Noe Jordania

January 15th 1868, Lantchkhouti, Georgia – January 11th 1953, Vanves, France.

Seminary student in Tbilisi, Noe Jordania distinguished himself very early by a critical manner of thinking. He devoted his time to the study of natural sciences and sociology, while leading a clandestine student group.

In 1891, he is a student at the Veterinary Institute in Warsaw. He studies also the European socialist and revolutionary theories and movements.

Back in Tbilisi in 1893, he presides over the birth of the Georgian Social Democratic party, and then leaves in a study tour to Switzerland, France, Germany, England. From there, he sends articles to his country’s press: about Georgia’s national past, European workers movement, rural organization, etc. So, when he returned in Georgia, four years after, he was recognized by all as a highly talented journalist and writer.

A year later, he takes the directorship of the newspaper “Kvali” (The Furrow), which become the rallying point of the young generation in revolt against the Tsarist regime. He was arrested   and imprisoned. In 1902, he launched the idea of a confederation of the peoples of the Caucasus.

State Duma of_the Russian Empire. 1906 He is elected to the first Russian empire State Duma (1906) where he chaired the Socialists’ parliamentary group. Signatory of the Viborg call, he is sentenced to detention.

In 1917, after the Russian defeat, he is the President of all the revolutionary organizations of the Caucasus and of the Georgian National Council.

On May 26, 1918, Noe Jordania, leader of the Social Democratic party, in behalf of the National Council proclaims the independence of Georgia.

Jordania portrait

The independent Georgia made Noe Jordania its head of State. Under his enlightened leadership the State of Georgia revives. At the head of the government, he undertook the national reconstruction, the reforms which must bring Georgia to prosperity.

Social and educational action, defense of democratic freedoms, agrarian reform, a foreign policy carried out for building alliances, for obtaining the recognition of the independence of Georgia and the recovery of  the provinces ceded by Russia to Turkey by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1917) had developed in the Georgian population a strong sense of national ownership.

However, Soviet Russia armies invaded Georgia, in violation of the Treaty of May 7, 1920 and without declaring war. After a valiant resistance, Georgia, also attacked by Turkey, fells to the Russians. On March 17, 1921, the legal Georgian Government, Noe Jordania at his head, is charged with the mission to defend the sovereign interest of Georgia before foreign powers and public opinion.

Acting on the decision of the Constituent Assembly, they sailed for France which officially welcomed the Government in exile. They defended with unflagging energy the rights of Georgia to the official representatives of the nations, Socialist parties, public opinion.

Up until the end of his life, Noe Jordania kept clandestine personal contacts with Georgia for he is convinced that in Georgian people’s heart must be preserved the national flame in order that, when the time comes, Georgia restores its independence.

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Stephen F. Jones – “Socialism in Georgian colors” . Harvard University Press- 2005:

“There was Jordania’s authority and leadership. Wladimir Woytinski, a prominent Menshevik who fled with Irakli Tsereteli on the perilous journey to Georgia from Petrograd in 1918 and who edited “Bor’ba”, the Georgian Social Democrats’ Russian-language newspaper from 1918-1919, remarked :

“In Georgia, he (Jordania), looked taller, his voice was stronger, and a slight stammer added weight to words. There seemed to be the halo of the tribal prophet around his majestic head with its thin gray hair and full beard. indeed he was more than the head of a political party. He was the uncountested leader of his small nation, surrounded by love and devotion, and the remarkable unity of the Georgian people stemmed largely from his influence.” ( W. Woytinski in ” La Démocratie Géorgienne” –  Edition Alcan Levy – Paris 1921.)

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