Anti-Semitism is, sad to say, an old and widely popular European tradition. There seems to be considerable truth in the view that the Nazis just applied German thoroughness to it.
Nonetheless, Hitler was undoubtedly more than usually obsessed by the Jews. What made him so obsessed? What in particular made him BECOME antisemitic? Mein Kampf is unreliable as objective history but there can be little doubt that it is good psychological history — i.e. it records Hitler’s own history as he saw it. And what he says there is that in Linz — where he grew up — there were few Jews and he saw them at that time as no different from other Germans. So when he moved to Vienna he was horrified at the antisemitism of much of the Viennese press. As he says in Mein Kampf:

“For the Jew was still characterized for me by nothing but his religion, and therefore, on grounds of human tolerance, I maintained my rejection of religious attacks in this case as in others. Consequently, the tone, particularly that of the Viennese anti-Semitic press, seemed to me unworthy of the cultural tradition of a great nation”.

That’s a pretty odd beginning for the man who became history’s biggest antisemite, is it not? So there must have been a powerful force to bring about such a radical change. And the force concerned was nothing other than the “love” relationship that I have noted above as existing between Hitler and most of the Germans under his rule. As any reader of Mein Kampf should be aware, the book is largely a love-song to the German people. And that most Germans eventually returned that love is rather vividly borne out by the way they stuck with Hitler to the bitter end — long after it was at all reasonable to do so. Compare Germany 1945 with the unrest in Germany prior to the 1918 surrender, the collapse in resistance in Western Russia and Ukraine in the first year of the German invasion, the collapse of Dutch, Belgian, Danish, Norwegian, Czech and French resistance under German invasion or the collapse of Italian resistance under Allied invasion.
As already mentioned, both Roberts (1938) and Heiden (1939) — prewar anti-Nazi writers — portray Hitler as widely revered and popular among the Germans of their day. As Heiden (1939, p. 98) put it: “The great masses of the people did not merely put up with National Socialism. They welcomed it”. And Madden (1987) presents modern-day scholarly evidence derived from archival research to show that Nazis came from all social classes in large numbers.
I am inclined to the view that Hitler’s love for his fellow Germans was sincere but, whether or not that was so, there was one huge problem with it — Germans at the start of Hitler’s political career immediately after World War I were at one-another’s throats. A civil war between the “Reds” and other Germans was a very lively possibility at the time. How could you love a people who hated one-another? How could you love a people who were NOT one people in important senses? That was a major dilemma that Hitler had to solve. And we see from Mein Kampf how he solved it:
Although he was, like most German second-rate thinkers of his time, much influenced by the ideas of Marx and Engels, Hitler despised the destructive and divisive “class war” aspect of Marx’s thinking and when he found that practically every preacher of Marxist class-war that he encountered in Vienna was a Jew, he began to see Jews as bent on the destruction of the German people he loved. So the great divisions that he saw among Germans in the anarchic conditions immediately after World War I could now be explained satisfactorily: They were the work of non-Germans — Jews. It was Jews who were creating divisions among Germans by their preaching of class war. Germans were only divided because they were being deceived by outsiders. Jews were the scapegoat for German disunity just as they have been the scapegoat for many other problems throughout history. And it may be noted that Hitler describes his conversion to antisemitism as “a great spiritual upheaval” — i.e. he abandoned his previous “cosmopolitan” (tolerant) views only with great reluctance. It was only his romantic love of his semi-imaginary German people (Volk) that brought about the big shift in his views.
And once the Marxist Jews of postwar Vienna had fired him up, Hitler began to see a malign influence of Jews everywhere, as later chapters of Mein Kampf reveal and as at least some historians document and as was common in Germany anyway.
In a speech delivered at the Berlin Sportpalast shortly after being appointed Chancellor on February, 1st, 1933, Hitler summed up his thinking about his German Volk with his characteristic passion as follows:

“During fourteen years the German nation has been at the mercy of decadent elements which have abused its confidence. During fourteen years those elements have done nothing but destroy, disintegrate and dissolve. Hence it is neither temerity nor presumption if, appearing before the nation today, I ask: German nation, give us four years time, after which you can arraign us before your tribunal and you can judge me! ….
“I cannot rid myself of my faith in my people, nor lose the conviction that this people will resuscitate again one day. I cannot be severed from the love of a people that I know to be my own. And I nourish the conviction that the hour will come when millions of men who now curse us will take their stand behind us to welcome the new Reich, our common creation born of a painful and laborious struggle and an arduous triumph — a Reich which is the symbol of greatness, honour, strength, honesty and justice.”

His love of his German people and his belief that they had been misled are certainly eloquently proclaimed there — and by that stage no-one doubted whom he saw as the “decadent elements”.
Sadly, however, Hitler’s anti-Jewish views actually made him unremarkable in the Germany of his day The general acquiescence in them needs no great explanation beyond a reference to the general attitudes of the times. As far as the average German knew, Hitler was just running (yawn) a Pogrom. The Russians did it all the time, didn’t they? It was Hitler’s national glorification and socialist policies that were really interesting and attractive.
The conventional account of the origins of Hitler’s animosity towards Jews is that his rejection from the Vienna Art Academy (in which Jews were prominent) embittered him. But that is not remotely what he says in Mein Kampf. He does not even mention the word “Jew” in connection with the Academy. He says that the Rector rejected him from the painting school because his main talent and interest was in architecture — a judgement with which Hitler emphatically agreed!
Finally, it might be noted that much of Hitler’s rhetoric about the Jews was based on exactly the same assumption that Leftists to this day use in talking about racial matters. The affirmative action warriors of today are fanatical about proportional representation. They constantly claim that the proportion of (say) blacks in the general population should be reflected everywhere — in every occupation and in every institution. If there is a smaller proportion of (say) blacks in banking than there is in the general population, this is taken as proof that there is discrimination against blacks in banking. Hitler used exactly the same argument about Jews. As they are in America today, Jews in prewar Germany were very much overrepresented in the top echelons of German society. So, in good Leftist fashion, Hitler took that as proof that good, ordinary Germans were being systematically excluded from such positions in society by malign Jewish machinations. If Hitler was illogical in such thinking, so are most Leftists today. And in fact complaints about Jewish over-representation in (say) top U.S. universities do rumble on at a low level among Leftists today. “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.
Fascism & Mussolini
Hitler was not however original in being both a socialist and a nationalist. The first police State that was both Leftist and intensely nationalist was of course the French regime of Napoleon Bonaparte. (Even the personality cult surrounding Napoleon prefigured similar cults in the later Leftist tyrannies of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, Kim Il Sung etc.) Bonaparte’s regime was as short-lived (1802-1814 vs. 1933 – 1945) and as salutary a warning as Hitler’s however, and it was not until the 20th century that such a concept again came prominently to the fore in the hands of the Italian dictator Mussolini. Mussolini came to power much before Hitler but was in fact even more Leftist than Hitler. Although generally regarded as the founder of Fascism, in his early years Mussolini was one of Italy’s leading Marxist theoreticians. He was even an intimate of Lenin. He first received his well-known appellation of Il Duce (“the leader”) while he was still a member of Italy’s “Socialist” (Marxist) party and, although he had long been involved in democratic politics, he gained power by essentially revolutionary means (the march on Rome). Even after he had gained power, railing against “plutocrats” remained one of his favourite rhetorical ploys. He was, however, an instinctive Italian patriot and very early on added a nationalistic appeal to his message, thus being the first major far-Left figure to deliberately add the attraction of nationalism to the attraction of socialism. He was the first 20th century far-Leftist to learn the lesson that Hitler and Stalin after him used to such “good” effect.
It is true that, like Hitler, Mussolini allowed a continuation of capitalism in his country (though the addition of strict party controls over it in both Italy and Germany should be noted) but Mussolini justified this on Marxist grounds! He was, in fact, it could be argued, more of an orthodox Marxist than was Lenin. As with the Russian Mensheviks, it seemed clear to Mussolini that, on Marxist theory, a society had to go through a capitalist stage before the higher forms of socialism and communism could be aspired to. He believed that capitalism was needed to develop a country industrially and, as Italy was very underdeveloped in that regard, capitalism had to be tolerated. What some see as Rightism, therefore, was in fact to Mussolini orthodox Marxism. Mussolini held this view from the early years of this century and he therefore greeted with some glee the economic catastrophe that befell Russia when the Bolsheviks took over. He regarded the economic failure of Bolshevism as evidence for the correctness of orthodox Marxism.
Nor was Mussolini a socialist in name only. He also put socialist policies into action. Thanks to him, Fascist Italy had in the thirties what was arguably the most comprehensive welfare State in the world at that time (Gregor, 1979).
It could be said, in fact, that Italian Fascism was noticeably closer to Communism than Nazism was. This is not only because of the influence of Marxism on Mussolini’s ideology but because Mussolini’s nationalism was sentimental and nostalgic rather than the intellectual and ideological nationalism of Hitler. Thus it is primarily the degree of ideological focus on nationalism that distinguishes the three forms of authoritarian socialism: Nazism, Fascism and Communism.
For more on Mussolini and Italian Fascism see here
That Nazism and Fascism are commonly called Right-wing when in fact they were Right-wing only in relation to Bolshevik “Communism” does, then, tell us much about the dominant perspective of intellectuals in most of the 20th century.
As an historical summary, then, Nazism and Fascism had great appeal simply because they stole the emotional clothes of both the Left and the Right.
Nazism in Germany Today
Although there are neo-Nazi movements throughout the world today, the phenomenon would appear to be of greatest concern in the former East Germany. Almost as soon as Germany was re-unified we found there that apparently large numbers of young racist thugs were actively attacking immigrants in the name of “Germany for the Germans” and the Swastika became once more an insignia of terror for minorities. Yet were not these same young East Germans the product of a diligent Communist education? Surely they should have been the least likely to become Fascists? Why have they in fact become Hitler’s most obvious heirs?
The facts pointed out in this paper make the phenomenon no mystery at all, however. A Communist education is an extreme socialist education and Nazism was extreme socialism too. All you need to do is to add the nationalist element and you have Nazism. And nationalist feeling seems to be virtually innate anyway so, rather than actively “add” it, all you have to do is permit it — and modern Germany is a very permissive state.
In fact, even the old East German State was quite nationalist. In its always precarious struggle for legitimacy, it did much to present itself as the spiritual heir of old Prussia (which it largely was in a territorial sense). So socialist East Germany was also nationalist, though not aggressively so. It was low-key Nazi! So it turns out that the deeds of the young East German thugs we are considering are indeed traceable to their education. German National Socialism has the same outcome in the 1980s and 90s as in did in the 30s and 40s.
Even before the collapse of Communism, however, Fascism still existed in Germany — in the form of the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD). In Germany, the NPD (National Democratic Party) is widely regarded as the barely-legal successor-party to Hitler’s National Socialist party. A recent interview with the chairman of that party is therefore instructive. A few excerpts follow:

“This [young Leftist] subculture possesses an anti-capitalist view of the world, and views the NPD as an instrument of Capitalism. Such a view of the NPD is fundamentally wrong, and disregards the fact that the Movement will eliminate Capitalism which is so contemptuous of humanity….
The NPD is a Movement of the People which will implement its programme of building a Third Power beyond Capitalism and Communism, thereby giving self-determination to the people.
At the centre of our struggle is mankind and Nature. Thanks to our life-giving view of the world, we stand against foreign rule and domination, against foreign penetration, exploitation and oppression. We stand for German freedom, for the freedom of peoples, for a New Social Order in both Germany and Europe.
During this phase, we must use capable intellectuals from all levels in society so as to build our ideology of a New Order beyond Capitalism and Communism…. The global threat to our nations by multi-national banks and companies working in harness with the ruling class is having a destructive effect on our peoples.
The outstanding achievements of the German social system are being more and more replaced by minimal standards.”

Note the five leftist elements of NPD thinking mentioned above. He rejects the Leftist claim that the NPD is capitalist and says it is anti-capitalist [1]. He says the NPD will build a “Third Power” (Third Way [2]) between capitalism and Communism. He puts “nature” (environmentalism [3]) at the centre of his thinking. He is against “multinational banks and companies” (globalization [4]). And he regards the German social system (welfare state [5]) as an outstanding achievement. Clearly, this party does indeed reflect all of Hitler’s themes and clearly it is of the Left in modern terms. And its championship of a “Third Way” makes it in fact a completely modern Leftist party, akin in that respect to the present-day British Labour party. Hitler was a modern Leftist by the standards of his day too, as his championship of eugenics showed. Awkward stuff, that history. So the NPD shows that the nationalist version of Leftism still lives.
Fascism in Contemporary Russia
Russia in the immediate post-Soviet era was kept on a largely democratic course by the erratic ex-Soviet apparatchik Boris Yeltsin, and now seems to be in cautious hands under President Putin but what can we expect of the future? Before the ascension of Putin, there was a powerful Fascist movement under the principal influence of Zhirinovsky and a powerful Communist bloc under Zyuganov but Putin would now seem to have subsumed both. And nationalism generally seems to be as popular as ever in Russia. Will a socialist background combined with strong nationalist traditions again produce a Nazi-type regime if economic conditions deteriorate from their already backward level? Will there be a Russian Hitler? Is Putin a Russian Mussolini? Russia’s nationalist traditions were, as we have seen, encouraged to a degree even under Communism (by Stalin and his successors) so it seems not unlikely. It just needs nationalism to become an ideological focus in lieu of socialism, and we will have Communism reborn as Fascism. And since socialism as an ideological focus does seem to be in extremis in the post-Soviet world, we might well expect a people accustomed to a strong ideological focus in their politics to be looking for a replacement focus. Only a small step would be required to make the transition to Fascism and Putin’s grip on power (including reasserted control of Russia’s major industries) suggests that a hopefully moderate form of Fascism is in fact already with us in Russia. Like Hitler and Mussolini, Putin is popular for being seen as having “restored order”. His quite remarkable popularity in Russia by the year 2007 is in fact a strong reminder that, unlike Communism, Fascism is a POPULAR form of Leftism.
And just as Hitler could harp on the past glories of the zweite Reich (the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation) and refuse to accept the internal collapse of the Kaiserreich (the German empire of World War I) so Putin could stress the scientific glories and territorial reach of the former Soviet empire and refuse to accept that its collapse was due to internal causes. There is little doubt that a Russian Goebbels could find a workable basis for overweening Russian national pride and that such pride could be used as an antidote to present woes — just as similar pride was once used in Weimar Germany.
Did Hitler save Western Europe?
Any article that covers both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia can hardly be complete without considering, at least briefly, the “big picture” of WWII, well-known though that picture is generally taken to be.
A great deal of what has so far been presented above will have been a great surprise to many readers but I think there is one more bit of little-known history that I should present.
As preamble, however, I think I have made clear in this essay that my aim has been to understand Hitler, not to condemn him. Merely condemning him is at least lazy, if not infantile, in my view. The old adage that to understand is to forgive does not apply in this case, however. As a libertarian I could hardly be more opposed to Nazism. Like all libertarians, I even consider ALL modern day governments to be unacceptably Fascist — even that holy of holies, Sweden. So if what follows seems like an apology for Hitler, that perception is in the mind of the reader rather than in anything I have proposed. All that I am proposing is that enmity between thieves can sometimes be inadvertently beneficial to the rest of us.
The collapse of the Soviet Union did for a time open up the archives of that regime to considerable scutiny by independent scholars — and Russian scholars were of course very interested. What they discovered confirmed something that had long been considered in some Western scholarly circles: That Hitler’s strike on Russia was a pre-emptive one. Hitler’s strike on Russia was only a little ahead of a planned Russian strike on Germany.
Stalin’s military preparations in the ’30s had in fact been vast and had his plans come to fruition, not only Germany but the whole of Westerm Europe would have been overrun. Hitler’s unexpected strike, however, was immensely destructive of Russian military capacity so that, in the end, Russia managed to overrun Eastern Europe only. The story of the Russian plans and preparations concerned is told as briefly as possible here.
In conclusion:
Because this article contradicts what most people think they know about Hitler, it has necessarily been a long one. There have been many potential questions to answer. I would therefore like to close with a useful brief summary of what happened and why it is so little known. It is excerpted from a comment by Peter Hitchens on what is being taught in British schools and purveyed by the British media today:

“A schools video produced last year on the Forties barely gives a walk-on part to Winston Churchill, a man who is being steadily written out of modern history because he does not fit the fashionable myth that the Tories sympathised with the Nazis and the Left were the only people who opposed Hitler….
LABOUR’S role in the rise of Hitler was to consistently vote against the rearmament measures which narrowly saved this country from slavery in 1940. Stalin’s insane orders to the German Communist Party, to refuse to co-operate with the Social Democrats, virtually ensured the Nazis would come to power in 1933.
This would be mirrored, six years later, in the joint victory parade staged by Nazi and Red Army troops in the then-Polish city of Brest, and the efficient supply of Soviet oil to Germany which fuelled the Nazi Blitzkrieg and the bombers which tore the heart out of London.
But millions of supposedly educated people know nothing of this, and are unaware that the one country which behaved with honour and courage when the fate of the world was being decided was Britain.”

It was the Left who were on Hitler’s side, not the conservatives. And the Left were on his side because he was one of them.


