Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Servants, Friends and Retainers => Topic started by: David on February 15, 2004, 06:45:46 PM

Title: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: David on February 15, 2004, 06:45:46 PM
I know that Nagorny was taken out with Sedniev and shot shortly after arriving with the family in  Ekatrinberg, but aside from Annas account of Derevenko ordering the Tsarevich to perform menial duties, he completely disappears from history. Does anyone know what happened to the heirs fair-weather after he was dismissed by the royal family>
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: ptitchka on February 16, 2004, 11:20:20 AM
There may be some clues to this in 'Romanov Autumn' by Charlotte Zeepvat, contained in the footnotes to the chapter 'The Lost Tsar'. Derevenko was supposed to have been concerned about a suitcase sent to Tobolsk that contained one of Alexei's icons and a new suit meant for the Tsarevich to wear, and inquired about it - but I would have to read 'Le Tsarevitch - Enfant Martyr' by Eugenie de Grece, to find out more.

Derevenko is reported to have died in a place called Tifa in Russia in 1921.  (From the book 'Tsesarevich' Vagrius Press, Moscow, 1998 ).
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on February 18, 2004, 08:41:33 PM
My friend Vladimir, who is a tour guide in Yalta, wrote to me some time ago about having a descendant of Derevenko on his tour!  I will write to him about this, though it will take some time to receive the answer, as Vladimir does not have e-mail.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: David on February 24, 2004, 07:19:33 PM
 Thanks for the replies! I wonder if I would boast If I were related to such a cad!
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 17, 2004, 10:48:21 PM
That is the question, isn't it? Was he indeed a cad? I am curious about his fate as well.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 18, 2004, 10:00:22 AM
Knowing that Derevenko´s sons were often playmates to Alexey, i wonder what did become of them and if they wrote any kind of memoirs....

Antonio.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: davidm on March 18, 2004, 07:36:31 PM
Was he a cad> I would venture to say that any man who could turn on his charge when the chips were down is every bit a cad. Look at the loyal Guillard who went to the end of the line with the family. Or Botkin, who went to his death.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 18, 2004, 08:32:37 PM
From the outlook that we have all read, yes, you are correct. Is there, however, another side to this man's story?
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Louise on March 18, 2004, 08:38:53 PM
Iave just re-read Alexis's expenses for the year 1910 and Derevenko was paid 120 rubles a year. What would that work out to in American dollars? That doesn't seem to be very high of a wage for a man entrusted to protect the young boy's life. Of course this is absolutley no excuse for deserting the child and his family. I too wonder what happened to him and his sons.

Louise
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Forum Admin on March 18, 2004, 09:00:39 PM
It is not a huge sum of money. The modern equivalent is about $12,000 US...but do no forget that food, lodging, medical care and a pension were included on top of that sum.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: frankie on March 18, 2004, 09:13:50 PM
Maybe he was just worried about his kids. They were younger than Alexei and maybe he was scared something could hapend to them if he was with the Romanovs and probably he didn´t want to leave with out his family.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Louise on March 19, 2004, 09:47:34 AM
True that it maybe Deverenko was worried about his family, however he should have showed loyalty to the family and espcially to Alexis. He was in fact brought into the rarified world of the Imperial Family and trusted with the life of their heir.

Would anyone know if in fact Deverenko was seen ordering Alexis around and being rude to him after the abdication or is that yet another rumour/myth?

Louise
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 19, 2004, 10:43:20 AM
Hello Louise,
That scene was in fact seen by Anna Virubova, and described it in her memoirs. I find this behaviour totally unjustifiable, no matter if he caerd or not for his children security. After all the imperial family had done for him is this is the lowest level this man could have come to.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Louise on March 19, 2004, 11:03:05 AM
Thank you Antonio, for the verification and I agree with you. His actions towards the family were disgusting. In polite terms, the man was an ungrateful  cad.

Louise  
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 19, 2004, 01:46:22 PM
Personally, I find Vyrubova rather an untrustworthy source.  Much like Buxhoeveden. Not exactly objective.
That aside, I still tend to follow the thought that Derevenko was less than honourable. I would just like to read another perspective.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: ptitchka on March 19, 2004, 08:52:51 PM
Dear Antonio -

I have not come across anything about the sailor Andrei Derevenko's sons after the revolution, but your question about the two boys reminds me very much of something I have tried to translate from Russian.  Please forgive my paraphrasing, particularly if someone knows this very well:

Nikolai Vladimirovich (Kolya) Derevenko, the son of the Tsarevich's specialist physician, was perhaps Alexei's very best friend.  In his later years his fellow emigres often begged him to write down his memories of Alexei, even insisting that he owed it to posterity.  'Kolya' politely declined for quite some time, until one day he finally said:

"You don't know how I have suffered all these years (because of all that happened). If I give in and write about my memories (of Alexei), I won't eat, I won't sleep, I won't take care of myself... I'll go out of my mind!"

There must have been much fear in those days... and much pain over such a horrific end to a friendship as the murder of one's friend.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 19, 2004, 09:15:09 PM
As there were 2 Derevenkos in this story, it can get confusing.
Thr Dr. is one, I think the sailor/nanny is more intriging.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Penny_Wilson on March 23, 2004, 12:20:41 AM
It's important to remember that the only account we have for Andrei Eremeyevich Derevenko's allegedly dreadful behavior to Alexei comes from Anna Viroubova.

