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Vera Apollonovna Obolenskaya (1911 1945)



str. 1 of 3 Yu.S. Tsurganov

OBOLENSKAYA VERA APOLLONOVNA (1911 - 1945)

Vera Apollonovna Obolenskaya was born on July 11, 1911 in family of the Baku vice governor Apollon Apollonovich Makarov. Her mother is Vera Alekseevna, nee Kolomnina. The family emigrated to France in 1920 and lodged in Paris

| ~ x] V.A. Obolenskaya

V.A. Obolenskaya

Having got to France at the age of 9 years, Vera was formed as the person of at the same time Russian and French cultures. Got secondary education at the French school. Having infallible memory, did not differ in love for study, preferring it dances and the youth companies. All noted in it spontaneity, impulsiveness, tendency to adventures and ability to quickly win over people due to attractiveness and lively wit. In 17 years it got to the company of the young titled emigrant who, having unexpectedly come into a big fortune, swore "to waste on beautiful life" all money then to commit suicide. He kept a word, and Vera Makarova was one of those who saw off him at the cemetery. It worked at first as the model, then - the secretary for the successful Parisian businessman.

In 1937. Vera married Nikolay Aleksandrovich Obolensky and accepted a princely title.

Nikolay Obolensky's father, the former city's mayor of St.-Petersburg, died in Paris in 1924. After his death Nikolay became the senior representative of a family of princes Obolensky. Nikolay's mother is Salomiya Nikolaevna, - was a daughter svetl. kN. Dadiani-Mingrelsky. The godson of the widowing empress Maria Fiodorovna also conducted. book by Konstantin Konstantinovich, Nikolay, as well as his father, was a pupil of the Pazhesky case. After seizure of power by Bolsheviks the family emigrated to Finland, then moved to Nice, later - to Paris. Nikolay ended economic courses in Geneva. After the death of the father which coincided with temporary loss of means of livelihood he made unsuccessful attempt of suicide.

By the end of the 30th of business of family were adjusted. Thanks to income from the real estate acquired in Nice, Nikolay Obolensky lived much better than most of emigrants of Russia. It did not trouble itself(himself) full-time employment; about it said that he was one of the few Russians who could go to the taxi, without driving. Besides, ten boxes of the mingrelian treasures belonging to Dadiani's princes and which are taken out from the Zugdidi palace by members of the socialist government of Georgia during evacuation in 1921 Advocaat Salomiya Nikolaevna were stored in National bank of France considered that her rights as direct and only heir on these treasures are indisputable. And though the French authorities delayed decision on the matter, the situation added to Nikolay Obolensky and his young wife confidence in the cloudless future.

In 1940, soon after occupation of France by Germans, Vera Obolenskaya entered one of underground circles where received the pseudonym "Wicky". The people who were well knowing it assumed that its decision to join the ranks of fighters against invaders became result of emotional reaction to the passionate appeal of General de Gaulle broadcast on radio from London.

The first organizations which made later a resistance movement were created by people of the right views (communists of Western Europe during the period between August 23, 1939 and on June 22, 1941 did not take organized actions against Germany). The circle which entered Vika was headed by Jacques Artyuis - the successful businessman from 30th consisting in one of far-right groups of France. She became of it the leading authorized representative soon. At the end of 1940 Artyuis's group united with the organization headed by Maxim Blok-Maskar, the vice-chairman of Confederation of non-manual workers. Artyuis's colleagues sought for armed struggle, the Block Mascara group was engaged in mainly propaganda activity. The formed alliance received the name Organisation Civile et Militaire - OCM ("The civil and military organization").

Over time the organization established relation with de Gaulle's representatives in London and became one of the largest and branched in the French Resistance. OSM was engaged in intelligence activities, organized escapes abroad of the English prisoners of war, prepared weapon and reservists for transition to active fighting which were planned to begin along with disembarkation of allies in France. Obolenskaya as the secretary general of OSM took active part in all this. It gave the military rank the lieutenant. It met coherent and representatives of underground groups, transferred them tasks of the organization and accepted reports. Extensive secret correspondence, copying of classified documents, drawing up reports was under its authority.

