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Topics - Nicolá De Valerón

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Imperial Russian History / Russians against Russians in the WWII.
« on: May 28, 2010, 01:48:46 PM »
As an introduction ....

Russian/Soviet collaborationism during the Second World War was probably the most spreaded, comprehensive, covering almost all the social groups and different ethnicities. Moreover, unlike the French or English, Russian collaborationism carried a deep-rooted, strong tradition, dating primarily from 1917, but not only. To understand those who lost their homeland in 1917 and emigrated, and then fought against Stalin on the Nazi's side still somehow possible, but it's hard to explain properly for example, that hundreds of thousands (about a half million) of an ordinary Soviet people have sided with the enemy. The question is open to this day. But there is another big question that remains unanswered: "Is it worth in order to save your country from the brutal Bolshevism to fight on the side of not less cruel Fascism, knowing with whom you are dealing, and even not participate by yourself in the crimes of Hitler?" The question remains open....Anyway, here are some articles about this complex and difficult issue, including the fate of people (officers, generals, etc.), main battles, about the phenomenon in general, and so on. Without the politics, and any unnecessary emotions.

The reasons for the phenomenon:
- The main reason is undoubtedly the dire situation in the USSR (the low level of life, totalitarianism, repression, collectivization, etc.).
- Fear of possible suffering and repressions upon their return home of thousands of an ordinary Soviet soldiers. That's why a big part of them stayed in Germany and were recruited by different organisations.
- Active anti-Soviet emigre organizations and the White movement actions in recruitment of former White Guard officers, including the recruitment of Soviet prisoners of war.
- National liberation and nationalist sentiments, especially in the border regions of the USSR (Ukraine, Baltic States, etc.).
- Other different personal reasons, like ideology, political views, personal choice and so on.

The scale of the phenomenon:
According to the various sources from 1941 till 1945 nearly 1000000-1500000 of different people passed through the various pro-Russian/anti-Soviet organizations. Among them, the main part were an ordinary Soviet soldiers who were surrendered and remained on the enemy's side. Of these, about 600000 were military collaborationists, that is directly involved in military formations. Including: Russians - 310000, Lithuanians - 36800, Latvians - 10400, Estonians - 10000; Tatars - 20500; Crimean Tatars - 10000, Azerbaijanis - 36500, Georgians - 19000, Kalmyks - 7000, the North Caucasus nations - 15000, and so on... This collaborationism covered not only different ethnicities (hundreds), but an endless territories from the Northen, like Karelia to the most southern Soviet borders, like Central Asia. The main scale of the event is estimated with millions of human destinies and dozens of thousands of kilometers.

Only the main organisations of the Russian collaborationism 1941-1945:
- Vlasov and the ROA (Russian Liberation Army) - the largest collaborationist military unit, formed from the Soviet prisoners of war. Leader - General Vlasov. Existed from 1942 to 1945 (actually as a formation "ROA" from 1944 till 1945). Strength ~125,000.
- RONA (Russian Liberation People's Army) - collaborationist military units created by Kaminsky in Lokotskoy Republic. Strength ~15-25000.
- Cossack Stan - military organization, consisted from the Cossacks in the Wehrmacht. The main leader - Peter Krasnov. Existed from 1942 to 1945. Strength ~25,000.
- KONR (Committee for the Liberation of Peoples of Russia) - an authority under the leadership of General Vlasov unites practically all the major Russian collaborationist organizations. Leader - General Vlasov. November 1944 to May 1945.
- 29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS - the main unit (division) of RONA. The most famous leader - General Kaminsky. August - October 1944.
- 1st Division ROA/KONR (600th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht) - division, formed on the basis of the 29th Grenadier Division of the SS. Leader - General Bunyachenko. November 1944 - May 1945. Strength ~18,000.
- 2nd Division ROA/KONR (650th Infantry Division) - division, formed from battalions of the Western Front and Eastern front, 851th sapper-construction battalion, and others. Leader - General Zverev. January 1945 - May 1945. Strength ~15,000.
- 15th Cossack Cavalry Corps of the SS - the unit formed from POWs and defectors Cossacks. Leader - Helmuth von Pannwitz. August 1944 - 1945. Strength ~40-45000.
- 30th Waffen Grenadier Division (1st Belarus) - division, formed of Belorussians who had served in earlier police units. Leaders - did not exist, because division finally was not formed. March - April 1945. Strength ~2000.
- 30 Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Russian) - division, formed from the 1st Infantry Division ROA and the Belarusian brigade of SS. Leader - Hans Zigling. August - December 1944. Strength ~10000-15000.
- Division "Russland" (1st Russian National Army) - division, staffed primarily by the former Whites (White Guard's emigre). Leader - Boris Smyslovsky. February - April, 1945. Strength ~10000.
- Russian Corps (Russian guard corps, Russian Corps in Serbia) - unit, organized in the occupied Yugoslavia, primarily on the basis of ex-Whites. Leader - Boris Shteyfon. 1941 1945. Strength ~20000.
- Air Force of KONR (Air Force of ROA) - Air Force of the Russian Liberation Army (Air Forces of the Committee liberation of the peoples of Russia). Leader - Victor Maltsev. December 1944 - April 1945. Strength ~ 5000.
- RNNA (Russian National People's Army) - unit, formed and acted on the territory of Belarus. Leaders - different people. Strength ~5000.
- "Hiwi" (volunteers)- common name of all collaborationistforces, recruited from the local population in the occupied territories of USSR and during war. Total strength ~ 1000000. 1941-1945.