When we were putting together FOTR, Greg and I had some information that ran counter to Viroubova's statements.  This info was cut from the book in the interests of space -- plus it had to do with the early part of the captivity, and our book was heavily weighted towards the end.

I have looked briefly this evening through some of our literally thousands of pages of notes, and haven't found the sources, though of course I will continue to look if this is of any interest to anyone.

What we had, briefly, is a statement or collection of statements that claim that the sailor Derevenko planned to accompany the Family into exile, and had applied to the Provisional Government for permission to do so.  Almost at the last moment, after all the packing was done, he was refused permission to go to Tobolsk.

Given that he had planned to travel with the Family, the fact that some of Alexei's possessions were located in the Derevenko trunks that went to Siberia assumes a less sinister note.

AE Derevenko was killed in the Civil War in 1921, fighting on the side of the Whites.

This alone makes me take Viroubova with a pinch of salt...

Penny
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 23, 2004, 01:37:55 AM
Thank you Penny.  
I would have said a lot more than a pinch of salt to swallow Vyrubova's story.
But that is just my opinion.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 23, 2004, 07:19:18 AM
Well, Penny, that information is quite amazing. I didn´t knew that he died fighting on the white side.That alone is for me a very important sign of loyalty, not to say if he  would have been willing to go to Tobolsk with the family...However it´s always difficult for me to imagine Anna or another close friend of the family lying. Why should she do it?
By the way, it was hard to read about Sophia´s treason in your book...i was so sad.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 23, 2004, 07:24:41 AM
Quote
Dear Antonio -

I have not come across anything about the sailor Andrei Derevenko's sons after the revolution, but your question about the two boys reminds me very much of something I have tried to translate from Russian.  Please forgive my paraphrasing, particularly if someone knows this very well:

Nikolai Vladimirovich (Kolya) Derevenko, the son of the Tsarevich's specialist physician, was perhaps Alexei's very best friend.  In his later years his fellow emigres often begged him to write down his memories of Alexei, even insisting that he owed it to posterity.  'Kolya' politely declined for quite some time, until one day he finally said:

"You don't know how I have suffered all these years (because of all that happened). If I give in and write about my memories (of Alexei), I won't eat, I won't sleep, I won't take care of myself... I'll go out of my mind!"

There must have been much fear in those days... and much pain over such a horrific end to a friendship as the murder of one's friend.


Dear Pravoslavnaya,

Thanks so much for your reply, ive just read it. The details about Kolya´s attitude towards writing his memoirs are very interesting. I would respest this feeling of him, but it´d be great if he would have writen something...
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: M. Breheny on March 24, 2004, 06:05:28 PM
This is just a though.  Is it possible that Kolya Derevenko's  feelings were due to the fact that his father was allowed to practice medicine in Ekaterinburg in relative freedom while Dr. Botkin chose to stay with the family and to die with them?  
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: JM on March 24, 2004, 06:09:11 PM
Are you refering to Vladimir Derevenko?
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: M. Breheny on March 24, 2004, 07:06:56 PM
I am sorry I didn't make myself clear.  I was speaking of Kolya, the son of the family doctor, Vladimir Derevenko -- not Derevenko the sailor-nanny.  
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Penny_Wilson on March 25, 2004, 10:38:36 PM
Quote
Well, Penny, that information is quite amazing. I didn´t knew that he died fighting on the white side.That alone is for me a very important sign of loyalty, not to say if he  would have been willing to go to Tobolsk with the family...However it´s always difficult for me to imagine Anna or another close friend of the family lying. Why should she do it?


I don't know.  Why does anyone lie?  Maybe she didn't like him.  Or maybe she was dramatizing events.  Or maybe it was a genuine misunderstanding of something: I suppose it's possible that she saw Derevenko making Alexei get his stuff together to be packed -- you know, making him help -- and perhaps Anna didn't like that, or thought that it was inappropriate for Derevenko to do this.  IF she did see something like this, then it was probably a pretty benign event, as no-one other than Viroubova saw fit to record it.

Quote
By the way, it was hard to read about Sophia´s treason in your book...i was so sad.


I have to tell you, Antonio, that I tend to be a bit more Bolshie about these things than most people here probably are.  Sophie is probably not a good example, because she certainly did behave criminally in terms of stealing money and Imperial property, but I see nothing inherently wrong with trying to save your own life.  

