On the Occasion of the 89th Death Anniversary of Prince Georgi Machabelli...

  • 31/03/2024
Today is the death anniversary of another Caucasian patriot. Prince Georgi Machabelli... Prince Machabelli passed away 89 years ago today in New York. This Georgian nationalist, who fought for the liberation of the Caucasus from the very first days of World War I, was also one of the first advocates of the unity of the peoples of the Caucasus. He advocated the idea of a federation that would be established by the peoples of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and the Northern Caucasus as equal participants. When the winds of revolution began to blow in Russia, while the Menshevik Georgians, who partnered with the Russian Bolsheviks, pursued autonomy in Greater Russia, Prince Machabelli and his nationalist friends voiced the ideal of absolute freedom. The revolution in Russia also gave strength to the Georgian Mensheviks in Georgia. What a strange coincidence that it was the Menshevik Georgians, not the nationalists like Prince Machabelli, who declared Georgia's independence. If nationalists such as Tseretheli, Machabelli, Avalishvili, Karumidze, and Amiredjibi who are not chauvinists had been in power in Georgia during the revolutionary and interwar years, instead of the Mensheviks, today's political climate in Georgia would most likely have been very different. The problems that Georgians are causing with neighboring peoples today would most likely not be experienced today...

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In memory of the anniversary of Prince Machabelli, today I am sharing with you the declaration that he and the representatives of other Caucasian Peoples presented to Gotlieb von Jagow, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the German Empire, on October 15, 1915, to ask for support in the fight against the Russian yoke:

First and the last page of the appeal of the representatives of the Caucasian nations
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"His Excellency Monsieur de Jagow, Minister of State Secretary of State at the Imperial Department of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Berlin.

Constantinople, October 15, 1915.

His Excellency Monsieur de Jagow, Minister of State, Secretary of State at the Imperial Department of Foreign Affairs of Germany.

The Caucasian Mission, composed of the Circassian, Dagestan, Georgian, Azerbaijani, and Lesghian Tatar Representatives has the honor to submit to the benevolent attention of the Imperial German Government the following motives and resolutions which fully respond to the views, feelings, and desires of all indigenous inhabitants of the Caucasus.

Considering the policy followed by the Russian Government in the Caucasus since the incorporation of this region into the Empire, a policy which - despite multiple marks of loyalty on the part of the Caucasian peoples - represents only a series of attacks on any national aspiration, any particular tradition, any religious cult, outside of Russian orthodoxy, a policy which uses all means, such as Ruin of influential classes, Russification of school programs, inaccessibility of careers for non - Russians, disproportionate increase in taxes, arbitrary deportation to Siberia of mass populations, sending to the country of Russian settlers to impose Russian language, culture, religion, manners, and customs most brutally, the most vexatious and the most suffocating, considering the state of mind that such an administration has inevitably created in the country where one observes only hatred against the Russians and a burning desire to free oneself;
Considering the very real helplessness to which Russia is reduced by the present war;
Considering the community of traditions, customs, interests, and misfortune which closely unites between them the different elements constituting the population without distinction of races, languages, and religions;
The members of the Mission-absolutely sure of the approval and unreserved support of the different peoples they represent unanimously adopted the following resolutions:

  1. Consider the period we are going through as an unprecedented epoch in history and seize this unique opportunity to provoke an armed uprising to shake off the yoke of Russian imperialism and thus put an end to the groans of part of humanity which has been suffocating for more than a century in the clutches of an intolerably tyrannical power;
  2. To form a sort of confederation of States, each of which - while obtaining and maintaining complete administrative autonomy - will be required to provide, to the extent of its means, the contingents and funds necessary for the defense of common interests and the security of the whole country;
  3. To keep the new State against any attempt at conquest, give it a military organization adopted under the conditions of the populations and the requirements of the defense of the country and to conclude between Turkey and the Caucasian State a military convention ensuring the reciprocal assistance of two States for the protection of their territorial integrity and their common interests,
  4. To present before the Imperial German Government and its allies the reasons which will demonstrate that the loss of the Caucasus will deal a mortal blow to the political prestige and the threatening situation of their most formidable enemy, that the repercussions that a movement in the Caucasus will necessarily have in Turkestan in Persia, in Afghanistan, in India and even within Russia proper could lead to incalculable consequences;
  5. To ask the Imperial German Government for its powerful support for the realization of the Caucasian national ideal which tends to create a new State which will be linked to its benefactors by the bonds of eternal recognition and will have at heart to offer them all the advantages economic and cultural compatible with its dignity and the principle of the country's independence.
For the Circasiennes group: (sg.) Aziz Meker, Professor at the Agricultural Academy of Constantinople.
For the Georgian group: (cage) Prince Georges Matchabelli, Tchuruksoulu Kiamil Tavdgiridze, Lieutenant of the cavalry.
For the Dagestan group: (sg.) Dr. Issa Rouhi Pasha, Sanitary Inspector of the Ottoman army, Brigadier General.
For the Tatar and Lesghien group: (sg.) Sélim Bey de Bébutow."

Istanbul, 31 March 2024