The story of the Georgian Romeo and Juliet
With the help of the diary written by the main character of the story, we can bring this love story to life.
The characters are Levani Leonidze, a man from Georgia; Maria, later Maro, Hopman from Germany; and Karl, her husband.
The exquisite and beautiful Maria was born in 1894 in Germany into a family of capitalists.
Maria was somewhat immature when she married her first husband, Karl. Karl was not a man of virtue.
Maria writes: “My father was against this marriage. He never said it, but I could sense it.”
The couple got married. Soon Karl showed his true colours. He spent all the couple’s money on his lovers and throwing parties. Hence Maria had to rent out a room in their house, to save the family from financial ruin.
Shortly, two foreign men came to the house. One of them would be the man who would change Maria’s fate forever. He was Levan, a trustworthy person who rented the room from Maria.
Maria writes: “I was spending the evenings with my friends; but once, when it was raining heavily, I stayed at home. Someone knocked on the door. It was Mr.Leonidze. He asked me to help him translate some words from the book. I quickly explained and he went”.
After a few days he returned with some questions. During this time they spent more time talking about various topics and it soon became a habit for them. Levan was polite and shy.
One day, when Maria came home she saw a letter on the table, with the words “Love story” written on it. It was a beautifully written poem.
This is how a very dramatic love story began.
Leonidze composed very emotional letters, saying that Maria could never understand the depth of his love. He wrote in one letter, that she was like a beautiful flower growing in a wild garden. He would secretly enter the garden and breathe the smell of the flower and gently kiss its leaves.
Maria could not help but fall in love with Levan.
Although Maria knew that it would be hard for her to leave everything, she believed that she and Leonidze were born to be together.
Maria decided to talk to Karl.
Karl could not imagine that his quiet wife, doing everything as he wished could do this to him.
He asked her to come to her senses, swearing that he would never look at other women again. Karl, angry, tried to scare his wife, saying that in Georgia people have no culture, and men had 2 or 3 wives.
It was too late. Karl had lost Maria forever.
Levan and Maria started a happy life in Leningrad. Later, when Maria became pregnant, they moved to Georgia.
Their happiness did not last for a long time. At the end of 1936, Levan was arrested. He was accused of being a traitor and an enemy of the people, since he married the daughter of a capitalist.
Maria, with her children, was exiled to Kazakhstan but, with the help of Levani’s brother, she returned.
She was banned from living in Tbilisi and moved to her husband’s home in Kakheti. Maria lived in fear for many years.
In her diary, Maria wrote letters to Levan almost every day begging him to return.
In the 1950s, Maria was allowed to return to Germany but she strongly refused, saying that she had to be in Georgia when Levan returned.
Maria wrote “Levan, time is passing and I am afraid that I will die without seeing you. My Heart aches when I imagine you returning after I die”.
Maria, used to a life of luxury, started to live and work in the village.
The children were getting older and Maria was suffering because Levan could not be with them.
10 years after Levan’s arrest, Maria writes:
“Ten years have passed, every year I suffer more. I am at home where you were born and raised. I love this house because I know how you love your homeland, your village. You might still be able to return, in this house where you spent your youth. And if you think about this house, I believe that you think about me and our children. That’s why I love this old house and I will not leave it.”
Sadly, however, at the age of 44, Levan was still in prison.
In her memoirs, Maria wrote: “The New Year is coming soon. What will this New Year bring? What if it will bring news about you? I would like to know something about you, that you’re alive and that you will return”.
Unfortunately, Maria died in 1961, knowing nothing more about her husband.