On the night when the Romanovs were leaving Tsarskoye Selo for Tobolsk, the servants and members of the suite and household who were to accompany them were told to gather in a field near the train station the evening before.  So they did.  But many of them had second thoughts in the course of the night, and ran off before the train showed up -- and these were not just young footmen and under-housemaids.  Some of them had been considered quite respectable members of the Suite.  This was told to me by the elderly son of one of the runners.  So what do we do with this?  How do we judge these people?   They couldn't have known what was going to happen, but in the end, they may have saved their lives by running away.  Was this wrong?  I really don't know...   :-/
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 26, 2004, 07:30:26 AM
Thanks Penny for the reply,
I´m afraid i use to idealize people...and really your book was sometimes hard.But the truth is what it is, and so we must know it.
It´s difficult to try to judge people in circumstances in wich we don´t know how would have we acted...
Although i would try to save my life i don´t agree it must be done at any price(that remind me the rats in a sinking ship). Living after having lost your dignity as Sophia did??? Everyone should be respected with her/his decissions, but i cannot help having my own opinion.
What happened on board the Russ was the most terrible experience i could imagine for the grand duchesses and those related who cared for them, therefore i cannot understand her reaction. If she had run to save her life,that´s one thing, but trying to save her life denouncing the girls...well that´s very different. By doing this she also reisked their lives, i think. How could she describe in "Left behind" the last farewell with them so touchingly when in fact the next thing she do was to inform the bolsheviks on the jewels???
Well, it´s only my opinion but i profoundly despise her.
It´s very interesting that about the people that run away...the noble status do not grant the nobleness in actions, just remember people like Sablin running away when the Tsar´s train arrived to Tsarskoe...
The servants had in fact the oportunity to be with the family ar not when they were imprisoned but perhaps they changed their mind afterwards...
History do justice with everyone at the end and put him/her in the right level. Anna Demidova is in the Petropavlovsky Krepost and Countess Gendrikova will be remembered as well as the others...Sophia and people like her will have their own place according to their actions.

Best regards,
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Louise on March 26, 2004, 10:05:45 AM
Antonio, I may have lost your train of thought with all that is happening on the board. I have not yet read Greg and Penny's book (sorry you two, I do plan to buy it soon--promise) so I am not sure who you mean by Sophia, in regards to betraying the Imperial Family. Are you referring to Sophia Buxhoevden?

Louise
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 26, 2004, 11:31:50 AM
Hello Louise,
Yes, i was speaking about Sophia Buxhoeveden. I will try as well as i can what happened (my english is quite poor...) and my excuses  to Greg and Penny if i do not do it correctly...
Well, in the first night of the trip on board the steamer Russ the drunken soldiers LOCKED all the men in charge of the grand duchesses(Gilliard, Gibs, and so on...) including Alexey in their rooms. Then the women were forced to leave their cabin doors open. As the night went on the soldiers became more and more wild, as Penny and Greg wrote: " the soldiers leered at the grand duchesses... Gibbes listened helplessly as the drunken guards harassed the girls...It was dreaful what they did, the former tutor recalled. The "terrified screams" of the girls, Gibbes said, haunted him to the end of his life".
And while those screams were sounding, Sophia was quickly in search of Rodionov, not looking for help to save the girls but only to tell him ACCURATELY about the jewels concealed in the girls clothes, only in the hope of saving herself.( I feel repugnancy only to write about it...)
 So if you have wondered sometime why she was spared the death that people like Gendrikova or Schneider found, now you have the answer.
 If you read her book "Left behind" you will find the moment in wich,she writes, was left alone in the train for hours and then left free. The truth is that those "hours" were employed to describe to the Ural Soviet averything about that jewels.
Hope this will help you to understand the matter i was speaking about. Greg and Penny´s book is a must for any interested on the Romanovs and you will find many different points of view in this, i think the most important, study of the last days of the Romanovs.

Take care, Louise!
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Louise on March 26, 2004, 12:09:31 PM
Antonio:

Your English is just fine and thank you for explaining this event to me.  I have read Sophie's biography of the Empress, but this latest revelation repulses me. I can't imagine the hurt and the confusion that the Imperial Family must have gone through as their most "trusted" friends betrayed them.

I'm off this afternoon to purchase The Fate of the Romanovs.

Louise
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 26, 2004, 12:14:50 PM
Thanks Louise!
The imperial family never knew about this doings of Sophia, so i´m happy they were spared that last suffering...
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on March 26, 2004, 12:20:48 PM
One of the many "wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee" moments I had while reading the Wilson/King book was learning that Sophie Buxhoeveden might not be the completely admirable person I had envisioned. Earlier I had read the memoris of both Anya Vyrubova and Lily Dehn with big grains of salt. Of the three, however, Buxhoeveden seemed by far the most intelligent, impartial, and trustworthy. So reading that she may well have been much less was very painful. In fact, I put the book down for three days to work through my feelings of anger and disilluisionment. Finally I put aside my denial and returned to the book, but still find the matter extremely distasteful.  Like so many others, I did wonder why Buxhoeveden had survived . . . and the truth definitely hurts.  It's hard to say how any of us would have truly behaved, had we been there, and I don't begrudge anyone for wanting to preserve his or her life, but obviously there were people such as Nagorny who paid the ultimate price for their devotion.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Jane on March 26, 2004, 01:45:15 PM
My goodness, I had no idea about Sophie Buxhoeveden's "betrayal!"  I am so looking forward to finally reading "Fate of the Romanovs" (GK and PW might be pleased to know that there is a waiting list at my local library branch for their book, and I am getting very impatient with those ahead of me!)  But, as Penny notes, the survival instinct in humans is a strong one, and can we really fault someone eighty years after the fact for trying to save their own  life?  Of course, whitewashing one's own version of the events (as SB apparently did) is another thing entirely...

