Georgian Surnames


Zviad Gamsakhurdia

The national Herrow, who was swiming against the tide

The remains of First President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia have been transported to Georgia. The Family Members and Governmental Officials met the remains of Zviad Gamsakhurdia at the Upper Larsi Checkpoint.

The civil funerals were held in both the Kolkh Tower and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta.

On Sunday April 1 the remains of Zviad Gamsakhurdia was interred at the Mtatsminda Pantheon, Tbilisi.

Dr. Zviad K. Gamsakhurdia was one of the leaders of the National-Liberation and Human Rights movements in Georgia (1960s - 1990), the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia, outstanding scientist (Philologist, historian, philosopher, theologian), writer and translator. Main fields of scientific activity of Dr. Gamsakhurdia were: history of Georgian literature, history of the Ibero-Caucasian Civilization, history of Georgian culture, history of American poetry, Rustvelology, Anthroposophy, history of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church, etc. He was author of about 40 important scientific works (4 monographs) and more than 200 publicistic papers.


Z. Gamsakhurdia was born in Tbilisi on the March 31, 1939. Father - Dr. Konstantine S. Gamsakhurdia (1893-1975), the Classic of Georgian Literature of the XX century. Mother - Miranda Palavandishvili.

In 1955 Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Merab Kostava in the age of 15-16 years old, initiated and established an underground youth patriotic organization "Gorgasliani".

1958-1962 - Student of the Faculty of Western Languages and Literature of the Tbilisi State University.

1963-1977 - Research Worker of the Shota Rustaveli Institute of the Georgian Literature of the Georgian Academy of Sciences and Lecturer of the Tbilisi State University. From 1973 - Dr.Ph., from 1991 - Doctor of Philological Sciences (full Doctor).

1981-1990 - Senior Research Worker of the Shota Rustaveli Institute of the Georgian Literature and Associate Professor of the Tbilisi State University.

1966-1977, 1981-1992 - Member of the Union of Writers of Georgia.

In 1973 under leadership of Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Merab Kostava in Tbilisi was established the first public and legal Human Rights organization in the Caucasus - "Human Rights Initiative Group". In 1976, on the basis of this group, under Zviad Gamsakhurdia's leadership was established the Georgian Helsinki Group, which represented the first group of this kind on the territory of the former Soviet-Union. From its establishment the Helsinki Group actively defended the issue of Human Rights, especially the rights of political prisoners and prisoners of consciousness in the former Soviet empire. They also actively defended the Georgian language and the absolutely undefended monuments of Georgian culture. The Group was publishing and spreading illegal samizdat underground journals "Okros Satskmisi" ("Golden Fleece") and "Sakartvelos Moambe" ("Georgian Herald").

In 1974 Dr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Mr. Merab Kostava were appointed International Members of the Nobelprize-awarded organization - "Amnesty International" (UK).

In 1977 Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Merab Kostava were arrested. Until their official charge in May 1977 they were kept in Moscow's Lefortovo-prison and then in one of the main Soviet repressive institutions, - the Special Department of the Serbsky Institute of Forensic Psychiatry in Moscow (which was subordanited to Soviet KGB). In May 1978 they were charged. Till June 1979 Mr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia was in deportation in Kizlyar-region in Dagestan (village Kotchubei).

In 1978 the United States Congress proposed Dr. Zviad K. Gamsakhurdia as a Official Candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1982-1983 Zviad Gamsakhurdia was put under house arrest. In spite of that in 1983 he managed to issue a samizdat journal "Sakartvelo" ("Georgia").

In 1986-1990 the Georgian Helsinki Group (from September 1989 - Union) was coordinator of all important protest actions of the Human Rights and anti-imperialist movement. On the 9th of April, 1989, after the brutal dispursal of the peacefull action in Tbilisi, among other organizators Dr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Mr. Merab Kostava were arrested. They were kept during 40 days in the KGB-isolator.

In the late 1989 Zviad Gamsakhurdia greatly contributed to working out the law of the first multiparty democratic elections in the former USSR, its adoption and its realization.

On the October 28, 1990, an absolute majority of Georgia's population supported the political parties and organizations of the electoral Bloc "Mrgvali Magida - Tavisupali Sakartvelo" ("Round Table - Free Georgia") and its acknowledge leader Dr. Zviad K. Gamsakhurdia, and at the first Session of the Supreme Council (the first National Multiparty Parliament), in November, 1990 he was unannimously elected as a Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia.

After nationwide Referendum of Georgia about the restoration of the Independence of country (March 31, 1991), on April 9, 1991, the Republic of Georgia was declare with the Act of Restoration of Georgian State Independence as a Independent country. Author of the Act was Dr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia.

Primate of International Law toward the legislation of the Republic of Georgia and the direct actions of its norms on the territory of Georgia are declared as the main constitutional principles of the Republic of Georgia.

On April 14, 1991 the Supreme Council elected Mr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia President of Georgia, which was confirmed by the nationwide elections held on May 26, 1991.

On December 22, 1991, the military coup d'etat started in Tbilisi against the legal authorities of the Republic of Georgia. Since it became evident, that the putchists supplied by Russian military wouldn't be easily defeated and in order to avoid the further bloodshed the President, Supreme Council and Government members left the Parliament House on January 6, 1992. President Gamsakhurdia managed to escape with his family and members of the legal Government of Georgia first to Armenia and later to the Chechen Republic Ichkeria. President of Georgia continued the political struggle for independence of his country in exile.

In September 3, 1992, President Zviad Gamsakhurdia and President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Gen. Jokhar Dudaev was organizers of the 1st All-Caucasian Conference of the Movement "Round Table - Wholecaucasian House" (Grozny).

Due to the strong public resistance to dictator Shevardnadze's criminal regime the first democratically elected President of Georgia was able to return to his country in September 24, 1993. The legal Government and Supreme Council renewed their activity in Zugdidi (western Georgia) gaining tremendous public support. The Shevardnadze's regime, doomed to failure was backed by Russia and United Nations. In November, 1993, the Russian troops occupied the Western Georgia. President Gamsakhurdia had to leave Zugdidi, since when he was haunted by junta.

On December 31, 1993 Zviad Gamsakhurdia died in Dzveli Khibula-village, Khobi-region (Western Georgia) under tragic circumstances. In February, 1994 Gamsakhurdia's body was reburied in Grozny (Jokhar Kala), the capital of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria.

On March 28, 2007 the remains of Gamsakhurdia were arrived in Georgia for reburial and was interred at the Mtatsminda Pantheon on April 1, 2007.


Remains of First President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia Delivered to Georgia. Photo and Video.







See also:

The Spiritual Mission of Georgia

Zviad Gamsakhurdia, The Nomenklatura Revanche in Georgia

Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Open Letter to Eduard Shevardnadze



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