Adorno,T.W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D.J. & Sanford, R.N. (1950). The authoritarian personality New York: Harper.
Ardrey, R. (1961) African genesis London: Collins
Brown, R.(1986) Social psychology (2nd. Ed.) N.Y.: Free Press. Harper
Bullock, A. (1964) Hitler: A study in tyranny N.Y.: Harper
De Corte, T.L. (1978) “Menace of Undesirables: The Eugenics Movement During the Progressive Era”, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
De Felice, R. (1977) Interpretations of Fascism Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U.P.
Dietrich, D.J. (1988) National renewal, anti-Semitism, and political continuity: A psychological assessment. Political Psychology 9, 385-411.
Feuchtwanger, E.J. (1995) From Weimar to Hitler: Germany 1918-33. N.Y.: St Martin’s Press.
Fischer, C.J. (1978) The occupational background of the S.A.’s rank and file membership during the depression years , 1929 to mid-1934. In: Stachura, P. The shaping of the Nazi state. London: Croom Helm.
Galbraith, J.K. (1969) The affluent society 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Gregor, A.J. (1979) Italian Fascism and developmental dictatorship Princeton, N.J.: Univ. Press.
Hagan, J. (1966) Modern History and its Themes Croydon, Victoria, Australia: Longmans.
Heiden, K. (1939) One man against Europe Harmondsworth, Mddx.: Penguin
Herzer, I. (1989) The Italian refuge: Rescue of Jews during the holocaust Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press
Lipson, L. (1993) The ethical crises of civilization Newbury Park: Sage.
Locke, R. (2001) Rethinking History: Were the Nazis Really Nationalists? August 28
Madden, P. (1987) The social class origins of Nazi party members as determined by occupations, 1919-1933. Social Science Quarterly 68, 263-280.
O’Sullivan, N. (1983) Fascism. London: Dent.
Pickens, D. (1968) Eugenics and the Progressives. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press
Ray, J.J. (1984). Half of all racists are Left-wing. Political Psychology, 5, 227-236.
Ray, J.J. & Furnham, A. (1984) Authoritarianism, conservatism and racism. Ethnic & Racial Studies 7, 406-412.
Richmond, M. (1998) Margaret Sanger’s eugenics. See here or here.
Ritzler, B.A. (1978) The Nuremberg mind revisited: A quantitative approach. J. Personality Assessment 42, 344-353.
Roberts, S.H. (1938) The house that Hitler built N.Y.: Harper.
Schoeck, H. (1969) Envy: A theory of social behaviour London: Martin Secker & Warburg.
Shirer, W.L. (1964) The rise and fall of the Third Reich London: Pan
Skidelsky, R. (1975) Oswald Mosley London: Macmillan.
Sniderman, P.M., Brody, R.A. & Kuklinski, J.H. (1984) Policy reasoning and political values: The problem of racial equality. American Journal of Political Science 28, 75-94.
Steinberg, J. (1990) All or nothing: The Axis and the holocaust London: Routledge.
Taylor, A.J.P. (1963) The origins of the second world war. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Toland, J. (1976) Adolf Hitler Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday.
Unger, A.L. (1965) Party and state in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. Political Quarterly 36, 441-459.
Zillmer, E.A., Archer, R.P. & Castino, R. (1989) Rorschach records of Nazi war criminals: A reanalysis using current scoring and interpretation practices. J. Personality Assessment 53, 85-99.

Clickable Index:

A modern Leftist
Mises on Nazim and Bolshevism
Party programme
A Galbraithian Leftist
Nazis were Greens
A population theorist
Wal-Mart hatred
More Leftist than racist
Genocide is socialist
Mussolini and the fractious Left
Tom Wolfe on Nazism
Quote from Goebbels
Leftist election posters
Left/Right categorization inadequate?
Denials of Hitler’s Leftism: Kangas
Peikoff on Nazi Leftism
Why the enmity between Nazis and the “Reds”?
But he was a nationalist!
There have always been Leftist nationalists
Stalin the nationalist
Non-Marxist objections
Neo-Nazis are different
The country gentleman with majolica pots
Why was Hitler so powerful?
Love between the leader and the led
A democrat rather than a revolutionary
Post election manoeuvres
Hitler’s socialist deeds
Conservatives and Hitler
Why Hitler’s nationalism is confusing
Hitler’s magic mix
Nationalism as a novelty
Nazism bourgeois?
Hitler was popular
Stalin as a national socialist
Ho Chi Minh as a national socialist
Is racism Rightist?
Other Fascists were not antisemitic
Distinguishing Hitler and Stalin
Hitler’s antisemitism and the Holocaust
Fascism and Mussolini
Nazism in Germany today
Fascism in contemporary Russia
A final summary


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Adolf Hitler: Socialism is the science of dealing with the common weal

‘No room for the alien, no use for the wastrel’

This edited interview of Adolf Hitler by George Sylvester Viereck took place in 1923. It was republished in Liberty magazine in July 1932

“When I take charge of Germany, I shall end tribute abroad and Bolshevism at home.”

Adolf Hitler drained his cup as if it contained not tea, but the lifeblood of Bolshevism.

“Bolshevism,” the chief of the Brown Shirts, the Fascists of Germany, continued, gazing at me balefully, “is our greatest menace. Kill Bolshevism in Germany and you restore 70 million people to power. France owes her strength not to her armies but to the forces of Bolshevism and dissension in our midst.

“The Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of St Germain are kept alive by Bolshevism in Germany. The Peace Treaty and Bolshevism are two heads of one monster. We must decapitate both.”

When Adolf Hitler announced this programme, the advent of the Third Empire which he proclaims seemed still at the end of the rainbow. Then came election after election. Each time the power of Hitler grew. While unable to dislodge Hindenburg from the presidency, Hitler today heads the largest party in Germany. Unless Hindenburg assumes dictatorial measures, or some unexpected development completely upsets all present calculations, Hitler’s party will organise the Reichstag and dominate the government. Hitler’s fight was not against Hindenburg but against Chancellor Bruening. It is doubtful if Bruening’s successor can sustain himself without the support of the National Socialists.

Many who voted for Hindenburg were at heart with Hitler, but some deep-rooted sense of loyalty impelled them nevertheless to cast their vote for the old field marshal. Unless overnight a new leader arises, there is no one in Germany, with the exception of Hindenburg, who could defeat Hitler – and Hindenburg is 85! Time and the recalcitrance of the French fight for Hitler, unless some blunder on his own part, or dissension within the ranks of the party, deprives him of his opportunity to play the part of Germany’s Mussolini.

The first German Empire came to an end when Napoleon forced the Austrian emperor to surrender his imperial crown. The second empire came to an end when William II, on the advice of Hindenburg, sought refuge in Holland. The third empire is emerging slowly but surely, although it may dispense with sceptres and crowns.

I met Hitler not in his headquarters, the Brown House in Munich, but in a private home – the dwelling of a former admiral of the German Navy. We discussed the fate of Germany over the teacups.

“Why,” I asked Hitler, “do you call yourself a National Socialist, since your party programme is the very antithesis of that commonly accredited to socialism?”

“Socialism,” he retorted, putting down his cup of tea, pugnaciously, “is the science of dealing with the common weal. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. The Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning. I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists.

“Socialism is an ancient Aryan, Germanic institution. Our German ancestors held certain lands in common. They cultivated the idea of the common weal. Marxism has no right to disguise itself as socialism. Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic.

“We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party. We chose to call ourselves the National Socialists. We are not internationalists. Our socialism is national. We demand the fulfilment of the just claims of the productive classes by the state on the basis of race solidarity. To us state and race are one.”

Hitler himself is not a purely Germanic type. His dark hair betrays some alpine ancestor. For years he refused to be photographed. That was part of his strategy – to be known only to his friends so that, in the hour of crisis, he could appear here, there, and everywhere without detection. Today he could no longer pass unrecognised through the obscurest hamlet in Germany. His appearance contrasts strangely with the aggressiveness of his opinions. No milder mannered reformer ever scuttled ship of state or cut political throat.

“What,” I continued my cross-examination, “are the fundamental planks of your platform?”

“We believe in a healthy mind in a healthy body. The body politic must be sound if the soul is to be healthy. Moral and physical health are synonymous.” “Mussolini,” I interjected, “said the same to me.” Hitler beamed.

“The slums,” he added, “are responsible for nine-tenths, alcohol for one-tenth, of all human depravity. No healthy man is a Marxian. Healthy men recognise the value of personality. We contend against the forces of disaster and degeneration. Bavaria is comparatively healthy because it is not completely industrialised. However, all Germany, including Bavaria, is condemned to intensive industrialism by the smallness of our territory. If we wish to save Germany we must see to it that our farmers remain faithful to the land. To do so, they must have room to breathe and room to work.”

“Where will you find the room to work?”

“We must retain our colonies and we must expand eastward. There was a time when we could have shared world dominion with England. Now we can stretch our cramped limbs only toward the east. The Baltic is necessarily a German lake.”

“Is it not,” I asked, “possible for Germany to reconquer the world economically without extending her territory?”

Hitler shook his head earnestly.

“Economic imperialism, like military imperialism, depends upon power. There can be no world trade on a large scale without world power. Our people have not learned to think in terms of world power and world trade. However, Germany cannot extend commercially or territorially until she regains what she has lost and until she finds herself.

“We are in the position of a man whose house has been burned down. He must have a roof over his head before he can indulge in more ambitious plans. We had succeeded in creating an emergency shelter that keeps out the rain. We were not prepared for hailstones. However, misfortunes hailed down upon us. Germany has been living in a veritable blizzard of national, moral, and economic catastrophes.

“Our demoralised party system is a symptom of our disaster. Parliamentary majorities fluctuate with the mood of the moment. Parliamentary government unbars the gate to Bolshevism.”

“Unlike some German militarists, you do not favour an alliance with Soviet Russia?”

Hitler evaded a direct reply to this question. He evaded it again recently when Liberty asked him to reply to Trotsky’s statement that his assumption of power in Germany would involve a life-and-death struggle between Europe, led by Germany, and Soviet Russia.

“It may not suit Hitler to attack Bolshevism in Russia. He may even look upon an alliance with Bolshevism as his last card, if he is in danger of losing the game. If, he intimated on one occasion, capitalism refuses to recognise that the National Socialists are the last bulwark of private property, if capital impedes their struggle, Germany may be compelled to throw herself into the enticing arms of the siren Soviet Russia. But he is determined not to permit Bolshevism to take root in Germany.”

He responded warily in the past to the advances of Chancellor Bruening and others who wished to form a united political front. It is unlikely that now, in view of the steady increase in the vote of the National Socialists, Hitler will be in the mood to compromise on any essential principle with other parties.

“The political combinations upon which a united front depend,” Hitler remarked to me, “are too unstable. They render almost impossible a clearly defined policy. I see everywhere the zigzag course of compromise and concession. Our constructive forces are checked by the tyranny of numbers. We make the mistake of applying arithmetic and the mechanics of the economic world to the living state. We are threatened by ever increasing numbers and ever diminishing ideals. Mere numbers are unimportant.”

“But suppose France retaliates against you by once more invading your soil? She invaded the Ruhr once before. She may invade it again.”

“It does not matter,” Hitler, thoroughly aroused, retorted, “how many square miles the enemy may occupy if the national spirit is aroused. Ten million free Germans, ready to perish so that their country may live, are more potent than 50 million whose will power is paralysed and whose race consciousness is infected by aliens.

“We want a greater Germany uniting all German tribes. But our salvation can start in the smallest corner. Even if we had only 10 acres of land and were determined to defend them with our lives, the 10 acres would become the focus of regeneration. Our workers have two souls: one is German, the other is Marxian. We must arouse the German soul. We must uproot the canker of Marxism. Marxism and Germanism are antitheses.

“In my scheme of the German state, there will be no room for the alien, no use for the wastrel, for the usurer or speculator, or anyone incapable of productive work.”

The cords on Hitler’s forehead stood out threateningly. His voice filled the room. There was a noise at the door. His followers, who always remain within call, like a bodyguard, reminded the leader of his duty to address a meeting.

Hitler gulped down his tea and rose.

ანტისაბჭოთა ორგანიზაცია – სამანი

გეგა არდაზიშვილი

ანტისაბჭოთა ორგანიზაცია სამანი 1942 წლის ზაფხულში მაშინდელი თელავის რაიონის სოფ. ზემო ალვანში შეიქმნა. მისი შექმნის მიზანი იყო საბჭოთა ხელისუფლების წინააღმდეგ ბრძოლა საქართველოსათვის დამოუკიდებლობის მოპოვების მიზნით. სამანი იშიფრება როგორც – საქართველოსთვის მებრძოლი ახალგაზრდა ნაციონალისტი.
ეხლა კი ქრონოლოგიურად მივყვეთ მის ჩამოყალიბებას და განვითარებას. სამანის ჩამოყალიბების იდეა დაიბადა ჯერ კიდევ 1941 წელს, განჯის სამხედრო ნაწილში. ამ იდეას სათავეში ედგნენ გიორგი იმერლიშვილი და კოტე ხიმშიაშვილი, რომლებიც ამავე ნაწილში მსახურობდნენ. ანტისაბჭოთა იდეა მალევე განხორციელდა და ორგანიზაციად გადაიქცა თავისი მართველი ორგანოთი და კარგად გააზრებული სამოქმედო გეგმით.
ამ ორგანიზაციის ერთ–ერთი აქტიური წევრი იყო ზემო ალვანელი თუში გიორგი ქადაგიძე, რომელიც იმ წლებში თბილისის სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტის ასპირანტი იყო. გიორგი ქადაგიძის მეშვეობით ანტისაბჭოთა ორგანიზაციას დაუკავშირდნენ ადამ ბობღიაშვილი და მიხეილ (ფანცალე) იმედაძე.
1941 წლის დეკემბრისათვის საბჭოთა მთავრობამ მათი არსებობის შესახებ შეიტყო და მისი წევრების დაპატიმრება დაიწყო. 1941 დეკემბრის თვიდან 1942 მარტამდე პერიოდში დაპატიმრებული იქნა 37 პიროვნება, მათ შორის გიორგი ქადაგიძე, რომელიც დახვრეტილ იქნა.
მთავრობის მხრიდან აღნიშნული რეპრესიული მოქმედებების შემდეგ ადამ ბობღიაშვილი და მიხეილ იმედაძე თბილისს გაეცალნენ და თელავის რაიონის ტყეში განაგრძეს ორგანიზაცია სამანის ჩამოყალიბება/განვითარება. სამანის ძირითადი ცენტრი მდებარეობდა სოფელ ზემო ალვანში.
1942 წლის ოქტომბერში სამანის მეთაურები: ადამ ბობღიაშვილი, გიგო ქააძე, მიხეილ იმედიძე თუშეთში გაემგზავრნენ იქ ორგანიზაციის შესაქმნელად და შემდეგ ჩეჩნეთის ტერიტორიაზე მოქმედ იდრის მაგომედოევის შეიარაღებულ ფორმირებასთან დასაკავშირებლად.
ხოლო მანამდე კახეთში, ზემო ალვანსა და ქვემო ალვანში შექმნეს ორგანიზაცია და დაგეგმეს შეიარაღებული მოქმედებები მოწინააღმდეგეების მიმართ. დაცხრილეს თელავის რაიაღმასკომის თავჯდომარის – ციხისთავის მანქანა. მაგრამ თვითონ ციხისთავი გადაურჩა თავდასხმას. ამ პერიოდში სამანელებს მცდელობა ჰქონდათ საქართველოს ბოლშევიკური პარტიის ცეკას მდივან ჩხუბიანაშვილზე თავდასხმის მცდელობა.
სამანელები პირველად შტორლაში ასულან. მათ მეგზურობას უწევდა პლატო უშიძე, რომლის მამა – ბიძები 1924 წლის აჯანყებულთა თანადგომისათვის გაასამართლეს და დახვრიტეს.
შტორლადან ომალოში გადავიდნენ, იქაურებს დაელაპარაკნენ, საბჭოს თავჯდომარეს დანიელ ბიღოიძეს და ლუარსაბ (როსა) მელაიძეს. და შემდეგ გადავიდნენ სოფელ დოჭუში და იქ დაიდეს ბინა.
სამანელებმა სოფელ დოჭუში დაიწყეს აქტიური სააგიტაციო საქმიანობა, შემოიკრიბეს მხარდამჭერები. შეადგინეს 17 – 18 პუნქტიანი პირობის ფურცელი – წესდება და ყოველ მიმხრობილს ამ ფურცელზე ხელს აწერინებდნენ.
1942 წლის ზაფხულის პერიოდში ფრონტზე მიმდინარე ამბები სამანელებს იმედს აძლევდა რომ 1943 წლისათვის გერმანიის ჯარები კავკასიონის ქედს გადმოლახავდნენ და საქართველოს განთავისუფლებას მოახდენდნენ ბოლშევიკური მთავრობისგან.
აგიტაციის დროს სწორედ ამ ფაქტორზე კეთდებოდა აქცენტი: „გაზაფხულზე გერმანელები შემოვლენ, კოლექტივები დაიშლება და თქვენ, ვისთვისაც რა წაურთმევია კოლმეურნეობას – ცხვარი, ცხენი, მსხვილფეხა პირუტყვი თუ მიწა – მამული, ყველა თავისი დაუბრუნდებაო. ჩვენ მანამდე უნდა დავამხოთ ადგილობრივი საბჭოთა ხელისუფლება.“
სანამ სამანელები თუშეთში ავიდოდნენ მანამდე ჰყავდათ იქ მხარდამჭერების საკმაო რაოდენობა. როგორც ირკვევა სამანელები ზამთრის გატარებას თუშეთში არ აპირებდნენ. იქ მხოლოდ უნდა შეექმნათ ორგანიზაცია და თვითონ უნდა გადასულიყვნენ ჩეჩნეთში, იდრის მაგომედოევის შეიარაღებულ ფორმირებასთან დასაკავშირებლად, აქ აპირებდნენ დაკავშირებოდნენ გერმანელებს და გაზაფხულზე მათვე უნდა გადმოყვნენ სადაც დახვდებოდათ უკვე ჩამოყალიბებული ორგანიზაცია.
სცადეს კიდეც სამანელებმა ჩეჩნეთში გადასვლა მაგრამ ვერ მოახერხეს და იძულებულები გახდნენ დარჩენილიყვნენ ზამთრის განმავლობაში თუშეთში. ზამთრის პერიოდში მათი მოღვაწეობა ორი მიმართულებით მიმდინარეობს: მხარდამჭერთა მიზიდვა და იარაღის შოვნა.
იანვრის თვეში სამანელების ბირთვმა გომეწარის სოფლები შემოიარა, აგიტაციის მიზნით და შემდეგ მივიდნენ სოფელ, ნაციხარში. სადაც მოიწვიეს ჭანჭახოველთა კრება. ამ კრებაზე ხეობის ექვსივე სოფლის მამაკაცებს ორგანიზაციის წესდებაზე ხელი მოაწერინეს.
სამანელებმა საცხოვრებლად და შტაბად სოფელი დოჭუ აირჩიეს. დაარსეს ორი საყარაულო პუნქტი ბოჭორნაში და ხახაბოში, სადაც მუდმივ ედგათ შეიარაღებული ყარაულები.
სამანის მართავს ამ პერიოდში ახდნეს ოთხი ადამიანი:
• ადამ ბობღიაშვილი
• გიგო ქააძე
• მიხეილ (ფანცვალე) იმედიძე
• არჩილ კიტოშვილი
სამანელები ზამთრის დროს ცდილობენ კავშირი დაამყარონ თბილისში დარჩენილ წინააღმდეგობის მოძრაობის გადარჩენილ ნაწილთან. ამ მიზნით ადამ ბობღიაშვილმა კახეთში გამოგზავნა ჯგუფი, სამი კაცის შემადგენლობით: გოგალე ხოხიაიძე ვახტანგ ცისკარიშვილი და გიორგი რაინაული.