Jane
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 26, 2004, 02:14:30 PM
What is for me more disgusting of Sophia´s betrayal is the fact that she was disposed to sacrify the grand duchesses...If she just wanted to save her life then she should have tried running away or simply not going to Tobolsk.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 26, 2004, 02:49:38 PM
I have always had my suspicions about Sophi B.  She simply  "milked" her survival too much for reasonable decency. She basically remained a freeloader didn't she?
Anna V. on the other hand, I think was just a touch feeble minded, which is why the Empress made allowances for her.   Also, she led a rather quiet life afterward. Even took some time & convincing to write her  memories. There seems to be some evidence that she was more than aided in writing those as well.

Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on March 26, 2004, 02:59:11 PM
Yes, she writes so admiringly of OTMA, as well of Alexndra, Nicholas and Alexei in Left Behind and her biography of the Tsarina. (I have not yet read her third book.)  I wonder how she was able to justify her actions and live with herself all those years.  Perhaps, like so many guilty people, she convinced herself of the Rightness of her personal behavior.

I am glad to have read vindicating information about Sailor/Nanny Derevenko.  I agree that Anya may well have observed him encouraging Alexei to pick up things in his room, just as parents and childcare providers have insisted down through the ages. Or perhaps Derevenko had annoyed Anya, and this was her way of getting even. But the knowledge that he died fighting with the Whites, plus the fact that the Derevenko trunks that went to Toblosk--well, these matters say a lot! At this distance in time, it's really hard to tell about Anya's damning statement, but perhaps her overly sensitive personality had something to do with it--that and the testimony from others regarding her tendency to be sneaky, gossipy, and hold a grudge!  Alas, an immature personality, and--as Alexandra herself so accurately pointed out to Nicholas--their sixth child!!!
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Penny_Wilson on March 26, 2004, 03:05:18 PM
Sophie was definitely questionable in my opinion.  I've always had my suspicions about her, because of (a) her being the sole survivor from the Suite, and (b) her unwillingness to be interviewed by Sokolov -- or any other investigator.  As Gibbes said -- after Sophie screwed him out of almost all the cash he had -- "I knew she was greedy, but I never knew that she could go THIS far!"

Also, after she reached England, and started working for Victoria Milford-Haven, GD Xenia sent a letter to Victoria warning her about Sophie.  She wrote that N and A had had their own suspicions about her loyalty when they were in Siberia.

We didn't really have time to track down what N and A may have known or suspected -- but it couldn't have made their position any easier, knowing that their trust had been misplaced in her.  I do not know how close a "friend" she was considered by the individual family members, but I hope it wasn't real close.  Personal betrayal is hard to deal with even at the best of times...
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: jackie3 on March 26, 2004, 03:21:43 PM
Quote
I have always had my suspicions about Sophi B.  She simply  "milked" her survival too much for reasonable decency. She basically remained a freeloader didn't she?
Anna V. on the other hand, I think was just a touch feeble minded, which is why the Empress made allowances for her.   Also, she led a rather quiet life afterward. Even took some time & convincing to write her  memories. There seems to be some evidence that she was more than aided in writing those as well.



I'm willing to be cut Anna V. a lot of slack. As you say she doesn't come off as too bright (one of the laughable things in Radzinsky's The Last Tsar is how he tries to make off that Anna was power-hungry and used her position with the Tsarina as Rasputin did - she doesn't seem bright enough for that to me). She did try to get money and/or attempt to resuce the Imperial family if I remember right and she remained loyal to the Empress to the end of her life. Not to mention what must have been the humiliating arrest by Kerensky and medical check-up that proved she was a virgin.

As for Sophie I too am shocked. While I like to think that many of the servants would have gone to the end to with the Family, I too don't blame them for running away. Put for her to put innocent girls lives (and worse) in danger to protect herself - don't forget she knew how sheltered these girls were raised and she knew the Bolshie guards were much different than the Prov. Govt.'s one - is hideous beyond belief. I'd like to think the GDs' scream aboard the Rus haunted her for the rest of her life (it would if I had done that) but from the way she milked her imperial "connections" and the Family for years afterward I doubt. Truly ghastly.

And as an aside I now realize I have to get Greg and Penny's book which I had been avoiding (mostly because of the details of what happened to the GDs) - if it as good as everyone says, it seems my Romanov collection won't be complete without it.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Valmont on March 26, 2004, 03:25:58 PM
Penny,
Sophie was the sole survivor?. I thought Alexei Volkov save his life by running from the Bolshevik soldiers into the woods when He along with Countess Anastasia Hedrinkova and  Catherine Schneider  were asked to walk across  a glade in the early morning hours of september 4.
Anyway, I never trusted Sophie much either...

Arturo Vega Llausás
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: JM on March 26, 2004, 04:07:37 PM
     Alexei Volkov did survive. I understand he was around sixty at the time. What exactly happend to him after he ran into the woods? How did he manage to survive?
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on March 26, 2004, 04:53:54 PM
I remember reading that, just as mentioned, Volkov managed to run away, but that he did not live much longer than a few more years. (But long enough to confirm the fate of his compatriots.)  I would have to check through my Romanov library re: this one.

