Uncovering the Truth

Where: Batumi

Radisson Blu Hotel, 1 Ninoshvili


The Mieroszewski Centre, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)

Language: English, Georgian
Broadcast: nie

In 2017, the death pits of the victims of Stalin's terror were discovered at an old Soviet military base in Batumi (Adjaria, Georgia). Thanks to support from, among others, the Institute of National Remembrance, partial search and exhumation work was carried out; several victims were identified. However, to this day we do not know the names of all those murdered, and they have not been provided with a dignified burial and commemoration.

The Mieroszewski Centre and the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) have taken a joint initiative to organise an international conference "Uncovering the Truth: Mass Graves of the Great Terror (1937-1938) in Batumi, Georgia". The event aims to provide a platform for an international group of scholars, researchers and museum professionals to jointly consider the place and significance of Stalinist crimes in Georgia today and in the context of the experiences of other countries whose citizens were victims of Soviet terror.

During the conference, participants will be engaged in a discussion on the history of Soviet crimes, with a particular focus on the Stalinist terror in Adjara. Issues related to conducting archaeological and anthropological research at sites of mass repression, which help to identify victims and uncover their identities, will also be discussed. In addition, we will focus on the possibility of making effective use of archival documents and materials related to communist repression in order to broaden our knowledge of the subject.

The conference will be an excellent opportunity to reflect on the importance of museums as a space for commemorating the victims of communist repression and to present educational programmes and social initiatives aimed at disseminating knowledge about Stalinist crimes, especially among the younger generation. 

The conference marks the beginning of the Centre's efforts to support Georgian academics, researchers and community activists involved in documenting and commemorating Stalinist crimes and their victims.