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The mystery of Olga Chekhova

Author: Antony Beevor
Publisher: London : Viking, 2004.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This is the extraordinary tale of how one family survived the Russian Revolution, the civil war, the rise of Hitler, the Stalinist Terror and the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union." "There have been many tantalizing rumours about Olga Chekhova, the niece of Anton Chekhov. She left Russia for Germany and became a film star honoured by the Nazis yet secretly worked for Soviet intelligence. Some of her closest  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Biography
Named Person: Olga Tschechowa; Lev Knipper; Lev Knipper; Olga Tschechowa
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Antony Beevor
ISBN: 0670915203 9780670915200
OCLC Number: 55130427
Description: xvi, 300 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Responsibility: Antony Beevor.

Abstract:

The author has put together from many sources a fascinating account of a Russo-German family. Several members are trapped in Hitler's Berlin the rest in Moscow awaiting arrest because their niece  Read more...

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Compelling . . . as engaging a read as Stalingrad and Berlin * Guardian * Fascinating. An intricate, gracefully told and often moving social history of a talented family in times of revolution, civil Read more...

 
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   schema:reviewBody ""This is the extraordinary tale of how one family survived the Russian Revolution, the civil war, the rise of Hitler, the Stalinist Terror and the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union." "There have been many tantalizing rumours about Olga Chekhova, the niece of Anton Chekhov. She left Russia for Germany and became a film star honoured by the Nazis yet secretly worked for Soviet intelligence. Some of her closest relatives joined her in Berlin; the rest remained in Moscow." "Young and beautiful yet with nothing of value but a smuggled diamond ring, Olga Chekhova left Moscow in 1920 to escape starvation and degradation. In Berlin, by making the most of her Chekhov name, she obtained a part in a silent movie. Success followed quickly and she eventually became Hitler's favourite film star." "Olga's brother, Lev Knipper, was a composer who had fought with the White Army during the civil war. When he returned to Russia in 1921 he was forced to work for Soviet intelligence. His controllers sent him abroad to spy on Russian emigres and, in Germany, Lev recruited his sister as a 'sleeper'. Later, at the height of the war, plans were made for the two of them to launch a suicidal attack right at the heart of the Nazi regime." "In putting together this dramatic story, Antony Beevor shows how people lived under the terrible pressures of a totalitarian age. It reveals a confusion of courage, idealism, fear, self-sacrifice, opportunism and betrayal. The astonishing part of the epic tale is that both Olga and Lev survived the most murderous era know in history. What they had to do to stay alive may have left deep but hidden scars."--Jacket." ;
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