ამ ჯგუფიდან გოგალე ხოხიაიძე იყო მეკავშირე, რომელსაც დანაბარები უნდა გადაეცა თელავში ორგანიზაციის წევრისთვის – კიმოთე ლაგაზიძისთვის, რომელიც იმ დროს თელავის რაიონის ჯანგანში მუშაობდა. და კიმოთეს მეშვეობით უნდა დაკავშირებოდნენ თბილისს. მაგრამ როდესაც ჯგუფი თუშეთიდან ალვანში ჩავიდა, უკვე სამი კვირის დაპატიმრებული იყო კიმოთე. აქედან გამომდინარე ვერ მოხერხდა დაკავშირება და ჯგუფი ისევ უკან თუშეთში დაბრუნდა. ამის შემდეგ სამანელები აბსოლუტურ იზოლაციაში და ინფორმაციულ ვაკუუმში აღმოჩნდნენ და სრულიად დამოუკიდებლად დაიწყეს მოქმედებები. ამ იზოლაციის პერიოდში სამანელების ლიდერებში გაჩნდა ასეთი მოსაზრება: „გერმანელები თუ არა ინგლისელები მაინც მოვლენ, ხალხისთვის კიდე სულ ერთია, თავისუფლებას ეღირსებიანო.“
მთელი ამ ხნის განმავლობაში სანამ სამანელები აქტიურობდნენ, შინსახკომიც არ იყო უქმად, პერიოდულად მათ შორის ხდებოდა ხოლმე „კონტაქტები“. ხან მცირე შეიარაღებული დაპირისპირება ხან კიდე სამანელების მეკავშირეების დაკავება ხდებოდა.
შინსახოკმმა თავისი მოქმედებები სამანელების მიმართ გააქტიურა და მათი მოქმედების არეალი თანდათან მცირდებოდა. ამ პრესმა სამანელების შიგნითაც წარმოშვა დაძაბულობა.
თებერვლის ბოლოსთვის დაღესტანიდანაც თუშეთში შინსახკომის ჯარი, გამოცდილი მეთაურის ალიოშა კვაშალის მეთაურობით.
მან მიზნად დაისახა ხელშეუხებლობის მიცემის საშუალებით ხალხი ჩამოეცილებინა სამანის ბირთვისთვის. უნდა ითქვას რომ კვაშალმა წარმატებას ეტაპობრივად მიაღწია და რკალი თანდათან ვიწროვდებოდა.
სამანელების ლიდერებმა განსაზღვრეს მოახლოებული საფრთხე და გადაწყვიტეს კახეთში წამოსულიყვნენ. ეს ადმიანები იყვნენ: ადამ ბობღიაშვილი, ფანცვალე იმედიძე, გიგო ქააძე, არჩილ კიტოშვილი, დევანოზ თავბერიძე, მამა – შვილი კიბორჭაიძეები პეტო და ბიჭიკო.
ამ დროს უკვე სამანელების მხარდამჭერები კვაშალის მხარზე გადავიდნენ. კვაშალმა შეიტყო სამანის ხელმძღვანელობის კახეთში წამოსვლის შესახებ და შეადგინა თორმეტკაციანი შეიარარებული რაზმი მათ გასანადგურებლად. ამ ჯგუფში შედიოდნენ, ჯგუფის ხელმძღვანელი, კომპარტიის წევრი, დართლოს სასოფლო საბჭოს თავჯდომარე კობე არშაულიძე, ქარუმაიძე მიტრო, რაინაული სვიმანი, მათე წვერაძე….
მადევრები სამანელების კვალს სწორად მიჰყვნენ, დასაზვერად წინ წასული მათე წვერაიძე თავზე წაადგება კიდეც მძინარე სამანელებს. შემდეგ უკან დაბრუნდება ისე ჯგუფთან და მეთაურისთვის შეუთავაზებია რომ მათი დაპატიმრება, მაგრამ კობე წინააღმდეგი წასულა, არ დაგვნებდებიანო.
გამთენიისას სამანელებს შეუნიშნავთ მისული მადევრის ნაკვალევი და მათ შორის სროლა ატყდა. საბოლო ჯამში ეს დაპირისპირება სამანელების განადგურებით დასრულდა, ამ შეიარაღებულ დაპირისპირებას მხოლოდ გადაურჩა გიგო ქააძე და პეტო კიბორჭაიძე, რომლებიც მხოლოდ დაიჭრნენ. აღსანიშნავია ისიც რომ თელავიდანაც იყო შეიარაღებული რაზმი წამოსული რათა ალყაში მოექციათ სამანელები.
ამის პარალელურად კვაშალი დროს არ კარგავს და იწვევს თუშეთის კრებას ომალოში. დანიშნულ დღეს ომალოს სკოლა – ინტერნატის ეზოში თუშეთის მთელი მოსახლეობა იყრის თავს. კვაშალის თხოვნით ყველა ეწერება სიაში ამის, შემდეგ ალიოშა კვაშალის ბრძანებით ჯარმა ალყა შემოარტყა შეკრებილებს. ნაწილი იქვე გაანთავისუფლა კვაშალმა ხოლო 52 ადამიანი დააპატიმრა და მარტის ბოლოს ჩაიყვანეს თელავში. დაპატიმრებულთა უმრავლესობას შეეფარდათ 10 წლიანი პატიმრობა და გადასახლება, უმეტესობა ვერც დაბრუნდა უკან. ხოლო სამანის ხელმძღვანელობიდან:
• ადამ ბობღიაშვილი, შეიარაღებულ შეტაკებაში გარდაიცვალა.
• მიხეილ (ფანცვალე) იმედიძე, შეიარაღებულ შეტაკებაში გარდაიცვალა.
• გიგო ქააძე, დაპატიმრების შემდეგ დახვრიტეს.
• არჩილ კიტოშვილი, დაპატიმრების შემდეგ დახვრიტეს.

სამანელების ისტორია ძალიან დიდია და ჯერ კიდევ ბოლომდე შეუსწავლელი, აქედან გამომდინარე ამ ჩანაწერში არასრულად არის წარმოდგენილი ინფორმაცია.
შეძლებისდაგვარად სრული ინფორმაციის მიღება შესაძლებელია გიორგი ცოცანიძის წიგნიდან – თუშური ქრონიკები.

გამოყენებული წყარო:
გიორგი ცოცანიძე – თუშური ქრონიკები.

გიორგი კვინიტაძე

მიხეილ ბასილაძე

გენერალი გიორგი კვინიტაძე (ჩიქოვანი), რომლის სახელსაც დემოკრატიული საქართველოს პერიოდის ყველაზე წარმატებული სამხედრო ოპერაციები უკავშირდება, 1874 წლის 21 აგვისტოს დაიბადა.
მამამისი ივანე კვინიტაძე, როგორც თავადს შეეფერებოდა, სამხედრო იყო. მეფის რუსეთის არმიაში მას პოლკოვნიკის წოდება ჰქონდა. შვილსაც სამხედრო კარიერისთვის ამზადებდა. გიორგი 10 წლის იყო, როდესაც იგი სასწავლებლად ტფილისის კადეტთა კორპუსში მიაბარეს.

“არ არის ტყვია, რომელიც მე მომკლავს, რადგან ჩემი ფესვები იმ ქვეყანაშია, რომელსაც ჰკლავდნენ და არ კვდებოდა…”

მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ კვინიტაძეს რუსულ არმიაში სამსახურისთვის ამზადებდნენ იგი თავის წარმომავლობასა და სამშობლოს არასოდეს ივიწყებდა. გიორგის მამა, ივანე ცდილობდა, რომ ვაჟისთვის პატრიოტული გრძნობა ბავშვობიდანვე განევითარებინა. ამასვე უწყობდა ხელს ის გარემო, რომელთანაც გიორგის მუდმივი შეხება ჰქონდა. XIX საუკუნის მიწურულისთვის საქართველოში რუსული წეს-ჩვეულება ქვეყნის თითქმის ყველა სფეროში საკმაოდ ფეხმოკიდებული იყო. მაგრამ, ქართველი ხალხი მონობას ძნელად ეგუებოდა. დამპყრობლების მიმართ მკვეთრად უარყოფითი დამოკიდებულება მოსახლეობის ყველა ფენაში იგრძნობოდა. ამის მაგალითია კვინიტაძის მიერ თავის მოგონებებში აღწერილი ეპიზოდი: ერთ ზაფხულს, გიორგი სამხედრო სასწავლებლიდან შვებულებით თავის მშობლიურ სოფელში ფეხით მიდიოდა. 15 წლის მოზარდს გზაში უბრალო გლეხი წამოეწია. მათ შორის შემდეგი საუბარი გაიმართა:

– სალდათი ხარ?

– არა სალდათი არა ვარ – ვუპასუხე მე

– მაშ რად გაკვრია პაგონები?

– სამხედრო სკოლის მოწაფე ვარ

– როცა სკოლას გაათავებ სალდათი იქნები?

– არა თუ სკოლას გავათავებ გადამიყვანენ რუსეთში და იქ კიდევ 2 წელი მასწავლიან. თუ კარგად ვისწავლე ოფიცერი გავხდები.

– მერე?

– მერე გენერალი.

– მაშ კარგად ისწავლე და გახდი გენერალი

– მერე შენ რა გავხდები თუ არა გენერალი?

– როგორ თუ რა? – მომიგო უცებ – გახდები გენერალი, გაგვიძღვები და გავყრით რუსებს.

მომავალში გიორგი კვინიტაძე მართლა გახდა გენერალი და რუსების წინააღმდეგ ქართველების ბრძოლას მეთაურობდა, მაგრამ სანამ გენერლის წოდებას მიიღებდა, მან სამხედრო კარიერის ყველა ეტაპი გაიარა. ტფილისის კადეტთა კორპუსის შემდეგ, კვინიტაძემ პეტერბურგის ფეხოსანთა სასწავლებელი დაამთავრა და 1894 წელს ოფიცრის ჩინი მიიღო. ახალგაზრდა ოფიცრის სამხედრო კარიერას საფუძველი 1894 წელს ჩაეყარა. კვინიტაძე კავკასიაში, კერძოდ კი ვლადიკავკაზის 153-ე პოლკში გაანაწილეს. როდესაც 1904 წელს რუსეთ-იაპონიის ომი დაიწყო, გიორგიმ პატაკი დაწერა და შორეულ აღმოსავლეთში საბრძოლველად საკუთარი ნებით წავიდა.

ომის შემდეგ კვინიტაძის კარიერა აღმასვლით გაგრძელდა. 1910 წელს მან რუსეთის გენშტაბის აკადემია დაასრულა და კაპიტნის წოდებით სამსახური კავკასიის სამხედრო შტაბში დაიწყო. აქვე შეხვდა იგი პირველ მსოფლიო ომს. კავკასიის ფრონტზე კვინიტაძე წარმატებით იბრძოდა. 1916 წელს მას პოლკოვნიკის სამხედრო წოდება მიანიჭეს და მე-4 მსროლელი დივიზიის მეთაურობა ჩააბარეს. ამ პოსტზე კვინიტაძემ არზრუმისთვის გამართულ ბრძოლაში გამოიჩინა თავი. წარმატებული ოპერაციისთვის კვინიტაძე წმინდა გიორგის მე-4 ხარისხის ორდენით დააჯილდოვეს და გენერალ-მაიორის წოდებაც მიანიჭეს. სწორედ ამ რანგში შეხვდა კვინიტაძე 1917 წლის რევოლუციას.

რევოლუციის პერიოდში რუსეთის არმია ქაოსმა მოიცვა. ამბოხებული ჯარისკაცები თვითნებურად ტოვებდნენ საბრძოლო პოზიციებს, აწყობდნენ ოფიცრების სასამართლო პროცესებს. ახევდნენ მათ სამხრეებს და ხშირ შემთხვევაში ადგილზე ხვრეტდნენ. რუსეთის ცენტრალურ ოლქებში დაწყებულმა არეულობამ კავკასიის ფრონტამდეც მიაღწია. რუსი ჯარისკაცები წინა ხაზიდან მასობრივად გარბოდნენ. სამხედროებით დატვირთული ეშელონები საქართველოს გავლით რუსეთისკენ მიემართებოდნენ და გზად ყველაფერს ძარცვავდნენ.

ასეთ ვითარებაში გიორგი კვინიტაძემ უარი თქვა რუსულ არმიაში სამსახურზე და საქართველოში დარჩა. მან ქართული არმიის შექმნაში აქტიური მონაწილეობის მიღება გადაწყვიტა.

1918 წელს ამიერკავკასიის რესპუბლიკის სამხედრო მინისტრის – გრიგოლ გიორგაძის ბრძანებით, იგი საქართველოს რესპუბლიკის ჯარების მთავარსარდლად და სამხედრო მინისტრის თანაშემწედ დაინიშნა. იმ პერიოდში რეგულარული ქართული არმია საერთოდ არ არსებობდა. იყვნენ მხოლოდ ქართველი ჯარისკაცები, რომლებიც რუსეთის არმიაში მსახურობდნენ და რევოლუციის შემდეგ სამშობლოში ფრონტიდან ჯგუფ-ჯგუფად ბრუნდებოდნენ. კვინიტაძის ამოცანას ამ ქაოსიდან რეგულარული ქართული სამხედრო ნაწილების ჩამოყალიბება წარმოადგენდა. თუმცა, მას საქმის ნორმალურად წარმოების საშუალება არ მისცეს. საქართველოს სოციალ-დემოკრატიული მთავრობა, რომელთა იდეოლოგიაც საკმაოდ ახლოს იდგა ბოლშევიკებთან, ოფიცრობას ეჭვის თვალით უყურებდა და ისინი კლასობრივ მტრებად მიაჩნდა. თვლიდნენ, რომ ოფიცრებს სოციალისტური მთავრობის წინააღმდეგ შეიარაღებული გამოსვლა შეეძლო.

არმიის საპირწონედ ნოე ჟორდანიას მთავრობამ საკუთარი გვარდიის ჩამოყალიბება დაიწყო. საქართველოში გვარდია 1917 წლის 12 დეკემბერს დაარსდა. თავდაპირველად გვარდიის ძირითად ამოცანას კავკასიის ფრონტიდან გაქცეული ჯარისკაცების შეკავება, თბილისზე მათი შესაძლო თავდასხმის მოგერიება და ქალაქში არსებული სამხედრო არსენალის დაცვა წარმოადგენდა. არეულ პერიოდში მათვე ევალებოდათ საზოგადოებრივი წესრიგის დაცვაც. თავიდან მას წითელი გვარდია ერქვა. 1918 წელს საქართველოს სოციალ-დემოკრატიულმა მთავრობამ წითელი გვარდიის გაძლიერება გადაწყვიტა, მას სახალხო გვარდია უწოდეს და სამხედრო ყაიდაზე გადაიყვანეს. გვარდია სოციალ-დემოკრატთა სამხედრო ორგანიზაციად ჩამოყალიბდა. მისი მმართველი აპარატი პარტიული ჩინოვნიკებისგან შედგებოდა, რომლებსაც სამხედრო საქმეზე ბუნდოვანი წარმოდგენა ჰქონდათ.

ჟორდანიას მთავრობამ გვარდია თავიდანვე პრივილეგირებულ მდგომარეობაში ჩააყენა. ამის გამო, პროფესიული ჯარი ქვეყანაში ბედის ანაბარად მიტოვებული აღმოჩნდა. არმიასთან შედარებით უკეთ აღჭურვილი გვარდია საბრძოლო თვალსაზრისით, სუსტი ერთეული იყო. ორგანიზაციაში საერთოდ არ არსებობდა დისციპლინა. თუ გვარდიელს ბრძანება არ მოსწონდა, მას უბრალოდ არ ასრულებდა. ხშირად გვარდია ან უარს ამბობდა ომზე, ან ბრძოლის ველს თვითნებურად ტოვებდა.