Although the main amount of all these formations were rather well organized, but not all of them actually took part in the real battle actions. Hoverer, the main part of these formations (as ROA for example) well participated in different serious military operations at the end of War (1944-1945). Of course there were no serious battles between exactly Russians/Soviets one on one from both sides, only two battles at the end of War. Also it's need to say that the main collaborationist unit ROA (in fact the only actually existed at that time, other parts already surrendered to the Allies) during the Prague uprising fought against the Nazis and helped Prague. However, the main amount of ROA higher members were captured by Czech communists and granted to USSR, were they were killed.

Some illustrations.
from left up to right down:

- Soldier of the ROA with Wehrmacht soldier.
- Soldiers of the ROA, 1944-1945.
- Prayer at the Congress of the ROA. In the first row - General Vlasov.
- General Kaminsky among its officers, Belarus, 1944.
- Mayor Ivan Frolov with it's RONA officers during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
- Cossack in the form of Cossack troops of Wehrmacht.
- Vlasov gives a speech at a meeting of the ROA, 1944
- Ataman Pyotr Krasnov with it's soldiers and officers, 1945.

To be continued.....

I don't know whether these documents were published here on this forum or not, at least I didn't find it. Anyway, here are the official documents from the Bukovsky Soviet Archive about the Ipatiev house demolition. Documents and my translations into English.


"Resolution of the Central Committee of CPSU, №.........                   Secret.
 August 4, 1975                                                                          Copy № 2.

 July 26, 1975
 № 2004-A
                                Central Committee of the CPSU  
              About demolition of the Ipatiev house in the city of Sverdlovsk.

   The various propaganda campaigns around the Romanov family periodically instigated
by anti-Soviet circles in the west, and the former house of merchant Ipatiev in Sverdlovsk
is often referred in this context.
   The Ipatiev house continues to stand in the center of the city. Educational centre of
the regional management of culture is placed in it. This house does not represent the
architectural and other values, only a small part of citizens and tourists is showing interest
in it. Recently foreign .......... began to visit Sverdlovsk. In the future the circle of foreigners
could expand, and the house of Ipatiev become the object of their serious attention.
    In this case it is expedient to entrust the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU to
resolve the issue of the House demolition in order of planned city reconstruction.

                                                                 Chairman of the KGB



               Resolution of the CPSU Central Committee about demolition of Ipatiev
                                       house in the city of Sverdlovsk.

    I. Endorse the KGB offer under the Council of Ministers of the USSR stated in the note
number 2004-A on July 26, 1975.
    II. Instruct the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU to resolve the issue of the
Ipatiev mansion demolition in order of planned city reconstruction.

                                      Secretary of the Central Committee  
                                                           With the resolution .......
                                                           Manyuhin 4.08.75
                                      Deputy Head of Office - Lieutenant Colonel

*Documents are taken from the Bukovsky archive, which were compiled when Bukovsky returned to Russia temporarily after 1991 and worked in the early Yeltsin times as a member of the Commission for the declassification of Soviet archives. During these times he copied hundreds of important soviet official documents and ater it made a free web version of it's archive. Here is the link to archive itself (Eng, Rus).

