Kleinmichel

The home of her childhood was wantonly destroyed

My grandmother’s family’s first country home was destroyed by fire. After that the Kleinmichel family spent their summers at Ivnia in the Koursk region. The family lived in Moscow during the other three seasons but, as summer approached, the children would begin to dream of the journey to Ivnia. Ivnia

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100 Year Old Nun in the Family

On 10 May 1990 my great Aunt Tata celebrated her 100th birthday. Beginning life as Countess Natalia Kleinmichel, older sister of my grandmother Countess Olga Kleinmichel, Aunt Tata saw in her birthday as Sister Mary of the Resurrection. The celebrations were recorded in this newspaper article from France, seen above

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Never Ending Fear and Trauma – the Murder of a Count

Fear lurked in the background of my childhood. It was never named when I was a child but, as I grew older, I learnt its name was Communism. Both sides of my family feared Communists and especially Bolsheviks, with good reason. In her book, Upheaval, my grandmother wrote of traumatic

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My Grandparents in France – celebrating Christmas in exile

I am slowly transcribing notes my grandmother, Olga Woronoff, née Countess Kleinmichel, wrote over the years. The other day I came across this story which must have taken place on Christmas Eve 1921, somewhere in the South of France. I have narrowed it down to 1921 as there is no

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The Winter Palace fire and my great great grandfather

On 17 December 1837, the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia, burst into flame. Almost as soon as the last embers ceased to burn, Tsar Nicholas I started to plan the rebuilding of this remarkable structure, hoping the new palace would wipe the memory of this disaster from the minds

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