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Besarion Jughashvili

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Subject: Keke Geladze, Joseph Stalin, Shoemakers, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, Mingrelian Affair
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Besarion Jughashvili

Besarion Vanovis Jughashvili
ბესარიონ ჯუღაშვილი
Виссарион Иванович Джугашвили
Born c. 1850
Didi Lilo, Tiflis Governorate, Russian Empire
Died 25 August 1909 (aged 59)
Tbilisi, Russian Empire
Occupation Cobbler
Spouse(s) Ketevan Geladze
Children Mikheil
Parents Vano Djughashvili

Besarion Vanovis Jughashvili ([2]

Family and early life

Besarion Jughashvili was the paternal grandson of Zaza Jughashvili from the village of Geri, north of [2]

Later life and Stalin

According to the Arsoshvili family (Djughashvili's relatives and longtime residents of Didi Lilo), Djughashvili (nicknamed 'Beso') couldn't afford paying a three-Gori in search of employment.[2]

Besarion Jughashvili's grave in Telavi, Georgia.

In Gori, he lived in a house of Kulumbegashvili. Here, Jughashvili found a job as a measles. Beso soon developed a severe drinking problem. Stalin's French biographer Souvarine speculated that Stalin's birth defects, notably his adjoining two toes, were probably due to his father's alcoholism.[4] Djughashvili eventually opened his own workshop, and for a time he and his family were prosperous and happy, until his drinking problem resurfaced. He subsequently became very abusive toward his wife and son, at one point having tried to strangle Keke.[2] His ability to work also suffered, to the point that his workshop was kept alive only by his apprentices. Although Besarion wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and become a cobbler, his mother instead had Joseph enrolled in school to be educated for the Orthodox priesthood. This enraged Besarion; in a drunken rage, he vandalized a local tavern and attacked the village police chief. For this he was expelled from Gori. He kidnapped Stalin from the Gori school so often that Stalin's maternal uncles had to smuggle him in.

He moved to Tbilisi, where he found work at the Adelkhanov Shoe Factory, while his wife and son stayed in Gori. When his son entered an Orthodox seminary in Tbilisi, Beso made an unsuccessful attempt to remove him and teach him the cobbler's trade instead. He turned up once demanding three roubles from his son as he was moving away. Stalin threatened to call the watchman if he didn't leave so he went.[5] Stalin still visited his father with his mother's cousin while at the seminary. Beso would give him leather boots as presents.

In January 1900, Stalin was imprisoned for the first time because his father had not paid his taxes for his village. Stalin's friends paid it for him.[6]

In May 1901, Beso met his son for the last time. Soso, as he was called, was organizing a strike in the Adelkhanov shoe factory where Beso worked. Beso asked his son "Why are you coming here?" "To address these fellows." "Why aren't you learning a trade?"[7]

In May 1902, he accidentally met his ex-wife on her way to visit Stalin in Batumi prison. He shouted: "Stop or I'll kill you! He [Stalin] wants to turn the whole world upside down. If you hadn't taken him to school he'd be a craftsmen, now he's in prison. I'll kill such a son with my own hands, he's disgraced me." A mob protected her from him. She never saw him again.[8]

Besarion died on 25 August 1909 in Mikhailovsky Hospital in

  1. ^ Book in Georgian. 2010
  2. ^ a b c d e f Montefiore
  3. ^ Smith, Edward Ellis (1968) The Young Stalin: the early years of an elusive revolutionary, Cassell & Company
  4. ^ Trotsky, Leon (1947) Stalin: An appraisal of the man and his influence, edited and translated from the Russian by Charles Malamuth, London: Hollis and Carter.
  5. ^ Montefiore, 47
  6. ^ Montefiore, 64
  7. ^ Montefiore, 66
  8. ^ Montefiore, 88


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