International Association for Assistance to the Abaza-Abkhazian ethnos «Alashara»

Personality in the history of Abkhazia

Личность в истории Абхазии

On May 15, 2018 in the Assembly hall of the Abkhazian state Museum opened an exhibition for the 125th anniversary of the birth of Nestor Apollonovich Lakoba. Here are rare documents, letters, photographs, written memories, books from the state historical and memorial Museum of Lakoba. The exhibition was organized by the Ministry of culture and protection of historical and cultural heritage of the Republic of Abkhazia and the staff of the historical and memorial Museum of Lakoba.

Nestor Lakoba is an outstanding Abkhazian statesman, Chairman of the Council of people's Commissars of the Socialist Soviet Republic of Abkhazia from 1922 to 1930 and Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of Abkhazia from 1930 to 28th of December 1936.

N. A. Lakoba was respected by the leadership of the USSR, being the head of Abkhazia he solved all the important issues for the Republic, taking into account national peculiarities. At N. Lakoba collectivization in Abkhazia was much softer than in other republics, there was no mass dispossession and repression. Speaking at the round table "Abkhazia: a difficult way of revival" (to 125th anniversary of N. Lakoba and E. Eshba) on March 27, 2018, the well-known Abkhazian scientist-historian S. Z. Lakoba noted: "In Abkhazia, Nestor Lakoba was perceived as a people's leader. He received people not only in the Council of people's Commissars or the CEC, but also right on the street, in coffee shops, on the way home. Homeless children, farmers and runaway brigands came to him. He was free to communicate with people, had a great sense of humor."

N. Lakoba sent young people to study in different Universities of the country, he trained excellent specialists, among whom were historians, lawyers, agronomists, mathematicians, etc.

The famous Abkhazian historian S. Salakaya noted that " Professional literature, art, science – all this was created in the first years of the Soviet power and was identified with the name of Nestor Lakoba. He actually turned a small provincial Republic into an advanced agrarian-industrial country ... The People put Nestor on a par with Leon II, Keleshbey Chachba and Vladislav Ardzinba. Each of them was the spiritual leader of the people and made decisions that largely changed the fate of the country. As for the activities of Nestor Lakoba, it is the restoration of Abkhazian statehood and an incredible cultural rise in the country."

N. Lakoba was poisoned in Tiflis on December 28, 1936. Nestor Lakoba's body was buried with honors in the Botanical garden on December 31. Somewhere in a month and a half rumors spread that he was an enemy of the people, and he was reburied at the Mikhailovsky cemetery. Then there were rumors that his family stole the body. But when the NKVD officer came to make sure that the body was stolen or not, he saw that it was in place. He was surprised to meet Lakoba`s mother and wife at the cemetery. Apparently, such a plan was, but to implement it failed. After that, the remains were taken to the Lighthouse area and burned in a limestone pit.

After the death of N. Lakoba repression visited upon the people of Abkhazia. First of all, his entire family was destroyed – his mother, wife, son, brothers, nephews, all his brothers, as well as all those who were close to him.

Nestor`s wife Saria Lakoba in jail has undergone the most savage torture, Beria was required to sign that Lakoba were plotting against Stalin. They were also interested in the fate of Lakoba's archive. Almost two years they tortured Saria, but could not break. She died at 34 years old in ortachal prison. Later, the General Prosecutor of the USSR R. A. Rudenko will say about Saria: "This woman should be erected a monument!" N. Lakoba`s son Rauf was arrested at the age of 15 and shot on July 28, 1941, after that at the age of 15 years were arrested then shot  Nestor`s nephew Nicholai (Kukusha), Vasily Lakoba`s son Tengiz, son of a Nestor`s close friend Constantine Inal-ipa Koka. By the time they were shot, none of them were 18 years old.

In 1983 in the house where N. Lakoba with his family lived since 1923 was created the house-museum of N. A. Lakoba. During the Georgian-Abkhazian war of 1992-93 the Museum was plundered and destroyed. In 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers of Abkhazia decided to restore the museum.