Staunton, June 4 – The Putin regime’s deification of Stalin has been accompanied by the rehabilitation of the Soviet dictator’s last Soviet secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria, a figure long viewed as one of the most horrific and morally bankrupt in the Stalinist pantheon. (See windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/03/if-only-beria-had-succeeded-stalin.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/08/disturbing-new-push-in-putins-russia-to.html).
Now that move to politically rehabilitate Beria has stepped into high gear with an effort to restore his personal reputation via an article about his wife Nina,” provocatively described in the title as “the most beautiful of the Kremlin wives” (ussrlife.blogspot.com/2018/05/blog-post_38.html).
Because of her beauty, Nina Beria attracted many men, the article asserts; “but she never had any affairs: all her life she remained faithful and devoted to her husband, even after his death” – despite all the rumors about her husband’s affairs with young women and even a report that he raped her before marriage. She regularly denied both.
Born Nina Gegechkori, Beria’s future wife was related both to the old Bolshevik Sasha and to various members of the Menshevik government in Georgia. In the early 1920s, at the age of 16, she met Beria who very much needed a wife because Moscow had said that it was going to send him to Brussels to study oil processing. He didn’t go, but he did get married.
After moving to Moscow, Nino worked as a researcher at the Timyazev Academy. Unlike the wives of Molotov, Kalinin, Budyonny and Poskrebyshev, she was “never subjected to repression” while Stalin was alive. Other “Kremlin wives” reportedly envied her for her fashion sense and style.
After Beria was arrested, the article continues, Soviet officials tried to force Nino to testify against her husband and confirm reports that he was involved with foreign intelligence services and under-aged girls. She consistently denied both. She and her son were placed under house arrest, then put in prison and in 1954 exiled to Sverdlovsk.
After completing her exile, Nino together with her son moved back to Georgia. But eventually because of an illness that led her Moscow friends to intervene, she was allowed to resettle in Kyiv, where she died in the mid-1990s. Her son Sergo died in 2000.
Shortly before her death, she gave an interview in which she completely exonerated her husband from all charges. She pointed out that he was not involved with the 1937 Great Terror and had been responsible for a drawing down of that effort and later the release of thousands from the GULAG.
According to Nino, Beria in his daily life was quiet and restrained and tried to spend “every free minute” with his family and closest friends. “She considered that her husband was killed ‘without investigation and trial’ and that in fact Beria and other comrades in arms of Stalin served ‘higher goals’ and were devoted to their country and its people.”