Author Topic: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)  (Read 39965 times)

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Offline M_Breheny

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Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« on: March 31, 2004, 07:48:43 PM »
Does anyone have any information on the fate of Dr. Vladimir Derevenko and his family?  We know that Dr. Derevenko was allowed to practice medicine in Ekaterinburg and to visit Alexei numerous times at the Ipatiev House (although no conversation between him and the family was allowed).  I have always wondered why Dr. Derevenko was not arrested or detained with the others.  Was it because he could be more useful as a physician, or was there another reason?    Supposedly, the last letter writter by Alexei was to Kolya Derevenko, who I assume lived with his father and family in Ekaterinburg.  From other postings, I have learned that Kolya survived, although he always refused to write about his experience with the family.  

Mary

Offline JM

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2004, 08:01:46 PM »
In Greg and Penny's book The Fate of the Romanovs it cites a possible reason why Dr. Derevenko was allowed to stay and practise medicine. Ccommissar Beloborodov's wife was suffering from the Spanish Influenza. Derevenko treated her and apparently Beloborodov granted Vladimir his freedom.

Offline Penny_Wilson

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2004, 09:02:49 PM »
This is what we thought the most plausible reason for his freedom, though it could simply be that Dr. Derevenko was  not a courtier.  He was very much like a modern doctor, being a businessman as well.  And of course, he had not exactly hidden his bitterness over being dragged into exile with the family: Gleb Botkin remembered Derevenko yelling at Dr. Botkin more than once, "Some job you've found for me, I'm telling you!"

We also came across a small piece of testimony from a Bolshevik stating that Dr. Botkin might also have been allowed to leave the Ipatiev House and live at liberty in Ekaterinburg, had some members of the Ural Regional Soviet not taken a dislike to his somewhat high-handed attitude -- or what they perceived as his high-hadned attitude.  Although I wonder if Botkin would have left the Ipatiev House voluntarily anyway...

Derevenko has always been a difficult case to read.  Some think that he totally went over to the Bolsheviks, "abandoning himself among the enemy" as Mikhail Diterikhs called it.  But I tend to believe that he simply tried to do the best he could for the Romanovs, while always placing his own family's well-being first.  He was devoted to his mother, wife and Kolya.

Which is not to say that he did not do what he could for the Family from the outside.  He may well have been a point-man for monarchist plotters who gathered in the city.  There are vague hints that he passed information to Tatishchev and Dolgoruky, who may have been released from prison at one point.  Of course, all of this is very nebulous because Tatishchev and Dolgoruky were either killed by the Ural Regional Soviet, or disappeared in the Civil War; Derevenko remained in the Soviet Union, keeping his head down and trying to get on with life; and Kolya was silent on what he may have known, if anything as he was so young at the time.

Now that Nicholas Derevenko is dead, it would be interesting to know if he ever confided anything in his family. I find it easy to believe that he kept his mouth shut in order to protect any family or friends he may still have had in the Soviet Union -- plus I can completely understand his not wanting to expose family business to the public eye.  He may also, like his father, have wanted to limit his association with the Imperial Family.  But hopefully he will have said a thing or two to his children or grandchildren -- and hopefully, at some time, someone will interview them.
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Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2004, 08:26:10 AM »
"From the very beginning (in Yekaterinburg), we proposed they (the servants and Doctor Botkin) leave the Romanovs.  Some of them went away and the others said they wished to share the monarch's fate.  Let them share it..."

From the memoirs of M. A. Medvedev (Kudrin), a participant in the family's shooting - December 1963 - Last Act of a Tragedy.

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Offline Greg_King

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2004, 12:56:58 AM »
On the fate of Dr. Derevenko, this is what we found out while researching "The Fate of the Romanovs:"

Dr. Derevenko spent the first few months after the fall of Ekaterinburg in the city, assisting the investigators Nametkin and Sergeyev and helping to identify various items from the Ipatiev House and those found at the Ganina Mine.  At the end of 1918 he took his wife and children to Perm, where he got a position as a professor at Perm University Hospital.  In 1919, when the city was surrounded by fighting from both Reds and Whites, he fled again with his family to Tomsk, where he became head of the military district hospital.  Here he lived quietly until the 1930s, when he was arrested by the NKVD and subjected to interrogation under torture about presumably the Romanovs' jewels hidden while they were in Tobolsk.  He died in 1936 while still imprisoned by the NKVD, probably under torture.

As to Kolya Derevenko, he lived in Siberia for a time, then in Europe; he was in Prague where he worked as an engineer, but left just before the outbreak of the Second World War, and moved to Canada.  He lived near the New York State/Ontario border, and had contacts with several Russian emigree establishments in New York State before his death in 1999.  As Penny says, we've never been able to find out if he left any written memoirs or not, or even spoke about his time with the Romanovs.

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Offline Vive_HIH_Aleksey

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2004, 04:06:08 PM »
What happened to the doctor's son Kolya, Aleksey's playmate? I know he died soon after Aleksey, any idea how old he was, how he died?
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Offline Mandie, the Gothic Empress

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2004, 04:17:23 PM »
No, Kolya didn't after Alexei. the boy who died after Alexei was Leonid Sedenev the Kitchen boy.

