Monday, October 8, 2007

Email from Marion: Berdyaev & Koudacheff-Rolland Updates


Portrait of Count Potacki in 1781 by David, click on it for link to source.

Cousin Marion has sent in the following updates:

Concerning Berdyaev, there is a chapter: "cercle de famille" in a book written by Donald Lowrie: Rebellious Prophet written in 1960. There is a long description of the French connection through the marriage of Mathilde Choiseul-Gouffier to Serge Danilovitch Koudacheff. I got this book through my grandfather's wife, Lucy Marsh Leggett-Koudacheff when she died or before, I cannot remember.

There are also good pictures of Alexandra Kudashev and Count Choiseul-Gouffier.

I have been reading and rereading it. My mother met Berdyaev when he was living in France and always mentioned that he looked like many Kudashevs in his physical posture, like her father and my mother herself (she mentioned the Tartar build, medium height, dark, but fair complexion, etc.)

He died without children.

Through his mother's side, he was also related to the counts POTOCKI (Mathilde Choiseul's mother was countess Victoria Potocki) and so are we, and spent vacations on the estate of rich Polish relatives, countess Branicky pages 18 and 38 of the book. She owned the whole town of Belaia Tserkov (Which means white church).

It is a large tribe, but I found out the following looking under POTOCKi, Ct Stanislaw Potocki, 1752 Tulcyn died on 14.3.1805. After the death of his 2nd wife he married Sophie Tschelitsche in 1798..

There are 3 lines. He belongs to the 2nd line and was married 3 times. The first marriage was annuled, the children come from the 2nd marriage to Countess Josephine MNIZECH who died on 29.8.1798.

Their daughter Viktoria was born in 1780 in Moscow and died in 1826. She married Count Antoine Luis Octave Choiseul Gouffier born on 30.4.1773 in Paris and died on 4.11.1840. They divorced in 1821 and she married Alexis BACHMETIEV (1774-15.9.1841)

She had a sister under 5a) Roza (15.8.1782-1843) who married Wladislaw Branicki. There may have been the connection to Berdyaev' s mother (or the Branicky's children).

One of Count Potemkin's nieces married into the Branicky family earlier according to Seban-Montefiore's book on Potemkin.

As far as Marie Koudacheff-Rolland is concerned, she married a Sergei Kudashev patronymic may be Serguevitch - I have to look it up. Her mother, a French governess, was employed in the Kudashev's household and she had Marie, an illegitimate child with an unknown Russian nobleman. Marie married Sergei K. who died in Paris in the early 20ies.

Marie K. had left their son, also Sergei in the USSR with her mother. He was a brilliant student of mathematics, married to a young ballerina at the age of 18. He died during the 2nd World War defending Moscow and there is a memorial inscription at the Faculty of Mathematics, for him and others who died during the war.

This story was told to me by a Russian journalist, Ella Maksimova, who had written an article on him ( I do not know whether I gave it to you) when I was in Moscow in 1988 to negotiate as a member of an ICRC commission the modalities of microfilming " the death books of Auschwitz" (mainly 74,000 names of people who died after "pseudo medical experiments had been done on them Mengele etc), which were "found" in the Soviet archives as glasnost started.

There was a press conference and since I was the only member of the ICRC delegation speaking Russian, I had this exchange with the journalist when I mentioned the Kudashevs name.


  1. On behalf of Professor Lavrov from Petersburg University who is working on the correspondance between Poet Maximilian Voloshin and Marie Koudacheff-Rolland, his friend, we would like to know where are kept the letters adressed to Marie Rolland. Has Mrs Rolland, born Koudacheff left all the letters adressed to herself in some library or are there still kept in the family?
    Thank you for you answer to this very important for literature research question
    Marie-Aude Albert
    Doctor in Russian literature

  2. Marion Scheinberger-KoudacheffJuly 11, 2010 at 7:08 AM

    Mrs Rolland was not born Koudacheff, but married a Koudacheff, the son of the family where her mother was working as a French governess. All the archives of Madame Rolland are in France, in archives there. I will try to find out where. We do not have any letters . Please contact me at my email:

    Marion Scheinberger-Koudacheff

  3. Marie Koudacheff-Rolland was married to Sergei Alexandrovitch Kudashev (son of Alexandre Sergeevitch).