Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Grigol Robakidze

Grigol Robakidze (1880, Sviri (West Georgia) –1962, Geneva) was a Georgian writer, publicist, and public figure primarily known for his prose and anti-Soviet émigré activities.
After graduation from Kutaisi Classical Gymnasium (1900), he took courses at the University of Tartu (Estonia) and the University of Leipzig (Germany). Robakidze returned from Germany in 1908, and gradually became a leading person among the young Georgian symbolists.
He was Involved in the national-liberation movement of Georgia of 1914-1918. Robakidze got a diplomatic post in 1919, when he took part in Paris Peace Conference as an executive secretary of the state delegation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
After Georgia's Soviet Occupation in 1921, he remained in the country, but was known for his anti-Soviet sentiments. His famous play Lamara was staged by the leading Georgian director Sandro Akhmeteli in 1930, a performance which became a prize-winner at the 1930 Moscow Drama Olympiad.
The success was so notable indeed that even after Grigol Robakidze defected to Germany the same year, it continued to be staged to prove the achievements of Soviet theatrical art, although without the name of the playwright on the announces. His defection, along with Vladimir Mayakovsky's suicide silenced most of his fellow poets for a long while. As an émigré, Robakidze had rather unhappy life.
During World War II, he participated in the right-wing patriotic émigré organizations such as the Committee of Independence of Georgia (1941), the Union of Georgian Traditionalists (1942) and Tetri Giorgi. After the war, his two books on Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler were believed to favour Nazism. Famous representatives of the Georgian Political Emigration rejected this claim.
He died as broken man in Geneva on November 19, 1962. He was later reburied to the Cemetery of Leuville-sur-Orge, France, a burial ground of the Georgian emigration to Europe.

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