I do recommend buying The Fate of the Romanovs rather than borrowing it.  For one thing, it is filled with so much disturbing (albeit well-researched and documented) information, you may want to take one or two day breaks in order to absorb it all. For another thing, I like the idea of “voting” with a purchase, so publishing houses realize that certain subjects continue to interest readers.  Which might also mean that should their book do well, perhaps Penny and Greg will be able to compile their unused information into another book!

Also, like many of us, I do try to remember to cut Anna Vyrubova some slack.  This is probably why she continued to be a fixture at Tsarkoe Selo as well . . . because Nicholas and Alexandra realized that, despite her childish tendencies—and because of them—she needed advocates. (Though I still feel she was capable of being trivial and vindictive.)  After reading the responses on this forum, though, I do wonder how Sophie Buxhoeveden—after so many years of respect—would defend herself against all of our “loss-of-faith” responses.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: JM on March 26, 2004, 05:04:11 PM
    I've owned The fate of the Romanovs for several weeks now and I think that it's a fantastic book.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Jane on March 26, 2004, 05:09:56 PM
Right.  That's it.  I'm going out to purchase the FOTR book this weekend rather than wait for these infuriatingly slow readers at my library to complete it first.  

Jane
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Greg_King on March 26, 2004, 05:59:41 PM
Quote
Penny,
 Sophie was the sole survivor?. I thought Alexei Volkov save his life by running from the Bolshevik soldiers into the woods when He along with Countess Anastasia Hedrinkova and  Catherine Schneider  were asked to walk across  a glade in the early morning hours of september 4.
Anyway, I never thusted Sophie much either...

Arturo Vega Llausás


I'll jump in and answer: Sophie was the ONLY member of the Entourage and Suite who went to Siberia to survive, live at freedom, an escape Russia-along with Dr. Derevenko the only one freed by the Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg.  Volkov (who belonged to the Household), along with Hendrikova (Suite) and Schneider (Suite), was imprisoned by the Ural Regional Soviet and removed from the city on 19 July (on the "mysterious train to Perm" that looms so large in Romanov escape theories) and taken to a forest with the two above in September to be shot.  He only managed to survive by fleeing into the woods.  He ended up working with Sokolov, then lived at Darmstadt under Ernie's care until his death (Ernie took in a lot of Alix's former staff-Zanotti also lived there for a time).

Greg King
Title: -Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: LisaDavidson on March 27, 2004, 01:49:31 PM
Jane - you won't be disappointed in your purchase of "Fate of the Romanovs". I am reading now for a second time - and it's terrific.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Thierry on March 29, 2004, 06:57:44 AM
Alexis Volkov wrote memoirs which were published in Paris in 1928 : "Souvenirs d'Alexis Volkov, valet de chambre de la tsarine Alexandra Feodorovna, 1910-1918".
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 29, 2004, 07:15:26 AM
I´ve been years looking for this book! It must be very interesting...but not even in chapitre.com could find one...anyone could help me?
Thanks!
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on March 29, 2004, 11:17:24 AM
I second the motion! And is this book a possible candidate for reproduction on this website?
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: LisaDavidson on March 29, 2004, 10:39:35 PM
For the book to be posted on the website we need the following:

1. Copy of the book
2. Permission of the copyright holder or proof that it is not copyright protected.
3. Funding to cover our basic costs
4. Someone to do the technical work

Does anyone have a copy of the book?
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Penny_Wilson on March 29, 2004, 11:32:55 PM
I do.

It's even mostly translated from when Greg and I used it for research on the FOTR.

There's definitely more work to be done on it, but if you can find out if it's in copyright, maybe we can work something out so that the AP site can have at least some of what we've got.  :-*
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: RobMoshein on March 30, 2004, 08:52:29 AM
Gosh,
You guys take ALL the fun out of surprises!!
I have my own copy of Volkov, and did a full translation for Bob, which we were planning to put up for May on the Palace site, but you guys just can't WAIT for it. LOL
Give me a day or two to build the page and I'll put it up now. Penny, please feel free to let me know if you think I made any mistakes in translation from what you got.
Rob
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Penny_Wilson on March 30, 2004, 09:06:15 AM
Heh.  :D

Well, Lisa DID ask!

Anyway -- we do have a boatload of old and rare titles collected between us, so if the AP has a wish list, let me know and I'll check if we have it.

Penny
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: LisaDavidson on April 05, 2004, 10:46:02 PM
Guilty as charged!

Could we have a peek at your list? (She asked, inquisitively).
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: BobAtchison on April 12, 2004, 09:52:42 PM
I believe they lived in the White Tower - Kuchumov lived in their rooms... right?