თავად კვინიტაძე სახალხო გვარდიას შემდეგნაირად აფასებდა: “თანამდებობა რომ დავიკავე, გვარდიაც და არმიაც მე მექვემდებარებოდა, ამიტომ გამეცინა, როდესაც გვარდიის უფროსმა ვალიკო ჯუღელმა მომმართა: გვარდიის შტაბთან მიმოწერის დროს სიტყვა “ვბრძანებ” არ იხმარო, თხოვნით მიმართე ხოლმეო. ეს იმდენად უმნიშვნელო ფორმალობა იყო, რომ კამათი არ დამიწყია და ვუპასუხე: მზად ვარ სამჯერ გავიმეორო სიტყვა “გთხოვთ”, ოღონდაც ჩემი “თხოვნა” შეასრულონ-მეთქი. გვარდიამ ბრძოლაში სრული უუნარობა და უცოდინარობა გამოავლინა. სრულიად უმნიშვნელო წარუმატებლობის შემთხვევაშიც კი მთელი ფრონტი იფანტებოდა. უფროსებისადმი დაუმორჩილებლობა, ხელმძღვანელების უსუსურობა ჯარის ამ სახეობის ძირითადი დამახასიათებელი ნიშანი იყო.

ვფიქრობ მენშევიკებს შემდეგი აზრი ჰქონდათ: ჯარი საჭიროა გარეშე მტერთან საბრძოლველად, ხოლო გვარდია ჯართან საბრძოლველად თუ საჭირო გახდებოდა.

სახალხო გვარდიის გულის მოსაგებად მენშევიკები არაფერს ზოგავდნენ. რაც შეიძლებოდა საუკეთესო მუდამ გვარდიას ჰქონდა – საუკეთესო იარაღი, საუკეთესო მოკაზმულობა, ტანსაცმელი, ცხენები, სურსათი და ჯამაგირი. და ეს მაშინ, როდესაც ქართული ჯარის უფროსები ქალაქის ქუჩებში ფულს სესხულობდნენ კერძო პირებისაგნ ჯარის მოსაწყობად.”

კვინიტაძის მოთხოვნით, გვარდია საერთო სამხედრო მმართველობას უნდა დამორჩილებოდა, რითაც მათი პრივილეგირებული და ავტონომიური მდგომარეობა ისპობოდა.

საგანგებო კრებაზე გიორგი კვინიტაძემ ეს მოსაზრება სოციალ-დემოკრატების ხელმძღვანელს ნოე ჟორდანიას გააცნო: “მესმის, რომ თქვენ გსურთ გყავდეთ სანდო დასაყრდენი ძალა ახალი წეს-წყობილების გასამყარებლად. დეე, ასე იყოს. მაგრამ ომის დროს გვარდიელები უნდა იყვნენ გაწვეულნი ჯარში, თანახმად მობილიზაციის სიებისა.”

როგორც კვინიტაძე თავის მოგონებებში წერს, მისმა წინადადებამ ჟორდანიას აღშფოთება გამოიწვია. მთავრობის თავმჯდომარემ კვინიტაძის საპასუხოდ შემდეგი განაცხადა: “მე როგორც მუშათა და ჯარისკაცთა საბჭოს თავმჯდომარე, ვაცხადებ, რომ ქართული ჯარის სათავეში შეუძლებელია ყოფნა ისეთი პირისა, რომელიც ასე მტრულად არის განწყობილი გვარდიის მიმართ.”

კვინიტაძემ ჟორდანიას ამაზე საკმაოდ მკვახე პასუხი გასცა: “მე არავის არ ვთხოვდი სამსახურს; დავბრუნდები ჩემს სახლში და დავიწყებ ჩემს აივანზე მშვიდად თამბაქოს წევას ისე, როგორც სანამ აქ მომიწვევდით. თქვენი აღელვება არ შეეფერება არც თქვენს წლოვანებას და არც თქვენს ჭაღარა წვერს.”

უთანხმოების გამო, 1918 წლის ზაფხულში გიორგი კვინიტაძე დაკავებული თანამდებობებიდან საკუთარი ნებით გადადგა. თუმცა, სოციალ-დემოკრატების მთავრობას კვინიტაძის სამსახური ძალიან მალე დასჭირდა. 1918 წლის დეკემებერში სომხეთმა საქართველოსგან ჯავახეთისა და ბორჩალოს მაზრების გადაცემა მოითხოვა. უარის მიღების შემდეგ, ერევანმა 8 დეკემბერს სამხედრო ოპერაცია დაიწყო. რამდენიმე დღეში, მოწინააღმდეგემ მთლიანად დაიკავა ბორჩალოს მაზრა და მდინარე ხრამს მოადგა. ფრონტი საქართველოს დედაქალაქს უახლოვდებოდა. სომხეთმა უკვე თბილისის დაცლაც მოითხოვა.

საქართველოში მობილიზაცია გამოცხადდა. ქართული ჯარის მეთაურობა გენერალ გიორგი მაზნიაშვილს დაევალა. მაზნიაშვილის შტაბის უფროსობა კი ჟორდანიას მთავრობამ კვინიტაძეს სთხოვა. გენერალი სოციალ-დემოკრატების თხოვნას უსიტყვოდ დათანხმდა.

მაზნიაშვილისა და კვინიტაძის სწორად დაგეგმილი სამხედრო ოპერაციის წყალობით, 16 დეკემბერს საქართველოს არმია შეტევაზე გადავიდა და მოწინააღმდეგე შეავიწროვა. ბორჩალოს მაზრა სომხური შენაერთებისგან მთლიანად გაიწმინდა. 31 დეკემბერს ომი საქართველოს გამარჯვებით დასრულდა. მაგრამ გამარჯვების მიუხედავად, საქართველო ამ კონფლიქტით მაინც დაზარალდა. ინგლისის შუამავლობით, მხარეებს შორის ზავი დაიდო. ბორჩალო, რომელიც მანამდე საქართველოს ტერიტორია იყო, სადავო გახდა და იგი სამ ნაწილად გაიყო: ჩრდილოეთი საქართველოს დაუტოვეს, სამხრეთი სომხეთს გადაეცა, ხოლო მისი ცენტრალური ნაწილი – ლორეს რაიონი – ნეიტრალურ ზონად გამოცხადდა. ამ ომს კვინიტაძე შემდეგნაირად იგონებს: “ჟორდანიამ მოგებული ჯარი შეაჩერა და მოლაპარაკება დაიწყო. რას მივაღწიეთ? დავთმეთ ის, რაც ისედაც ჩვენი საკუთრება იყო. ის რაც ჩვენს განუყოფელ ტერიტორიად მიგვაჩნდა. ტერიტორიის დათმობა, უომრადაც შეიძლებოდა. რისთვისღა ვიბრძოდით?… დედაქალაქიდან 60-80 ვერსის დაშორებით იღვრებოდა ქართველთა სისხლი, მობილიზაცია კი მხოლოდ 18 დეკემბერს დაიწყო. 12 დეკემბერს განსაკუთრებული ზეიმით აღინიშნა სახალხო გვარდიის მიერ არსენალის აღების დღე. ამ დღის კიდევ უფრო სადღესასწაულო განწყობის შესაქმნელად ეკატერინენფელდიდან (დღევანდელი ბოლნისი), სამხედრო მოქმედებათა თეატრიდან, ცხენოსანთა გვარდია იხმეს თბილისში.”

1919 წლის თებერვალში, სამხრეთ საქართველოში ისლამურმა აჯანყებამ იფეთქა. თურქეთის ხელშეწყობით, აჯანყებას მაჰმადიანი ქართველი ბეგები ხელმძღვანელობდნენ, რომლებიც მიზნად სამცხე-ჯავახეთის თურქეთთან შეერთებას ისახავდნენ. ისლამისტებმა რეგიონში დისლოცირებული ქართული ნაწილები გაანადგურეს და რამდენიმე დღეში მთელი რეგიონი საკუთარ კონტროლს დაუქვემდებარეს. ვითარება საგანგაშო გახდა. ამბოხებულები ბორჯომს უახლოვდებოდნენ.

ჟორდანიას მთავრობამ საშველად კვლავ გიორგი კვინიტაძეს უხმო. იგი საქართველოს მთავარსარდლის პოსტზე აღადგინეს და აჯანყების ჩაქრობა დაავალეს. კვინიტაძე ბორჯომში თებერვლის ბოლოს ჩავიდა. მარტის განმავლობაში მან დეზორგანიზებული ქართული ჯარის დალაგება შეძლო და შემდეგ ბეგების წინააღმდეგ გაილაშქრა. კვინიტაძის მიერ განხორციელებული სამხედრო კამპანია იმდენად წარმატებული აღმოჩნდა, რომ საქართველომ დაიბრუნა არამარტო სამცხე-ჯავახათი, არამედ კონტროლი დააწესა საქართველოს ძირძველ კუთხეზე – ტაო-კლარჯეთზე. კვინიტაძის გამარჯვების შემდეგ, არდაგანში და ართვინში ქართული სამხედრო გარნიზონი ჩადგა.

წარმატებული ოპერაციის შემდეგ კვინიტაძემ კვლავ დააყენა არმიის რეორგანიზაციის საკითხი. მისი პროექტი გვარდიის გაუქმებას და მის ჯართან შეერთებას ითვალისწინებდა. მაგრამ, სოციალ-დემოკრატების მთავრობამ და მისმა მომხრე სამხედროებმა, ამაზე უარი განაცხადეს. ამის გამო, 1919 წლის მაისში კვინიტაძე მთავარსარდლის თანამდებობიდან კვლავ გადადგა.

ამავე პერიოდში საქართველოს თავდაცვის მინისტრმა გრიგოლ ლორთქიფანიძემ კვინიტაძეს სამხედრო სკოლის ჩამოყალიბება სთხოვა. ყოფილი მთავარსარდალი საქმეს ენთუზიაზმით შეუდგა. მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ იგი ფინანსურად დიდ გაჭირვებას განიცდიდა და მთავრობის მიერ გამოყოფილი სახსრებიც არ იყო საკმარისი, კვინიტაძემ მაინც შეძლო სამხედრო სასწავლებელის დაარსება. 1919 წელს თბილისში იუნკერთა სამხედრო სკოლა გაიხსნა, რომლის პირველი ხელმძღვანელიც სწორედ გიორგი კვინიტაძე იყო.

1920 წელს ნოე ჟორდანიას მთავრობას კვინიტაძე კვლავ დასჭირდა. ვითარება აზერბაიჯანის საზღვართან გართულდა, სადაც რუსეთის XI არმიის ნაწილები შეტევაზე გადმოვიდნენ.

ბოლშევიკურმა რუსეთმა ამიერკავკასიაში სამხედრო ინტერვენცია აპრილის ბოლოს დაიწყო. 28 აპრილს წითელი ნაწილები ბაქოში შევიდნენ. აზერბაიჯანში კომუნისტური რეჟიმი დამყარდა. სერგო ორჯონიკიძე, რომელიც XI არმიის ფაქტობრივი ხელმძღვანელი იყო, ბოლშევიკურ გადატრიალებას საქართველოშიც გეგმავდა. 2 მაისს, XI არმიამ მისი ბრძანებით, საქართველოს წინააღმდეგ საბრძოლო მოქმედებები დაიწყო. თუმცა, ბოლშევიკებს წინ წაწევის საშუალება კვინიტაძემ არ მისცა. სასაზღვრო ბრძოლებში XI არმიის ავანგარდი სასტიკად დამარცხდა და უკან დაიხია. კვინიტაძის მეთაურობით ქართულმა ნაწილებმა რამდენიმე ვერსით აზერბაიჯანის ტერიტორიაზეც კი წაიწიეს.

იმ დროს არსებული პოლიტიკური ვითარებიდან გამომდინარე, რუსეთმა საქართველოს წინააღმდეგ სამხედრო ოპერაციის წარმოება მიზანშეუწონლად ჩათვალა და 7 მაისს თბილისთან სამშვიდობო ხელშეკრულება გააფორმა, სადაც საქართველო სუვერენულ ქვეყნად აღიარა.

კვინიტაძე: “ჩვენ დავამარცხეთ რუსების ერთი დივიზია, მათ მოხსნეს მეორე დივიზიაც, მაგრამ ისიც დავამარცხეთ. ჩვენი ცნობით ბოლშევიკებს აზერბაიჯანში ჰყავდათ მხოლოდ ერთი დივიზია და ისიც ბაქოსთან. ამ დროს კი მე მყავდა 40 ათასზე მეტი ჯარისკაცი… ჩვენ შეგვეძლო ბოლშევიკებისაგან მთელი ამიერკავკასია გაგვეწმინდა. ეს ხომ 1920 წელს ხდებოდა, როცა პოლონეთი და ვრანგელი ორ ფრონტზე აწარმოებდნენ ომს საბჭოთა რუსეთის წინააღმდეგ და ამ უკანასკნელს არ შეეძლო აზერბაიჯანელი ბოლშევიკების დახმარება. მაგრამ ჩვენ არ გამოვიყენეთ ეს ვითარება”.

1920 წლის აგვისტოში კვინიტაძე კიდევ ერთხელ გადადგა საქართველოს ჯარების მთავარსარდლის პოსტიდან, რადგან დაინახა, რომ ჟორდანიას ხელისუფლება არ ზრუნავდა ჯარის მოწყობაზე, საზღვრების გამაგრებაზე და ქვეყნის თავდაცვის სისტემის გაუმჯობესებაზე.

ამ პერიოდში კვინიტაძეს ძალიან უჭირდა. იგი ფაქტიურად საარსებო წყაროს გარეშე იყო დარჩენილი. ოჯახიდან რაც კი შეიძლებოდა ყველაფერი გაყიდეს. მთავრობამ დახმარების სახით, მას თვეში ათასი მანეთი დაუნიშნა. თუმცა, ქვეყანაში არსებული მძიმე ეკონომიკური კრიზისის გათვალისწინებით, მთავრობის მიერ კვინიტაძისთვის დაწესებული თანხა უფრო დაცინვას ჰგავდა, ვიდრე დახმარებას. მცირე შემოსავალი კვინიტაძეს იუნკერთა სკოლიდან ჰქონდა, სადაც ტაქტიკისა და სამხედრო ისტორიის კურსს კითხულობდა. ყოფილი მთავარსარდლის ხელფასი 9 ათას მანეთს შეადგენდა. კვინიტაძეს იმდენად უჭირდა, რომ უფულობის გამო ტრამვაითაც კი ვერ მგზავრობდა და ლექციებზე სახლიდან ფეხით დადიოდა.

ასეთი გაჭირვების მიუხედავად, 1921 წლის იანვარში, როდესაც საქართველოს ხელისუფლებამ ქვეყნის თავდაცვისთვის სპეციალური ფონდი შექმნა, კვინიტაძემ და მისმა მეუღლემ მარიამ მაყაშვილმა ფონდში 4 ვერცხლის კოვზი და 3 გერმანული ვერცხლის მარკა ჩააბარეს.

1921 წლის თებერვალში ბოლშევიკებმა საქართველოს წინააღმდეგ ომი დაიწყეს. ინტერვენციის ფორმალურ მიზეზად რუსეთმა ლორეს რაიონში კომუნისტების მიერ ინსპირირებული აჯანყება გამოიყენეს. აჯანყებულებმა რეგიონში მდგარი ქართული შენაერთები გაანადგურეს და დახმარებისთვის რუსეთს მიმართეს. 16 თებერვალს მათ დასახმარებლად აზერბაიჯანში და სომხეთში დისლოცირებული XI არმიის ნაწილები დაიძრნენ. მტერმა გადმოლახა წითელი ხიდი, აიღო შულავერი და თბილისს მიუახლოვდა.

ამ მძიმე ვითარებაში ჟორდანიას მთავრობას კვინიტაძე კიდევ ერთხელ გაახსენდა. გენერალი უკვე ერთი კვირა იყო, რაც ლოგინში იწვა. გაციების გამო გენერალს ჰაიმორიტი გაურთულდა და მაღალ სიცხესთან ერთად თავის ძლიერი ტკივილებისგან იტანჯებოდა. 15 თებერვლის საღამოს კვინიტაძეს ტელეფონზე ეროვნული გვარდიის უფროსმა ვალიკო ჯუღელმა დაურეკა და საგარეო საქმეთა სამინისტროში მისვლა სთხოვა, სადაც მთავრობის საგანგებო თათბირი მიმდინარეობდა. თათბირზე გაირკვა, რომ რუსების შეტევის შედეგად, საქართველოს ჯარი დაფანტულია და თუ არ მოხდებოდა თბილისის დაცვის სასწრაფო ორგანიზება მტერი დედაქალაქში შემოვიდოდა. მთავრობის გადაწყვეტილებით, მთავარსარდლის პოსტიდან გენერალი ოდიშელიძე გადააყენეს და მის ნაცვლად გიორგი კვინიტაძე დანიშნეს. ბოლშევიკებთან საბრძოლველად თბილისში მობილიზაცია გამოცხადდა: “ტფილისის ქალაქის გამგეობის განცხადება

თანახმად საქართველოს რესპუბლიკის თავდაცვის საბჭოს დადგენილებისა გამოცხადებულია მობილიზაცია რესპუბლიკის ყველა მოქალაქეებისა 40 წლამდის, გარდა რუსებისა. მობილიზაციის პირველ დღეთ დანიშნულია 21 თებერვალი; ამიტომ აღნიშნული წლოვანების მცხოვრებნი ქალაქ ტფილისში უნდა გამოცხადდენ 21 თებერვალს დილის 9 საათზე ტფილისის სამხედრო აღრიცხვის უფროსის სამმართველოში. მობილიზაცია გაგრძელდება 22 თებერვლის საღამოს 5 საათამდე.”

