Author Topic: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny  (Read 54171 times)

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Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #30 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.

Offline Jane

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #31 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

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #32 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.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #33 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.

Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #34 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!!!

Offline Penny_Wilson

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #35 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...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Penny_Wilson »
"Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts."  -- A Piece of Good Advice

Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes it feels real good. -- Henry Rollins

Offline jackie3

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #36 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.

Offline Valmont

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #37 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
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Valmont »
Arturo Vega-Llausás

Offline JM

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #38 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?

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #39 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.

Offline JM

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #40 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.

Offline Jane

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #41 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

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #42 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

Offline LisaDavidson

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-Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #43 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.

Offline Thierry

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Re: Derevenko the Sailor-nanny
« Reply #44 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".