The IPN Archive hosted a delegation of members of the Georgian-Polish Committee of Historians on Wednesday 29 March 2017. On behalf of Georgia, the Committee was represented by : Chairman of the Committee, Dr David Kolbaia (East European Studies University of Warsaw), Zaza Abashidze (Georgian National Center of Manuscripts), Giorgi Astamadze (University of Karlsruhe), Mikheil Bakhtadze (University of Tbilisi), Otar Janelidze (National Museum of Georgia), Beka Kobakhidze (University of Ilya State University in Tbilisi), Giorgi Mamulia (L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris), Dimitri Silakadze (University of Tbilisi). The guests were accompanied by Dr Paweł Libera, Deputy Director of IPN’s Historical Research Office, who is also a member of the Committee. The visitors had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the work of particular divisions of the Institute, which was especially important for them in the context of settlements with the communist past in Poland and in Georgia. As scientists, they were also interested in the ways of obtaining documents from the IPN resources, especially those concerning fragments of Polish-Georgian history.
The historians were very excited to see a publication entitled "The Great Terror in Soviet Georgia 1937-1938. Repression against Poles "- the fruit of the work of the Polish-Georgian working group.
Moreover, the Georgian guests visited the military documents warehouse and participated in a presentation on the activities of the Center for Information on the Victims of World War II. They also had the opportunity to read fragments of Johann Paul Kremer’s diary. Kremer was an SS doctor at KL Auschwitz and described the so-called special actions taking place in the camp.
Our visitors also saw the farewell letter of prisoner Kazimierz Leski, written with his own blood, as well as selected files of the Gestapo. At the end of their stay in the IPN Archive, the historians visited the Division for Archiving and Securing Archival Resources.
The day was concluded by a meeting with the President of the IPN, Dr Jarosław Szarek at the headquarters on Wołoska Street. President Szarek stressed how close the Polish and Georgian nations really are. "There is a strong connection and we have a lot in common, especially our love of freedom and honor," he said. He also recalled the figure of the late President Lech Kaczyński, who supported the Georgians in their quest for independence.
The President also appealed to our common history. He recalled the Georgian uprising against the Bolsheviks, which - although drowned in blood - made sense. After its defeat, Poland, which managed to resist the Soviets, had the honor of accepting many Georgian citizens, making Poland their second home.
Jarosław Szarek assured that the Institute would do everything in its power to make future Polish-Georgian cooperation fruitful.