On October 27, 2023, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), within the framework of National Teacher's Day, visited the Museum of Occupation in the Kaspi Multi-Professional School-Gymnasium. IDFI awarded civil education teacher, finalist of the National Teacher's Award - 2023, Nino Niparishvili with a certificate of honor and a tablet computer for her special contribution to raising the awareness of young people about Soviet repressions.
The executive director of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Giorgi Kldiashvili, spoke at the award ceremony about the importance and popularization of the teacher’s profession, focusing on the role of the teacher in the process of forming a free and democratically minded citizen. He noted that IDFI still plans future cooperation with the museum and once again emphasized its role in developing empathy, social responsibility, and critical thinking skills among young people and arousing interest in the recent past of our country.
Anton Vatcharadze, the head of the Memory and Disinformation Studies Direction of the organization, thanked Nino Niparishvili for her valuable contribution to raising the awareness of young people about the Soviet repressions and talked about his future plans with regard to the Kaspi Occupation Museum.
Kaspi Occupation Museum is located at the base of Kaspi multi-purpose school-gymnasium, Shida Kartli region. The museum was opened in 2016 by civil education teacher Nino Niparishvili and the head of the archives of the second department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ivane Jakhua. The school-gymnasium is located in the former police building from the time of the Soviet Union. In the basement of the building where the museum is located, there was a pre-trial detention center in the USSR era.
The space of the museum covers several periods: the events of 1924 and the people executed in Gori uezd, the repressions of 1937 in Kaspi, the emigration of Germans from Kaspi in 1939, and the trials of Kaspi residents who escaped and survived the concentration camp after the end of the Second World War. A simulated cabinet and a pre-trial detention cell are arranged in the space. There are 3 solitary cells here, which have been preserved in their original form.
During the 7 years of its existence, many events were held in the museum, which was visited by many international guests. Among them, within the framework of the fourth international conference held by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), entitled "The Importance of Openness of Archives in Revaluation of the Soviet Past and Resistance to Propaganda", 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Chairman of the historical-educational human rights organization "Memorial", Yan Rachinsky, who talked about the course, extent, and characteristics of repression.
Also, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) in cooperation with the National Library of the Parliament of Georgia held a presentation on the issue of the repressed and a screening of the Radio Liberty film "Grave of the Executed in Batumi" in the museum.
The event was held with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
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