კვინიტაძემ სასწრაფოდ გამოიხმო საზღვრიდან გადარჩენილი ნაწილები მას სარეზევრო ქვედანაყოფები და იუნკერთა სკოლის კურსანტები დაუმატა და თბილისის დაცვის მოწყობას შეუდგა. დაცვა იმდენად ეფექტურად იყო ორგანიზებული, რომ რიცხვით სამჯერ მეტმა მოწინააღმდეგემ ქართველების თავდაცვითი ხაზის გარღვევა გააფთრებული ბრძოლების შედეგადაც ვერ შეძლეს. კვინიტაძეს წარმატება სოციალ-დემოკრატებმაც კი აღიარეს. ამასთან დაკავშირებით, დამფუძნებელმა კრებამ სპეციალური მიმართვაც კი მიიღო:

“მთავარსარდალ გენერალ გიორგი კვინიტაძეს.

დამფუძნებელი კრება აღფრთოვანებული მოგესალმებათ თქვენ და თქვენი ხელმძღვანელობით მოქმედ ჯარსა და გვარდიას, რომელთაც თავდადებით და გმირობით გადაარჩინეს სამშობლო გამხეცებულ მტრის ურდოების შემოსევას. თებერვლის ცხრამეტისა, ოცის და ოცდაერთის ბრწყინვალე ბრძოლანი ოქროს ასოებით აღიბეჭდება საქართველოს ისტორიის ფურცლებზე, ხოლო შთამომავლობას იგი გადაეცემა როგორც საარაკო თქმულება ქართველი მეომრის ძლევამოსილებისა.

გაუმარჯოს საქართველოს შეიარაღებულ ძალებს! სახელი და დიდება ვინც სამშობლოს თავის შესწირა და გმირუად აღესრულა ბრძოლის ველზე

დამფუძნებელი კრების თავმჯდომარე

ნ. ჩხეიძე”

24 თებერვალს რუსებმა თბილისის მიმართულებით დამატებითი ძალები გადმოისროლეს და ქალაქის დამცველთა ფლანგებიდან შემოვლა დაიწყეს. დედაქალაქს და მასთან ერთად საქართველოს მთავრობას ალყის საფრთხე დაემუქრა. ასეთ ვითარებაში კვინიტაძემ უკან დახევისა და ქალაქის დაცლის გადაწყვეტილება მიიღო. მოგვიანებით, XI არმიის სარდალი გეკერი კვინიტაძის მიერ შესრულებულ უკანდახევის მანევრს შემდეგ შეფასებას მისცემს: “უკანდახევისთვის, რომ ორდენს იძლეოდნენ, იგი უთუოდ კვინიტაძეს ეკუთვნის. ამ უკანდახევით, მან სასწაული მოახდინა.” 25 თებერვლის ღამეს თბილისი ქართული ნაწილებისგან დაიცალა. დედაქალაქი დატოვა დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკის მთვარობამაც. გამთენიისას თბილისში უკვე XI არმიის მოწინავე ნაწილები გამოჩნდნენ.

საქართველოს მთავრობამ და ქართულმა ჯარმა ბათუმის მიმართულებით დაიწყო უკანდახევა. გზაზე საშინელი ქაოსი და არეულობა იყო. გენერალი გიორგი კვინიტაძე: “მცხეთაში წავედი. ქალაქში შესასვლელი გზები ოთხთვალებს გაეჭედათ. ცხენზე ამხედრებულმა გზა ძლივს გავიკვლიე. მცხეთის სადგურში მივედი. იქაურობა სამხედრო ფორმიანი ხალხით იყო სავსე. ჯარისკაცები თითქმის არ დამინახავს; ძირითადად გვარდიელები იყვნენ. ისინი მატარებლებში სხდებოდნენ და მის გასვლას ელოდებოდნენ. გვარდიის შტაბი მოვძებნე და მათ თავისიანებში წესრიგის დამყარება და ნაწილების შეკრება მოვთხოვე. მათ მიპასუხეს, რომ უკვე სცადეს და არაფერი გამოუვიდათ.”

1921 წლის 17 მარტს ბათუმში საქართველოს დამფუძნებელი კრების უკანასკნელ სხდომაზე გადაწყდა, რომ მთავრობა ქვეყანას ტოვებს და პოლიტიკურ ემიგრაციაში მიემგზავრება. დამფუძნებელი კრების დადგენილებით, ემიგრაციაში წამსვლელთა რაოდენობაც განისაზღვრა. მთავრობის წევრების გარდა, 10 პოლიტიკური მოღვაწე, გვარდიის 15 წარმომადგენელი, მთავარსარდლის შტაბი და არმიის 50 ოფიცერი. საქართველოს დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკის მთავრობის წევრებთან ერთად, ემიგრაციაში გენერალი გიორგი კვინიტაძეც გაემგზავრა.

მთელი დარჩენილი ცხოვრება მან საფრანგეთში გაატარა. გენერალი გიორგი კვინიტაძე ღრმა მოხუცებული 1970 წლის 7 აგვისტოს პარიზის მახლობლად, დაბა შატუში გარდაიცვალა.

Glenn Beck: How Did Communism Become Cool?

I want to talk to you about communism, but I have to tell you, that sounds like a joke. Three years ago I didn’t even think it was around; I would have mocked someone like me. But don’t fall into that trap. Open your mind and your ears — the country is in trouble.

The best thing to ever happen to communists was the red scare and Joseph McCarthy. We had beaten communism, soundly discrediting it in every sense. People viewed communists as traitors who wanted to destroy America. They crept back into unions — especially teachers’ unions — that coupled with colleges, you now had a situation where communists were starting to be the ones writing and teaching history.

Our children have grown up not knowing what communism is. They didn’t have to go through the emergency attack drills at school. They didn’t grow up hearing about the gulags. They haven’t seen the horror show of millions of mass murders and starving people at the hands of brutal communist dictators.

So now it’s cool to be a communist. T-shirts of Che Guevara are one of the most popular t-shirts around. Che was a racist and mass murderer, yet we have schools banning kids from wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. If we’re going to ban shirts, how about the one with the communist killer on it? It’s not offensive because no one looks at the history of what they did.

How else can you explain everything going on today that happens with little or no outrage? Things like the statue of Stalin going up in Virginia? How does that idea not cross someone — anyone’s — desk who said, “This may not be a good idea”? It happens because no one knows who these communists really were anymore. It’s just cool.

Cameron Diaz illustrated this mindset when she visited Peru to do a TV project on Peru and its culture. While touring the country, she carried a purse emblazoned with a red star and the words “Serve the People” printed in Chinese. That was Chairman Mao’s slogan. It was a Maoist insurgency in the 1980s and ’90s that killed 70,000 people in Peru. Not to mention the tens of millions of people Mao killed in China. It’s not so cool when you know history, is it Cameron? But they don’t know.

You’ve got communist teachers in California calling for revolution. The Houston branch of Communist Party USA — a group that’s called for the nationalization of BP — is reaching out to young people through Facebook. And their favorite movie is Michael Moore’s “Capitalism, a Love Story.”

Cindy Sheehan in New Orleans talked about challenging capitalism:


CINDY SHEEHAN, ACTIVIST: Any meaningful discussion of this disaster must challenge the system and structure of capitalism. If we had socialism, where the companies were nationalized and the democratic control of the workers, the clean-up — maybe they would have had an acoustic device on the blowout preventer. Maybe they would have spent an extra half a million dollars to prevent this disaster and we wouldn’t have to be here.


Or, Cindy, maybe like every other socialist or communist country in the history of mankind, we’d already be bankrupt and living in gulags. One of the two — I’ll side with history.

It’s obvious we aren’t paying attention to history any more when the Communist Party had their annual convention broadcast on C-SPAN. Think about that: Half a century ago we were rooting out communists as traitors to the country; now we’re dutifully listening to them on C-SPAN.

How did we get here? We were warned, but we didn’t listen. Former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson warned about what was coming in a 1966 speech where he talked about a meeting he once had with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev:


FORMER SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE EZRA TAFT BENSON: As we talked face to face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his and all other grandchildren would live under freedom, he arrogantly declared in substance: “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find that you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you; we’ll so weaken your economy, until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.”


He knew firsthand what was happening and documents now show that FDR had used the Department of Agriculture as his own communist recruiting station.

Henry Wallace was secretary; he was a progressive supported by the Communist Party USA. He never denounced any communist support he received. FDR and Wallace decided they needed to help farmers, who were in dire financial crisis. Their idea: Artificially raise prices. They slaughtered 6 million pigs, plowed up cotton fields and destroyed other crops. This in the middle of the worst depression we’ve ever had. Is it any wonder socialism and communism end up with people starving to death?

ADD moment: Hugo Chavez is seizing control of the food in Venezuela. And now there’s 80,000 tons of rotting food in warehouses. But pay no attention to that, because communism is cool. This is why we need to know the history or else we’re doomed to repeat it.

There’s the stuff you need to know, on how we got here. But really where are we? Is what these people wanted to do a joke? Have they failed?

What did the Communist Party USA say they wanted to do in 1963? Here’s a few that stand out:

No. 3: Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength

No. 15: Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States

No. 17: Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks

No. 18: Gain control of all student newspapers

No. 19: Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack

No. 20: Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions

No. 21: Gain control of key positions in radio, TV and motion pictures

No. 27: Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion

No. 28: Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state”

No. 29: Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis

No. 30: Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man”

No. 36: Infiltrate and gain control of more unions

No. 37: Infiltrate and gain control of big business

No. 40: Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce

This was the to-do list for the communists in the 1960s. Compare that to the U.S. Constitution — which one are we following?

ქართველთა მეფეების საერთაშორისო კონტაქტებისა და მათი დესპანების ვინაობის შესახებ XV საუკუნის ბოლოსა და XVI საუკუნეში

თეა ქარჩავა

ევროპისა და აღმოსავლეთის ურთიერთობა სხვადასხვა ეპოქაში სხვადასხვანაირად იყო გამოვლენილი. ზოგჯერ ეს ურთიერთობა სუსტდებოდა, ზოგჯერ ძალზე საგრძნობი იყო. ისეც ხდებოდა, რომ სრულიად განსხვავებული კულტურის ერები ერთიანი იმპერიების ფარგლებში ექცეოდნენ, ისტორიას რელიგიური ომებიც ახსოვს (ჯვაროსნული ომები). თუმცა, ბიზანტიის იმპერიის დაცემის შემდეგ, რომელიც აღმოსავლურსა და დასავლურ კულტურებს ითავსებდა და საკმაოდ ბუნებრივ ხიდს წარმოადგენდა ევროპასა და აზიას შორის, ვითარება რამდენადმე შეიცვალა. ისლამური ოტომანთა იმპერია აქტიური სამხედრო კამპანიის შემდეგ XV საუკუნის ბოლოსთვის საბოლოოდ გაფორმდა ხმელთაშუაზღვისპირეთის ორგანული ნაწილად და ხმელეთზედაც აქტიურად იფართოებდა დასავლეთის მიმართულებით საზღვრებს. ქრისტიანულ ევროპას ადრეც ელოდა საფრთხე მუსლიმთაგან, თუმცა ასე მასშტაბურად – არასოდეს. ამიტომაც, ჯვაროსნული ბრძოლის იდეაც გაცოცხლდა და არაერთი ანტიოსმალური კოალიციაც შეიქმნა (ზოგი შედეგიანი და ზოგიც უდღეური და არაფრის მომტანი), თუმცა, კავშირი აღმოსავლეთსა და დასავლეთს შორის არასდროს გაწყვეტილა და მეტიც, რიგი ფაქტორებით ნაკარნახევი რეალობიდან, ისეთ მასშტაბებსაც კი მიაღწია, რასაც მანამდე ადგილი არც ჰქონია. დასავლეთის მხრიდან ანტიოსმალური კოალიციის აქტიური მოთავენი ჰაბსბურგები და ვენეცია იყვნენ, ხოლო აღმოსავლეთიდან კი – ჯერ აღ-ყოინლუს ირანული სახელმწიფო, შემდეგ კი სეფიანური ირანი. საგულისხმოდ მიგვაჩნია, იმის წარმოჩენა, რომ ქართველი მეფეებიც იყვნენ ჩართულნი არაერთ ანტიოსმალურ კოალიციაში, თუმცაღა, ასევე საგულისხმოდ გვეჩვენება წარმოჩინდეს იმდროინდელ ერთ-ერთ ყველაზე მნიშვნელოვან საერთაშორისო საკითხში ჩართულობა რამდენად იყო მხოლოდ მათი დამოუკიდებელი ნება-სურვილით ნაკარნახევი პოზიცია.

ორიენტსა და ოქიდენტს შორის კავშირების დამყარებისა და შენარჩუნების საქმეში გადამწყვეტი როლის შემსრულებლად, ასევე დიპლომატიური დესპანების როლში ხშირად იმპერიათა ის ქვეშევრდომები გვევლინებიან, რომლებიც მმართველ ელიტას არ მიეკუთვნებოდნენ (ოტომანთა იმპერიასა და ირანის სახელმწიფოშიც ელიტას ძირითადად სამხედრო არისტოკრატია შეადგენდა). ისტორიკოს გოფმანის სიტყვებით, მაგალითად, ოტომანთა იმპერიაში საზღვაო საქმე, გემთმშენებლობა იქნებოდა თუ ზღვაოსნობა, კვლავ ბერძნებს ებარათ, მაშინ როცა სომხები დომიმანტურ პოზიციას იკავებდნენ საერთაშორისო ვაჭრობასა და ბროკერობაში, ასევე აბრეშუმით ვაჭრობაში, ხოლო ებრაელები ტექსტილის წარმოებას აკონტროლებდნენ1. ჩვენ ამჯერად სომეხი ვაჭრების როლს გამოვყოფთ, ვინაიდან ეს საკითხი საქართველოსთან კავშირშიც არაერთხელ გამოიკვეთა.

სომეხი ვაჭრები, რომლებიც ირანსა და ოსმალთა იმპერიაშიც მნიშვნელოვან სეგმენტს წარმოადგენდნენ, თავიანთი რელიგიური კუთვნილებისა და ასევე ეკონომიკური ბერკეტების წყალობით მნიშვნელოვან საშუამავლო როლს ასრულებდნენ ორიენტისა და ოქსიდენტის რთულ და წინააღმდეგობრივ ურთიერთობებში, რაც ესოდენ დამახასიათებელია XV-XVI საუკუნეებისათვის. ძალზე საინტერესოა მათი როლის გამოკვეთა ქართველი მეფე-მთავრების დიპლომატიური კავშირ-ურთიერთობების დამყარების საქმეშიც. ეს როლი განსაკუთრებით გამოიკვეთა ანტიოსმალური კოალიციების ჩამოყალიბების პროცესში, როდესაც ირანი და აღმოსავლეთის ქრისტიანული სახელმწიფოები, მათ შორის საქართველოც აქტიურად ეძიებდნენ მოკავშირეებს დასავლეთ ევროპაში, ვინაიდან XV-XVI საუკუნეებში ოსმალთა იმპერიის სამხედრო ძლიერება და აქედან გამომდინარე მიღწეული შედეგები ძალზე თვალშისაცემი იყო.

განსაკუთრებით აქტიურად ამ მიმართულებით ირანის ხელისუფალნი გამოდიოდნენ. ირანის სომხური ქალაქი ჯულფა აბრეშუმით ვაჭრობის უმნიშვნელოვანეს ბურჯად იქცა. ჯულფელი ვაჭრები შემახასთან, გილანთან, თავრიზთან, ვენეციასთან, მარსელსა და ანტვერპენთანაც კი აწარმოებდნენ ვაჭრობას და ხშირად ერთადერთ შუამავალს წარმოადგენდნენ დასახელებულ ქალაქებს შორის2. ზუსტად იგივეს წერს ვ. ალენი თავის თხზულებაში „რუსეთის საელჩოები საქართველოში“3. მას შემდეგ, რაც შაჰ აბასმა დედაქალაქი თავრიზიდან ისპაჰანში გადაიტანა, მის გარეუბან ახალ ჯულფაში შექმნა* სომხური კოლონია. ისევე როგორც ძველი ჯულფა, ახალი ჯულფაც „რომელიც დაარსებული იყო სპარსეთის აბრეშუმის მწარმოებელი რეგიონის შუაგულში, იქცა ცენტრად ფართო კომერციული ქსელისა. სომეხი ვაჭრები იყენებდნენ თავიანთ ვირტუალურ მონოპოლიას სპარსეთის აბრეშუმის ვაჭრობაზე, რათა სატელიტი სათვისტომოები დაეარსებინათ ბევრ ოსმალურ ქალაქში, მათ შორის ალეპოში, იზმირში, ბუსრაში, სტამბულსა და ედირნეში. როგორც ოსმალურ, ასევე სპარსულ მიწებზე ბევრი აიგივებდა სომხურ სათვისტომოს ამ ძვირფას საქონელთან”4.

