I visited survivors of the 1945 Texel uprising of Georgian soldiers, part of my research on a sequel to Skywriting. The working title of the sequel is Creatures in Flight. My visit to this Dutch Island in September, 2012, unearthed a big surprise: One of my University of Utah professors, Wachtang Djobadze, had been among the Georgians who started the uprising by cutting the throats of their sleeping German officers the night of Sept. 5-6, 1945.
Translation of article:
American interest in Russenoorlog
The Georgian Uprising is the background of a novel by American writer James W. Ure. He was in Texel last week and spoke with, Fien Bakker-Hoogenbosch. She remembered how Georgians in the war came to the door.
Ure was guided by Texel resident Gelein Jansen, who showed him places where the history of the Russian War still are tangible. Fien Bakker-Hoogenbosch, raised in Catharinahoeve, told how Georgians during the uprising were hiding in the pines and regularly came to the door for food. In her album was covered-over a picture of a soldier named Loladze, (not Sjalwa Loladze, the leader of the Rebellion). When Georg Irish, forty years later, visited the island, Fien met the father of this Loladze.
Ure heard about the Georgian Uprising by his professor of art history at the University of Utah. It was the early sixties. As expected Djohadze came from Georgia. He told how he was in the war and had fought on two sides. First on the side of the Russians and how the soldiers there were exposed to great terrors. He deserted and chose the other hand, the Germans. When the Russians were advancing, he landed in the west of Europe. Maybe he sat in Holland, but he did not like to talk about it. “After the war he did not return to Georgia, but traveled with our liberators back to Canada.
The book Ure writes is a trilogy, a kind of indictment of war, including the invasion of the Allies. “The Vietnam War was when America lost its innocence. It explains that war is always terrible, no matter what side you are fighting on.”
Ure, a former journalist and former director of the Sundance Film Festival, named after a role Robert Redford played in a movie, has written other books.
Picture Caption: Writer James W. Ure looking scrapbooks at scrapbooks with Fien Bakker-Hoogenbosch and her husband Cor.
Translation courtesy Geraldine Beaumont