Servants, Friends and Retainers / Drenteln Alexandr Alexandrovich
« on: January 06, 2010, 01:53:21 PM »
Von Drenteln Alexandr Alexandrovich.
19.01.1868. - 14.05.1925.

Baltic German. Roots from an ancient Noble russified family with the Great history starting from the 16th century (today this family doesn't exist). Noble family has an Estonian-German origin. Brave Officer. Educated and handsome man. Major General of His Majesty's suite. One of the closest to Nicholas II. Opponent to Rasputin (for what he later suffered and finally was dismissed). Stayed in the USSR. Died from the severe illness in one of the Vologda Monastery hospitals. (By another version, died in Odessa.)

Some biographical notes about this man and in addition little
excerpts from the memoirs of a close to Imperial family people:

Father - notable Russian General Adjutant and General of Cavalry, fought in the Crimean War, Von Drenteln Alexandr Romanovich. (1820-1888)
Mother - Maria Vjatkini. (Estonian noblewoman?)

Born on the 19th of January, 1868. Graduated from the St. Petersburg University (1890) and entered into the service. Passed the officer's exam at the Constantine Military School (1901), and became an officer. Enrolled as an officer in the prestigious Preobrazhensky Lifeguard regiment. Received the rank of a Guard's Captain (1903). Then was appointed as a staff officer for orders at the Imperial headquarters (1906 (9) -1915), also received the position of a Fligel Adjutant (1909) and Colonel rank (1910). Served as a chief of the military camp office of His Majesty (08.1915-11.1915). Commander of the Preobrazhensky Lifeguard regiment (28.11.1915-27.04.1917). Soon received the rank of Major General of His Majesty's suite (06.12.1916). After the February Revolution was dismissed by the Provisional Government. At the end of the Civil War (1917-1922) stayed in the USSR and died there (14/05/1925) in the Vologda province from a serious disease, which he received during the war.

Wife - Drenteln Anna Alexandrovna. (nee Popova) (1868-?)
Daughter - Anna.

Excerpts from the memoirs of Tatiana Botkin (1921):
"....from all adjutants - Alexandr Alexandrovich Drenteln, former Preobrazhensky officer, was tall, with a large bald patch and handsome features, a very educated and well read, a great lover of music and was able to make any positive impression on anyone...."
"....Whoever at least once seen Drenteln firmly remembered in his appearance that he was a typical Russian, but had the misfortune to have a foreign name, because one of his ancestors hundreds of years ago settled in Russia.... "

Excerpt from the memoirs of Sergei Witte:
"....The most noble, truthful and positive or simply the best of all intelligent and educated men who been surrounded the Emperor. And one of the closest to him...."

Excerpt from the memories of one of the officers, who served with Drenteln (1920):
"....Bolsheviks arrested Alexandr Alexandrovich, tormented him and sent him while being terminally ill in the Vologda province, to the not yet destroyed and not yet disbanded monastery. My parents visited him three times. They were always been accompanied with his friend, Dr Sergei Romanovich Mirotvortsev - in former times the consultant surgeon of the North-Western Front of First World War. He was a good surgeon who was supposed to alleviate the suffering of Alexandr Alexandrovich. But the disease was gone too far. And he quietly died in 1925. Died by himself, thank God in his own bed...."

Here are some of his photos. I do not write a description on every photo, because it's easily to identify Drenteln by his bald head and memorable features. You can also find a plenty of his photos in an endless photo albums dedicated to the Romanovs. I just post here some of them. All photos are slightly modified and taken from the Presidential Library, albums. And all of them are property of their respective owners. All the information are from open sources.

If someone have something to add on this thread, you are always welcome.

Servants, Friends and Retainers / Naval Officer Butakov Alexander Ivanovich
« on: November 16, 2009, 05:36:42 PM »
Butakov Alexander Ivanovich
One of the closest Naval officers to Imperial Family.
Very handsome man and interesting person itself.
Dedicated to him (R.I.P.)
  Butakov Alexander Ivanovich (1881-14.12.1914). Senior Lieutenant.
Roots from Vladivostok. In 1902 graduated from the Marine Corps(Petersburg). Became a midshipman. Served on the Imperial yacht Standart. Was very close to the Imperial family. In 1914 during First World War as part of the detachment of seamen Guard crew was sent to the land front, where was killed.
Wife: Aina Ottovna(Swedish), born Lindgolm. The daughter of a very famous Vladivostok merchant Swedish Otto Lindgolm, a Lutheran.
Son: Butakov Nikita (05.09.1908)

Last Address.
Saint Petersburg, Moyka river, 110.