როგორც ისტორიკოსი პეტრუშევსკი აღნიშნავს, ჯულფელი მსხვილი ვაჭრები, რომლებიც შაჰის კონტრაგენტები იყვნენ საგარეო ვაჭრობაში, „ამავე დროს არაერთხელ ასრულებდნენ მისივე დიპლომატიური აგენტების როლს ევროპულ სახელმწიფოებში. საერთოდ, სეფიანები, რომლების ევროპული სახელმწიფოების დახმარებას საჭიროებდნენ ოსმალთა იმპერიასთან ბრძოლაში, ამ მიზნისთვის დიპლომატიურ აგენტებად სიამოვნებით იყენებდნენ სომეხ ვაჭრებსა და სასულიერო პირებს“5.

იგივე შეიძლება ქართველ მეფეებზეც ითქვას, მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ XV საუკუნიდან ირანი საქართველოსთვის ოსმალეთზე არანაკლებ საფრთხეს წარმოადგენდა, ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ ბრძოლაში ქართველებისა და ირანელების დაახლოებისა და მოკავშირეობის არაერთი ფაქტი არსებობს და ქართველი მეფეებიც ხშირად იმავე სომეხ ვაჭრებსა და სასულიერო პირებს მიმართავდნენ, რომლებსაც სეფიანი მმართველები. დიპლომატიურ კურიერებად სომეხი ვაჭრების შერჩევა შემთხვევითი არ ყოფილა. „სომეხი ვაჭრები საკმაოდ კარგად იტანდნენ ხანგძლივ მოგზაურობას, იყვნენ ზომიერნი საგზაო ხარჯებში, საკვებისა თუ სასმელის მხრივ. თანაც, იმის გამო, რომ ქრისტიანები იყვნენ, დასავლეთ ევროპის ქრისტიანულ სახელმწიფოებში უფრო იოლად შეეძლოთ ეწარმოებინათ სავაჭრო ოპერაციებიც“6. ისტორიულ წყაროთა შესწავლამ დაგვარწმუნა, რომ ბევრი ევროპელი ვაჭარი თუ მოგზაური, ვინც ამ დროს ლევანტს, კავკასიასა და ირანს სწვევია, სომეხ ვაჭრებზე საუბრისას ხაზს უსვამს მათ როლს, როგორც მეგზურებისას და შუამავლებისას. ამასთანავე, „სომხური სავაჭრო კაპიტალი, რომელიც სეფიანებისა და ოსმალო სულთნების მიერ დასავლეთის ქვეყნებთან მათი დიპლომატიური მიზნებისა და სავაჭრო ურთიერთობებისათვის გამოიყენებოდა, ამ სახელმწიფოების მმართველთა მფარველობით სარგებლობდა. დასავლეთის ქვეყნებთან სავაჭრო ოპერაციებს სომხები ძირითადად ვენეციის მეშვეობით აწარმოებდნენ. თავის მხრივ, ვენეციელ ვაჭრებსა და დიპლომატებსაც წინა აზიაში დახმარებას სომეხი და ირანელი ვაჭრები უწევდნენ“7.

უდავოა, რომ სომეხი ვაჭრების, როგორც დიპლომატიური აგენტების, როლი შაჰ აბას I-ის დროიდან უფრო გამოიკვეთა [ჩვენ XVII საუკუნეზე აქ ვეღარ გავავრცობთ თხრობას-თ.ქ.], თუმცა პირველივე სეფიანთა და ასევე მათი მოკავშირეების (მათ შორის საქართველოს მეფის) კარზეც სომხებს არაერთხელ შეუსრულებიათ დიპლომატიური აგენტების მისია. ამ მხრივ განსაკუთრებით ძველი ჯულფას ვაჭრები უნდა გამოვყოთ, როგორც ირანის ვენეციასთან და, საერთოდ, დასავლეთ ევროპის ქვეყნებთან ურთიერთკავშირის ძირითადი შუამავლები. თავის მხრივ, როგორც ჩანს, ვენეციის რესპუბლიკაც მათ იმავე მიზნებისთვის იყენებდა8.

ოსმალთა იმპერიის აგრესიის ზრდასთან ერთად XV საუკუნის შუა ხანებიდან აშკარად ჩანს ევროპულ სახელმწიფოთა მცდელობები შექმნან ანტიოსმალური კოალიციები. ამასთან დაკავშირებით გაიზარდა ოსმალებისადმი მტრულად განწყობილ აღმოსავლეთის ქვეყნებთან კონტაქტების დამყარების საჭიროება, რომლებიც პოტენციურ მოკავშირეებად ითვლებოდნენ. სხვადასხვა ევროპელი მონარქები და პაპები არაერთხელ იყვნენ ინიციატორები მსგავსი წამოწყებებისა, და ამ მოკავშირეების ძიებისას ისინი პირველ რიგში ირანს, ასევე რუსეთსა და ამიერკავკასიის ქრისტიანულ ქვეყნებს, მათ შორის საქართველოსაც მიმართავდნენ. გავიხსენოთ თუნდაც ლოდოვიკო ბოლონიელის ელჩობა საქართველოში, ასევე საგულისხმოა სიენელი ეპისკოპოსის წერილი, სადაც იგი ამბობს, რომ უნგრეთთან, რუსეთთან და გერმანიასთან ერთად ჩვენ იმედი უნდა გვქონდეს პაპის, ვენეციის, გენუის, ტრაპიზონის იმპერიის და ქართველი მეფისა.)9

ოსმალთა აგრესიის წინააღმდეგ ბრძოლა ყველაზე ადრე ვენეციის რესპუბლიკამ დაიწყო და ყველაზე ხშირად სწორედ ის აწარმოებდა, ვინაიდან ოსმალთა მიერ ყველაზე მეტად ვენეციელთა ინტერესები ზიანდებოდა ლევანტსა და შავი ზღვისპირეთში. 1463 წელს ოტომანთა იმპერიასთან დაწყებულ ომს ვენეცია დიპლომატიურად მოუმზადებელი არ შეხვედრია – გადაწყვიტა გავლენიანი მოკავშირეები შეეძინა, რისთვისაც ურთიერთობა გააბა აღ-ყოინლუს მმართველ უზუნჰასანთანა და დიდი მთავრის, მოსკოვის სახელმწიფოს მმართველ ივან ვასილისძესთან. თავის მხრივ, უზუნ ჰასანი შეეცადა შემახიის ხანიც მიემხრო და მას რუსეთთან დაკავშირება დაავალა. „1465 წელს შირვანელთა ელჩობა ეწვია მოსკოვს ჰასან ბეკის მეთაურობით”10. მოსკოვის სახელმწიფოსაც, რომელსაც დიდი ხანი არ იყო გასული, რაც მონღოლური უღელი თავიდან მოეშორებინა და ის-ის იყო დიდი პოლიტიკის ასპარეზზე გამოდიოდა, აწყობდა უზუნ ჰასანთან ურთიერთობის გაბმა, ამიტომაც საპასუხო ელჩობა გამოგზავნა აღ-ყოინლუს მმართველთან პაპინის მეთაურობით. ისტორიკოს თ. ტივაძის მიხედვით, „უზუნ ჰასანი იყო ანტითურქულ კოალიციაში საქართველოს ჩაბმის ინიციატორი. მოსკოვის მეფის ელჩი სამშობლოში საქართველოს გავლით დაბრუნდა, სადაც დიდი პატივით იქნა მიღებული მეფე ბაგრატის მიერ“11 [საუბარია ბაგრატ VI -ზე 1466-1478- თ.ქ.].

ქართულ ისტორიულ ლიტერატურაში მიჩნეული იყო, რომ XV საუკუნის მიწურულს კახეთის სამეფოს მიერ რუსეთთან გაბმული კავშირები ქართველ პოლიტიკოსთა დამოუკიდებელი ნაბიჯები იყო. თუმცა ზემოთ მოყვანილი ვითარება საფუძველს გვაძლევს, რამდენადმე ეჭვი შევიტანოთ ამ დადგენილი აზრის სიმყარეში. ევროპელთათვის უზუნ ჰასანი ყველაზე რეალური მოკავშირე იყო ანტიოსმალური კოალიციის შექმნისას. უზუნ ჰასანის კარზე ვენეციელთა ელჩობები ამითიც იყო განპირობებული12. ეს დამოკიდებულება შემთხვევითი არ ყოფილა და ბუნებრივია, შორეულ ევროპაში მოკავშირეების მაძიებელი უზუნ ჰასანი მეზობელ ქვეყნებთანაც გამოსულიყო ანტიოსმალური კოალიციის შექმნის მოთავედ, რომელშიც რუსეთის მომხრობაც მნიშვნელოვანი იქნებოდა. ამიტომაც მან ამ ეტაპზე თავად მოინდომა მოსკოვის სახელმწიფოსა და საქართველოს დაკავშირება. საქართველო-რუსეთის დაკავშირების მომხრედ ის მხოლოდ ანტიოსმალური კოალიციის კონტექსტში უნდა განვიხილოთ. მოგვიანებით, როგორც კი იზრდება რუსეთის ამბიცია ამიერკავკასიის მიმართ, იმის პარალელურად, რომ მძიმდება საქართველოს მდგომარეობა მუსლიმური ქვეყნების გარემოცვაში, სუსტდება ევროპასთან კავშირი, და იწყება რუსეთის, როგორც მფარველი მოკავშირის ფაქტორის ზრდა, ჩვენ ვხედავთ, რომ საქართველოსგან რუსეთის მიმართულებით დამოუკიდებელი ნაბიჯების გადადგმა უკიდურესად მძაფრ რეაქციას იწვევს როგორც ოსმალეთის, ისე ირანის მხრიდან.

მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ აღ-ყოინლუს სახელმწიფო აშკარად დამპრყობლურ პოლიტიკას ატარებდა საქართველოს მიმართ, როგორც ზემოთაც იქნა აღნიშნული, ირანისა და საქართველოს მმართველები თურქული საფრთხის წინაშე მოკავშირეობას არ ერიდებოდნენ. ქართველი მეფეები, თავის მხრივ, არ უშვებდნენ შანსს, რომ იმავე პიროვნებების სამსახურით ესარგებლათ, ვისაც უზუნ ჰასანი გზავნიდა ევროპაში. 1471 წელს უნგრეთის ელჩი ვენეციიდან ატყობინებდა თავის მეფეს, რომ ვენეციაში ჩავიდნენ საქართველოს მეფის ელჩები, რომელთაც გამოუხატავთ მათი ხელმწიფის მზადყოფნის სურვილი ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ საერთოევროპულ საქმეში მონაწილეობის შესახებ13. იმავე წლის იმავე თვეში თავად ვენეციური სენიორიაც თავის ელჩებს ამცნობდა სიცილიაში, რომ პოლონელთა, ქართველთა და უზუნ ჰასანის ელჩები სტუმრობდნენ ვენეციას14. იტალიური წყაროდან ვიგებთ, რომ „ოთხნი ელჩი იყვნენ აზიმამეტი, მორატი, ნიკოლო და კეფარსა, სერიოზული და ავტორიტეტული ადამიანები. მათ დავალებული ჰქონიათ უზუნ ჰასანისგან ვენეციელებთან მოლაპარაკება თურქეთისა და ეგვიპტის სულთნების წინააღმდეგ, რათა ვენეციას თავისი ფლოტით არც ერთისთვის არ მიეცა მოსვენება. ვენეციელებსაც გახარებიათ, რომ მოკავშირე და მეგობარი შეიძინეს აღმოსავლეთის უძლიერესი მეფის სახით და მასთან მეგობრობა გამოაცხადეს“15. იტალიური წყაროს მიერ უზუნ ჰასანის „აღმოსავლეთის უძლიერეს მეფედ” მოხსენიების ფაქტი კიდევ ერთხელ გვარწმუნებს იმ ვარაუდის სისწორეში, რომ ირანის მეზობელი ქვეყნების საგარეო პოლიტიკური კურსის განსაზღვრისას უზუნ ჰასანის როლი არცთუ უკანასკნელი ფაქტორია. სხვა წყაროებიდან ვიგებთ რომ, ერთ-ერთი ელჩი ოთხთაგან – მორატი, იგივე ცნობილი ჯულფელი ვაჭარო ხოჯა მირაკია, რომელიც გასულა ირანიდან 1469 წელს, ვენეციაში შესულა 1470 წელს16.

საპასუხო ელჩობებმა უზუნ ჰასანთან არც ვენეციიდან დააყოვნა [1471 წ.]. ვენეციელთა ელჩმა კატერინო ძენომ, რომელსაც ნათესაობაც კი აკავშირებდა აღ-ყოინლუს მმართველთან17, ცოლის დეიდის*, უზუნ-ჰასანის დედოფლის, დესპინას ხელშეწყობით იოლად შეძლო დაერწმუნებინა ირანის მმართველი, რათა თეთრბატკნიანებს იარაღი აეღოთ ოტომანთა წინააღმდეგ. საბრძოლო კამპანიას სასიხარულო არაფერი მოუტანია მოკავშირეებისათვის, ვინაიდან სპარსელებს მოუწიათ ევფრატზე თურქთა დიდი არმიის შემოჭრის მოგერიება. ოსმალებთან ურთიერთობის გამწვავებამ გამოიწვია ის, რომ „ძენო გაგზავნილ იქნა უკან ევროპაში, ამჯერად უკვე როგორც სპარსეთის მონარქის ელჩი, უნგრეთისგან და პოლონეთისგან დახმარების მიღების იმედით. უკანა გზაზე იგი გამოემართა სომხეთის გავლით შავი ზღვისკენ, შემდეგ გემით იმგზავრა გენუელთა ქალაქ კაფამდე, სადაც ის ძლივს გადაურჩა მათგან კონსტანტინოპლოში ტყვედ გაგზავნას. ამის შემდგომ მან უკრაინის გავლით მიაშურა დასავლეთს“18. მართალია, აღმოსავლეთ ევროპაში [როგორც მერე ვნახავთ, არც დასავლეთში] ძენოს ელჩობამ დიდი ვერაფერი შედეგი გამოღო, ვინაიდან არც პოლონეთი და არც უნგრეთი [მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ მატიაშ კორვინმა იგი გულითადად მიიღო-თ.ქ.] ამ ეტაპზე მზად არ აღმოჩნდნენ თურქეთთან საომრად, მაგრამ ზემონახსენები ციტატიდან დარწმუნებით შეგვიძლია ვთქვათ, რომ ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ უზუნ ჰასანის მხარდამხარ მებრძოლი ქართველები სპარსეთის მონარქის დიპლომატიურ კავშირებს თავადაც იყენებენ. ძნელი სათქმელია, უშუალოდ კატერინო ძენოც, რომელიც ევროპაში საქართველოზე გავლით მიეშურებოდა, შეგვიძლია თუ არა მოვიაზროთ რომელიმე ქართველი მეფის დესპანის როლშიც [ამ პერიოდში საქართველო უკვე დაშლილია-თ.ქ], თუმცა ე. მამისთვალაშვილს, იტალიურ წყაროზე დაყრდნობით, ნახსენები აქვს, რომ „1474 წლის აგვისტოში ძენო ჩავიდა ვენეციაში, საიდანაც იგი უზუნ ჰასანისა და საქართველოს ელჩებთან ერთად გაეშურა პაპთან და ნეაპოლის მეფესთან, რათა ისინი დაეყოლიებინა ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ ომის დაწყებაზე“19. სამწუხაროდ, ე. მამისთვალაშვილი არ ასახელებს, ან წყარო არ ამბობს არაფერს „საქართველოს ელჩების“ ვინაობის შესახებ.

ის ფაქტი, რომ ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ მოკავშირეების მოპოვების საპასუხისმგებლო საქმეს ვენეციელები ვაჭრებს ანდობდნენ [კატერინო ძენო ვაჭარია], ადასტურებს იმ მოსაზრებას, რომ ამგვარ კავშირებს ჰქონდა როგორც პოლიტიკური, ასევე სავაჭრო-ეკონომიკური მიზნები. ამ პერიოდისთვის დამახასიათებელი იყო ვაჭრებისთვის დიპლომატიური დესპანების მისიის დაკისრება და იმ გზებისა და ქსელების გამოყენება, რაც ოდითგანვე სავაჭრო კონტაქტების წყალობით არსებობდა. მსგავსი კავშირების გაბმა სავსებით პასუხობდა სომეხი ვაჭრების ინტერესებსაც, როგორც ირანსა და ამიერკავკასიაში, ასევე ოსმალთა იმპერიაშიც. მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ XVI საუკუნის 60-იან წლებზე ადრეული პირდაპირი მტკიცებულებები იმ ფაქტისა, რომ ქართველი მეფეები სომეხ ვაჭრებს ანდობდნენ დიპლომატიურ დავალებებს არ მოგვეპოვება, სავარაუდებელია, რომ ამგვარ სამსახურს თურქული საფრთხის გაჩენისთანავე ჰქონოდა ადგილი. რუსულ ქრონიკაში (Николаевская Летопись) საუბარია, 1492 წელს მოსკოვში ჩასულ ქართველთა მეფის ალექსანდრეს ელჩზე, სახელად მურატზე20. ეჭვგარეშეა, რომ სახელი მურატი ქართული წარმოშობის არაა; მართალია, უზუნ ჰასანის მიერ ევროპაში მივლინებულ ვაჭართან მას ვერ გავაიგივებთ, რადგან ის პიროვნება 1477 წელს მოკლულ იქნა, თუმცა მკვლევარი თ. ტივაძე არ გამორიცხავს, რომ ამჟამად კიდევ ერთი მსგავსი სახელის მქონე სომეხი ხოჯა ყოფილიყო ქართველთა მეფის ელჩი ამჟამად რუსეთში21.

