Excerpts of Rutchenko memoirs

Soon after Delle’s departure to Gatchina, a new Russian translator, Oleg Klimov, arrived from Riga. He belonged to a prominent émigré family. His father was a former naval officer, and his uncle was a renowned artist. Talking about the life of the emigration, he mentioned the Russian scientist, historian, and philosopher, Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin, who always stayed at their house when he arrived for lectures in Riga. Oleg said that his father had given him a brochure with excerpts from Ilyin’s book About Resisting Evil by Force and would be glad to give it to me to read.

Having received a brochure from Oleg, I went early to our hostel, where, when I was alone, I immediately realized that Ilyin’s ideas were exactly what we needed. Never before have I received such a fervent call to fight evil that was in line with our hopes and thoughts. Ilyin’s ideas corresponded to our idea of creating a militant organization for the sake of restoring national statehood and Orthodoxy in Russia, that is, on the fight against evil on two fronts. Ilyin’s brochure left an unforgettable impression on me. It strengthened my faith in the revival of Russian statehood, which is inextricably linked with the restoration of “Russian Orthodoxy.” In the evening, I handed over the brochure to Andrei Chernyi. Immediately grasping the main thing, Oleg said that it must be multiplied without fail.

I was glad that he supported my own intention, and immediately remembered that the staff captain Boris Fedorovich Glazunov, who served in the commandant’s office, had access to the commandant’s hectograph. I already knew that he was a native of Tsarkoe Selo and was transported by the Germans away from the front to Gatchina with his wife and two daughters. (…)

The next day, I invited Boris Fedorovich for a walk in the park during lunchtime, and there, taking out the brochure, I handed it over to him, expressing my wish for its reproduction. A few days later, Boris Fedorovich, in turn, invited me to take a walk in the park and there he pulled out from under the floor a bag with ten copies of a brochure printed on a hectograph. With unusual enthusiasm, he asked to leave him the original of this wonderful work of Professor Ilyin in order to continue reproduction. Soon, we had at our disposal about twenty copies of Ilyin’s pamphlet, and almost every member of our Gatchina group received their own “personal” copy. So, Professor Ilyin became our first ideological leader.

Soon after the arrival of Oleg Klimov, Sergei Smirnov, who had arrived from Riga, appeared in Gatchina. He was sent as an interpreter to the Gatchina branch of the SD. He immediately found me and passed on a note from Delle that he could be useful as a member of the NTS emigrant organization. The son of a vodka supplier known throughout Russia, he was deprived of the right to study in Moscow and expelled from the university. Then he settled in Tver (Kalinin), and, after its occupation by the Germans, became a member of the city government. He was already over 40 when, after the German retreat, he ended up in Smolensk, where he met with members of the NTS, Georgii Sergeevich Okolovich and Ganzyuk. Having joined the NTS organization and taking with him a fair amount of literature and leaflets, Sergei Smirnov reached Riga, where, with the help of Delle, he was appointed to the position of translator in Gatchina.

Among the literature he brought with him was “The Basic Scheme,” a kind of wartime NTS program. In general, it suited us with its ideas of solidarity, but, in my opinion, it lacked the right balance between absolute power, that is, the power of the Supreme Ruler, and popular representation. Having supplemented it not only with “labor” representation, but also with universal equal elections to the State Duma, we allowed this scheme to multiply, thanks to Boris Fedorovich.

Two or three weeks after Smirnov’s appearance, Pavel Delle returned to Gatchina. Of course, I asked him about Sergei Smirnov and received a positive answer not only from himself, but also from Dmitrii Aleksandrovich Levitskii, who headed the student corporation Ruthenia in Riga, with which Smirnov communicated.

Arriving from the front, Delle brought with him Senior Lieutenant Sergei Adarkin, taken prisoner somewhere near Lyuban. Adarkin was a career officer and student of the Frunze Academy, seconded to the front as the chief of the division’s operations department. Intelligent, and knowing a little German, Adarkin behaved simply, but with dignity. Very soon I found out that he was well-read in history and an older supporter of our cause. It was not in vain that Delle took him with him and personally presented him to Major Kubart with a request to arrange Adarkin as an interpreter at the Warsaw railway station.

On the same December visit, Delle hosted a dinner, to which he invited Oleg Klimov, Sergey Smirnov and me. I brought everyone as a gift one copy of Ilyin’s “On Resistance to Evil by Force”—our publication. Oleg and Sergei were very happy, and Delle said that he would take his copy to the show for Levitskii. He, in his words, showed concern for us and gave each of us a revolver. Sergei Smirnov enthusiastically grabbed his own, saying: “Since the cadet uprising in Moscow, I have not held this toy in my hands.” Then Delle immediately turned to the question of the need to organize my trip to Pskov for the closest contact with the representative of the NTS there, Andrei Tenson. Smirnov immediately emphasized that he had already given me all the coordinates of how to find him. Oleg Klimov said that he wanted to convey to me his family’s invitation to Riga for Christmas and that, after a preliminary conversation on this topic with Major Kubart, he felt that there would be no obstacle. Delle was very interested in how these journeys would be provided with transport. I told him that Simonov promised to provide a place in the car or in the truck, and they leave for Pskov and Riga almost every day.

Drinking another glass of vodka, I told Delle that we were all touched and surprised by his concerns. “This is how I was raised by my father since childhood, when we lived in Khabarovsk,” he replied. Then I did not pay special attention to these words, but after the war, while reading the book of Sergei Borisovich Frohlich, I learned about the creation in 1945 in the Landau camp of a real center of documents, which produced the necessary papers for escape, and we established contact with the Latvian camp in Munich-Grunwald, where one of my friends, Pavel Delle from Riga, was staying. He was a smart guy and helped us with making so-called fingerprint badges. Delle had fabricated these badges very well and in droves with signatures and free space for fingerprints. He obtained the forms in the American commandant’s office, giving bribes in money and cigarettes.

Colonel Sh. Maglakelidze, occupied Chernigov (USSR, Ukraine), late 1941.¹²

Colonel Sh. Maglakelidze, occupied Chernigov (USSR, Ukraine), late 1941.¹²

Rutchenko memoirs
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