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The Avenue of Friendship in Georgia – the IPN delegation planted the first tree

The President of the IPN, together with a delegation from the Institute of National Remembrance were invited to plant the first tree on the Avenue of Friendship at the Police Academy in Tbilisi. The Rector chose this form as a way of commemorating Polish-Georgian friendship and expressing his gratitude to Lech Kaczyński's country and nation.

Visitors are a gift to us - and special guests who are helping us to create and disclose the materials in our archives which safeguard our knowledge about the functioning of the Soviet regime and the victims of communism - are a real treasure", said colonel Givi Mikanadze, the Rector of the Academy.

The cooperation of Polish and Georgian historians has already resulted in the release of sources related to the Great Terror of 1937-1938, during which Poles also suffered in Georgia. The Georgians were further able to locate documents which contain key information about the so-called Polish NKVD operation of 1937, where the goal of the Soviet regime was the extermination of our nation in the communist empire.

IPN President, Jarosław Szarek emphasised the Institute's readiness to assist Georgian archivists in the process of modernisation of  their institutions and the work on source edition ."I would like to invite all Georgians to celebrate the centenary of the regaining of independence by Poland in 2018," said the President during an interview for local television. - Both our countries won the fight for freedom in 1918, but Georgia lost it three years later. It was then that Poland became home to many immigrants from Caucasus.

"Please let me share a personal reflection", said the Rector of the Academy to the guests from Poland, “- about a man who is no longer with us. The Georgian people will never forget the late President Lech Kaczyński, who arrived in Tbilisi at the time when our independence was threatened. We are truly able to appreciate this gesture, but the next generation of Georgians will appreciate it even more”.

During the visit, which is taking place from 4 to 7 September, Jarosław Szarek also assured the Georgian Deputy Minister of Interior, Shalva Khutsishvili, that the Institute will support the search and identification of victims of communism in Georgia.

"As we are the largest institution of this kind in the whole post-Soviet bloc, we are obliged to share our knowledge and skills with other countries," Dr Szarek said. He confirmed that working groups from Poland would come to Tbilisi with useful materials and the best experts. "The great Georgian nation has survived invasions, occupations and totalitarianism because of the spiritual strength it derives from its proud history and culture", he emphasised.

On 28 August, the Institute of National Remembrance supplied the Tbilisi Polish Library, which was created upon the initiative of the National Library of the Georgian Parliament with two palettes of IPN’s publications. The Polish Library will be located in a building which was designed by the Polish architect and artist Henryk Hryniewski. The opening is planned for the beginning of 2018, on the 80th anniversary of the death of the artist who was the victim of Stalinist purges. The donated materials include publications of both the Head Office and the Institute's branches from recent years.

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