ის ფაქტი, რომ XVI საუკუნიდან უკვე აშკარად ჩანს ქართველი მეფეების მიერ სომეხი ვაჭრების გამოყენება დიპლომატურ სამსახურში, კარგად იკვეთება მოსკოვიის კომპანიის წარმომადგენლის, ინგლისელი ვაჭრისა და მოგზაურის ენტონი ჯენკინსონის კომპანიისადმი მიწერილი რეპორტიდან: „ჩემს ყოფნის დროს შემახაში [1563 წლის აპრილი – თ.ქ.] მე მომინახულა ერთმა სომეხმა, ქართველთა მეფის წარგზავნილმა, რომელიც ორი სახელმწიფოს [ოსმალეთი და სპარსეთი] მიერ იყო შევიწროებული, და მათთან აწარმოებდა დაუსრულებელ ბრძოლებს; ის მე მთხოვდა ამ სომეხის პირით როგორმე მესწავლებინა გზები, როგორ მიევლინა ელჩი რუსეთის მეფესთან, აინტერესებდა ჩემი აზრი, რუსეთის მეფე დაეხმარებოდა თუ არა…” [იქვე ჯენკინსონი იმასაც აღნიშნავს, რომ ამ ქართველ მეფეს უსაფრთხოების მიზნით თავისი ელჩისთვის სიტყვიერად დაუბარებია მასთან სათქმელი, ასე რომ ჯენკინსონმაც, როგორც თავად აღნიშნავს, სიტყვიერადვე უპასუხა დესპანის პირით], რომ „არა მარტო უნდა გაეგზავნა ელჩი რუსეთში, რადგან ის [რუსეთის მეფე] იყო პატივსაცემი და განწყობილი მის დასახმარებლად, ამასთანავე, მე მივასწავლე მას [დესპანს] გზა, რომლითაც დასახელებულ მეფეს [ქართველ მეფეზეა საუბარი] შეეძლო გაეგზავნა იგი ჩერქეზეთის გავლით”22. ნაწილი ქართველი ისტორიკოსებისა[ი. ცინცაძე23, ბ. გაბაშვილი24] ემხრობიან ვერსიას, რომ ეს ქართველი მეფე უნდა ყოფილიყო ლევან კახთა მეფე, ხოლო ნაწილი კი [ე. მამისთვალაშვილი]25 მიიჩნევს, რომ ის უნდა ყოფილიყო ქართლის მეფე სიმონი. ,,პირველი ვერსიის სასარგებლოდ მეტყველებს ის ფაქტი, რომ 1563 წელს მოსკოვში გაემართა ლევან მეფის მიერ გაგზავნილი ელჩობა, იაკობის, დიონისესა და ვინმე სომეხის შემადგენლობით და ეს ელჩობა დაბრუნდა უკნა 1564 წელს“26. ინგლისელ ვაჭარსა და მოგზაურს, როგორც ჩანს, გადაუწყვეტია ესარგებლა ვითარებით და გაწეული სამსახურიდან რაიმე სარგებელი მიეღო. მან თავისი თანამგზავრი ედვარდ კლარკი ქ. არეშში [ეს ქალაქი, ცნობილი აბრეშუმის ვაჭრობით, ჯენკინსონს წარმოჩენილი ჰყავს კახეთ-შირვანის საზღვარზე] მიავლინა, რათა საქართველოს ტერიტორიაზე უსაფრთხო ვაჭრობის ნება მიეღო. კლარკს უსაუბრია ,,ზოგიერთ ვაჭრებთან”, თუმცა არაფერი გამოსვლია27. ბუნდოვანია, რა იყო ამის მიზეზი, სავარაუდოდ ის, რომ როგორც ჯენკინსონისვე წერილიდან ვგებულობთ, შაჰ თამაზი მაინცდამაინც არ მოიხიბლა ინგლისელი ვაჭრების წინადადებებით და მათთან სავაჭრო-დიპლომატიური კონტაქტების გაბმაზე თავი შეიკავა28. იმ პირობებში, როცა შაჰ თამაზის ხელისუფლება გავრცელებული იყო აღმოსავლეთ საქართველოზე, სურვილი რომც ჰქონოდათ, ქართველი მეფეები ამ კავშირის გაბმას აშკარად მაინც ვერ გაბედავდნენ. თუმცა, თავად ჯენკინსონის დაკვირვებებიდან აშკარად ჩანს საქართველოს სამეფოების კარზე სომეხი ვაჭრებისა და დიპლომატების როლის მნიშვნელობა.

ანტიოსმალური საფრთხის წინააღმდეგ ერთიანი ევროპული კათოლიკური ფრონტით გამოსვლის მოთავე კარლ V ჯერ კიდევ XVI საუკუნის 20-იან წლებში ცდილობდა, რომ აღმოსავლეთიდან ოსმალეთს მეორე ფრონტი ჰქონოდა გახსნილი. ეს ოსმალთა ძალებს დაქსაქსავდა და ევროპელებს საქმეს გაუადვილებდა. ამიტომაც „1518 და 1525 წლებში იგი[კარლ V] აწარმოებდა მოლაპარაკებებს სპარსეთის მმართველებთან შაჰ ისმაილთან და შაჰ თამაზთან, ოსმალო თურქთა წინააღმდეგ ერთიანი საომარი კამპანიის გასაჩაღებლად“29. აქვე აღვნიშნავთ, რომ პირველივე სეფიანი შაჰის აქტიურმა დაპყრობითმა პოლიტიკამ გამოწვია ის, რომ მისი სამფლობელო ევფრატიდან შუა აზიამდე გადაიჭიმა, რასაც დიდი გამოხმაურება მოჰყვა საერთაშორისო ასპარეზზე; სელიმ I-ის სვლა ევროპაში კი იმდენად შთამბეჭდავი იყო, რომ მის საპირწონე ფიგურად აღმოსავლეთში მხოლოდ ისმაილი მიიჩნეოდა. „შაჰ ისმაილის პიროვნების, როგორც საქრისტიანოს მტრის წინააღმდეგ მებრძოლის სახელის განდიდება ისევე ხდებოდა, როგორც ერთ დროს თემურ-ლენგისა და უზუნ ჰასანისა“30.

ისევე როგორც ოტომანები იყენებდნენ რეფორმაციის შედეგად წარმოქმნილ რელიგიურ განხეთქილებას ევროპაში და იფართოებდნენ საზღვრებს, ასევე კარლ V-ც ცდილობდა სუნიტური ოსმალეთისა და შიიტური ირანის რელიგიური დაპირისპირების გამოყენებას. ცნობას ზემონახსენებ ორი მოლაპარაკების შედეგებზე და ამჯერად ამ ანტიოსმალურ კამპანიასთან საქართველოს რაიმე ფორმით კავშირზე, ჩვენ ჯერ ვერ მივაკვლიეთ, თუმცა თავდაპირველ სეფიანთა გამარჯვებაში ქართველების როლის31, ასევე იმის გათვალისწინება, რომ ირანთან ერთად კოალიციაში გამოსვლა თავის თავად გულისხმობდა ევროპელებთან ურთიერთობის პერსპექტივასაც, გვავარაუდებინებს, რომ რაიმე სახით ქართული სახელმწიფოების ჩართულობა ანტიოსმალური კოალიციების მცდელობაში XVI საუკუნის 20-იან წლებშიც საძიებელია. აკი შაჰ ისმაილის მიერ ოტომანთა წინააღმდეგ შექმნილი ლიგის [1514 წლის ოქტომბერი-თ.ქ.] მონაწილენი ქართველებიც ყოფილან – ამის შესახებ ინფორმაციას გვაწვდის ნიკოლო ძენოს მიერ შედგენილი კატერინო ძენოს ,,მოგზაურობის კომენტარები“ და ასევე ვენეციელის, ჯოვანი მარია ანჯოლელოს ცნობები32. სამაგიეროდ, ჩვენს მიერ იქნა მოძიებული იტალიელი მიქელე მემბრეს რელაციონი ირანში მოგზაურობის შესახებ 1538-1540 წწ.-ში, საიდანაც ვიგებთ, რომ იგი ამ პერიოდში ვენეციის მიერ კვლავ მოკავშირეობის ძიების მიზნით [1538 წელს ვენეციამ, პაპმა და ჰაბსბურგებმა ლიგა ანტიოსმალური ლიგა შეკრეს] იყო კურიერად მივლინებული ირანში, სადაც საქართველოს გავლით შეაღწია და უკან დაბრუნებულმა ვალიადოლიდში კარლ V მოინახულა, რომელიც ძალზე იყო დაინტერესებული იტალიელის ირანული შთაბეჭდილებებითა და სავარაუდო პოლიტიკური ალიანსის შესაძლებლობებით. მემბრე-ს ინგლისურად მთარგმნელსა და დართული კომენტარების ავტორს ა.ჰ. მორტონს ნახსენები აქვს რომ, ურთიერთობებს ჰაბსბურგებსა და ირანს შორის ადრეც ჰქონია ადგილი. სამწუხაროდ ის არ ახდენს დაკონკრეტებას33, თუმცა გვავარაუდებინებს, რომ სწორედაც 1518-1525 წლის მცდელობებზეა საუბარი.საქართველოს სავარაუდო კონტაქტების კვლევას განსაკუთრებით ის ფაქტორი ართულებს, რომ თავისთავად, ეს ნაბიჯი მხოლოდ დამოუკიდებელი ნაბიჯი ვერ იქნებოდა, და მეორეც, ევროპისთვის, გარდა ოტომანთაგან მომდინარე საფრთხისა, ეს ხანა არის იტალიური ომებისა და რეფორმაციის ხანა, როცა საერთოევროპულ კონფლიქტშიც თითქმის ყველა ევროპული სახელმწიფო იყო ჩართული და რელიგიური დაპირისპირებაც განსაკუთრებით მწვავედ იდგა. ოტომანებთან ურთიერთობაში არც მისი ყველაზე „დაუძინებელი” მტრები [ვენეცია, პაპობა, საღვთო რომის იმპერია, მოგვიანებით ჰაბსბურგული ესპანეთი] იყვნენ თანამიმდევრულნი, ამიტომაც აღმოსავლეთის ქრისტიანულ ქვეყნებთანა და ირანთანაც, როგორც სავარაუდო მოკავშირეებთან, ურთიერთობაც ხან გააქტიურდებოდა, ხანაც სუსტდებოდა. (მაგალითები ამ მიმართულებით შორს წაგვიყვანდა. აღვნიშნავთ მხოლოდ ერთს: ზემონახსენები ლიგისა და მემბრეს ირანში გაგზავნის პარალელურად თავად ვენეციამ სეპარატულად მოაწერა ხელი ოსმალებთან დაზავებას ხელი 1540 წლისთვის, რამაც გამოიწვია კიდეც მემბრეს ვიზიტის უშედეგობა, შაჰ თამაზის ოსმალთა მიმართ ზოგადად თავდაცვითი პოლიტიკური კურსის არჩევასთან ერთად)34.

თუმცა, ანტიოსმალური მიმართულებით ევროპის ქვეყნების გააქტიურება კვლავ შეინიშნება XVI საუკუნის 70-იანი წლებიდან. ამ პერიოდში მისი მოთავე უკვე ესპანეთის მონარქი ფილიპე II იყო. მაშინ როცა ინგლისური დიპლომატიის ძალისხმევა ოსმალთა კარზე მიმართული იყო იქითკენ, რომ ოსმალეთის სამხედრო ძალა ესპანეთის დასამარცხებლად და მისი საზღვაო იმპერიის დასამხობად გამოეყენებინა, საპირისპიროდ, ესპანეთის ხელისუფლებაც ეძიებდა სავარაუდო საპირწონე ძალას, რის გამოც ოსმალთა ყურადღება ვერ იქნებოდა კონცენტრირებული მარტო ხმელთაშუაზღვისპირეთში და ზოგადად, დასავლეთის მიმართულებით. ამ მხრივ კი ყველაზე კარგი ვარიანტი ისევ ირანთან მოკავშირეობა იყო. ამიტომაც, ფილიპე II-ს შაჰ მუჰამედ ხოდაბენდესთან მიუვლენია ელჩი, რომელსაც უნდა დაერწმუნებინა იგი ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ ევროპელებთან თანადროულად ერთიანი ფრონტით გამოსვლაზე35. ირან-ოსმალეთის ახალი ომის დროს ოსმალეთის წარმატებებმა სპარსეთის შაჰი კიდევ უფრო დაარწმუნა ამ წამოწყებაში ქართველ მეფეების ჩაბმის საჭიროებაში. შესაბამისად, მუჰამედ ხოდაბენდემ, დაიწყო თუ არა ომი ოსმალეთთან, წლების განმავლობაში მის მიერ ციხეში გამომწყვდეული სიმონ მეფე ტყვეობიდან გაათავისუფლა, მეფობა დაუბრუნა და სამშობლოში გამოუშვა, რათა სიმონს ქართველთა ძალები ოსმალების წინააღმდეგ დაერაზმა. შაჰის გათვლა სწორი გამოდგა. ქართლის მეფე სიმონ I კახეთის მეფეს ალექსანდრე II-ს შეურიგდა, ასევე დაუმოყვრდა სამცხის მთავარს და, ამგვარად, ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ ირანის მხარეს უკვე სოლიდური ძალა აღმოჩნდა. როგორც XV საუკუნის მიწურულში, ახლაც იგეგმებოდა კავშირის დადება რუსეთთანაც. კარამზინის გადმოცემით, XVI საუკუნის 80-იანი წლების დასაწყისში რუსეთს ირანის ელჩობა სწვევია36. ზოგიერთი ვარაუდით, ეს ელჩობა კოალიციური უნდა ყოფილიყო და მასში ქართველთა წარმომადგენლებიც მონაწილეობდნენ37. სწორედ ირან-თურქეთის ამ ახალი ომის პერიოდიდან კიდევ ერთხელ აშკარად ჩანს, რომ სომეხი ვაჭრები და რელიგიური პირები დიპლომატიურ სამსახურს ქართველ მეფეებსაც უწევდნენ. ისტორიკოს ტერ-ავეტისიანის ცნობით, XVI საუკუნის 90-იან წლებში „ვენეციური არქივები ასახელებენ სასულიერო პირს ტერ-აკოპ მარგარიანს, რომელიც ოცი წელია ამიერკავკასიასა და ვენეციას შორის მოგზაურობდა. მას მიჰქონდა კორესპონდენცია ვენეციელებთან, რომის პაპთან, ასევე წაუღია კორესპონდენცია ქართველი მეფისგან, სიმონისგან“38. ი. ტაბაღუას მიერ ევროპულ არქივებსა და წიგნსაცავებში მოძიებულ მასალებს შორის არის სიმონ I-ის მიერ ფილიპე II-სადმი გაგზავნილი წერილი39, რომელიც სწორედ ამ ტერ-აკოპის (იაკობის, როგორც ი. ტაბაღუასთან არის მითითებული) მეშვეობითაა გადაცემული. წერილში სიმონი სთხოვს ფილიპე II-ს, ზემოქმედება მოახდინოს გერმანიის იმპერატორსა და ტრანსილვანიის მთავრებზე, რათა მათ საომარი ოპერაციები წამოიწყონ ოსმალო თურქთა წინააღმდეგ. მაშინ როცა ქართლის მეფე ევროპასთან ურთიერთობის გაბმას ცდილობს, კახეთის მეფეს რუსეთთან ურთიერთობა უფრო პერსპექტიულად მიაჩნია მოცემულ მომენტში. კახთა მეფის ალექსანდრე II-ის მიერ 1590 წელს რუსეთის კარზე გაგზავნილ ელჩები, რომლებიც რუს ელჩს ზვენიგოროდსკის მიჰყვებოდნენ რუსეთის მეფისაგან საშამხლოს წინააღმდეგ სამხედრო მხარდაჭერა მოსაპოვებლად, გახლდნენ ჩერქეზი ყურშიტა და პრინცი სულეიმან ბაინდირის-ძე, რომელიც ისტორიკოს ალენს კახეთის კარზე ჩამოსახლებულ თურქმან აღ-ყოინლუს წარჩინებულთა შთამომავლად მიაჩნია40. თუმცა ბორის გოდუნოვის კარზე მივლინებულ კახეთის ელჩების, არქიმანდრიტ კირილესა და არამ ძედამბეკს შორის, ამ უკანასკნელს იგივე ავტორი თურქთა მიერ მოოხრებული სამხრეთ-აღმოსავლეთ ქართლიდან ხიზნად წამოსული ქართულ-სომხური წარმოშობის პიროვნებად მიიჩნევს41. რუსეთ-კახეთის ურთიერთობები ამ პერიოდში ინტენსიურია, ვინაიდან მოჰამედ ხოდაბენდე ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ რუსეთის მომხრობის მიზნით, აღმოსავლეთ ამიერკავკასიაში მას დიდ დათმობებს ჰპირდებოდა42 და კახეთის დამოუკიდებელ ინიციატივებზეც თვალს ხუჭავდა. თუმცა შაჰ აბას I-ის მიერ ოსმალთა წინააღმდეგ წარმატებით განახლებული ომის შემდეგ, საქართველოსთვის ვითარება ამ მიმართულებითაც გართულდა.

