Author Topic: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union  (Read 24527 times)

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Constantinople

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Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« on: April 08, 2010, 10:50:28 AM »
I thought it would be interesting to start a thread on Russian aristocrats who lived in Russia well after the revolution.

Offline Nicolá De Valerón

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2010, 05:32:18 PM »
Constantinople, intersting idea to start this thread. I have only one question for you: what do you mean with the word "aristocrats"? Intellectuals, poets, writers, artists, political functionaries or what exactly? Common people or genius and famous people? Needs more clarity.

In general this list is enormous. I can mention maybe the most famous names, like Mayakovsky, Erenburg, Voloshin, Gorky, Stanislavsky, Pavlov, Vernadsky, Brusilov and so on....

If about aristocracy in general, then all these people that I've mentioned and other big part of them unfortunately as an any reflective people with big intellect and brains succumbed to the bait of all these left-wing ideas and stayed in the USSR. The main part suffered in the Stalin times and finally were repressed. Some survived and nowadays their descendants live in Russia. Sadly, but the main amount of them are simply don't know anything about the ancestors.

If you don't mind, I can post sometimes information about some of these people (most interesting) on this thread.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 05:53:14 PM by Nicolá De Valerón »
"I think that if Shakespeare lived in our times he would not be able to write. Many of his works are not welcome on stage nowadays: The Merchant of Venice – anti-Semitism, Othello – racism, The Taming of the Shrew – sexism, Romeo and Juliet - hideous heterosexual show..." - Vladimir Bukovsky.

Constantinople

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2010, 01:00:28 AM »
when I said aristocrats I meant people who had titles. Did any survive to live in the soviet union.  How did they live and for how long?

Offline Nicolá De Valerón

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 04:47:18 PM »
I think that we've slightly misunderstood each other;). For me the word "aristocracy" is about people with the noble historical background or simply "nobility". Thousands of Russian noble families with different destinies from the whole Russia. Some of them stayed in the USSR and survived. It seems to me that by the word "aristocracy" you mean exclusively people with titles: Dukes, Grand Dukes, Counts and so on... Rather different meanings.

If about aristocracy (Dukes, Gr. Dukes and so on) and their destiny in the Soviet Union, this is not exactly my theme. I can only say that there is a little field to talk about it, because aristocracy itself in the USSR didn't existed;). How you can imagine that? In the country like USSR? Maybe 0.01% of those who were not killed or repressed in the Red Terror or Stalin Camps, didn't emigrated in USA and France (main countries) lived in the USSR. I personally don't know any descendants with the rich aristocratic roots (Title, closeness to IF, big money, owners of estates and so on) who lived in the USSR and I don't think it was possible even de facto.

Of course a lot of people with different nobility roots of various level stayed in the USSR. But this is not aristocracy by your meaning;).
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 04:52:54 PM by Nicolá De Valerón »
"I think that if Shakespeare lived in our times he would not be able to write. Many of his works are not welcome on stage nowadays: The Merchant of Venice – anti-Semitism, Othello – racism, The Taming of the Shrew – sexism, Romeo and Juliet - hideous heterosexual show..." - Vladimir Bukovsky.

Constantinople

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 09:29:01 PM »
Your English is a little difficult to understand.  I have one friend who lives in Russia whose ancester was a noble and who told me that her family's properties were taken away from her family and that their life was hell but they survived.  The inention of this thread was to find out other families in the same situation and to present an opportunity to present their stories.

Offline tea_rose

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010, 02:34:27 PM »
  I just read "Memoirs of a Survivor" by Sergei Golitsyn which covers the experiences of a range of "former people" (nobility) after the Revolution.  It is a good translation and I found it to be a gripping read.  I believe it was published in Russia in the early 1990s and just translated into English.

Constantinople

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2010, 02:21:59 AM »
Would you like to summarize her story?

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 09:57:30 AM »
May I ask if anyone has heard anything about Prince Mertchersky (?). The story of his return to his family estate and his efforts to renovate it was posted somewhere here previously. His branch of the family remained in Russia and hid their status from the Soviets sucessfully ( I think) right up to the fall of the Soviets.

I wonder what has happened to this family since then. It was a very sad story, and has stuck with me since I first read about it.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 11:59:20 AM »
I thought it would be interesting to start a thread on Russian aristocrats who lived in Russia well after the revolution.

There is a recent book on this subject. I meant to write it down when I came across it, but of course forgot. I can't even remember if it was only available in Russian (but I think so). The reviewer said this book was truly thorough in its research, intriguing and overall excellent. Apparently most Russian nobility who remained in the Soviet Union, if they survived the terrors of the Civil War (granted, a big if) pretty much remade their identities. That is, the older generation attempted to educate the younger generation in the social values of their class, while at the same time trying to erase their former noble identity from official memory, because this identity was such a tremendous handicap in Soviet life. People had to lie and invent completely new backgrounds for themselves when they filled out forms for social welfare or employment - if you admitted to belonging to the nobility, you were automatically excluded, ostracized from Soviet society or worse. But many of the old noble families did survive the Revolution, despite everything.

I will try to find the title and author of this book among my records. Although perhaps someone else here knows about it already... The author is a Russian scholar, a woman. The book was only published in the last three years or so, I think in Russia itself.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 12:01:28 PM by Elisabeth »
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Constantinople

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 11:18:46 PM »
When I meet Russians, especially young Russians and talk about Imperial Russia and noble families, their eyes tend to glaze over.

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2010, 07:11:54 AM »
Glaze over because of disinterest, or ignorance ? Or both ?

Constantinople

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2010, 02:16:22 AM »
disinterest

Offline ashdean

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2010, 04:31:47 AM »
Some...albeit very few aristocrats remained in Russia,acclimatised and were left alone.
One outstanding example was Countess Elizabeth Tasticheva (died 1970),her background was high aristocracy.Her father Count Tastichev hels important goverment posts and was owner of a estate while her mother Vera was a childhood playmate of the last Tsar and the daughter of a General and the last mistress of the robes at the Imperial court  Madame Narishkine nee Princess Kurakin.
The revolution & its aftermath saw her family torn apart.
Her father was shot,her brother went south fought was the White army and after its evacuation ended up in Paris. In the late 1920s both her grandmother and later her mother were allowed to leave for France (Mme Narishkine died at St Genevive de Bois in 1928).
Elizabeth by that time had become involved in and finally was running a childrens nursery/creche....a position she continued in right through the purges etc...even when her younger sister Irina was allowed to leave Russia in the mid 1930s with her husband Prince Nicholas Galitzine and young family.Elizabeth seems to have been ignored...this in a era when even a letter from a relative abroad might mean 10 years in the gulag or a bullet in the back of the head.

Constantinople

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2010, 04:42:46 AM »
Interesting post.  There must have been more.  She was probably a good diplomat.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Aristocrats living in the Soviet Union
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2011, 02:45:34 PM »
There was a Countess Panina on the 1921 famine relief committee. I think she was purged and shot with the other members. There were at least a couple of Georgian princes who were able to live in Russia after the revolution. One i think was in the cheka. I think they were purged and shot in the 1930s. There was at least one count i believe who served in the red army. I don't know about his fate but i think it was similiar to the above. The USSR was no place for a titled person desiring a long life and it wasn't all that healthy for the little people either under Stalin!