Today we would like to tell our readers the story of a princess from Frederiksberg (region in Copenhagen) – Tatiana Sergeevna Ladyzhenskaya. She died on the 14th of February 2006. Her life was colorful, full with events, meetings, talks.
On the wall in her small, modest apartment hang an icon, which the family received as a present from Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. The apartment looked like a museum. Some of the pieces of furniture once belonged Russian Tsar Alexander III. Tattiana Sergeevna’s family had a coat of arms.
He noble parents emigrated from Russia to Denmark in 1917, although they managed to pass Russian life style and education to their children. The children spoke fine Pushkin-Russian language in spite the fact that Tatiana was born in Copenhagen.
– Oh, you are pure Dane, said once an elderly Danish gentleman to Tatiana. They were educated not to contradict older once, but her uncle was neither a young man and could speak freely. Thus, he answered:
– If a horse is born in a cowshed it does not mean it is a cow!
When Tatiana’s mother has died, she terrible missed her and deeply grieved for her. A nurse tried to calm her down. She said:
– Your mother died when she was 79.
– You understand nothing, replied Tatiana – for me loss of my mother means loss of Russia, loss of everything with what I grew up!
When Tatiana started at the Danish school and her schoolmates learned that she spoke Russian they avoided her at first. But later, when she learned Danish well enough she quickly became popular. After the school she wanted to continue studying to become a doctor. But her father did not support this will. A girl shouldn’t be a doctor, he thought.
Tatiana started travelling. First she went to France and later to Germany. But with the beginning of the Second World War, she started working in Serum institute.
She met her first husband in Schleswig where she spent every summer since she turned 14. He was a young navy officer. They immediately fell in love. During the war she could not publically announce that she was engaged with a German. They decided to wait. It took 10 years! Soon it was discovered that Tatiana’s fiancé had weak heart, thus he started thinking to sop the relations. But she insisted. She was ready to take care of the sick husband. They lived happily lived together 32 years. Unfortunately they did not have children. He died in 1979.
Tatiana could not think of living without her husband. Thus, she called their friend – Georgy Vasiliev, who was 85 at that time. Soon he moved to Tatiana, although she still was disconsolate. Situation did not change even after a year.
One of the girls who sang in the Russian church choir proposed Tatiana to visit Russia, where her sister was supposed to get married with a Danish doctor. Tatiana agreed. She decided to go together with Georgy.
In Russia they wished to go to the confession in a church. An old priest said to Tatiana, who by that time was 61 that she lived in sin with Georgy.
– But he is 85, she protested.
– So what, he is a man, answered the priest.
When speaking with Georgy the priest said: tomorrow you two have to get married.
Next day they got married.
They lived together 10 years.
– Is it true that you are married with Georgy? You look so good, couldn’t you find someone younger? – asked one of Tatiana’s friends.
That woman couldn’t understand that love sometimes is very ironic, and that they had a perfect match. They loved God and church more than anything else.
Tatiana could not understand when someone claimed that he or she did not believe in God.
– Any mathematical sum has a solution. How can that be possible that the universe does not have a solution? – she used to say – it is not possible that one day we simply vanish. The everlasting life does exist and God guides us through the life.
After Tatiana’s husband has died she tried to do as much as possible for other people. Her last ten years she helped as a translator when children from Chernobyl were brought to Denmark for recreation. The children were very happy when they could talk to someone in Russian in this foreign country. And she was happy to tell them how people live in the West.
Tatiana dreamed about returning to one of the estates in Russia, which in the past belonged to her family. She wanted to organize guided tours in Russian troika – three-horse carriage. This dream never became implemented in reality. But another dream did so. Tatiana helped establishing a Russian monastery in Denmark. This monastery still exits and nuns pray for Tatiana’s soul.
Inspired by article of Ulla Borchsenius
Photo by Britt Lindemann
Interpretation by Alexander Komissarov