Alexander Barmin: as a Soviet diplomat-defector married to the granddaughter of the President of the United States

Biography 15/12/19 Alexander Barmin: as a Soviet diplomat-defector married the granddaughter of U.S. President

Among the many “defectors” from the Soviet era among the most striking figures is Alexander G. barmine, a Soviet intelligence officer, diplomat, Brigadier, private, U.S. army, head of the Russian service of radio “Voice of America” and… husband of granddaughter of U.S. President Roosevelt.

Life to escape

Alexander Barmin (real name Graff) was born in 1899 in the Ukraine in the family of Russified Germans. Early lost his father to pay the tuition, was forced to work: to unload barges on the river, chop wood, was a boatman. He studied at the Kiev gymnasium and then the University of Kiev. In 1919 he left the University, volunteered in the Red army, then became a member of the Bolshevik party. In 1920 he entered the Military Academy (Eastern branch). Received the rank of brigade commander (equivalent to a General’s rank). Diplomatic career began Consul in Bukhara. Supported the opposition of Trotsky. In 20-e years was Consul in Iran, Secretary of the Embassy in Afghanistan, then was sent to France by a resident of the main intelligence Directorate. In 1937 – d’affaires of the USSR in Athens.

the Escape

In early 1937 Alexander Barmin briefly went from Athens to Moscow. At this time, the Soviet Union began the infamous “great terror”. The climate of insecurity, the constant denunciations and arrests made on Barmina strong impression. He returned to Athens and shared with colleagues their thoughts on this issue. A short time later it became clear that the content of these confidential conversations are already known in Moscow. He soon learned of the intention of the management to withdraw him Home. And then Barmin decides on the escape.

in the Summer of 1937 Barmin escapes to France, to Paris – a city that was well known to him at the previous on a business trip.

In the USSR, he is survived by mother and two sons.

the Defector

Originally, apparently, the “inertia” Barmin still continued to declare in the press his socialist beliefs, commitment to the ideas of Trotsky. However, very soon it became clear that this is not the Luggage with which it is possible to achieve something in the mill of capitalism. In 1940 he moved to the United States is already quite a staunch “Democrat.”

the Second world war. Barmin, who by this time was 42 years, went to serve in the us army with the rank of private.

In the newspaper “new York times” in January 1942, he published an article titled “Former Russian General soldier in the army of Uncle Sam”. There were such lines: “According to Barmin, he is happy to serve in “a very democratic army.”

In 1943, Alexander barmine began his service service in the Office of strategic services (OSS) of the United States. This structure was a direct precursor of the CIA. As someone who was born in Russia, knows the language, habits and mentality of the Soviet citizens, and even such “ideological Democrat”, Barmin was invaluable, and quickly began to make a career.

Entertaining fact: direct supervisor Barmina was a Russian emigrant, Prince Obolensky. The representative of the nobles of the princely family and former red brigade commander worked so well together and even jointly translated Soviet book “Handbook red partisan”, which for many years became the basis for the instructions of all operational groups of the OSS.

At this time, Barmin married for the second time. However long the marriage was, the couple divorced fairly quickly, at the initiative of the wife.

In 1944, Barmina career in the OSS was interrupted because of the article “the New Communist conspiracy,” which defector from the Soviet Union published in a magazine. The article Barmin criticized President Roosevelt for his efforts towards a rapprochement to the Soviet Union. The leadership of the office of strategic services decided to get rid of an employee who thinks too freely, and Barmina fired with the strange formulation “for Navajod to work without a valid reason.” Of course, this alleged absence was nothing more than a pretext.

the Third marriage

opposition to the course the White House did not prevent Barmenu carried away by the granddaughter of another President of the United States, the same which bore the name Roosevelt.

Edith Kermit Roosevelt, granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt (he was President from 1901 to 1909). By the time of her marriage she was 20 years old, she just graduated from Barnard College (a very prestigious women’s liberal arts College). It was her first marriage. Alexander Barmine to that time was 49, and for him it was a third marriage.

no Wonder the wedding, which took place in 1948, caused a resonance. Despite the fact that due to the illness of the grandmother of the bride – widow of the late Theodore Roosevelt – the marriage ceremony was more than modest, were not even disclosed the names of witnesses in the society pages of almost all major U.S. Newspapers was devoted to this marriage line.

What is really old and not too pretty fluent Soviet diplomat was able to charm a young graduate of a prestigious College, a girl from a very good family, we can only guess. Moreover, their marriage did not last long. In 1952, the couple divorced. They had only daughter, Margot Roosevelt. Later, Margo became quite famous and successful journalist.

After divorce

Edith Kermit Roosevelt ended his days sadly, she died at her own hands.

Barmin lived a long life, got married again many years headed the Russian service of “voice of America” and was responsible for the Affairs of the Soviet Union, with the news Agency of the United States. He died in 1987.

Olga Melnikova

© Russian Seven

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