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Post Red Cross Files in Russian Archives
Created by John Eipper on 02/12/21 11:45 AM

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Red Cross Files in Russian Archives (Silvia Ribelles de la Vega, USA, 02/12/21 11:45 am)

Many, many thanks to Professor Boris Volodarsky for his not-at-all-long email explaining this relationship between the Union of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the NKVD. The information he provides is priceless.

I was told that the Archives of the Union of the Red Cross and Red Crescent should have individual files on those who were taken under its wing. I wonder whether access to these files is possible. Or would these files be in the State Archive of the Russian Federation?

And also a big thank you to Sir Paul Preston, and, of course, to John Eipper at the helm of WAIS. The late David Pike gave me the gift of this Forum, and I will be forever grateful to him for this. He would have been interested on this particular topic, I am sure. One of the things he wished the most was having unhindered access to the archives in Moscow, and he was getting ready by learning Russian with a private tutor.

Have a wonderful Saint Valentine´s weekend.

JE comments: Likewise, Silvia! Your kind note is even better than a Valentine's card.  I am a lightweight compared to David Pike, but I've also been brushing up on my Russian of late.  My method?  The only way to learn during pandemic times:  TV.  Currently I'm watching the Red Queen (Krasnaya Koroleva) on Amazon Prime, a Russian series about the first Soviet "supermodel," Regina Zbarskaya.  It's a gripping and beautifully reconstructed portrait of the Khrushchev era.

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  • Soviet Red Cross Archives; Supermodel Regina Zbarskaya (Boris Volodarsky, Austria 02/16/21 3:21 AM)
    To Silvia Ribelles: To the best of my knowledge, all Soviet Red Cross files are available without restriction at the GARF. Even now, when all archives are closed because of the quarantine, the archivists respond to inquiries by email and are generally very helpful.

    To JE: John, you have chosen a good method of learning Russian, and if you add reading Russian newspapers (but not books) aloud every day, you shall make a very visible progress. About the Regina Zbarskaya series, I haven't seen it but hope they included a story of her relations with the KGB.

    To add, below is a link to the Russian documentary about Regina Zbarskaya. A long time ago and at different places, I met both wives of her first (and officially only) husband, Lev Zbarsky. Those were gorgeous and famous Soviet actresses Marianna Vertinskaya and Lyudmila Maksakova. I was a young journalist working for the Moscow Radio World Service and arranged an interview with Marianna. Although it was after 11:00 am, she was responding to my questions lying in bed in her light nightgown. Maksakova, on the contrary, met me in a hotel lobby wearing a very posh and expensive fur coat. To my question, "Isn't it a bit strange because it is very warm August outside," she answered imperturbably, "But it is going to rain and in such a case natural fur is the best protection." I was speechless.

    The link to the Russian documentary about Regina Zbarskaya:


    I may also recommend a film of a completely different calibre about little known events of 1-3 June 1962 that became known as Novocherkassky shooting:


    There are a few ads at the beginning--just skip them.

    JE comments:  Bolshoe spasibo for the recommendations, Boris!  The Zbarskaya series (she is known as "Barskaya" on the show) does address her time in the early 1960s as a "honey trap" for a British diplomat.  This is at the insistence of her own husband, (Z)Barsky, who had been blackmailed by the KGB.  We're snowed in today at WAIS HQ, so we'll probably watch the final episodes of Red Queen:


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