Though both Stalin and Beria were natives of Georgia and rose through the ranks in the Soviet hierarchy, , the Georgians do not hold them in much esteem since there is prevalent feeling that they did not do much for their native Republic in way of autonomy or special favors with local causes. With the result, Georgia which had a flourishing agri economy before joining the Soviet Union was left floundering due to misguided policies and Command Economy/Central Planning shortcomings. Moreover both Stalin and Beria let loose a terror and purges due to which Georgia also suffered considerably. A common joke about these two stalwarts going round in Georgia goes like this:
Stalin comes to office one day, opens the first drawer of his table and finds his favorite cigars missing. Enraged he calls up Beria and demands that whoever has stolen the cigars be immediately apprehended. After half an hour or so Stalin locates the cigars in the third drawer and calls up Beria and orders him to release the suspects. Beria replies, surprised ? How can we Sir? We have already shot three suspects on suspicion and five more are being interrogated!?
Author: giridhara mallya- India