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Looking for Info About a Barge Blown Up at Archangel in 1920


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#1 BingandNelsonFan

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 06:46 AM

Here's a big question that I'm hoping someone will come along and be able to help with one day! This is a family story I've been working on piecing together for several years, and I'd like to learn about this event, if possible.
 
I know that this happened in 1920, probably in February to April. There were White Russian forces at Archangel, fighting with the British forces fighting in North Russia with General Miller. In February 1920, the British forces backed out on the White Russians and pulled their men out, taking the reserves and all protection to the small amount of White Russians. A mentally-ill Bolshevik commander, Mikhail Tsiderbaum-Kedrov ("only recently released from a mad house" according to one source) ordered several hundred young officers and cadets of the remaining young White Russian officers to be put on a barge in the White Sea. The barge was then blown up. All the young men died.
 
This is a bit about this story as quoted from Alexei Scherbatov's book:
Бориса в 1918 году
пригласили в качестве переводчика для
работы с англичанами в Северную
армию генерала Миллера. Английская
интервенция в районе Архангельска
закончилась еще до разгрома этой
армии красными. Англичане, мало
заинтересованные в помощи России,
фактически предали белых соратников:
бежали в 1920 году, успев вывезти
огромные запасы леса. Борис остался с
сослуживцами и попал в число нескольких сот молодых офицеров и юнкеров,
которых чекист Михаил Цидербаум-Кедров, психически больной человек, недавно выпущенный из сумасшедшего дома, распорядился посадить на баржу
и взорвал ее в Белом море. Все, конечно, погибли.
 
 
Can anyone help me fill out this story? Thanks!

 



#2 Bob Hudson

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 06:14 PM

His name was Mikhail Kedrov (Zederbaum) and you'll find him on google using that name: there seems to be one story repeated by many sites, but more searching may yield some additional info. 



#3 Bob Hudson

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 06:27 PM

Okay this is this is more informative than pretty much all the other webpages (again, all the exact same)

 

From the book Stalin's Agent: The Life and Death of Alexander Orlov

 

 

kedrov.jpg

 

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kedrov2.jpg

 

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kedrov3.jpg

 



#4 BingandNelsonFan

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 12:48 PM

Thanks for this info! There is some new stuff in there.

 

I'm trying to discover more information about the death of Prince Boris Sergeyevich Scherbatoff. The family records always maintain that he died in 1920, as does the political Almanach de Gotha -- which also lists him as having been killed at Archangel. Then, I came across the reference from Alexei Scherbatov's book, which states that Boris died on a barge there -- blown up by Mikhail Kedrov. So far, Scherbatov's book is the only place I've found a hint of that story . . . but that, of course, doesn't mean much when trying to trace events during the Russian Revolution! Scherbatov was a cousin of Prince Boris, so I'm assuming that the family was trying to stay in touch and got this story through.



#5 Bob Hudson

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 04:11 PM

This attributes news of his death to his Uncle, also named Boris. I searched old newpaper files and found lots of turn of the 20th century stories about what must have been the uncle, who was a big deal in the Tzar's government.

 

This from: http://www.eliotsofp...gson-emily.html

 

Emily, now a young widow with four children (having lost a daughter in 1911), hardly had time to leave more than a few sketchy details of her life after this. One important detail was the birth of a daughter, Joan Eleanor, on 11 March 1917, as the result of a wartime relationship. Before she died, Emily's joy in thinking she had discovered Boris (now a grown man) in England was turned to sorrow when the Prince Boris Scherbatoff in England turned out to be her little charge's Uncle. It was with great sorrow and anger that this "other" Boris informed her of the young Prince's untimely death at the hands of the Bolsheviks in Russia.

 

 



#6 Bob Hudson

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 04:46 PM

I don't think Kedrov blew up the barge: he killed thousands of people and would needuse it many, many times. 

 

Someone wrote that he patterned the drownings after similar drownings in France during  the revolution https://en.wikipedia...nings_at_Nantes

 

This account says the prisoners were weighted down.

 

from the book

 

Livre Noir Du Communisme: Crimes, Terreur, Répression

By G. Peter Albert, Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Andrzej Paczkowski, Jean-Louis Panné, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin

 

barge.jpg



#7 Bob Hudson

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 05:11 PM

I've seen accounts of anywhere from a few hundred to 1200 officers on the barge, the higher number coming from the 1924 book The Red Terror In Russia by Serge Petrovich Melgunov, who managed to get out of Russia in 1922. His account may be as close to a first hand account as can be found. 

 

He writes that machine guns swept the barge with 1200 men on it. If they had a large number of guns being fired at once it may well have looked and sounded like an explosion to distant observers.

 

redterror.jpg



#8 BingandNelsonFan

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 05:26 AM

All of this is very helpful. Thanks! I hope to spend some more time this coming week on looking into all of this. The account by Melgunov is a great find, as that is very close to the event.

 

Wish I could read Russian, but I am just stuck with Google translator. This is the rough translation of the quote from my original post. Up until your added info, this was the only account of the event I'd found.

 

"Boris in 1918
invited as a translator for
work with the British in North
General Miller’s army. English
intervention in the Arkhangelsk region
ended before the defeat of this
army red. English little
interested in helping Russia,
actually betrayed white associates:
fled in 1920, having managed to take out
huge stocks of forest. Boris stayed with
co-workers and was among several hundred young officers and cadets,
whom Chekist Mikhail Tsiderbaum-Kedrov, a mentally ill person recently released from a madhouse, ordered to be put on a barge
and blew it up in the White Sea. All, of course, perished."


Edited by BingandNelsonFan, 17 September 2019 - 05:27 AM.



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