Bob
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on April 12, 2004, 10:08:10 PM
I suppose he lived in the "ruins" belonging to the White Tower ensemble, certenly not in the Chinese Village, as far as i know it was reserved for officials(?). The white tower´s ruins served as quarters for the servants and is being restored right now. I saw it last summer and appeared quite well.The ruins have the shape of a castle´s entrance: two towers and a big door in the middle. This building is not visible from the Alexander palace side, it´s just behind the white tower and in a lower level.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: David_Newell on April 13, 2004, 05:29:36 AM
I think that from our time it is very hard to really know peoples motives. After all its how we respond to people that colours how we think of them. Perhaps Derevenko had upset Vyrubova at sometime. With the maelstrom of revolution all around them, who knows how they were thinking. But as for Isa I had read about her money borrowing and not all toghether trustworthy actions before. But for the life of me I can't remember where.

David Newell, London
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: BobAtchison on April 13, 2004, 06:52:40 PM
Back in 91 or 92 I think I had a wonderful day at Luton Hoo.  They let have 4-5 hours alone with Gibbe's papers and images.  There I read this letter from Gibbes to Buxhoeveden in Siberia complaining that she had taken money from a joint acount and this had put him in great difficulty.  I don't remember the exact words.  I think there was a second letter asking why she hadn't answered the first.  These must have been copies of his - or maybe they were returned to him.  I was shocked and have never been able to make sense of it.  It changed my mind about Buxhoeveden - I just don't know what she did for sure.

His Aleksey diary was there - not as much as I had hoped there might be.  It all came in a big box - I was amazed.

I also went into a big room with table tops covered with books and some photo albums.  There were a couple of albums of Imperial pictures - somelovely pictures of Nicholas and his mother when he was around 14...  there were lots of antique Russia books - I rememeber one on the anniversary of the war of 1812.

Some of the window panes were broken and there were bird droppings around the room.  It looked like no one had been in there for 30 years!!!

Does anyone have an update on the status of the Luton Hoo things?

Bob
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: David_Newell on April 14, 2004, 12:38:10 PM
Luton Hoo was sold and the papers moved I just can not find out where, but leave it with me will ask a friend who does have contacts.

david Newell, London
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: lababoc on September 21, 2006, 08:36:41 AM
I never could understand ...why Czarina Alexandra surronded herself with  mediocre people ..none of them it seems to me had  a special talent...were well educated or well traveled..or had anything to really enrich the Empress's caracter ...for  enlightenment  .. .so to speak..  Am I wrong?
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Belochka on September 22, 2006, 06:34:35 AM
I never could understand ...why Czarina Alexandra surronded herself with  mediocre people ..none of them it seems to me had  a special talent...were well educated or well traveled..or had anything to really enrich the Empress's caracter ...for  enlightenment  .. .so to speak..  Am I wrong?

The personalities that comprised Alexandra's inner circle were loyal to her.  Her staff followed her abroad to England, Germany and elsewhere as the Imperial itinerary dictated. It was a rarity that women of that class received an education beyond institutions such as the Smolnii. At least they were literate, well versed with classical European literature and the fine arts, which one must agree is an on going educational process of self-refinement. Such accomplishments can hardly be considered as mediocre.

Margarita  
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: lababoc on September 22, 2006, 07:56:06 AM
  Thank you i do understand your point of view..there's a saying that goes more or less like this...." Show me the company you keep and I'll tell you who you are..."    and I cannot blame other ladies of the imperial  family for disliking the Czarina  or for  not agreeing with her lifestyle .
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Rodney_G. on October 02, 2006, 04:22:58 PM
     
   In the footnotes to a chapter on Alexei in "Romanov Autumn" by Charlotte Zeepvat it is claimed that Derevenko was hoping to accompany the IF to Tobolsk and packed atrunk for that purpose. If that is true it puts Derevenko's alleged turning against Alexei in a different light.
 
   For one thing, it"s totally inconsistent with his many years of proven devotion to the boy, including in some very stressful periods.The pressure to turn against the Romanovs from revolutionary guards around them must have been great but Derevenko's prior loyalty is unquestionable. Also,he seems to have been dismissed just prior to departure for Siberia,which was after at least four months with the IF at the Palace. If he had wanted to desert the IF he would probably have done so right away , in March.
 
   That Derevenko might have turned on Alexei is disturbing, but Anna Virubova's account may not be completely reliable, as many of us have noted.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Sarushka on October 02, 2006, 10:57:32 PM
     
   In the footnotes to a chapter on Alexei in "Romanov Autumn" by Charlotte Zeepvat it is claimed that Derevenko was hoping to accompany the IF to Tobolsk and packed atrunk for that purpose. If that is true it puts Derevenko's alleged turning against Alexei in a different light.
 
   For one thing, it"s totally inconsistent with his many years of proven devotion to the boy, including in some very stressful periods.The pressure to turn against the Romanovs from revolutionary guards around them must have been great but Derevenko's prior loyalty is unquestionable. Also,he seems to have been dismissed just prior to departure for Siberia,which was after at least four months with the IF at the Palace. If he had wanted to desert the IF he would probably have done so right away , in March.
 
   That Derevenko might have turned on Alexei is disturbing, but Anna Virubova's account may not be completely reliable, as many of us have noted.

Indeed! It's infinitely interesting to me that Vyrubova seems to be the ONLY source for that story of Derevenko's betrayal. I wonder why that is. Was she just mistaken? Was she trying to add some "oomph" to her story? Or...would there have been any reason for Anna Vyrubova to defame Derevenko's character intentionally?
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Sarushka on November 07, 2006, 12:19:37 PM
As well, Derevenko probably came into contact with Bolshevik propaganda.  The times were a complete reversal of all relationsips and levels of society.
But then why would he have been begging to accompany the family into exile in August of 1917?

