Date of Birth: 04/13/1897
Place of birth: Alexandroupoli
Olga Chekhov (biography)
The son of an engineer Konstantin Knipper had three children: Ada, Olga and Lev. Average daughter-allotted the beauty of the mind, was interested in the theater, and his parents sent her to Moscow, a favorite aunt - Olga Knipper. The girl got used to quickly and successfully played Stanislavsky in his acclaimed productions of "The Cherry Orchard," "Three Sisters," "Hamlet" and others. It so happened that Olga Knipper fell cousins ??Anton Chekhov - Michael and Ivan. She opted for Michael, a famous actor.
major and minor
When they married, Olga was 17, Michael - 23. Their marriage was short-lived, perhaps because two creative personalities rarely get along with each other. But a close friend of Michael Smyshlyaev put forward a different version: "Misha Chekhov separated from his wife. It is not so surprising as it may seem at first glance, but, nevertheless, surprisingly. The fact that Michael loved Olga K. and she did . Perhaps, then played an ugly role of Mishka`s mother - a selfish, has stuck with his despotic love for his son, Natalia. Poor Misha, his whole life was spent in the last few years kakom-to nightmare. smoky, not ventilated room, sitting up to two to three hours (and even before 9 am) for the cards. Kakaya-to crazy tenderness old woman, and a young man who was an old man and a pessimist. "
In 1916, Mikhail and Olga`s daughter (Olga, too), and in 1917 the family Chekhov disbanded. In January 1921, the actress managed to get permission to have Lunacharsky six-week trip to Europe for the correction of health, and she went to Germany. Olga was only 23 years old. Later, she would say: "Those years taught me to distinguish between life main and secondary". From the memoirs of Michael Chekhov: "I remember leaving, already dressed, she saw how hard I was worried about the separation, caressed me and said:" What an ugly, well, goodbye. Soon you will forget. "And kissing me amicably, left."
Olga Chekhova split from her husband, leaving himself it loud surname. And saved him and his new family good relations. They both looked back, did not recollect mutual grievances. We lived present. Mikhail Chekhov dearly loved daughter, Olya, and bequeathed her his small ranch outside of San Francisco.
The second attempt
In Germany, Olga again tried to arrange his personal life, marrying a man named Friedrich Yaroshi. But with him it soon broke up, devoted himself entirely to art. Chekhov made her debut in the film by Friedrich Murnau "Fogeled Castle" (1921). The premiere was a resounding success. Then came the "Round Dance of Death" (1922). And success again. She acknowledged her wish to see on the screen as often as possible, and she met the expectations of fans. "Why get married", "Modern Girl", "Woman in flames", "Agony of Love", "The Great Passion" ... During his film career Olga Chekhov appeared in about 140 films, but none of them has been shown in THE USSR. SAVE heroines were mostly aristocrat and adventurer. Her beautiful, almost expressionless face mask attracts and fascinates. Her penultimate picture is called "The talent to be happy" (1953). Chekhov played herself: she really had the talent to live happily in spite of circumstances.
It seemed that the "Third Reich" is not a paradise for art, though Olga happily lived in a totalitarian state, and starred in film and theater. It is appreciated and loved Hitler. To her favored wife Goering.
Scout or actress?
When the war ended, the house where she lived with her actress daughter and granddaughter of Vera, came the Soviet soldiers. When he learned who she was, Olga Chekhov was arrested. Interrogated first in Berlin, then to send a military plane to Moscow. And here begins wonders.
From the memoirs of Chekhov: "In prison, I do not get. I live in the apartment of his wife officer missing ... Two rooms are furnished to me. In my case, visit the officers. They bring books, play chess with me. In my slightly ironic question how long we`ll be here so to kill time, they are silent. Just smile politely ... "
Then came the questioning, but again, the officers "polite, speak German and French. It seems that between us there is discussion on international issues."
Yes, it`s strange. She was not thrown into a damp cellar. On her not screaming. With her politely chatted about music, literature, theater and cinema. As a result, questioning conversations were born 36 sheets a kind of confession: the story of the Nazis and their collaborators, their morals, character, habits - some political dossiers on top of Nazi Germany. Olga was concealing nothing.
"... In 1936, I had a lot of offers, I had great success in theaters, and all foreigners, that people came to Berlin, led me to the theater, as in a zoo. At the reception after the show, I visited once or twice in year, very briefly. I do not remember where it was a year, when he came from Yugoslavia king and his wife. it seems that in 1938. All of Berlin was decorated and illuminated as never before. The first day they took Hitler at home, then play (Wagner`s opera), the second day in the country Goebbels in Lanka, the third reception was - in the evening, at 11 o`clock, and though I refused, had to go. The royal couple saw me often in the movies, and the queen wanted to meet me. reception in Charlottenburg the palace was given by Goering - so it was very rich. " "The Prussian ancient palace rooms were lit by candles in the old chandeliers, all those present were in costume time of Frederick the Great. After dinner, I sat with the royal couple in the garden - talking about my films, and tours of the Moscow Art Theatre ... Then began the program, I quietly left my driver was delighted -. all watered, fed, given a cigarette. " But the NKVD who were questioning SAVE, is not interested in antique chandeliers in the palace, and the conversations that took place there. "Oh I can not tell policy that I have anything special had heard about the approaching war, I had no idea," - replied Olga Chekhov.