სამწუხაროდ, ჩვენ მიერ ჯერ ვერ იქნა მოძიებული XVI საუკუნის I ნახევარში ევროპის სხვადასხვა სახელმწიფოთა კარზე ქართველ მეფეთა კონტაქტების დამადასტურებელი წყაროები, ის ფაქტი კი, რომ XVI საუკუნის მიწურულს არსებობს კონტაქტის მცდელობა ესპანეთის მეფესთან, რომელიც ცალსახად აღიქმებოდა ოსმალთა მტრად და, შესაბამისად, აღმოსავლეთის ქრისტიანების პოტენციურ ქომაგად, ერთის მხრივ, გვაფიქრებინებს, რომ რუსეთის სახელმწიფოსთან კავშირების დამყარების მიუხედავად, საქართველო არასოდეს წყვეტდა ევროპასთან კონტაქტის დამყარების მცდელობას და მეორე, რომ XVI საუკუნის I ნახევარში, იმპერატორ კარლ V მმართველობის ხანაშიც უნდა ყოფილიყო მასთან რაიმე კავშირის მცდელობა. კარლ V-ის მოღვაწეობის ერთ-ერთი გაცხადებული დევიზი იყო სწორედ ერთიანი კათოლიკური ევროპის დაპირისპირება ოსმალეთთან, თუმცა ეს მისი მხრიდან მარტო დევიზი არ ყოფილა. რომ არა რელიგიური განხეთქილება ევროპაში, რაც კარლს არ აძლევდა ძალების ერთი მიმართულებით კონცენტრაციის საშუალებას, ოსმალთა წინსვლა ევროპის კონტინენტზე შეიძლება ასეთი შთამბჭედავი არც ყოფილიყო. კარლ V-ის ძე ფილიპე II მამის ამბიციებისა და სამფლობელოების მხოლოდ ნაწილის მემკვიდრე იყო (კარლ V-მ გადადგომის შემდგომ სამფლობელოების ნაწილი ძმას დაუტოვა იმპერატორის ტიტულთან ერთად) – ამიტომაც, ვვარაუდობთ, რომ საფუძვლიანი კვლევა ამ მიმართულებით ბევრ სიახლეს გამოავლენს. (თუმცა ისიც უნდა აღინიშნოს, რომ არა მარტო ძალთა დაქსაქსულობა იყო ოსმალთა წინაარმდეგ ერთიანი ფრონტის ვერშექმნის ერთადერთი მიზეზი, არამედ ის ფაქტორებიც, რომ მიმდინარეობდა ევროპის სახელმწიფოების მიერ ახალი გზების აქტიური ათვისება, ახალი ინტერესები მეკავშირეთა ცვლას განაპირობებდა, ფილიპე II-ის ინტერესები ამ დროს დიდწილად გადართული იყო ამერიკის კონტინენტზე, საიდანაც შემოდიოდა ძირითადი ქონება ესპანეთისთვის და ა.შ. ამ მიზეზების გაშლა ჩვენი სტატია ფარგლებში ამჯერად შეუძლებელია-თ.ქ.) მეორე მხრივ, ისიც უნდა აღინიშნოს, რომ საქართველოს კავშირი ევროპასთანაც და რუსეთთანაც XV საუკუნიდან მოყოლებული, ირანის ნებართვის გათვალისწინებით და ერთიანი ანტიოსმალური საბრძოლო კამპანიის პროგრამის ფარგლებშია განსახილველი და ნაკლებად ადევს დამოუკიდებელი მოღვაწეობის ელფერი. თუმცა, ისიც აუცილებლად უნდა ვთქვათ, რომ იმ მოცემულ ვითარებაში, თავად საქართველოს მესვეურები საკუთარი ქვეყნის ინტერესების დაცვის ყველა შესაძლო საშუალებას იყენებდნენ. როცა საქართველო ირან-ოსმალეთის ომების ერთ-ერთ ასპარეზად იქცა, და როცა სეფიანთა ირანის დამოკიდებულება საქართველოსთან მიმართებაში ნელ-ნელა დამძიმდა, საქართველოს უჭირდა აქტიური საგარეო პოლიტიკის დამოუკიდებლად წარმოება. ამიტომაც ატარებს კორესპონდენციები სპორადულ ხასიათს, განსაკუთრებით ევროპის სახელმწიფოებში და დესპანთა ვინაობის დადგენაც რთულდება [რუსეთთან ურთიერთობები, მიუხედავად ოსმალეთ-ირანის წინააღმდეგობისა, მაინც უფრო ინტენსიურია და ინფორმაციის მოპოვებაც მეტადაა შესაძლებელი, ეს ვითარება კი, თავის მხრივ, რუსეთის მეზობლობითა და ამიერკავკასიის რეგიონში მისი სწრაფად მზარდი ეკონომიკურ-პოლიტიკური დაინტერესებით აიხსნება და არა მარტო საქართველოს მცდელობებით]. მაგრამ უდავოა, რომ ქართველ მეფეთა დესპანების უმეტესობა საქართველოს მხრიდან (იშვიათი გამონაკლისების გარდა) სომხური წარმოშობის ვაჭრები იყვნენ, რომლებიც უმნიშვნელოვანეს სავაჭრო-ეკონომიკურ ბერკეტებს ფლობდნენ არა მარტო ამიერკავკასიასა და ირანში, (ვისი დესპანების მოვალებასაც ასრულებდნენ როგორც დასავლეთში, ასევე ჩრდილოეთის მიმართულებით), არამედ ოსმალთა იმპერიაშიც და, ამასთან ერთად, დასავლეთისკენ მიმავალი გზებიც კარგად ჰქონდათ გაკვალული.


ლ ი ტ ე რ ა ტ უ რ ა

L i t e r a t u r e

Л и т е р а т у р а

იტალიელ მოგზაურთა ცნობები საქართველოს შესახებ XV საუკუნეში. იტალიურიდან თარგმნა და შენიშვნები დაურთო ე. მამისთვალაშვილმა, თბილისი, 1981

ი. ტაბაღუა, საქართველო ევროპულ არქივებსა და წიგნსაცავებში, „მეცნიერება“ თბილისი, 1984

ე. მამისთვალაშვილი, იტალიელ მოგზაურთა ცნობები XVI საუკუნის დასაწყისის ირან-საქართველოს ურთიერთობის შესახებ, იხ. ევროპის ქვეყნების ისტორიის პრობლემები, თბილისი, 1975

ვ. გაბაშვილი, ქართული დიპლომატიის ისტორიიდან, საქართველოს და კავკასიის ისტორიის მასალები, თბილისი, 1954

ე. მამისთვალაშვილი, საქართველოს საგარეო პოლიტიკური ურთიერთობანი XVI საუკუნის 50-60-იან წლებში, მაცნე, თბილისი, 1982

ლ. ტარდი, უნგრეთ-საქართველოს ურთიერთობანი XVI საუკუნეში, თბილისი, 1980

W.E.D. Allen, Russian Embassies to the Georgian Kings, (Cambridge: Cambridge univ. Press,1970)

D. Goffman, The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Michele Membre, Mission to the Lord Sophy of Persia [ translated with introduction and notes by A.H. Morton], (School of oriental and african studies, Univ. of London), 1993

Richard Hakluyt, The principal Navigation, voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of English Nation, (N-Y: Viking Press, 1965)

Penrose Boies, Travel and Discovery in the Renaisaance, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955)

В. А. Байбуртян, Армянская колония Новой Джудьфы в XVII веке, Ереван, 1969

Т. Г, Тавадзе, Об Использовании Армянских купцов на дипломатической службе Грузинскими Царями, (იხ. ამიერკავკასიის ისტორიის პრობლემები, თბილისი: მეცნიერება, 1991)

Т. Г, Тавадзе, К вопросу кахетинско-русских отношениях в 80-е годы XVI в. – Мацне, № 3. 1983

Н. М. Карамзин, история государства Росийского, кн. III, т. IX, Спб, М., 1845

С. В. Тер-Аветисиян, Город Джуга, материалы по истории торговых отношений джульфинских купцов XV-XVII вв., Тбилиси, 1937

Ю. Е. Ивонин, У истоков дипломатии раннего нового времени, (Минск: издательство Университетское, 1984)

И. П. Петрушевский, Очерки по истории феодальных отношений в Азербайджанеи в Армении в XVI-начале XIX вв., Л., 1949

Шахмалиев, E. К вопросу о времени начала упадка Венеции, „ученые записи” Аз. госунта им. Кирова, №9, Баку, 1955

Я. З. Цинцадзе, Разыскания из истории русско-грузинских отношении (X-XVI вв.) Тбилиси, 1956

რ ე ზ ი უ მ ე

ქართველთა მეფეების საერთაშორისო კონტაქტებისა და მათი დესპანების ვინაობის შესახებ XV საუკუნის ბოლოსა და XVI საუკუნეში

თეა ქარჩავა

წინამდებარე სტატია შეეხება XV-XVI საუკუნეებში ქართველ მეფეთა საერთაშორისო კონტაქტებსა და ამ კონტაქტებისათვის დესპანებად მივლინებულ პირთა ვინაობის დადგენის საკითხს. სტატიაში სიახლის სახით გამოვლენილია XVI საუკუნის 30-40-იან წწ-ში ანტი-ოსმალური კავშირის ჭრილში ევროპა-ირანის ურთიერთობის კიდევ ერთი მცდელობის ფაქტი, რომელსაც ქართული სამეცნიერო საზოგადოება არ იცნობდა. ისტორიულ წყაროთა მეცნიერული ანალიზის საფუძველზე არის მცდელობა ობიექტურად შეფასდეს XV საუკუნის მიწურულსა და XVI საუკუნის მანძილზე ქართველ მეფეთა დიპლომატიური კავშირები რამდენად ატარებდა დამოუკიდებელ ხასიათს და რაგვარად შეიძლება განისაზღვროს ქართულ სახელმწიფოთა ადგილი და როლი იმდროინდელ საერთაშორისო ვითარებაში.




The article given below is connected with both the international contacts of Georgian Kings in XV-XVI centuries and the identifying of the persons who were sent for this issue as envoys and couriers. The fact is exposed as the novelty (totally unknown for Georgian scientific society) which once again reveals the relation between Europe and Safavids in the framework of Anti-Ottoman Unity in 30-40-ties of XVI century.

As the result of analyses of the historical sources the article tries to provide an objective evaluation regarding the fact were or not independent actions the diplomatic relations of Georgian kings during XV-XVI centuries, as well as tries to define how the role and place of Georgian States in the international situation should be determined at that period.





Данная статья указывает на международные дипломатические отношения грузинских царей в XV-XVI вв. и идентификацию людей, которые были посланны для этой цели, как послы и курьеры. Как новызна в статье приведен докозующий факт (не знакомый для грузинских ученных) об очередной попытке европейско-иранского союза в 30-40-х годах XVI века в рамках анти-османской коалиции.

На основании научного анализа из исторических источников предложенна попытка объективно оценить на сколько были независимы дипломатические отношения правящих царей в конце XV в. и на протяжении XVI века. И каким образом можно было определить какое место и роль занимало в то время грузинские государства в междунарожном положении.


1. D. Goffman, The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 85-87

* ახალ ჯულფაში შაჰ აბასმა ის სომხები დაასახლა, რომლებიც თავის სამშობლოში დაკარგეს ყველაფერი, მას შემდეგ, რაც 1605 წწ ირან-ოსმალეთის გამაჩანაგებელი ბრძოლებს ჰქონდა ადგილი

2. И. П. Петрушевский, Очерки по истории феодальных отношений в Азербайджанеи в Армении в XVI-начале XIX вв., Л., 1949, с. 181

3. W.E.D. Allen, Russian Embassies to the Georgian Kings, (Cambridge: Cambridge univ. Press,1970), p. 357

4. D. Goffman, The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe,(Cambridge: Cambridge university Press, 2002), p. 87

5. И. П. Петрушевский, Очерки по истории феодальных отношений в Азербайджанеи в Армении в XVI -начале XIX вв., Л., 1949, с. 182

6. С. В. Тер-Аветисиян, Город Джуга, материалы по истории торговых отношений джульфинских купцов XV-XVII вв.,Тбилиси, 1937, с. 86

7. Э. Шахмалиев, E. К вопросу о времени начала упадка Венеции, „ученые записи“ Aз. госунта им. Кирова, 1955, № 9, с. 124

8. В.А. Байбуртян, Армянская колония Новой Джудьфы в XVII веке, Ереван, 1969, с. 29

9. ლ. ტარდი, უნგრეთ-საქართველოს ურთიერთობანი XVI საუკუნეში, თბილისი, 1980, გვ. 20

10. Т. Г, Тавадзе, Об Использовании Армянских купцов на дипломатической службе Грузинскими Царями, (ix. amierkavkasiis istoriis problemebi, Tb.: mecniereba, 1991),. გვ. 240

11. ibid., გვ. 240

12. Pernose B. Travel and Discovery in the Renaissance 1420-1620, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955), გვ. 23-26

13. ლ. ტარდი, უნგრეთ-საქართველოს ურთიერთობანი XVI საუკუნეში, თბილისი, 1980, გვ. 22

14. ibid., გვ. 22

15. იტალიელ მოგზაურთა ცნობები საქართველოს შესახებ XV საუკუნეში. იტალიურიდან თარგმნა და შენიშვნები დაურთო ე. მამისთვალაშვილმა, თბილისი, 1981, გვ. 21

16. С. В. Тер-Аветисиян, Город Джуга, материалы по истории торговых отношений джульфинских купцов XV-XVII вв.,Тбилиси, 1937, с. 20

17. Penrose Boies, Travel and Discovery in the Renaisaance, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955), გვ. 23-24

* უზუნ ჰასანს ცოლად ჰყავდა ტრაპიზონის იმპერატორის კალო იოანე კომნენოსის ქალიშვილი დესპინა, ამ უკანასკნელის და კი არქიპელაგის (ეგეოსის ზღვის კუნძულები-თ.ქ.) ჰერცოგის ნიკოლო კრესპოს ცოლი გახლდათ, რომლის ოთხი ქალიშვილი ვენეციელი ვაჭრების ცოლები იყვნენ, ერთ-ერთი ვიოლანტე სწორედ კატერინო ძენოს ცოლი გახლდათ

18. ibid., 24

19. ე. მამისთვალაშვილი, იტალიელ მოგზაურთა ცნობები XVI საუკუნის დასაწყისის ირან-საქართველოს ურთიერთობის შესახებ, იხ. ევროპის ქვეყნების ისტორიის პრობლემები, (თბილისი: „მეცნიერება“, 1975), გვ. 148.

20. Т. Г, Тавадзе, Об Использовании Армянских купцов на дипломатической службе Грузинскими Царями. გვ. 241

21. Ibid., გვ. 244

22. Anthony Jenkinson, in Hakluyt’s Voyages selected and edited by Irvin R. Blacker, (NY: Viking Press, 1965), p.107-108

23. Я. З. Цинцадзе, Разыскания из истории русско-грузинских отношении(X-XVI вв.) Тбилиси, 1956, с. 283

24. ვ. გაბაშვილი, ქართული დიპლომატიის ისტორიიდან, საქართველოს და კავკასიის ისტორიის მასალები, თბილისი, 1954, გვ. 71-72

25. ე. მამისთვალაშვილი, საქართველოს საგარეო პოლიტიკური ურთიერთობანი XVI საუკუნის 50-60-იან წლებში, მაცნე, 1982, № 2, გვ. 23

26. Т. Г, Тавадзе, Об Использовании Армянских купцов на дипломатической службе Грузинскими Царями, იხ. ამიერკავკასიის ისტორიის პრობლემები (თბილისი: მეცნიერება, 1991) გვ. 243

27. W.E.D. Allen, Russian Embessies to the Georgian Kings, vol. I, (Cambridge: Cambridge univ. Press, 1970), p. 357

28. Richard Hakluyt, The principal Navigation, voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of English Nation,N-Y, 1965

29. Ю. Е. Ивонин, У истоков дипломатии раннего нового времени, (Минск: издательство Университетское, 1984), с. 86

30. ე. მამისთვალაშვილი, იტალიელ მოგზაურთა ცნობები XVI საუკუნის დასაწყისის ირან-საქართველოს ურთიერთობის შესახებ, იხ. ევროპის ქვეყნების ისტორიის პრობლემები, (თბილისი: „მეცნიერება“,1975), გვ.153

31. Ibid., გვ. 145

32. ე. მამისთვალაშვილი, იტალიელ მოგზაურთა ცნობები XVI საუკუნის დასაწყისის ირან-საქართველოს ურთიერთობის შესახებ, იხ. ევროპის ქვეყნების ისტორიის პრობლემები, (თბილისი: მეცნიერება, 1975), გვ. 148-159

33. Michele Membre, Mission to the Lord Sophy of Persia [ translated with introduction and notes by A.H. Morton], (School of oriental and african studies, Univ. of London), 1993, p. 12-17

34. Ibid., 12-17 35. Шахмалиев, E. К вопросу о времени начала упадка Венеции, „ученые записи“ Aз. госунта им. Кирова, 1955, №9, с. 124-125

36. Н. М. Карамзин, история государства Росийского, кн. III, т. IX, Спб, М., 1845, с. 246

37. Т. Г, Тавадзе, К вопросу кахетинско-русских отношениях в 80-е годы XVI в. – Мацне, № 3. 1983, с. 53

38. С. В. Тер-Аветисиян, Город Джуга, материалы по истории торговых отношений джульфинских купцов XV-XVII вв.,Тбилиси, 1937, с. 26

39. ი. ტაბაღუა, საქართველო ევროპულ არქივებსა და წიგნსაცავებში, (თბილისი: „მეცნიერება” 1984), გვ. 222-223

40. Allen W.E.D., Russian Embassies to the Georgia Kings, Vol. I, (Cambridge: Cambidge Univ. Press, 1970), с. 356

41. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 538

42. ibid., vol I, p. 539