We can concoct all sorts of reasons to explain Derevenko's alleged betrayal. But to me, the more interesting discussion is the discrepancy between Vyrubova's story and Zeepvat's research. If other evidence proves it's possible that Vyrubova could have been wrong, I think we owe the man the benefit of the doubt.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: koloagirl on February 10, 2007, 08:06:12 PM
 :)
I know that Derevenko was Alexei's sailor-nanny for many years --- but I was wondering just what that entailed....beyond the obvious standing at the ready behind Alexei to make sure he did himself no injury. 

Did he dress the boy?  Did he play with him?  Did he eat with him?  Did he sleep in his room? 

Was he just a lower-level servant who would have no real emotional contact with Alexei or was he involved in most of his activities on a more familiar level?  He must have had some latitude if he was entrusted with Alexei's welfare at such a young age -- he must have been able to question Alexei's own will if he thought it was dangerous in some way.

I guess what I'm wondering is the question which can't be answered......was he emotionally involved with Alexei and the IF or was he just a paid servant to be ordered around and not allowed any familiarities?  I know that he was of the "peasant class" but did that mean always that the IF treated you as if you were nothing but an object.

After perusing the Yale Albums for about the 100th time I am just struck by how many times Derevenko is in there with Alexei (almost every one without Alexandra) and just wondering about what his role was in the IF's lives.  It is hard to imagine.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Rodney_G. on March 21, 2007, 06:01:12 PM

  Koloagirl,

  You ask a good question, one that I think many of us have asked ourselves: just what was Derevenko's relationship with Alexei and the IF? You're correct in concluding we'll never know with real certainty, but I think we have enough historical input to form a pretty good idea.
  My thinking is this (though I'm away from access to my sources right now).
 He did play with Alexei ,though not in the manner his smaller friends would have. By play I mean being present at games and activities while still being the serious adult present and taking good care with A. I don't believe he would take meals with him because other family and servants would be close by then . My understanding is that Derev. did help Alexei dress , almost certainly at those times when he was most sick or crippled with attacks of hemophilia. I also believe he slept in a room nearby him so as to be ready to help him if he was in distress in the night and be available the next morning.

This does not necessarily suggest closeness or intimacy .I believe Derevenko's feelings for A. were quite fond. More than responsibility would be expected from someone in the role of sailor-nanny. he would be expected to be someone A. could relate to at some level. But I don't think this would have involved too great familiarity which would Not have been allwed or apreciated.
  I must admit that asmuch as written sources I'm concluding this from having seen hundreds of picture of the two together.
Although this view is subjective, I believe Derevenko related very well to Alexei ; was fond of him if not what we would call close.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: koloagirl on March 21, 2007, 06:35:11 PM
 :D

Dear Rodney:

Thanks very much for responding to my question -- I know that we'll never know what exactly Derevenko felt for Alexei -- but I think it is so fascinating to ponder the situation -- someone so closely involved in Alexei's life, but yet distant.

 :)
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Alexander_IV on April 24, 2007, 05:50:29 PM
If sometimes find it hard to believe Derevenko would have had a grudge against the IF or Alexei.
I know it was his job to obbey orders and do as the IF asked him to do but you wouldn't expect someone who lived so close to the family for so long to not have some affection to the family.

Does anyone know just how or why he was chosen for this job?
And when he was asked, would he have been able to refuse?
Was he already close to the family before, did he have a high rank in the navy, did he apply for the job?
I can imagine being picked out of the navy to become nanny might not have been his favorite career choice - especially seeing the pay wasn't all that great as well - but I find it hard to believe he'd have been picked without checking if he'd be interested in the job.

grtz

On another note, I found this link somewhere and someone asked if it was an interview with one of Derevenko's relatives.
The name Derevenko seems to appear in the text but I can't read Russian so is there someone here who could tell me what it's all about?
Is it something ficticious (which the URL might suggest)?
http://www.oscar-film.ru/index.php
Thx in advance
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Alixz on February 18, 2008, 09:45:46 AM
Alexander IV - while I can not translate the text of your link, I too, have always wondered how the "sailor nannies" were chosen.  And why sailors to begin with?

Why not guardsmen?  Why not other people from other walks of life?  I know that they were "big burly" men who could carry Alexei easily but "big burly" men certainly existed outside of the navy.

The IF was, of course, close to the sailors from the Polar Star and Standardt.  Perhaps that is why sailors were chosen.  The crews had been looking after all of children since the birth of Olga.  Maybe it just seemed the natural extension of their duties to go with the family after Alexei was known to need the extra help on dry land.

Perhaps the men volunteered.  Perhaps there was some incentive in pay or the ability to stay closer to their own families.

Derevenko and Nagorny seem to be the only two ever recruited for the job.  Alexei lived for 14 years.  I am sure that the men did work in shifts as to give them time to attend to other duties and to sleep and eat.  I highly doubt that they ate with Alexei or any of the girls.  Meals for the children were served in the nursery and when they grew older, they ate with their parents.