June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union. And in July, Goebbels was a reception, which celebrated the impending capture of Moscow. Suddenly, all those present Goebbels appealed to Russian actress. That`s how she remembered it:
"We have an expert from Russia - Frau Chekhov - Goebbels said -. Do not you think that this war will be over before winter and Christmas we will celebrate in Moscow?
- No, - I answered quietly. Goebbels cold:
- Why not?
- Napoleon was convinced that what Russian space.
- Between the French and us a huge difference - Goebbels smiled indulgently. - We came to Russia as liberators. Bolshevik clique will be overthrown by a new revolution!
- A new revolution will not take place, Herr Minister, before the Russian abyss will stand more than ever!
Goebbels leaned forward and said coldly:
- I wonder, Madame, it means you do not trust the German military might? You predict the victory of Russian ...
- I`m not predicting anything, Herr Minister. You just asked me - whether our soldiers for Christmas in Moscow, and I said my opinion. It may be true and false.
Goebbels stares at me suspiciously. Set a long silence ... "
So whether it was in fact, Chekhov and Olga remembers the scene in the most advantageous light for itself, is hard to say. One thing is clear: during the war, it was not easy to decide whose it is a patriot - Russia or Germany. We had, of course, to maneuver. But exactly known fact: she categorically refused to performances in military reports from the Eastern Front. Speaking on the radio, she did not sing patriotic songs, and extremely lyrical. And I toured - in Vienna, Munich, and Prague.
... While in Moscow, Olga did not have the right to meet with their relatives - she still was a prisoner. But one day, during a performance at the Moscow Art Theater, Olga Knipper-Chekhov, leaving the bow, he drew the attention of a beautiful woman who is one of the first stood up and waved her hand slightly. Old actress was frightened: it is very similar to that lady was on her niece. This actress was so excited that the bows she no longer went out. Having a relative abroad, and even in Nazi Germany, but on top of that approximate to Hitler - it was sverhuzhasno. Suffice it to say that the writer`s sister Maria Pavlovna Chekhov, destroyed all pictures of Olga Chekhova: what if something did not find!
July 26, 1945 Olga Chekhov safely returned to Berlin. Why arrested? Why interrogated? Why let go? Questions left unanswered.
Rumors and Facts
Next start solid speculation. Who was Olga Chekhov? On whom I worked - our or the Germans? Or on the other?
A curious episode. In early 1945, it wanted to arrest Himmler. Learning of this, Chekhov she called back to him with a request to carry out the operation in the morning, she had to drink coffee. This was done. When a group of SS men led by Himmler went into the house, they saw that the morning coffee she drinks with ... Hitler. And the stirring spoon in the cup, displeasure through clenched teeth, that the visit of Himmler - not his most successful joke. And one more fact. In the case of Olga Chekhova at the Lubyanka stored report SMERSH chief Viktor Abakumov, where very high Kremlin authorities mapped out cold as death, the question: "What ... are invited to make in relation to Chekhov?" A November 14, 1945 the newspaper "Kurier", published in Berlin under the supervision of the French military authorities released information that "the well-known film actress Olga Chekhova was awarded the highest Russian award for bravery - Stalin personally ..." This message passed in several newspapers. Gradually the noise died down around Olga Chekhova, and she took the new arrangement, the post-war life. Helped movie star fame. "Some ask for a photo on the memory. For that I get from the French white bread and wine from the Russian vodka, sugar and cereals, and the Americans in most cases the cigarettes. The cigarette parcel more than gold on the black market ..."
In an incredibly difficult post-war conditions again Olga Chekhov plays in the theater, in films. Last time she played a major role in the theater in 1964, when she was already 67 years old. From cinema Chekhov left ten years earlier. What to do? Go to Role "comic old women," or even to abandon the stage? Or, as she wrote in her book, "colorless and quietly disappear, to go abroad, to become a housekeeper in kakoy-nibud intellectual family? Frightens me modest means - I was starving, I knew poverty and survived - but ... the monotony of days, replacing each other, what I was afraid of life. "
The latest craze
In 60 years, she starts a new life. He sold his house and moved from Berlin to Munich, where he opened a beauty salon. "It is not necessary to clean the shoes in the first place, and the skin, - she says. - It affects self-confidence, vitality." In 1955, she became head of the firm "Olga Chekhov Cosmetic Gesellschaft". "It is not life disappointing - we disappoint life. Bitterness makes a person ugly," - wrote Chekhov in his book. Every woman who is in a depressed state, she recommends above all appreciate the time: "Every second, every minute, every hour, we lived without joy, lost forever ..." She died in 1980 of cancer of the brain. She was in `83. Her daughter Olga died in a plane crash 50 years. Granddaughter, Chekhov Faith is alive and, once the grandmother is Melpomene. One of the films, which starred Olga Chekhov, ironically the favorite of the two dictators, Hitler and Stalin, was called "the man who wanted to live twice." She lived two lives - one in Russia, another in Germany, leaving an imprint on the culture of both countries.