Information about death:
7/12/1914, the Guards. Yakush Camp, near Vyshgorod.
Died: Butakov Alexander, a senior lieutenant, commander of the 4-Th company. Died from wounds on 14 December.

             Some words about him from Imperial family.

From the diary of Nicholas II (1914)

April 2. Wednesday.
....The day was sunny, warm and quiet. After a short walk and ride in a yacht with Alexei deuce to large stones in Oriande. Returned directly to the mass. Day went to the motor with the whole family in Massandra. Three officers arrived there. Then made a big outing(walking) with BUTAKOV. Returned home to the tea. Fog was standing in the sea for several days, climbed up on shore after sunset....

May 14. Wednesday.
......Walked the new trail up to Yalta and came close at Aypetri. With me went: Komarov, Drenteln, Resin, Zlebov, Butakov, Ilinsky (Grenadier Guards) and Mochalov. Walking was excellent.......

July 5. Saturday.
Today is a good day. I made a long walk in three kayaks. After breakfast we said goodbye to BUTAKOV, who was transferred on ship "Tsarevna". Slipped down and walked to Tuholme. Bathed. In 6 hours 45 on the quarterdeck was the Vigil. Courier came and brought a lot of papers.....

Passage from Alexandra Feodorovna letter to Nicholas II
15/28 December 1914
... I learned that our dear Butakov killed. It's so sad, he was so good and kind man, loved by all ... How unhappy is his poor wife - the one that is already one big bundle of nerves. Another one of our friends from the yacht killed, and how many more would carry this terrible war......

            Butakov's death caused also great sorrow among the entourage of Nicholas II.

In January of 1915 New Times magazine published big article about his funeral.
"....The Emperor himself sent a large white cross, and come to the funeral with his two daughters GD Olga Nikolaevna and GD Tatiana Nikolaevna. Also were presented the Dowager Empress(Maria Fedorovna), the Dowager Queen of Greece and two sisters of the Emperor..."
His photos

From his marriage with Aina Ottovna(1907)
(they are on the left)

Hugged by Rodionov

On tennis court

With Anna Vyrubova

With Nicholas II

With Standart officers

Saying "It's Ok. Guys, I'm from the Marine Guard"

*Some info and photos are taken from Kortic forum.
 Some from Vyrubova albums and Presidental library.

Having Fun! / Poems, and my translations from Brodsky.
« on: November 15, 2009, 06:32:57 PM »
These are my very free translations from Russian lang. of Joseph Brodsky.
(1940-1996) Poet, Nobel Prize winner.
Poems has no name but they are incredibly beautiful.

 About Russian village, destiny, snowy.

   "You forgot the village, losted in the swamps
    from forested province, where the scarecrows in the gardens
    never been owned - there are no such grasses
    and on the lonely road there are only traces.
    Granny Nastia, no doubt, died, and Pesterev could be barely alive,
    but if he alive, definitely drunk sitting in the basement,
    or making with the back of our bed something
    said the gate or maybe he just crumbling.
    In winter there is wood and inject sitting on turnips,
    and the star flickers from the smoke in the frosty sky.
    And not in a chintz-screen bride, and the holiday dust
    there is only an empty place where we loved."

About love and separation.

   "Days unbraid woven kerchief made by you,
    And it's fall to pieces on the eyes, under my hand.
    Green thread, followed by blue,
    becomes gray, brown, no! Till the end..
    Oh, and the edge of, like, a vision of lawn.
    No painter could write the end of the alley.
    Know, from washing the bride dress quickly gets frown,
    And the body doesn't get fresher early.
    Whether cheese, dried, whether breath stolen.
    Either: a bird in profile, crow, and the heart - cellar.
    But the simple fox, biting the throat,
    Doesn't know where the blood, where the tenor."
Originally Copyrighted by Joseph Brodsky.
(My FREE translation)

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