In 1994, according to the treaty between Russia and France, Russia handed over to France the police archives of French Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), France secret services. The archives had been taken out to Germany, and then seized as trophies by the Soviet army.

Analysis of the archive materials revealed an interesting information about progeny and family ties of a great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Michael Tarielovich Loris-Melikov, an outstanding Russian politician and Minister of Internal Affairs in the reign of Alexander II. Family ties with the progeny of Alexander II, Emperor of Russia is also traced.

Natalia Alexandrovna, countess Merenberg in marriage, youngest daughter of the poet lived the most part of her life in Germany. There she gave birth to her son, George Nikolai (Georgi Nikolaevich) Merenberg, in 1871.

In 1895 count George Merenberg married the daughter of Alexander II, Russian Emperor. Their daughter, Olga Georgievna (Olga-Ekaterina-Adde) Merenberg, the great-granddaughter of Pushkin and granddaughter of Alexander II, was named Olga after her mother. Since 1923 she took the family name of her husband, becoming Loris-Melikova.

In 1928 the French secret service received confidential information from "a trustworthy agent" about the arrival of Olga Loris-Melikova in Bern from Paris for treatment. "The trustworthy agent" assumed the real purpose of her stay in Switzerland was different from officially stated one. That "reliable agent" provided some details about the life of the Loris-Melikovs' couple.

French documents provide unknown before information about the French period in the life of the Loris-Melikovs. From the same source we learn some biographic information about Olga Georgievna's husband, named after his famous grandfather, Michael Tarielovich Loris-Melikov, former Minister of Internal Affairs in the reign of Alexander II.

Information from the French Intelligence report:

Countess Olga Merenberg, born on October 3, 1895, in Wiesbaden. Father: George, mother: Olga Yurievkaya, Russian by marriage. Both parents deceased. On November 14, 1923 in Wiesbaden married Michael Loris-Melikov born on June 8, 1900 in Tsarskoe Selo. Father: Tariel, mother: Varvara Argutinskaya, both of Russian origin.

Newly wed Loris-Melikovs couple after their arrival to France, where they intended to settle, was hosted by an uncle of George, prince Argutinski-Dolgorukov, former secretary of Russian embassy in Paris. Uncle lived in Paris in an apartment that cost him annually 25,000 franks. After graduating from the Electromechanical Institute in Paris Loris-Melikov entered the bank services becoming an employee of “Lloids ?t N?tional ???vincial F?reign ??nk Limited” with a monthly salary about 2500 franks. Beside his salary he owned a substantial capital--as his uncle, nephew's trustee, did.

German by origin and Russian by marriage, Olga Loris-Melikova had some Russian blood. Her mother, living in Bern (Switzerland) because of the surgical operation, was said to be a daughter of the Emperor Alexander II. Her health conditions didn't allow her to come back to France where she lived before.

Vladimir Nikolaevich Argutinski-Dolgorukov was a progeny of an ancient Armenian princes. He was mentioned in Russian Annual Registers of 1914 and 1916 as first secretary of Russian Embassy in the US. He had influence on Armenian and Russian diasporas in Paris.

Olga Georgievna’s petition asking French residence, and the letter of French police prefect to the MIA regarding this petition reveals information about one more interesting person.

On October 25, 1933 French MIA urgently requested information on family ties of Olga Georgievna with Yosif Loris-Melikov. According to French documents, he was a member of Russian monarchic organization in Paris. Yosif Grigorievich Loris-Melikov born on September 10, 1872 in Tiflis (Tbilisi) from mother of Argutinski family resided in Paris. He was mentioned in the 1914 Russian Annual Register as gentleman in attendance in a rank of councillor of state. Nephew of Loris-Melikov Sr., he was an outstanding figure of Armenian nationalistic movement "Dashnaktsutiun". In 1901 he, together with M.M. Kovalevski, opened Russian Higher School of Social Sciences in Paris.

Before WWI he belonged to the Russian diplomatic corps. Since 1903 he had been connected to socialist and liberal circles, and at the end of 1919 French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) charged him with a mission in Southern Russia and in Caucasus with general A.Denikin’s Staff. There he "studied the French-Russian relations," sending reports to French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1933 Olga Georgievna Loris-Melikova applied to the French authorities asking for the constant residence in France. Her letter, along with the correspondence of Parisian Prefecture with French MIA, and some other materials show that Pushkin’s great-granddaughter had lived in Wiesbaden till August, 1923. After her marriage, and up to WWII, she lived in Paris, where in 1926 she gave birth to the son. Only on May 14, 1934 Olga Georgievna got the French permanent residence status. Before she just hold an identification card, that she had to periodically extend.


Hrant Sarkisov

economist, a member of Philatelists' Union of Russia and Armenia