Kolya =1906-1999
Leonid=1904-1927

They were both friends of Alexei.


Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2004, 04:40:27 PM »
Kolia Derevenko remained a loyal friend to Alexis N. for the remainder of his life. He steadfastly refused interviews and offers to write a book.

Penny and Greg mention Leshka Sednev dying young in the 1920's. If he was killed by Stalin, it would not have caused that Bolshie any lost sleep.

Offline Abby

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2004, 04:44:52 PM »
I read in Guy Richards' "The Hunt for the Czar" or maybe it was "Rescuing the Romanovs" that Kolya was a big believer in the Alexei claimant, Michael G (i forget how to spell his last name!) anyway, Kolya seemed to remember a lot about Alexei in the book and was very semtimental regarding his memories.

Offline amelia

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2005, 08:33:34 AM »
Accoring to Gleb Botkin book - The real Romanovs - Dr. Derevenko was very upset at being a doctor to the IF.  He complained immensily to Dr. Botkin, who hired him.  He went to Siberia at the imposition of Dr. Botkin. His son probably had the same feelings.  I always thought that it was very strange that he was allowed to have his own practice in Siberia, and that he was not imprisoned like the others.

According to Gleb Botkin he was not a friend at all.

Amelia

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2005, 11:53:49 AM »
Quote
Accoring to Gleb Botkin book - The real Romanovs - Dr. Derevenko was very upset at being a doctor to the IF.  He complained immensily to Dr. Botkin, who hired him.  He went to Siberia at the imposition of Dr. Botkin. His son probably had the same feelings.  I always thought that it was very strange that he was allowed to have his own practice in Siberia, and that he was not imprisoned like the others.

According to Gleb Botkin he was not a friend at all.

Amelia


Amelia: Dr. Derevenko was able to practice in Siberia because physicians were very much needed there during that period. I don't see anything sinister about a doctor practicing medicine anywhere. It was quite different for Botkin, who was a court physician, possessed of assets and often ill - he was not under arrest AFAIK until Ekaterinburg. Had he chosen, he likely could have practiced medicine in Tobolsk as his colleague did.

I also don't find it unreasonable that Dr. D complained about his lot to Dr. B. Many people worked for the IF for the prestige of it. Derevenko had a family to support and was not a wealthy man. That he lacked the selfless devotion of the handful who remained with the family surely makes him less heroic in the eyes of many. But, please remember that many people, including aristocrats and members of their own family, abandoned Nicholas and Alexandra and their children before the ink on the abdication was dry.

From what I can tell, in spite of his complaints, Dr. D did not abandon them as had so many others. As someone who helps support a family of two children, two dogs and two cats, I cannot find fault with someone who is also serious about keeping a family together. For his trouble, Dr. D was also murdered by Stalin.

As to Kolya, you are incorrect that he felt as his father did. Kolya left Russia and remained loyal to Alexei until he died in 1999. Few of us can boast a friend so loyal.

Offline Condecontessa

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2007, 02:32:52 PM »
At first, I was shocked that Gilliard, Gibbes and Dr. Derevenko took the then 12 year old Kolya with them to the Ipatiev House. But after awhile, I think the reason why Kolya was with them is because they were expecting the imperial family to be found alive inside the house. I remember reading somewhere that Kolya was not at all interested in writing a memoir about his best friend and little Tsar. Does anyone know if Kolya's still alive today? I also find it curious that according to the interview, Kolya saw Sednev at the Ipatiev House. I thought that he mysteriously disappeared or something like that.

Offline Condecontessa

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2007, 04:26:10 PM »
Dr. Botkin's children- Gleb and Tatiana Botkin was pro Anna Anderson. They're the only relatives of Botkin that I know of. I'm not sure if it was Gleb who pointed out Dr. Derevenko's supposed disloyalty to the imperial family.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2007, 05:29:48 PM »
Does anyone know if Kolya's still alive today?


Lisa said in her last post that Kolya died in 1999.

Quote
I also find it curious that according to the interview, Kolya saw Sednev at the Ipatiev House. I thought that he mysteriously disappeared or something like that.

As far as I know, there wasn't anything mysterious about Leonid Sednev's "disappearance." I think it's more a matter of history losing track of him, which to me is not terribly strange. He was a young boy, probably not viewed as particularly important, and he was left without family in Yekaterinburg at a chaotic point in Russian history. He more or less slipped through the cracks, I'd imagine.
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Offline Condecontessa

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Re: Dr Wladimir Derevenko and his son Kolya (Nikolai)
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2007, 03:34:48 PM »
Thank you Sarushka for answering my questions :D. So was it Kolya in the pic or was it just mislabeled? Because in the pic it said it was taken in 2003.

It's terrible about poor Leonid Sednev. Did anyone wrote down his account of his experiences with the Imperial Family? It's a shame that he was thought unimportant because of his station in life. Just because he was mere servant, they deemed him unnecessary to keep track of. One wonders if he survived to old age and left descendants or he left the world at a young age like Alexei.