I believe it was more that "just a job" to both men.  In fact, loyalty to a family who employed one in the last century was usually great as opposed to the attitude today.

Would I have gone into exile with the family?  I believe that would depend on my status with the family and my position in the hierarchy of the palace.  It would also depend a lot on whether or not  I had a family of my own to worry about and if my going would put my family in jeopardy.

This is an interesting subject.  I have read almost all of the prior posts and am going to finish and try to do some research on my own.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Joanna on March 31, 2008, 08:02:52 PM
I suppose he lived in the "ruins" belonging to the White Tower ensemble, certenly not in the Chinese Village, as far as i know it was reserved for officials(?). The white tower´s ruins served as quarters for the servants and is being restored right now. I saw it last summer and appeared quite well.The ruins have the shape of a castle´s entrance: two towers and a big door in the middle. This building is not visible from the Alexander palace side, it´s just behind the white tower and in a lower level.

A current view of the White Tower adjunct building where Derevenko lived and then later Kuchumov. It was still being restored in 2006 but appears to be completed. I wonder what will be displayed here and if the White Tower itself is now open which I will check out next month.
http://pics.livejournal.com/catherine_catty/pic/000ge8ky/

Joanna
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Kitt on April 06, 2008, 06:22:58 PM
I know I am replying to an old topic, but I just read the Memories Of The Russian Court,  and the scene that Vyrubova stated she saw: regarding Alexei and Derevenko occurred as she was being escorted out of the Alexander Place to be incarcerated. She had begged to say goodbye to the IF. Nicholas was outside, so she could not see him, but she was allowed to see the Empress and the Grand Duchesses.  It was on her way out after a hugely emotional time that she stated that she witnessed this scene.   She wasn’t spending a long time at the open door. My guess is that with being physically ill(measles), emotionally charged, and just plain frightened of the prospects before her, she misjudged what she saw. 
Kitt

As well, Derevenko probably came into contact with Bolshevik propaganda.  The times were a complete reversal of all relationsips and levels of society.
But then why would he have been begging to accompany the family into exile in August of 1917?

We can concoct all sorts of reasons to explain Derevenko's alleged betrayal. But to me, the more interesting discussion is the discrepancy between Vyrubova's story and Zeepvat's research. If other evidence proves it's possible that Vyrubova could have been wrong, I think we owe the man the benefit of the doubt.

Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: LisaDavidson on September 05, 2010, 10:48:38 AM
I am bumping this topic due to some misinformation about Derevenko being posted.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Rodney_G. on February 26, 2011, 11:24:31 AM
  Has anyone else noticed a change in Derevenko's physical shape, that is, his body, over the course of his time as Alexei's nanny? He was his nanny/ protector for about eight years and in both earlier photos and film he seems to have been less stout, thick around the middle , than in later views. He was always strong and sturdy but I think I've noticed him fleshier in the later years.
I wonder if this was simply natural loss of trimness as a man passes out of youth and/or a less active pursuit of Alexei after the latter ceased to be a little boy and less active and wild.

I wish I could post sample photos or film, but I can't . In any case, I thought I'd noticed this and wondered if it was noted by others.
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Joanna on June 11, 2016, 05:00:58 PM
Details of official inclusion of Derevenko in the lists of the court household in 1906:

The palace chancellery tried to find precedents to explain the appearance of the sailor Derevenko with the Tsarevich.  In October 1906 Nikitin, Office of the Clerk of Empress Alexandra, prepared a certificate stating "...that the former clerk's office of Alexander III, now state councillor Siegel, that there never took place "uncles" ... until 1888. To the children was attached Guards sailor Bukin for about 5 years ... on retirement was defined as valet to their Imperial Highnesses..."

Count Rostovtsev, head of the Office of the Empress, wrote to Frau M. Geringer on November 12, 1906 that "Her Majesty the Empress Alexandra said on May 13, 1906 in the rooms of HIH Tsarevich Alexei N. that Quartermaster Guard crew Andrei Derevenko was called "uncle" with His Imperial Highness".  Thus the registration procedure of "uncle" had become official.

RSHA F. 525 Op. 1

By 1913 the officials started to become concerned when Nagorny was appointed. In December Dr. E. Botkin wrote to Count Rostovtsev " On the appointment of the newly recruited ... sailor Nagorny, assistant to Derevenko. From what Her Majesty said to me, I realized that in fact ... Derevenko will still be called uncle ... But legally it has to take the place of a valet, and his assistant Nagorny, cloakroom attendant".

Joanna
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Kalafrana on June 12, 2016, 07:23:13 AM
So Derevenko joined Alexei when he was still an infant, I.e. Not yet two. I had assumed it was rather later, around five.

Ann
Title: Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
Post by: Rodney_G. on June 12, 2016, 12:50:06 PM
Very interesting. This means Derevenko cared for Alexei ,by my calculation, for well over  three quarters of the latter's brief life. And all that time would be what are considered formative years. It's unfortunate  from an historical perspective that neither he nor Nagorny survived to write or speak about the heir to the Russian throne, however long Alexei might have lived.