By the beginning of World War II about 50 thousand Russian emigrants lived in France. Their relation to active participation in armed struggle with Germany changed during war and depended on their social and political affiliation, on the place of residence and on a set of other factors. Very different people occurred among several hundred emigrants who took part in the French Resistance. Among them were: newly appeared members of the French Communist Party M.Ya. Gaft and I.I. Troyan (the last - the former serviceman of the Russian army of the general P.N. Wrangel, the participant of Civil war in Spain on the party of republicans), the son of the writer Leonid Andreyev - V.L. Andreyev, the son of the royal minister and the Prime Minister of the South of Russia in 1920 A.V. Krivoshein - I.A. Krivoshein, mother Maria (E.Yu. Kuzmina-Karavayev), T.A. Volkonskaya known as "red princess". After attack of Germany on the USSR among the emigrants living in France steadily there was a drift towards the Soviet patriotism. However this trend carried away not everyone. Vera Obolenskaya did not share the pro-Soviet moods of many companions on fight against invaders.

The German intelligence agencies repeatedly made attempts to infiltrirovat a resistance movement the agency. At last, the member of the underground organization Notre Dame radioman Tilden through whom communication with London was carried out was arrested and enlisted. Tilden received from Germans a task to come into contact with the management of OSM which temporarily lost during this period communication channels with de Gaulle. In the circumstances Tilden's proposal on cooperation was represented for the management of OSM tempting. But Vika was categorically against. Finally its arguments prevailed, and the operation of Germans directed to penetration into the kernel of OSM was broken.

Since 1943 the establishment of contacts with citizens of the USSR - the captured military personnel of the Red Army and the "ostarbeiters" occupied on construction of the Atlantic bank and also the military personnel of "east parts" of Wehrmacht became the new direction in work of Resistance. In the area of OSM Nikolay Obolensky (Nikas) involved with the wife in active work in the organization was engaged in it.

By Wicky it was arrested on one of safe houses on December 17, 1943. It contained in several prisons. The attitude towards her, in comparison with other prisoners who were connected with her to one case was rather correct. Defects in work of investigating authorities of Gestapo and a prison guard allowed the prisoners who were contained in different cameras to communicate, build a common line of behavior on interrogations, to mislead the investigation. It was also succeeded to contact the colleagues who were at large and that to prevent some arrests and disclosure of appearances. Nevertheless, by the end of February, 1944 the Germans managed to arrest most of heads of OSM. Work of the organization was substantially paralyzed. It was not succeeded to be involved in military operations during disembarkation of allies of OSM: by June 6, 1944 it practically ceased to exist.

The group of special function "No. 716" of secret defense till February, 1943 working in Kiev achieved the greatest progress in disclosure of the OSM secret network. Under pressure of incontestable proofs Obolenskaya passed to the last way of protection - to give total refusal any information. In this regard she got the nickname "Princessin ich weiss nicht" ("The princess of nothing - I not-know").

The investigation tried to appeal to Obolenskaya as the representative of anti-Bolshevist emigration and to incline it to cooperation; the question and of "need of fight against Jewry" was brought up. But all attempts to find mutual understanding from the person under investigation at the ideological level did not result in the necessary result. Obolenskaya said that Hitler wages war not only against

the Bolshevism, but pursues also the aim to finally liquidate the Russian statehood that does not give it the chance to cooperate with Germans. Besides, she said that, being a Christian, she does not share the idea of superiority of Aryan race.

Receding from borders of France, Germans took away a part of prisoners. Obolenskaya was brought to Berlin where contained in Plettsenzee prison.

On August 4, 1944 it was guillotined.

The field marshal B. Montgomery the special order of May 6, 1946 expressed the admiration of merits of Obolenskaya as "volunteer of the United Nations". In the USSR the name of Obolenskaya was included in the list "groups of the compatriots living during the Great Patriotic War abroad and actively fighting against Hitlerite Germany". She was awarded the order by the decree of Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR of November 18, 1965 Patriotic war of the I degree.

The princess V. A. Obolenskaya received the highest awards from the French government: A military cross with a palm branch, a medal of Resistance and a knightly Award of the Honourable Legion.

Literature:

Flam L. Wicky: Princess Vera Obolenskaya. M, 1996.

Bodil Alma Ella
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