Remembering 1920 ... Anna Kelekhsaeva: "I won’t give her to anyone! I’ll carry her myself!"

Wed, 01/07/2020 - 19:12

1920 year. The family of Anna Kelekhsaeva was living in the village of Kvernet. Ossetian villages blazed in fire in South Ossetia, the Georgians did not spare either women or children - the open genocide of the Ossetian people began.

The Kvernet residents were receiving the information about the next atrocities of Georgian barbarians. People were massively leaving t their homes. The villages of South Ossetia were being abandoned one by one. The columns of refugees went north, the elders tried to save their children. The long road through the mountains was not for everyone the "road of life." Along the way, people met many corpses, new graves, most of which were the graves of children ...

Going ahead without looking back ...

According to the granddaughter of Anna Kelekhsaeva, the grandmother, recalling the tragic events of her childhood, the war, flight, the painful path through the pass, always cried. Each step along the mountain road was given with incredible difficulty. The path winding between the rocks seemed endless. With a heavy heart, people walked forward and did not even look back ...

“There were several children in the Kelekhsaevs family; each in turn younger than the other. When it became completely dangerous to stay, and whole families and even villages began to flee to the North, hiding from inevitable death, the head of the family decided to leave their home, household and follow the example of the majority. The path was long and dangerous, through mountains and gorges. Hungry and exhausted, mostly barefoot, they were walking day and night, making a halt only for a short time, in order to get to the appointed place faster. My grandmother Anna was then 12-13 years old, and her younger sister, Daria (Dariko), was about nine months old. Grandmother herself nursed her, since her mother had enough worries both about the household and the rest of the family. Along the “road of life,” Daria was carrying a sister in her arms,” said the granddaughter.

Grandmother's "horror stories"

The grief was haunted by people: they constantly buried someone, especially many children were dying. Forces faded away every day. “I was little when my grandmother told me all this, but even today horror grips me when I remember my grandmother’s “horror stories,” as I considered them in childhood, about genocide. Men on their shoulders were carrying huge wineskins with araka, otherwise it would have been possible to freeze along the way, driving cattle.

When the forces were running out, and there was almost no hope of reaching a safe place, it was decided to give up all that was superfluous and move on light. With a heavy heart, the father of the family made a tragic decision to abandon the youngest of the children so that at least the rest could survive ...”, the granddaughter noted

... Little Daria was pulled out of her sister’s hands and put under the bushes. Anna, in no way agreed to throw the baby. And Daria was crying loudly after her sister, as if she felt that she was doomed to death, her father was also crying, hiding tears to let Anna know that there was no other way out!

“Deliberately, strictly and loudly, he ordered everyone to go forward and not look back ...,” the granddaughter continued with the words of her grandmother. - But the grandmother still looked around, saw her sister’s big green eyes full of tears, her little arms stretching after her ... and ... could not stand it, rushed back to the baby, took her in her arms and shouted: “I won’t give her to anyone! I’ll carry her myself!” So, quite a child herself, little Anna carried Daria all the way.”

Parallel fates

On the way to salvation, they witnessed many stories. The refugees tried to keep up with each other, so that in case of what they could manage to come to the aid of each other. The tragedy affected almost every family who tried a hundred years ago to escape from Georgian fascism. And in the memory of all there was an endless "road of life" which became for many a "road of death."

“... A woman with children was walking along a suspension bridge. The bridge was narrow, shaky, so one had to go in a chain one after another. Mother held one of the children by the hand, the little one was in her hands, the other, in order to keep up, held on to her hem. Behind her, a woman carried a huge bag - rolled up warm blankets. At some moment, the woman turned back to check the child following her, but accidentally hit her baby, and he instantly found himself in the stormy streams of a mountain river ... Maddened with grief, she wanted to rush after the child, but she was seized and not allowed to commit such a fatal act, ”said the grandmother.

The cries of that unfortunate mother pursued her grandmother all her life, and each time, recalling those terrible events, she wept bitterly. Anna Kharitonovna herself was a child, but the stories and fate of fellow refugees were forever imprinted in her memory. They were united by one thing - to manage to get away from the enemy and start a new life.

The life “after”

In North Ossetia, where refugees and internally displaced persons reached, not everyone was able to find housing and settle. After some time, many began to return to their homeland. Among them is the family of Anna Kelekhsaeva. They lived for some time in the North, then they nevertheless returned back. They settled in Tskhinval, since only ashes remained from the house in Kvernet, Georgian barbarians burned almost all of their village.

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