poet, writer, underground activist


Babuadze was born in 1903, in the village – Sakara (Zestafoni municipality, West Georgia), graduated from public school. From 1919 was a member of the "Young Marxists organisation" – a young division of the Georgian Social-Democratic Labour party.

After the occupation of Georgia by Soviet Russia in 1921, Ivane Babuadze was studying at Tbilisi State University and, at the same time, was working in railway administration in Tbilisi. He was a member of the Georgian Social-Democratic Labour party and was involved in the underground resistance movement.

First, he was arrested by Georgian SSR Cheka in 1921 and spent two months in prison. Again, in 1923 he was arrested for distributing illegal leaflets and literature.

Ivane Babuadze started his artistic career in 1925. He was known with the pseudonym – “Vanler Daiseli”. His literature and poetry were dominated by modernism, symbolism and expressionism with a patriotic note.

On 30 June 1925, Vanler Daiseli was arrested again by Cheka. On 9 of November 1925, he was sentenced to 1 year of imprisonment by the collegium of Georgian SSR Cheka.

In the final conclusion, Cheka’s investigator describes Vanler Daiseli as:

“... Ivane Babuadze as an active enemy of the Soviet state, concretely: He is involved in the illegal organization of Mensheviks, is an active member of it, participates in illegal meetings, collects membership payments and agitates against the existing government …”

After being released from prison, Vanler Daiseli continued his artistic life. In 1929 he published a poetry book – "Ballade of Tiger, killed near Tbilisi".

It was an obvious symbolism: in 1921, after Soviet occupation, a Kaspian Tiger was killed near Tbilisi. This was interpreted by society as a symbol of destroying a free Georgia by Soviet Russia. Also, the cover composition of the book was designed in the colours of the flag of the Georgian Democratic Republic). Due to this, censorship was alerted and Vanler Daiseli was arrested again.

23 October and 10 November, Georgian SSR and Transcaucasian SFSR GPU collegiums sentenced him to three years imprisonment in a concentration camp, and he was sent to Moscow, Butirsky prison, due to orders of the OGPU. The last document, speaking about his fortune, is an appeal of Vanler Daiseli to the Russian Political Red Cross.

Valnler Daiseli was lost without trace in exile. Until today information about the time, place and reason for his death is unknown.

Archive of former KGB of Georgian SSR contains 2 Criminal files of Ivane Babuadze #23165 and #25256. Files include orders of arrest, personal list of Ivane Babuadze and other prisoners, protocols of interrogations, correspondence of Cheka's divisions about them, appeals of Babuadze etc. State security was mainly focused on identifying Ivane Babuadze's role in the underground movement. Documentation about his latest arrest of 1929 is missing, making it unclear how the Communist Party and State security were triggered because of his last book – "Ballade of Tiger, killed near Tbilisi".

Everyone can see and download the KGB documents about Ivane Babuadze on the website of the Digital Archive of the Ukrainian liberation movement.